The Life of Lucianna
A Blogger who shares stories and spreads love ...
6 WELLNESS INFLUENCERS ON INSTAGRAM
There are a few instagram wellness influencers that I follow avidly on instagram. They had made a major impact on my health and general well being.
I am so grateful for people who have a passion for living a full and wholesome life and are willing to share their in depth knowledge with everyone - for free!
Social Media has played an awesome role as a platform for these awesome individuals to intelligently share their gifts, understanding of a subject and practical tips for people who are wanting to better their health and wellbeing.
They have been listed in order of who I came across first:
1. NATUROPATHIC MEDICAL STUDENT
Natural_Natosha - Plant Medicine Extraordinaire
I came across Natosha's IG handle about a year ago or so. She is so intensely passionate about digging deep into a subject and then sharing how it can help improve one's health.
She has her own line of skincare that is cruelty-free and plant based. I love how she encourages her readers to eat a plant based diet.
Natosha has influenced me in so many ways: what to eat, how to prepare certain foods, how to combine certain foods for optimum efficiency, what books to read on Chinese medicine (and other relevant issues), the list goes on ...
2. FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE NUTRITIONIST
TheHealthyMelissa - Blogger and Researcher
I've been following TheHealthyMelissa for quite a few months now. Every time I go on her profile, she has something highly valuable to my overall health and wellbeing.
Melissa is an avid blogger and researcher of Functional Medicine. Her goal is to educate her readers on how to live a physically and mentally healthier lifestyle.
3. STUDENT OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
Functional.Foods - Wellness Enthusiast
Tyler Jean came into my insta-radar while scrolling through @doctor.g_ 's insta feed.
Tyler who is an aspiring Naturopathic Doctor, has a passion for educating the public on the importance of food as medicine.
He has inspired me to live a healthier lifestyle and has incredible tips on at-home remedies for when you're feeling under the weather.
4. FUNCTIONAL HOLISTIC MEDICINE
Dr_Holistic_Health - Natural Health Doctor
I love visiting dr_holistic_health's instagram profile for my daily dosage of ayurvedic or holistic information.
I am not sure who the person behind this IG profile is, but I will gladly read all the awesome health and wellness tips they offer.
So if you are into effective herbal remedies, anti-aging, body detoxification, Ayurveda or just simply holistic health - check this cool page out! Don't quote me, but I think they are vegan too! Correct me if I am wrong!
5. BLOGGER AND HERBALIST
Organic_Olivia - Creator of Herbal Remedies
Okay, so I recently came across this lovely lady's IG and fell in love! Olivia is full of life - and SONG - you should hear this girl sing! Basically, full of high vibes!
She has an awesome story of how she healed her own health issues by being intuitive with her body and did her own research on how we can use what nature provides to heal our lives.
Olivia is an advocate for natural remedies, herbal treatments, energy healing work and other mind-body-spirit healing modalities.
I'm still getting to know her and will probably be purchasing some of her products.
6. FOOD IS MEDICINE
Gmo_Gus - Plant Based Vegan/Truth Seeker
If you're looking for an all-around, plant based, holistic influencer to follow - you must check out gmo_gus.
I've only recently come across his profile - but I certainly frequent it because he is always posting awesome health and well-being related material.
Plus, he is vegan! YAY!
My Favorite Holistic Doctors to Follow on Instagram
She began her healing journey by switching to a raw vegetable and fruit diet and juicing. Juicing is amazing. Her day would begin with freshly cold pressed celery, green apples, ginger, lemon and dandelions.
I truly believe this is what prepared her body for her chemotherapy treatments and then bone marrow transplant.
By 2008 my mother no longer had cancer in her bone marrow. Being a new mother, I was naturally inspired and began my journey in healthier, wholesome eating!
Okay, let me list my favorite top five IG Doctors:
You can find her at www.drjess.com.
One of the things that really drew Dr. Jess to me was her authenticity and humility. I first came across her IG profile through an awesome Naturopathic Med Student on instagram by the name of natural_natosha. I'm going to write a post about her soon!
Dr. Jess is big on eating a healthy balanced diet, allowing food to be our medicine, and she is an awesome advocate on women's health.
What I love about Dr. Jess MD:
She really is a bright shining light! I could go on, but there some other doctors I want to acknowledge.
I came across Dr. G's instagram profile via Dr. Jess. I was hooked from the get-go! One of the things that draw's one seeking to improve their health to Dr. G is his very personable and interactive persona.
He has a lot of followers, but will answer your questions as soon as he can. I really like this about him. Another thing is that he really explains how things work in a simple manner (if you don't have a degree in science or medicine).
