Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Comments Change

I'm very sorry, but I've had to move the "comment" settings from anybody can comment as an "anonymous" to "Name; including Open ID" I believe ID means you can choose a "screen name" if you are too afraid to put your real name.

I know some people are uncomfortable of logging in and would prefer to just be unknown, but that setting has been flooding my email with spam, and it has not upped the number of "real" comments on the blog, so I'm spending more time deleting spam than I am reading real email and/or comments.

Very sorry.

Coconut Spread and Answers to Reader's Question(s)

 Hi all

I've pretty much done nothing but sleep and order supplements from various pharmacies. 

I had a few questions from readers about my tests and which supplements I'm taking, I'll get to that in just a minute, but I want to share a coconut recipe I came up with. 

My daughter is going on a field trip tomorrow, and the instructions were very clear on bringing a sack lunch, which means no meat and nothing that needs to be heated before eating. Uh... yeah, that eliminates just about everything we eat. Well, I suppose I could make it work for me, but Veronica needs a lot of protein, doesn't care for nuts, and only eats jerky every once in a while... so I broke down and bought a tortilla, spread it with natural peanut butter, and ... 
yeah, that was hard.. what do I put on top of it?  I wanted something high fat that wouldn't spoil from being outside. So I thought coconut would work well, but that seems too tasteless to a little kid, so I pulled out my Magic Bullet and mixed up coconut oil (in its solid state) and maple syrup. Whipped it up and spread it on the peanut butter. It was really good!

Even though the tortilla is NOT primal, I really liked this for a kid's lunch. It has great quality fats, protein, and antioxidants (from the real maple syrup), and fiber from the tortilla. I think she can last the day with that lunch... which also included some cranberries, dark chocolate, and carrots. 

Coconut Spread:

1/3 cup coconut oil (solid form in glass jar...be sure it says "unrefined" )
1 tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
Place both ingredients in to a Magic Bullet (I'm not sure how well a regular blender would work since the blades sit up too high, usually). And spin for about a minute. 
Serve as a dip or spead. 

I think the syrup might seperate from the coconut a little bit, but all you need to do is quick stir and you'll be set.  

Also, butter would work really, really well with the syrup. Raw butter (or this)!


For the reader who asked about the Thyroid tests the Dr ordered:

T4 (thyroxine), Total
Thyroid peroxidase and thyroglubulin antibodies
thyroglobulin antibodies
thyroid peroxidase antibodies

I have no idea what most of those mean. According to the numbers I am right in the middle of what is low normal and high normal, which I guess makes me pretty normal. 
According to Dr. Klug, I do have (severe) adrenal fatigue and it's not reflected in my thyroid panel (yet) because it doesn't happen simultaneously, the thyroid failure comes after not treating the adrenal fatigue for so long. 

Somebody asked if I had a second opinion for the Adrenal Fatigue diagnosis. 

 No, I haven't. I've asked for help for ten years without one doctor taking me seriously (obviously exempt from this are my chiropractors), and I am not really in the mood to fight with a new doctor over it. I am really surprised you and your doctor would continue cortisol for 18 months if you saw no change. Dr. Klug is starting me out at 5mg, over the course of three weeks I could work up to 15mg if needed. She says as soon as I start to experience negative side effects, or no improvement after taking it for two weeks, then we will re-evaluate. I'm okay with her diagnosis since I do have every symptom of AF and my labs show the same results.  Thank you for the suggestion!

Lastly, what supplements/meds am I taking:

Pro Super Food (F3)
Adaptogen -R3
Liquid D3--4 drops (8,000 IU)
Methylcobalamin (B12)
Pancever (haven't taken this yet since no one seems to know what it is). 
A muscle relaxant and pain pills as needed from my M.D.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


It's been a long few weeks.  I'm still in Physical therapy 2-3 times a week. Resting a lot. And pretty much... it's been depressing. I want to be up and doing things, but at the same time it doesn't matter, because I just can't make myself do it. 

Dr. Klug has my blood work results, so I drove over an hour into Kansas to go over it. 

Basically my thyroid seems to be functioning just fine. I was happy, perplexed, and shocked all at the same time. How could that be if I have every symptom of hypothyroidism?  Dr. Klug said she can't figure it out ... she was sure I had a severe thyroid problem.  Well... good news, I suppose. 

Moving on... I'm not anemic. My cholesterol is 215, but that's only up 15 points in the last 11 years, and it's considered very good considering my family's history with it (I have a brother whose cholesterol was 900!), so I'm not too worried about it. There were a few other numbers that were higher than they should be, but she says it's due to pain, which in turn makes these numbers rise, so she's not going worry about it other than to say it should top priority to get my pain eliminated. Sounds good to me. 

So here's what Dr. Klug did find out:

:::Drum roll:::

I have Adrenal Exhaustion!   Also known as "your body is completely wiped out"

 Now, I did ask a doctor or two to check for this, but I got the same usual answer:  ::patronizing smile:: You don't need that. You're young. You just need to not eat so much and exercise a lot more.   Psssh. Hey, buddy, if I can weather several pregnancies, attend and graduate college, move my family four times AND take care of my kids who are very needy (medically speaking), all while feeling like a truck ran over me, backed up, and ran over me again, then I am pretty sure I'm much stronger of a person than you'll ever be. So shut it.  <end rant>

I actually cried when she told me the diagnosis. I didn't sob or anything like that, but I definitely needed a tissue. I said "you wouldn't believe how many people have told me to "just stop eating" or "if you would just exercise" or commenting on my mood, or being tired, or..., or..., or. She said "Yes, those things don't work for you because you're body thinks you're about to die, or course you can't do those things!" 

