10/2/12

healthy living cont'd.

I visited the Publix in Warner Robins and found a few new items....yay! 
Glutino apple gluten free breakfast bars, gf Honey Nut Chex cereal, gf mini chocolate chip cookies by Pamela's, and a Betty Crocker cookie mix :) 

(WARNING: very long post! Sorry....lots of info.)

I've been promising a health update...sorry I'm so slow about it.  I guess sometimes it's hard to make myself sit down and right about something that can be very detailed at times. 

I'm happy to say, that despite my lack of regular exercising, I'm keeping off the weight I lost since this journey began last March.  At one time, I had gained 2 lbs back, but lost it after my little surgery a few weeks ago.  That's the good thing about surgery isn't it?  Good way to lose a few pounds quickly!

Before I tackle the subject of the outpatient surgery I had, let's talk about hormones, shall we!  If you will recall, I've had two sets of blood work done since April.  The first test revealed just how wacky my hormones really are...and have been for soooo long!  I hardly had any estrogen in my body (although I take a pill daily), and I had extreme levels of cortisol and testosterone.  Scott thinks as high as my testosterone was, I should've grown a beard.....lol!!!  Thank goodness, I didn't!

Anyway, I've continued on with the health plan by Dr. Haire and I'm still seeing results.  The second round of blood work showed good improvement in getting my hormone levels balanced.  The testosterone is still high, but there is marked improvement.  She could tell that I had been cheating on my diet some and encouraged me to try to avoid the wheat and dairy.  So, I'm determined to behave myself.  If I eat like I'm supposed to, I feel so much better!  It's just really hard sometimes - especially when it's inconvenient :( 

She also warned me to avoid undue stress.  Because my testosterone is still high, it just makes it worse.  I told her I'd felt really good originally after starting on the natural meds.  I was much calmer and it was noticeable to me...and to my family.  But lately, I can sense my tension and stress returning.  She said that it was obvious to me at first because it was something different I was feeling for the first time in a LONG time.  Over time, it doesn't have quite the same affect as my testosterone is still high and affecting my moods..especially when something upsets me or makes me angry.  Lord help me!  I try so hard to stay calm, but it's so hard sometimes.

She also advised me to do another liver cleanse.  After surgery, you will always have chemicals in your system that can have long-lasting affects.  This was also affecting my ability to handle the pollen in the air now.  Remember last spring?  I had done a total body cleanse and a liver detox and did not have the first sign of problems with the spring pollen.  It was heaven!  And it was the first time since I can remember that it didn't bother me.  But this fall pollen has been getting the best of me. 

So I started the liver cleanse and I'm seeing good results.  I still sneeze some, but it's better...and manageable.  I may go back to see Dr. Haire in November for a quick checkup, but after that, I'm good to go, she thinks.  I'm sure I'll go see her at least once per year to fine-tune my system.  I'll also be seeing a new gynecologist in December that combines medicine with natural remedies as well.  I feel like I will have optimum results like this and continue to improve.

This photo is of my aqua chi session done two weeks ago at my visit with Dr. Haire. 


If you've never had one of these done, I recommend it!  Although I have to admit, it's pretty gross!  Read all about aqua chi sessions here

Ok. Now on to another doctor visit.  The day after I saw Dr. Haire and got the results of my blood work, I met with my new internist.  I had seen her once before (3 weeks prior) for something else....I'll get to that in a minute.  But this visit was a re-check and she took a look at the blood work as well.  She was very impressed with the improvement in my hormone levels with this natural approach.  That's saying alot since she herself is an internist and does not deal with natural medicines.  She told me to keep it up because it was working. 

So you're probably wondering why I went to see an internist.  Here's where the LOOONNGG story starts......  I had a knot underneath the skin on my left leg...actually in the crease of my leg (groin area) that would not go away.  I showed it to my gynecologist at a visit and he lanced it to get a culture.  Any time you get a knot of any kind somewhere on your body, it can be a little worrisome.  Well, the test didn't reveal anything.  He put me on an antibiotic to prevent infection and I hoped that was the end of it.  Well....it wasn't.  Long story, short....I had this particular spot off and on for about 2 years!  Because of where it was, it was very painful at times.  A couple of months ago, there were several knots in that same area.  As you can imagine, I really started worrying then!   

