Hi, my name is Katie.
My roots to here begin with being a physician-prescribed drugged up girl growing up for my childhood symptoms that later would be realized as episodic migraine before turning chronic intractable at age 13. I was at the doctor’s office almost religiously, saw multiple specialists, and tried just about every medication and treatment that was available to me at the time with no success. In high school I stopped taking medication and walked away from western medicine altogether after seeing my last neurologist at the Children’s Hospital of LA who told me to meditate my migraine away. I kept my chronic migraine disease like a dirty secret for most of my life and was often dismissed by others growing up and told it was largely in my head (an idea that is still falsely fostered). I was drowning in my disease, defeat and depression and eventually had a breakdown after my second year in college. I was alive and breathing but I wasn’t living- I was miserable and knew I needed to make some changes and pave a new path. I had tremendous difficulty establishing care with a doctor in college, and after I got that figured out and established a whole year later with a migraine specialist, I was able to try the first medication released specifically designed to target migraine attacks with no relief, and my insurance denied me the occipital nerve blocks that my doctor provided in her own office. She quit practicing a year after that, and some time later I lost insurance coverage and haven’t had the resources or hope to continue care until recently, so I’m getting that reestablished again and hoping to find another great specialist and have access to newer migraine-specific treatments.
I have spent a lot of time looking for the magic migraine cure- I haven’t found it but I have found hope, which is more healing than anything. I’ve tried different diets and at one time was convinced that being a completely plant-based vegan who drank green juice and essentially avoided all things that lacked superfood status would heal me. It didn’t, but I am still gluten-free since I’ve discovered gluten is a definite pain trigger for me, and I watch my intake of sugar as that is also a trigger, and both are inflammatory to the body anyway (but dark chocolate is my weakness…). I do still drink green juice sometimes, I eat some sustainably sourced animal products now, and still eat a plant-rich diet because that’s the proven way to eat all around. I tried CBD oil, started smoking medical marijuana and doing yoga to help with pain management. I took a nutrition class at my community college and learned that the food we eat really does matter quite a bit, so I stopped eating the crappy processed foods and learned how to nourish myself with plants and whole foods. I decided to take off the migraine mask because I am loved and enough as I am. I dug into deeper healing for my childhood trauma and the leftover residue it left on me as an adult. I started learning healthy boundaries to protect myself and others. I switched over to more natural and organic living and ditched the dirty chemicals. I tried acupuncture and chiropractic care. I got into holistic healing and the interwoven connections between the mind, body, spirit, relationships, and environment, and the power of preventive and proactive health inside and out. I learned about sustainable food and started gardening, shopping at the local farmer’s market, and eating seasonally. This has been the best and biggest change I’ve made that has had the most positive impact on my life in so many ways. I still have intractable chronic migraine, but the rest of my body feels better and it has helped me live my life more fully and manage my migraine better. My mental health, although still a struggle, has improved along with my overall well-being. I have the energy to live my life and show up for it more than before. I am thankful for my journey with food and health, and learning to eat in a way that honors myself and others. I still have my fair share of food struggles, including a long battle using food as a coping mechanism. I feel guilty when food goes bad, and I lack the discipline and motivation to get in the kitchen and make good food some days. I have trouble not being discouraged by the dissonance between where I am and where I want to be, however, I am learning to focus on the progress instead of silly standards and impossible perfection.
My journey to thrive instead of staying stuck in survival mode has been, and continues to be, a process. I grew up in a dysfunctional broken family and learned early on to internalize a lot of deeply damaging stuff from that and as an adult am intentionally unlearning unhealthy defense and coping mechanisms, thought patterns and behaviors and replacing them with truth and new, healthy patterns. For just over a decade chronic pain has been my closest companion, and although abiding in Jesus’ presence is indeed powerful and brings peace, the loneliness of chronic migraine disease still lingers at times. Having a disability that is disabling can be a tough pill to swallow in our culture that worships perfectionism, performance and productivity. It is a daily struggle to overcome my own head between my migraine and mental health. I praise the Lord for redemption in and moving forward in healing after ending my three-year marriage ravaged by domestic abuse. I’ve been shackled by shame for most of my life because of my story, and I am so thankful for a good God who has been faithfully rewriting it into something good and gives me glimpses of it even on the darkest days.
Instead of telling a trauma story or staying silent like I have, I have a story of resilience and redemption to share and the freedom to move forward after trauma. I’ve seen so much beauty come from brokenness and have seen redemption in my life in so many ways, and that is still just a piece of the puzzle. He redeems all things and brings new life from old things and that gives me hope in all things. My life looks nothing like I thought it would, and that bothered me for a long time before learning to be okay with and even embrace how it is instead. I’m not currently in school, I work part-time, and am happy to be a homemaker. So here I am now, trying to heal, live well and overcome pain, problems, and my limited perspective and live in the present, walk the path of redemption and reconciliation, create and maintain healthy habits, rhythms and routines, and savor life in all it’s complicated calm and chaos. Living mindfully with purpose and intention over old default and habit is, again, a process. My anxiety and depression are very much still a part of me, but they don’t define me or get in the way of living as much as they used to. I need frequent attitude adjustments and need to redirect myself to the redemptive power of the cross often. I believe in the power of Jesus, simple sustainable food, sound sleep, movement and the great outdoors, human connection, and simple livin’. My goal is to inspire, empower, and support others towards mindful, sustainable healthy living. I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or anyone else with similar authority; I am simply a human who is choosing to live a little differently. I am a woman made whole who is saved by grace on a daily basis and whose soul needs the sweet sound of truth often. I love to get in the garden, make good food, cuddle my kitties, read and write, and hike when I can- these things ground me and make me come alive. I am currently navigating this messy beautiful life by the salty sea in Humboldt County, California with Jesus as my anchor in the waves.
This is a safe space where belongingness abounds. Here I write about the raw and real grace of redemption, suffering, and surrender. A space to acknowledge the hurt and hard things and focus on the good within them to stay steadfast in the storms. You’ll find hope here and holding onto it when it’s hard to. Choosing thankfulness and joy in the midst of the mess. Deconstructing faith and walking with Jesus. Soul-to-skin healing and living well with chronic migraine, mental illness and addressing the unwell aspects of it all. Connection, community, and the courage to create it. The power of plants and simple, sustainable food freedom. A tad bit of taboo concerning cannabis as medicine.
Welcome to the table.