23 In HEALTH

How to avoid a pancreas transplant & an early death – how I broke, almost lost all hope and then found my way back

There are probably many different ways to start this blog post that would be better than this, but I know no other way than to say that 2018 was one of the worst years of my life. Yes I know, it’s not how one usually begins any kind of inspirational post, but when I am done, I hope to have instilled some sort of hope in your heart, especially if you are struggling in life.

This will be a very long post, but there is no way around that. I need to write this for myself and for everyone that might be struggling in their life. For the rest of you, thank you for reading however long you have the energy to keep going. 

”The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in raising again after you fall”

Vince Lombardi

I want to be honest, this year has really put my mindset, my body, my relationships and my faith in myself to the test. The plans I had for this year were many, and my expectations were high, but as the days passed along I had to watch my dreams disappear in exchange for illnesses, struggle, anxiety, empty bank account, a bottomless sorrow and lack of hope in my heart. 

I have had to wait a few months, some of you have read between the lines and others follow me on Instagram and is hence a little bit more up to date with my current ”situation”. But I have been a little bit lost in life, and lost for words as well, and that my friends is not like me at all. 

But, when you hit rock bottom, things change and you can find yourself behaving differently, thinking differently, talking differently…or in this case, not talking at all. But the great thing with hitting rock bottom, or what feels like it, is that the only way is up. I mean, things can of course always get worse *knock wood* if you want to look at it from the negative perspective. Happily enough that means that things, whatever it is that you struggle with, can also get better. 

If I were to tell you all the things and all the struggles this year, it would become at least half a book and also include and involve people I do not wish to involve, so here is what I can say about this year. 

At the beginning of the year, we started what was suppose to be a surface deep renovation. Nothing major really. Knocking down a wall, painting over some wall paper, that kind of thing. But our ”renoation” quickly delveloped to what can only be described as an avalanche of hidden mold and construction errors so huge that it mean that the roof in some parts of the house could suddenly collapse on us if we did not do anything about it. And from there, the avalanche of house and health problems just got bigger and bigger. To spare you all the details I will sum it up by saying that we could have bought a smaller house for the money this has cost us and the amount of mold was unlike anything our carpenter had ever seen. At one point we actually had to leave our house du to all the mold and the amount of hidden damages in and on our house was out of control.

As a cherry on to of the cherry I started becoming very ill. When spring time was here, I had to treat my eyes with laser not to become blind and at the same time I started to become very dizzy and could not stand up at all. I was at a doctors appointment the first time it happened and could barely get home without fainting or throwing up. I struggled with dizziness for a longer period of time, sleeping and resting in bed many days but was finally rushed to the hospital. After some testing and keeping me for observation for a few days they diagnosed my problem with ”dizzyness migraine” which to my surprise, there seemed to be little or no remedy for.  It came and went like it wanted to and I tried everything to make it better but nothing worked.

During my stay at the hospital they found, instead of a solution to my dizziness migraine, a heart murmur that needed medical attention. They asked me question like ”do you get tired and out of breath easily” and I nodded a silent ”yes” to all their questions. It was nothing urgent since my oxygen levels were good, so they sent me home with a promise of further investigations at a later stage.

2018 was the warmest summer in many years and the events in our lives had lined up so that at that point, we had no insulation in our house to keep the heat out. No working AC due to the renovation, and our Swedish houses are built to keep the heat in and not out (hello Nordic weather. Due to the heat wave the shelves echoed empty of anything that cold help us get temperature slightly cooler and the temperatures both outdoors and indoors was extreme. The heat added to my dizziness and exhaustion and when things was at it worst, I could barely move or work. My existence was mainly sleeping and resting in the shadows. I had no energy to meet anyone or do anything.