Here are some of the reasons you should follow Dr. G:
Check his page out - you will be glad you did!
A WOMAN'S DOCTOR
DR. CARRIE JONES, ND, MPH
Dr. Carrie Jones has certainly made an impression on me. Thanks to Dr. Jess, MD - once again - I was introduced to this dynamic woman who not only knows what she is talking about but speaks to the heart of everyone, especially women!
She shares from her heart and explains explicitly how the human body works. She doesn't give medical advice, but instead points you back to the basics - healthy diets and taking care of your body with what nature provides.
Her "expertise lies in the areas of hormonal, adrenal and thyroid health" (See the thedutchtest.com).
Dr. Jones has made an impact on me due a number of reasons:
I would love to interact with her more, so that is one of my goals!
NATUROPATHIC MEDICAL DOCTOR
Dr. Jolene Brighten is a leading Naturopathic medical doctor who specializes in helping women balance their hormones.
She is amazing in explaining how the woman's reproductive system works.
I am continuing to learn more from her on a daily basis and I am planning on getting her book, "Beyond the Pill".
AN EXPERT IN PCOS
I first came across Dr. Fiona's IG handle via Dr. Jolene Brighton. Since then, I am always checking out what she has to say about women's health!
She has treated thousands of patients (both men and women) who have suffered with fertility issues.
Reasons why you should follow her:
Well, that's it for now. I am still learning more about these awesome doctors and through them, I have greatly improved my health.
I will be checking out other doctors (some referred by the above mentioned) and will write my thoughts about them!
Thank you for reading. Love yourself by taking care of your beautiful vessel!
This is not me. It's just a really cool picture to get my point across. Photo courtesy of Sydney Sims
WHAT IS A "UNILATERAL SALPINGO OOPHORECTOMY"?
Sounds really funny, right?
I thought so too.
It's basically the removal of an ovary and fallopian tube.
HOW I AM HEALING FROM LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY
This post is specifically written for women. Men can read it too!
Imagine for a moment you have something growing in you that just doesn't feel like it should be there.
It's not a parasite. Or is it?
No! It is is not. It's your body telling you that you've not taken good care of it. You've held on to stress energy for too long. Now it's growing fast.
Imagine it is the size of a lemon, no - an orange ... or wait, a grapefruit.
Said grapefruit-sized object was not a growing baby either. My days of having babies are long gone - phew! I've had three already and been pregnant four times - first was an ectopic pregnancy. That was my first experience with laparoscopic surgery.
The thing growing inside of me that I jokingly called my "hairy toothed ovary" or "gremlin" was actually a dermoid ovarian cyst. Read about my story then you can come back here.
BLOG POST ABOUT AN OVARIAN CYST REMOVAL PROCEDURE AND AFTERCARE
GOING INTO SURGERY
The most scary thing was "fear of the unknown". Then there was also:
Even though I was putting on my brave face, inside I knew I had to face this fear like one facing a dark night.
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
DAY 1 - FRIDAY, JAN 18th 2019
This was the actual day of surgery. Got to the hospital at 5:30 am. It was an outpatient surgery so I was discharged around 3 or 4 pm.
Surgery took about 2 and a half hours.
Last thing I remember before surgery was telling Vinny I love him, as the nurses wheeled me towards the O.R.
DAY 1 Continued
I was dreaming when I heard the nurses saying "Lulu, wake up! Surgery is over!"
As I looked at the clock in front of me with my blurry vision, the time was 11:11 a.m. (magick moment)
I began weeping with joy. Apart from the pain in my belly button, which the nurses immediately took care of, I was so grateful to have made it back. They asked me why I was crying? I told them how grateful I was of how well they had cared for me - and to be alive.
Vinny joined me shortly after. I was so happy to see him. Let me tell, you - it really is nice to have people who truly love and support you by your side.
HOW TO HEAL FROM OVARY REMOVAL SURGERY
WHAT TO PREPARE FOR AFTER OVARIAN CYSTECTOMY
There is going to be a lot of bloating. Especially on Day 1 -3.
You might also become constipated. Yup, I said it!
Here are some things you can get before surgery:
WHAT NOT TO EAT OR DRINK ON DAY 1, AFTER SURGERY:
OTHER HELPFUL TIPS FOR AFTER LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY
DAY 2 - SATURDAY, JAN 19TH 2019
Still in pain, but more manageable. The painkiller was fabulous. It helped me conk out on the couch.
There was still a lot of gas trapped in my body. Not only in my belly, but also in my shoulders and back.
Still hadn't gone # 2. Uncomfortable!
