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Wake Up Call

CleanLife Botanicals™ is born, albeit slowly, from years of unconscious defiance. I developed what I believe to be an instinctive, yet sensible, resistance to using over-the-counter and prescription solutions for all medical treatments.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I wholeheartedly believe that there is a time and a place for these types of medicine. I’m not a complete big pharma rebel. I’ve merely grown to appreciate listening to what my body communicates to me. I treat it according to the respect that it deserves. After all, my health and wellness depends on it.

In my teens and early twenties, I never quite understood my sister’s battle with Lupus or my mother’s struggle with the pain from multiple herniated discs. These outstanding ladies live, and sometimes only survived, with incredible pain and the mainstream treatment side effects. And lots of them.

My world was rocked in 2002-2003 when I accepted and apathetically and indifferently filled two prescriptions. The first was to treat insomnia. The second addressed the immobility in my neck. Both were the result of stress.

By my second dose of medications, I began to feel a bizarre tickle spread through my belly. It was accompanied an imperceptible spasm – something I can now readily identify but was foreign to me then – in my lower back. Over the next few hours, I began having what my family and I now refer to as ‘waking seizures’.

Every part of my body began to twitch and eventually violently jerk. It was uncontrollable and terrifying. By the end of the second hour, I was in tears from fear, fatigue, and pain. I begged my father to try to physically restrain me in a weak attempt to get it to stop.

We quickly reached the conclusion that this was not going to end. There was no controlling it. My father carried me to the family van for the thirty minute commute to the nearest ER, Baylor Medical. My mother sat behind me and firmly held my thrashing head to prevent me from banging it into things around me.

As we raced to the ER, I recall looking through my tears out the open window into the clear, dark North Texas summer sky. I thought, “Will this reach my heart? My lungs? My organs? My brain? Will it hurt? Is this how I am going to die?” I prayed. At the precious age of 24, I was scared and so very, very tired.

My father carried me into the ER. The nurse ushered us straight through to a room. Later, my mother shared with me that she’d overheard a bystander, presumably waiting for treatment, loudly trumpet his dissatisfaction that a ‘loser junkie’ got to see a doctor before he did.

A loser. A junkie. Here were two words that I had never been called until this dreadful night.

An IV and two heavy doses of Lorazepam later finally quelled the storm in my exhausted and fragile body. Before it did, I failed a grip test among a handful of others the attending doctor attempted to perform on me. What was wrong with me?

Dystonia. That’s what the doctor later explained. The dystonic reaction I experienced was a severe adverse reaction to the prescription for insomnia, not the muscle relaxer. He went on to describe that this medicine has a half-life in my system. The discharge nurse handed me a little opaque orange pill bottle with five Lorazepam tablets inside of it. Super. Just what I wanted, more pills. Pills that were to offset the dystonia I was sure (and did) to endure over the next few days. I called these my antidote pills.

The doctors promised that I shouldn’t experience any other occurrences of dystonia after the half-life passed so long as I never took any medication from a particular drug family. No, not just one drug, the entire molecularly related drug family. So, that’s exactly what I did.

Fast forward three years and I’ve strained my back muscles moving furniture into my new place in California. The doctor prescribed the same muscle relaxer I’d had back in Texas.

You guessed it.

By my second dose, my husband (we were newlyweds) was racing me to the ER in an all too familiar scenario for me.

Dystonia is not a noted adverse reaction to this prescribed muscle relaxer. The doctors made me feel like I didn’t know what I was talking about in relation to my body and my history with this tiny, unassuming pill. The ER doctor double checked the chart for the lab results of my bloodwork. The words ‘junkie’ and ‘loser’ echoed somewhere in the back of my mind.

Doctors have since advised me that despite the dystonic reaction not being listed as a potential side effect for this particular prescribed muscle relaxer, it is apparently the cause for me. Call it an allergy. Call it what you will. The fact stands that it caused me severe bodily distress that resulted in a dystonic reaction.

Over the years since these adverse pharmaceutical drug reactions, I’ve had several other bouts with dystonia. It seems that I drew a winning lottery card. I’m not somehow rewired. Increased amounts of stress or anxiety will trigger my newfound ‘friend’, dystonia.

What a wake-up call. Today, I research every prescription any doctor writes for me or any other member of my family. If the diagnosis is such that I can find and use a suitable, natural nutraceutical remedy, then that is exactly what I do.


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