Archive | September 2018

Essential Oils, Life Experience and Almost Dying

My life has really taken some interesting turns this past year. First and foremost I’d like to say that I’m so grateful to be here typing this as last December, my husband and I both believed that I wouldn’t be.
My close friends, family and fans knew that last April, we moved into my dream ranch to start a horse boarding facility. My writing was put on the back burner and my publishers knew I needed some time to get our ranch up and going. We worked from sun up to sundown. I’m happy to say that the ranch took off and the business was growing rapidly.
As fall approached, I knew I would need to get an outside job to help pay for expanding the ranch and feeding the numerous horses over the winter. I took a secretary position at one of the elementary schools and began planning expansion for the ranch. I loved the teachers and staff that I worked with and adored the principal. She was smart, decisive and very open minded. I was grateful when she allowed me to diffuse my essential oils to ward off any illnesses. Witchcraft is what my husband often teased me with.
Towards the end of September I developed a horrific ear infection. My girls often got them but I hadn’t had them for years. I figured because we had moved to a new town, being exposed to new germs (especially an elementary school) I was bound to get something. I started to sanitize everything, diligently diffused my oils and drank lots of orange juice for my vitamin C.
I knew I needed to find a doctor to start going to but the time was never right. I worked 7:30 to 4:00 pm then had to pick up my own girls after school. September turned to October and my ear infection developed into a severe sinus infection. I started taking oregano pills for my antibiotics, diffused my oils at school and started diffusing them at home while I slept. I was going to lick this but October has always been my celebration month. It’s my birthday month and the month I got married. My mother always comes down in October so my husband and I can escape and be kids for a few days. My illness would have to take a backseat. We decided to stay locally since I wasn’t feeling the best and stayed the night in a local hotel near a restaurant and bar that we could walk to. Our usual playful self was hindered by the keen awareness that I sounded like a pack-a-day smoker.
Still I pushed on. We had horses that had to be fed in the mornings, and again after school and stalls to clean. Plus Halloween was coming up, my most favorite holiday. The sinus infection had moved down into my chest but I just knew it was going to clear up. I’d behave better once Halloween night and trick-or-treating was done. So out and about we went for Halloween night. I should have known I would pay the price.
The next week I was barely able to speak and the pain in my chest from coughing was unbearable. I began to miss work and began to lose my strength. The day before Thanksgiving I spent three hours in Urgent Care being treated for bronchitis. Nebulizer treatments, steroid injections, antibiotics, cough suppressant, I was given it all to try and get my illness under control. After the break my principal pulled me into her office and we discussed what my plan should be.
I knew I was missing too much work and putting her in a tough situation but she never brought that up. Instead her concern was for my health and well being. She believed I was burning the candle and both ends and my physical health was in jeopardy. We agreed that my position at the school was probably not the best at this time and that I needed to get on top of my health. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to everyone I was starting to care for but I was truly scared that I was not getting better.
By the beginning of December, I had full blown pneumonia and I was told that I needed to be hospitalized or risk dying. Because I no longer had insurance through the school, I chose to pass at home. My husband quit his job to take care of the ranch, me and our beautiful girls. Neither one of us wanted them to find my body and there were many nights he didn’t sleep at all because he just knew I was going to take my last breath. I had no energy for anything other than what little sleep I could get. Every breath was excruciating and never deep enough. I felt like I had cracked every rib in my body. Light and noise hurt me on every level of my being. I would often lie there crying thinking of everything I was going to miss out on with my girls. Their first prom dance, graduation, when they graduated from college, getting married, having their first child. I grieved for my husband, knowing I was his best friend as he was mine. I prayed he would find love again.
Christmas came and went as did New Years. Every day was a struggle but as the days got a little longer, I began feeling a little stronger. I finally had enough strength to find a doctor and began seeing her for my pneumonia. She was amazing and we took baby steps with me seeing her every week. She made sure I had a nebulizer at home with instructions that I needed to use it 4-6 times a day. I had an inhaler, antibiotics, steroids and a cough suppressant at night that honestly kicked my ass and allowed me to get sleep. As I began to get healthier she began to run tests to try and see what may have caused me to get so sick. Heart monitors, chest x-rays, blood work, breathing tests, head CT’s, she ran them all to find out what exactly happened. Everything came back healthy and perfect and we were left scratching our heads. Stress. We decided the stress of the ranch, working, writing, taking too much on was the cause of my illness. We began to take baby steps to get me back 100%. In March I was strong enough to get another job, this one with the County of Montrose.
All summer I have gotten stronger, healthier and thrilled that I never did die. It’s hurt us financially and we will deal with the repercussions of it but I can hug my children and kiss my husband and that in itself is a blessing. As the one year anniversary approached I’ll admit that I became leery and worrisome. What if I got sick again? I don’t think that I could survive that this time. I warned the guys in my office that I was going to diffuse my oils early to start to ward off any illnesses. My girls were starting school again and bringing home all of those lovely germs. I hoped that they wouldn’t mind if I did. Being guys, they said they didn’t care and I knew they meant it. Hahahaha.
The next week I brought in my diffuser and began diffusing my beloved OnGuard, faithfully starting it each morning. I took my multivitamin every day and drank my emergenC as my doctor had instructed me. I felt the panic in my gut as I started getting sinus pressure and tightness in my chest. By the second week of September I had to use my inhaler. It was all happening again.
The guys began to tease me that my diffuser wasn’t doing its job and my husband made a comment that maybe it was my witches brew, that I shouldn’t be diffusing the oils anymore. I knew he had been terrified about losing me last winter but there was no way it could be my oils. It wasn’t until my co-worker pulled me aside and made a comment that everything hit home. He told me, “In all of the months you have worked here, not once have I seen you have to use your inhaler. You’ve been diffusing for one week and I’ve seen you use it more in the past couple of days than the past couple of months. I don’t think it’s good for you.”
Normally I would argue with them and I’ll admit I was a little defensive. I LOVE my essential oils. My owie blends, my face creams, my sleep and stress blends, they are my go-to. But I still remember the feeling of not wanting to go to sleep because I just knew I wasn’t going to wake up. I agreed that I would give it a week of no diffusing to see if I got better. So I cleaned out my machine and for a week, didn’t diffuse a drop.
The second day my lungs had loosened up and I only needed to use my inhaler once. By day three, I wasn’t using my inhaler at all and my sinus infection was gone. By the end of the week I had zero symptoms of any illness. I packed up my diffuser and brought it home.
NOW before all of the naysayers and defenders of essential oils jump all over this, I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t diffuse your oils. The only thing that I am saying is that for ME, for some reason, I had a reaction to them. Were they the reason I stayed so sick and almost died? I don’t know. I will never know because I’m never taking that risk again. It could have been JUST the pneumonia, it could have been a combination of the pneumonia AND the essential oils, it could have been JUST the oils. We will never know for me because I looked death in the face and while I won the war on it, it won the battle because I have never been so scared in my life.
I still use my oils. I have my topicals that I will probably ALWAYS use but I will never diffuse anything again unless it’s something my doctor prescribes. And maybe, just maybe, if you or a kiddo or someone you love has a respitory infection and they are NOT getting better, stop diffusing for a week, JUST TO SEE and rule out that those oils aren’t contributing towards it. Please.
Peace out and I’m so glad I’m still here! Love you all my Lovelies!