Good Health Secrets

Reason #5,782 for why I love blogging – A single post can lead to a great discussion!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments. I am so glad that you feel able to share your opinions, both in agreement with and against my own, in a way that allows everyone to really talk things out. Of course, in addition, I appreciate and need your comments on these matters, because I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, and you guys do.

Yesterday (and in today’s reflection) I learned something about myself that I didn’t previously know: I’m not ready, mentally, for a naturopathic doctor such as the one I met with yesterday. I’m not ready for that kind of treatment.  I did gather from some of you that she might not have appropriately reflected a true naturopathic doctor in some of the things she said, but regardless, that specific doctor I met yesterday is clearly not for me. I realized that I’m the type of person who needs answers. And not just any answers – scientifically-explained answers. Yesterday, I wanted to know – how does that machine work? How does my arm going up or down give her a yes or no answer? How do those pellets she wanted me to take work? How could a back massage possibly “cure” my food intolerances? I needed answers, and I didn’t get them, and that doesn’t sit right with me.

I am not saying nothing she did or would do with me would work. For all I know, everything she wants to do could work. Maybe I could be cured. But unfortunately, I just don’t have it in me to pay that kind of money not having any clue how exactly it works. What’s the science behind it? Is it safe with everything else I’m already putting into my system? How does that treatment fit with the rest of the doctors I see? I was not given an explanation, and that combined with a little lack of professionalism in my opinion (like arguing with her son about money in the middle of my appointment) totally turned me off.

A couple of you (and a few people at work I spoke with) told me that you do kind of have to already believe a bit in it, to trust that it’s going to help, before starting it. The only thing I can relate this to is being hypnotized. You have to be willing to be hypnotized, you have to believe you can be hypnotized, in order for it to actually work.  You can imagine that I’m the least likely person on this planet for hypnosis to work, because I don’t buy it. And yes, I have been in situations where people have been hypnotized, and I never even came close. I’m not saying it’s correct or incorrect, and I’m not placing judgement, but hypnosis just…doesn’t work on me. I don’t want it to work on me.

Now, all that said, I am not negating all ND’s everywhere. On the contrary – it sounds like some of you have been helped drastically by an ND, and I only wish mine presented herself and her information differently, to more allow me to buy into what she was saying. I want to be helped. I need help with my autoimmune and fertility issues. And perhaps, someday I will try another ND. But this particular doctor is not for me.

Finally, I want to talk about the diet aspect. As much as I hate to say this, I completely believe my ND is right about the anti-inflammatory diet. I think our whole diet conversation was totally legitimate. I had a feeling I needed diet changes, even after going gluten-free and mostly sugar-free. I still think I need diet changes, to help with my hives. I am going to keep my notes on this diet I was given yesterday, and attempt to try it, one piece at a time. But I can’t go cold turkey. I can’t live on just veggies and beans. Not yet. But I do want to continue whittling away the amount of sugar I eat (even though it’s small), and any other weird things I might be consuming. The hives just aren’t worth it.

Today, I actually got a call from her secretary (at her main office), because even though my doctor took my insurance card, she never actually made a copy of it, so I needed to fax it over. While on the phone, I made a decision and told her to hold off on ordering me those pellets, and that I would call her for the next appointment as opposed to making one right then and there. I’m not ready, right now, for this doctor to be in such control of my health.

Then, I went and called my allergist. He’s the guy that was the very first person to figure out I had a thyroid problem, that my antibody count was off the charts, and that my hives were related to this antibody count. My hives meds (Zantac plus Claritin, twice a day) were running low, and besides, I wanted him to know what was happening with my out of control hives. He spoke with me over the phone, told me to switch to Zantac plus Zyrtec (stronger), and keep a food journal. We are going to meet in a few weeks and figure out exactly which foods, and which parts of the foods, are giving me problems. I realized – I should’ve called him in the first place. Maybe he’s been my answer all along.

And because of that call, I feel better today. Yesterday, I was completely overwhelmed. Listening to what my ND was telling me I needed to do was just too much. I don’t know if she’s right – maybe she is, but I couldn’t handle it all. Now, all I need to do for the next two weeks is simply keep a detailed food journal. Hopefully the switch to Zyrtec will help a bit as well. This I can handle.

