About me

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 3 of treating LYME...

Today I am on treatment number 5 (7 more to go after this).....my veins hurt, my muslces ache, my head pounds and I have ZERO appetite most of the time. And as fun as all that sounds, its not as bad in most respects as I thought it would be;).
PLUS SIDE: I am not throwing up or so sick I can't get out of bed. mostly I struggle with the headaches and fatigue.
In some unexpected respects its worse though....like I thought the IV's would get easier but instead they get harder. I find myself getting more nervous every time I have to have one inserted b/c my veins hurt and it aches all the way up my arms as the fluids go in. Some of them  make the bones in my arms ache like they are breaking. This part i never anticipated and I dislike it SO much!

Today I woke up with extrememly sore and tight hamstrings, calf and foot. very weird considering i'm not doing any exercise. it might be areas where the bugs are hiding and as they die-off my symptoms get worse. These are areas where I had soreness and pain the last year so hopefully that's what it is.

I have tried to run 2x in the last 4wks and it didn't go well. My Knees, of which I have NEVER had problems before, swell up with even the littlest bit of running (1.5miles) so I'm quickly realizing that I will probably lose any bit of teensy tiny bit of fitness I gained from the 3-5miles a week of running i've done the last 2 mos......... I just don't think exercising and this treatment go hand-in-hand, darn it.

I know It is all a blessing though:) I remind myself how lucky I am to KNOW I have lyme and to be able to have the time and funds to treat it. MANY are not as fortunate...not as fortunate at all and that is HORRIBLE.
I have my good friend Katie, right now who has my 6yr old for me so I can sit here for 5hours and get a double bag in today:) I am blessed with some very good friends.

I am saddened when I read about people who are suffering so much and can't get treatment. I hope I can help bring awareness to this in the future.
 For now though, I just have to focus what little extra time I have on getting better. most of my time is taken up with my business, kids and attempting to keep a household together....i pretty much feel like i'm failing in the house part more than ever. I don't have energy to cook or -even eat a lot of time....cleaning the house, doing laundry or preparing meals is slowly fading to non-exsistent as I get further into treatment..and you know how us women are, we feel GUILTY about everything! atleast I do!, I am that girl who tries to do everything and do it well so this is hard for me. I feel handicapped and it is frustrating....and I am too stubborn to ask for help. God is probably laughing thinking "Nicole, how long will it take for you to learn these things?" :)
I'm sure im supposed to be learning something about RELAXING and being PATIENT lol but instead I find myself WORRYING about all I am not getting done........in true Nicole fashion:)

HOWEVER, I find comfort in small moments like the other night with Steve as we laid in bed. I said
 "This can't be the rest of my life right?" 
and he confidently responded with
 "No. someday this will all be a distant memory"....... I held onto those words as I fell asleep, dreaming of running the streets of Boston....

Someday this will all be a distant memory...........








Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lymes Disease: Treatment has started...settling into this diagnosis




11am:
There is a part of me that is still a bit stunned or surprised over this diagnosis. I am sitting at my doctors office right now in a quiet room with my laptop, answering work emails feeling a bit down and discouraged. I know I should feel ENcouraged and I do have moments of that.....many moments of that, but right now I feel emotional. I feel like crying and not for any particular reason. you know when the tears are just hiding right behind your eyes and if someone says just the right thing you will burst into tears? that's how I feel right now.

I am on day 5 of antibiotics. I am taking 4 different prescriptions 3 times a day. I will do this for 6wks. I will also come here 2 times a week (more if we need it as things go on) for 3hrs each time and do an IV of: Glutathione ( to help flush out the toxins from the hopefully dead bacteria), silver to help kill the bacteria and viruses, more antibiotics, and some other vitamin and minerals to help my body tolerate all the medicine and stay ahead of the side effects.

I have spoken to many people with Lymes lately. The exprience seems to come in one of 2 ways. Either:

1. I HAD lymes X amount of years ago, I was treated and i have never had symptoms since
(this is the category I really hope to fall into)

OR

2. I have lymes....ive been struggling for years to get rid of it with no success.
(these are the people that as bad as I feel for them, I am not ready to talk to yet.It stresses me out and makes me feel all kinds of anxiety and stress).

It is exciting to have a diagnosis but remember I have been here multiple times this year already.

Each time we thought my leg pain was associated with something I got excited that my pain was going to be healed each time to only be let down, so i'm having a hard time letting myself beleive that my pain is associated to the Lymes disease. I know of all my diagnosis it DOES make the most sense.
Most people with Lymes, especially late stage lyme, have chronic pain of some sort, but until it is healed and gone I think I will have a hard time really feeling hopeful or excited.

I do find myself in quiet moments talking to myself in my mind trying to convince myself that the leg pain is surely from the Lymes and once I get better it will go away. I imagine myself running the Boston marathon and the immense joy I will feel having overcome all of this to finally reach a goal that  was taken from me a few years ago when I earned my spot there and had to stand on the sidelines due to yet another stress fracture.
I try and try to imagine all the good things that will be in my life next year, but it fights with fear. It is a daily internal struggle to let the good thoughts push out the bad. To be the positive optimisitc person I want to be opposed to the scared, worried person I often feel trying to take over inside.
Some days are better than others, some are worse.

So far, for side effects I have just had some headaches and nautiousness but Dr. K said to watch for that b/c it may get increasingly worse. The sickness we want to see is increased symptoms like headaches, pain, fatigue.....this can be a sign that the bugs are dying and the toxins from them in my blood stream are making my synmptoms temporarily worse so there is a part of me that would feel better if I were sick b/c I would KNOW it was working......
that probably sounds strange...but any type of reassurance.


6:30pm
I think it is safe to say that I am getting die-offf from the bugs which means the antibiotics are working. after my IV treatment I came home and within 2hrs was very very dizzy,  nautious, had a huge headache and was feeling extremely emotional, depressed etc.
I looked it up and yes it's a real thing:/
https://chronicillnessrecovery.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=161

My pain in my foot go really strong today too whicih was so weird b/c it hasn't been that bad since January.....another sign that the pain in my foot is from the lyme..which strangely makes me HAPPY for it to hurt under these circumstances.


