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Where There is Health, There is Hope

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As I’m writing this today, my hair is falling out in clumps. I’m unable to grasp a pen, I have shooting pains down both of my legs, and it takes me five minutes to catch my breath after walking to the fridge. 

As a wellness coach it’s hard to admit that I’ve been very sick for a very long time. I’ve suffered years of mystery pains, nerve damage, and migraines with no idea why

Recently I’ve found myself sidelined for days at a stretch, unable to even sit upright. Things came to a head about a month ago when I found myself hospitalized for two days. 

Doctors came and doctors went. Blood was drawn and scans were…scanned? 48 hours after stumbling into an emergency room, I was sent home with one extraordinary medical bill, seven prescriptions to fill, and no diagnosis on record. 

In that moment I finally decided that ‘enough is enough.’

This is where I apologize for being quiet on the blog for a month. I simply didn’t have the strength to type.

-A month goes by fast though, doesn’t it?

I didn’t bother filling any of those prescriptions. Instead I launched into a crusade to restore my health and I booked appointments with every kind of specialist I could think of. 

This might be dramatic, but honestly the IV site is the worst part of a hospital stay. I was slightly dehydrated so, naturally, I needed 5 bags of saline…

The first four specialists I saw had no answers for me, which is generally what I expect from doctors these days – no offense. They all had recommendations for drugs I could take though, so that was lovely. 

It wasn’t until I met with an immunologist that I felt a bit of hope. 

Now, let me preface this by saying of course I’ve seen an allergist before. One of the first things I checked years ago was whether I had any food or environmental allergies. I reacted to nothing in the environment, but had such a blazing-hot reaction to poultry and wheat that the allergist panicked and stuck me with an epi-pen. 

I tried to tell him the epi-pen was unnecessary because I had literally eaten chicken-and-waffles that morning and I was, in fact, still breathing. Listening was not his strong suit. 

I told the new immunologist all of this and he smiled and said, “Oh, you’re a mystery! How odd.”

Ok, I want to repeat that last part, because it was really important to me. He smiled. Only one other time in my life have I met someone who smiled when he did not understand things, and he was the most brilliant person I have ever encountered in my life. 

For the first time in years I was with a doctor who admitted that all of this was actually odd. I cannot explain to you how validating that was. The people close enough to me to know about my health issues have often had a dismissive opinion of what, surely, were my exaggerated symptoms. It’s not their fault for thinking so; I am a drama queen after all. 

Some of the advice I’ve received over the years includes: 

“You just need more rest.” 

“You really need to drink more water.” 

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself and choose joy.” 

Oh, and my absolute favorite, “You need to take better care of yourself.”

Anyway, back to the story. The immunologist, who we will call Doctor Who, repeated the standard allergy testing and this time I reacted to….< drumroll, please>…nothing at all!

Doctor Who was undeterred. He continued to smile and told me we’d need to probe deeper. And boy did we probe. 

Tray three of many. I had to use ALL the breathing techniques I learned in Labor and Delivery to make it through this testing.

162 needle sticks later we discovered that I am allergic to two strains of mold and yeast. Immediately, things began to make sense.  I’ve always known my health has been affected by what I’m eating, but I was never able to figure out the common thread in the foods that set off my symptoms. 

I’ll cut the story short and say I need to drastically change the way I eat. I maintain a relatively healthy and balanced diet… Unfortunately, most of my food choices happen to be rich in mycotoxins, yeasts, and citric acid (which is derived from mold). 

I’ve spent the week going through my pantry, and I am in for a wild ride. I can’t eat 90% of the food that is currently in my kitchen. Over the next few months I’ll be learning how to shop differently, how to cook new foods, and how to deny myself all of life’s luxuries. 

Look at this amazing bowl of oatmeal that I can’t eat because oats, raisins, dried fruit and brazil nuts are all rife with mycotoxins. *sigh*

I figure if I’m going to change my life I might as well blog about it. 

Not to worry, I’ll still regale you with tales of the family and my power tools, but I’ll probably talk about food and health more often. 

What I need from you, as a reader, is a promise. 

Promise me that if you see me about to bite into something I shouldn’t be eating, you will march up to me, look me dead in the eye, and slap the food out of my hands. You don’t even need to introduce yourself first. 

The exception to this is Chief’s upcoming birthday celebration. Let me eat my cake in peace, please. You only live once. 


Have you made any dramatic diet changes recently? I want to hear from all my newly vegan or keto people out there! What do I need to know to stick to an entirely new way of eating?

Have fun!

Oh, and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe so that I can one day make money from this blog and afford more kale.  


Hi, I'm Chioma Ikoku, a spirited explorer and a peace-loving homebody. I founded Casa Diem Life to help you combine the excitement of travel with the comfort of home, because I believe that adventure begins at home.

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