Stories of Triumph
Gregor Martin bio,
I was diagnosed at age 18 in 2002 with Crohn’s Disease. It falls into the Inflammatory Bowel Disease family.
I showed all of the symptoms associated with Crohn’s Disease. In the beginning of 2004 through the end of 2006, the disease became debilitating, and started to destroy my life. I felt like I was being held hostage inside of my own home. I could not be out in public for more than 10-15 minutes at a time without having to run to a bathroom. Trying to keep a job was more problems than anything else. Beyond the embarrassment attached to my condition, when I did attempt to explain my situation, I was either eventually asked to leave, or I was just fired on the spot. In 2007, I was retested by another gastrointestinal doctor who determined that I have Ulcerative Colitis, not Crohn’s Disease.
The doctors decided to pump me with numerous types of drugs to help reduce my symptoms. My intestines got more inflamed and I lost more weight than I ever had before. I went from 185 pounds to 102 pounds. The doctor's advised me to hold off on surgery. They told me they could use other drugs that might put my symptoms in remission. I decided to ignore them and go forward with doing the surgery, and begin the process of rebuilding my life.
My first ileostomy surgery was in October 2007. Seven months later, the doctor reversed the ileostomy. Within three months from the reverse ileostomy, my symptoms returned. I decided to go back into surgery to have a permanent colostomy in September 2009. Now, I'm here in 2014, living better and stronger than I ever have before. I’ve had to make several changes in my life, but one of my major issues was having to tape my body up to take a shower. Not being able to take a nice, long shower was not an easy pill to swallow, and not one I was willing to digest. That's when I decided to invent the Shower Guard in 2013.
Change can lead to a pivotal point in our lives. It can be the proverbial fork in the road, and the choice you make can mean everything. It's how you handle your change that will determine your outcome. You can always overcome change if it's not in your favor, just stand strong, find a support system, and believe in yourself, and believe that you can EMPOWER YOUR CHANGE TM.
Gregor Martin, CEO & Founder
EMPOWER YOUR CHANGE TM
Three years ago I found myself unexplainably ill. I had inexplicable fevers and chills, at first. Then I began to have difficulty walking. Black and blue marks were all over my body and I had gained 10 pounds seemingly overnight. Then, everything began to hurt and I was tired ALL of the time. I could barely make a 7-minute drive to the doctor without falling asleep on myself.
I went back and forth to doctors who did test after test. Because I had a systemic disease it was hard to pinpoint a diagnosis—they could only tell me bits and pieces. At 32 I had arthritis, calcifications in my soft tissue, was borderline diabetic, had high cholesterol and a high autoantibody count (which means there was evidence of autoimmune disease activity). My body was turning on itself. This went on for months. My insurance expired before I could ever really find out what was wrong.
Eventually my body came back to some semblance of normal and I could maintain. During the time that I was sick I did a lot of research to find out what was going on with me and though the doctors couldn’t diagnose me, I knew that it wasn’t in my head. Based on what I read I made decisions to change my diet and certain things about my lifestyle and I got better. However, I would did get sick again—though never to the degree that I was sick in 2012. When I got insurance again I was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissues Disease (which is an overlap of 3 connective tissue diseases). Lupus symptoms are the most predominant for me.
I was prescribed medicine to help, but for me, “This is what people take. It is traditionally used to prevent Malaria. We don’t know why it works and it will take about 6 months to take effect and there’s a chance that you could lose your eyesight, but it helps people” was not sufficient. I never took the medicine. Instead I made holistic life changes—taking sugar, gluten and dairy out of my diet and adding other things such as meditation and yoga to my life to help keep myself balanced and stress free. In addition, I avoid known triggers such as the sun and stress.
Although, I still have ups and downs, I am well today. In fact, I’ve recently completed a doctoral degree in Psychology, obtained a teaching job at a University and started doing private practice psychotherapy on the side. One of my recent accomplishments—something I’ve wanted to do for a while—is the launch of my self-help book series called, “Tools for Living.”
I regularly help people find balance in the ways that I did through counseling, life-coaching, motivational speaking and my books (which can be found on Amazon), Get Your Life: A Quick and Easy Guide to Writing Personal Mission and Vision Statements to Live the Life of Your Dreams and The Journey In.
If interested, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org