I now know that I will have to be prepared on IV treatment days to have dinnner etc ready for my family b/c I have been very useless the last few hours. luckily my 9 yr old is amazing and has brought me food and ice for my very sore arm etc. Love her so much.


1 treatment down, 11 to go and HOPEFULLY continued improvement in my symptoms:):)




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

LYME

I don't have time for much right now, but after 3wks of my blood sample being accross the country at the best lyme testing lab, I got my results.
POSITIVE.
I have lyme disease.

Now the treatment journey begins. which my doc says is long. expensive and makes you quite sick.
I am grateful to finally know what has been causing my joint and muscles pain and stiffness, amongst other symptoms.
can't WAIT to get my life back.
God is good.


i'll update when I have more time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

FIBROMYALGIA.

I started the day off today in tears. I mean like the sobbing, uncontrollable I hate everyone and everything tears. Fibromyalgia is a word I have feared my whole life. I know people with it and I have seen them suffer. But whether or not I accept that "label" is my choice....b/c that's what Fibromyalgia is. It's a label to classify a group of symptoms (of which every single one I have) that no one can explain or help or cure. BUT Functional medicine has something to offer conditions like Hashimotos and fibromyalgia......... they don't just treat the symptoms..they LOOK for the root cause. They dig deep. it takes ALOT of testing and ALOT of money.......but in my opinion, it is worth it if it means a CHANCE at getting my life back.

There are MANY chronic diseases that can cause the symptoms that are classified as fibromyalgia. In my case we think it might be Lyme disease and co-infections. I am not sure I have all the symptoms of Lyme but we are testing for this this week and if it is successful I will undergo a very aggressive treatment plan involving many weeks (like around 8) where I will need IV treatments of antibiotics and other functional medicine therapies to treat it. Like my doctor said, 'we want to attack it hard and fast' to have the best chance at success. This therapy/treatment should attack/address the Lyme, co-infections, candida overgrowth, leaky gut, glutathione (since I dont' really have any b/c of my double gene mutation and it's key to detoxing the body and helping with inflammation). ...and more things that honesetly I can't even remember right now b/c my brain feels like it's going to explode.
if it's NOT lyme...i guess we continue to search for what the infection is. I did test positive for chronic infection....we just need to FIND what it is.

So maybe i'm crazy for hoping for what seems like a miracle...but until today I had never heard of anyone being "healed" from fibromyalgia and I have only heard terrible struggles about people trying to get rid of Lyme...but today I met 2 people who both had a relative who had successfully overcome 1. Lyme and 2. fibromyalgia.
If Fibromyalgia isn't even a disease...it's a SYNDROME..... ( like I said a group of unexplainable symptoms) then if you can FIND the cause of those symptoms..why can't you heal it?


I want to believe so badly that God has a plan to heal me and use me to show His great power and miracles  b/c I DO believe in miracles...and I need one...the thought of living with fibromyalgia the rest of my life and not being active like I used to and not chasing my Boston dreams feels like a death sentence......so that just WON'T be a possibility in my mind quite yet.

I was quite a mess this morning and feel bad for my friends who texted me during my complete breakdown.
I am pulling myself back together and moving on in HOPE.....
I actually have to thank my doctor for giving me hope today. Evertytime I think we are close to solving this puzzle, something else emerges but i'm REALLY hoping we are nearing the end of this road...although I know in reality there will probably be more.....

As I have gone on in my research the last 4 months..I have learned that ALOT of stuff is overlooked by traditional doctors.....

For anyone who has symptoms that they can't quite explain.....please check a few of these things out...they are only a TEENSY portion  of what COULD be going on.. as I learn MORE

1. My last post gave some links to the MTHFR mutation....thats one place ot start. 5% (thats' 1 in 20 americans) have atleast one mutation of this gene. this is Worth looking into as it is connected to everything from ADD, Autism, Miscarriages, fibromyalgia, hashimotos....the list is over 300.....

2. LYME

3. HASHIMOTOS 

4. HYPOTHYROIDISM (Go to this page and start reading under "NOTES")

5. for anyone ALREADY dealing with Fibromyalgia, hashimotos, MS or other cronic diseases..look into
 "LOW DOSE NALTREXONE". It is a newer discovery....a drug that is traditionally used to treat people who are coming off heroine, alchohol or other drug addictions. It is used in small doses and taken right before bed. It helps to increase your own endorphins and has been successful in treating pain in these diseases as well as bring down anti-bodies in Hashimotos patients.
** I have been on it for 2wks with no negative side effects thus far. Generally it either works or it doesn't.
Here is one closed group on Facebook you can join to find out more : https://www.facebook.com/groups/108424385861883/

If you google it, you will also come up with lots of info.










Monday, April 21, 2014

Not sure where to start......these posts get harder and harder to write.......

Wow. I've been putting off this blog post...and now with more new test results, I guess it's time I sit down. I know I will want to read back on these some day so I need to do it.

I am nervous to post this and apologize if I sound at all negative in this post..I'm trying not to be but I've had a real string of bad luck and bad news the last 9mos.....I am actually surprised I have not fallen into a depression over all this. ( I thank my gluten free diet for that:)). I am just going to write what i am thinking and feeling RIGHT NOW and hope no one JUDGES me for it!



Well as per my last post, I got an MRI...it was Not Tarsal Coalition. It showed that I have unexplained Tenosynovitis in multiple tendons in my foot and ankle..(probably the same thing going on in my hip).
Dr. McClanahan had to tell me that he no longer knew how to help me and sent me on my way with a referral to more foot doctors:(.

I didn't go. I started to dig DEEPER.

If I have tenosynovitis and I've been resting for over 8mos then something at a deeper level is going on. Most people get tendinitis or tenosynovitis from over training....I have pretty much sat on my butt the last 9mos.

My husband started to question "Reactive Arthritis" which is caused by a chronic infection in the body somewhere....this would make more sense......

