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!

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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.

Still on the fence.

I’m still on the fence! I thought I was sure and had made up my mind, but maybe I didn’t…

I can’t decide whether to skip right to IUI this cycle or do another natural Clomid cycle. I’ve still got four more cycles of natural Clomid if I so choose to use them. And why wouldn’t I? I’ve taken Clomid three times (this is Round 4), and ovulated twice. Clomid does work for me. At the same time, there’s this sperm issue…

Like I said previously, I know I’m not allergic to sperm, just like I’m not allergic to wheat or sugar. But sometimes, when I take in any of those three things, I get hives. With the sperm, it is accompanied by swelling and burning. I imagine my insides swell up and block off the sperm from traveling. This is something I could completely avoid with IUI…..but I’ve only tried naturally twice!

I know I need to make this decision, like, now. It’s CD 10. I imagine I’ll be ovulating sometime in the next 10 days (hopefully). So, I’m listing the pros and cons to see if it helps me decide.

PROS: Slight increase in success rate (not sure how much, still want to find that out), puts the fun back in sex, and after it’s over, the nurse gives me a blood test to determine if I’m pregnant..I don’t even need to worry about testing.

CONS: Skipping over four more natural cycles means, I’m guessing, I will not be returning to them if IUI’s don’t work. Can IUI’s not work after three rounds due to the same reason people don’t get pregnant naturally after three rounds – bad luck? I’d be going right to IVF next, which is scary for me right now. I want to go to IVF if something is wrong, not because of bad luck. Also, N would have to go do his thing, again. We would both have to miss work on a certain day, no matter what was happening, like important meetings and whatnot. Finally, it takes the fun out of baby-making. Sure, sex would be less stressful I suppose, but we wouldn’t be “baby-making” at all – a nurse would do that for me. And baby-making is special.

I understand that for those of you who don’t have a choice, it’s a no-brainer, because having a child is the main goal. And I understand that, but..I don’t know. While I still have the option, should I just try to enjoy the baby-making naturally? It might be gone someday and I might miss it. I can’t make up my mind.

N wants to know exactly how much the success rate will increase. He also thinks it’s somewhat sad if we jump to that step, because we could possibly be conceiving a child without going about it the way nature intended. It’s a big step. He’s on the fence, too.

So I know I need to make the decision. I was going to wait until next cycle, but honestly, the sheer number of people around me getting pregnant is just…debilitating, and I know I can wait one more cycle, but should I?

I was hoping to talk to my new ND first, whom I’m seeing on Thursday. She might be able to (I’m hoping and assuming) change my whole diet around and try to combat these autoimmune hives herself. That might do the trick. But I really think I need my decision by the morning.

In other fertility news, I’ve been planning how to spend my next TWW, whenever that comes around. I will not make the mistakes I made last time. Never again. Instead, I need to keep very busy, with my mind on other things. So far, I plan to 1) finish the Hunger Games series with the last book…that might not make it to the TWW), 2) paint this hook thing I bought at Home Goods and hang it up, and 3) buy, and enjoy, a Circle and Bloom tape. That also might not make it to the TWW.

In addition, I’m super focused right now on the rest of my health problems, because I’ve been breaking out in hives after every meal. With no sugar, except natural from fruit. It’s out of control.

Thanks for the comments and helpful suggestions. I’ve been writing down your thoughts and I plan to share them on Thursday with my ND!

 

Circle + Bloom and going “green”

All right, people. My brain is buzzing with excitement over my appointment with my new ND on Thursday. Through the ICLW, I’ve “met” a few new bloggers who have been nothing but helpful! I appreciate all of your comments, by the way, and a lot of you know so much more than I do, and I’m eager to come to you with questions.

Therefore, I have a few more.

1) Can someone kindly explain what Circle + Bloom is? I gather that it’s a series of audio tapes, but after that I’m lost. I have heard so many people rave about them, and again, I’m just beginning to embrace the idea of natural remedies for health and fertility issues, so I definitely need a bit of convincing. I’m guessing this costs a lot of money. But like I said, people rave about it. Given that stress runs decently highly in my life (especially in the form of health and wellness issues), I’m curious. Should I look into this further?

2) I have done it. I have signed up to follow the journey of a blogger who has a child. There are a few of you out there who have one child already but are struggling with the second, but this is the first blog I have followed where she predominantly writes about issues related to already having a baby. I suppose in doing this, I am subconsciously telling myself that I will be pregnant soon. Not necessarily this cycle, but soon. Soon enough that I am excited about reading posts related to raising a baby. I don’t intend to follow a lot of baby blogs, yet, because I suppose after a while I’ll find myself depressed. But this blogger is very cool. Check out Cotton Bottom Mama if you’re interested – she’s a very “green” mother, which is something I hope to be eventually. She does cloth diapering, for example. We plan to go that route as well someday (of course we’ve already discussed it), though N still needs a bit of convincing. The price for diapers is enough convincing for me! Anyway, she’s got a ton of info on that topic, as well as other “green” issues. Best of all, she also suffers from Hashimoto’s, and went gluten-free and sugar-free. There aren’t many people I know of who have this. She’s doing very well, as she met with her ND and got pregnant five months later. So here’s hoping.

Anyway, this all leads me to my second question. Do you follow any bloggers who have a big focus on health and wellness? What about food allergies and autoimmune issues? I would love to find more people like Cotton Bottom Mama. It’s so nice to have a support system.

