Donald Miller said, “I think understanding your life as a story is a really terrific way of kind of knowing where you are and knowing who you are.”
As much as I cringed at turning 40 years old, it has given me the pleasure of finally feeling settled in my story, yet in some ways I still feel like my life is just beginning. In my early 30’s I was much less self aware and full of fear.
This is who I am. Melanie Connell, Physical Therapist, Manual Therapist, Certified Health Coach, and Food Coach. I am a believer in Jesus, a wife, mother of two boys, an introvert, helper, encourager, educator, messy cook, and I am not afraid to try new things. I love to read, exercise, learn, teach, and explore. I am half nerd and half free spirit. I am not graceful, detail oriented, or crafty. What makes me angry is seeing people be overlooked, neglected and mistreated, especially by their health care providers.
This is where I am, beginning my new adventure by starting Remedy Health and Wellness. Passionate about leading others into a healthy lifestyle, focusing on nutritional health coaching and restorative movement.
At 31, after I had my second son, I started having health issues. It started with bright flashes of light in my eyes, along with very frequent migraines, so I went to the eye doctor. This seems like a simple equation, my eyes seem to be the problem, so go see the eye doctor. The eye doctor did the exam, told me I needed glasses and wrote a prescription. Except, after he walked out of the room, his assistant, a kind, older, Indian man, took me aside and explained that all I had was dry eye and there was no need to fill the prescription for eyeglasses. He told me he was an assistant only in America because his professional medical license as an eye doctor in India wasn’t recognized in the US. So I believed him, partly because I already knew I had dry eye and had been using eye drops for a couple years. I took it as his way of saying, my eyes weren’t the root cause of my symptoms. He was correct, 10 years later I still don’t wear glasses. In fact, my dry eye is now cured too, but I will get to that later.
This has always been how I want to treat people, the same way I want to be treated: fairly, ethically, respectfully, and honestly, and taking the time to dive into the root cause of the health concerns of others.
After that appointment, I continued to have more health problems, besides the migraines and dry eyes. Hypoglycemia, profuse sweating and body odor, extreme exhaustion, anxiety, restless sleep, moodiness, stomach pains, brain fog, dry skin, and irregular menstrual cycle. I had 2 babies in a span of 19 months, maybe this was my new normal, but a blood test soon revealed I had a diagnosis of Hypothyroid, and Chronic Fatigue.
The doctor who prescribed Synthroid, told me Hypothyroid was not a disease, but a syndrome and by taking medication all my problems would be solved.
Except, Synthroid brought heart palpitations, plus the feeling as if I was not in my own body and at any minute everything would unravel, and then I had a miscarriage.
Thankfully, my story does not end at the miscarriage. Healing is not done in isolation; it takes a community. Dr. Mark Hyman wrote, “The power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic, or hospital.” There have been several key players along the way who have helped me along my journey of health. They range from Functional Medicine Doctors, Naturopaths, Authors, to friends who I have looked to for guidance. I started with changing my diet. First gluten free, then dairy free, then Paleo. Proper nutrition has changed my and my family’s life. When I look back now, it is amazing to compare how good I feel now with how dire my circumstances felt then. I resolved to have as much discipline as I needed in order to improve my health. Living through the middle of any struggle is the roughest part, but in the end, my own difficulties have all been worth it because learning and growing through it has given me joy in helping so many others.
I chose Remedy to focus on pain and inflammation, because it’s my job.
For the last 15 years, I have worked with people to get rid of their pain, head to toe.
Did you know, “Pain is the most common reason why people visit a doctors office?” And “Vicodin is the most commonly prescribed prescription drug, with 136 million prescriptions written annually.” (Peter Osborne).
A physical therapist is trained to focus more on function than pain. For example, the complaint may be, “I can’t raise my arm over my head because my shoulder hurts.” The patient’s primary focus is their pain, but a good PT focuses on the shoulder function (or dysfunction) and where the joint’s limitation is that makes this person not able to raise their arm over their head. Now, a great PT problem-solves to find the root cause of this movement dysfunction which can arise from nearly any part of the kinetic chain. I have learned over the years that when I listen properly to my patients, it allows me to connect the dots back to the root cause and offer them a remedy.
If we, in the health profession, treat chronic pain, chronic fatigue, chronic joint inflammation, chronic injuries, and even post surgical weight gain as independent, stand alone conditions then we are missing the bigger picture.
Proper nutrition was the missing link to balancing so many of my own health issues. I became a health coach and food coach because I believe it is the missing link for many others suffering from pain and inflammatory conditions.
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease,” Thomas Edison.
It’s been nine years since my health problems began and I still practice eating real food. I don’t struggle anymore with continual migraines, dry eye, irregular menstrual cycles, hypoglycemia, dry skin, exhaustion, anxiety, restless sleep, brain fog, moodiness, stomach pains, body odor, or profuse sweating. I also take less thyroid medication now than I ever have (and it’s not Synthroid).
This took work, not 7 minutes or 7 days worth of work, but blood, sweat, and tears work. When we hear someone’s story, we assume healing happened overnight. I prayed for healing. God decided first to give me help, patience, wisdom, and knowledge through the struggle. I prayed for a cure for my condition, but God answered by bringing me change. If he hadn’t changed me, I wouldn’t be here today, passionate about health and nutrition, aware of my story and who I am, confident in a God who hears. Stories that take you from tragedy to triumph are best sellers, but when it’s our story, we forget we often have to go through the tragedy first before the triumph.
So join me here at Remedy, because it is my passion to inspire, educate, and empower those who have chronic health issues, to let you know you are not alone, and to offer a remedy for a vibrant, healthy future.
At Remedy, we combine proper nutrition to reduce inflammation in the body to unlock the chronic pain cycle while adding restorative movement to aid the body’s form and function. The goal is for each of our clients to be healthy and whole so you can go out into the world and start sharing your own remedy story.
We all have a story to tell and stories are best shared in community. Let me help you tell your Remedy Story.
Melanie Connell, MPT, MTC, CHC