I did alot more research and got some tips from some other people suffering from my same diagnosis and symptoms.

I went to the doctor 2wks ago with 2 pages of notes, questions and tests that I wanted to run. 
I asked him to check all my vitamin levels, TSH, T3, T4, Reverse T3, as well as test for Lyme disease, chronic infection and a gene called the MTHFR b/c someone had recommended I do that.

Thank goodness they did, b/c my results came back on thursday. I tested positive for infection or chronic infection, high Reverse T3, he is pretty sure I have a candida overgrowth and most shockinlgy I have a double mutation of the MTHFR gene, location C677T. This means I inherited this mutation from both my mother and father.
There are many mutations of this gene but the most common are 677 and 1298.
I have a double 677 mutation which is considered the most severe.



So what IS the MTHFR gene?

  • The MTHFR gene produces the MTHFR enzyme.
  • The MTHFR enzyme works with the folate vitamins (B9, folic acid), breaking it down from 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate
  • 5-methyltetrahydrofolate helps convert the amino acid homocysteine down to another essential amino acid, methionine, which is used by your body to make proteins, utilize antioxidants, and to assist your liver to process fats. Methionine helps with depression and even inflammation. It also helps convert estradiol (E2) into estriol (E3)!
  • Methionine is converted in your liver into SAM-e (s-adenosylmethionine), which is anti-inflammatory, supports your immune system, helps produce then breakdown of your brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine and melatonin, and is involved in the growth, repair and maintenance of your cells.
  • i.e. a proper methylation pathway like the above is going to mean you will have a better chance in eliminating toxins and heavy metals, which can reduce your risk for cancer and other health issues, and put less stress on your adrenals.
AS you can see by what I underlined and bolded.....THIS is a big deal to me since I am dealing with chronic inflammation and pain and alot of fatigue!.....as well, Depression runs rampant in my family and I have suffered for years. 

So what does a defective (mutated) MTHFR gene do to you?

  • It produces a defective MTHFR enzyme of different varieties i.e. it functions less than optimally, such as performing at only 40% of its capacity, or 70% of its capacity. (In my case I am only perfomring at 20-30% at best) It can mean you won’t break down toxins or heavy metals well i.e. you could find yourself with high iron, or high copper, or high mercury….etc. High copper can also cause low iron.
  • The defective enzyme doesn’t break down folate vitamins properly (of which folic acid is the precursor to), which can cause high homocysteine, which can increase your risk of coronary heart disease (arteriosclerotic vascular disease or venous thrombosis), and related heart and BP conditions, as well as increasing your risk for dementia. 
  • Homocysteine is poorly converted to glutathione, which is your body’s chief antioxidant and detoxifier. You are then more susceptible to stress and toxin buildup. (my stress fractures, my constant anxiety or feeling of being "stressed out" is all starting to make sense here.
  • Homocysteine is poorly converted to methionine, and less methionine can raise your risk of arteriosclerosis, fatty liver degenerative disease, anemia (see Wiki), increased inflammation, increased free radical damage… and produce less SAM-e 
  • Less SAM-e can increase depression
  • And more broadly, an MTHFR defect can increase your risk of a variety of cancers (including breast and prostate cancer), stroke, heart problems, congenital defects, depression, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), miscarriages, migraines, chemical sensitivities and many conditions. This made me sob. My grandma died of Breast cancer at age 60. they SAY it skips a generation and effects 1 in 3 women. I am that generation and have 2 sisters. My chances are now increased and this terrifies me. Not being negative but it's a reality I have to be aware of now. My sisters need to be tested as they are also at risk b/c chances are they inherited at least one mutation also.
  • You can find yourself with high folate or high B12. i.e. your body will have problems converting inactive forms of folate and B12 to the active forms. So the inactive folate or B12 will simply build up in your serum, also inhibiting the active forms. Most serum folate tests are actually measuring folic acid, which needed to be converted to methylfolate to be used metabolically.
  • The journal Molecular Psychiatry states that “Schizophrenia-like syndromes, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia have all been associated with one or more mutations of the MTHFR gene”.  (2006;11, 352–360)

Here is what the leading expert Dr. Lynch has to say about it: 

"I believe the MTHFR gene mutation is a highly significant public health problem that is completely ignored. Yet, millions are suffering from pulmonary embolisms, addictions, fibromyalgia, miscarriages, schizophrenia, severe depression, cancer and autism to name a few."


What started with "You have Hashimotos thyroiditis". 4 mos ago.....is now (and counting):

-Hashimotos
-Hypothryoid
-low progesterone
-tenosynovitis
-chronic leg pain
-Candida overgrowth
-chronic infection (he is testing me for Lyme and TB this week for starters)
-Mutated MTHFR gene. (terrified I am going to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia...although I suppose that is what my symptoms are right now anyway.. but I still don't want that label:)

I am so tired all of the time. On the OUTSIDE, I APPEAR seemingly healthy to people (which sorta makes me feel like an idiot) but inside my body is a toxic mess. I struggle to get dinner made, keep the house clean, stay up on work and just get out of bed each day to help get my kids to school:( this breaks my heart. no one sees the struggles that go on behind closed doors. I am SURE my husband is sick of hearing "i just can't honey, I'm so tired, my head hurts, my legs and back hurt, can you please do it?"....ugh just writing that makes me want to cry with frustration! i don't want to be a burden to ANYONE! 

I had to teach lessons this morning to two new makeup artists I'm training and after 5hrs on my feet, I can hardly find the energy to do anything but sit here and type in my cozy chair. Somehow I need to go make dinner and catch up on work after a weekend away with my family. 