I wasn’t going to post today, so I’ll keep it nice and short. I’m grateful for the activity on my blog. I’ve written almost 100 posts, I’ve had over 5,000 views, and I’m lucky enough to have almost 60 followers. So thank you. Blogging has taken, once again, a new turn in my life, as I find myself telling friends and family about you and your stories. You’ve suddenly become very real, though we’ve never met. Just another perk of blogging about infertility!

A witch to the rescue?

The weekend is finally here. It’s always slow in its arrival. I feel like, lately, I am just dying to get in my car and drive home just as fast as I can after school. That would be fine and all, if I were getting to school early enough in the morning to actually be productive. But no, with my morning exercises and just flat out sluggishness I roll into work only a few minutes before I actually have to be there. (You know what I’m doing at 7 am over my bowl of chex and almonds? Reading your blogs…) I can sum all of this up by simply saying – I don’t want to be at work. It’s a shame, too, because I am a good teacher, and I have always loved my job. It’s not the kids, it’s not the school, though I do feel the pressures that teachers are facing have tripled since I started only five years ago. But that’s not it, anyway. It’s just that teaching is no longer my number one priority, like it used to be. Now, I have more important things on my mind, and even when I’m able to stop thinking about babies, I just want to come home and be with N. He always makes me feel better.

Anyway, as I’ve alluded to in the past few posts, I have recovered from my failed cycle, though a bit of embarrassment still lingers. I just was so stupid! I vow never to make those mistakes again. Hope is okay, but guaranteeing something in your brain is a bad idea. I did that, and more. I broke all the rules. This time, I am going into it more relaxed (I think). You’ll be pleased to know that since this new cycle has started (today is CD 7) I have only taken my temperature twice! Screw it – I don’t need a 5 am reminder that my temps are yes, still low. Once ovulation comes roaring into the station I’ll start up with it again.

I’m still on the fence about IUI’s. I appreciate all of your comments and thoughts, and I still have some questions. My biggest question is this: if there isn’t a medical reason to have an IUI (which, I do have a medical reason but I’m still in denial about it), what are the percentages of success vs. a natural Clomid cycle? Does anyone know this info? Heaven forbid I let my heart lead me in a certain direction. I need to know the facts, the science! Because if it’s a no-brainer, that IUI’s are so much more likely to work than a natural Clomid cycle, I’m there. But I have a feeling it doesn’t much make a difference…

..if there isn’t a medical condition. Other than my anovulation, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, antibody hives and all that good stuff, I do still have slight swelling and burning with regards to sperm. Are those swimmers swimming, or are my insides closing up shop because my antibodies are so out of whack? I don’t know.

It’s not that I don’t want to do an IUI. I want to do whatever will let me take home a child. I will, eventually, try everything and anything. But I wasn’t mentally prepared to be offered that right now, after only 2 natural Clomid cycles. So at this point, with the information I’m currently armed with, we are going to let this cycle be another natural Clomid cycle (which I suppose isn’t natural at all, but you know what I mean). If it fails, perhaps then we will throw in the towel and head over to my RE’s office. But in the back of my mind, don’t doubt that I haven’t wondered if my failed cycles are because of this autoimmune anti-sperm campaign. What if that was it?

Now, in addition to all of this on my mind, my other health issues have been on the forefront of my brain. My hives are absolutely out of control. I have gone down to a low-sugar diet, especially after 3 pm. But twice this week, after having a very small cup of low-sugar ice cream (5 or 6 grams), I am still breaking out in hives on my cheeks, lips, throat, etc. Even my Greek yogurt that I always eat gave me hives, and I ate it at 2:00! My body is saying NO sugar, and of course I’m having a hard time listening. Sugar is in everything! Gluten-free products have really hit the grocery store aisles, which is helpful, but there’s nothing sugar-free! There’s low-sugar, for diabetics, but not sugar-free. Ugh.  And it’s been feeling like summer, too, and my local dairy farm ice cream (which is in walking distance from my house) is a torturous thought. I’m brand new to low-sugar…how will I live without fresh coconut chocolate chip ice cream? Peeps on Easter? This is what I’ve been fretting about.

However, a glimmer of hope has arrived. Has anyone ever been to a naturopathic doctor? My first thought is to somewhat roll my eyes – I’m fine with taking medicine if it solves a health problem, and the stereotypes of “hippee” doctors including lots of herbs and spices spinning around in a witch’s brew. I’m not going to stereotype, though. I need this woman’s help, like, badly. I will be seeing her on Thursday. My insurance covers her, which #1 is totally awesome, and #2 proves that this doctor must been good enough at what she does to be in my insurance’s network. I wouldn’t be paying the $250 for an initial visit otherwise. She specializes in everything – nutrition, allergies, acupuncture, etc. I’m going to just tell her everything, and hope she uses her magic spells to cure me (kidding). But seriously, if she could just..help me, please, help me, in controlling my antibodies and my autoimmune symptoms. If my hives could subside and I could actually enjoy wheat and sugar again, even in small doses, I would be most grateful. I could have many less things to worry about. Plus, my CVS bill would go down.

Anyway, between this new doctor (bringing my total number of doctors to 7) and my thoughts on IUI’s and this natural cycle, I can only hope something good can come out of all of this.