Friday, August 26, 2011

the journey of all journeys

i've spent most of my married life battling something that was wrong with my body but doctors couldn't diagnose. i would just go from doctor to doctor getting blood test after blood test hoping that that one time it would be different, they would find something and i would get better. this was never the case. like most married couples, Matt and i both gained weight after getting married and dealing with our busy lives. the only problem was that when i would actually try to lose weight it never worked. i would exercise like a mad woman running or doing some bouncy workout video and even tried P90X and did it religiously for weeks but nothing ever helped. i'm sure you can understand how depressing that was. so that's how it went for years and years and years. feeling sick with no diagnosis or cure in sight.

fast forward to July 2010...on the 4th of July at a family barbeque i had an allergic reaction where my throat almost closed up and i felt horrible for days. this led me to go to an allergist and have an allergy test done. that's when i found out i'm allergic to the world. not really but they tested me for 71 things and out of those 71 things i was allergic to 43 of them. those 43 included all trees, all grass, almost all weeds, one mold, cat hair, horse hair, dog hair, all melons and avocado. so basically the outside world wants to kill me along with animal hair and melons and the doctor probably just added avocados to the list to make me cry. i loved avocados. in addition to those things they also told me i'm lactose intolerant. again, probably just to make me cry because no one loves ice cream more than me. but i learned what food to avoid and how to live a lactose free existence. it was incredibly hard at first to give up things like ice cream, chocolate, cheese, most breads, milk, yogurt, butter, etc. but i figured it out and now i hardly miss it. the only problem was that even though i found out what i'm allergic to and could now avoid those foods i still felt horrible and like something was still not quite right.

fast forward to present time...i went to the doctor at the beginning of August because i hadn't had my period in over three months and the pregnancy pee stick said no so i was a little on the worried side. also, my sister called me up one day to tell me about PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). her friends had told her about it and i had a lot of the symptoms. so the PCOS worry combined with my total lack of a monthly cycle caused me to make an appointment with my gynocologist. i went, with Matt because he's supportive and knows how much i hate to go to the doctor, and explained all of my symptoms and how we suspect i have PCOS. the doctor was amazing. she went over all of my history and was careful not to leave anything out. she explained to us that PCOS is actually not my problem but she believed i have metabolic syndrome. the symptoms were all what i was experiencing and after some lab work i returned to the doctor and she told me all the lab work came back positive for metabolic syndrome.

for those who have no idea what metabolic syndrome is, meaning if you're like me about a month ago, then here's a little bit about it. metabolic syndrome is also known as insulin resistance, syndrome X, prediabetes and cardiometabolic syndrome. basically the plain and simple way to describe it is my body can't use insulin effectively and insulin is needed to help control sugar in the body so as a result blood sugar levels rise. the doctor described it to me as prediabetes and said if we don't get it taken care of i will end up with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. this also explains why i have gained weight and can't seem to lose it no matter what i try. apparently one of the more lovely symptoms of metabolic syndrome is extra weight around the middle because of the rise in blood sugar. awesome right?

so the treatment the doctor gave me is a pill called metformin. it's usually prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes but doctors have found it's very successful with metabolic syndrome as well. i've been taking it twice a day for a little over a week now and i don't feel any different. it made me very very nauseous the first few days but luckily that's gone away. both the doctor and the pharmacist told me metformin would cause me to lose weight but i'm still waiting for that side effect to grace me with its presence. i'm trying not to get too down about it because it's only been a week so far. i can't expect to be fixed overnight.

now fast forward to this morning...the doctor had sent me to get additional blood work done after the first time i went. she sent me to get a glucose test to be 100% sure i have metabolic syndrome. if you've never had a glucose test before this is how it goes, you go into the lab and have your blood drawn while fasting and then you drink this really sugary drink that at first tastes like orange soda without carbonation but the more you drink it the more disgusting it is and since you have to down the whole bottle in 5 minutes you basically feel like puking afterwards and then you sit at the lab for 2 hours so they can draw your blood every 30 minutes. yeah, it's super fun. well i finally got the call from the doctor this morning telling me how it went. apparently my levels were a little concerning. my test showed actual diabetic levels so combined with the previous blood work i had done my doctor told me i am basically walking that very fine line between diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

some good news...matt found THIS and showed it to me the other day.
it's this amazing story about a woman who went through all the same things i have gone through. all the doctors and the testing and never finding out what truly is wrong with you. she found out she was lactose intolerant and then was misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia but when she went to her yearly gyno visit she was tested for the same things as me and found out that she's insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome). she talks about how she cut out sugar and carbs and was feeling better in a matter of days and now she's lost 40 pounds and is back to her old self again. i just couldn't believe that this woman went through almost the exact same things as i did and actually got through it and felt amazing now. it really has lifted my spirits!

so now i'm trying really hard to give up carbs and sugar so i can have the same success story as that woman. i want to have energy and a good attitude and feel like myself again more than anything and if giving up sugar and carbs is going to help me get there then that's what i need to do. will it be hard? HECK YES! but i'm going to take it one day at a time. if i can make it through the day sugar/carb free then the day was a complete success. if i stumble and eat some i won't beat myself up about it i'll just tell myself that tomorrow is another day and i'll try again. i really wanted to get all this out so that i can start writing every friday about how the week has been for me health wise. that way i can see the changes i'm making and the difference it brings to my life. i already have a really good sugar/carb free habit for breakfast and lunch it's just dinner that i have to worry about now. that shouldn't be too terribly horribly hard. well...yes it will be hard but i'm going to tryyyyy to make it feel like it's a piece of cake. hopefully if i write down how my week went every friday i'll be able to see what's working and what's not and find the perfect balance that i need.

so i'll make this my first weekly report. even though i just found out about all this i haven't been too terrible this week. my meals have stayed pretty sugar/carb free but then i ruin things by having a soda or popcorn. those are my weaknesses. this is just my first week though so i shouldn't be too hard on myself. i even made a special dinner this week with delicious tilapia and set my oven on fire. i'm experimenting with new foods to keep me away from craving my usual go-to carby meals. that's progress already! and so far the last 2 days have been completely sugar/carb free! i can't say i feel better, in fact i feel more exhausted than usual, but i'm holding on. we'll see how the next week goes!


AZ Larsens said...

You can do it Kikki! One day at a time! :)

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