THIS is not MY NORMAL:( the last few years I have just watched myself FIZZLE. it is so infuriating and discouraging. 
I find myself questioning whether I can keep this up. Whether I can keep my business going?, my life going?.
I am still struggling to learn to say NO. I THINK in my head that I can keep doing everything that I always did, but then as the day goes on I see that I've again over scheduled myself and that I'm a weak shadow of what I used to be. It seems to glare me in the face as if to say "See, I told you you can't do everything you use to do"


I worry that If I ask for help people will laugh at me b/c everyone on the outside always tells me how I LOOK healthy. I don't want to be that person that NEEDS help so even when it's offered, I find myself saying "no i'm FINE.!!!" and being very adamant that I can do everything on my own. 

When i'm laying in bed, I have urges to get up and run or exercise or go-go-go and clean my whole house and then I get up and try to go and realize i have no fuel in my tank. it is a let down every time. 

I hold to the HOPE that SOMEDAY I will be able to be that vibrant girl again...and not just put on the facade for a few hours at a time and then feel exhausted and useless for the rest of the day. 

I am still new to being an unhealthy person(that sounds wrong to say...but the fact is I am not healthy right now) and I really haven't figured out yet how to make this work in my life. I  never in a million years that that THIS would be part of my life plan. and I KNOW it could be worse..OH WAY WAY worse...I know. I really do.... and I'm thankful that I'm stilll alive and walking and have my children and husband. I would rather be sick that see them be sick for sure!!


Part of me is afraid to run anymore tests and find out something worse. I try not to think about the increased risk for more chronic diseases, heart attack or stroke and I remind myself that KNOWLEDGE is POWER. If we can find out the source of the problems we have a much higher chance of succesfully treating it. 

I can't ever get RID of Hashimotos, or FIX my mutated genes......but I can take this knowledge and try to find the best possible treatment there is. I hope we find solutions...that my thyroid starts functioning properly, that my antibodies come down to normal range, and that that pain in my legs subsides so i can run more than 2 miles without feeling like I ran a marathon. 

I meet with my doctor tomorrow to discuss the next steps.......

I do know that My diet will have to become even more strict (don't mind me i'm NOT jumping for joy over that one)...my supplements have to change and probably the most intimdating part is my LIFESTYLE. 

People with two mutated genes like me do not have the ability to break down TOXINS. This means we must try to live in the most toxin free environment as possible. 
This includes, 
water (for cooking, drinking and showering)
food, 
makeup and hairsprays, (ummmm that IS my business, crap!)
toiletries, 
soaps, 
shampoos, 
air freshners, 
carpet dust, 
regular dust, 
cleaning supplies, 
lotions, 
laundry detergents....etc. 

I could go on and on but my mind starts spinning. Not sure how or when I am going to start detoxing my home:/

How did I get here?  and i know that HERE is not even that bad compared to some I have seen with my same diagonosis...I PRAY that does not mean things are going to get worse before they get better. 
I pray daily for strength, for hope and most importantly for ANSWERS and SOLUTIONS. 
I have faith that at some point down the road, i will read back on this and will be in a much better place and will hopefully have found solutions to many of these things!!!
And I still have hope and faith that someday I will get back and be able to run the Boston Marathon.....(that is my life goal or anyone who doesn't already know that:):)) 
YAY for MEB and SHALANE today!!!


MORE INFO:


The MTHFR gene has been scientifically linked to a number of disorders and symptoms that you can find here: 
http://mthfr.net/mthfr-mutations-and-the-conditions-they-cause/2011/09/07/

I think it is worth looking into for Anyone who has any of these symptoms...if you found out you had a mutation you could increase your body function by avoiding Folic acid and supplementing with methylated B and folic acid.....a small thing could make a BIG difference. 

Here is another great article I pulled some info from if you want to learn more: 
http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/mthfr/
































Sunday, March 16, 2014

BABY STEPS....and NEW FOOT DISCOVERIES from the doc!

I promised myself that when i could run again I would be grateful for every SMALL victory and that I wouldn't push myself too hard too soon. This is harder than I thought.

Remember in January when I said that I had this little feeling inside that I would be running again before the end of Feb? maybe not a lot but something.
well I did run 1 mile on Feb 26 before we left for mexico.....and then obviously I didn't run in mexico...and my foot and hip got worse in mexico actually...maybe b/c of being in flip flops all the time? i'm not sure.  but it has gotten better again. the foot pain/stiffness is still there every day but my hip has gotten better....

I"m not sure what has made the diff..there are A LOT of posibilites: such as, 

-the lift in my left shoe to make up for my 4mm leg discrepancy (this is actually bone length diff)
-the correct toes
-the higher dose of synthroid and added T3 (if it's working then inflammation should be coming down)
-the progesterone kicking in, also a natural anti-inflammatory
-the high dose of Turmeric I added......

or maybe it's the COMBO of all these things:)

When I decided to take that 1mile run on Feb 25, I did  it b/c I felt so strongly in my heart that God was telling me too and that he HAD told me to in january. I felt like I needed to fulfill this little prophecy he gave me. Maybe he gave it to me b/c he knew I would be too afraid to run if He didn't. I don't know but I knew I should, so I did.

Then when I got home from Mexico, again a little voice told me to keep trying so I did.

once I started running I noticed that when I ran the pain went from my foot, to around my little ankle bone on the outside of my foot and up to my peroneals.

WELL, when I went to the foot and ankle doc and he said my symptoms sound like TARSAL COALITION. This is when 2 or more bones in your foot are fused together. In my case probably around the talus area.
Ifi its not bone then a fibrous tissue that is fused so the bones don't have full range of motion.

Had I not run, I wouldn't have felt where the pain moved to when I ran and He wouldn't have discovered this. I consider these small miracles in my life.
SO I got XRAYS on Thursday and I take them to him on Friday and we'll see what he says.

If its BONE it requires surgery (booooo) but if it's tissue, they can do a coritsol shots and manipulate the foot to try to break it up.
He did say this would explain the two fibular stress fractures and my hip pain:)
SO....fingers crossed we get answers on friday:)

In the meantime he said running a little bit is fine. So here's what I've done...
I'm adding in dates times and paces for my OWN reference and so I can look back in a few months and see how far i've come b/c right now it's VERY HUMBLING.
None of these runs were easy for me by ANY MEANS:(

Feb 25 1 mile 9:21
Mar 06 1 mile 9:17
Mar 07 1 mile 9:58 (ran with my 9yr old)
Mar 08 1.37 mile 10:26 pace
Mar 10 1 mile 8:35 (felt SO proud of this!)
Mar 11 1.45 mile 9:34 pace (ran with my 6yr old for her first time..this girls a RUNNER!)


