Friday, August 2, 2013

The Experts Weigh In: Attitude is Everything!

Image via

If you had told me five years ago, that at age 30 I would be two years into medical disability and leaving behind my beloved teaching career, I would have looked at you like you had three heads. Five years ago, I thought that at 30 I would be in my eighth year of teaching, traveling the globe with my husband over the summers, and thinking about starting a family of Baby Buschenfeldts.

Needless to say, that's not exactly how it worked out.

In short, my body broke in 2010. I was a newly wed fourth-grade teacher when a virus passed along from my students wreaked havoc on my apparently less-than-stellar immune system and paralyzed several systems in my body. All of a sudden I became a young woman on disability, fed through a tube and watching multiple parts of my body struggle to survive. Like a slow leak in a tire, my body fell apart a tiny bit more with each passing day. I began to collect diseases like baseball cards and within three years I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease, Gastroparesis, Thyroid Cancer, Dysphasia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Vocal Chord Paralysis, Visceral Hypersensitivity, Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome, Overall Dismotility Disorder, Inappropriate Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Raynaud's Disease, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease, and so many others that eventually it was all lumped into a "complex and obscure multi-system illness."

Let's just be clear, it isn't exactly a bucket-list moment when several top hospitals categorize your illness as "complex and obscure."

When your life is turned upside down, it can be a very dark and cold place. I could have chosen to brace myself for the terrifying roller coaster of a chronic health battle. I could have focused on the long, lonely nights in the hospital or the ever-increasing road map of scars covering my body. I could have let one virus erase who I am and what I stand for, but I said no. I realized that with every obstacle in life, you have a choice. You choose who you are and you choose how you will unwrap what is given to you. I made the choice to embrace my life. I chose gratitude over devastation, and I never looked back.

I returned to school to become a certified health coach. My company, Hatch Health and Happiness, was originally an acronym - Help Adapting To Changing Health - but it has morphed into the concept that we are never really starting from scratch. When you are diagnosed with an allergy or disease, are struggling to lose weight, or surrender to stress, it can feel like you have to start over to feel better. Change is scary, especially when you do it alone. I help my clients learn to hatch from within and make lifestyle and dietary changes to reclaim their health and happiness. I have the opportunity to pay forward all that I have learned and to devote my life to making that transition to health and happiness easier for someone else. The truth is that I've been there, I get it, and I can help.

When I started blogging in early 2012, I thought my blog would be the story of my trip to the Mayo Clinic and how I got my life back. Turns out I did regain my life, but not exactly as I planned. Instead I learned that regaining your health and happiness has little to do with receiving a diagnosis and taking a pill. Instead it comes from a place of laughing at life's many quirks, indulging in nature's pharmacy, accepting and loving your innermost thoughts, and approaching each day with an abundance of gratitude.

An undiagnosed disease takes away the feeling of certainty in your future. Many days I wake to a mind-boggling new symptom and the adjustment to a "new normal" starts anew. The truth, however, is that the world comes to all of us one day at a time, undiagnosed disease or not, and I choose to jump in and embrace the chaos.

Lydia Buschenfeldt is a Certified Health Coach who specializes in helping individuals and families reclaim their health and happiness while living with allergies, chronic disease, and other stresses of daily life. Having lived with an undiagnosed disease for years, Lydia knows firsthand how to learn to listen to the body, our greatest teacher, while living a life of health, happiness , and abundant gratitude. Lydia lives with her husband in Fairfax, Virginia, where she can often be found outdoors with horses or inventing new creations in the kitchen. Find out more about Lydia's coaching practice at Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @LydiaHatchHealth.

No comments:

Post a Comment