I was born in my parents home on Palm Sunday during a winter storm in Calgary, Alberta. Dad still reminds me that he was scared the midwife wouldn't make it. I was child #5 for my parents and they were thrilled with my arrival.
Within weeks I was in the hospital with pneumonia and my weight was dropping. The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong. Thankfully one thought to test for cystic fibrosis.
My mom being a nurse, knew a little bit of what it meant.
Right away enzymes with nursing, at 9 months a feeding tube at home, the doctors recommended 2 years straight of antibiotics which my parents declined not seeing the benefit and knowing the harm it would do in the long run if there wasn't an infection.
The dietitian advised a junk food cupboard and junk food diet to help me gain weight. By this time sibling #6 and sister #2 with cf had arrived. My parents also choose to ignore the junk food advice and instead use healthy high calorie food.
My parents hadn't been vaccinating for a while (they stopped when #3 was little) so thankfully I'm shot free!
My 3rd sister with cf was born just after I turned 4 and within months we made a huge move to a small acreage farm and my parents bought goats for raw goats milk.
Raw goats milk made a huge change in our health. We each had 1 cup of goats milk after every meal, I had more if I could add chocolate syrup.
While drinking goats milk all 3 of us were stable with both weight and lung function. Somewhere along my 6th birthday they added fish oil to my daily routine. My parents heard the omegas helped with thinning mucus, which was their main focus because it would help clear our lungs.
All 3 of us were surviving off of enzymes (creon 10) 5-7 with each meal.
We also periodically had our adek vitamins but we all hated the taste so it wasn't every day. Chest physio therapy for each of us was done 2 times a day when we felt good. 3 times a day if we didn't. That's roughly 2 hours a day minimum. No wonder my mom got carpel tunnel.
A major life change was when my dad had to sell the goats and the daily raw goats milk came to an end. My youngest sister with cf stopped gaining weight. My lung health started to decline and I ended up hospitalized for the first time since I was a baby with 60% lung function.
A big defining moment happened a few months after my first teenage hospitalization, we were approached by family friends who told us about a non profit organization that helps medically fragile children receive high quality nutrients for a low cost. This program literally changed our lives. We saw the amazing change that nutrition could make in our quality of life and for our immune system.
This is when we started taking glyconutrients, phytonutrients, phytosterols, vitamins & minerals. Within two months we were able to lower our enzyme amount because we were digesting our food better and also saw a huge jump in our appetites. My youngest sister started gaining weight again and avoided a feeding tube.
About six months later we started on a cleanse product that helped so much we stopped creon 10 enzymes all together, we also got natural enzymes, probiotics, antioxidants, D3 and added flax oil to our pill routine.
Growing we also had help when sick with essential oils, colloidal silver (homemade by my dad), garlic oil pills and fresh crushed garlic with honey, echinacea tincture and mustard wraps.
These combined efforts made a huge difference and ended up keeping us out of the hospital. As a teen I was hospitalized 3 times and my middle sister with cf once. We can both tell you why as well. I slacked with my pills, stopped getting enough sleep... basically ran my immune system to the ground.
My sisters and I all had issues with cf related arthritis. We didn't know that's what it was until I was in the adult clinic but we did find help in a turmeric & bromelain supplement. Which we added to our daily regime.
This is the part where "our" story becomes "my" story as my health journey into adult life took a big change from my sisters. I moved out, got a job and took my health as #1 priority. I had my own income so I could now budget my pills and add ones I needed or wanted to try.
As part of moving out I got a social life. I made good and bad decisions and learned quickly from my bad ones. A year after moving out I got a serious boyfriend. I found it near to impossible to work full time, have a relationship and keep myself healthy. My health suffered and I ended up having to quit my job, thankfully I didn't get hospitalized and my episode was an arthritis attack that took months to recover from.
I was able to go on employment insurance assistance (EIA) and moved in with my oldest sister and her family. So I could still afford my pills.
I made a huge mistake with my health by being in a car with second hand smoke and got very sick. My cough just wouldn't go away even with antibiotics. I had to use a puffer. I knew I had to do something with my lungs and I remembered the garlic oil pills I would take growing up. This started my addition of garlic pills to my daily routine and it's been life changing. My horrible cough went away and so did the puffer.
Around this time I got engaged and right before the wedding I turned 22 which meant I no longer qualified for the non profit organization's program for medically fragile children. It was another big change.
My husband earned too much for me to continue on EIA and to get a mortgage we both needed jobs so I got a part time job at a fabric store which was perfect because it was less then 15 hrs a week.
I had a very reasonable pill budget now and wanted to add herbs and supplements to enrich my quality of life.
To also help prepare for a healthy pregnancy I added red raspberry leaf, alfalfa (vitamin K) and also replaced more expensive brand pills for generic but good quality pills from iherb. The more I could save on one pill the more I could spend on different products.
Some of those products include activated charcoal (absorbs toxins and gas), cranberry pills (urinary health), liposomal vitamin C (natural antibiotic), NAC, spirulina, genistein, vitamin k2 & papaya enzymes. I also started nebulizing colloidal silver to help prevent bad bacteria from growing in my lungs and get rid of any if I had a bad sputum test result.
An older sister got involved with an up and coming healthy energy drink company and they also sold a children's supplement that had glyconutients, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and DHA, this one drink replaced 3 of my supplements, had more of what I needed and saved me money. Coincidentally I've also not had an infection since starting it.