TIPS FOR POST SURGICAL RELIEF
DAY 3 - SUNDAY, JAN 20TH 2019
Still hadn't gone # 2 and my belly seemed to be getting even more bloated.
I kept eating healthy food like soups, salads, veggies and fruits.
Vinny was amazing at serving me all the time!
Still haven't gone #2!
I don't know why I waited this long but I finally had Vinny buy me the Smooth Move Tea. That's why I mentioned to buy it before hand!
I took the tea right before bed!
DAY 4 - MONDAY, JAN 21ST 2019
Hallelujah! That Smooth Move tea worked! It made me go twice in the morning and once at night!
Bloating went down significantly.
Gas is subsiding in other parts of my body.
Continued walking around a little. I had to resist the urge to do more physical stuff.
Painkillers still help.
DAY 5 - TUESDAY, JAN 22ND 2019
My sweet friend Sasu came to see me. She brought me soup from one of my fave Vegan Restaurants in South Florida - Screaming Carrots.
It really helps to surround yourself with people who love you, like I said earlier.
Sasu brought me the Mushrooms in Coconut Soup and the Lentil Soup.
I really appreciate when friends check on me and spend quality time with me.
Bowel movements back to normal! YAY!
Only took one painkiller at night this time, before bed.
DAY 6 - WEDNESDAY, JAN 23RD 2019
Woke up with more energy. Pain very low - more of a discomfort than anything.
Walked around a bit. Made myself coffee - boy, did I miss my coffee!
Didn't take any painkillers at all!
SACRED WOMB CARE
DAY 7 - THURSDAY, JAN 24TH 2019
Bloating has subsided a lot. Still more to go though.
More energy and movement. I have to be careful to not get too active with taking care of household chores.
Doctor's office called with my pathology results: NO CANCER! What a relief!
No driving allowed until my Dr. clears it. Dr. follow-up is next week! I am recovering quite well, people!
I attribute my post-op healing to:
ADVENTURES IN LIVING WITH A "HAIRY TOOTHED" OVARY
A few people I know are aware of about this situation. I wanted to share about it here because I feel it would help any woman who might be struggling with the same issue.
It really helped me, leading up to the actual surgery to read stories from other women who had been in a similar situation. I feel there is a need for women to unite and really be there for each other during times like these! Go, sister-hood power!
I'll begin my story by going back about three years or so. I was laying in bed one day - on my back, when I felt a strange knot on the right side of my abdomen. It felt like a little golf ball. It didn't hurt or anything but felt completely foreign.
I chose to ignore it since I was not under any medical insurance - single mom issues. Not long after that, I had a dream that definitely alarmed me. In my dream I was walking down a dirt road, when three eerie women dressed in white 1800-style dresses, approached me.
In my dream, the three women had long blonde hair down to their waists. It seemed as though they were just walking along the road as messengers. One of the women came up to me and while quietly placing her hands over her right ovary, tilted her head. She seemed concerned.
Upon waking up I realized something was definitely going on in that area of my body. Then life got busy because I was struggling financially and could not afford to go see a doctor.
Every now and then I would feel pain on my right side and soon realized it was on or near my ovary because the pain would come when I was either ovulating or going through my menstrual cycle.
Sure enough, the time came again where I felt the pain again in my belly, near what seemed like my ovary. I felt like I had a lot of pressure, kind of similar to menstrual cramps, but not the exactly the same.
SYMPTOMS OF AN OVARIAN CYST
Six Signs You Might Have an Ovarian Cyst
There are few different symptoms to watch out for if you suspect you have an ovarian cyst.
There are a few symptoms that you definitely need to look into:
There are different types of ovarian cysts, which you can find out more about here. Mine was a dermoid cyst, according to the diagnosis of my Emergency Room visit. At that time (about a year and a half ago), it was about five centimeters or more in size.
A dermoid cyst is a harder type of a cyst. It may contain skin, nails, teeth, bones, hair or all of the above. So the only way it can go away is if
a) disappears miraculously or
b) it is removed surgically.
They ended sending me home because I didn't have insurance (another topic I want to talk about in another post) and they explained, I didn't have any ovary torsion. Ovary Torsion is when your ovary twists over and causes severe abdominal pain. This could be very dangerous as it cuts off blood flow to your ovaries.
They also told me that my blood did not show any indication of cancer, so I would just have to go home and monitor my symptoms. They told me if I have pain accompanied by nausea (another symptom), then I should come back to the E.R.
Needless to say, I was frustrated and confused. The pain would come and go. Until one day, I finally got medical insurance a year later. It wasn't the best, but it was a push in the right direction.
