Our guest this week shares her amazing story with us. A wonderful read and very inspiring! With out further adieu, please welcome Terri Marshall!

Hi.  My name is Terri Marshall. I am The Naturally Green Life Coach.  I am also a wife, mother and grandmother.  I am here to tell you my story.  I’m sad to say, my story is similar to many others in our country today.

In the summer of 1986, I was in my mid 20s, I worked as a welder for a commercial construction company and I was a body builder in training.  According to my coaches, I would be ready for competition before the beginning of the next year.  Life was wonderful.  I had just met the man of my dreams.  I was working at a job I loved.  I was in top physical condition.

Then in November of that year I started having swelling in my legs and upper back.  The pain that came with it was unreal.  I went to the doctor and was told I had over worked the muscles.  He prescribed me some muscle relaxers and sent me home telling me to rest.  I did just that, I rested and got worse.  I went back to the doctor and was told I had a virus.  He then wrote a prescription for antibiotics.  Like I good girl, I took all the antibiotics.  I seemed to have gotten well.

I went back to training for the body building competition.  There was a big meet coming up in February that I wanted to be in.  Right after Christmas, something else happened.  The swelling and pain in my back returned and my right hand went completely numb.  Again, I went to the doctor.  This time he told me there was nothing wrong with me.
I knew something was wrong, but I did not have a clue as to what it could be.  My symptoms seemed to travel around my body at will and come and go as they pleased.  It was nothing I could pin down.

Needless to say, I did not compete in the body building competition, not then, not ever.  Over the next 13 years, I continued to go to one doctor after another in 3 states, telling all of them the same symptoms.  I heard them same thing from every doctor.  There is nothing wrong.  Some of them were nicer about than others.  The not so nice ones told me I needed to see a good mental health therapist because that was the only problem I had.

Finally after 13 years I went to a doctor determined that I was not going to be told that there was nothing wrong with my health or that I was crazy.  My symptoms over this 13 year period had gotten to the point where when the swelling and pain came, I would swell over my entire body and the pain so bad that I could not walk.  I was constantly tired and fatigued, but also suffered from insomnia.  I would have hot spots on my body that were red and very hot to the touch.  The worse part was I would get extremely hot and my feet swell turning a blood red.   When that happened it was hard to breath and I felt like I was having a panic attack.

That day 8 years ago, when I walked into the doctor’s office, I finally received a diagnosis.  I had fibromyalgia.  I was happy!!!  After all these years, someone believed me.  I was told there was no cure and treatment was a pain killer, anti-inflammatory, and Prozac.  Why was he giving me Prozac?  Stress was the number 1 trigger of the fibro attacks. I did not take the medication.  You see, I have always lived a naturalist lifestyle, not taking any chemicals into my body unless it was an emergency, like when all of the medical problems started.  After 13 years, I had learned to live with the pain.

I researched Fibromyalgia and found what I needed to know to be able to treat myself naturally.  After a few months of herbal treatments, I was able to work out in small bits again.  I was able to get on the floor and play with my grandchildren.  I still had pain, but not as often or as bad.

Now let’s jump to 7 yrs after the diagnosis of fibro.  I was playing poker with a large group of people.  It was a Texas Hold Em’ tournament.  I loved poker, it was one of my favorite pastimes.  While sitting at the poker table on that October night, I suffered a heart attack.  At the time I did not realize it was a heart attack.  I got extremely hot, my feet started swelling and turned a blood red.  My breathing turned shallow and I felt the panic attack happening.  I just knew I was on fire and burning from the inside out.  I assured my husband (man of my dreams from 20 years earlier) that I would be fine if I could just cool off.  No, I did not go to the ER that night.  It was just a panic attack.  2 days passed and it happened again.  This time I went to the emergency room.  They hooked me to all their machines, and nothing.  The doctor told me there was nothing wrong with me.  While I was laying on the gurney, hooked to the EKG , the panic attack thingy happened again.  The EKG did not show me having a heart attack, but it did show a little blip of something.  I swear, that’s how the doctor said it.  He referred me to a cardiologist.

I went to the cardiologist a week later, he ran a series of test.  I returned to his office 2 days later for him to say all of the test was fine except 1 test showed something just slightly abnormal, it was nothing to worry about, but better to be safe than sorry.  He scheduled for me to go to the hospital for a heart cath.  Again, 2 days later, I checked in for the procedure, not worried because everything was fine.

The damage they found to my heart during the heart cath surprised everyone, especially the doctors.  In fact my cardiologist told my husband, children and I that I was a walking dead person.  I have a genetic heart disease, and have had numerous heart attacks.  I had to have triple by pass surgery.

Before surgery, I got so angry with the doctors, (I had 8 of them at this point) because I was being scolded like a small child for not having this problem taken care of a very long time ago.  I had to be given medicine to get me ready for surgery.  One doctor prescribed me meds to clear the mucus from my lungs, then another prescribed a cough suppressant so I couldn’t cough up the mucus the other med was breaking up.  When I pointed out this conflict in meds, I was told I was mistaken.  That was until I showed them, on my laptop.  I looked up every med given or trying to be given and every procedure.  I am a true believer in taking responsibility for your own health.

During surgery the doctors found more damage to my heart than what was originally thought.  I had the triple by pass, but the entire back wall to my heart was severely damaged from the heart attacks and could not be repaired.  Another reason to be angry.  I found out that if any of the 18 doctors that I had seen had taken 5 seconds to feel the pulse on my ankle, they would have knew I had a heart disease.

I was determined to leave the hospital as soon as possible, so I could start my own herbal treatment for my heart disease.  So the morning after surgery, I was up and walking the halls.  By that afternoon, my sister and I were doing the cha cha in the halls.  On the second day I had a long talk with my cardiologist about treatment.  He knew from the beginning my thoughts and feelings on not taking prescription meds.  He agreed that I should treat myself the way I saw fit and he would monitor my progress.  On the morning of the third day after surgery I was walking out of the hospital to go home.  On the way, I had hubby stop by the health food store where I purchased hawthorn berry capsules, green tea extract and garlic capsules, along with 2 gallons of raw milk.

It’s now been 13 months since I walked out of the hospital.  I can honestly say, I am healthy and happy.  I am no longer angry with the medical profession at large, but I do interview the doctor before I hire him as MY doctor.  I still live the naturalist lifestyle (considering that is what kept me alive for so long, I should not veer away from it) and I teach others to do the same.  Moving from a conventional lifestyle to the lifestyle of a naturalist is not an easy task, but my clients feel it’s worth the effort to become healthier and happier without having to deal with toxic overload in their lives.

If you do not learn anything else from my story, please learn to take responsibility for your own health and refuse to become a number at the doctor’s office to be ushered in and out.  Make the doctors take the time to listen to you and your concerns.  It could very well be the difference in life or death.

Can a Green Life Coach help you? Visit Teri at The Naturally Green Life Coach. Thank you Terri for sharing your life lessons with us! I have learned much and look forward to your journey updates!