As most of you know Elana's second book, SURRENDER debuted on June 5th. I'd like to send her the warmest of wishes for her second triumph.
I will be posting my review in Friday's post so PLEASE stop by then and tomorrow if you can, Elana will be visiting my blog.
For this particular blogfest Elana has asked us to post a story about a personal "never surrender" moment in our lives.
One painfully comes to mind and I believe it is time to share it all with you; my friends.
At the peak of my modeling career I was struck with crippling arthritis in practically all my joints. I couldn't move. Tests revealed that I didn't have rheumatoid arthritis, which is an auto immune disease (your body attacks itself). I had a most unusual form. We have all heard of it and it mainly comes from eating rich foods and drinking alcohol excessively: gout. Since I did neither, I was shocked by the diagnosis.
My agent pushed me to be cured holistically. In theory this sounded like the perfect solution. I was always a firm believer in natural medicine and basically I still am. So she made an appointment for me with her Kinesiologist (combination Chiropractor and herbalist/nutritionist.)
At first I responded to the treatment. I felt better my legs straightened and all SEEMED well. Then I was struck... I was totally debilitated. Within a month I was in a wheelchair. The doctor, as I use this term very loosely, reassured me this was all part of the healing. I can still remember him saying "You don't want to mask this with pills, you want to be cured." So I continued treatment.
My leg muscles atrophied overnight and I could barely hold myself up on them. I lost tons of weight. My knees bent from the pain. In less than a year I was completely crippled. To this day I still don't know why I allowed this to go on for so long. The man was like Slytherin in the HP books. Old Serpent Tongue...
Down hearted, in agonizing pain, and practically broke, I hobbled onto a plane and headed for South Florida to stay with a friend for a while.
When I arrived, she took one look at me, freaked, and by the following week I had an appointment with the best orthopedic surgeon in South Florida.
I stubbled into his office, hunched like Quasimodo. He took one look me and began screaming. And I mean SCREAMING. "YOU IDIOT... WHAT POSSESSED YOU? A SIMPLE PILL WOULD HAVE TAKEN CARE OF YOUR PROBLEM! NOW YOU HAVE PERMANENT DAMAGE!"
At the time I hadn't known the extent. After the results of the tests, I learned that the uric acid ate away 35 percent of the cartilage in my knees and I had the acid in ALL of my organs.
After two years of heavy medications, the uric acid was flushed out of my system. But what was left terrified me. I was still a cripple, in agonizing pain, hunched and deformed. It was THE most devastating time of my life. One moment I was a top fashion model traveling the globe, the next I was dragging my right leg around and working as an office assistant for a friend in Miami Beach.
Here I was in my early thirties and my life was over. But was it? At the time Miami Beach was turning into the SOUTH BEACH of today. After a few months my friend bought a stunning condo and asked me to help her decorate it. I had my degree in art and design, but I had never really used it. That was the birth of my design career.
Hobbling the streets of South Beach strengthened my legs. but I still limped and couldn't straighten up. I persisted. I began to work out. At first a few times a week. Then I managed to go every day. I stretched and pushed my legs down seeing stars every time ... but I persisted.
It took me over eight years to build my body back to 95 percent of what it was. Yes, I still have the permanent damage, but I can walk without a limp now and I am almost back to my original height. Life is good. But almost a decade of my life was lost.
I often think about what my life would have been like if I hadn't pushed myself and "surrendered" I'd most likely be in a wheelchair, depressed, and a burden to someone I love. Instead I am power walking on the beach, I have more energy than I know what to do with, and I am genuinely happy.
Of course I'd be a lot happier if I had a published book, LOL, but health is SO MUCH MORE important. NEVER take your's for granted my friends. It is more valuable than all the gold in Fort Knox.
As I brush away a single tear from my eye, I am thankful for my INSANE determination, for without it I wouldn't be here or have met all of you. This community means the world to me and I can't even fathom the thought of not being a part of it.
Thank you Elana for pushing me to share my story. This was very painful for me to write. but I know that it will be read by kind and caring people who will be truly happy for my success.
As a final note, I would LOVE to know about your NEVER SURRENDER story. Please feel free to leave a "Reader's Digest" version in the comments. I know we would ALL like to read them
Have a wonderful day friends and I will look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.