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November 14, 2015

Health Update: Your Questions Answered

I know I haven't posted a health update in a while, and that's because even though the battle continues every minute of every day, there aren't really new big details or developments to share. So to catch everyone up, I thought I would just take this last update of 2015 to answer the most common questions we (or rather Daniel, since he's the one always fielding questions for me while I'm at home in bed) are asked.

Did they figure out what's wrong with her yet? Yes. Many, many answers to the question of what's wrong with me were found in the summer. And while we keep doing periodic testing to see how we're doing and there will still be a couple of tests in the future when my body is ready for them, we are well past the diagnosis/testing phase. You can read my many diagnoses in these health updates here and here.

What is the main thing that's wrong with her? This is an extremely difficult question because it really doesn't have an answer. I have such a large number of things wrong, and which one(s) is affecting me the most is constantly changing based on treatment and other random factors. If you want to look at it as what are my most troubling/severe symptoms right now, I would say my sleep (see more below), lack of energy, liver and digestive problems, and hormone problems.

Have they found out anything new? Not really. As I said, we're not really in the diagnosis phase anymore--our quest right now is no longer really answers, since we have a lot of those, but more so treatment of them. So when I go back to the doctor every month and a half, we're not really looking for more causes but rather treating those causes and gauging how the treatment is going.

Are they treating her yet? Yes, I'm in the thick of treatment right now, as I have been for a few months now and will be for many more. Considering the depth and quantity of my health problems, I am not going to be noticeably better after only a month or two of treatment. I have found similarly sick people thanks to social media who had to go through several rounds of the treatment I'm doing before they noticed a difference, and I'm right now only about to do my fourth round. So yes, I am being treated daily--it's just a very, very long process. There is not a timeline on my recovery, and we have to just take it one day at a time.

How are they treating her? I am being treated by an alternative doctor who combines functional medicine with chiropractic neurology. In the past I have put up with my share of mainstream treatment and prescriptions and found that route to be not only woefully ineffective but damaging. The medical world sees me as just having "Fibromyalgia" and throws pills at some of my symptoms, while alternative doctors identify all the infections, viruses, imbalances, and deficiencies teaming up against me and relentlessly treat each individually. My current treatment consists of lots of supplements that continually change based on my body's needs and Field Control Therapy (FCT). I cannot explain the latter to you at this time, as it is way too deep for me, but I have found similarly chronically ill people who have sung the praises of such treatment and claimed it to be life-saving. 

Is she doing any better? The short answer is not yet. Considering all that's wrong with me and how long I've been sick, it's way too soon to expect a big difference. I can personally tell some very tiny things happening, but not enough to articulate, and I did have a large setback in September and October when a horrendous cold shot my already-shot adrenals even worse than they already were. As with any chronic illness, I have awful days and I have so-so days (which I normally don't realize are happening until after the fact). But one okay day (or one out-in-public day) does not mean that's my new normal or that I'm feeling good, and I'm still trying to learn that one--or many--awful days does not mean failure.

Is her sleep still messed up? Yes. My body's default is still the opposite of what is normal. It wants to sleep during the daylight, and I noticeably perk up around the time everyone else is heading to bed. That is one of my biggest issues, and one that we are continuing to combat. It has to do with serious adrenal fatigue and my nearly nonexistent cortisol levels. I feel like if that could be fixed, many of my other problems would follow it, but we have to fix it first.

When does she go back to the doctor? I go to the doctor three hours away about every month and a half. At those appointments we gauge how treatment is going and chart the course of treatments for the next month and a half.

What can she eat? I eat a lot of chicken and turkey and broccoli and plantains and dates and bananas and coconut. Partly because I have a lot of restrictions but even more so because those are my favorites...

My current favorite: turkey burger with plantain fries and onion, with coconut curry dip (not pictured). *Heart eyes*

But it's probably easier (maybe not the best word there) to list what I don't eat: gluten (wheat, barley, and rye) and grains of any kind (like corn and quinoa and oats), dairy (except eggs), soy, apples, peaches, oranges, and strawberries, chocolate, most nuts, most nightshades (like potatoes and peppers), yeast, sesame/chia/flax seeds, refined sugar and artificial sugar, and table salt.

There's more but those are the main ones. But trust me, I'm not starving. Why do I not eat those? Mostly because my body is screwed up. I have a leaky gut which makes it extra sensitive to everything under the sun, so we are currently healing it by removing the foods that contribute to the damage/my body finds hard to handle. Some will be allowed again eventually, and most will not. But I am also simply allergic to several of those (I have Celiac and my body makeup does not do well with nightshades). And a couple of those I strongly believe no one should eat--there is proof that they do much harm to our bodies. And if I've learned anything in my quest for health, it's that no food is worth negative consequences, huge or small. It kind of takes away its appeal when you know what it will or could do to you.

What can I do to help? This post attempted to answer that question.

I hope you all find this helpful and informative, as I've tried to recall the most common questions. If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please feel free to ask them in a comment here or on Facebook.

It probably goes without saying that this is all incredibly hard. Just going to settle for that unfitting description. Yes, we're in treatment with the possibility of at least semi-health on the distant horizon, but that really doesn't make the day-to-day pain and suffering much easier. So much thanks to those who have let me know you're praying and shown that you care--you know who you are. :)

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