Our Journey With My Husband's Sleep Struggles

Our Journey With My Husband's Sleep Struggles
One day, my husband came home from a day at work and told me he had fallen asleep as he was riding his motorcycle to work...

Hearing that was one of the scariest moments of my life. 

The thought that I could have gotten a call that morning from the police telling me that my husband had died in a motorcycle crash was horrific. When he fell asleep, his bike started to lean over while he was riding down the highway and he would have crashed if he had not woken up RIGHT before he tipped over. To this day, I don't know how he kept from crashing. The moment he told me this I knew without a doubt that God was watching over him...and that we had to find the answer to his sleep struggles no matter what it took.

For years, he had been getting about 4 hours of sleep at night. When he was serving in the Marine Corp, he would get as little as an hour of sleep. We had no idea why it never mattered what time he went to bed, he would always wake up around 3:30 every morning...he could go to bed at 8:00pm or midnight and he could never get more than 4 hours of sleep...the earlier he went to bed, the earlier he would wake up. I had tried every natural solution I could find, from Melatonin to supplements to essential oils...nothing really seemed to work. And in my gut, I 100% knew that these things actually should have worked if it had been a simple sleep issue but somehow I knew that something was dreadfully wrong.

He wasn't interested in trying sleeping medications as his body does not do well with drugs...besides, we knew that we HAD to treat the root cause. We believe that the body is amazingly designed and that when you give the body what it needs, it will heal itself. We just had no answers for what could even be causing this crazy sleep issue. 

We didn't want a band-aid...We needed a CURE.

We started doing our own research and started wondering if he could have narcolepsy...all of his symptoms seemed to align with it. Narcolepsy is relatively rare... Only 2-5 people in 10,000 are diagnosed with it. It is a "neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. People with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness and intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sudden sleep attacks may occur during any type of activity at any time of day. For people suffering from narcolepsy, REM sleep occurs almost immediately in the sleep cycle, as well as periodically during the waking hours. It is in REM sleep that we can experience dreams and muscle paralysis -- which explains some of the symptoms of narcolepsy." (WebMD) 

According to the doctors who we were reading from online, there was no cure for narcolepsy. 

We were so worried that this diagnosis would mean my husband could no longer work outside the home as an electrician, but we had to find the answer. 

I scheduled an appointment with the doctor who had diagnosed my husband with Celiac disease right away. He ran a panel on his testosterone levels because all of Phillip's symptoms seemed to lineup with low testosterone and our doctor had been seeing more and more men of all ages coming in with terribly low levels of testosterone. I kind-of hoped it would be that...because that could be a fairly simple fix. But the panel came back and his levels of testosterone were great! The doctor was shocked and I was half-sorry that his testosterone levels were just fine because that meant it was something worse. Then he referred us to a doctor who specialized in narcolepsy. 

Since we couldn't see the narcolepsy specialist for a whole month, we got in with another doctor who worked with him and he scheduled Phillip for a sleep study. I was so nervous the night of the sleep study that I didn't sleep all night. A week later, we went in to get the results...

"You were right..."

That's what the doctor said as he walked in the door...my heart sank. Phillip had fallen into REM sleep in the first 5 minutes of falling asleep. Not only did Phillip's sleep results test positive for narcolepsy but he also had sleep apnea. Now we had to go meet with the narcolepsy specialist. Before our appointment, I did tons of research because I wanted to understand narcolepsy better and find out as much as I could about this disease and I had a list of questions that I wanted to ask the specialist.

"There are 3 different types of drugs for Narcolepsy."

The narcolepsy specialist walked in the patient room and started to tell us about the different medications. The first was a drug that they give people with ADHD and he didn't explain it much. The second ones were what he was suggesting trying first. There were 3 new drugs that were created for narcolepsy and they had been around for only 6 months and "the only side effects is seizures if you have had them before" and the third drug was what he would suggest trying if the second 3 didn't work well enough and that was "a drug that was created as a date rape drug, but it works great for narcolepsy!" I kid you not...that's what he said! 

This whole time, he hadn't stopped talking long enough to ask if we had any questions. It was like we were just a number to him...not actual people who had feelings, concerns, opinions, questions, and fears about this diagnosis. And as if the fact that he was telling us that my husband would need to be on a medication and a C-Pap machine for the rest of his life really wasn't anything to wink at.  

It didn't really feel like he was there to help us...
he was just there to give us a prescription and walk us out the door.