Mar 13 1.70 miles 9:08 pace
Mar 14 2 miles 10:02 pace (ran with my 6yr old again:))
Mar 15 3 miles 9:32 pace (this was hard!)
Today REST:):)

and that's THAT!! baby steps.......I'm a fighter and I'll get there...one itty bitty run at a time:)

xx




Saturday, March 1, 2014

Reflections from Mexico! small improvements bring Big happiness:)



I've been in Mexico with my family for a few days now and staying unplugged...it's so nice to just put that phone away and leave it in my room every day....all day:)
It's late now and kids are coloring in our room, hubby is reading and i'm going to do a quick blog post:)

I heard a quote years ago that has always stuck with me. It was simple:
"Progress is Happiness" and another that is similar:
"Happiness is the consequence of good decisions"
Both of these have proven true for me throughout my life and again in recent months.

It's been over a week now since I increased my progesterone AND my Synthroid...as well as starting to wear my correct toes and metarsal lift that Dr. McClanahan gave me and i'm actually noticing quite a reduction in my pain in my leg....it's still there but noticeably better. For example I was really worried about the plane ride here... anytime I sit for even 20min my leg hurts....I was on the plane for 4.5hrs and it was barely there......
Since I've been here...the amout of times I have noticed it have been considerably less as well.

Not sure if the higher dose of Synthroid and progesterone are helping lower inflamation in my body or if the correct toes and metartasal lift and shoe lift in my shoe of my shorter leg are doing the trick but I'll take it! I'm remaining hopeful that things will keep getting better:)


As the strong feeling to run increased over the last few weeks, I finally felt at peace about it on Tuesdsay before we left for mexico.

 I strapped on my shoes and headed out for a slow easy 1 mile run:)

3 days short of 7mos since I have been running...I can' believe it's been 7mos ad will probably be closer to a year before I'm really "running"...like more than a few miles a time, but that's okay.
It was okay....my foot did start to "feel" whatever it is that it feels...I can't say pain or hurt b/c it's more of a just a "hey, i'm still here" type of feeling..and my low back ached a bit, but it just felt so good to be trotting along. SLOWLY. I only wore a watch to make sure I didn't run more than one mile. It took me 9:21 and I could have cared less. I've learned that I would give up fast times in trade for just being able to run if that's what it came down to, but I know I will be get back to where I want to be. I'm determined and smart and have shown myself how patient this very impatient girl can be when something is important to me:)

I have gained a respect for myself this last few months as i've given up food.....all food. (okay, not ALL food, but pretty much). every delicious thing I could ever eat before is no longer an option for me and i've done it all b/c I am learning to love myself enough to make hard choices. before I would have just found excuses b/c my addiction to food was stronger than my knowledge that it was bad for me and hurting me.
Being at an all inclusive this week has been tough. watching my hubby and kids eat ALL kinds of deliciousness at every meal makes my mind squirm, but i've remained focussed. meat, veggies, fruit. I focuss on just fueling my body, eating GOOD foods until i'm full and then moving on. not dwelling in "I want that food!" mode:) Not gonna lie and say it's easy, b/c it's not but My health has become my number 1 priority. If I am not well, I can't take care of my family adn they are the most important thing to me in this whole world:)


I'm excited that after 7mos I am finally seeing a LITTLE improvement in my leg....keeping my thoughts focused and positive that it will continue:)!
Hope you are all well!!

cheers from Mexico! xx


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hashimotos

Another blogging buddy with Hashimotos sent this today and I loved it and felt it very fitting. I am speaking out about Hashimotos b/c I think there are alot more people suffering with this and other thyroid diseases that are overlooked or misdiagnosed.

thank you friend:)

Dear Hashi's Fighter

This fight is no longer for me. It is for you! It for every person that has come before me and with me that is struggling quietly and for everyone that will come after us that will struggle with Hashimotos.

Using my voice now will help you get the care you need and deserve, it will arm you with the information you need to be your own advocate, it will improve the standard of care by doctors that dismiss your symptoms and diminish the weight of what this disorder can do to the body and mind, it will give your struggle a voice to your family and friends that do not understand this disorder. it will show you that you do not have to accept what this disease says that you will be overweight and overtired and that there is a way out to health and happiness. That you can purse your bliss, your dreams, your goals....

This voice is not one of seeking pity but one needing compassion and understanding for autoimmune diseases. These diseases are not easy because they are not deadly. They can slowly rob people of their lives without proper care.

We Hashimotos Fighters do not want pity from family, friends, acquaintances or doctors but we long not to be in the closet quietly fighting for our health and happiness everyday of every moment.

As I use my voice to raise awareness for autoimmune disease, I join a group of fighters that have started to forge this path for us. I commit to all my friends that have Hashimotos that my goal is bring awareness and add a voice to our struggle.

When you have lost your way and can not find yourself, please look to me I will be your North. When I lose my way please remind me of the way. The love, kindness and understanding of another fighter is all we need to keep us moving forward.

In love, light and happiness, From one Hashi's Fighter to Another

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Choosing to remain positive and Focused....finding the Silver lining in seemingly bad news


Today was a day when I could have let myself be DEFEATED. When I opened my blood test results, I did sit at my kitchen table and CRY (like the ugly sobbing cry) for a good 3-4 min and rant to a few friends.... and then snapped out of it!!

At first I felt like throwing my hands in the air, dumping out my squash soup, grabbing a HUGE BOWL of ice cream and screaming "To hell with it!!", but alas, I finished my soup through tears, ate some green beans and carried on with my day. Discouraged, Of course, but I'll be FINE!:) I'm still alive right? have a beautiful family and am SO blessed. 


