Dr. Lisa Gadd has always been fiercely passionate about health, however, it wasn't until suffering a serious health issue in her mid-twenties that she was able to appreciate the implications of what it is to deal with the emotional loss of poor health and to understand the resilience required to rebuild the mind, body, and spirit post trauma.
What was the defining moment that changed the way you viewed your health?
Like every 24 year old I was living a normal life. I’d graduated from university and was working as an osteopath, going out with friends, playing sport on the weekends, then all of a sudden I found myself in hospital. I’d had a stroke. It was my little brother first told me what had happened to me and I said ‘no, that only happens to old people’. I was so fit and healthy, I couldn’t comprehend that I'd actually had a stroke.
The first 3 weeks in hospital were a roller coaster in terms of my condition, to the point that I had my medical team tell me that 'I shouldn’t be here'. That was a turning point for me because in my mind I knew that I was here to do something more. That was the moment I really had to choose, my health was in my hands and I had the choice to decide whether I was going to live or not.
How did you find a new level of healthy when you were already a healthy person?
I actually went vegetarian and gave up alcohol, at the time it helped but after 3 months I started craving protein, particularly chicken. Meditation was my key, I got into the practise of daily meditation to keep my mind clear and focused. I'll be honest, I had days when I would think to myself, 'why me?' It wasn't always flowers and sunshine but what got me through was sticking to my daily practise of meditation and yoga, surrounding myself with good people and nourishing my mind with positive affermation.
What was the biggest fear you overcame in your recovery?
In my community I was talked about a lot, and I learned the hard way in understanding who my true friends were and who just wanted to have a little bit of gossip. I went from having a massive group of friends to realising, OK, if I have five really great friends who I can really rely on and who genuinly care about me, then I'm actually doing really well. So the fear for me was actually finding out who my real friends were.
Who's your go-to for inspiration and motivation to reach your goals?
My go-to podc