So what does ‘Superwoman’ do when she is in pain? She calls ‘Supermom,' of course! We don’t take the phrase ‘Superwoman’ lightly when we describe Danielle, and when you hear her speak of all her passions, the number of classes she teaches and physical prowess she exhibits daily, it is hard to imagine this is the same Danielle who also has Lyme Disease, Bartonella, Epstein’s Bar Syndrome, Chronic Migraines, “a couple of viruses” and mycoplasma infections.
This makes you stop and think, “she must be Superwoman?”
And this ‘super’ gene does not just run in her veins, that is as clear as her family ties are. Her mother has been a beacon of light throughout her journey, which started at a young age, as it does for so many chronic pain patients. However, she wasn’t diagnosed for years to come, and her mom played a significant role in advocating her health battle with her.
Speaking more with Danielle, we also learn a trick or two to try ourselves. She describes a detailed Migraine Routine she practices when she feels her Chronic Migraine pushing past her baseline pain level and elaborates on her Blue Ridge Hemp and self-care routine, which gets us excited to try some of these steps ourselves!
However, it is not just her chronic pain wisdom, unstoppable force, and deep family roots that get us hooked; it’s how all these elements come together full circle and create a beautiful, sometimes bittersweet harmony in her life.
From how she battled a mental block and refused to leave University to take time to heal to now being a qualified Yoga Instructor and getting her Lyme Disease diagnosis, these elements weave together in Danielle’s journey almost how the viruses her body battles daily have weaved their way into her cells.
We can’t quite speak about Danielle without speaking about the people who have been on this journey with her. Her mom comes up a lot during our conversation. Her mom is the one who wouldn’t give up when Danielle was a teenager going through misdiagnosed ‘growing pains’ and who said, “this pain is not normal.” It turned out she was right; it was Bartonella. An illness caused by a bacterium, often undiagnosed; symptoms include extreme joint pains, which Danielle experienced.
This was only one of many things battling Danielle’s immune system. Living (undiagnosed) with Lyme Disease and Bartonella put her on a rollercoaster ride with her health with medical professionals trying to diagnose her with everything from depression, to anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia.
“I’m not crazy, but I feel crazy.” Danielle shares and her doctors responded by giving her more pills. When in fact, Lyme Disease and Bartonella often mimic depression.
And so Danielle’s roller coaster continued, with her body rejecting medication upon medication until she had come to a point where she had nearly taken them all.
Intertwined at this stage was the battle she was facing with chronic migraines since her freshman year in high school and it took years of herself and her parents fighting and advocating for her health before she got the correct diagnosis.
Like many other chronic pain and invisible illness patients, she had been misdiagnosed to the point of exhaustion, but she had ‘Super-team’ on her side, and they didn’t give up, which becomes more evident during our conversation.
If it hadn’t been for her Danielle’s mom’s relentless advocating for her health, Danielle might have been in a much different place in her life right now.
When Danielle was a sophomore at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she got sicker than the years before and during her freshman year her symptoms grew even worse. Days passed of her hugging her toilet and not being able to do anything for herself. This is where her mom, Debbie, also now known as Supermom, stepped in and came all the way from Florida to Alabama to be at her daughter’s side for weeks at a time.
However, Danielle admits that she was stubborn and as most people who experience chronic pain or invisible illness, did not want to have the illness win. Of course, surrendering to her illness wasn’t what she needed to start her healing journey, however, a diagnosis was something she did desperately need.
She realized this and went for MRIs, CT scans, and any test you can think of, but still, the doctors wouldn’t listen to her story.
“They’re not listening.”
At that time, doctors in the State of Alabama didn’t diagnose patients with Lyme Disease as it wasn’t present in the State. This was, however, another part of her health battle that Danielle needed to fight, and she protested with doctors, falling on deaf ears, explaining how she has visited and lived in States with Lyme Disease.
Sometimes, enough is enough, and Danielle called her mom.
“I need your help.”
Still stubborn and not wanting to leave University, battling her own health battle and the emotional battle that brings, Danielle’s mother made the tough decision to pull her from University and take her back home to Florida.
“One step at a time.”
An affirmation Danielle's mom, Debbie, has repeatedly told Danielle since childhood. This is one of two family affirmations Danielle keeps close to her. This is also the first tattoo she ever got, tattooed on the inside of her foot, making it visible to herself when she does the Yoga Warrior pose.
It is something that she still has to remind herself of often, and especially during the process of accepting her diagnosis and creating a life that she didn’t necessarily plan on.
Danielle, Blue Ridge Hemp, and Her Family
Her connection with her family runs deep and is visible throughout her story, even when it comes to using our Blue Ridge Hemp Products.
