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August 11, 2015

Health Update: More Diagnoses + Making Progress

It feels like forever since my last Health Update post, and in a way it has been--I finally had my next appointment with my new doctor last week. Scheduling conflicts + life = way too many delays. Anyway, it was quite eventful, much like the last appointment:

- We got back the results of my two remaining tests.
- We did some testing to determine what progress (if any) we've made thanks to my three intense days of treatments in June and my many new supplements.
 - We left with lots of homework.

Here's what we found out:

The bad news:

  • My hormone test results showed that, of course, my hormones are all out of whack. My adrenals are shot and my cortisol levels are ... practically nonexistent. Your cortisol, which is in essence what gives you energy, helps you sleep, and causes your sleep cycle, should spike very high in the morning and then go down as the day goes on. Mine? Behold for yourself:

See that black line with the blue section? That's me. It's so unnoticeable I didn't even see it at first when the doctor showed it to me. Regarding how this problem impacts my body, let me just quote my doctor's report:

     "Your cortisol never has a chance to ramp up properly to help drive you to and from healthy sleep cycles, 
leading to the severity of the symptoms you feel."

In other words, this is why I have no sleep cycle. I just sleep when I sleep, not according to any kind of clock, because my body doesn't currently have one. And my inability to have a sleep cycle is just exacerbating all of my other symptoms. It is no wonder I have no energy--added to the umpteen other problems going on in my body, it is a wonder I can do anything at all.

  • I have many, many gene mutations working against me, which we'll be working to improve. I already knew I had one but it turns out that's just the tip of the iceberg. That's the short story on that. 

The good news:

We are actually making progress! Of course answers are progress in themselves, but actual improvements are even better. And even though I am not improved in any obvious way, the testing showed that the virus in my gut has diminished and the petroleum that was attacking me is not doing so now. Can you say progress?!

What's next:

I was sent off to get my Vitamin D checked again to see how that supplement is going (yay more bloodwork!), do a few at-home tests, and also do four more days of FCT treatments, two this week and two next week, like the three days that I did in June. I'm planning to begin those tomorrow, so I'll be disappearing again here for a few days while I get through those.

I'll go back a month after the four days of treatments, retest, and see how we're doing. This could go on for a very long time.

~ ~ ~

The goal of treatment is, of course, to get better. In the interest of that, I decided the other day to write down all of my symptoms. You know, in case someday I am better and forget just what I dealt with daily. Everything that's happening in our lives is so vivid at the time that we think we'll never forget it, or at least I do. But time goes on, and I'm finding I don't. And if I do get better, I want to never forget not just that I was once sick, but how much better I am.

I have about 75 symptoms. This is just what I could think of in one night.

I have been sick for so long, I cannot even imagine being healthy. Almost like asking a blind person to imagine being able to see--they hear it's wonderful, but it's totally unfamiliar and unknown, maybe not even grasped. That's how I view being healthy. Such a huge, unknown, unfamiliar world. But I'll gladly welcome it if it comes.

This go-round with treatment is completely different from the last one. Last time, I was completely at a loss before finding that doctor and thought there was no hope for me. Then hope was dangled, and I eventually but eagerly grasped onto it like I'd been given new life. Then somewhere around month three, it hit me: I wasn't actually going to get better. We continued several more months of treatment, but my intuition was correct. It turns out I'm simply sicker than that doctor, brilliant as he was, was able to conquer.

This time around, we are just as desperate but even more hesitant to really get our hopes up, knowing what happened last time we did that. I don't know for sure that this treatment will help me improve, much less get drastically better. But this is the first time I've seen that I have every reason to. I am convinced every time I see this doctor that he knows what he's doing and that he's digging far deeper than any other doctor of mine ever has--deeper than I even knew you could go. I don't know if I'll really improve, but I know that I have every reason to.

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  1. Thanks for the update. I think being able to see that there are definitely reasons for your state of health is a great help in and of itself. When people say it's all in your head, you know it's not. We are continuing to pray for improvement if that is God's will, but grace through the trial no matter what. Love you and Daniel. Wish we could be closer to help out. Mom Fleming.

    1. Oh yes, I've never truly thought it's all in my head, but I've gathered there are people who do. Somehow. Plus, this is just one little snippet of what all is wrong with my body and seemed particularly conducive to sharing visually. Thank you so much--praying and letting me know you are is one of the best ways you can.


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