My test results came back and my TSH levels and antibodies are higher (worse ) then they have ever shown up before!. I thought all my discipline would have paid off but it looks like as the smoke clears and I clean out my body we sometimes see the "true" synopsis of what's going on.

My Dr said, these numbers more honestly reflect your condition...before you had all symptoms of Hypothyroid but your numbers didn't look that bad, NOW we are seeing on paper what matches your symptoms. He explained that sometimes when there is so much going on, bad food choices, high stress and lifestyle etc, it's like a cloudy mess and things don't show up clearly. Now that I've been eating clean and taking good supplements, we are seeing the REAL me, hashimotos and all:)

Good news is that there is still lots of room for improvement! If I feel this much better just from changing my diet, and my thyroid and antibodies still look like crap, then imagine how GREAT I will feel when I can actually get my thyroid and antibodies under control! 

I'm counting this as a positive!
We are increasing my Synthroid and adding in T3, as well as increasing my progesterone dosage. 

Regardless of whether My thyroid is behaving yet or not, I have made HUGE MAJOR changes in my diet and attitude, all of which have blessed me and family so much so THAT is what i'm choosing to focus on:)


onward and upward!.... Never give up because it could always be worse, right? Thankful for this challenge and all I'm learning. 



Here's one of the greatest blessings in my life: My hubby! surprised him with a photoshoot friday for our 11yr anniversary:) I have so much to be thankful for and this too shall pass!




Dear, "anonymous" commenter

As a kid I was bullied and as an adult I don't tolerate peoples bs.
My feelings are that if you feel like your comments are are not offensive then you should be willing to write and post them with your name beside it. It is a huge problem we face in this world that people hide behind their computer screens and judge and attack others.
No your comment wasn't terrible but it wasn't uplifting either. I have written many blog posts showing how I have CHOSEN to make the best of a really crapy situation. I have counted my blessings through out it all and have used this to try and help others.
I have ONE post where I vent. One. And you jump on there to tell me to change my attitude and not care ONLY about running in my life.
Who the hell are you? You think I care ONLY about running? Them you don't know me or know the passion that I put into my work and my children and my health.i have been living with TONNES of happiness in my life the last 6.5 mos since I haven't been able to run so CLEARLY I don't base all my happiness on running.
I am not writing this bc I feel I have to explain myself to you but to address people like you who wait for any opportunity to throw your judgement and criticiism  around.
Don't like what I have to say then don't read it. And if you DO feel like you have something important to add then atleast be forthcoming about who you are.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sort of, OVER this no running stuff......

Okay, vent coming....you've been warned....



I"m just sort of OVER this. I'm going to ADAPT and doing what they tell me ...which includes ZERO exercise of any kind except for the seemingly lame exercises I do at home  (i'm sure they're helping but i'm venting remember?), i'm eating the very few things I'm allowed to...ALOT of them,  I've shown an
EXTREME amount of discipline in my eyes and yet it's been 6.5 MONTHS!
SIX AND A HALF FRIGGING MONTHS! and I'm still not running.

I'm not even sure I REMEMBER how to run....... I just read a blog that said it can take 3 x as long ot gain fitness as it takes to lose it. Awesome. so does that mean IF I could start running tomorrow it would take 12-18mos to gain my previous fitness back? whats the point...I'll be 40 before I get anywhere near the shape I want to be in to accomplish the goals I have set and probably more prone to injury by then:/ Nothing wrong with 40 but I dont' have enough base years as a runner to START running fast like I want to at age 40:(

This is stupid. Hear me? stupid, stupid, STUPID! I want TO RUN.

Every day I get the thought to run but then I talk myself out of it and tell myself how foolish that would be b/c i'd end up injured again in a month. OR WOULD I?

I'm starting to wonder. I'm wondering if I should just say screw it and start running just one mile a day!
The ADAPT lady gave me a firm talking to and told me if I don't fix the problem i'll just keep getting injured.

 BUT....lets be honest. she doesn't really KNOW what the problem is.  No one does. NO one. EVERY single doctor and therapist I've seen has had a different "theory" on what is wrong with my hip/leg/foot.......
why the heck am I listening to anyone at this  point????
I guess...the other thing holding me back is that cardio at this point COULD interfere with my progress with my thyroid stuff.
boo.

ugh. I don't know what to do. I'm just fet up and ready to get my life back. this stinks.

Vent over.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Story: Hashimotos: Anxiety, depression, short temperedness, brain fog, night sweats etc. VRS FOOD, Hormones and thyroid: Is there a Link?



I have had so many women email me and contact me to thank me for sharing my symptoms, diagnosis and experiences b/c they can relate to them so much but didn't know what to do about it.......

I rec'd an email from a stranger the other day and here's part of what she said:

On another note,I have experienced extreme other issues that nobody has ever taken seriously! I wake up drenched in a cold sweat for nights out of the month,insomnia,extreme anxiety at times, unexplainable weight gain,brain fog,horrible PmS to the point where I feel as though I shld be In a locked up room by myself for a week out of the month, and so many more symptoms relatable to you!!!I seriously feel as though I'm reading my own symptoms!!!I have not pursued much medically because I feel as though I'll be looked at as an emotional wreck or hypochondriac!!! Thank you for sharing your story!!i am going to pursue getting my hormones tested!i also am feeling the need to probably change my diet completely! )Thanks so much for being honest!!You never know who's life you will touch!!:)

