A personal journey of healing body, mind, and spirit
By Erin Leopold
I am listening, but it’s as if I am under water and everything they are saying is garbled and unclear. All I can think is, how do I have Lyme disease when I am sure I was tested several different times? Is this what I suffered with since I first got sick at age 17?
Despair and hopelessness flood my veins. Anger at how this wasn’t caught storms my mind. I am furious at all these doctors over the years who made me feel like I was crazy and that it’s all in my head! All the looks and comments from them implying I needed to see a shrink. NO! I trusted doctors to know what they were doing and help me but instead I faced continual dismissal like I was some hypochondriac. I am mad, and I’m not alone.
My name is Erin Leopold, and the above is an excerpt from my recently released memoir entitled Finding My Second Wind. My story begins as a 17-year-old high school junior making good grades, enjoying life with family and friends, and playing high-level soccer. I was the picture of health and resembled the All-American girl.
Suddenly, my life changed for the worse when I became extremely ill from an otherwise common childhood virus. It wasn’t long before life as I knew it came to a screeching halt as physical debilitation set in. I was also overcome with fear and anxiety.
Finding the root cause
Lyme disease and co-infections played a significant role in my life for 32 years, proving to be at the root of my 20+ medical diagnoses. I had SO many symptoms throughout these exhausting years: GI issues including numerous food allergies/intolerances; musculoskeletal pain including degenerative discs/stenosis/sciatica (led to two surgeries); severe outdoor allergies leading to chronic sinus infections; dizziness; brain fog; profuse sweating; weakness/neuropathy; anxiety; depression; confusion; burning and numbness in my extremities; migraines; insomnia; adrenal fatigue; and hormonal imbalances.
I used a balanced approach to treatment, leaning more towards functional/integrative medicine because allopathic medicine sought to treat symptoms only, and I desired a more holistic approach addressing root causes. I became my greatest advocate by voraciously studying all things nutrition and lifestyle changes. I did everything from taking an abundance of supplements and herbs to massage therapy, chiropractic care, infrared saunas, acupuncture, dry needling, active release/myofascial release, reiki, electromagnet shields/mattresses/shoe inserts, and detox baths. You name it and I probably did it.
Now, I am 54 and have been married for 30 years. I am a mom to three adult children and two fur babies. I love nature and the outdoors and have spent most of my life leading and teaching people through fitness and health.
Like many of you reading this, I’ve gone through many ups and downs, victories and defeats. Yet things finally came together for me.
After years of treatments, I began working to heal my soul and learned a lot about neuroplasticity and how the mind works. Dots started connecting. My faith is the cornerstone to that success as I began studying and meditating on the Word of God along with doing other reading/learning/therapies including transformational prayer, EMDR, DNRS, and works by top doctors in the neuroscience/brain field. It’s like one day I woke up and breakthroughs came!
Finding My Second Wind chronicles my personal journey of healing the spirit, soul, and body. If you find yourself running on a similar, unplanned road, I hope my story will equip you with useful tools and motivate you to never give up.