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About Me

(P.S. AHAH! Coaching stands for A Health And Happiness Coach for your AHAH! Moment).

I once posted my story here and left it alone for years. It turns out as life happens, our “story” changes. My original “health story” begins back to 2010. Prior to that, I spent my life defined by achievement, working hard and always planning the next step in the future. I double majored in college, one of them being an individualized major that I self-designed and had to go before a committee to have approved. I volunteered and  worked managing incoming classes of International Exchange Students. I studied abroad in Spain and fell in love with culture as well as the Spanish language (the second major I picked up).  I had big plans to work jobs that would send me around the world, live abroad, work long hours, live in large cities and live the typical stressed American lifestyle.  

My life changed overnight in the fall of my third year of college. I got mono and my first stress fracture. What I once thought would be a relatively simple process of figuring out a diagnosis and getting treatment instead down a long winding rabbit hole of numerous doctors, therapists, healers,  medications, supplements, healing diets, and the list continues. The ultimate result was being bedridden for years and ultimately hospitalized for four months in the start of organ failure. I racked up so many diagnoses over those years including: ME/CFS, POTS, Dysautonomia, Osteoporosis, igg subclass deficiency, ovarian failure, a reoccurring chronic infection, PTSD, every GI symptom imaginable thrown into “IBS” and the list could continue on endlessly. I watched my whole life disappear and lost all sight of a future. I developed terrible coping skills including trying to control all facets of my life in a desperate attempt to heal. It resulted in an extremely disordered relationship with food and my enviroment, mistrust of many, and an inability to truly take in help or get out of my own way.

My time hospitalized fighting for my life was not only one of the darkest times but also my rock bottom, thus a gift in disguise.

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May 2014 at 90 lbs. Three months prior to when I would be admitted to the hospital for four months, at 79 lbs and in the start of organ failure. This picture was taken because it was a "miracle" day when I was able to sit up long enough to be in the chair and to take a bath with assistance.

 I slowly began to rebuild my life. It taught me balance.  I let go of needing to be cured and instead focused on healing and creating a life for myself, even if it was different than the one I originally imagined. Over time, I began to strip away the versions of myself that were not serving me. I am still a perfectionist in recovery. I learned to be more present in my body and not live in my head. I embraced the many avenues that make up health including medicine, movement, nutrition/nutritional medicine, spirituality, nature, the mind-body connection, neuroplasitcity and more. I learned to let go of all or nothing thinking. I also learned to find gratitude for the small moments right in front of our eyes at any given time.

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August 2015. Meeting Miss Daisy for the first time.

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July 2018.  Bogotá, Colombia .  Even with a recovering foot fracture, I was doing what I love: travel& meeting people.I explored, learned and ate great food.

I began to be able to do the things I wanted to do, just modified. I got my best friend, Miss Daisy who was with me while I learned to walk again. I enrolled in a coaching course.  I began traveling again. I moved to a small city down the road as a starting point. I went back and got my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. 

 

“My story” seemed to revolve around I nearly died and was in a wheelchair, and was now living. It still is a part of my story.

But then I got sick again. In the summer of 2022, I got Lyme Disease, not shocking as I live in one of the most tick infested areas. What I thought would be an infection we’d knock out with some antibiotics and move on, my health continued spiraling as I had other medical emergencies landing me in an ambulance in the middle of the night, exacerbating everything at full speed. By the winter of 2023, I was unable to walk safely, had drop foot, was wobbling and crashing into things, could not feel my feet or my fingertips, was retching and vomiting constantly, had debilitating migraines and the list continues. I was eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune polyneuropathy and autonomic neuropathy. Modern medicine helped me turn my picture around. Slowly.

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After staring at the silver IV pole for half a year I decided to paint it and make it art, very symbolic of the healing journey.

I still receive infusions every month. I did extra Neuro PT. I use adaptive devices as needed. I continued to dig deep about ways I was living that was not working for me. I had to take some time off work and redo the way I coach. I also had to make many painful changes to my life. I continue sifting through the spiritual and emotional layers. Slowly, the light started to shine through the cracks in the dark.

I was able to expand my humility to another level. I found a new light for my passion for helping people with complex illness.  I found a greater capacity to understand the importance of nuance and balance. All of my tools helped me take this new journey on with much more grace than I could have thought possible. It helped me to know when to pursue different avenues.  I found a deep connection to my spirituality and ultimately again found a holistic approach to life.