I went for one quick dip in a lake close to us during this summer and hade one little ”mini road trip” with Magnus in our neighborhood, and that was it. The times we had company was a struggle to act and look normal, not that I couldn’t or wouldn’t tell anyone. It was just that I wanted and needed those ”normal moments” in life to lift my spirit and heal me a tiny bit mentally from everything that was happening. At this point our house missed window, doors and even walls in some places and money was becoming a problem. The carpenter told us that 1/10 of the mold we had in our ”bedroom” was enough to close down a school or daycare and i some places the ceiling/roof was so full of mold that it was as if there were ”spots of ceiling” between the mold and not the other way around. 

But I still had my hopes up, because I know that in the darkest of places there is always light to be found. It’s been my mindset ever since my childhood and it kept my head above the water many times in life.  And I still felt that there were happiness and beauty and summer and flowers and cool ice cream to enjoy even with the lack of health I was experiencing.

My ”big birthday” was closing in and even though I did not feel my physical best, and somewhat tired mentally and emotionally, we made it so that I could enjoy it anyway. We rented a ”Motorhome” that had space enough for us and all my medicine, photo equipment, a kitchen with refrigerator and a large bed. And off we went! 

Unfortunately we did not get far. After the first hours of driving something happened to me, and without going into all the details of all the illnesses, my body reacted to my medicine like it had 10 times the power and effect in my body. The thing is, Insulin is what keeps me alive, without it I die. But there is also that little thing that if I get too much, I also risk dying. It’s a powerful hormone that no one can live without. But when your body starts reacting to it differently, than it has the previous 30 years with Diabetes, it becomes problematic. And that was basically what happened. To make a really long and excruciating story short, we had to turn back home.


It became too dangerous for me, as dangerous as can be if one wants to living, and we had to realize that there wwere no other options than to go home. To be closer to civilization, hospitals and a proper internet connection. I stood in the sunset, on a hill beside the road in northern Sweden, with soft raindrops falling on my face, the sky burning as the sun went down as I took the decision to go back home. I cried for hours, and we sat in silence most of the drive home. Hubby drove all through the night while trying to be as comforting as he possible could.

I couldn’t sleep or eat, or drink. I felt that it was just too much. I struggled with my mindset and felt that the world was unfair, it was all unfair. I had barely been able to function this summer, could I not just get a moment of piece? 

We went home but due to my problems with my reaction to my medication I was suddenly in a state of something called ”Keto acidosis” which is, shortly described, a state where you’re poisoned from your own body du to lack of insulin. It can get very dangerous very fast and due to me having problem breathing,  I immediately called my medical team for support. At that point they told me to go straight to the emergency ”asap” and as I talked to them over the phone, it felt like my life was spinning faster and faster. Like a tornado of  illnesses and stress were I wasn’t even able to to take care of myself. 

”We cannot do anything for you anymore”. 

It calmed down a bit the coming weeks due to my dad moving in with us as a support for me case something would happen. We live a bit off, with no close neighbors and since I work alone no one would notice if anything were to happened with me. 

A few weeks after that, Magnus and I went to see the chief physician/Endocrinologist to see what could be done in terms of helping me. His answer was simple but the consequences of it was daunting. The words ”We cannot do anything for you anymore”, still echos in my head. 

What does one say after receiving a message like that?  

One of the future ”possible solutions”, or more or less the only solution, that he still did not wanted to recommend due to high mortality during procedure – among many negativ aspects, was a Pancreas transplant. I buried my hands in my face and didn’t want to listen anymore. I just wanted to press pause and give myself some room to breathe.  

Somehow I had ”managed” to develop a ”state” in my body that can best be described as ”brittle Diabetes”. On top of everything else (oh yeah here’s a shot list of the major illnesses); brain injury with chronic fatigue and dizziness due to Stroke, dizziness migraine, chronic pain from Whiplash injury, ”regular migraine” from whiplash, nerve damages, hypothyroidism, Diabetes type  1 – not something you can cure no matter what crazy people tell you, several ”stomach/intestine” illnesses which includes lack of enzyme, IBS and a nerve damage to name the big ones and then now, this brittle Diabetes ”syndrome”.  