That’s where I stand. I really am bummed out about the ND – I wanted so badly for her to enlighten me in a way that would be in line with everything else I’m receiving for treatment, and I wanted a miracle. You guys have really loved your ND’s, and I’m definitely disappointed. But I’m going to keep the diet changes in my mind, and just see what happens.

As for my RE – I have decided I’m not going to pick up the phone and rip him a new one for not telling me I show signs of PCOS. Not yet, anyway. #1 – It didn’t actually say that I had PCOS directly, so maybe that was just one thing he was considering. I don’t actually think I have it – when he looked at my ovaries he said they looked just fine, with the exception of all the little eggs hanging out in there after not being released for months on end. #2 – I am going in for an IUI, hopefully soon. I can ask about it then. I’m so glad, now, that we’ve decided to go with the IUI. It is a little strange to think I might get pregnant from a way other than having sex, but who cares? I just want a baby. Now, here’s hoping the Clomid actually gets me to ovulate…

Here’s my question for the day: If you have been helped by an ND, or any doctor for that matter, what was the #1 idea, or product, or dietary change, or whatever, that made the most difference for your health? What is your good health secret?

If something has worked for you, chances are, it may work for me!

Do you believe in magic?

Hi. I’m frustrated, and I need to vent. You up for it?

I met my naturopathic doctor this afternoon for the first time. I had extremely high hopes – I basically can’t eat anything right now without getting hives. I can tell that my antibodies are out of control, probably the worst they have ever been.

I am so disappointed, discouraged, and frustrated. Now, a lot of you have gone to naturopathic doctors with success, so please, tell me if this doctor was right on track, or is one magic spell away from an institution.

I arrived to an office with no secretary, just a small little room. This room didn’t look anything like a doctor’s office, and had virtually no medical…anything. Equipment, etc. I had sent all my labs to her previously, even though the office didn’t request them, so she had time to look them over, which she did. Also, in the middle of this visit her cell phone rang, and she answered it. It was her teenage son. He wanted money. She started getting frustrated with him over the phone while I was just sitting there. Then, she called her main office in another town, and requested that the secretary give her son a $20 bill “from the box” if he shows up.

And that’s not even the half of it. She hooked my arm up to this band thing attached to a computer. This computer had a program that could “test” if I was “having issues” with anything, from foods to medicines. I don’t want to say allergic, because for me, I know it’s more of a sensitivity thing. How did it perform this magic test? I straightened out my arm (not the one with the band attached to it), and she pressed down on my wrist. I was instructed to push back. If, when I pushed back, my arm stayed up, it meant I wasn’t negatively affected by whatever she was looking at. If my arm went down, then that meant I had a sensitivity to it. WHAT THE HELL???

So I followed along, secretly wondering if she was just pressing down harder on my wrist whenever we came to something that I had already told her was bothering me. My arm “went down” for wheat, sugar, sperm amino acids, vaginal mucous membranes (um, ew), and progesterone (I had told her my LP was short, too..). I shouldn’t have told her anything, in reflection. I should have had her consult my palm and perform her psychic duties to see what my problems are.

That was weird enough. After that, she told me that I should take these “energizing pellets” (I never said I was lacking in energy…). They are virtually sea salt, she said, called Natrum Muraticum. I should take a little handful of pellets, once a week. They react badly with coffee and mints…so I would need to switch my toothpaste…

When I pressed her for why I need these magic pellets, she said I would just feel better overall, and also would be happier (I never said I wasn’t happy…). She said my symptoms might get worse before they get better though, so I might have more hives temporarily, and I might cry at random. She said not to worry, it will pass and then I will feel better. And THEN – when you think that’s as bad as it gets, she had me raise my arm again while the other arm closed around a package of these pellets. She had me press against her wrist and since my arm stayed up, she knew those pellets would be good for me. Then, to figure out the dosage of pellets that I would need, she used my arm like a Magic 8 ball, I kid you not. Can’t make this stuff up, people. It went something like this: “Does she need 50 c?” (Press), “100 c?” (Press), “200 c?” (Press). I guess my arm did something satisfactory at this point because she decided on 200 c. I thought she was actually asking me the question, what dosage did I need, until I realized she was talking to herself…or more like the spirits on the other side of a Ouija board.

