Saturday, January 25, 2014

Almost Well!

I wanted to post an update on my current state of health. I can hardly believe all that has happened since my last post. As it turns out, my visit to see Dr. Lieberman last February was monumental. We were there for 2 solid weeks. I have met with him over the phone long distance since then every few months, and he has adjusted, added, or eliminated treatments or medications. After our first long conversation, he looked at me and said, "Ok, if we can lighten your allergy load, deal with the yeast and treat your staph, would you be happy?" He has done so much more though. As we continued to meet, and he was able to study the results of my blood work, he began to realize my thyroid was hypoactive, I was severely hormonally imbalanced, my adrenals were taxed, and I was allergic to approximately 85 things. At his office they have a testing lab like no other allergy testing lab in the country. You are injected with a particular dose of your suspected allergen, results are noted, you are reinjected with a different dose every 8 minutes, and this continues until you have reached a dose that your reaction has neutralized at. This dose level is placed into a vial that is customized for you. You then give yourself injections. I was also given custom made drops in their lab for staph infections, a nickel sensitivity I had developed, something to reduce inflammation, and something to neutralize a reaction (like benadryl). About a month or so later he added 1 hormone cream, then another, and after much trial and error of trying different natural thyroid meds, he reluctantly started me on some synthetic ones. Fast forward a year from all of this. I would say my energy level is almost back to normal. My itching does not happen every day and is very minimal when it does. Middle-of-the-night hour long itching sessions are a distant memory. I have been able to add back to my very restrictive diet about 15 items, and I havent had a staph infection in several months (I used to get these about once a month). I think I can confidently say I will be completely well, within another year. Thanks be to God!   

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Doctor and Update

It has been quite a while since I have posted. I have since my last post, been to a new doctor and switched to him. I did this for 2 reasons: 1-the other doctor was running out of ideas, and for several months we kept having the same conversation every month which ended in mostly, "I don't know." sincerely confessed. 2-this other doctor was not baffled by my history of symptoms, and gave me a name for what I am experiencing. Yeast is certainly a significant part of it, but he said it has gone beyond that, to an environmental illness. Basically I am allergic to the world. Seriously. I can wear cotton. That's it. I can eat millet, spinach, eggs, blueberries, and pumpkin with the least amount of reaction. Anything else I have increased rashes and itching. I go outside for less than 5 minutes I will react for an hour. He told me that I need to be rotating several different probiotics, and anti-fungals, which I suspected by my own online research. I have started doing this. This, and increased acupuncture appointments seems to have improved my condition greatly. Sleeping through the night is becoming the norm. I am (when I don't sample things off the above 5 item diet) having on average one reaction a day, usually at night. My bowels are normalizing. He also referred me to an environmental doctor out of town whom I will be seeing in Februrary. I have a great deal of hope for this appointment. My favorite thing about this doctor is that he uses natural means for cures, though not restricted to them, and he said there are people out there in a much worse state than I am. Why this comforts me so, I don't know, but it does. It reminds me that I am not alone, and that it is not so bad as it seems to be.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Another Glimmer of Hope, and Parsnip Chips

Well, I have slowed down on the juicing, as my last conversation with my doctor involved a bit of reserve on his side for me doing it. I am doing it every other day, and only doing vegetable juice. He said the sugars in the juice (even vegetable) would possibly cause more harm than good for my candida. He said every vegetable and fruit comes with the means to digest it, and when you take part of that away, digestion may be more challenging. I have also been reading this blog, and as a result have decided to cut my carbs WAY back. I am trying to eliminate fruit for several weeks, and eat some kind of vegetable and protien at every meal (yes, even breakfast). I have also started taking the probiotic she recommends (Truflora). Since I have made these changes, the below daily occurences have changed a bit. No more diarrhea. Always a plus. Also, last night, instead of the 3:00 a.m. session and bedtime at 1 or 2 a.m. (after itching), I was able to go to bed at 12:30, and didn't wake up until 4:45! (It's the little things).