The ”brittle Diabetes” makes my blood sugar jump down, or up, as it feels like for no apparent reason. To out it shortly, sometimes 5 units of Insulin is sufficient, sometimes it’s lethal. The only way to make it better, is to make the blood sugar more stable, which is catch 22 since it is almost impossible to make it stable when it’s in this state of ”doing whatever it want’s whenever it wants”.

Just to make it more understandable. It’s like going from 50 km/hours to 350 km/hours in a blink of an eye just by slightly touching the accelerator. And then, when you’re just slowing down to make an exit from the highway, it’s like you hit the brakes with full force. But then the next day, the car runs smoothly as normal and everything works. But you never know when it’s going to work as it should and when it’s not because there are no warning signs to tip you off. And to have this unstable Diabetes shortens your life with many many years, not just 1 or 2 years, but with 20 years, and the quality of life being low during the years you have left. 

So what do you do with that information? 

I’ll tell you what you do.

You break down, and you feel like you cannot take it anymore and that life has no meaning or value at all. And you cry, a lot. And you wonder what has become of you and your dreams. And you lose control and feel detached from everything. And you feel like you are missing out, and that who you are inside is something that is not meant for you. That you are trapped in a body that do not function properly. And then you wish that someone could come and rescue you and just fix things, because it can’t be possible for one little human to sort this out.  

But then it slowly and gradually sink in, what you knew all along. That there is no one coming to rescue you and that you are pretty much all on your own. And when that hits you, the raw truth that there is no one coming to rescue you and that it’s all depending on Y O U, it can either break you or make you realize that if it all depends on you, no one else can fuck it up either. And you might become angry, or even furious and raise up from the aches with all that you have and decide not to quit. Not to give up. You’re not giving up today, not tomorrow and not any other f*cking day in this life that you have been given. 

And there I stood, literally, in what felt like the ashes of my dreams. And I felt weak and vulnerable but strong and fierce, all at the same time. And I decided that it was enough, that I had to put up a plan, a strategy to do what is almost impossible. I had to fully embrace the fact of dying early, the fact that if I can’t sort it out that transplant might be my future. I just had to figure it out and to the impossible, to beat my ”catch 22”.  

”But it always seems impossible, until it’s done”

So for the last weeks, nay Months, I have been planning, praying, talking, thinking, estimating and searching for answers, tips, tricks and anything that you could possibly think of. To do what feels impossible, but it always feels impossible until it’s done. 

And that my lovely friends is where I am at now. I do not know how this will end, but I know that at least I can say that I didn’t give up. I always had some kind of belief, or trust, that it will all turn around and become better from now on. Every time I have shared about my health problems I have always thought that ”this is as worse as it gets”, but then new health problems have added to the mix. I have been hesitant to share details about it all, because I do not want you to feel sorry for me. If anything I want you to feel inspired.

If you are thriving, I am so happy for you, be thankful for that and do not take it for granted. If you are struggling too, remember that you are not alone, do not lose hope and do not start doubting your self worth or your ability to make the best out of the life you have been given.

If you have read this far, I am forever grateful for your time. If you want to watch this in video format, there is a video below. Much love,

Puss & kram /Maria

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Claire
    20 januari, 2019 at 22:03

    Maria,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, inspiring vlog. Your mold exposure is so unfortunate. Please be sure
    to consult with a doctor who has expertise in dealing with mold toxicity even if you have remediated your home.
    You may want to look for someone who understands CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) or biotoxin illness. They should be used to dealing with patients with multiple chronic illnesses.
    God bless you on your journey,
    Claire

  • Reply
    Jasmine
    20 januari, 2019 at 23:33

    Men jösses, ojojoj, vilken kämpe du är! All kärlek till dig 💕

  • Reply
    Lori
    21 januari, 2019 at 02:13

    Maria. I too wondered about some of the exacerbations of your illnesses being mold related. I have seen some people have some really bad health issues that were related to mold. Wouldn’t hurt to check it out. Wishing you blessings and healing.