If you read the link about then you know a bit about what your adrenals do. Mine are function at 1.7 which is about 2% of what they should be.  Dr. Klug said "no wonder you are so tired all of the time! according to your adrenals, you're nearly dead!" She says my body is starting to shut down because of the low numbers. Not shutting down in the sense that I'm dying, but that my body just can't handle stress and activity like it should. 

She asked why I all of sudden felt worse than usual. After talking things over, she believes it was the move that drove me of the edge, so to speak.  I did move everything (except for my kitchen...a friend helped with that) boxed, packed, unloaded, unpacked, all of it, on my own. Tom had a series of trips out of town, and I really wanted to surprise him with an intact house we he finally came back home. 
I suppose she's right, because that was just about the time the blog really started to suffer--I was just too tired--when my pain became worse, the depression set in...blah blah blah.

So I asked her "what do I need to do in order to get better?" 

She said I have to sleep. A lot. (that sounds good to me!) 

I have to find the stressors and eliminate them out of my life. (Easier said than done, I suppose, but I'll try.)

I have to eat well. Drink a lot of water. (Can do.)

I have to learn to listen to my body. So if I'm out running errands and realize I feel tired, I have to go home and sleep. 

I can't be a "list person" (some would say "Type A") anymore. I have to choose one or two small goals for the day and don't go beyond that.  (Booooooo!)

I'll be taking a handful of supplements. One of which is a steroid, it's not a strong one like Prednisone, but one your body already makes naturally and in very low levels. (I can't remember what it's called. Darn it.)

 Anyway, the idea is that it gives your adrenals a rest, which means they can rest up enough to start working on their own someday.

"Sooo, how long should this process take?" I ask. 

"It really just depends on how much sleep/rest you get, and how well you follow the supplement schedule. But I'd say it could be anywhere from 6 to 18 or 24 months."

Do what now?!  6 months... okay, fine. But 1-2 years of just sleeping and quiet/low stress level chores?? Ewww. I am not excited about this at all.  Of course part of me wants to write the doctors who said "no" to me, and say "I'd be all better by now if you had just run the test!" but I suppose that wouldn't be very Christ-like.  Oh well, between Dr. Klug and Dr. Rob, I'm sure I'll be doing much better by this time next year. 

I have a lot of research to do on this. The cure for Adrenal Exhaustion is totally not who I am and I still can't quite get my head around it.

 The saddest part for me is that I am going to have to put Elizabeth is daycare/homecare. I've never had any of my kids in daycare or preschools. I personally believe kids should be with their mothers for the first five (if not longer... depending on the child) years of their life. Of course, there are always exception to the rule.  I have a meeting with a couple who runs a daycare out of their home. They don't have kids watch TV or movies (except on Friday mornings when it's Movie Mornings), they are fans of Love and Logic when it comes to discipline, they obviously love children, and they have a very structured, but still fun schedule. And for the last few months Elizabeth has demanded so much attention that I just can't keep up with her. Last week she told me she needs a backpack because she wants to go to school. It made me chuckle when she found an old one, and then stepped into the van saying "I go skholl!" So, who knows, maybe she will be overall more happy at this place a few times a week. 

I guess some of the good news is that once I recover from this, and getting the progesterone supplement adjusted, Dr. Klug thinks I should go on to have normal pregnancies. She says those who suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum typically have it because the body is too low on progesterone (but not low enough to cause a miscarriage) and also the Adrenal Fatigue because it is too much of a stressor.  So good news, I suppose.

I asked about losing weight and why it just suddenly stopped even when I was eating very well. She said because stress put on the body to lose weight is such that the adrenals just wouldn't allow the process to go forward. I told her I've gained 10 lbs just by sitting in bed (thanks to these muscle issues) and I couldn't understand it since I've had very little appetite. She says "Yes, that's common. That is how much your body is in "conservation mode" It really believes you are starving and in grave danger so it will absolutely store anything you eat and not burn it.

So my orders for now are to go to bed as soon as I'm tired. Do not set an alarm and sleep as late as possible. Do one or two small chores. Get a nap. Eat well. And let go of stress. 

I have to figure out a way for food to fit in to our lives in a way that doesn't require me to be on my feet all day, and doesn't drive Tom batty.  I am going to confess that last week we went to Sam's Club and stocked up on a lot of meats that are ready to be popped into the oven. Tom has had to take over pretty much the whole house, the kids, AND work, so food has been a big hurdle. I ended up buying some cereal (with coconut milk) for the kids. Given all the allergies breakfast has become nearly impossible to navigate without it taking an hour or two. 

She says I may have one or two other underlying conditions, but we can't get to those until I get my adrenals better. 

So if you are of the religious type please consider offering a few prayers for me and my family. It's going to be a pretty big adjustment on everyone.