I found an OBGYN that I thought would finally take care of my "growing gremlin". Yes, I did come up with a name for it! I met with Dr. Andrade of Dr. Hanna Farris' practice. He was very nice to begin with and seemed very concerned about my now larger ovarian cyst. He told me it was about seven centimeters and it needed to be removed as soon as possible. This was around July 2018.
As you know, timing has to be perfect. The time he had available for the surgery was not until after October. I had follow up visits but the doctor's office just didn't seem very concerned about me. I came to the realization that my medical insurance was not their optimum choice, so they kept pushing my case further back.
Fueled by frustration and anger, I kept calling the office and following up. My message finally got through and I was scheduled for surgery on December 5th, 2018. By this time, you could imagine my emotional state. A day before my surgery, Dr. Andrade called to inform me that my surgery was to be postponed due to some alarming test results.
CA19-9. That blasted marker! The Doctor was concerned that I could be experiencing endometriosis or a chocolate cyst. Another concern was pancreatic cancer. So he felt that I had to have another CT Scan of not only my pelvic area but abdominal as well.
Back to the waiting game again. After endless, frustrated calls back and forth with the Dr.'s office because I had to go through a lot of "red-tape" due to my insurance coverage, to ensure I had referrals for all my exams, I finally got the tests done.
The results came back negative for cancer, but for some reason, the Doctor saw this was a good time to go on vacation without telling me. The pain came back, accompanied by nausea - which sent me to the E.R. again.
By this time, the cyst was notably bigger but they refused to do the surgery during my E.R. visit because there wasn't any available OBGYN Surgeon. I ended up getting a referral through this visit to the awesome Dr. Laurel King.
OVARIAN CYSTS CAN BE DANGEROUS
I was very happy and relieved to meet with Dr. King. She was extremely thorough in explaining how ovarian cysts can be dangerous and cause various markers to go up during tests. She wanted to get my cyst removed as soon as possible because she could see that it was really affecting my whole pelvic area. She explained how she would remove the cyst and do her best to save my ovary. If necessary, she would have to perform a Salpingo-oophorectomy which basically was the removal of my ovary and fallopian tube.
The date was set! January 18, 2018. I felt a real final wave of relief even though in the background, there was a fear that this procedure would be postponed again. Life is not normal when you have an abnormal growth in your body. I wanted it out!
Since you are reading my words, you know that I made it through despite my anxiety about going under General anaesthesia. Needless to say, I am here and can confidently say that the hospital staff at Memorial Regional was amazing.
They made me feel very comfortable and ensured that I had minimal discomfort or pain. I was afraid that I would react to the anaesthesia, but honestly I came out of it while I was dreaming. The nurses had to wake me up.
I found out after surgery, that my ovary indeed had to be removed, along with the fallopian tube. Apparently, my ovary had been overtaken by the little "gremlin" and was no longer of service. Who needs a "hairy toothed" ovary anyway (inside joke with my friend Julie)?
WHAT THE OVARIAN CYST TAUGHT ME
I learned a lot from this whole situation. But the one things that really stuck out is:
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Your body is incredibly and intelligently intuitive and communicates with you all the time. There are signs all over the place! I said it earlier, everything is connected. For me, I feel the cyst served its purpose in showing me that I tend to hold on to pain in an unhealthy way.
Questions to ask yourself:
Emotional stress can grow into ugly looking things that take up space and ruin the environment for other normal activities. Apparently women can have dermoid cysts while still in their mother's womb. Over time, the cyst grows - acting as a messenger to take care of yourself.
Apparently the cyst I had was about the size of a grapefruit. It took me that long to pay attention to my sacred womb. I got the message though. I am going to be more attentive to my temple.
MY TOP FIVE ORAL CARE GO-TO PRODUCTS
I'm learning that oral health is so crucial and important because how we take care of our mouth and teeth can affect our whole body. I know now that each tooth is somehow connected to an actual organ in the body and how you treat it will affect that specific organ.
EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.
I've been following this awesome Holistic Dentist on Instagram called Dr. Steven Lin, who is is big on eating healthy, organic food. He has a book called: The Dental Diet - which links eating healthy food to life changing oral wellness and overall health and how you can reverse various conditions in your body by changing your diet. I borrowed mine from the local library, but you can get yours online at amazon.
So here is my list - I guess Dr. Steven Lin's book could have been an item but I have listed him for reference on "healthier teeth". On to my list.
#1 - TONGUE SCRAPER:
This is definite must have in your bathroom, right next to your toothbrush. If you're really into oral hygiene and want to have a fresh-tasting, nice-smelling tongue, get these amazing ayurvedic oral care items. They literally scrape off a butt load of nasty bacteria off your tongue and make you feel better than if you only brushed your tongue.