Now, onto parsnip chips. As I am not eating fruit and less carbs, I am trying to find veggies I CAN eat and am not allergic to. So I asked my mom to get the following, daikon, parsnips, and turnips (all low-carb veggies). One day last week I threw some thinly sliced parsnips in our fryer. They were SOOOOO yummy. And when they were frying, I honestly think they smelled like maple syrup. Really, I felt like it was an indulgence. It's amazing what tastes good to you after you eliminate, well, everything. So, try them! And don't go too crazy, just one parsnip per serving. Average carbs per parsnip are between 10-20.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Typical Day

I wake up itching some and sore from the night before, I had at least 2 itching episodes, one before bed, and one at 3:00 a.m. a typical middle of the night session. I drink at least a quart of water as soon as I wake up with some charcoal pills, as it is supposed to help me flush out toxins. I start my bath right away, a good hot water bath soothes. I filter my tub for at least 10 minutes to get all the chlorine out as it causes break-outs for me. I soak for about 10 minutes. Even though I just woke up, I would give anything to return to bed, I am wiped out. Some days are good or at least better, some not so much. Today was rough. I have had diarrhea all week, every morning until lunch time. This morning was the same. Some days I get overconfident because itching is less or diarrhea at a minimum, energy level up (like yesterday) and I eat something I have been eliminating for a while because of suspected allergy developement. Yesterday, I did that. I usually pay for it. Most of the time I need a space heater with me at all times. This morning, I needed a fan. So, different and exciting right?

I bring my space heater out. I know I have to keep juicing. I typically juice first thing in the morning and after dinner at night. After I juice, I wait 20 minutes before eating solid food to allow the enzymatic juices to work their magic.  I set myself up by my heater in the dining room with my computer and do some much needed catch-up work on getting my kids school grades/work together to turn in. If I could I would stay by my heater all day, but sometimes I have to get up, and I can't carry it with me. In the afternoon, I start making a grocery list for my husband, I open the pantry, and feel an itching attack coming on. I have to sit down and "itch it out" until the burning stops. I usually try not to do this in front of my children or cry, but today, my 10 yr. old daughter was right there. She is so perceptive of things, and very sensitive. She sat down with me and hugged me all the way through it, and I cried. One of the many times my children have felt like the parents, and I the child. They are God's little consolations for me through out. She said she wished she could go through it for me. After whining in my head all day, this afternoon, at long last, I have a normal BM. Cause for rejoicing! I almost wanted to throw a party! But really, who would come, and what a weird party. So, never mind.

I soak in the tub once more before getting ready for dinner. I notice that my chest, which used to look like I had been attacked by wolves, only looks like I have a few bug bites now, so, an improvement, wouldn't you say? Things are pretty calm through dinner prep and eating. I take my Diflucan, Vit. E, an herbal supplement for digestive calming, D-3, and a probiotic. After dinner, the kids are crowded around the window in excitement. There is a beautiful pink sky out with a rainbow across it. This is the second rainbow this week, I can't help but notice, and think, "hope." During family prayer time however, my arms break out in hives. My 10 yr. old daughter sits at my feet hugging my legs. I continue to itch after prayer time, pretty miserable, again, so I go prepare another bath. After soaking a while, toting my heater, I go to juice one more time. I crave carbs, especially at night. Carbs are my worst enemy though, because even a little more than I should have can cause me setbacks, as the yeast thrive on carbs. So, I go through this "Have I had enough carbs today? probably. Do I want more carbs? Definitely. Should I eat them? probably not." I usually end up eating something.

Things are usually calm in the evening until about midnight. Then there is usually some before bed itching. Sometimes bath-worthy, sometimes not. As I go off to bed, I realize, I didn't need my heater much tonight, which is usually when I need it the most. So, in the midst of it all, a very good step in the right direction.
  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A New Loaded Gun

I am starting to realize there is no one cure for candida. They are insidious and relentless, and you have to come at them with a full set of loaded guns. So, about a month ago, a friend of mine who has Lupus and Chrohn's disease, and many other health problems, sent me a link to this. She said "you have to watch it." My husband and I sat down and watched it. If you know nothing about it, it is a documentary about a guy who was chronically ill with a skin condition and lots of other health problems, had seen many doctors, a homeopath, and I think acupuncturist? and finally decided to do something crazy. He started a juice fast. He ate nothing for 60 days, only juiced lots of vegetables and fruits all day. The key to this juicing was a lot of greens, fresh and organic produce, and lots of water. By the end of the 60 days, he is cured of his illness, off his meds, and looks like a completely different person. He did have a doctor monitor his health while doing it, and everything they tested just kept getting better and better. So, after praying about it and feeling strongly led to do it, and after talking to my doctor about it, (and getting his "ok") I decided to do a much milder version of this. I juiced during the day, and ate "whole foods" at night, meaning lots of produce, veggies, and a little light protien like eggs or chicken (I would have done fish but have  developed an allergy to it) and some whole grains, at least the ones I can tolerate: teff and millet mainly. I also read this book.

