1990, April is when I was born, an Aries. I grew up in Lisserbroek, the Netherlands, on a flowerfarm. At a young age, my siblings and I were expected to help in my dad’s business. We were raised to be hard workers.
But I got sick at a young age. I had chronic migraine-like headaches for 15 years and in puberty rheumatic inflammation began. This remained undiagnosed until I was 27. Although I was in a lot of pain, I still managed to get diploma’s for several professions. The professions I tried were; beautician, hairdresser, massage-therapist, retail assistant and eventually doctor’s assistant. That last one I really liked and suited me quite well. Although every practice had it’s pro’s and con’s, in most of them I found fantastic colleague’s and I enjoyed the work. But the work was very stressful, busy and the days were long.
In my twenties, my SI joints got inflamed. (I did not now at that time) and extreme fatigue kicked in. Many, many, many pills I had to take to get me true the day and night. It was exhausting! Eventually my intestines couldn’t take it anymore and started to give up. That time I got depressed again because I really worked so hard but I couldn’t seem to participate in everyday normal life like all my friends were. I got burnedout a couple of times.
Arround my 27th birthday I started working at a hospital and got fired during trial period because of illness. I lost everything. Well, it felt like that. I had to sell my house because I couldn’t afford it anymore. I had a very nice apartment in Leiden for 4 Years. There was not much else to do than to move back in with my dad’s.
One month later I finally Got diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. A severe case of rheuma, auto-immune disease. You can read more about how I got diagnosed in my blog.
A long trial and error of medicine testing started but everything failed. Too much side-effects were bullying me. That was no life for me. In the mean time I started reading about a specific diet which had helped a lot of people with Ankylosing spondylitis. This diet meant no more eating starch. So no potato’s, pizza, dough, bread and cookies, all sorts of veggies and fruit! It seemed undo-able.But after trying al the pills, there were only injections left to try. These are real nasty substances in my opinion and didn’t want to start them. I was too scared to lose my life.
Unfortunately I had a real bad flare in april 2018. Real Real bad. I had to use crutches and walking sticks to get me from A to B. I couldn’t turn myself over in my bed. I had trouble getting on and off the toilet. Sneezing and coughing were true hell. I had back spasmes (ileo psoas) and all I really wanted was to die at that time. Life was no fun for me. It felt like I was born to be in pain all the time. The labour-autorities were chasing me- they said I could work full time in a different profession. I was to tired to fight the desicion so I let everything happen. If they were really going to force me to go back to work I had to give the diet a try. If not, I would never rest and be thankfull to myself. It had worked for a lot of people, so why not for me?! If they could do it, then I certainly could do this too!
It was the only thing on my mind now. I focused on a group on Facebook that was all about eating the right food and healing your gut. I stopped all medication and the statins too; my cholesterol went through the roof. I still don’t want to take them, but doctors really scare you with all the stories about cholesterol! Anyway, the diet was a real study but after a couple of days I noticed improvement although I was not entirely satisfied. More study was needed so I kept a fooddiary for over a year and found out what foods were hurting me. Since September 2018 my inflammation-induced pain has been on a scale between 0-3 and is liveable. I had also been doing an exercise program for some months now and I finally felt I had more time to spend on fun things in life. The diet became a lifestyle and I no longer needed to think about every bite I was taking ! Now there was room for other activities now besides health stuff… finally !
What kind of person am I?
<> If you ask my friends to say something about me, they would probably tell you I’m crazy, good crazy. I got myself tested because doctors insinuated I was making things up in my head. I’m really not crazy,crazy. I think of myself as a very openminded woman. I think that the pain and troubles I was experiencing, made me look different at things at a very young age. Rather than participating in events/things, I was kind of an observer. Ofcourse, this now comes very handy! My motto is: don’t judge people from the outside!
As a young little girl I liked to be on stage and perform funny sketches.
I dressed up and loved to choreograph dances and make people laugh. Now,as an adult, this still is something I like to do. Dressing up also feels like a little escape and feels freeing from the world we live in.
People know where to find me when they want someone to listen to their stories. I am an introvert but can be an extravert at times. I’m somewhat competitive, though silently, a hard worker and an entrepreneur
At the house I grew up in, we always had pets. Dogs, bunnies, pet rats, pet mice. I feel a connection with them and love them deeply. I cannot live without pets. They feel it when you are down and are truly a buddy for me. They cheer me up.
Despite my deep love for animals I did decide to give my cats a new home. When I moved to my dads house, my 2 cats had to move with me. They could not adapt to their new environment and new living buddies, my dad’s two dogs. When I had that major flare in april 2018 they were actually very dangerous for me. They jumped on my lap, walked and jumped in front of my feet; I had to ask my brother to clean their litter. The hard decision had to be made even if I hated it. They have found wonderfull new houses and owners! I have more space for my art now and they are not all over the place anymore. No more hairballs, the one thing I ain’t missing!
The extreme fatigue and other complaints are still active today but at least the pain is bearable. Art has given me more joy and hope for the future and it really opens up my mind to new things! I want to learn to create my own art and express myself through paint. Because words are often not enough. I also think, the brain fog sometimes makes me forget my words so that's not very useful either;)
It would be awesome if people enjoyed the feelings that my art is giving them and if my work enriched their homes.
Time flies when I am working on a project. My life has to be balanced and moderate to make a good day so I must follow these rules too while being creative! I try to learn a lesson from everything so that I can grow as a person but sometimes I'm 'sick' of it and face the world with humour and crazyness;)
*I hope to paint with my niece in a couple of years .
*I hope to have my loved ones around me.
*I hope to feel good.