Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Starting Fresh

Well, life so far has been blissfully busy in the new/old Victorian house :) We just adore it, and have been having so much fun picking out colors for the three main rooms downstairs (pictures to follow, I promise, Misfit!) - but at the same time I am definitely feeling the stress of having to pay the mortgage and all the bills on my own for the time being, until DH's job picks up.

On the the financial front, the new NaPro Dr who started working in our State a couple months ago still really wants me to join his team as the staff Sonographer... so he has proposed a 20-hour .5 time with benefits position. (At first, the hour commute to work and no health benefits had forced me to decline the position. So, he must really want me on board!)

Tonight we'll do some calculating and see if the pros outweigh the cons (cutting back hours at my imaging center that I LOVE, paying-in to benefits when right now they are covered 100%, 1-hour commute, etc).

And on the infertility front, I just had my follow-up phone appointment with Dr D in California, the NaPro Dr who has been helping me sort out the immune-related issues and nutritional side of my health. It was a VERY informative appointment, and as it turns out, the results of my stool sample (sorry) showed that I DIDN'T have yeast or dysbiosis! Go figure! We were almost certain, after the deluge of antibiotics that have been in my system, that there would be yeast. Even better? There are NO indications that there are any active infections in my body!! Take that, CT!

However, there were two abnormal findings. The first, one of the IgG (or was it IgA?) tests was extremely elevated. The abnormal would have been over 180 and my number was 233. She said it wasn't horribly elevated, but definately significant. And it shows that my body is having some kind of inflammatory reaction to SOMETHING - and this reaction is an AUTO-IMMUNE RESPONSE. Amazing. I have been tested for so many auto-immune disorders, only to discover that everything turned out normal. But my GUT is showing otherwise. Dr D. didn't seem surprised, and what she recommends is a good gut healing. What, pray tell, would that consist of, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you:

First, we need to discover WHAT EXACTLY is the culprit that I am ingesting which is causing this response in my body, and then ELIMINATE IT. To that end, I will be doing yet another food sensitivity testing, this time one by MetaMetrix (I think?) which she specifically recommended. My stool was tested for the four main allergens and, SURPRISE, was negative for gluten, dairy, soy, and egg. She said the stool tests for allergens are not the most conclusive, though, AND it may be some other type of food like nuts, citrus, night shade vegetables (I would DIE, I LOVE EGGPLANT!!), or something else. Then once I find what it is and eliminate it from my diet, I will speak with the nutritionist she recommended and come up with a great meal-plan with is also low in carbs and sugars for PCOS.

Second, I may then consider seeking out treatment for my pelvic organs with a place that specializes in Abdominal Physical Therapy. When the Dr described this place (she forgot the name but will email it to me, and then I'll let you all know), she said she was blown away by their detailed reports. Their physical therapy is mostly geared towards people who are experiencing lower abdominal and pelvic pain, but their therapy helps to restore anatomy and function of the organs, so it therefore also helps to treat infertility. She warned me that it was a little "out there," to which I replied, "Oh, I don't care, I will give anything a try!" Then she added, "Well, I believe they also do internal massages..." Hmmm. Sounds pleasant.

Third, I may ALSO consider using a very mild drug (she went out of her way to tell me how mild it is, and how minimal to nothing the side effects are- I think I love California Doctors!) which is used primarily for senior citizens to help them with memory loss. The mechanism of action, though, is to lower the TNF-Alpha, which is a cytokine. (I don't completely understand how cytokines work, but I do know they are a big part of the immune side of things, and this is something Dr Kwak-Kim tests for regularly in her patients.) I am going to get my cytokine levels checked again soon to see if I could benefit from this drug, which is called "Trental."

The second thing that was found to be abnormal in my stool was something that tests for enzyme-action. (Don't ask me to explain this.) My level was 3, abnormally low for someone my age, she said. It shows that I am not fully digesting all of my food, or something to that effect, and the way to correct this is by adding an enzyme (supplement) when I eat meals. She recommended Wobenzyme, which is so funny, because I have seen this same supplement talked about frequently on the immune-related infertility community y.ahoo group. (I just never knew I needed it until now!)

A few of the questions I had for her were:

Should I increase my compounded progesterone to 600mgs (as she originally suggested) or is 400mgs doing the trick? She thinks 400mgs is definately sufficient based on my 18-day post-Peak phase last cycle. She even wondered aloud if I were pregnant last month and lost it early... (omgosh, my Dr must be delusional, too!) ;) ;)

Should I get my thyroid re-tested and then go back on T3 if my numbers aren't in the upper 1/3? She thinks my adrenals are still healing, and once they do, my thyroid will settle into perfect range. Back in November when they were tested, even though they were slightly below the upper 1/3 (Free T3), she was very very pleased with those numbers already, as they are. I told her I wasn't opposed to going back on T3 but if I didn't need to... and she cut me off to agree wholeheartedly and say she didn't think I needed it after all :) I really do love her!

