Saturday, May 31, 2014

I'm Still Here :)

Hello all.

I haven't written in awhile.  I'm a little ashamed to say that I haven't had it in me.  I've been going thru some tough times with figuring out my weight loss puzzle.

I wrote awhile back about going to see my primary doctor because I felt like my body wasn't working anymore.  In fact, everything I tried to do to lose weight was JUST.  NOT.  WORKING.

Boy I had no idea how badly my body wasn't working.

It's been almost 3 months that I've been working with my wonderful Functional Doctor and I've learned quite a bit.

First some backstory.  I've documented on here for quite some time all of my adventures in weight loss.  And in January of 2013, I wrote about how I tried an elimination diet and how I changed my  eating habits and how wonderful that was for me.  Well, it was wonderful.  I lost weight, lost even more inches and felt awesome.  I really did.  I felt truly awesome.  And then in March of 2013 I started having some weird pains.  I never really talked about that on here but I am now because it ended up being an important clue in my weight loss puzzle.

In March I started getting pelvic pain that gradually got so bad it can only be described as horrifying. REALLY long story short, I went to my gynecologist who really had no information for me but just to "wait and see".  That of course was very disheartening.  I waited a month and went back because things were not getting better.  She still didn't have any news for me.  She ran a bunch of tests but they said I was fine.  One thing we both decided on was that I was going to stop my birth control (Nuvaring) immediately.  I'll be honest even without the pain I was going to tell her I was stopping it because I had been having signs of low libido, severe tiredness, and other hormonal symptoms that made me think it was time to take a break.

Enter my own research.  I spent day and night looking for what could be causing this pain.  I ended up going to a uro-gynecologist who gave me an official diagnosis of urethral syndrome.  She put me on an antibiotic and said it may or may not work.  She also gave me valium.  She said if at the end of the antibiotic cycle if I was still in pain then I should try anti-depressants.

Seriously not what I wanted to hear.  I started doing even more research.  I went on forums, searched medical journals.  I found lots of people who could describe what I was feeling but nobody had a solution to the problem.  It took weeks but I found one little item that clicked something for me.  It was a physical therapist who was in my neighborhood.  I called her and she actually sat on the phone with me as I explained my situation.  It was August now and I had almost no hope.  She didn't hesitate to tell me to come in and that she knew exactly what was going on.

You'd think that would be enough to make me happy but it wasn't.  I literally had no hope.  So I got my OB/GYN to write me a prescription and went to see her.  Another long story short, she really did know what she was talking about.  It took weeks of therapy but she got me to a place where things were actually looking up.  Where I didn't feel the hopelessness.  And while she couldn't give me an official diagnosis what we decided together was that it had to do with my birth control.  The hormones in the BC made the muscles in my pelvic floor essentially stop working and so they got tight and that caused me to be in pain.  So when I stopped the BC and putting the hormones in my body the muscles decided to start working again which caused even more pain.  So with some therapy I had to reteach my muscles not to spasm.

And once my pain started subsiding that's when my body decided to start gaining as much fat as possible.  It was September of 2013.  I had been off of my BC for 4 months, I was eating the same foods, doing my workouts and no matter what I tried, I just kept gaining weight.

Months went by and eventually it was January 2014.  I had put on about 35 pounds.  Yes, 35 pounds in 3 months.  CRAZY.  And when I say I tried everything I really did.  I tried strict paleo, low carb, high carb, Insanity, exercising craziness.  And I kept gaining weight.

And that brings me to when I went to see my primary and when I found the Functional Doctor.

Now that you know all of that (sorry it was a lot) I'll bring you up to speed.  What my new doctor has found out is that my thyroid isn't working properly, my hormones are not within acceptable ranges, and my adrenal glands are being overworked.  And you know what all of that together equals?

Consistent weight gain.

It took months of tests but I have the answers in front of me.  And again, here I am with a "diagnosis" and I still have trouble finding my hope.  Because in order for my body to lose the weight and start feeling good again, these things need to be fixed.  And that takes time.  And good lord are things moving slowly.

Right now I'm on Armour (thyroid hormone) and a slew of nutritional supplements (seriously, I take about 7 different types of vitamins, minerals and herbs).  And it's just a waiting game.  I started the Armour about 6 weeks ago but we're just in the phase of finding the right dosage for me (which can take months and months).  Once we find the right dosage and get my thyroid levels moving in the right direction, we are going to look at my hormones and possibly add a progesterone cream.  But that's in the future.  As for my adrenals, I'm off coffee, in bed by 10pm, getting stress under control, sleeping in a blacked out room, and eating as clean as possible.  I'm also on adaptogens (herbs).

And it's been rough.  The worst part is that I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing and I continue to gain weight.  I'm so uncomfortable.  It's so weird to have outgrown everything in my closet.  I went up a jeans size.  My bathing suits don't even fit and they stretch!!

But there has been an upside.  Apparently going on thyroid hormone was the last piece of the puzzle to my pelvic pain.  I'm actually really happy about that.  While I had gotten it under control it never really went away and once I went on that it has been the best it's been.  Once I started noticing it I found the research that showed how they were related.

So what happened to me?

It actually was something that happened when I was very young.  I went on a certain type of medication when I was in elementary school and poof.  This happened.  Of course please realize I'm way oversimplifying a very complicated medical history but that was the catalyst.  I went on a medicine that has been proven to cause thyroid problems.  And my thyroid stayed in the sub-clinical category for the majority of my adulthood which is why no doctor ever diagnosed me.  It's also why I've never been able to lose all of my weight.  Then when I went on BC, the hormones I was adding to my body were actually HELPING me in the beginning.  I was low in Progesterone and with that being added to my body I actually lost weight and got to my lowest adult weight.  And then early last year, my thyroid went from sub-clinical to clinical and things just started going downhill.  My hormones kept falling, thyroid was clunking out, my pelvic muscles failed and you know the rest.

So that's where I'm at.  I'm in the fix it phase of my journey.  Some days are better than others.  Some days I'm exhausted all the time.  Some days I feel like things are working and everything will be ok.  Some days I want to give up.  But I guess that all makes sense since we are talking about my hormones :)

I stopped blogging because it all got so complicated.  I gained so much weight I was embarrassed and a little ashamed honestly.  Because I gained a lot.  My measurements shot up and I didn't want to post anymore pics.  But the truth is, I shouldn't be ashamed because I had no control over what was going on.  What is going on in my body.  I can only control whether or not I do what my doctor tells me and I'm doing my best.

So where am I at right now?

I'm on a new dose of thyroid and in 3 weeks I have to get another blood panel to tell us whether or not I need a bigger dose.  I'm continuing with my supplements, working out, and eating between 1500-1700 calories (per her orders).  And what's interesting is that she isn't expecting me to lose a bunch of weight right now.  I hear her say this to me but I'm so desperate for it to happen it's like I don't hear her.  She tells me there is no way it's going to happen until we get my thyroid numbers moving in the right direction.  So fingers crossed that we hit that magic dose soon.

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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.