‘I couldn’t walk without my body feeling like broken glass. How did this happen? All of a sudden I was a vegetable.’

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“Why does everything hurt so bad?” I asked my 20-year-old self as I was trying to get dressed for an early morning shift at work. I could barely pull my pants up, or grasp the handle of the door. I had to wake up my fiancé to help me finish getting ready for work. He was just as confused as I was, we both thought maybe I was just really sore from working out or something. As the weeks went on, I was getting worse and worse. More pain, missed days of work, endless doctor appointments, tests, blood-work, unclear answers – that all went on for a few months.

The excruciating pain all over my body, the debilitating migraines, the hair loss, the depression, the weight loss, the intense gut pain, the scarring on my skin, the mental state of being so confused and frustrated and furious, I couldn’t take it anymore.

The diagnosis of Systemic Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s, and Costochondritis – they all tried taking control of my life. I had to be showered, dressed, and carried. I couldn’t even walk without my body feeling like broken glass. I couldn’t lift a cup of water to my mouth. I have the most dedicated work ethic and always held at least two jobs at a time. I was juggling work with a full academic schedule, college soccer, a romantic relationship, and family issues. I ran myself down, I was running on empty trying to make due with whatever energy I had left just to make a paycheck to get through college. How did this happen? A 17-year soccer career down the drain. My whole life I was a competitive athlete and then all of a sudden I was a vegetable. The only answers I would get from doctors was ‘Here, take this medicine for a few months and if that doesn’t work we’ll try another. Oh and on top of that, take these two for the side effects, this one for your heart, and these two for the side effects of that one.’

Woman with lupus and other issues lays in hospital bed holding up peace sign
Hailey Neluna

My head was spinning, my body was giving up on me, and the medications were slowly killing me. I had enough. I have always been one to question everything, and my health was no exception. I didn’t fall for the tricks of ‘Oh you’re sick forever, take these medications and we’ll set you up with a treatment plan so you can manage your symptoms.’ No, screw that. I have my own mind, my own beliefs, and my own ability to learn what I need to in order to get better. One day I woke up and was so sick of the pain and discomfort that I literally said ‘screw this.’  From that day on I promised myself I would get better and I would cure myself of this ‘autoimmune disease.’ If I didn’t do my own research and self-study every single day, if I didn’t take my health into my own hands – I would be dead by now. There’s no doubt about that.

Young woman with autoimmune disease lays asleep on couch with red splotches on her cheeks
Hailey Neluna

Right before I wanted to fully give up, Anthony William, author of the Medical Medium series, came into my life. With the subtitle of ‘Secrets Behind Chronic Illness & How to Finally Heal.’ I thought for sure it was just another fad diet plan that wouldn’t actually help. But that thought was soon put to rest within the first chapter. I read this first book and it resonated with me on such a deep level I made a promise to myself. I would actually heal, from the inside out. I went all in, studied up on all of his books and resources. I followed the 28 day protocol, which snowballed into me eating a strict plant based diet.

I traded in Prednisone and Chemo pills for fruit and vegetables. I dedicated my time to changing my entire lifestyle around. You cannot eat death and expect life. Fruits and vegetables provide life and have a high vibrational frequency. I have been vegan for a few years and have transitioned to plant-based for over a year now. And this is how I will continue to eat for the rest of my life.

It’s January of 2019 right now, and it’s been 208 days since I started drinking fresh, organic celery juice every morning on an empty stomach. Benefits when juiced: cleanses and repairs intestinal lining, anti-inflammatory, raises pH levels, supports neuron function, hydrates the body at a cellular level, alkalizes the gut, flushes toxins, promotes good bacteria – the list could go on forever. Everyone thought I was crazy for giving up all of the foods that society tells us is okay to eat, and there was a lot of negative energy thrown at me, but I persisted.

A whole lot of fruits, vegetables, and a positive mindset later – and I can eat without the intense gut pain, my skin has never looked this good, my joint pain is GONE, and my blood work results baffled my doctor to the point where he listens to ME now as if I’m teaching him something. I still have a ways to go but I’m actually healing, not only on a cellular and physical level, but on a spiritual level. There’s no medications covering anything up anymore, I’m really freaking healing. And this is all thanks to taking my health into my own hands, and believing I could heal. Don’t be a victim to your diagnosis, because behind the same person telling you that you have ‘this’ or ‘that’ is the same source that you got sick from. That isn’t a theory, it’s a fact. Do your own research and question everything. You will find the answers, just like I did.

Young woman in cap and gown sticks tongue out and holds up shaka sign with hand
Hailey Neluna

I will never allow myself to get to that horrid state of being again. There is no more sickness, no more pain, and no more doubt.

Young woman with autoimmune disease stands with arm around boyfriend on hike
Hailey Neluna

With a plant-based, toxic-free lifestyle, a dedicated routine, and a close relationship with my body and inner self, I will forever be illness free. And I’m so proud I can say that.”

Young woman with autoimmune disease smiles as she sits in car taking selfie
Hailey Neluna

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hailey Neluna. Follow her journey here. Submit your story here. For our best stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter.

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