Finally, I said that I did not take her suggestion for increased Vitamin C, because I was worried it would make my mucus even worse (and I've even gone back to taking Amoxicillin to improve it), and she said at this point since my energy has improved and my adrenals are well on their way to healing, I don't need the Vitamin C and she's glad I didn't go on it. Phew!

I do need to get more Omega 3s because I ran out a while ago and haven't been able to afford another bottle (they're so expensive!!) - but she said it really is a good idea to take them consistently, to calm inflammation. I also need to invest in a top-of-the-line probiotic. She recommended VSL #3, which I think someone mentioned as being the one they take (was it you, Wheelbarrow?)

And that's that! It was a quick but very worthwhile appointment. I can't wait to get this food stuff figured out once and for all, I'm SO TIRED of cutting random stuff out of my diet which is obviously not even helping!!

I think 2011 has potential.

23 comments:

Sunshine said...

TCIE- this is interesting because I continually test high for IgA and have gotten no explanation from Dr KK. I will start working more on my diet and really cut out dairy (something my acupuncturist has told me to do) and see if that has any effect. I hope you find what is going on soon!
Have fun with the house!

Second Chances said...

Yay for the new house!!! And for all of that amazing information on your fertility. Wow! You're going to be an expert (already are in my opinion). Cheers to 2011! And I hope you make a good decision with your new job proposal. Good problem to have!

Tridentine Wife said...

Great news TCIE, but whoa a lot of information to sort through I'm sure. I will continue to pray for you. Can't wait to see pictures of the new house.

barbie said...

Check out krill oil, it's high in omega three's, Dr Mercola's site sells a good brand.

Way to start 2011, Can't wait to hear how it all falls into place!

Little JoAnn said...

I KNOW 2011 promises BIG things for you. In Julia Inchovia (sp) book, INCONCEIVABLE, she outlines the nutritional route she took (at like 41) and overcame If when given absolutely NO CHANCE of conceiving on her own. For the nutrition side of things and for her route I would suggest the book...her treatment included edemas and colon cleansings and fun stuff like that...but, for some, this is the only way to tackle inflamation from the literal inside out. Now, I use to own this book and would have sent it to you, but dang it, with our move I can't find it as I can't even find my deodarant any more and our baby toe nail clippers (and for the first time in Baby A's life she has a huge, long toe nail that needs to be clipped!)

Wheatgrass was on the menu and yes OMEGA 3's and FISH OIL are HUGE as are calcium, VITAMIN E and Magnesium...

I think your CA doctor is great and I benefit BIG Time from my CA friends (mine are crazy actually while she is NOT) but it was my CALIFORNIA friends who helped me think outside the box with IF and TOLD ME ABOUT Dr. Beer, for me, because of my thyroid et al, it was my route...I also have a hunch that you would present with more AUTOIMMUNE stuff in a few more years, but since you are young, it's brewing but hasn't reared its full ugly head yet.

Hope this wasn't too confusing!

Hebrews 11:1 said...

I'll admit, I only ever understand about 30% of what you recount from your doctor's appointments, but if you are happy then I am happy! It does sound hopeful...maybe you and I will both be giving birth to like Yankee fan babies in 9+ months. :)

simone said...

wow a lot is going on here. I just read the article in Our sunday visitor about blogs and I did not realize who you were. I know you on the yahoo forum....SO that is cool that I put the two of you together. Hopefully I got it right.
I am so glad that you are loving the new house. You need some joy in your life and something to depend on. I also cannot believe all of that stuff you got from that DR. Wow so you have some avenues to go down. Then I think I know the Dr you are talking about in NJ bc I sent you the job posting a few months ago and now he wants you. If if it that Dr, he is so great, but it is tough to figure out money, commute etc.... so I am praying for you that it all works out.......
-Karen

Angela said...

WOW! What a lot of great findings!! 2011 sounds very promising, I agree! Can't wait to learn more! I learn so much medical stuff from your posts ;)
And you must post more house pics!! love it so far!! You are going to have soooo much fun working on it!

JellyBelly said...

Wow! That was one thorough appointment!

I make a smoothie every morning with hemp and flax seed to boost my omegas. My Napro naturopath gave me the recipe. It's also the easiest breakfast EVER! If you want the recipe, let me know.

I'm so glad that 2011 is being so good to you!!!

callmemama said...

You know - I'm one of those who can't eat nightshades. Potatoes (not sweet, but any other kind), tomatoes, eggplant, peppers (cayenne, bell, etc). It's unfortunate, but for the longest time I thought I was reacting to dairy, when in fact it was nightshades! At least now I can enjoy cheese and milk. The tomatoes are missed the most I think, right after the hot peppers (I love cayenne on everything!).
I can't wait to see more pictures of the house. Make sure you take some before and afters!!!

the misfit said...

