Parsley Health member Kim Sexton is a wife and mom of two adult children. Her hobbies include edible gardening, raising chickens and goats, and doing yoga.
I found Parsley Health while going through an eight-year struggle with fibromyalgia. I had been through a host of primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and rheumatologists available through my health insurance with no progress in my symptoms. I didn’t want to remain on medication (that was barely helping) for the rest of my life and was tired of having such a low quality of life. I remembered what it felt like to feel good and knew in my heart there had to be a way to return to that. I had always been active and healthy but somehow all the tests my doctors performed were negative, yet I felt like I was dying from 100 different things and I was only 40 years old!
I wanted an alternative option to the care I had been receiving. With fibromyalgia there are so many symptoms, most women suffer from at least 14, seemingly unrelated symptoms that are ever-changing in duration and intensity. At that time I didn’t know anything about the gut-psychology connection, but in my gut (no pun intended) I knew the anti-depressants I was prescribed were not the answer to resolving my fibromyalgia.
“None of my other doctors had ever checked what was checked on the tests through Parsley. “
– Kim S.
It is easy to feel like you don’t know where to start with treatment or even what type of doctor to see. I chose Parsley because of their philosophy and focus on getting to the root cause of a condition. The most surprising thing on their website was how affordable and flexible their plans were. I never thought on my moderate income I could afford a private doctor and with Parsley you get a doctor, health coach, and a bunch of perks. Parsley was super convenient with video chat appointments (because of my condition I could barely get through a work day), so anything that helped reserve time and energy sounded refreshing.
My doctor, Dr. Gonzalez completely understood fibromyalgia unlike any doctor I had seen before. Prior doctors made me feel like I was a hypochondriac. She took her time to understand not just the symptoms I was currently dealing with but also my life leading up to the onset of the symptoms, diet, lifestyle, sleeping patterns, prior illnesses, surgeries, even my birth story. She saw me as a whole. I felt she was truly interested in my story and was eager to help me find some relief. Talking with Dr. Gonzalez was like talking with a best friend. I broke down in tears of joy and relief in her office, feeling validated for the first time in eight years that the fibromyalgia symptoms I was experiencing were real and not in my head, and most of all that they could be affected and relieved.
Dr. Gonzalez ordered three tests right away, a G.I. test, blood test, and mycotoxin test. The most amazing part of my story happens after the results come back. She was quickly able to determine which vitamins and minerals I was deficient in, what gut bacteria was overgrown and missing, what toxins were in my system and what body systems were functioning well. Within a month of starting a protocol for gut support, adding correct vitamins and minerals, and a low inflammation diet, all the symptoms I had suffered from for eight years began to disappear. I have been able to get off the prescription I was on, and since then I have not had any symptoms in ten months! I went from constant pain, brain fog , exhaustion, migraines and depression to as if I never had Fibro. Weight began to fall off and energy returned!
None of my other doctors had ever checked what was checked on the tests through Parsley. Eight years of my life, including my husband and kids’ lives were affected by my condition and what could have potentially been corrected in a month? True treatment of the root cause, not just a prescription to cover the symptoms, is what healed me. Parsley has empowered me to be able to now maintain my own health naturally instead of being reliant on medication.
I see my future for myself now, a life pain-free. I wake everyday with energy and excitement to experience whatever the day offers. Having your health sabotaged and then returned to you makes you truly appreciate every moment.
When I was sick I could only function for about 4 hours at a time and would then need to rest for about 4 hours. It was very hard to hold down a job, care for a family, take care of a house, keep friendships or have any type of social life on that schedule. Weekends were spent recovering from the workweek and resting up for the upcoming workweek. My husband is now enjoying my newfound abundance of energy and enthusiasm for healthy cooking and desire to do things again. I am experiencing joy like I can’t remember, doing the small things I love like gardening again. I am however, being cautious about adding too much activity and over scheduling my life.
I plan to continue working with Parsley to retest the things we are working to support to ensure progress is maintained and to tackle any other issues that might arise. My goal is maintain the progress I have made, learn how to continue to improve my health and inspire others with fibromyalgia to move away from prescriptions that only cover the symptoms, leaving the nervous system and other body systems struggling, and start on a path of healing the root causes of their personal experience with fibromyalgia.