3/14/12

Join me on my journey to better health!

I finally reached my breaking point.  I've threatened for years to be more proactive about my health.  I would get syked up about exercising....and actually walk a good bit... but it never lasted.  Also, I never saw all of the results I was hoping for when I was exercising.  I have found it's even harder seeing results when you reach middle age!  When I turned 42 in January, I really start noticing some major changes in my body.  I know it's a normal part of the aging process, but I've got a little more going on that's not normal!  Unlike alot of women that first start noticing signs of menopause around this time, I had already been on estrogen for 13 years due to a much needed hysterectomy.  Since I was put in "instant menopause", I never really had the progression of the hot flashes and such.  And even though I do experience hot flashes every now and then, it's not anything that's unmanageable.  I don't even have the night sweats....and I'm hoping I won't start! 


The scariest thing for me has been a bad mammogram. I've religiously gone to the gyno every year for a physical - even after my surgery.  About 1 1/2 years ago, I had to repeat my yearly mammogram because they noticed something.  After a closer look, they determined it was probably calcifications and repeated the test again after 6 months.  On that visit and then again at the yearly, there were no changes.  Thank God for that!  I'll never forget how scared I was when I first found out.  You try not to, but your mind thinks the worst.  I often found myself in tears, thinking about the fact that I wanted to be around to see my son completely grown.  I vowed after that that I would start taking better care of myself.  It's not that I'm extremely overweight, but I've allowed the stress of the last 2 years of full time school, work, and mom/wife duties to put my physical well-being on the backburner.  Well, that's got to change!  I've got alot of living to do and I want to be as healthy as possible while I live it.


Let me fill you in on some of my health issues.  After a couple of trips to the ER, I had my first diagnosed migraine about 10 years ago.  Over the last 5 years or so, they have increasingly gotten worse.  I was relieved when I actually made the decision to see a neurologist.  I had wanted to, but for whatever reason, put it off for a long time.  But eventually, you get tired of being confined to bed with no way to function.  It took me seeing two neurologists to find one that took the time to find a medication to help my migraines.  I'm so thankful for those little pills!  (In the voice of Smeagol, "My Precious!"is what those pills are for me...that and coffee).  They don't always work, but most of the time if I take them quickly enough, they do get rid of the headaches.


The bad thing is that my headaches come in clusters.  I will either get a headache or try to get a headache for several days in a row.  That means taking alot of medication each month because I usually have 1-2 spells per month....sometimes more.  They have tried preventative medications with me, but haven't found one that works.  But you know what?  I'm not the kind of person that wants to take alot of pills on a DAILY basis anyway.  I already take Estradiol (estrogen) every day.  But I've got more going on than migraines and bad mammograms.  I'm not going to discuss the details of my other problems right now, but let me just say that I finally decided to take matters into my own hands.  Have you ever felt like your doctor doesn't really listen to you?  I'm not a major complainer, but I expect the person I'm paying to provide my medical care to at least try to help me feel better.  So I've been doing alot of my own research and talking with people that have gone through similar situations. 


That led me to seek help from a homeopathic doctor.  Don't judge :)  When you're as desperate as me, you will try most anything new.  I have mentioned to my gyno on more than one occasion that I felt like my hormones being out of balance might be triggering my migraines, but he wasn't interested in doing the blood work to verify this.  He's a man, so maybe that's why he's so insensitive to the subject.  I mentioned natural alternatives to him before as well and he didn't think it was a good idea.  I have decided there is some sort of conspiracy between the medical community and the food/drug industry.  The more unhealthy we are, the more money they make.  Sorry, that's just how I feel.  Think about it.......anything natural has got to be healthier for you than something man-made!  That goes for food or medicine.  Now, I'm not opposed to man-made medicine, obviously, and my new homeopathic doctor isn't either.  She's also a certified pharmacist :)  She did not want me to stop taking my Estradiol, but she really feels like my hormone imbalance is feeding some of my problems.

I don't understand how it all works, but when I went to see her, I had to place the palm of my hand on this pad that was hooked to a computer.  As she watched the computer, she would make comments about what it was reflecting about my body.  She picked up on several things that I did not even mention at first.  I told her I was there about my migraines, and I was, but I also need some healing in other ways.  I'm not expecting to never have a headache again, or to never have any other illness, but something has to give.  I've tried every thing else.
I want to feel good again!


