Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I can only tell you what it feels like.

I haven't updated you guys with a Personal Post in a while.  I guess that it is time.

Most of you know that my mom and I moved back to Florida at the end of last year.  For months it was all about the settling in.  Now we have moved on to various renovation projects, as it has become apparent that some are sorely needed.  We are about to be in the middle of a kitchen demolition and remodel.  I have never done that before, but I am anticipating that it will be fun fun fun.  We are also doing several things to make the house more energy efficient given that nothing has been done since it was built in 1976.  So, it is perfectly up-to-code for a house built in 1976, but not so much for a house in 2013.  Let me put it like this: the air flow is terrible.  Since it has been winter, I have been loving it because I LIKE it cooler, and all of the rooms where I spend the most time have *terrible* air flow.  However, when the weather gets warmer, this is going to be a real problem.  So, the entire house needs to be reducted, sealed, and the insulation in the attic needs to be brought up to code.  And that just gives you an idea of what we are doing here.

A friend of ours (from when we lived here several years ago) referred me to a doctor that she found who turned her world upside down and made everything right in her world.  She became very ill after we left.  So ill that this doctor was the 17th doctor she saw in Florida in her effort to get well.  Man, do I know this feeling.  Anyway, we shall call this doctor of the female persuasion Dr. M henceforth.  Dr. M is an M.D., but she is definitely an outside the box thinker.  She ran a Nutritional Analysis on my friend to discover what her problem(s) were.  Once they started treating those, my friend got much better.  She now thinks Dr. M is a miracle worker or something like that.  Anyway, my friend was absolutely insistent that I see the infamous Dr. M when we moved back here.  So, I did.

My appointment was supposed to be at the end of March, but was moved up to mid-February thanks to a cancellation.  I was impressed by how quickly I was seen.  As a person who is well versed with doctors and waiting, shock is actually a better word.  I never even made it to my chair in the lobby before I was called back.  Say what???  Once I got into a room, I never even opened my book before the woman herself... yes, that would be Dr. M. walked in.  I gasped due to disbelief.  I might have even said, "I can't believe it's actually you."  I am sure it sounded totally idiotic... whatever came out of my mouth.

She said, "I am on time today."  Like this is normal.  What universe had I landed in?

She then preceded to take my ENTIRE history dating from when my migraines began.  That would be back in January 2003.  She wanted to know about everything.  My personal history, the nature of the headache, how I had been treated (medically), who had treated me and what they had done.  It was a lot of talking.  She also wanted to know about any new developments in my health, which unfortunately there were.  And she took a look at my most recent lab results.  And then I waited.

Her diagnosis: My migraines were not the primary problem and would never go away using pain medication or migraine medication.  Tell me something I don't know.  So she did.  The migraines are actually a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that was brought on by the constant barrage of  abuse by my ex-husband.  Woah.  You could have blown me off the chair with a feather.  The good news is that it is treatable with counseling from someone who specializes in PTSD counseling.  Not treating it will just cause my body to continue to break down.  My immune system is functioning on high levels right now.  As she put it, "Your body is working overtime just to stay alive.  And in the process it is killing itself."  Yeah, I get the irony.

So, while my body has been working overtime to stay alive I have become hypoglycemic, developed fibromyalgia, am chronically fatigued, and have numerous auto-immune issues.  I have other antibodies that are on the verge of flipping to auto-immune if my body doesn't stop working so hard at trying to stay alive.  In addition to this counseling, I now have to eat way more healthily and often.  The health food store and I are becoming fast friends.  Do you have a Whole Foods in your town?  Awesome store.  Wish ours was closer.  Moving on...

She also immediately took me off all pain medications.  Yep.  Saving the hardest part for last.  Every doctor has always said that the pain meds cause Rebound Headaches.  Well, that may be true, but you have a headache all the time, with or without the pain meds, and it is a whole lot worse the first few days without.  Especially if the doctor in question doesn't prescribe the RIGHT thing to help combat the symptoms.  Dr. M. prescribed phenergan in a suppository (I am not explaining that one) because she thinks I probably have leaky gut (not explaining that either), and I don't digest or absorb like I should.  Those first few days with no pain meds were MISERABLE.  I was in bed praying for death with the axe.  Does anyone remember those posts?  Me imagining how I could lop off my head with the axe, but not able to figure out how I could effectively wield the thing one-handed, and get the job done?  Well, I was right back there again for almost three days.

And then the cloud lifted.  And just using the phenergan was fairly equivalent to how I did on the pain medication... just without the pain medication.  Hallelujah.  Yes.  I literally was ready to sing the entire Hallelujah Chorus.  Or play it.  Whatevs.

Since then, mom and I have actually been out and about.  Running errands.  I actually feel better.  I have had two sessions with the therapist and have a sense about how this therapy works.  I feel hopeful for the first time in what seems like... forever.  I am even driving again.  For anyone who has been reading this blog, you know what a HUGE step that is.  I am not so disoriented and dizzy that I can't drive.  It feels great.  It feels like freedom.  It feels like hope. 

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  1. Holy Moly, that is like a miracle. I don't know where you live in Florida but I lived in Melbourne for 25 years and there was (at that time) a large community of people who ate macrobiotics. A great health food store that cooked macro several times a week and let us use a room to have our pot luck meals several times a week. The reason I mention this is because it was such a wonderful support system and I was totally healthy when I was on macro all that time. I saw many "miracles" from just easting a balanced healthy diet. I would like to eat macro again but Montana is such a cowboy steak and potatoes state and Macro comes easier with a support group.