  • Reply
    Anita Sullivan
    21 januari, 2019 at 07:42

    Dear Maria,
    You are truly a sweet and wise woman. Never lose heart. My daughter has type 1 diabetes as well and has had it since she was 2 years old she is now 24 years old. Can you get a continuous glucose meter. This will allow you to see your blood sugars rise and fall before you have reactions.I am sure your doctor will prescribe one for you. I have a cousin in Norway and she has one. We live in Canada. There is a Doctor in the US who is working on a pump that delivers insulin to and glucagon, its in the trail stage and has had very encouraging results. I reach out over the thousands of miles and send you love, encouragement and prayers for your health. Please know that you are never alone. I have really enjoyed your videos they have brought such light and beauty to me and your followers. My family moved to Canada
    from Norway when I was just a toddler so watching your video makes me fill connected to my scandinavian roots. I really want you to keep up with you videos, I believe that it will be good for your spirit. Remember that this life on earth is just temporary but just think what beauty and wonder lies ahead for us in eternity. Keep letting your beautiful light shine. You are a ray of hope,
    Puss og klem,
    Anita Sullivan 🙏💖🇨🇦

  • Reply
    Angelene Kuchta
    21 januari, 2019 at 16:18

    I will be praying for you. God loves you and sickness is not from Him. If you dont personally know Jesus, that you would come to know Him.
    Jesus heals.

  • Reply
    Angela Carpenter
    22 januari, 2019 at 06:08

    Dear Maria,
    I only recently came across your videos when one of them popped up in the sidebar while I was surfing youtube. I couldn’t help but click and watch because the pretty red house in the crisp white snow reminded me of my dear grandmothers house up north in Pennsylvania. I felt an immediate kindred spirit with you as you showed your beautiful little village in Sweden. I too love God’s creation, wide open countrysides, and most of all getting my hands dirty while working in the garden. You have a special gift that only God can give in the way that you film beauty and make it so that the viewer feels as though they are right there with you. I was saddened to hear that you are struggling with so many medical issues, but also glad to hear that you are a fighter. I know how hard it is to find answers to medical questions. It seems like the more advanced that medicine becomes, the less that they really know. I noticed that you suffer from IBS, and I have done much research on that topic because of emergency surgery years ago that required having a huge portion of my intestines removed. The absorption of so many vital requirements for health stem from that part of your body. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you go through these difficult times. Remember that you are never alone, for you are a child of God and he loves you and knows all of your needs. If you ever feel down and would like to hear a wonderful pastor who speaks with an endearing Scottish brogue, you might find comfort in his teachings of Gods word here. https://www.truthforlife.org A very humble and gifted man who has been teaching me Gods truths for years now, and whose messages have given me hope in some really dark days that I’ve been through. God bless you and keep your chin up.

  • Reply
    Snickis-Sara
    22 januari, 2019 at 17:58

    Vi känner inte varandra men din text berör väldigt och får mig att tänka på vad som är viktigt i livet. Jag önskar att du och alla andra som behöver kämpa så där hårt finner ro och mening i tillvaron där ni får lite vila. Du har en viktig blogg som får en att både tänka och känna. Vacker i både ord och bild. Många kramar till dig och massa hopp om bättring på alla fronter

  • Reply
    Margit Sramek-Olsen
    24 januari, 2019 at 19:28

    Dear Maria, I would like to do something for you, if you want. I would go out into the woods with my shamanic drum and sing an intuitive healing song for you. But I can only do this if it´s okay with you. If you don´t answer, I take if for a ”no”. However, all the best wishes to you!

  • Reply
    sarah
    24 januari, 2019 at 21:47

    I just wanted to point you in the direction of Sergio Magana Ocelocoyotl and the tools and information he teaches (Workshops of Obsidian Mirror, Chess board, and any dreaming workshops – any really as they are all concerned with destroying unwanted energy and creating ’energy’ that is wanted and can be all used for health. The testimony’s are many regarding people healing themselves completely from acute positions. His books ’Caves of Power’ (healing techniques), ’The Toltec Secret’ ancient dreaming techniques for changing your life). You have nothing to lose and implementing the techniques accordingly, making part of your daily routine could open and close doors you could not even begin to imagine. His work comes from oral linages of precise cosmological mathematics stretching back 30,000 into ancient Mexico.