I had been really excited to ask all the questions that had been whirling around in my brain about narcolepsy because I really wanted to understand what was going with my husband's brain. I had also written down some natural things that some narcolepsy websites had mentioned to see if he thought any of them were worth a try. But honestly, I was so frustrated by this doctor's manner that I didn't even want to ask him anything...but we were there and paying for this time ourselves so I decided to throw one question out there. 

I asked him if anyone had ever treated narcolepsy with anything natural.  
Immediately, he responded abruptly, "oh no, only with medication."

I instantly felt completely shut-down... which is something you should NEVER feel at your doctor's office! They are to help you and answer your questions and meet you where you are...not shut down your questions. We left the office feeling very discouraged...we didn't know what to think. 

However by complete providence, we ended up having a phone consultation that very same afternoon with a highly skilled integrative medicine doctor...After our experience with the Narcolepsy specialist, I was really wondering what he would say. On the phone consultation, he asked about Phillip's symptoms and then asked about mold exposure, heavy metal exposure, and chemical exposure. He wanted to test him for mold, heavy metals, Lyme disease and some other things and go from there.

He told us that he could help and that healing was entirely possible. He promised us that he would stop at nothing to find the answers that we needed.
He had given us back hope. 

The next week, we went to see him. He scanned Phillip for a bunch of different things. He figured out that Phillip was infected with a parasite called Babesia. It infects the red blood cells and the symptoms can be similar to malaria...or you may not have any symptoms whatsoever! However, Babesia usually is transmitted by ticks and tick-borne diseases can actually affect the sleep center of the brain, causing sleep apnea & narcolepsy! The pieces were starting to come together... 
Then he told us that Phillip's body was very negatively affected by EMF's as well. I had no idea that EMF's could affect sleep! It was a light-bulb moment. 

EMF's are Electro Magnetic Frequencies and they are  what cell phones, laptops, smart microwaves, Bluetooth and all wireless devices run off of. It is EVERYWHERE. I have actually researched a lot about EMF's ever since we learned that Phillip is negatively impacted by them and it turns out that they are negatively impacting our health in ways we may not even realize. For more info on EMF's and what you can do to protect your family from the damaging impact of them, check out this page! 

Our integrative medicine doctor sent us home with a 3 month natural protocol for clearing out the parasite infection over multiple life-cycles of the parasite. So for the next three months, I drove my husband to work every morning after loading up our 3 kids out of bed and picked him up every afternoon since the diagnosis of narcolepsy meant that he didn't have his doctor's permission to drive his work truck. It was a long 3 months but I knew it was worth it if he could be cured and not need drugs for the rest of his life. 

We also turned off our WiFi router every night before bed...you can actually find an automatic switch for this and I highly recommend it! To this day, when the router turns back on in the morning, my husband wakes up and if it doesn't get turned off at night, he doesn't sleep well. Monitoring my husband's exposure to EMF's will always be important to his health.

We went back to our integrative medicine doctor after the third month of treatment to see if the Babesia was cured. His scan came back completely clean. 

He was cured of Babesia and he no longer had any of the symptoms of Narcolepsy! 
It was like he was a completely different person!

Instead of being exhausted ALL day, he wasn't tired any more! He stopped falling asleep while driving. He stopped falling asleep while walking around at work. He stopped falling asleep while watching TV or sitting in a theater. He didn't falling asleep in the middle of a conversation with someone any more. He no longer fell asleep in the car when he stopped at a traffic light. He stopped having to drink Monster drinks all day...it had gotten so bad that even while he was drinking one, he would fall asleep! Now he didn't need to drink them at all! 

Before being cured of Babesia, his score on the questionnaire for the sleep study was a 20 out of 24....after being cured, it was a 4 out of 20! 
It was a dramatic difference. 

But in order for him to get the all-clear to drive his work truck again, he had to go through another sleep study. I was so nervous he wouldn't pass even though he was doing so much better! Not only did he have to do a sleep study, but he had to do a wakefulness study. A wakefulness study is where you have to sit in a completely dark room in a chair without moving for 45 minutes and stay awake the whole time...and you have to do it 3 times in one day.  Just thinking about it makes me tired!

When he went back to the narcolepsy specialist to find out the results from his sleep study and his wakefulness test, the doctor was SHOCKED. 

Phillip had passed the wakefulness test with flying colors! 

