Tag Archives: Naturopathic physician

Making Amends

It’s been about three months since I started this blog.

When I was contemplating blogging, I hadn’t intended to have a blog about health. I mostly thought it would be a good way to make sense of my day, to record my thoughts, and maybe post some of my art. But clearly, my writing has centered around health. Not surprising, as improving my health has become my priority over the last few months. All I can say is, “Thank gawd.”

When I look back on the last three years, I am startled to see the mounting symptoms of my deteriorating immune system. In June of 2011, I ventured cross-country with my son on an 7 week, 8000 mile journey cross-country in our old, 24 foot Airstream. It was the trip of a lifetime, and I never felt better. One of the highlights was a week-long Grand Canyon rafting trip. 190 glorious miles of the Colorado River and the majesty of the canyon was almost more than a heart can hold. But what I left behind will forever be counted among one of my greatest achievements. I left behind my cigarettes. I knew there would be no quick trips to the convenience store in moments of weakness. 5 days on the river. That was it. I kicked it.

And it all went downhill from there.

Fatigue, weight gain (40+ lbs), itchy skin, and more fatigue plagued me for the next three years. Each day, I couldn’t wait to get home and get under the covers. I started to worry that I was depressed. I couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm to complete household chores and maintenance projects. I dreaded social events. I just felt tired    a  l  l     o  f      t   h  e       t   i   m   e .    Then one morning I noticed that my eyebrows had thinned, fairly drastically.  The first third of both eyebrows. In fact, once I saw it, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before and wondered if it had happened overnight! This triggered a visit to my physician who promptly referred me to the dermatologist. The doc administered painful cortisone shots to my eyebrows and delivered a serious recommendation to go to an endocrinologist. He said this eyebrow loss could be a symptom of Lupus. Lupus? No way.

Six months later, I remembered the dermatologist’s advice, and decided that I really must find an endocrinologist. I may have something seriously wrong with me. The thought was frightening, but I was ready to face it. I had to figure out why I was so out of sorts.

I literally had the thought after school one afternoon, and the very next morning, at 8 a.m. an endocrinologist appeared! My class and I were making our way to the library to see a science presentation. I had no idea what it was going to be about. Imagine how struck I was when I discovered our guest speaker was an endocrinologist. I couldn’t believe it! I felt the universe was speaking directly to me.

Thus began the my education about the state of my health. When I got the diagnosis of Hashimotos, I had no idea what it meant. I did a little bit a research, concluded it was a common diagnosis, and actually never gave it much more thought. The diagnosis actually came by mail, as my endocrinologist was in the process of moving offices, and she had gone ahead and ordered the blood work, etc. based on a patient questionnaire and medical history that she mailed me. I didn’t actually meet her in the office until this past summer!

Then I visited a naturopath who practices functional medicine. It’s expensive, especially the supplements I’m taking. But as far as I’m concerned it’s worth every penny.  I am finally feeling like myself. And as I get healthier and stronger, I am seeing more clearly the dense fog I’ve been in for so long. I’ve never had a good relationship with food. I’m trying now, to make amends.

So, I have this blog. It turns out I have a lot to say about my health. I suppose I’ll just keep writing like this until I run out of things to say.

It might be a while. After all, I’m turning 50 next year. I’ve got a lot of ‘mending to do.

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Buh-bye, Wheat!

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And coffee, too!

Did you know I’m a coffee snob?  Only the darkest roast, black, cup o’ java for me.
Three or four a day, actually.
Yet here I sit,
bravely,
day 1
with no coffee
AND
day 1 being gluten-free.

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

                                                                                                                                                               Wahhhhhwhahhhhwhahhhh!!!

This is when the fun begins. I’ve just had my second visit with the naturopath~been scrutinized, analyzed, vitalized, and traumatized. Had me a big drink of Kool-Aid, and 24 hours later, diarrhea, headache, fatigue. You get the picture.  Although I only have a mild resistance to gluten on one test, my thyroid and other measures of who-knows-what, are screaming for me to cut out the wheat.

So, while I anxiously await my copy of the Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis, and my $200+ of supplements to be delivered, I am actually getting a smidge excited about such deprivation.

This is how desperately I want to feel better.

 

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An Update

Didn’t mean to be away so long!  I returned late Wednesday night from down south, visiting my mom. I’ve become hyper-aware that my summer is almost over.  We’re headed out in a week for a last hurrah camping trip, which basically means I have a week left to myself before vacation and then school starting. If I’m ever gonna do it, I better do it now (‘It’ being myriad tasks ranging from getting passports to cleaning out closets).

Thursday started bright and early with an appointment with a naturopathic physician and functional medicine practitioner. I learned about this doctor from the website of Dr. Hyman (whom I have mentioned in a previous post, and I believe is one of the spokespeople in the film, FedUp). Do you know what functional medicine is?  I didn’t until I started up with all of this whole foods eating this summer.  Functional medicine, as I understand it, focuses on the whole body, and seeks to find the underlying causes for disease and/or lack of optimal health. The appointment lasted about 90 minutes, and I left with orders for blood tests, urine analysis and supplements (vitamin D, fish oil, and protein powder for morning shakes). The focus of our discussion was mostly about my newly diagnosed autoimmune thyroid disease. I was able to bring lab results from extensive blood work I had done just after this past Christmas, ordered by an endocrinologist. I am scheduled to meet her for the first time on the 5th. I’m curious as to how what she will say about this other doctor I’m seeing.  I’m trying to figure out if I’ve gone over the deep end, or if I’m really on the right track.  Do any of you have experience with naturopathic doctors?

This morning I woke up and felt differently. I could tell I’ve dropped some weight (overnight?!?). Did pretty well with the eating while I was gone. So I headed for the scale, mostly curious as to the accuracy of my sensitivity to losing something. Afterall, I had just weighed myself the day before. It registered at 207. Ten pounds lost since I started. (Ya-hoooo!). Not going to post it above in The Numbers page, though, as I’d like to stick to weekly weigh-ins for the record.

Read a book while I was away,  Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes. My son parked himself next to me, fascinated, as I boo-hooed my way through the last pages.  It’s a good book. A major theme of the story is the right to die. If any of you book-clubbers are looking for good read, capable of generating discussion, you may want to consider this one. There’s a sequel to it as well. Not sure I will read it though.

 

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