  • Reply
    Anonym
    25 januari, 2019 at 08:22

    http://meatheals.com/

  • Reply
    Floki
    25 januari, 2019 at 23:12

    Dear Maria,

    Jonna talked about you in her video. I would definitely recommend exploring a spiritual aspect of your condition.

    Few years ago I had this painful experience. A person with a cancer asked me to meet for coffee. He had surgery and was undergoing chemotherapy. I did not know him very well and did not really know what to say in this situation but saying no
    was not an option for me. I knew he did not want to feel alone. I kept meeting him for almost a year. He used to say that I was the only person he could relax with because I treated him like a normal guy and not a cancer patient like his family.

    I wondered why this was happening to him. He was a very positive, friendly, ready to help others person. He had a happy, healthy family, nice house in a lovely area, good job. It started dawning on me that these positive circumstances kept him stuck. His illness was a call to look beyond them and my role was to point him to a spiritual dimension of reality. Severe existential suffering made me explore spirituality for many years in an attempt to relieve it. He had glimpses of what I tried
    to convey to him but to the end he firmly believed that modern medicine was the only real solution.

    I was surprised to find a vast body of literature describing how people survived conditions modern medicine considers undoubtedly terminal. One of the books that impressed me most was written by Anita Moorjani: ”Dying to be me – My journey from cancer, to near death, to true healing”. Doctors expected her to be dead the next day and she spontaneously recovered.

    You have nothing to loose exploring this subject. Remember, this is not necessarily about being positive or a fighter.
    This is about realizing that the reality perceivable with our five senses, is only a small subsection of a vast spiritual reality.
    Sincerely ask for guidance. There is a tremendous amount of spiritual junk out there as well. If you do not like a word God,
    use the notion of Higher Power as you understand it, just like 12-steps groups world-wide do. May God bless you.

  • Reply
    Christina
    26 januari, 2019 at 00:58

    Hello, Maria,
    I would like to recommend to you the use of a free style libre sensor instead of having to prick your fingers for blood every day.I had it for a while and it was such a relief, very eeasy to use and you can measure as many times a day as you want.It is expensive, but maybe you get it free with your illness, I dont know the Swedish health system I wish you from the bottom of my heart that you find a cure! Love fro Christina

  • Reply
    Wilda
    26 januari, 2019 at 22:17

    Tårarna strömmar. Av medkännande, av din kamp och ditt mod, av igenkänning och tacksamhet. Av hopp. Du gör mig mindre ensam i världen. Jag kan inte förstå vilken kamp du går och har gått igenom, men jag känner så mycket kärlek för dig. Du får mig att påminnas om det som är viktigt i livet, och hur min relation till mig själv kan göra all skillnad i det. Jag hoppas med allt jag kan att du hittar ett sätt att balansera, och om det är någon som kan det så tror jag att det är du. All kärlek <3

  • Reply
    STJÄRNÖGONBLICK ☆164 | gemenskap och Kronskogen. | REAKTIONISTA
    27 januari, 2019 at 06:01

    […]    Maria berättar öppet och med hjärta om de tuffa odds hon kämpar mot idag. Tårarna strömmade genom inlägget och videoklippet (rekommenderar verkligen att se hela videon) […]

  • Reply
    Joni Barrott
    27 januari, 2019 at 10:56

    Hello Maria,
    Thank you for the courage to share your challenges and be so frank with your feelings. How you have responded to your health challenges is amazing. Your story reminded me of the fear, panic, and despair my husband and I felt when a week after our son was born, we were told he had severe heart defects (with a high mortality rate) & he would require several surgeries…it was bleak, & we were devastated. To make this short, my son is now 21, all survived.