She told me that she could basically cure me. Not totally, because my autoimmune issues were completely out of whack, which I know. But with her “treatments”, I would be able to enjoy an occasional wheat or sugar filled treat, with way less hives. Okay, I said, I’m listening. What’s the treatment? Well, she said, it’s not covered by insurance, and each treatment is between $90-150. “Are they shots?” I said. No. I go in, get hooked up to that computer thing again, she focuses in on one particular food or hormone that is problematic (like sugar), and then, she takes a back massager and rolls it up and down my back. She related it to acupuncture, something about stimulating spinal something-or-others. And then, that’s it! When I leave, I’m much better with that one particular issue.

I don’t know if this is all sounding crazy to you, but to me, it sounds absolutely f-ing nuts. Totally out there. This isn’t a doctor – this is a psychic. $150 to get a back rub? To cure my autoimmune problems?

This is all frustrating enough, but there are other reasons. She is covered by my insurance (except for those “treatments”). Why would she be in my insurance’s network if she sucks? Also, my mother’s coworker, who recommended her to me, found total success! I don’t know if she went through what I would be going through, but I guess she had a severe milk allergy that this doctor practically did, in fact, cure. So I have someone who claims this actually works.

Now, she did say a couple of valuable things to me. I mentioned the burning and swelling issue, and talked about Recurring Candida Proliferation (Thanks, Sunny!). She agreed that sounded plausible, but, like I knew, it’s all connected to my other issues. She also told me about a diet she thinks I should try. I was expecting a diet change, though this one is pretty drastic. It’s an anti-inflammatory diet, because of course, I’m out of control inflamed. It’s gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and meat-free. Think about that. I would be limited to vegetables, small amounts of fruit, beans, rice or quinoa, only occasional organic chicken, fresh fish no more than 2x a week, and that is it. It’s a vegetarian diet, with no sugar or processed anything in addition. Here’s the thing – I need help with my health right now. I can’t handle it alone anymore. I’m up for trying a new diet. But I can’t do this one, I’m telling you right now. I can’t. Quality of life, I mean seriously. Nothing on the grill, no chemicals (which means no butter, ketchup, parm cheese, coffee creamer….I could go on and on.) I can’t handle that drastic of a diet, plus these hives, plus this infertility. I can’t do it. I’m not doing it. Not that drastic, anyway.

Lastly, she pulled out a report from my RE. “It says here that you seem to show signs of PCOS….” WHATTT??? Yes, after my ultrasound, when I met my RE, he wrote up a little letter and put it in my file, and it says that I demonstrated symptoms of polycystic ovaries. What. the. hell. He NEVER mentioned that. Let me emphasize NEVER. I’ve been with my RE for four, almost five months now, and never once has anyone told me I have PCOS. And that’s fine and all, if I have it. But it changes everything. Is that the cause of what’s going on in my body? Is that the cause of my infertility? Am I pursuing the right course of fertility treatment? I have no idea. I couldn’t believe it. The ND suggested I give him a call, which I will be doing. But I’m more upset than mad. Why do all my doctors have to suck? My RE is highly recommended. His program is one of the biggest in the state. But I’ve never felt like I’m getting their full attention. Now, to find out he thinks I may have PCOS? Well, that explains so much! It explains the mustache I’ve been shaving off, the little dark hairs I plucked from my CHIN yesterday, the recurring yeast issues….so much.

I’m upset because I need doctors who will help me. I have 7 doctors, each specializing in one little piece of my puzzle. I was hoping this ND could take them all on, sanely. Clearly, she can’t. But you know what’s the worst? I’m upset with myself. Why do I have to be going through this? All of this. The fertility problems, that cause my Clomid hot flashes and haven’t allowed a good night’s sleep in weeks, the stress over not getting pregnant. The thyroid problem that kept me from TTC for a while and can at any time the number decides to jump. The hives, which are now after almost every. single. meal that I eat. I don’t feel good. I don’t look good. I’m a mess. I just want to be worry-free. And I would be, if my health problems went away. Instead, after seeing this “doctor” today, I’m more upset. I need help with my medical problems and I don’t know where to turn.