It's been funny watching how people react when they hear me comment about my new eating habits.  I just wonder if people knew there's more going on than the migraines, would they be less critical?  If they knew how bad I really felt at times, would they be more sensitive?  If you're wondering what I'm referring to, well, I've noticed that when I mention trying to avoid gluten or dairy or even my other "precious" which is coffee, some people make comments that I'm just falling for the latest craze.  They don't realize the seriousness of my situation.  I guess I should just consider the source too because the ones that say sarcastic comments are overweight and out of shape!  Sorry...I'm not trying to be ugly.  But I would never in a million years try to tell someone else that they are crazy for trying something new - especially if it's something that's not going to hurt them.  I am lucky enough to have an aunt that works for a gyno and she has advised me as well.  It makes me feel better hearing her point of view because she cares for me and has actually explained some things to me that I didn't know. 

But to clear things up, I'm not on a complete gluten-free diet or swearing off my precious coffee and dairy for good.  I'm just cutting way back to see what happens with my headaches because I may be sensitive to these things.  I've actually noticed at times that I will get one after eating pizza or drinking way too much coffee.  Because of this, I'm trying new products on the market...organics and such.  I'm not going overboard buying this stuff, I promise.  Who could afford to anyway? 

This doctor also ordered blood work on me so she can actually know what my hormone levels are.  We don't need a guessing game with this.  As she said (and me and my family already knew), I'm in permanent PMS.  No joke, I freak out about the craziest stuff!  Of course she also picked up on my high stress levels, but I just know that will be better when I'm done with my schooling in 8 more weeks.  HALLELUJAH!  And as I said before, she was able to tell that there were some other things going on with me that required some medical attention  recently that doctors haven't been able to help me with - without my even mentioning it to her.  So there's something to this body energy stuff, in my opinion.


To start this journey off, let me explain what I'm doing right now:  I'm doing a total body cleanse for 2 months with the first 14 days more intense.  I'm also taking Colloidal Multi Minerals, Olive Leaf Extract, and really laying off the bread, cow milk, and coffee.  I'm trying herbal teas and organic milks....ALL THINGS THAT ARE GOOD FOR ME.  As far as the bread, I've not had any since last Friday (that's 5 days) and it's not going to hurt me.  Bread and sweets are my weakness and I really need to cut back on them to lose a little weight and maintain that loss.  I'm looking at some other healthy alternatives to wheat, like products made from quinoa and buckwheat.


fyi: the goat milk is horrible!
Rice milk is ok, but I bought Almond Milk yesterday and it's pretty good!

I've also ordered some natural meds to take for migraines, Bach Flowers, and inflammation drops for the inflammation in my body.  I've got so much going on internally that it's like a big snowball effect.  I'm eager to see how differently I might feel by taking care of my health issues.  As she said, it'll take some time because there are no "quick fixes".  But I'm very optimistic :)  For the first time in a long time, I'm actually sticking to an exercising routine and even enjoying eating healthier.  I was already doing this for about a month before this latest doctor visit, so I had a head-start on this process mentally.

I thought it might be neat to record some of my journey to a healthier lifestyle.  I may not blog every day, but I will try to at least fill you in on a weekly basis and we will see just what happens.  I'll share with you some of the stuff I'm eating, some new recipes, as well as the effects of some of the natural meds I'm taking.  I can already tell you that this total body cleanse is already helping me feel lighter...I think that's a good thing!  It's designed to drain my lymphatic system also, which is desperately needed, so I'm expecting improvement with some other problems too.   

So check in with me from time to time to see how this natural way of doing things is working.  Of couse, I will tell you up front, I believe anything in moderation is ok, so don't expect me to never have dessert or a Starbucks!  Okay?  If you are in a similar boat and have some suggestions, please feel free to chime in.  I'd love to hear from you :)  Just no negativity please ;)

(I have not been asked to promote natural therapies or this particular doctor.  I am strictly recording this information about my journey to better health as documentation of the benefits to me)

2 comments:

Tammy Smith said...

I think it is great that you are trying to find answers to your problems. Drs. seem to intimidate me. I pray it helps you. Being bipolar, I can emphazie with you. Love to you and family.

Lynn said...

Thanks so much Tammy. We do have to be proactive about our health. Sometimes that means taking the initiative to make the doctors listen to us....and sometimes that means changing doctors.

I'm excited about the changes I already see taking place!