TOOLS FOR BETTER SMILES
I LOVE THIS STUFF because it helps replenish the necessary minerals my teeth need for the best dental health. Here are some reasons I love using this:
Well, there you have it! Five awesome products to try out if you haven't already! Do something awesome for your teeth!
HOW I START MY DAY
THE BEST WAY TO START YOUR DAY!
I will admit that I don't always do this. But when I do these three things, my day begins amazingly and my attitude towards life becomes more like a shining light.
Life can be very strange, exciting, boring, and delightful! We are all trying to figure it out. Yes, you too! You don't have all the answers.
Maybe that is the MAGICK of it!
The GAME OF LIFE!
One of the things I find super intriguing is how everything seems to work out. A lesson is always learned. An understanding and quiet peace - if you are open, comes over you when you rest in the fact that maybe we are in a game.
Anyways, I want to make this post short and sweet. Here are my,
THREE POSITIVE WAYS TO START MY DAY:
STARTING MY DAY WITH GRATITUDE
The first thing I do when I wake up, if I'm not summoned by some "kid emergency", is - I sit at the edge of my bed, feet on the ground and by placing my right hand on my belly with the left hand over it. In a circular and clockwise motion, I tell my organs "Thank you for how you support my body".
This is an amazing way to start up the "Chi" energy and get it going.
Gratitude or thanksgiving is a beautiful prelude to amazing gifts that life has to offer.
Not only do I thank my organs (liver, spleen, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.), but I also thank the rest of my body for all that it does for me.
Then I express gratitude for a NEW DAY.
A new day to serve the Universe. A new day to show love, compassion, and shine a light onto someone's life. After all, I believe we are all connected.
THINGS TO BE GRATEFUL FOR (IN CASE YOU NEED REMINDING):
This list can go on!
BEGINNING YOUR DAY WITH MEDITATION
It is so important to be still. To consciously quiet down and allow yourself some moments of silence.
This can be super challenging if you one of those people, like me - who is always busy!
What helps me is to count my breath. This basically meditation. There isn't a RIGHT way to do it.
Focusing on and counting the amounts of time you breathe is not rocket science.
Ever heard of 4-7-8? There is a method I learned by watching Harvard-trained Dr Andrew Weill, that greatly helped me to focus on my breath.
It's best to do this twice a day!
Check out this quick (about 3 mins) video below:
GET YOUR BLOOD MOVING
THREE WAYS I LIKE TO GET MY BLOOD PUMPING:
You don't have to do what I do. But for me, I find it so invigorating to stretch and hold some yoga poses for muscle strengthening.
I like doing a bunch of sun salutations and incorporating downward dogs, chaturangas etc.
I am intentionally speaking into my life the luxury of beginning my day in dance. Oh, how I love dancing!
Dancing opens up magickal doorways to your soul. It releases creative expression. Dance like nobody's watching, baby!
When I dance, I become free! I feel like my body loves this and thanks me for taking care of it this way!
I tried to make it short!
I hope you've enjoyed the three top ways I like to start my day! Of course, I can add to this list - then the post will be about "FIVE BEST WAYS TO BEGIN YOUR DAY".
Who knows? I might just do one!
Have an amazing day!
Today I went to visit a Shamanic Practitioner, Jaes Seis. I am so exhausted right now, yet I feel so renewed and strengthened. She did a soul retrieval ceremony with me - which to say the least - was illuminating and freeing! To begin our session, Jaes first went over my Astrological charts and explained various aspects of my personality that were reflected in the different positions of the cosmic bodies. She shed light on times in my life where I had struggled deeply and other times that were not as difficult and then the easier, more enjoyable times.
One of the things we as human beings are constantly curious about is: What is our purpose here? What the Shamanic Practitioner does - at least for me - was:
What I really loved about my interaction with Jaes was that:
In my case, Jaes was able to pinpoint two specific times in my life that were traumatic and help those parts of me to return back home and feel safe and loved again. She did this by looking into my luminous body - otherwise known as the "electromagnetic field" or "aura" via my "chakras". She then identified areas where there was stagnant energy during this Shamanic ceremony and was able to move the energy, thus creating a freer flow.
During the ceremony, one of my animal spirit guides showed up and was there during the whole process. This time it was a black raven - or crow.
RAVEN SPIRIT MEDICINE
Welcome to my personal blog. This blog is going to be filled with everything magickal. Even the grimy stuff of life.
Check out the song I wrote below: