Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hello readers,

I have been debating about resurrecting this blog on Blogger, beginning a new blog on my WP site, or simply continue to not blog at all. For a long while, I had no desire to write, but am recently writing posts in my head, so, I think I'm ready, once again, to share my pursuits and designs.

I like this Blogspot template, a lot. It has my personality! Betwixt and between. So, I'll just start, and decide later, where I want the blog to reside.

You may notice new categories in the menu. Life is definitely not the same, as it was, when I first began the blog in 2004 – much has happened. This blog will now reflect everything that now matters to me, and hence, gets my attention and time.

There are far too many older posts, to re-label and sort into the new menu, but, they remain in the archive, in the sidebar, if you have need of them.

I hope you'll enjoy the upcoming posts about projects, designs, cooking and other home arts!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The State of Health

I was posting, this morning, to one of the 6 health lists I'm on, about how I was left in the lurch by the medical establishment (both alopathic and naturopathic), and that, only through listening and learning from others, who are in similar thyroid and adrenal dysregulated boats, am I finally getting better.

But the anger remains. It quickly bubbles up, when I talk about where I was, where I am, and where I still need to be and the Major Trial it all has been.

One surefire sign of hypothyroidism is low basal temps.

I think the lowest basal I have recorded since I began recording them, last October, was 96.2.

Normal (not hypothyroid) basal temp range is 97.8-98.2 degrees.

At 1 grain circadian (CM) dose of NDT (natural dessicated thyroid), I was at 97.7, and couldn't get it higher than that. 1.5 grains CM got me to 97.9 on the first day and 98.1 after that.

I take thyroid in the wee hours, to help the adrenals, and these puppies need help. I take other things to help the adrenals as well. Just as I take other things to help my thyroid and overall health and functioning. It's a concert.

This bod has been through the wringer, since peri-menopause 14 yrs ago, which was rougher than it should have been, then cancer, chemo, radiation.

If I knew then, what I know now, I would have self-tested my thyroid functioning long ago (because docs don't usually order all the right tests, even if they see a reason to, nor understand what they mean, based on patient experience, which varies from their lab ranges). My endocrine system was going out of balance and struggled even harder after I stopped BC pills.

Maybe then I could have nipped all this demise in the bud, averting cancer, then the HPA dysfunction. Maybe not, but I would have had a fighting chance. Bodies do not get diseases when they are healthy. Being healthy, today, though, takes Effort. It doesn't just happen.

So, back to present day.

The 98.1 temp is a good sign that all the supplements I'm taking is helping with thyroid utilization, tho not healed yet (as last independent saliva and blood spot labs corroborate how I feel).

But, these temps are exogenous thyroid-produced, which to me, doesn't *really* count. It'll count more, when I can get my body to produce enough thyroid and cortisol on its own, but, it's a start, anyway, and even the worst scenario of continuing to need to take NDT is far better than not having it and being where I was.

I also would not be surprised if basal temps were worse than 96.2 before October 2012, as I've only recently been on real thyroid support, especially after I recently dug up a lab the NP I saw then ran in March 2011, showing below the bottom of the chart free T4.

For the thyroid uninitiated!, T4 is a thyroid hormone, comprised of 4 atoms iodine attached to tyrosine (an amino acid). T4 is storage thyroid. It *needs to* convert to T3, the active hormone, in order that the body can utilize it.

There are several things that help conversion – the right form of selenium, optimal levels of D3 and iron, as well as properly functioning (or at least exogenously well supported) adrenals, as cortisol is also necessary for thyroid to be used. Not having enough free T4 means I certainly didn't have enough free T3. Bod was only going to get sicker.

NOT that anyone thought maybe I needed help. Noooo, all the NP and the ID (idiot doctor) were concerned about were my high triglycerides.

Not even normal, but sub-*optimal* thyroid production, but downright underproducing, not even within their wide range of *normal*, which, along with most other labs' ranges of so-called normal, says little about actually feeling good, never mind feeling optimal.

But, it's been a long time since medicine took the time to be personal – to not just look at us as if we were nothing more than numbers on a lab report, whose ranges are questionable.

NP and I did talk about diet for those triglycerides, but she would have been more than happy to put me on meds for it, just as her idea of sleep help was to prescribe Neurontin, which I didn't take as I don't trust drugs, but which my SIL did take and it made her temporarily blind in one eye. Eh, I only have 1 half-way good eye as it is, as the other had retina detachment surgery and tho sight was saved, it ain't much sight!

This is the same ID the NP works for, who said something flippant about how endocrinology may have been fun in college, but he wasn't about to go down that road and said all I needed was a couple hours alone every day. That's when he earned the ID title.

This, to a woman with trashed adrenals and nearly non-existent thyroid functioning (who hadn't slept more than a couple-3 hrs/night for over a year at that point), who had been through chemo and radiation, then several major life stresses, and clearly needed *intelligent* help.

NO, don't look at the root of the issue, look at the symptoms.

What it has come to is that medicine isn't really interested in helping people heal and become healthy, they're just drug middlemen. And if the drugs don't work, they'll be happy to start chopping bits out of and off of ya. Helping us all become healthy would put the industry out of work.

This is not what medicine is supposed to be, and we don't have to lie down for it.

It seems if we want intelligent help, we better look to ourselves.

Even the Naturopath I then went to, wasn't helpful, giving me 100 mg oral progesterone, which tho I may have needed, it *ensured* I wasn't going to sleep (and just .05 mg E2, which depleted all my energy).

And she knew about my adrenal status – we had run cortisol saliva labs then, so she should have known better. You *don't* give someone with adrenal dysregulation progesterone, eh, esp. right before bed, as it just gets diverted into making cortisol, when I already had high nighttime cortisol keeping me from sleeping.

The low progesterone could and should have been dealt with later and differently – the adrenals and thyroid should have been dealt with first.

This is when I really gave up on doctors. *They* get advanced educations, *they* tout themselves as being our medical authorities, *they* take our money, and worse, our faith in them, then help us to rot. First, do no harm, my ass!

As I think about this, though, knowing that we draw events to us for a reason, in one way I should be grateful to all the medical people who mal-treated me.

I'm an independent fire person. I've only ever been able to trust my own judgement. When I follow anyone else's advice without it *feeling* right to me, I get into trouble with myself. My conscience has a big mouth! I can't help but be an honest, if complicated person.

In everything, however, there is choice.

I can choose to look at this whole experience as a needing to be reminded (yet again) to rely on myself and my judgement, and not look to *authorities* for help – whether alopathic or naturopathic, it seems.

Yes, it is very sad that most of us with thyroid and adrenal malfunctions can't find a physician worthy of our trust and faith.

We *should* be able to rely on others for help, especially when at our weakest, hardly able to put together coherent sentences any longer, because our systems are failing.

But no, we're left to climb up out of the hole by ourselves, trying to digest info about our state of unwellness, which goes into the head one second and out the next.

As it turns out, however, those we expect to be able to help us, can't, and, in fact, we can be much better helped by each other, fellow HPA dysregulators!

And, in the process, become our *own* best physicians.

But, in the back of my head, I have this feeling that this is the just the beginning of a movement. Part of a movement away from seeing and doing things the way they have been done, as it just doesn't work any more, for far too many of us.

Generations since my grandparents day, have been, slowly, at first, but now, much more rapidly, seeing their lives and health turned upside down, because of decisions made, initially, by our forebears, but that we also bought into. No-one knew better. And the collective state of our health is the price of that ignorance.

Ignorance is not bliss. It leads to death.

This journey to health I'm on is both circuitous and meandering at the same time. It's like holding up a table with 16 legs and you only have 2 hands. One falls, they all fall. That's our endocrine system, and it's no wonder there are few doctors really adept at understanding it - it's not easy.

Eh, but it's not impossible, especially for all those *bright* minds that endured about a dozen years advanced education. But they seem to shirk way from it. And I don't know why, because we are, no ARE our hormones. You can't really ignore them, as if they are a minor player in our well-being.

And not just sex hormones. Thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, hypothalamus, pineal, thymus, parathyroid, and pancreas all make hormones. And all these glands are connected via axes, ultimately all connected to each other.
It takes patience, it takes time, it takes researching and far more time connecting dots and being aware, than we are used to doing.

We just want to get on with our lives, and so, we expect our bodies to do what they're supposed to, all the time, effortlessly.

And they do. For awhile. We're never ready for them to fall down on the job. But they will. And good luck to you, if you look to your typical GP or NP (or even ND) for help, eh, or worse yet, an endocrinologist, according to the litany of experiences with this particular genre of The Medically Dismissive.

I will, most likely, chronicle this journey in a book, so to help others find their way to wellness.