My Story

Hi!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read my story!

For as long as can remember I’ve loved stories. From the moment I could read, I binged. I read about 4 books at the same time when I was a child. Constantly switching from one book to the other: so eager to devour the stories they were telling.  And I’m afraid I’m still that impatient (or enthusiastic?) today.

For me, stories are not just entertainment, but also a great source of inspiration and a strong motivator. Stories ignite all of our actions. Whether it’s the stories we’re telling ourselves (in our head) or the stories that reach us through our family, friends, books, tv etc.

So, what’s the story?!

Taken the powerful role stories have in my life, I have chosen to share one of my stories on this blog. It’s a story about my journey to better health.

And fortunately, the story has a happy end.

The mountains called…

In 2016 I moved to the mountains, with nothing but 2 suitcases, a pair of skis and a temporary job as a ski instructor in a ski town filled with extremely spoiled kids. I had left my comfortable life behind in Amsterdam in pursuit of an adventure. The goal was to build up a life in the mountains in order to improve my (lung) health. A beautiful, but also daunting quest.

My mission: getting rid of my addiction to antibiotics. I had been taking antibiotics on a daily basis for 12 years straight and I was sick and tired of it.

In Spring 2000 (I was 15), I got confronted with a strange disease*. Me, my family and an army of doctors spent more than a decade finding out what caused my sudden illness and how to treat it. The conclusion after years of research: asthma in combination with a neutrophil granulocyte disorder.

Since the illness came out of nowhere on that Spring day in the year 2000, I figured I should also somehow be able to get rid of it again.

Breathing freely up at the Kraxentrager (2999m!) on the border between Italy and Austria.


So, there I went on January 10th 2016. No job, no fixed place to live, no contacts. But also; not that much to lose. If you’re not healthy, all the other areas of your life suffer. This adventure was worth a shot.

A few months after moving to the mountains, I realized that the clean mountain air wasn’t enough to replace my antibiotics firewall. More was needed and so I started experimenting… With food and supplements, but also with cold therapy, breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, you name it.

Some stuff worked. Some didn’t.

And I wrote about that. On this blog.

The way I see it, an illness is also a story. Our body is trying to tell us something. It’s up to us to listen to it. Only by truly listening to the story that our body is trying to tell us, we can engage in a fruitful dialogue with our body.

The experiments that I wrote about on this blog were my ‘response’ to the story my body told me.

Is it a universal story? No. That means there’s no universal response either. We’re all programmed slightly differently. I’m not pretending to have all the answers.

What I do know: every story and every conversation needs an opening line.

Maybe my experiments somehow inspire others to formulate their opening line and/or hand them new topics for discussion.

In case you found your way to my blog as a part of your personal journey to better health: good luck! And please get in touch if you have a question or would like to share your experience. I love a (good) story 😊.

Celebrating being 100% medication free and feeling on top of the world in Andalusia, Spain (Summer 2019)

*It started out innocently. with a throat infection. I was treated with antibiotics and I got better. A week later I started to experience extreme pains in my leg. Before I knew it they were all swollen and inflamed.

I ended up in the hospital where the search for the cause started. What it came down to after years of research is that I have a neutrophil granulocyte disorder. I tend to get ill from bacteria that other people can easily withstand. Due to asthma, my lungs are a weak point, and this makes me susceptible to pneumonias and throat infections. On it’s turn these infections somehow cause inflammation in my legs.