I love helping people navigate not only the challenges of being ill, but also the beautiful maze of rebuilding their lives, finding new meaning and discovering themselves in a way they might not have known is possible.  If something resonates with you, let me know. I’d love to chat.

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Showing Daisy Ronda, Spain

About Me

Hi there! First thing is first...A-HAH! Coaching stands for both A Health and Happiness Coach and your A-HAH! moment. My name is Laura and I am so passionate about what I do but it was a long journey to arrive here. Originally, I was a typical Type A personality and an overachiever. I doubled majored in college, one of them being an individualized major that I self-designed and had to go before a committee to have approved. I volunteered and  worked managing incoming classes of International Exchange Students. If there was room to overachieve, I always made sure to get it done. I studied abroad in Spain and fell in love with culture as well as the Spanish language (the second major I picked up).  I had big plans to work jobs that would send me around the world, live abroad, work long hours, live in large cities and live the typical stressed American life. 

 

But life had other plans. At the age of 20, I was hit with mononucleosis/glandular fever and little did I know, my whole life was about to change. I thought I recovered after a few months but I wasn't quite the same. My health slowly slid downwards from there eventually forcing me to finish my last semester from home doing independent studies instead of interning in South America. I was terrified of what was happening to my body and my life. Any sense of "normalcy" was quickly disappearing. As time went on, I started to desperately try to control everything I could to try to heal: food, supplements, medications, my environment. It was soon out of control.  In the mean time, I saw almost every medical specialty. I racked up numerous diagnoses, so often hearing, "what an interesting case,"  but received little relief or hope. While I always encourage to not get caught up in labels, I am often asked "did you have xyz symptom or illness?"  By the time I was 24, I was completely bed bound in the dark and had 24 hour care. I was experiencing over 20 symptoms a day and had racked up too many diagnoses: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Hashimotos Thyroiditis,  Interstitial Cystitis, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Dysautonomia, POTS, Failure to Thrive, GERD, IBS (with every GI symptom under the sun and motility problems), Idiopathic Osteoporosis at the age of 20  (cause still unanswered today), Secondary Physiologic Amenorhea (chalked up to a genetic mutation found by Mass General), Foot Fractures, PTSD, Mixed Anxiety and Depression, "Unspecified Eating Disorder due to a medical condition" (basically Orthorexia in a desperate attempt to heal), Active EBV, consistent IGM labs that finally resulted in a label of a chronic Mycoplasma Pneumonia infection , IGG subclass deficiency and I am sure I am missing more.

 

I was eventually hospitalized in the summer of 2014 in the start of organ failure and almost did not pull through. At this point, I could no longer see any future for myself and had lost hope in trying. It was the darkest moments of my life yet hitting rock bottom was the best gift that could have happened. From there, I began the true journey of healing even though that's what I thought I had been trying to do all along.  I learned the importance of balance in everything: medicine, spirituality, nutrition, mind-body connection, exercise and wellness. I  learned about the power of neuroplasticity. I also began to let go of parts of my old identity that were not helping me. I began the process of recovery from perfectionism, self criticism, people-pleasing and the overachiever personality.  I began to learn to be in my body and less in my head. On that some note, I learned healing isn't about "all or nothing." I learned it has many facets and is often not even directly related to health. With this, I began to embrace my sensitivity. I started to strip away all the outdated versions of myself.  Most importantly, I learned to find joy in the present moment. Today I no longer carry the majority of those diagnoses nor am I attached to labels.  I still have some health challenges. My bones have to be closely monitored but they continue to get stronger. My immune system is delicate. I have to be aware of old patterns and stress. But I am out doing all the things I never thought would be possible again and then some.  Most importantly, while life's waves still inevitably happen (which I have gotten much better at riding), overall, I truly feel more alive, purposeful, and happy than ever, and that is what healing is truly about. This form of healing exists for us all.

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May 2014 at 90 lbs. Three months prior to when I would be admitted to the hospital for four months, at 79 lbs and in the start of organ failure.

This picture was taken because it was a "miracle" day when I was able to sit up long enough to be in the chair and to take a bath with assistance.

July 2018. Taken in Bogotá, Colombia where I traveled to by myself. It was my first time in South America. Even with a recovering foot fracture, I was doing what I love: travel& meeting people.I explored, learned and ate great food.

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