Saturday, March 08, 2014

medical hypotheses

I saw a new medical practitioner, who thinks that there is probably a combination of things going on with me, likely some but not all of the following:  (a) ulcer, (b) vitamin D deficiency, (c) diabetes, (d) anemia, and/or (e) thyroid problem.  Her top bets are an ulcer/vitamin D deficiency combo.  I'm skeptical about the vitamin D theory (I go into the light; I drink vitamin D enhanced milk in my coffee) but willing to swallow some supplements.

On Monday I'm having a large amount of blood drawn for labwork, but we did the ulcer test already (but the results won't be back from the lab for weeks).  I was fascinated to see that ulcer tests are done by breath nowadays.  Long, long ago in the eighties I was tested for an ulcer, and I had to drink a lot of barium and have a series of x-rays taken while I was cavorting about topless and embarrassed.  Nowadays there's still a drink involved, but it's relatively tasty.  "It tastes like Crystal-Lite.  Lemony," said the tech, and she was right.  Not at all like the thick, nasty barium solution which solidified in my gut and caused me to feel as though I'd swallowed a cannonball.

The entire ulcer test was charming, as opposed to its eighties forebear.  First I had to wait until a full hour had elapsed after the last thing had gone into my mouth (I'd had a glass of water upon arrival at the office, injudiciously as it turned out).  Then I took a deep breath, held it, popped the cap off a little mylar bag, and then thoroughly exhaled through a spout, filled the bag, and capped it.  Then the tech carefully watched me drink the faux Crystal-lite down through a special straw (I am not sure why the straw was important, but it was included in the lab kit, and the tech made a big point out of searching for it and having me use it).  Then after exactly fifteen minutes, I took another deep breath, held it for over four seconds, and then filled up another mylar bag.  So much nicer than the old barium days, which no one would have described as charming.

What would really be charming would be a functioning immune system.  While I was at the doctors, I also got a tetanus shot, which the tech tried to talk me out of on the grounds that it is risky to get vaccinated when one has a depressed immune system.  I took it anyhow, because I'm going through training offered only once a year for wildlife rehabilitation work, and I have to get a tetanus shot by the end of the month or I'll be dropped from the training and will have to wait a full year for another chance.  There's no reason to think waiting another couple of weeks is going to mean a drastic improvement in my health, so I ignored the well-meant advice and got the shot.

Today, the day after the shot, I dragged myself to my training despite feeling ill, and the class  was full of sick people who'd evidently done the same:  a room of coughing, sneezing, feverish looking animal lovers forcing themselves out of bed.  I looked about and thought, "Good luck getting healthy" about myself.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful DH. I CAN NOT stress enough what havoc low vitamin D levels can create in our bodies!!! I had many of your symptoms AND a completely dead thyroid. Come to find out after a three month trial of Wellbutrin which did nothing, my issues stemmed from my calcidiol levels being at 18 in spite of getting plenty of sun (but while wearing sunscreen). Our levels should be up over 50 at the very least.
My internist immediately put me on a large daily dose of D3, with instructions to make sure I got 15 minutes of sun every day on my arms & legs WITHOUT sunscreen.
He also figured out I had a T4/T3 conversion problem. I now supplement my Synthroid with Cytomel.
Between taking 10,000IUs daily of D3 (tiny gel pills are the easiest to swallow--you can get them in higher dosages for less pills to ingest) and the additional thyroid meds, my calcidiol levels have popped up to the mid 60s, the depression has lifted, as well as the malaise, and my energy returned. It took a few weeks, but the difference in how I feel is night and day. Most importantly, my weight is no longer all over the place. (I also had to drop wheat, corn & sugar from my diet--can't handle those simple carbs at all).
I know this next thing will sound crazy new age hokum, but manuka honey from New Zealand will work wonders for an ulcer. I promise you. I scoffed at it when I was first told about it, but following the recommended protocol I was able to lower my H. pylori levels to nothing. Zip. Nada. Without antibiotics!
I purchased it through Amazon. It's a bit pricey, but in my estimation, well worth it. I make sure to keep extra on hand. It works better than OTC antacids and my whole family will use it when they have stomach issues. Please give it a try. It's honey. It's natural.
All my best.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Thank you for your note, I appreciate it. I am starting a D supplement and hope for some success. I'm interested in the honey -- I do love good honey. gratefully, DH