Tell me this means you can resume eating gluten, dairy, eggs, and what was the other? I'll ship you some quiche. Well, I'm sure your DH is a better cook, but just for the celebration factor.

Also, your diagnoses BEWILDER me. As in, I literally cannot comprehend the explanations. And as I was reading that about the abdominal physical therapy (um...crunches?) I started to get a sneaking suspicion that something unorthodox might be involved. And then you said "massage." I tell you what, it couldn't happen to a better girl than the one who already takes vaginal steam baths...

Perfect Power in Weakness said...

Congrats on the house and the job! That's so exciting it's going to work out with benefits. And thanks for all the information from your CA doctor. What a wealth of information she/you are. You always give me things to think about with my own health and things to ask my NaPro dr. Thank you!

Rachel said...

I did about eight session of Physical Therapy that also involved internal massage. It is the most awkward thing ever and you definitely want to select a woman for this, just not a very pleasant thing to do. It is one thing to go to an OBGYN and get examined for a few minutes but having 30-60 min of internal massage is a little overwhelming. I did it before my surgery to deal with Endo pain and it helped a little but not as well as I hoped. Thanks for sharing your treatment plan; I have learnt so much from you. Hope 2011 is the year for you.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sweet jane said...

Prental...ha! I like the sound of that. :)

Do you wonder if these specialists see enough "non-problematic" people to know that the issues they see are actually problems, and not just real life (non text book) digestive issues? I mean, is it likely that we ALL have some unique wacky things going on in our systems, but since they're only testing the people who are going in to find problems, they are assuming these issues ARE problems that must be addressed? I guess I'm mainly confused because I don't see the concrete correlation between perfect digestion and any specific problem you're having...other than numbers on a test result. Do *you* understand the correlation, and the necessity for getting these numbers in a certain range? (I suspect you do...You seem to know a lot more about all of these details than you ever imagined you'd want or need to know.)

2011 is full of promise!

The Comeaus said...

Hey, you used the word "blissfully" here! There is cheer behind the writing of this post, and I am so happy for you!

Already moved in?? Hooray!

A new house...a job offer...good medical care by a doctor you trust and respect...it all sounds good to me!

What a fantastic way to begin the new year. Enjoy being so busy. :)

LifeHopes said...

Reading this post has me BRIMMING with excitement for you. Not just with the house (which is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO freaking exciting!) but it sounds like you are in really good hands with this Dr.!!

I am so bad at remembering what supplements are what, but for the Omega 3s, is that fish oil? FJIJ recommended the Nordic Naturals fish oil for me and I ordered it online. It doesn't taste fishy (more lemony) and I really liked it. It isn't cheap but its worth it. (fish oil is one of the very best things you can take for inflammation). If you have inflammation going on, I highly recommend a book called "The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe book" by Jessica Black. It really was a great way for me to learn what foods were inflammatory and which ones weren't. I'll send you mine if I can locate it.

I will be praying specifically for you to have wisdom on whether or not to accept this new position at the napro Dr. with the commute.

the misfit said...

By the way, I'm not going to forget about the photos, just in case you were wondering...

mrsblondies said...

So glad to hear that you have some great new fronts to work health/fertility-wise with the Cal doc. Praying for you on the financial/job front and can't wait to see house pictures!

Erin said...

I just love you talking about your new home. I know when we moved into ours, I felt like I gave birth. :) But instead of pushing out something, I got to sit in. So great!

That appointment sounds so interesting! I'm not so sure about all the food allergy stuff, but what testing you had done or going to have done sounds good. Also, the decreasing sugar and carbs sounds like a great plan, too. I did this for about 6 mo before conceiving and I think AYWH did, too. I'm back on it, too and feel great. That is great news about the CT!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I really hate that stuff!) and also good news about your adrenals. I would think that you still didn't feel well, you wouldn't be working so much and so excited about the house!! What a great year 2011 is going to be!!

Danya @ He Adopted Me First said...

TCIE...that is great news! I love the continued investigation and the fact that you do not have to handle "this giant experiment" on your own! Finally, someone to take charge and who seems to actually KNOW something about how complicated bodies are! I am excited for you...who knows what 2011 will have in store?! Blessings on you and hubs!

Megan said...

Sounds like progress to me! I'd say that the fact that your stool showed none of the major allergens is a good sign! And I hope that eggplant isn't a problem. I'm with you on loving its purple goodness! :)

WheelbarrowRider said...

Omg am so out of the loop! This doc sounds amazing! It wasn't me that suggested She recommended VSL #3, sorry. I am totally drawing a blank on what I took, but not on the hefty pricetag! I am officially following you agian so I will not be this out of the loop ever again!