It’s just suddenly gotten to this point that I’m creating my own panic attack. It’s all just too much for me to handle. Too much. I can’t live happily like this. Something has GOT to change.

So, if you’ve gone to a ND with success….please, is this woman completely mad? Should I try this diet? Thoughts?

By the way….we’ve decided. I’m going to try IUI, this cycle.

Yoga-licious!

Holy yoga! I’ve just discovered my newest sport.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about yoga – to help with all my health ailments! It’s supposed to help stress (all that deep breathing). It’s good for your joints and body in general (so much stretching!). It’s good for autoimmune issues (or so I’ve been told). People with thyroid problems have sworn by it. Finally, it’s good for pregnancy (again, so I’ve heard…) I had no reason not to try it.

I think I’m hooked!

My gym offers a million different classes. I already had done spinning in the past, and recently switched my Tuesday and Thursday mornings over to “cardio pump”; getting my butt kicked to the beat of pop music.

Now, though, I’ve added yoga to the mix. I finally feel like I’m in control of my food choices enough to care about serious exercise (and small portions). Therefore, I’m trying to hit up the classes at the gym as often as possible. In the past few days, I’ve done an “all levels yoga” class, and just last night, “Yogilates”. My step-father said, “What? Mocha lattes?” I wish – instead, I was bending in all directions and feeling the burn, without breaking a sweat.

I love it! I highly recommend it. Here’s why:

1)It’s so relaxing!!! Sure, while you’re twisting in a completely unnatural position you’re counting to 20 and praying you get to lay back down. But when you do finally lay down on your mat, close your eyes, and find your breathing, it is the most relaxing thing ever. And the burn you feel later is worth it.

2) You work your muscles without using weights! I’ve got a pretty sore stomach right now, and last night my butt and legs weren’t feeling so great either. But I didn’t use a single weight – all I did was stretch! Stretch and hold, that is. I read recently that Adam Levine, lead singer of Maroon 5, got super buff from yoga – no weights at the gym. I totally see why.

3) No matter how bad you think you look (I’m right there with you), you blend right in! People of every walk of life do yoga. The super-fit college girls, older men with shoulder pain using yoga as therapy, middle-age women who aren’t really fit but are just starting out, and everyone in between!

4)It’s comfy. You’re on a mat (I recommend buying your own…eew), you wear stretchy comfy clothes (the same ones after eating a huge meal…you know.), and you even take your shoes off. Now, I don’t do feet. At all. On anyone. I don’t care how nice you think they look. So I keep my socks on. I don’t even want to stare at my own. But I’m liking the socks.

See? There’s four reasons to try yoga. I’m only two classes in, and I’m looking forward to the next one. Let’s see what the health benefits are in a month or two!

“Get Healthy, Get Pregnant” – Day 1

Well, Day 1 of the “Get Healthy, Get Pregnant” project (not a really accurate name, but it’s clever, right?) has begun, and the Halloween candy bowl is staring at me. I know I’ve got to get rid of it, so I’ll be passing it off to my sister, or bringing it to work, where it will easily be consumed by lunch. I would never have had any of this candy in the first place if there were trick-or-treaters! Thanks to Winter Storm Alfred, all the candy was left for me.

Now, I’m an “all or nothing” kind of person when it comes to all things sugar. I would not be completely opposed to eating one piece of Halloween candy if I knew I could walk away. But I can’t – I’d had to have 3 or 4, and then I’d feel fat and guilty. So, I will not be having any candy today, or ever again.

I said I needed to lose about 15 pounds the other day. According to the scale, that is still accurate. However, just so we all know, I’m not obsessive about the number. In fact, when I gain some muscle (hopefully) that might hinder the drop in numbers on the scale. That’s fine – my major indicator of weight loss will be fitting into my pants comfortably. See, my weight has fluctuated 15 or so pounds a couple of times in the last few years. I can only think of one time where I actually went out and bought a few pairs of pants a size bigger so I could actually fit in them. That’s different now, and has been for a while. I refuse to buy a new wardrobe with pants that fit a lot better – that’s like accepting how I’ve let myself go. Plus, every morning getting dressed will be a reminder of where I need to be. So if I keep the same pants year after year, I have something to judge myself by.