    I mention this because maybe there is a macro group near you. Just a thought. Sometimes, that
    one person pops up who can help you. Sounds like
    Dr M. might be the one.
    Thanks for letting us know.
    Take care and enjoy life

  2. Hi Robin,

    What a hopeful, encouraging post. I'm not really up to speed with your life, but you have articulated, very well, the gist of it.

    Now that the underlying issue has been addressed, I see, like you see, a better, happier future for your good self. It's amazing how our mental and physical well being are closely intertwined.

    And you with pride, your head held high as the realisation of freedom grows ever stronger. Excellent and know that together with hope, we cope.

    With respect and admiration,

    Gary :)

  3. Oh Robin, I will hope for you and with you!

  4. Hope . . . the best 4 letter word EVER!
    Robin, you always seem so upbeat and positive to me. I am in awe of you :)

  5. What GREAT news!!!

    I like the way that Dr. M sounds!!!

    I look forward to more good news from you just like this!!


  6. Holy cow, this is UTTERLY AMAZING!!!
    Having met you irl and seeing a bit of what you go through on a daily basis, I honestly have to wonder why it never hit me that there might be a mind/body thing going on. I guess I just never got into the 'when's' and 'why's' connection. That doctor was smart to take the time to get into your history so quickly.
    This also gives me insight into some PTSD issues that may come up for my family members and could save us a whole lot of trouble down the line. You can never know what good you'll do by sharing your story. THANK YOU!
    Oh Robin, I am so glad to hear that you are back to some normal every day activities. I can't imagine how much better things are for you. This is just such good news!

  7. Manzi ~ When you are ready the teacher will come. I never would have thought it would take me THIS LONG to be ready. I seriously thought I was ready... oh about nine and a half years ago, but apparently not. This whole experience has taught me more lessons than I could ever have imagined. But, I am so glad to be Here.Now. I will keep my eyes open on what kinds of "dinners" are being hosted by various health food stores or outlets. As you said, a support network does increase the ease of healthy eating and healthy living.

    Khalanie ~ Thank you. I wasn't sure that people who weren't long-time followers of this ole blog would understand my crazy, convoluted story. Glad that I made some sort of sense. I think you hit that nail very well: "with hope, we cope." My previous doctor was very caring and tried her very best to get me well. She really was the best I had found, but she was stymied. However, she knew it "wasn't in my head" and I wasn't "crazy." Blah blah blah. And that was hope for many years. She also tried to dilute the effects of what was happening, but she couldn't figure out the root. It was like treading water. I was getting really tired, but I didn't know what else to do. I still had hope so I was coping, but it was getting harder by the day. Obviously, this is So Much Better. Thank you for your kind words.

    Liza ~ Thank you. You have been here since the beginning of this blog. I appreciate the support.

    Judy ~ I loved your Hope post. Yes, it is the BEST 4 letter word ever... without it we really are adrift. Felt like you were sending me a message in a bottle... I mean a blog.

    Shoes ~ I think you would like Dr. M, Shoes. I really hope to that I am writing more blogs with even Better news:)

    Jasmine ~ Is it still Jasmine? Whatevs. Moving on... Yes, this is Utterly Amazing. I knew that I was in the Right Place when she wanted to HEAR IT ALL. And if I can help anyone get better FASTER than I did, that is blessing right there. I am actually dreaming about working again. You have no idea how much I miss working. Gah. First step: driving. Check. Woohoo.

    1. Yup, it'll be Jasmine until I move- at least. I still haven't decided what I want to do with all that...
      More importantly, the fact that you feel well enough to even think of doing such amazing things is just, well, AMAZING!!!

  8. OMG ... you're actually - let me sit down for this one - living your life??? Enjoying yourself??? Being seen by a doctor who accomplishes something??? Such a smile on my face, right now ... :) A huge move, physically and every other way, and look at the gifts you've received in return for taking that giant leap of faith and adventure!

    1. I know - it is SHOCKING. I hope you didn't fall over and hurt yourself. I feel very blessed:)

  9. Robin: Carol and I can't wait to get up to see you. You know you are always welcome to visit just to get away for a while. We don't need notice. I am so happy to hear you are joining the living! Dr. M. is, well, a doctor. Good for her!

  10. Oh, Rob... I sure have missed a whole bunch around here. I'm so happy for you that I don't even know where to begin! You're driving? Wow! Your friend hit the nail right on the head. This Dr. M is a miracle worker. At the very least, she's a rarity in the world of medicine these days. Just think... a doc who actually takes the time to look beyond the obvious. If I had a dollar for every time I've said (in my head) "tell me something I don't know", well, I'd be sitting on a beach in Bali right now. Hope... Yup, it's an awesome thing to have. XOXO

  11. JJ ~ Mom and I are looking forward to a visit, too. I am sure that it will happen either here or there soon:)

    Mary ~ You are so right on all counts. This really has been a blessing all the way around. I keep praying that someone like her finds their way to you. She absolutely believes that I can ~ in time AND with the right diet, therapies, etc ~ my body can return to its natural state of wellness. You read that correctly. If that is so, I would really like you to see her... or at least thing about it...


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