I have said this before but I will re-itterate it again. I CANNOT express strongly enough that if you are experienceing any of the symptoms described above, and i'd like to add depression, irritability, short temperedness, moodiness that it is important to consider having your hormones  and thyroid tested.
A LARGE amount of women go for YEARS undiagnosed who have hormone imbalances or thyroid isssues. THAT is a fact.
I did.
Often your GP will run a few simiple blood tests and tell you, you are fine. TSH is normal, hormones "appear" normal and send you on your way. They might even add some advice like "you just need to slow down, don't run as much, get more sleep etc"...but YOU KNOW that there's more to it than that, don't you?
for years I wondered why I was growing more and more impatient and hostile over little daily things. I couldn't control my emotions and would have embarassing outbursts. The HIGHS and LOWS of depression came with out notice. A few years ago, it all came to a head when I woke up one day with no notice and was so depressed that thoughts of SUICIDE flooded my mind. I needed to escape the dark thoughts and feelings that were plaguing my mind and the heavy anxiety on my chest that made it feel like I couldn't breath.  I couldn't stop thinking about it and how I just wanted to escape. Perhaps I could take some pills or just drive my car off a bridge...or perhaps it doesn't hurt that bad to slit your wrists in a cold bath? This is no joke.It went on for days until the urge was so strong I was scared. I knew logically how I was feeling didn't make sense but i couldn't make it go away. My husband came home one night and I broke down telling him that I was feeling so dark that I just wanted to Kill myself and I didn't now why. He immediately insisted I go to the doctor. I had been on an anti-depressant after Erika was born b/c I got post pardum with both my girls but didn't want to go back on it. I asked to sleep alone and be alone. Lucky for me, my husband is a smart man and wouldn't leave me alone. I ended up at the doctor and do you know what they did? they prescribed me zoloft.
NO tests were run, no hormones were checked.
3yrs later I sit here and i'm POSITIVE that I was dealing with massive hormone imbalance as well as thryroid / hashimotos which can cause extreme depression and anxiety.


5 mos ago when I started seeing Dr. Minarik at Elixia wellness group, He suggested that If I changed my diet (this was before we knew about the hashimotos or low progesterone) that he thought I wouldnt need to be ON an anti-depressant. I explained that I had tried to go off of it and would go crazy...even weaning off slowly and at the same time I was still having high highs and low lows ON it:(

We talked about my diet and he asked me if I had a SUGAR ADDICTION? that was easy. YES. sugar everyday. whether ice cream or chocolate bar or chocolate chips or hot chocolate or a Pepsi treat....YES. everyday. needed it.
processed food? too much.
Wheat? yes. YUMM! sandwhiches, pasta.....bliss.

He asked me to go off GLUTEN, SUGAR AND PROCESSED  food. That was 80% of my diet? HUH??? ugh. SO hard to do, but I was willing, or maybe DESPERATE.

I did this for 2wks and noticed a huge diff in my moods and the brain fog was gone. He asked me to start weaning off my anti-depressant (but was totally fine if It didnt' work and I still neeeded it). To my surprise I was off Zoloft in 2WEEKS!!! that is unheard of for an anti-depressant and I have been fine ever since. it's been 4 mos and I havn't needed it at all.

I cannot believe the change in my moods and temperment when I cut out gluten, sugar and processed food and that only got BETTER when I started the whole 30-autoimmune diet 5wks ago and cut out EVERYTHING other than meat, veggies , fruit and good fats, added in synthroid and some very specific supplements for my condition and discovered which foods i'm actually allergic to.

I feel like  I have  completely different brain. It is bizarre and incredible all at the same time.
Since then I have started a small dose of synthroid and a progesterone cream. I have little ups and downs but we are talking like speedbump size compared to the MOUNTAINS i was facing before.
FOOD.
HORMONES.
Who would have guessed?
Do you know that many are mistaken for having mental illness when really their hormones or thyroid are out of whack?
The body is such  a COMPLEX thing with so many SYSTEMS working at once and alll rely on eacother. If one thing gets really out of balance the whole train can get derailed!

My life is different now. I have to think ahead about all my meals. I have to always have organic grassfed and free range meats defrosted each day and ready for cooking. I must constantly stock my vegetables and get up extra early even on weekends to take my synthroid since I can't eat for an hour after I take it.
I can't load up my days like I used to and pretend to be superwoman. I have to think of ME first. feeding my body with GOOD balanced meals. it is alot of WORK. But it's worth it. Days like yesterday and today where I worked ALL day are hard and catch up with me. I'm still learning to pull back and build in TIME each day for meals. NO more eating on the fly. I have to tell clients, i'm sorry but I HAVE to eat my beef and vegetables before we start. It's sort of embarassing and I'm sure they're thinking i'm nuts but I understand the importance of it since I've seen the drastic change in my life. It's so important!!

Anyway....I have to go tuck my sweet baby girls into bed:)
I hope my ramblings are able to help someone.
On an exciting note, I can't wait to get this book in the mail tomorrow....another stranger with hashimotos emailed me and said it changed her life...I was SOLD by the title alone:)
I'm so glad to be done with the phase of my life where I HONESTLY felt like I was going CRAZY some days. I will never look back. I eat to LIVE now instead of LIVE to eat and it's so worth it:)



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Phantom running? and a few snow storm pics:)


(Remembering a lot of This lately:):)-Photo-my first marathon May 2011

I don't know many runners, personally, who have ever had to take more than 6mos completely off running bc of injury or illness so I feel it's hard to find anyone who can understand how I feel some days.

But then today I went and read a post on this blog I follow: Sunny2Runner
and it spoke to my heart! Another runner, just like me, who is coming out the other side of hashimotos disease and running again....and running WELL:) I cried while I read her post.
and I found out that this girl who I Idolize: Ms Fit Runner also has hashimotos.
It gives me hope to see these amazing women running strong and healthy and know that they once WERE, where I am NOW:)

At the beginning of January I had this feeling...or intuition that I was going to be running in February. Maybe not alot but that I would be running again....and now i'm here on Feb 9 and it's not looking good. BUUUUUUT..BUT BUT BUT, I am a person who believes in MIRACLES so even though it's not looking good, I'm still holding onto the possibility that it COULD happen and I visualize myself running every day and in my mind it feels so good! I reminisce on old PR Races and I can remember the feeling of burning lungs and legs and I miss it so much! It's like Phantom Running...it's so weird how vivid those memories are sometimes and that I can FEEL it when I close my eyes:) Today that feeling was especially STRONG and I just had the strongest urge to go RUN! I can't WAIT to feel that again! I swear to NEVER take running for granted again.