Inspired by one of her Instagram friends, Rachel, Danielle started following Blue Ridge Hemp on Instagram and after a while of debate decided to order the CBD Infused Gel & Salve Bundle and “immediately, from the first couple of days [I] was feeling results.”
Being the natural giver that she is, she shared some of her products with her mom and dad, and soon her mom started ordering products for them. Her mom has a deviated septum and is currently trying out the CBD Infused Roll-On Essential Oil Blend Breathe Easy & Concentrate; she also uses the Gel & Salve Bundle for Sciatic pain management and her dad uses it for the management of the pain in his feet caused by Diabetes.
You’d think that is #BlueRidgeHempFamilyGOALS, but similar to #TeamBlueRidgeHemp, Danielle and her family always have something up their sleeve. In this case, it was sending her grandma a CBD Infused Roll-On Essential Oil Blend Joint Care which she is trying out on her hands and reports say, she loves it!
Danielle, Yoga, Pilates, Lifting Weights and the List Goes On…
Danielle keeps herself busy, very busy, teaching various classes a day at a gym she loves, seven days a week! Although she completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Program, Yoga isn’t all she teaches. She also teaches Pilates, lifts weights six days a week and practices yoga daily.
“Yoga is my first love.”
Coincidentally, her 200-hour YTT Program was gifted to her by her mom, dad, grandmother, and uncle. All now using Blue Ridge Hemp products, except her uncle, who will soon be testing the samples they sent him.
Danielle used yoga to overcome the mental block she faced when she had to move back home after leaving University, being an A+ student all her life, she wasn’t sure how this new picture of moving back in with her parents and not having a degree fit into her plan.
So she turned to yoga. She went to different studios and gyms, and after two years and various people asking her why she didn’t teach, she decided to make that switch in her life.
In overcoming so much pain, she brings a ray of sunlight into the conversation. She also makes you temporarily forget that she is in any pain at all. This is merely due to her positive attitude towards life and the active way she has decided to embrace it.
“Today might be horrible, my day might be horrible, but my students who are about to walk into my class, their day might be ten times worse, and it is not my job to make it even worse, it is my job to teach them yoga and be able to make their day better. I have to set it aside… I’m allowed to have my bad day in an hour, right now, THEY’RE allowed to have their bad day.”
Superwomen Self Care
Danielle is all about self-care! And Sundays, like Blue Ridge Hemp’s Self Care Sundays, are Danielle’s day for self-care! Her routine involves dry brushing, a shower, oil pulling, using some of her favorite cosmetic products, various essential oils and ending it with her Blue Ridge Hemp products.
Her Migraine Routine
For Danielle, she experiences blurred vision with her migraines, and she has a routine she follows when she feels one coming on. This includes finding the darkest and quietest place, turning the temperature down, massaging her CBD Infused Roll-On Essential Oil Blend Headache & Stress into her forehead and temples and rubbing the CBD Infused Roll-On Essential Oil Blend Calm & Relax into her neck and feet. After this, she lays on her back, with her legs elevated against a wall (similar to a Sleeping Tiger or Shoulder Stand) so that it changes the direction of the blood flow and she just breathes.
Blue Ridge Hemp Routine
Due to her health and scent sensitivity, Danielle had to test each of our products individually to ensure she doesn’t react to it. There are many things in this world she does react to, and many her body doesn’t accommodate, such as most medications, food dyes, gluten, and dairy. Lucky, Blue Ridge Hemp Products aren’t part of that.
She uses the CBD Infused Organic Hand & Body Lotion on her tattoos, and it is the first lotion that doesn’t have an adverse reaction. Danielle also uses the CBD Infused Gel and Salve all over her knees and hips, especially since she feels constant pulling on all her tendons and muscles and as shared by her:
“When I Have the product on, I feel better at teaching, with everything relaxed, I feel safer doing it.”
She loves the Salve the most and applies it all over all her joints every night, elbows, ankles, knees; you name it!
Another go-to is the CBD Infused Roll-On Essential Oil Blend Calm & Relax which she applies before she goes to sleep and Danielle has even taken a tip from Roxy’s ‘story’ and started applying her Headache & Stress Roll-On before bed to manage her migraines.
Something she shares is, had it not been for her pain or illness, she probably wouldn’t have ended up being an Instructor at a gym and discovering her love for yoga and mindfulness. This whole journey has led her to exactly where she needed to be in life.
And one of the biggest things we learn about Danielle:
“I am a lot more than just my pain and my viruses; I have Lyme disease, I have chronic pain, I am not chronic pain, it is a part of me, but it doesn't define me…”