The doctor didn't seem too concerned about it and really had no explanation of what it was.  He said that any area of your body where there are sweat glands, these places can come up....like the groin area and under your arms.  Well, after seeing him several times for this problem and being tortured by his lancing it with no pain medication, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  Sometimes you just have to do that to get answers or to even get better.

I made an appointment with a dermatologist since it affected my skin.  He said it looked like 'hydradenitis' and that surgery would be the only way to remove it.  First of all, I didn't know what that was, so I googled it - and I was horrified at what I saw!  This one little spot on me was nothing compared to what some people have!

He made me an appointment with a plastic surgeon and gave me an antibiotic I'd never taken.  Well, you would know, by the time I got to see the surgeon, it had mysteriously disappeared!  The surgeon hoped it wouldn't come back because he said it was a pretty intensive surgery and sometimes required skin grafts.  He said that he would not do surgery anyway until I saw an infectious disease doctor/internist to see if they could recommend preventative measures.   

I was so thankful that it seemed to be gone.  I was fine for about 6 months, but then it came back again.  I called the surgeon back and got the referral to the internist he recommended.  I won't go into all of that visit.....let's just say after waiting over 2 hours in the waiting room, I left! 

This is when I decided to treat myself, so to speak.  I did alot of research on this condition and learned that hormones can play a big role in this.  That's when I decided to see the naturopath (Dr. Haire).  I already suspected my hormones were causing my migraines.  After seeing Dr. Haire initially, my condition seemed to improve for a while.  She certainly helped me to get better in alot of other ways.  But then it came back with a vengeance!  I'm for real!  The entire left side of my groin area became inflamed and I was in alot of pain.  I could feel multiple knots under my skin and really got scared. 

I didn't want to go back to the doctor I had walked out on.  Something about waiting for 2 hours and hearing the doctor herself running up and down the hall hollering orders made me want to steer clear.  So I made an appointment with another internist. She confirmed that my diagnosis was correct and also felt that my hormones were causing the problem.  She asked me to bring my blood work to the next visit so that she could see what my hormones levels were in the recent lab work.  (As I mentioned earlier, on my second visit she was impressed with my improvement under Dr. Haire's care and encouraged me to keep it up).

Also on that first visit, she referred me to a surgeon that same day.  At the surgeon's office, he confirmed that surgery would be necessary, but felt that I would see good results from it.  So the surgery date was set for the following week.

It was a simple outpatient procedure, but they did have to put me under.  Scott was going to be out of town that week, so my mom went with me.  The surgery itself didn't take long at all, but I was there most of the day as a result of the nausea afterward.  Something about being put to sleep makes me so sick!  Anyway, the cut on my leg was about 4-5 inches.  Have you ever cut up a chicken?  Well, you know how to cut the leg off the chicken's body?  Just imagine that and you will know where they cut me....ha ha!

He went in to clean out the area and remove that area of infection.  Once in there, he noticed alot of scar tissue that had developed as a result of  previous procedures.  The gland in my leg was basically stopped up and had become elongated.  When he was done, he glued the skin back together - no staples.  I was only out of work a few days and did not even have any pain after surgery.  I did had to be careful of how I moved my legs for a few days, careful not to stretch the area.  That meant no exercising at all for 3 weeks. 

Well, here we are 5 weeks later.  The incision has healed nicely and I'm pain free for the first time in a couple of years!  I wish now I had done this sooner.  I'm just excited that my instincts were right and I sought out the type of help I really needed.  Our hormones have a HUGE impact on the way we feel.  We have to listen to what our bodies are telling us.  When we do, we will have a better chance of having optimum health :)

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