At the end of 2020 I had a health scare, and for the first time in my life, I was worried about my health. Pretty appropriate and typical that it happened in 2020- seemed like the year for everything to go wrong. This was the cherry on top for me…
In November of 2020, I was rushed to the Emergency room for severe abdominal pain that affected my entire body. I first thought it was just cramps or food poisoning, anything but what it was. I just finished a hike and was driving home and felt like I was going to faint in my car. I was praying that I would just get home in time before anything happened. I got home and was doubled over on my couch and floor for hours refusing to go to the hospital, and convinced that I had the flu or some sort of stomach bug (which I’ve never had in my life, but definitely didn’t think it was anything serious). My stomach pain was so severe it affected my entire body- I had intense back pain I couldn’t even stand or walk, I was achey all over, dizzy, and felt lightheaded and nauseous. I refused to go to the hospital because I have an extreme phobia of anything clinical (I definitely have the white coat syndrome). I have never been to the hospital for anything in my life, and literally go to the doctor every 7-8 years because of my fear of it (I know that’s horrible). After 4 hours of suffering and being stubborn, I finally was convinced to go at around 10pm.
When I got to the hospital, I was so freaked out I knew it was inevitable I was going to faint. I ran outside the ER room doors to get some fresh air to at least faint outside, but before I could faint I vomited. That was the moment I knew something definitely wasn’t right because I rarely ever throw up. They admitted me, and after hours of testing (CT Scans, blood tests, Ultra sounds etc), I was diagnosed with an Ovarian Cyst Rupture. I was discharged from the hospital at 4am and was super uncomfortable the next day at home, but at least I had peace of mind knowing what caused the pain. Unfortunately, it wasn’t over yet- I got a bunch of calls from the hospital the following day to rush back because the radiologist also found appendicitis and told me I had to come back right away for possibly emergency surgery.
They ended up doing the surgery that day and took out my appendix. They also told me they found lesions and tangled blood vessels around my liver, so they scheduled an MRI once I recovered from surgery. And to top it all off, while they were doing the surgery the surgeon also discovered I had Endometriosis. I felt like I had so much happening at once….it was shocking and overwhelming.
I started doing an immense amount of research. I still don’t know what the cause was for everything (do we ever really know?), but I do know it motivated me to live a healthier lifestyle. Traveling for a living for the past 6 years definitely took a toll on my body and lifestyle. During Covid, I also gained some weight which didn’t make me feel great. On top of both of those things, I have had stomach and digestive issues my whole life- I have been living with constipation since the day I was born. My friends and family would call me an alien, and would always joke about where the food would go because I never went to the bathroom and ate more than most grown men. My entire life I have been able to eat what I want, and it wasn’t until this past year that I felt my body starting to change. After my health scare, it was enough for me to try and find the root of my problem. For the first time in my life, I knew something had to be done- I needed a HARD reset.
I had heard about We Care Spa for years through some friends. It was a place that had been in the back of my mind for awhile and I have always been wanting to go. I thought going into 2021 would be the perfect time to finally do it.
To say it was life changing would be an understatement. I felt like I learned more about health and my body in a week at the spa then in my entire life! I was there for 5 nights on the “Plan B Package”. You are on a complete liquid fast during your my time at the spa, and before and after your stay there are “pre & post fast requirements”. You guys know my love for food is infinite- it’s why I started this blog in the first place. This blog was originally a food blog I started back in 2009 for my passion for the culinary world, and it has now evolved into many other topics that are relevant to my life. I started to think food may be the reason I was having such trouble in the first place…
(I feel really bad to blame it all one food because I don’t think that’s the only reason- everyone is built differently and I have had constipation issues my whole life, which is probably my biggest problem of all).
Before going to We Care Spa, I ordered at home food sensitivity test kits, gut health tests etc. I wanted to see if I could find out any info based on my gut health and foods I may be allergic or sensitive to. My food sensitivity test came back and I wasn’t highly sensitive to any foods. I had mild sensitivity to some foods but nothing significant enough for me to never eat them again. It’s just good to keep in mind moving forward. I also did an at-home gut health test with “Thryve”, which I am currently waiting on results for.
I usually never travel or go anywhere by myself. But I knew I wanted to experience the spa alone, and really allow myself the time to reflect, relax, and reset. We Care Spa is located in Desert Hot Springs, California and there is something magical about it being in the desert. The desert represents peace and serenity for me. It’s the perfect place for a detox retreat. For the 5 days I was there, I did several treatments like digestive massages, colonics, LED Cell Rejuvenation, Magnesium Detox Wraps and more. There is an extensive spa menu with plenty of options for detoxification and relaxation. Everyone working at the spa goes out of their way to accommodate and make you feel comfortable, and they are all super knowledgeable about health and the body. I thought I was going to struggle to not have solid food for 5 days, but it was surprisingly easy. I got all the nutrients I needed in what I was drinking and I didn’t even really miss eating. The hardest part for me was the “pre & post” fasts. 3-4 days before and after your stay at the spa, they suggest you to only eat fruits and raw/steamed vegetables. There is so much temptation when I am home, it’s sometimes really hard for me to stay on track. When I was at the spa I had no temptations so I found it to be a lot easier. Also every night, they serve a different pureed veggie soup which gave me my salt fix and something to look forward to! I lived for the soup every night haha!
When I checked into the spa, I went straight into my first colonic session with Crystal (who was absolutely amazing). She felt my stomach and told me it was hard as a rock, and there was a lot of work that needed to be done. By my 3rd colonic, my stomach started to feel soft the way it should feel. As unglamorous as colonics are, they are the most important part of your spa experience (this is a direct quote from Susana the owner of We Care). It is the best way to detox and cleanse your body and it goes hand in hand with the liquid fast. I did 4 colonics total and I felt like a new person by the end. My stomach bloat went away and became flat again. In addition to the colonics, I highly recommend trying out the different treatments they offer. I especially loved the System Recovery & Magnesium Detox Wrap! I would also suggest indulging in a combination massage for muscle relaxation.
Just being there was so relaxing. I spent my days doing yoga, treatments, reading, being in nature and relaxing by the pool. I stayed in a secluded villa at the way end with no villas in front of me- just beautiful views of the desert and snow-capped mountains. By my last day there, I felt so amazing. I had so much energy, my mind felt so sharp and clear and I didn’t feel bloated for once in my life.
I interviewed the founder and creator of the spa Susana Belen, who is 83 years old (who literally looks 60!). I asked her how I can maintain feeling as good as I did at the spa when I get home. She gave me her secrets and dropped some gems that you’ll have to see in our interview on my VLOG here 🙂
If you are struggling with digestive issues, or just looking to press the reset button, We Care Spa is worth every penny. Your body is your temple and nothing is more important than your health and happiness. If you have any questions at all about my spa experience, feel free to reach out to me via email or my Instagram @NicoleIsaacs!