Hello all my running friends & extended family! I just wanted to drop you all a note of thanks and give you a quick update on my healing progress. First of all, I wanted to say that the Operation Flapjack Fundraiser that was held in February that many of you participated in, meant a lot to me & definitely helped offset the cost of being in Arizona for 2 weeks going to the Mayo Clinic. A special thank you goes out to all of you who planned it, participated by making cool pancakes & sausage as well as to the Runner’s Edge for providing a space to hold this event. Also, a special thank you goes out to all who participated by donating raffle items including Run Wild Missoula, and of course to all those who donated funds as well as to all of you that gave kind words & well wishes to send me on my way to hope & healing. I am forever grateful for all your help and support in my time of need.
Thankfully the trip was a success! They ruled out many potential causes and just when all hope seemed to be lost on finding a solution, one of the doctors there suggested removing my Copper version of the IUD. She suggested this just to see if at least some of the symptoms were being caused by some sort of sensitivity to copper. She doubted that it would explain all the symptoms, but thought it was at least worth a try. Remembering some amazing advice I received from one of you before I left, you know who you are, who had told me to try anything they suggest at Mayo Clinic even if it seems crazy, far-fetched or impossible. I agreed to this procedure.
Sometimes these little things are not so little after all! Immediately my body reacted positively to its removal and I knew I had turned a corner in my health. I felt my body finally relax and let go of being sick. I immediately experienced some symptoms dissipate. I once again felt positive energy, joy, happiness and a feeling that all would be well in the world. As we left the clinic that day, I saw someone running on the beautiful Arizona streets and thought “Once I start running again…” Wait…this had replaced my previous fear that it was an IF I could ever start running again. At this point, I truly knew I was getting better. My body could feel it. My subconscious could feel it! Hooray!
Once I returned to Montana. I went to a couple of my doctors here. With this new knowledge and improved health after the IUD removal, it was determined that my body is slow at clearing copper from my system. Some people are slow at clearing metals, I guess. I happen to be one of these people.
Of course we all need copper in trace amounts, but too much can be severely toxic. The copper IUD in addition to some other copper exposure I was having including in my diet (Who knew how many healthy foods contain copper…I do now!), re-usable coffee filter (Good for the environment…oops!), and copper pipes in my house (Drinking lots of water is good for you, right!) and other factors proved to be too much for my body to keep up with.
Throughout the years my body had continued to receive more & more copper without the ability to catch up in clearing it out. Looking back now, I see a progression of my body becoming more & more inflamed. I developed many allergies, asthma, & eventually so many severe symptoms that my quality of life was diminishing by the day.
Now that the copper IUD has been removed and I am more aware of the other sources, so far it seems all my symptoms have greatly improved or have completely gone away. Even things I did not know were symptoms at the time have disappeared, including my allergies, asthma & dry eye.
I could not have continued the fight and drive to keep searching for a cure without the support of the running and walking community. The memories, the hugs, the concern, the kind words, and to surprise and fundraiser all for little old me. You are all part of my success and all continue to motivate me to pick myself up, brush myself off & start over!
It is not easy starting over. I wish I could just pick up where I left off, but I have learned to listen to my body more than ever before. Day by day my body flushes out more toxins, continues to heal and is finding more strength. I wish I could just jump right back into things, but I cannot rush the process. I am thrilled to have another chance to be once again present. Each day is filled with new adventures, small victories, and the drive to work to someday be even close to where I was physically before. In the meantime, I am just happy!
Thank you to all of you for being a part of making this possible! And thank you for helping me hold onto hope! I have already won a great battle and I hope to see you all soon as my new journey begins. I will be there, happier & healthier than ever! 🙂
Rebecca Collinson, Run Wild Missoula Member