After the 10 day fast, I started eating small meals while juicing. About a week after the fasting part, for about a week, the "detox" period of this method of cleansing, was not as bad as the candida cleanse I did a while back but still, not fun, increased itching, some diarrhea, and constant chills. While this was very difficult to endure, I was ready for a change, and had reached a standstill. I was willing to go through a little extra pain, if it meant healing in the end.

So today, almost a month since I first started, something changed. I am normally freezing all the time. Winter or summer, I keep a space heater on full blast next to me at all times. This is one symptom the doctor I am working with has been puzzled by. The last time I mentioned this to him he said, "I don't know, it makes no sense." Now, I have tremendous respect for this doctor. He brought me out the pits, really, picked me up off my feet. And I respect a doctor even more, when they actually admit, they don't know. Some doctors won't do that. So, as I say, freezing. Today, however, I noticed by the end of the day, I had not ONCE pulled my heater out with me, all day, not until late evening did I need it. And somehow, I think some of the rash areas are less inflamed. So, I continue to juice, and continue to hope.

If you should have a yeast condition and decide to take the same path to healing, here are some of the detox symptoms I have had:

1. Extreme bloatedness around the abdomen, like I was pregnant.
2. Lots of itching
3. cold sweats, at one point I changed my clothes 5 times in one day, this was not heat related.
4. nausea
5. chills
6. irritability

Happy Juicing! :)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Setbacks

My doctor has been taking me off of Diflucan to see how I fare, and I have not responded well. I asked him one time what is the longest time he has had someone on it, and he said 4 years. I have been on it for 6 months or so, so I guess it is just a drop in the bucket. I have been struggling a bit with depression as I was under the illusion that I am almost well, until taken off the Diflucan. I also began trying foods I formerly could not eat, such as nuts, beans, and some fruits that were not organic, and not responding well to that either. My doctor has asked that I try an elimination diet, where I eliminate one food at a time for 3 days and see if it gets better or stays the same. Dealing with this condition requires a great deal of patience. It feels like I can see the end, but it is still far away, further than I realized. I am making the practice daily now, of reminding myself where I was (with the encouragement of my husband) and being grateful for what I have and where I am. So here is my grateful list:

1. I am grateful to be sleeping through the night. No more 3 a.m. itching sessions.
2. I am grateful to have a supportive family, that keeps believing and trusting and encouraging.
3. I am grateful to still have many things to choose from to eat. My doctor told me one of his patients only had 3 things she could eat. 3.
4. I am grateful to be able to get out more. My illness no longer controls my entire life.
5. I am grateful that my reactions are not so bad that I have to soak for hours in the tub every day.
6. I am grateful to not be freezing all the time, and to not be attached to my portable heater anymore.
7. I am grateful to be able to cook for my family again.
8. I am grateful to be able to exercise again.
9. I am grateful to be able to wear jewelry again without reactions.
10. I am grateful to be able to wear some of my shoes again, without reaction.
11. I am grateful to be able to be a mom again.
12. I am grateful for daylight.
 
I have been thinking about this scripture:

Job 13:15
"Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him."

I am still certain He will heal me in his own time, in his own way. All I need do is wait.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Steady as She Goes...

It has been a long while since I have posted here. I have been working with a doctor who is a yeast specialist while also going to Accupuncture regularly. The results have been amazing. While I am not sure whether it is the doctor or the Accupuncture, I am inclined to think it is a combination of both, that and the prayers of friends and family.

My stomach problems are for the most part under control, and my itching is down to a minimum of 5-10 minutes a day, usually at night and not so bad anymore that I have to soak in the tub afterwards as in the past. My doctor put me on a rotation diet (making sure you don't eat the same thing every day helps to minimize the potential for allergy developements) which I did for a while but have gotten away from it some. He also had me on Vit. E, a multivitamin, Chamomile tea, and Diflucan (anti-fungal drug) for a while but recently took me off to see how I fare. At my last visit he emphasized the need for this if I am going to get well, and said I have to decide if I really want to get well. I said I am "ok" with my itching level right now, but I would like to have more variety in my diet and would like to be itch-free. He said you can be comfortable with 5 minutes of itching, but what about when it gets to 10, 30, an hour of itching every night? He makes a point. I will be working on planning out my rotation diet again and keeping track of my reactions.

It is hard to wait, when recovery feels so close, and my illness does not completely control my life anymore. It seems it has been a long time, about 21/2 years really, since it all started. I have learned a great deal in that time though. I have learned that you are in fact what you eat, and only you can decide to take control of your health. No one will make you. If you're lucky like me though, God will place many people in your life who will not let you stay sick if they can help you. I have also learned that nothing is hopeless, no matter how hopeless it seems.
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