Alternative Medicine and a few steps closer to finding what’s wrong with me
Today I went to a wellness center to see a new doctor. He is a board certified, honest to goodness MD who sat and talked to me for an HOUR AND A HALF. He wanted to know everything, from the fact that I had mono 5 times as a kid (even though everyone says you can’t, I did) to the fact that I feel saturated and swollen all the time. He listened to Don, he looked at all the medications I’m on, he looked at how I eat, the lab work we had done for my thyroid and hormones, he was amazing, and he swore. Nothing impresses me more than a doctor who isn’t afraid to curse now and then.
So after talking for quite a bit and having things like dopamines, histamines, copper levels, and Carl Pheiffer explained to me he has ordered a batter of tests. His guess is that I have IgG subclass deficiency which I still need to research more but is a form of autoimmune illness. He also thinks I have chronic fatigue syndrome which may or may not be caused by the IgG. I now have a prescription for a water pill to help alleviate all the water retention (which contributes to the fatigue) to take short term until we get the test results back.
Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to go to the lab and get full labwork drawn for:
- thyroid (apparently the panel the endocrinologist did missed 2 possible indicators
- IgG subclass deficiency
- histamine, methylation, and copper levels
- IgE subclass deficiency
- digestive enzymes
There’s some concern that I’m not digesting my food correctly which means I’m not getting the nutrients needed which would cause all of this (there are reasons we think this which I won’t gross you out with). This could be presenting as a food allergy which explains some symptoms but not all. This will be determined through the blood tests but may mean at some point I will need to do an elimination diet for allergies. He thinks that there is a combination of that and an immunodeficiency. His point being, if I’m sick all the time on some level because my body can’t fight off all the viruses in my system AND I’m not getting all the nutrients I need from my food then no wonder I’m exhausted, depressed and stressed out all the time.
Tier One of our plan is to have me start taking a digestive enzyme when I eat larger meals. He believes that my digestive issues stem more from nutrient deficiency than allergy and if the enzymes help will hopefully also stop some of the other issues. I will start the water pills and get blood work done.
Tier Two of our plan is for me to start taking Zinc to help with my general immune system and depending on what the blood work says consider vitamins, supplements and prescriptions as appropriate. The biggest issue will be how to up my immune system which he won’t know until he sees the blood work. It’s possible that after I do these things there may be a point where I will either stop or at least wean off of the depression medications.
Tier Three, if needed, will include a Brain Chemistry Urine test to determine my dopamine levels and other important stuff which will help us figure out if I’m on the best meds, if I need those kind of meds and if I do what the best ones would be.
There’s no Tier Four at this point, but there may be depending on what we find with the other things.
I’m exhausted after this extensive appointment but really relieved to have someone finally looking at the whole picture. We’ve always known that my immune system is a problem. My mother has suggested Lyme disease, others Lupus, others gluten allergies, but no one has ever tied together the emotional, physical and immune issues like this before. I feel so relieved to know Dr. S is going to be working with us now. I would really love to feel not just functional again, but actually feel healthy. I’ve been so tired for so long, it feels like there’s something pulling me under water, trying to keep me there. To be able to say: “I have ‘X’” and actually have a plan to treat it, manage it, live with it, would be such a tremendous relief.
So tonight we call the insurance company and see what of the tests they will cover and how much all this will cost us. Hopefully not too much. Dr. S had to be paid upfront so all this is expensive to do, but worth it in the end. Tomorrow I’m calling the chiropractor because I’ve met my deductible, so seeing her for the rest of the year is free. I’m determined to get better. I’m exponentially better now then I was 6 months ago. The anxiety has waned, the agoraphobia has mostly passed and the depression, while there, isn’t as debilitating. I’m hopefull that the next 6 months will see as much, if not more improvement.
Thank you for all your support and for putting up with my craziness as we’ve been working through this. Looking back I can see that it’s been building to this points for at least 2 years. My mom said this weekend it seemed like I was just over-stimulated, emotionally, physically, mentally, and she’s right. Even just trying to find the answers to everything has been a full time job. I’m lucky to have friends and work and so many amazing people in my life who have pitched in. My husband is a god-send and my parents have really come through for me at a time when I desperately needed to be able to lean on them. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that this is a turning point for us and things will get better from here.