My Crazy Story (that time I almost died)Feb 05, 2022
I remember it like it was yesterday.
We were in Las Vegas in June (2013) with a big group of friends celebrating four of us turning 40 years old.
During the whole trip I was feeling “off”, and yeah shots by the pool added to that not-at-my-best feeling, but it was more than that...
As soon as I got back home, I made an appointment with my OB-gyn. I was convinced I had something SERIOUSLY wrong with me because I felt that bad (I was praying it wasn’t the “C” word).
I told my husband that we needed to hold off trying to have another baby until I knew for sure what was going on (we had decided since I was now 40, it was now or never for another baby).
At my appointment, my OB-gyn discovered that I had something called “hyperplasia”, which is basically pre-cancerous cells in the uterus. “That’s why you’ve been feeling so bad”, she assured me. She put me on medication to hopefully get rid of the cells.
Friend, this went on for months.
The hyperplasia wasn’t going away, and I kept feeling worse and worse.
I had started my own fitness company back when I was pregnant with my son (yeah, not the smartest thing I’ve ever done) and when it was time to go teach my evening classes, I would literally be sitting on the couch crying because I felt horrible and barely had the energy to stand up. I thought I was imagining things and would tell myself to quit being such a baby.
Fast forward to October of that year (remember, this all started in June), I took my son to see his pediatrician because he was sick (the flu)...
When she saw me, she gasped,
“Alicia! Are you okay?” I looked that bad.
I told her that I thought it was stress because I had hyperplasia. She looked confused and said, “um, it’s gotta be much more than that. Come back here tomorrow so I can run some tests.”
The next day, I went back to have tests done by my son’s PEDIATRICIAN (I mean, it’s funny) and then I went on my merry way.
The next day I was teaching a fitness class and my cell phone rang.
The caller ID displayed her name. I ignored it and kept teaching class. She called again. Oh crap. Her message just said, “call me back when you get this.” Double crap.
On my drive home, I pulled into a parking lot and called her back.
She got on the phone and said, “Okay, this is crazy and I’m not understanding how, but I think you have diabetes.”
I immediately fired back, “What are you talking about?! I workout. I eat healthy. There’s no way.” She replied, “maybe it’s Type 1, but all I know is that your blood sugar is almost 900. You need to get to the ER, today.”
I hung up with her and then called my husband, sobbing.
Pretty sure he could barely understand me. “Just come home and we’ll figure it out”, he said. Then I called my best friend Heidi. “I’m on my way to your house now”, she said.
Heidi and I went to the ER (Joe stayed home with our then 2-year-old son). Let me fast forward this story a bit.
Turns out, I had Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.
That’s right, the kind you normally are born with or get as a kid, whelp, I got it at 40.
I was admitted to ICU, where I would stay for a couple of days. One doctor told me, “I didn’t even know someone could have the numbers you have and still be alive.”
I was visited by several different doctors during my hospital stay.
Many of them trying to figure out why and how I had gotten Type 1 Diabetes at 40.
One doctor asked me, “How has your stress level been?” I laughed and said, “through the f’ing roof.” She then informed me that Type 1 is an autoimmune and autoimmune disease is intrinsically linked to stress.
This is where it comes full circle.
The years leading up to this diagnosis had been incredibly stressful (we don’t need to go into all that here, just trust me, it was). And on top of all the mental stress, I was thrashing my body with all these crazy-intense workouts. I was all yin and no yang.
I started learning as much as I could about stress. What it is exactly and how it works. The things I learned were eye-opening, downright mind-blowing. Let me just say,
Stress is highly misunderstood.
I’ve also had a crash course in becoming an expert with the hormone Insulin (Type 1 diabetics don’t make insulin and must inject it). Insulin is often referred to as the “fat storage hormone” and is directly linked to cortisol, the “stress hormone”. You see, the full circle thing?
But here's the rad part...
Thanks to my Type 1 diagnosis and my stress research, I’ve uncovered science-based + powerful strategies that can help you become a fat-burner, ridiculously fit and bursting with energy.
As cheesy as it may sound, I truly believe I was given this disease because I'm supposed to help others understand the impact of stress, insulin, cortisol and blood sugar on not only the way they look, but on their overall health and quality of life.
I'm happy to report that I'm a total diabadass and I'm thriving. Of course I have my "poor-me-pitty-party" moments, but most of the time I'm feeling like I've struck gold.
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