The truth is, the hashimotos isn't whats keeping me from running though.....it's my SI joint and hamstring and ....oh brother...it's just my whole right leg:)
So, when I went off wheat, dairy, sugar, soy, corn, grains, and the rest of the food pyramind;) last month I was really hopeful that my leg and foot was going to heal....b/c of the inflammation decreasing in my body but so far, no real noticeable change (insert scrunchy frustrated face), SO i'm finally surrending to Prolotherapy  for my SI joint, BUT I can't actually start it until my vitamin, thyroid, antibody and hormone levels are normalized b/c that can prevent it from working efffectively and if it's as painful as everyone says it is, then I want to give it it's BEST SHOT at working!!!

Tomorrow I get blood tests and am Praying for good results that show IMPROVEMENT!!!

On another note...Portland had a huge snowstorm so here's what I've been up to the last few days;)

...










Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ADAPT TRAINING and I have DONE IT!.... "Changing the food on my plate" has changed my life....

On a strong PUSH from Dr. K, I met with a physical therapist at  ADAPT TRAINING  today. 

I told her up front that I had been to physical therapy for a few months and had little improvement and that I was very skeptical at this point that anyone could help me. 

I told her my whole story...my very fast move into running, quick build up in mileage and the series of injuries that followed. I Liked that she dug deeper going back to my youth and problems in my back that I've had for a long time that have gone un-addressed. 
she was VERY thorough spending over an hour evaluating my ability to do basic movements and took pictures of my relaxed stance from all sides. 

AT the end she walked me through a series of 15-20 diff exercises that all seem so basic you would laugh. we're talking like lying on the floor knees bent and just lifting one foot off the floor an inch high and lowering. .....but she explained to me how my body is twisted, which I KNEW, but no one else has ever really acknowledged .
Their approach is to address the whole body. 

I have to do these movements every day (about an hour a  day) and then go back next week for a  new series to do the following week. 
She said I can't do any other exercises because I will just be re-enforcing the unbalanced muscles which makes sense. 
I'm sure I"m really butchering what she told me but as mad as i was about no exercising (some walking is okay) I realize she is on to something and if I don't fix the ROOT CAUSE I will keep getting injured. SO, I am committing myself 100% to this process. 

ADAPT has very good results and I've heard nothing but amazing things about them. 
Their approach is very different from traditional PT and though that may work for some, it did't work for me. Clearly addressing the singular area where I have pain was not the solution. She thinks my issues are coming more from my spine and pelvic/hip area. I have to agree.


ON another NOTE....I am feeling very proud of myself. 



I'ts been 3.5 mos since I've gone gluten, sugar, and processed food free, and 3 wks since I went even cleaner than that and cut out: Wheat, Dairy, Soy, Eggs, Sugar, Grains, Corn, Leumes .....
I feel amazing and I realize I have done something I DID NOT THINK I COULD DO!

So here's my confession:

I was so deeply addicted to food.
It was what I looked forward to everyday. When I was down or depressed or discouraged or stressed...I headed for that starbucks hot chocolate with extra whip and chocolate drizzle or that large french fries from mcdonalds...OR that delicious cookie or DOUGHNUT...mmmmmmm all was well in the world IF I could just medicate with FOOD.

Unfortunately I don't think I am alone in this. I would venture to say that many of you reading this are much the same way and those of you who aren't  addicted to sugar and carbs are probably still experiencing negative effects from our food that you aren't even aware of. 

I was never too concerned about my diet because I wasn't fat. And if I wasn't Fat, then it must not be hurting me, right? I knew I was addicted to food and was making poor choices, but the ADDICTION was too strong to just give it up willingly for no good reason.

AND THEN THE REASON came. 
Hashimotos. 

At first I was SO discouraged when I found out I needed to cut out all these foods if I wanted to feel better.....I didn't think I could do it. I was ANGRY....but I quickly realized that NOT doing it  meant I would continue to feel crappy and be inflamed and NOT heal....and that wasn't a good choice either. 
I DECIDED that if I didn't take the bull by the horns with this, I was going to STARVE to death! I had to eat and I had to be  prepared b/c there are SO few things I can eat now. 

I will tell you what HAS BEEN and CONTINUES TO BE the most shocking about the outcome from my clean eating:  

**** My mental health. My mental state of being is 100% better**** no questions. no gimmicks 

I said to my husband (who is MR. SKEPTICAL about everything) the other day 
"Do I SEEM like a different person to you? because I FEEL like one!" 

He actually responded with "yes" and I smiled. I have noticed him making small changes with his food and I have started to cut a lot of processed food and wheat and sugar out of my kids diet too. I have a knowledge now that makes me responsible and I cannot in good conscience let them eat half the stuff they were eating.

It is NOT easy. It takes dedication and a re-prioritizing your life, but it's do-able. I am doing it. I still can't BELIEVE I'm doing it most days but My mind feels so much better that I am motivated EVERY single day to get up and keep going. I actually want to fill my belly with greens and veggies and organic grass fed beef and free range chicken!!! 

Everyday is one step closer to healing and a happier healthier mind and body

I thank GOD for this disease and trial. I believe HE knew all along that it would take something this drastic to get me on my knees and humble me enough to make the changes I needed to  to live a long and healthy life. I also know he KNEW I would not accept and settle for just taking medication but that I would seek out what I could DO to make my life better. I have HAD to rely on Him more which has increased my spiritual balance in my life. 
I have had to look at how short life is and consider that we never know how much time we have on this earth which has caused me to slow down, cut back on work and spend more time with my kids and husband. 

I know that GOOD things can come from our trials and apparent "bad news". I had a very bad attitude and negative perspective at first and then I quickly realized that it felt HORRIBLE to think and feel that everyday so I had to CHOOSE to find the positives and let this disease change me for the better. 

I am so thankful that God knows me so well and I hope that my experience will help others. 
Off to prepare some DELICIOUS  GRASS FED RIB EYE STEAKS!!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!! is that weird? lol


peace out friends!
xx