Health Update

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to provide you with an update.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  Here’s what has been going on…

I made it through my Whole30 Paleo challenge!  I decided to stick with what my functional doctor recommends and continue with a paleo lifestyle.  I noticed a big decrease in my brain fog symptoms during the Whole30, but am still dealing with terrible fatigue.  It is a big challenge for me to get up in the morning.  I still feel very tired during the day.  People talk about getting “Tiger Blood” on the Whole30, where they experience lots of energy, but that didn’t happen for me, and now we know why…

My functional medicine doctor in Dallas ordered a stool test, and it came back positive for Enterobacter, an opportunistic bacteria, as well as Blastocystis, a parasite.  I did some research, and both the bacteria and parasite cause fatigue…bingo!  We also found out that I do not have much good bacteria in my gut, which is why the bad guys (bacteria/parasite) are winning…for now.  I am so glad my doctor ordered this test!  I cannot believe that no one else has thought to do a stool test.  70-80% of your immunity comes from your gut, and right now, mine is compromised.  She also believes that I have damaged mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cells), which explains a lot of other symptoms that I have.  She has started me on supplements to kill off the bacteria/parasite, and to support and heal my mitochondira.  I am also taking a ton of probiotics to repopulate my good gut bacteria.  I will also start a bioidentical Progesterone cream, since my hormones were out of balance, which I hope will help prevent all the painful ovarian cysts that I have been having.  I will also be getting Vitamin B12 shots, and she is having it compounded by a local pharmacy, so I can give them to myself.  She wants me to continue the Paleo diet, and limit fruit to only a small amount of green apples and berries.

 It is kind of gross to think that I have a parasite living in me.  Yuck!  My chiropractor thinks I may have gotten it when I went to Europe in high school…that was over 12 years ago!  Who knows for sure how and when I got this stuff.  The Enterobacter is common from hospital stays and causes frequent UTIs – another issue I have been dealing with.  I am praying as we starve off and kill this stuff, that my health will continue to improve and that I will feel better and get to experience that tiger blood soon!

A few months ago, I noticed a small mass appear under my right ribcage.  It doesn’t hurt when you palpate it, and it shows up when I do my strengthening exercises for my abdominal muscles.  Maybe it’s a muscle?  Not sure.  I don’t think it is another desmoid tumor, but at this point, it is better to be safe than sorry (my desmoid tumor was in my left abdominal wall).  I am monitoring it, and I contacted MD Anderson Cancer Center today and sent a message to my nurse.  I am getting an MRI of my abdomen done in January to check for recurrence after the complex abdominal wall reconstruction.  I just asked that the lower ribs be covered on the scan as well.  It will make me feel better.

It still amazes me how much sneezing hurts along that abdominal repair.  It scares me a little bit, because it almost feels like I am ripping from the inside, and I definitely don’t want another hernia.  When this happens, I remind myself, it won’t be like this forever.  🙂  Someday, this will not hurt.

I recently heard on a podcast that pain is a reminder to be kind to your body…that is so true.  So, I’m just taking things one day at a time and trying to be extra kind to my body while it is healing.  It will take time.  This is all a lesson in patience.  That’s about it for now.  Enjoy the holiday season!  🙂

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The Whole30 Challenge

Well, after taking the advice of my functional medicine doctor, my chiropractor, the “Eat Right 4 Your Type” book, and a good friend; I have decided to embark on a 30-day challenge called Whole30, in which I will eat only whole real food.  This means no dairy, grains (even gluten-free), legumes, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites, white potatoes, alcohol, or added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.  I can eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.  Why the heck am I doing this?  Well, I’ve had some health challenges and issues over the years including: daily headaches/migraines, chronic pelvic pain, digestive issues, constipation, fatigue/exhaustion, hypothyroidism, and not to mention my body tried to kill me two years ago when I grew a softball-sized soft tissue sarcoma called a desmoid tumor (aggressive fibromatosis) in my left abdominal wall.  Needless to say, I’ve felt pretty crummy for the past several years.  I don’t really remember feeling healthy since high school and I just turned 29 years old.  So, I am grabbing the bull by the horns, or more like grabbing the veggies and animal meat, and I am ready to commit to the next 30 days, with the hope that I will feel better and notice improvements in my body.

My goal is to document the good and the bad, the mistakes and triumphs, and to have a little fun along the way as well.

If you are interested in learning more about The Whole30, I would recommend checking out the book “It Starts With Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig and also check out their website – http://www.whole9life.com/2013/08/the-whole30-program/

In health & healing,

Laura