Just to show my weight fluctuations, I have a pair of Express dress pants I wear all the time. I love those pants, and I’ve had them a good 3 or 4 years. They hold up well. At my skinniest, I needed to wear a belt with those pants, and I buckled the belt on the second or third hole. At my heaviest (only a few pounds more than where I am right now) I flat out could not wear those pants at all, because they wouldn’t button. That’s a major difference. Currently, I can wear them, but it’s pushing it. Obviously no belt is needed. They aren’t very comfortable and definitely aren’t the right size for me at this time. But again, I’m not buying new pants!

Exercise is always the easy part for me, and so far this healthy initiative is no exception. I did a spin class yesterday as my exercise routine of choice after not exercising at all for a good week because of the weather. Today I ran 4 miles at the gym and then did some work on my stomach and arms. Tomorrow morning is my cardio pump class, and so on. As much as I am not a fan of exercising, I love how I feel after I’m done. I feel fit and sweaty. Good times.

Food is my demon. To be more specific, portion sizes are my demon. I always eat more than I should. So far today, I had one serving size of gluten-free cereal (which is only 3/4 of a cup, yuck) to get me going for the gym. After the gym, I had a Greek yogurt. For lunch, I just ate a huge salad, with fresh mozzarella cheese and sliced black olives, topped with yesterday’s leftover taco meat. Then I had a small cup filled with sugar-free tapioca pudding my husband made yesterday.

I’ve already eaten too much! The cereal – pointless carbs, but whatever. The yogurt, good. That lunch…I can eat as many fresh veggies as I would like, so that’s not the problem. That cheese, plus olives, plus beef taco meat – fattening! I do eat a salad every day for lunch (well, I will be now!) and I always put some meat on top for protein. It’s usually chicken. We didn’t have any made today but we did have that leftover taco meat. Definitely not good for me. When I finished it, I was comfortable! But did I stop? No, I had to have some of that pudding. So my portion sizes for lunch were too much. That is the way I tend to work. I’m not going to harp on it though, just back to the grind for dinner.

Dinner tends to be my weakest spot for eating large portions. I have less energy around dinnertime and less motivation. But I need to eat a smaller portion. How to tell it’s small enough? The best way, really, is to eat until comfortable, and not “hungry”. Never eat until full. Unfortunately, I have a hard time identifying when that point comes. I’ll try to eat slower tonight. Usually, I don’t talk and shovel it in like it’s been weeks since my last meal. My dessert after dinner will be 3 calcium gummies – those things are delish!

So, for my Day 1 wrap-up, at least I exercised and ate some veggies? My lunch portion was too big and too fatty. However, I have the chance to make it up at dinner! I’ll have a late afternoon snack of a weight watchers cheese stick, maybe an apple, or a few nuts. Then, I must have a small dinner portion, and stop when comfortable. After dinner – if I’m absolutely dying, I can have a cup of raspberry tea. Otherwise, gum should do the trick. I’ll go to bed dreaming of breakfast, and wake up ready to do this all over again.

At least, that’s the plan anyway.

That’s it, I’m starting fresh on Monday.

I’ve spent a lot of my free time yesterday and today on http://www.thebump.com. First of all, it’s an addictive website as is. But then I created my own little profile and user name, and I’ve been posting all over other people’s message boards, and even creating some of my own. I love it!

What’s great about the message boards, as compared to the blog, is that the feedback from others is #1) super fast, within minutes, and #2) usually from people you don’t know. It’s very cool to log on to my computer one hour after posting a message and having 5 people give me advice on something! Definitely worth the time. That said, I still love my blog! And I’m starting to expand my thoughts.

On thebump, I posted on the following message boards: “Trying to conceive”, “trouble trying to conceive”, “food allergies”, and “health and exercise”. Clearly you can see where my thoughts lie! The health and exercise group, in conjunction with the trouble trying group, has led me to a new thought at the forefront of my mind – I need to get healthy. Stat.

