Hello everyone! I’d like to introduce myself, my name is Stephanie Perfino. I’m a 40 year old, OMG it always feels so weird saying that because I feel nowhere near 40 more like mid 20’s to be honest, wife to my high school sweetheart Jesse, mom to our 3 beautiful kids ages 22, 19, 17, and our 4 furbaby pomeranians. I never quite know how to describe this part of my life, normally you hear people with chronic disease refer to themselves as “suffers from…” or “battling with…”. I don’t feel like those apply to me even though everyday is a battle and some days I do truly suffer, but I feel like those terms give my diseases so much power over me and how I LIVE.
So I’ll simply say I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hashimoto thyroiditis hypothyroidism. They are both auto-immune disorders where the bodies immune system, which normally protects us from foreign threats turns on itself and destroys healthy tissue. I will go into detail in future posts on each of these, how I was diagnosed, my symptoms, and how I live a full energetic life now but in case you’re not familiar with them…
Hashimoto’s is when your immune system destroys your thyroid gland making it unable to produce the hormone vital for things such as breathing, heart rate, metabolism, mood, and energy. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after the birth of my second child in 1998 by accident at my 6 week postpartum doctors visit and was put on your standard hormone replacement. Once I had thought I actually got back to the old me and lost the weight I got smacked with RA.
Rheumatoid arthritis is when your immune system destroys your joints but it can also affect other parts of soft tissue like your skin, heart, lungs, your energy, and even mood. I was diagnosed with RA once again by accident by a physical therapist who I was seeing for a recent car accident in 2005.
The next few years were literally hell on earth. I had ballooned to 210 lbs, I’m only 5’4″ on a good day, I spent almost a whole year in a wheelchair, spent years using a walker, was on thyroid replacement, depression medication, anxiety medication, steroids, NSIAD’s, biological medications, muscle relaxers, stomach ulcer medication, 2 kinds of pain medications, sleep medication, and a few other over the counter meds. I was so over medicated I didn’t leave my house for nearly three years. I missed my kid’s school functions, sporting events, and play dates…I missed years of their lives.
That all changed in 2015 when I almost died for a accidental overdose.
Against my doctors advice I stopped all of my medications except my thyroid replacement. Which I will never suggest to anyone but for me this was a life or death decision that I am so grateful I made. I removed as many toxins from my personal and home care regimens. I started clean eating, exercising, leaving my house, and living life again!! It felt AMAZING! During this process I lost 86 lbs going from 210 lbs to 127 lbs. I still take my thyroid medication and if I need to take an occasional pain medication I am COMPLETELY ok with that but my first course of action is always natural first and traditional last.
I utilize food, herbs, essential oils, exercise, stress and mood management before I go to my doctors now. I research and inform myself on alternative therapies. I am in control of my health.
One of my main goals for this blog is to empower others to take your health back. YOU are your best health advocate!! Both physically and emotionally. I also want to share my passions with other woman.
Some things you can expect to see on this blog are
- Diet & health
- Alternative health
- Essential oils
- Marriage tips (married 20 years I have some secrets)
- Cleaning tip
- Beauty (I was a hairstylist/make-up artist before RA)
- And much more.
So come along with me!! I’d love to have a community of like-minded people to share with.
All my Love,
Stephanie Perfino – Gracefully Balanced Life