My name is Kelly Lee.

I’d like to take a moment to welcome you to healthy lifestyles 4 u.

You may think this is just another blog about health and fitness and I’m just another fitness quasi-expert trying to shove my ideas down your throat as to what’s good for you and how you should eat for optimal health blah, blah, blah.  Not quite…

Here’s a bit of my story and why I started this project.  Hopefully, there will be some of you who can relate to the events relayed below in some way or another.

I believe wholeheartedly in being transparent so, yes, at times I will share information about health and fitness because I believe it’s important to be informed so that we can make choices based on knowledge. But, my main purpose in starting this blog is to share and educate people and other navigate through the fog of health, fitness, and finding truth in your life.

Let me start by telling you a little about myself and why I feel so strongly about the subject of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Twenty-six years ago, these two guys came into my life.

(baby pics of Sam and Will)

They are my fraternal twins and, like mothers worldwide, the joy of my life.

It was what happened after they were born, that changed my life forever.

Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the medical profession was still trying gain a better understanding of diseases Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Type 1 Diabetes mellitus, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), Psoriasis, Grave’s disease, Vasculitis, and Systemic Lupus erythematosus.

This is by no means the end of the list. But these diseases all have one thing in common – they are all autoimmune diseases.  A very brief definition of an autoimmune disease more commonly referred to as immune system disorders as defined on WebMD: they cause abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. In cases of the immune system over activity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body’s ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infections.

Lupus is the type of immune disorder which causes the body to attack and damage its own tissues and I was diagnosed and have been knowingly living with the disease since 1995 when I was diagnosed. I say knowingly because, after many hours of genetic counseling, I have probably had this disease most if not all of my life.

I found out I have an immune disorder after the birth of my sons when, after one week of giving birth,  my body began to have, for lack of a better description, almost like a reaction to their birth. *I had been experiencing symptoms before I became pregnant.

Having been misdiagnosed over and over again, It wasn’t until they were 4 years old, I would find out what was really going on inside my body.

  1. My face looked like the worst case of chicken pox you’d ever want to see, turning almost purple like I had been in a fight and lost.
  2. My eyes were so swollen I could barely see out of them
  3. I had extreme sensitivity to light to the point of having to wear sunglasses inside and out.
  4. I developed sores all over my body and  in my head on my scalp
  5. There was fluid oozing out my skin
  6. The bottoms of my feet, at times, were so sore I could bear to walk on them
  7. I felt like I was having anxiety attacks
  8. I was so tired I could barely get up to do anything.

I was biopsied, poked, prodded beyond belief.  I had breathing tests done to check lung capacity,  endured countless office visits to cardiologists, rheumatologists, nephrologist, gastroenterologists, neurologists – you name it, I saw them.  All, trying to figure out what was wrong with me.

Well, we learned I was anemic, had a staph infection, nodules on my lower extremities, a virus etc.  WRONG  WRONG WRONG!

I went through the gambit of herbal teas and other options, and none of them did any good.  Some I was even allergic to, making things worse!

Here’s the worst part – one day I was in the cardiologists’ office and I was reading my lab work and saw the word “Lupus”.  When I asked him what that was, he simply said. ‘Oh don’t worry about that.  A lot of Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans have that in their system.’ It’s nothing to worry about’?!

Seriously!  After having been in the hospital twice in the course of two weeks first with pericarditis and the second time around with pleurisy! ( very common for sufferers of Lupus where there are heart and lung involvement).  You bet I’m going to worry about it.  WRONG again sports fan!

Good thing I didn’t have him for long.

But eventually, just as quickly as it had come, everything stopped and went back to normal.  Until my boys were 3 years old.

After three days of extreme tiredness, feeling like I couldn’t get up to do anything, a friend rushed me to the ER.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the ER doctor was very familiar with Lupus and the nurse had it herself.

We did some labs and was sent to a specialist two days later.  He started treatment right away and by the time the labs came back confirmed yes, I have Lupus, I was on my way to feeling better.

Along the way, through shared experiences, personal study, experiences with acupuncture/acupressure, therapeutic massage, training, hair and skin care professionals, and several folks, including a preventive medicine doctor, I have learned a lot about autoimmune disorders and some of the best things you can do to keep yourself well.

All of these, and a lifetime of experiences, some related to health, others related to life and spirituality, all culminating to provide the reasons why I felt compelled to start this project.  I’ve also had people in my life who also felt very strongly that I should start a blog and share my experience.  There are so many of you with similar experiences and circumstances, but only a handful of people around them, who can truly relate to what it’s like to live with diseases.

All of us are familiar, to some degree, what it’s like to be treated for your symptoms.  But not many people truly believe in the healing power of food, the strengthening effects a regular program of movement/exercise can have on even the most damaged bodies, and the importance faith has in healing.

We are all individuals learning to find the proper balance in our lives in a world increasingly full of quite the opposite – chaos, confusion, stress, pressures, fear of what we know and greater fear of the unknown.

I invite each and every one of you to visit with me.  Hopefully, you will find something that moves you and touches you in a way that motivates you to want to be a more balanced you.

Let’s get back to basics.  Then and only then can we move forward and create positive change for ourselves.

En bonne santé

 – In good health –