I am not saying I am heavily overweight, or anything like that. It’s a personal thing – so I’m not comparing myself with anyone. But I don’t fit in my clothes. Jeans aren’t comfortable anymore – only sweatpants are. I wear my jeans multiple times in a row to stretch them out (how’s that for honesty). If I wash and dry them, they shrink, until I stretch them out again. I’m eating sugar, carbs (mostly not gluten, but still), and most of all, my portions are massive. I go plate for plate with my husband – that should not be! So. I love to blog, I love to vent, I love to talk about my issues for all the world to see (which apparently is quite normal for those on thebump; I’ve never seen so many links to pregnancy blogs in one space!). I’ve decided that if I’m going to be serious about this weight loss (which, given what I weigh, what I used to weigh, and how much I need to weigh in order for my clothes to fit, I need to lose about 15 pounds.) Yes, I’m serious. No, I’m not crazy. But now that I’m announcing it to the world – I have to hold myself accountable! You’re all going to know if I’m not even trying, or have fallen off the wagon.

What’s my plan? I’m not going to do some crazy detox water and lemon diets or anything like that. I don’t like lemons, anyway. I’m going about it the healthy way. Here’s the way I figure it:

-I have a thyroid issue. The kind where, once you gain weight, it stays on you quite stubbornly. It’s a proven fact (in my own experience) that my TSH stays down and I feel my best when I weigh less, which is when my clothes fit. It can’t be anything but good to lose weight when you have Hashimoto’s.

-I have a fertility issue. I don’t know what it is yet – unexplained anovulatory cycles? PCOS? Thyroid-related infertility? But no matter what – I need to be healthy. IF I have PCOS..which I hope I don’t, it’s also a proven fact that weight gets stored more easily and kept there, because of insulin-resistance. It’s also a fact that those with Hashimoto’s are more likely to have PCOS than those who don’t – since they both have to do with insulin-resistance. Also, people with PCOS are likely to have Type 2 diabetes. Didn’t I mention I have a thing with sugar? I need to be healthy, so when my doctors look at all my blood tests and try to help me get pregnant, one reason they can’t give is that I’m not healthy enough.

So, it starts officially Monday (Mondays are the best days to start a life change, right?). With the occasional exception of a special treat for a special occasion, I will not be eating:

-Anything fried, dessert of any sort (which includes, but is not limited to: cupcakes, ice cream, candy, regular cake..frosting from the can, sprinkles by the spoonful, etc.), simple-sugar carbs (anything with white bread, white rice, etc.)

I can occasionally have: Starchy carbs (brown rice, potatoes), diet soda, whole grains (if I decide to bring back gluten).

I need to have, daily: Many servings of fruits and vegetables, protein with every meal, and healthy fats with every meal (nuts, avocado, almond butter, etc.) and low-fat dairy.

I have a little low-glycemic chart thing I printed from one of my thyroid books, and as you go through the day, you check off the servings of veggies, fruits, fiber, and water you take in, to make sure you’re getting enough.

Oh yeah, at least 64 ounces of water a day. At least.

Exercise – this will be the easy part. 5-6 times a week. 2x I will go to my new favorite gym class, Cardio Pump. Nothing says “Good Morning!” like doing jumping jacks and lifting weights to music at 5:30 in the morning. 3x a week I’ll run, plus some weight lifting. 1x a week I’ll attempt to drown, I mean swim.

I’m telling you all this so you can hold me accountable. It’s okay to have a moment once in a while, especially an ice cream moment before the Creamery closes for winter. But I can’t be having these moments once a day, like I do now (I’ve had probably 20 pieces of Halloween candy in the last 2 days, no exaggeration..). These moments are allowed once a week, tops. So I need your help! I’ll be updating, good or bad, to keep myself on task. Remember the ultimate goal – be healthy and fit to be my best in order to get pregnant!

I’m also going to create a separate category on this blog for this part of my thoughts, so if you’re interested in just this topic, you don’t have to read everything else, or the other way around. Thank you for being my support system and reading my rants! 🙂

Monday morning is weigh-in #1. It’s time to change my life, for good, with a healthy lifestyle. I’m holding myself accountable!