    What I wanted to share with you are the crystal clear moments I remember in our ”nether-land” of not knowing if he would live, are now the times I treasure the most, remembering my decision to forget what was ahead of us; and live in the present. Happy for today to love my baby. When I was able to silence my inner dragon voices, those days were some of the most peaceful of my life. I wish you the same opportunities to silence your fears and remember that all of us only have today!

    To your health!
    All my best
    JoniB

  • Reply
    Att balansera studietid och fritid. | REAKTIONISTA
    28 januari, 2019 at 06:01

    […] ovan, från Mahatma Gandhi, blev jag påmind om av Maria i hennes hjärtskärande och hoppingivande berättelse. Jag har känt mig ur balans på ett nytt sätt i januari och jag tror att det handlar mycket om […]

  • Reply
    Erika
    29 januari, 2019 at 13:14

    Så viktig video. Jag grät mig igenom delar av den och förstår att du gått igenom stora prövningar men kan inte förstå vidden av dem. Jag tror på dig och önskar innerligt att din diabetes ”förstår” att det är du som ska bestämma!
    Jag tar med mig en känsla av att jag själv bestämmer hur mitt liv ska se ut.
    Din video kommer jag se flera gånger. Påminna mig själv om vad som är viktigt – om jag mot förmodan skulle komma på villovägar. Tack!
    Stor kram och många hejarop! <3

  • Reply
    Lillian
    29 januari, 2019 at 16:15

    Fina, fina Maria! Så fruktansvärt tråkigt att läsa att ditt 2018 var så tungt och full av prövningar. Själv har jag haft ett fruktansvärt 2018 men det finns grader i helvetet helt klart. Jag tänker på dig och hoppas du kan få en liten lättnad, om så bara för en ynka liten stund. Det är de där små stunderna som ibland gör att man orkar vidare.
    Stor kram till dig!

  • Reply
    Gwennie
    9 februari, 2019 at 20:15

    I really think you’re a strong women to let us see your frangibility. It takes a lot of courage to show this to us.
    When our son was very ill a couple of years ago, I noticed that the frankness about our feelings was much better then to pretend you are every day strong.

    I wish you all the health and strength you need.

    And as Leonard Cohen said in his beautiful song Anthem: There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

  • Reply
    Carolyn Lau
    24 oktober, 2019 at 22:48

    Maria, God bless you and keep you. May you be healed in Jesus name and give you strength 🙏❣️

  • Reply
    Carol Nijbroek
    16 november, 2019 at 22:50

    Hi Maria,

    I recently came across your vlogs and I just love them. You are such an inspiration – someone once said this and I think it applies to you: you are a spirit having a human experience. As much as I too struggle with diabetes – seeing you fight your way through makes me believe that anything and everything is possible.
    Please take care of yourself and know that there are so many of us out here on the internet rooting for you and sending you healing vibes.

    Love, Carol

  • Reply
    Brinda
    5 december, 2019 at 19:27

    Oh dear, I just came across your Y.T. channel, and at some point I got redirected here. But as everything happens with a reason, I think I have been guided to read your story as myself I’ve been struggling with some autoimmune disorders that make my life very hard. But I decide to take my life in my own hand, studying how can I help myself more than the doctors did. And so I’ve discovered that functional medicine is the one who really can help! Which is why, this book changed my life: https://www.amazon.com/Autoimmune-Solution-Spectrum-Inflammatory-Symptoms/dp/0062347489. A book written by a sick doctor who turned herself from traditional medicine to functional one, in order to be able to live a normal life. And now she helps others too. With very good results! It worth trying! No effort is too big for our wellness. Wish you all the best from Romania 😘

  • Reply
    Mary
    7 december, 2019 at 20:31

    Hello Maria, I discovered you channel on YouTube just today. I have sympathy for anyone who is suffering from issues with the pancreas. My pancreatic duct was blocked for a little while by sludge from the gall bladder. I had a very mild, chronic pancreatitis, but it showed me what a challenging world others with larger pancreatic issues live in. I am wondering how you are doing now, and would like to hear an update. I very much hope that things are going well. I will wish you all the health and happiness for 2020, because we are so very close to the end of 2019 now!

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