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Six-Year Anniversary

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A few days ago was my sixth anniversary of getting HPPD. Crazy to think I've been making this post every year for the last six years. As I noted in my Five-Year Anniversary post my life has changed in ways I could have never imagined. The past calendar year has been the craziest of my life and I'm sure many feel that same way due to Covid. I did want to post a quick update as I've had a bit of a setback with my symptoms...

Long story short I had to take two courses of antibiotics in February and then had a major allergic reaction to a cosmetic product I used for a few weeks which left me in the worst state I've been in for quite some time, probably three years or so. I suffered exposure to mold in 2019 and had a major reoccurrence of symptoms for about four to six months but eventually got over that. This recent episode was worse however and illustrates the fragility of the brain post-HPPD. I guess this is my major takeaway after six years of dealing with this condition and essentially achieving close to a full recovery: Once you've gotten HPPD your brain is compromised from there on out. Yes full recoveries are totally possible and I truly believe as long as you live a healthy lifestyle immediately following HPPD and don't do drugs that most people can get there with a lot of hard work; however it's just really important to keep in mind that once your brain suffers a serious injury it's going to create antibodies and an entire defense system that will react similarly down the road to anything it perceives as a threat. I've mentioned before that I think there's some aspect of autoimmunity to HPPD and I think this is why. Once the body encounters a threat to the system it mounts an entire strategy of defense for future threat of a similar variety. This is why you can't do drugs after you get HPPD, nor can you ingest toxins or suffer other diseases without having a major setback. 

The good news is because I've come so far with my recovery I'm always able to bounce back from my setbacks. I truly believe there's a large aspect of inflammation to HPPD and that as long as you live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle (eating clean, exercising, low stress, lots of sunshine, etc.) your brain will eventually cool off and rid itself of toxic overload and corresponding autoimmunity. In my experience there's always been a direct correlation between inflammation in my brain and body and exacerbation of HPPD symptoms, which is why I've suspected the original onset of HPPD is some kind of autoimmune reaction to drugs due to poor brain health and pre-existing inflammation of some kind. 

Anyhow, I hope this post is still uplifting. I consider myself a success story with regards to this condition and have worked tirelessly for six years now getting my mind and body back to full health. I have succeeded, however I've also had major health challenges aside from HPPD that have set me back from time to time. Similar to everything in life my HPPD seems to follow a larger pattern of contraction and expansion, growth and decay, health and disease, etc. This is just the nature of dealing with a chronic health condition, especially one that originates in the brain. I will recover from this current episode because I'm already well on my way to feeling normal again and I've done this so many times before, however I do hope whoever reads this understands that you absolutely cannot take your brain and health for granted once you get HPPD. You absolutely have to tread lightly and be careful with how you live your life. You cannot put your body and health in danger by doing stupid stuff and not taking care of yourself and eating terribly and not exercising and so on. To recover from HPPD and to stay recovered takes constant maintenance and discipline. This isn't to say you can't have fun and enjoy life of course, just that you need to be careful far more than you ever were prior to HPPD. To be honest I feel the reason I've had this current setback is because I thought I was completely healed and could live a bit of a reckless lifestyle like I did when I was younger which is what got me HPPD in the first place. So in a way I'm very thankful I've had this recurrence as a reminder of how I need to life moving forward. 

Hope to check back in for Year 7 and until then I hope everyone is staying healthy and doing everything they can to regenerate and recover.

-- K.B. 


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