Confessions of a NAUGHTY Naturopath: What I learnt from my hospital stay!

I sit here in my vulnerability sharing this deeply personal story, in the hope that as mums we can truly come to appreciate the role that stress has to play for us AND our children and hopefully this lands in just the right way for you at just the right time to save you from unnecessary illness. I NOW know what it takes to heal physically and emotionally from adrenal exhaustion & immune dysfunction and the quickest way to “better than ever before”!

When I think of the word stress, it seems to have little impact on me even now, it is such an overused word describing quite an abstract concept. We can’t see stress in front of us (easily unless you know what you are looking for, self awareness is the key) AND it can come in so many forms that are entirely unique to each of us. It also falls into a very subjective category leaving it open to interpretation AND judgement! That’s why I have created my own stress check list that I use to identify an issue WAY before it could ever get out of control (again!).

Let’s also be clear, the stress on our kids living is this day and age is far more than it was when we were kids. I would never have believed I would be treating stress as a primary health issue in kids but it has become an enormous part of what I do. We can all brush up on the skills it takes to create the best of EMOTIONAL health for our kids I believe!

It’s ironic for me that last year was my big “aha” year which allowed me to bring together all of my skills and training over the past 25 years to finally support my clients truly holistically in addressing stress for healing and achieving optimal child (and personal) health outcomes. I can now see the enormous disservice of providing anything less than “holistic” care, there is NO disconnect between emotional and physical health AND you can’t have one and not the other. My biggest mistake was failing to turn the focus on my own life, you could definitely say I wasn’t walking my talk in this area! I honestly thought I was but actually now see how delusional I was.

It was late August last year, a Wednesday afternoon, and my dear friend had briefly popped over and I felt really irritated and just wanted peace. This was really an unusual feeling for me and I didn’t understand what was going on even when I simply had to go to bed at the same time I had put my 5 year old to bed that night. I had an early morning 6am skype session the next day with a colleague in the US that I was desperate not to miss but I woke in pain, every inch of me hurt and I was losing my voice. Regardless, I pushed through and then went straight back to bed.

My first confession is the judgements I have made over the years when people have told they just couldn’t get out of bed. I always thought this rather dramatic, I mean yeah you can feel like crap but not drag yourself out of bed, pah! Well, now I know!!! I spent the next 5 days unable to do anything other than the very bare essentials; make it to the couch so I didn’t feel like I was in bed all day, I couldn’t even sit up, eat or talk! At least now I know exactly how awesome AND capable my husband is!

On day 5 I went to the GP (yep that’s right I did! I was way beyond self care and couldn’t communicate what I needed to my husband easily enough) who brushed me off and told me to come back if I got worse. Worse? I thought it couldn’t get worse, and it actually didn’t. But it didn’t get any better either and I was really frightened. Unable to help myself regardless of my knowledge and training I just lay there trying to figure out what the hell was going on to my body, seemingly so healthy!

Then it dawned on me. I was starting to realise what the previous months (possibly years) had looked like for me, complete work life IMBALANCE and a dark cloud over my mood in recent times, no amount of spectacular nutrition, forced meditation or tapping could fix! I had plenty of time to reflect on everything, I barely slept for days even though I couldn’t do anything else. When I couldn’t breathe on the night of day 12 I ended up in hospital only to find out I had bilateral pneumonia.

I spent 3 nights on an iv drip with 5 different antiobiotics pumped into me. Within a day I was on the mend. My recovery was super quick, I could finally brew the needed herbs and broths that supported my immune and physical needs. As well as the much needed self-nurturing at an emotional and sould level. What I was left with was the biggest lesson of my life!

I now feel a far deeper sense of personal connection and watch not only myself but my dear friends with eagle eyes for the signs of stress that I can see oh so clearly with the benefit of hindsight. The huge gift in this event for me has been the opportunity to redefine myself. I feel like I got to wipe the slate clean and start again with a whole new set of priorities AND a deep, deep understanding of the role of stress.

It almost feels like the journey I had to have given the extra study and specialising I am doing. I feel far more equipped to teach emotional wellbeing strategies now that I had to pull them ALL out of the bag and give them a run to restore my own health, it’s actually better than before! I have used and created a range of strategies to heal my body and mind, reboot my endocrine system (adrenals and thyroid) as well as modulate my immune health and take the daily and “lifestyle” measures that support EXTRAORDINARY health for ME as well as my family.

How often do we put our family’s first and our own well-being barely gets a look in. This approach is diametrically opposed to what we actually want for our kids and psychology, as well as common sense, tells us that we have to be the best we can be if want to set our kids up on the right foot. I can tell you that as the captain of a sinking ship, I have turned it around and now, 6 months later, feel the boundless benefits. Incredible personal peace and joy, a refocus of priorities and a level of gratitude I could never conceive and a feeling of being on my true path to wherever I choose! I also feel fabulous physically, giddeup!

The signs I noticed that add up to adrenal fatigue and the rest are: tiredness, especially after exercise, puffy and dark under eyes, crappy sleep, early menopause, overwhelmed by everything, couldn’t switch off mind, feeling sore and stiff in my body, tummy troubles!

Now I’m not suggesting you need to get deathly ill to tap into your inner well of “bliss”, BUT I am suggesting there are some key daily practices that could prevent you from tipping over the edge (even better), strategies that could resolve your health issues, help you find your inner mojo, set you on your chosen path, release the blocks that get in your way AND be the role model your kids need so they know they can live exceptional lives!

Of course “real” food is fundamental to this equation, but understanding what to eat and when can be tricky, particularly if you have histamine issues like I did or other food intolerances. If this is you and you are struggling then come along to my “Healing Nutrition” workshop and get clear!

Keep an eye out for my invitation to the BEST HEALTH OF YOUR LIFE! I am going to hold your hand and you WILL make it happen for you and your families. This is the best gift I could give my child, and truly the best you could give yours……”The Success Principles for Mums”!

3 replies
  1. Beth Bridges
    Beth Bridges says:

    Looooove this blog, Sally! This is at the heart of everything I’m about, too. Funny how we’re always teaching what we need to learn, and life makes sure we get those lessons. Love it <3
    Xo, Beth

  2. Terese
    Terese says:

    Morning Sal
    Thanks for sharing your deeply personal story. I’m sorry you had that experience. I love they way you have taken the good from it to make an even better you, and true to your generous spirit, and calling, are using it to help others. You are gorgeous. I am currently a little run down and feeling the effects of stress, which I identified yesterday, so your email has arrived in perfect time for me. I had already decided to make some changes and am looking forward to weekend in the beautiful South. I haven’t seen Jacob at school this year. Is he there? I hope Jacob and Mike are feeling as healthy as you and you are all happy. Sending love Terese xx

  3. Kelly Ford
    Kelly Ford says:

    Wow Sal – what an incredible story and a gift, not just for you but those of us who love what you do and learn so much from you! I am so glad you are feeling fabulous now and I cant wait for the Success Principles Workshop.


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