top of page

Lessons on Health from an Imperfect Health Coach

Karla Mans Giroux

I hate to admit it, but I have a cold. It’s not horrible but it is slowing me down. The reason I hate to admit it is because I pride myself on being a very healthy, health coach…and on having a very strong immune system despite my cancer treatment meds which decrease my white blood cell (WBC) count. I have been on these drugs since 2015 and I’ve only had a couple colds/illnesses since then. I know because if I get sick and have a fever, I must be very careful. It could land me in the hospital.

Only one of those illnesses came with a fever and so I had to have a blood test to see how low my WBC was. Luckily it was not low enough to land me in the hospital…but it sure did kick my butt for a week or so and it ended up having a significant impact on my sense of smell! In some ways that is good (I have a husband and 2 sons after all ;-0) but in other ways it isn’t so good (diminishes my sense of taste).

Anyway, this illness is mild, and I intend to keep it that way, but I’m bummed I couldn’t fend it off completely. Logically I know this is not a sign of weakness or failure but it kind of feels like that to me. I’m a health coach and Radical Remission coach and teacher. All the healing factors of Radical Remission essentially increase the immune system so the body can heal itself. I live my life this way!

I am now reminding myself that I am human…and that means I am not perfect. Even if I have training and certification in how to be a health coach, I can still get sick. Germs are tricky little things…and I was just at the hospital for my bi-annual scans. As we all know, there is no better place to find germs than at the hospital!

As a health coach I know I need to listen to my body and heed the messages.  It started to talk to me on Wednesday night. I was feeling tired, and my eyes couldn’t focus so I went to bed early. As I got into bed, I felt a woozy vertigo-like feeling as I laid down. I knew what that meant as I had experienced it before. It meant I needed to slow down and take it easy. Vertigo indicates a loss of balance and grounding. So, I slept in the next day and started using some grounding essential oils.

My body was telling me to take it slow and easy and I was trying to listen. I was fine until Friday afternoon at Pilates Reformer class when I had another bout of woozy vertigo-like feeling. My instructor asked if I was having any sinus issues. No, nothing going on with my sinuses. She suggested a yoga technique called Lion’s breath to help move the crystals in the inner ear back in place.

What I realized later was that the vertigo-like feeling actually meant more than just slowdown, which I didn’t remember until the actual cold symptoms showed up on Saturday morning. Now I remember! Last time I had the vertigo-like feeling it preceded a nasty cold & sore throat! How could I have forgotten that? Maybe because it was over a year ago and who wants to remember the details of being sick? And it’s weird to have the woozy vertigo feeling before there are any other symptoms (and still I have no sinus symptoms!?). Odd, but something to take note of and remember going forward that is for sure!

I immediately started some natural cold remedies – extra vitamin C and vitamin D, oregano and OnGuard essential oil, hot tea, lots of water. Later that day a trip to my natural health food store for some Zinc and supercharged echinacea. Another early to bed night (sorry about date night honey!). I slept for 12 hours and awoke feeling no worse…which is a blessing. Worse is not desirable.

I continued to go slow and easy, but I didn’t want to miss out on the sunshine and 55-degree day in Chicagoland, so I took a short walk with hubby and the dogs. Vitamin Sunshine is good for anything that ails you! The rest of the day I enjoyed the sunshine from inside and opened the windows for a little while to let some fresh clean air into the house while I lounged around and read.

Since I am in active cancer treatment, I knew I better go see my doctor to ensure something bad wasn’t brewing. So, on Monday morning I made the call and got in there. Turns out I have a sinus infection. My nose, throat and fluid on my ears all indicate as much. However, I don’t have any real sinus symptoms! I have sneezed a few times and have a little nasal drip but it sure is odd that I’m barely symptomatic. The vertigo-like wooziness seems to be my body telling me it’s back there!

The lesson for me was not to beat myself up and expect perfection. Even a health coach who lives a mostly plant-based healthy lifestyle can still get sick! Instead, I’m going to applaud myself for taking note of the signal from my body & slowing down, getting extra rest, having some natural remedies on hand, and getting more natural remedies to ensure my illness moves on as quickly as possible. I’m still healthy and strong and have an amazing immune system. Just think what this could have done to me if I wasn’t as strong as I am! 

I did my research on sinus infections and natural remedies today and I’m adding my neti pot, garlic, and fresh ginger tea to the self-care I’m doing. That antibiotic prescription the doctor gave me won’t do any good unless this turns out to last a couple weeks which would indicate a bacterial infection. I’m not going to mess with my carefully maintained microbiome health for a mild sinus infection!

My message for you - take care of yourself, listen to your body’s messages, don’t accept antibiotics when they aren’t needed, and let me know if you would like the help of an imperfect health coach to get on top of your health goals! 

Schedule your Discovery session with me or Coach Liz. 

If you want help building up your immune system join us for a Radical Remission workshop or join our Thriver Membership and take advantage of the Healthy Habits Chat with me or the Functional Nutrition Talk with Coach Lisa.

In peace, love and health,


70 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Dear Karla,

I wish you early recovery. I realized how sleep is important and my sleep is disturbed by my neighbor. I am trying to get some sleep. You are an amazing coach and very strong the way you handle your cold. I am sending you lots of positive energy to heal perfectly. With lots of love and gratitude. Hitomi

bottom of page