He didn't know how Phillip passed it. He told Phillip that he didn't have narcolepsy any more and that all his driving restrictions were lifted. Whether or not Phillip had narcolepsy and Babesia or just Babesia, I will never know. But I share Phillip's story because I wonder how many people being diagnosed with narcolepsy actually have something else like Babesia and could experience healing like my husband did. 

I am so grateful that we didn't stop trying to find the root cause...

If there is one thing I want to leave you with, it is this: There is a reason behind everything that happens in your body. Find a doctor who empowers you to find the root of the issue and find someone who will keep searching until they have found the answer even if it is layers deep. Don't be content with sticking a band-aid on your symptoms...there is a reason for them. Listen to your body and find a doctor who will listen to you. You know your body better than anyone else. You live in it! The search for that doctor will be worth EVERY single penny you have. There is hope.

If you are feeling stuck wondering where to even start looking for answers, join our community where we talk all things health and natural solutions. No matter what you are dealing with, you can ask any questions you have in our group and learn about a variety of options for starting your own health journey and finding some direction on where to start looking for YOUR answers. You never know when one person's experience and story will fill in the missing pieces in your own health puzzle and change your life.

Why I Don't Trust "Natural" Brands

Why I Don't Trust "Natural" Brands
For a long time I got caught up in thinking that when I cleaned with Mrs. Meyers, I was getting a better cleaner that wasn't full of chemicals. Then I learned more and I realized I had been duped...and maybe you have been too. It makes me angry that hard-working Americans are being sold products under the guise that they are "healthier", "natural", "organic" when they actually aren't.

Did you know that any product that contains the ingredient "Fragrance", "Natural Fragrance", or "Parfum" can have ANY ingredients that the manufacture decides to include without having to disclose to you a single one? It's a trade-secret...and under that loop-hole, they can include all kinds of carcinogenic, developmentally toxic, or reproductively harmful chemicals and they can still put on the label that it is natural, plant-based, etc. It is absolutely un-ethical, but that is what our laws allow...and so companies take advantage of that fact. They do not tell you EVERY ingredient in their product. If you want to watch an excellent documentary about this, check out STINK on Netflix. It will blow your mind.

I now refuse to use any product that I cannot find the full ingredients for. It shows a lack of integrity on the part of any company to hide what they are putting into their products, whether it is natural or not!

I then learned who actually owned those "natural" brands at the store...when I actually researched this, I was absolutely shocked. 

  • Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox. 
  • Tom's of Maine is owned by Colgate Palmolive.
  • The Body Shop is owned by L'Oreal. 
  • Mrs. Meyers is owned by SC Johnson.
  • Seventh Generation is owned by Unilever.
  • Honest Company agreed to pay $1.55 million to settle a nationwide class lawsuit claiming it misled buyers about ingredients in its laundry detergent and dish soap. source
  • Cascadian Farm is owned by General Mills. 
  • Lara Bar is owned by General Mills.
  • Annie's Homegrown is owned by General Mills. 
  • Bear Naked is owned by Kellogg's. 
  • Kashi is owned by Kellogg's. 
  • Silk is owned by Dean Foods. 
  • Odwalla is owned by Coco-Cola Company. 
  • Honest Tea is owned by Coco-Cola Company.
  • Naked Juice is owned by PepsiCo. 
What this tells me is that these companies just want a piece of the "crunchy" market share but they don't REALLY care what they are putting into their products...because if they REALLY cared about the health of their customers, they wouldn't still be ALSO making money selling things like bleach, soda, and toothpaste with fluoride. Can you do both? Yes. Should you do both? No. You can't straddle the fence and really mean anything you say.

So I have dumped these brands. And I buy from a family owned global business that has ALWAYS been about health and always will be. They tell me EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT in EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT. And they even let me visit the farms where they grow the plants that they turn into their plant-based products. Not only that, but they support the things I believe in like fighting human trafficking, giving their farmers and workers a living wage, and taking good care of the earth. Now that is a company I can get behind.

There Are Chemicals That Will Affect Our Great-Grandkids

There Are Chemicals That Will Affect Our Great-Grandkids
This isn't a pleasant topic...but it's one of the most important things you could possibly know about. If you knew what I knew...you wouldn't be able to NOT talk about it. I can't help it. My heart is for the world, especially Americans, to stop being poisoned by the products on the store shelves. 

Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to human health...the diseases we're beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin - Rick Irvin, Toxicologist Texas A&M University source
You might think this ironic seeing as we are in the middle of a pandemic of a viral nature...but if you knew what I have learned, you'd understand why I'm concerned about the damage that people are doing to their bodies by the overuse of chemical-filled cleaners than even this virus.

You think I exaggerate? Dr. Paula Baillie-Hamiliton, an Oxford-educated physician in Britain and one of the leading authorities on food-borne toxins, states 

We are so contaminated that if we were cannibals, our meat would be banned for human consumption. source
We are CONSTANTLY being inundated with toxic, cancer-causing, and DNA-altering chemicals that are stealing our health, our longevity, and the future of our children. And this begins before our children are even born!

In July 14, 2005, EWG (Environmental Working Group) wrote on a benchmark study they performed testing the umbilical cords of 10 babies. It was the first test of its kind ever to be performed. What they found was shocking. Two hundred and eighty-seven industrial chemicals, some of which are banned, were identified in the cord blood samples. 

Of the chemicals detected, 180 are known to cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. On average, they found that each of the babies had been exposed to 200 chemicals and pollutants. source

Babies are quite literally being born pre-polluted. No mother would ever knowingly put these chemicals into their child...but that is the problem...they don't know that the products they are using are so full of toxic chemicals that that is exactly what these poor mothers are doing. I did it too. There is no judgement from me...I only wish to alert you to the dangers presented to you on the grocery store shelves. Almost all of the cleaning products and body products should be labeled with a poison symbol...if they were correctly labeled.

“Many of the carcinogens this study documents in people find their way into our bodies through food, air, water and consumer products every day. Dozens of them show up in human umbilical cord blood—which means Americans are exposed to carcinogens before they’ve left the womb,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “We should focus on preventing cancer by preventing human exposure to these chemicals.” source
Approximately 100,000 chemicals synthetic chemicals have been unleashed on this planet worldwide with more than 1000 new chemicals entering the market-place every year. No one knows how these chemicals interact with each other synergistically. Chemicals interact with each other in the lab and they also interact with each other in our bodies. We just have no idea how. Sheldon Krimsky, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Community Health at Tufts University School of Medicine wrote in 2008,

with up to 100,000 synthetic chemicals (approved for consumer use), the potential number of synergistic combinations becomes mind-boggling. It could take over 1000 years to complete a chemical by chemical testing program... source
There are at least 11 chemicals that we know are mutating our DNA and affect our children for the 3rd and 4th generations and beyond. The things we choose to use today really do affect our children and our grandchildren and even our great-grandchildren. I cannot even express to you how important this is to realize. This is an excellent article to read to learn how they discovered that this was even possible.  Also, check this out for additional reading.

The 11 chemicals that we know for sure are changing our DNA are: source 
  • Permethrin - Insecticide 
  • Deet - Insect Repellant 
  • Bisphenol A - Used in Plastics 
  • Phthalates - Used to Soften Plastics 
  • Dioxin & PCB's - Chlorine Processing Chemicals 
  • Jet Fuel Mixtures 
  • Tributyltin - Paint on Boats 
  • Nicotine - Tabacco 
  • Methoxychlor - Insecticide 
  • Vinclozin - Fungicide 
  • DDT - Insecticide 

Can you really avoid enough chemicals to make a difference? I do believe that you can. You cannot possibly avoid all of them...they are on your furniture, on your walls, and in industrial buildings...but the chemicals that you have the largest exposure to are the things you use daily in your home and on your body.  As our family began to go toxin-free, our health slowly got better and better. It wasn't that I could even put a finger on some of the changes but I could feel them. 

My husband stopped getting migraine headaches completely...except when he goes into a store. His body was so inflamed that he was always in pain everywhere just from inflammation. We later learned that his skin detox pathways don't even work. The only thing that is detoxing his body is his liver which is severely taxed as you might imagine. 

Once we ditched every chemical we were using daily, his health did a 180 degree turn. It is completely possible to go toxin-free...and it's actually not hard like you might think and I am here to walk with you every step of the way and show you how to go toxin-free on a budget so you can feel the difference for yourself! I promise you, it is 200% worth every single penny.

I’m on a mission to help a whole lot of people break free and empower themselves with the knowledge and resources I’ve worked so hard to get myself. Come join our group of fearless moms and learn how you can find health & freedom with the knowledge and information we share in our exclusive community
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