This Is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Candida. Any Questions?

I have been stuck in the Candida cycle the last couple of weeks. I had made a lot of progress, feeling better overall after tightening up the Candida diet and increasing supplements. On the other hand, I have had additional physical and emotional stress during that time. I think that is what is keeping me in the cycle at this point. I have been feeling achy, really tired, and mentally foggy.

Work and home have provided additional stress over the past couple of weeks. When additional issues pop up in the middle of the recovery process, it slows things down and sometimes makes me go backward. My job is very physical most of the time and when it gets super busy, there can be a lot of emotional stress. Some people may scoff at the wages wait staff can potentially make, but there’s a physical/ emotional cost that comes with the job. Not to mention, all the nights and weekends you miss with your family and friends can be taxing. When I want to take a day off, there is no pay.

After one tumultuous night at work last week, I was driving home around 1 a.m. I was so tired. I was a mile away from my home when I reached for my phone to help stay awake. I was going to call someone. At that moment, I felt the car pull to the right. In an instant, I was off the right shoulder. I corrected to the left and literally felt like I got flung across the road. I was in the dirt off the other side of the road, heading towards a telephone pole. I didn’t think I was going to stop in time. All of a sudden, the back of the car flung around counterclockwise and the car stalled out. I was facing the opposite direction. I was shaken up, confused, and exhausted. I started the car and tested whether it was drivable. It wasn’t and I couldn’t get in touch with anyone because it was so late. My husband called me after a few minutes, and he was able to pick me up. The next day, I was finally able to put it together when we saw the flat passenger front tire. It wasn’t something I did. The tire blew, pulled me to the right and got caught on the shoulder. When I pulled the wheel to the left, it flung me across the road.

We have also been dealing with a lump on my daughter’s neck. We had initially gotten advice from my chiropractor/nutritionist while at my appointment who said, “it looks like an inflamed lymph node, due to a virus. If it gets bigger, you should get it checked.” Two days after that, my daughter passed out in the shower. We have been in and out of doctor’s and labs all week. Obviously, this has been an additional stress.

The “Candida state of mind” is an interesting state of mind to be in. There is never a dull moment. Trying to stay on top of it all nutritionally and making health assessments as it fluctuates is challenging. I have a few tell-tale mental signs that prompt me to assess more closely. My tolerance for unpleasant circumstances goes down. I have less perseverance power. My mind becomes overtaxed most of the time, which makes it difficult to focus, and multi-tasking becomes extremely difficult. I tend to blurt things out that I wouldn’t normally say. I lose control over my “inner filter” whether it is out of lack of patience or forgetfulness. I also may stutter or blurt out nonsense words that are all jumbled together. Sometimes I have an inability to recall words for things or become forgetful in general. This is especially embarrassing when waiting on tables. I have gotten used to it. Sometimes I make a joke out of it because I can’t control it. My kids will point out these “words”  sometimes and laugh. I guess I should laugh too and most of the time will. Other times, it makes me frustrated, and I feel that other people will think I am not very intelligent. Most of these issues would fall under the category of “brain fog”. The chiropractor/nutritionist I see recommended Omega-3 EPA-DHA. It works, but sometimes, I still struggle with brain fog when having a Candida relapse.

I am tired right now of fighting this battle. I started to give in a little on the Candida diet last week thinking, “I’m not pulling out of it, why try?” My family continues to encourage me to stay the course. I have for the most part. I’m trying to deal with my personal discouragement at this point and push through it. Every day, I stare down the coffee pot before having my Pau d’arco, antifungal tea. Sometimes I hear “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” theme song as I fight off the desire to have coffee. Why does Candida have to like caffeine? Candida is so unforgiving.

I also keep thinking of my cat. She has been fighting a parasite for the past 3 years. She was taking medicine prescribed by a vet that could potentially give her neurological problems. We tried a couple of courses of this, but it is not recommended for long-term use. She would improve while she was on the medicine and regress when taken off. Parasites are tricky. They go dormant for a while if they are threatened. It’s hard to kill the adults and all the eggs. We have also tried homeopathic parasite medicine prescribed by my chiropractor/nutritionist. The good news is that this medicine will not hurt her. We are now trying the 3rd course of this with modifications to see if we can finally kill everything.

It’s weird, but I feel a kinship with my cat. If she could talk, she’d probably be telling me how tired she is of fighting her battle too. Between her situation and mine, I have to quote my Papou (grandfather), “a bullet’s cheaper.” Once things go awry in the gut, it takes so much effort to straighten it out. I just keep running the race before me, hoping to finish well. My advice to anyone not suffering from gut imbalances would be to keep sugar low to no, keep processed foods out as much as possible, get 3 different probiotics in per day, eat lots of fresh organic vegetables, eliminate toxic chemicals as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to get dirty. It’s healthy to take in dirt. It improves our immune system. Oversanitizing and over antibiotic use are killing our gut health too. For more information, I highly recommend Dr. Josh Axe’s book called Eat Dirt. Do as much as possible to steer clear of this journey. If you are on this journey, God bless you and give you the strength to endure. May He turn “your ashes” into something beautiful so that your struggle has a great purpose.

For now, I am caught in the “Candida hills”. Going up and down until my body can get back up to the top. I will continue with increased supplements and a tighter diet. If I did it before, I can do it again. With God’s help, I can press on toward the goal to which He has called me. I have had it much worse than this, and I have to remember that.

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