Well, life so far has been blissfully busy in the new/old Victorian house :) We just adore it, and have been having so much fun picking out colors for the three main rooms downstairs (pictures to follow, I promise, Misfit!) - but at the same time I am definitely feeling the stress of having to pay the mortgage and all the bills on my own for the time being, until DH's job picks up.
On the the financial front, the new NaPro Dr who started working in our State a couple months ago still really wants me to join his team as the staff Sonographer... so he has proposed a 20-hour .5 time with benefits position. (At first, the hour commute to work and no health benefits had forced me to decline the position. So, he must really want me on board!)
Tonight we'll do some calculating and see if the pros outweigh the cons (cutting back hours at my imaging center that I LOVE, paying-in to benefits when right now they are covered 100%, 1-hour commute, etc).
And on the infertility front, I just had my follow-up phone appointment with Dr D in California, the NaPro Dr who has been helping me sort out the immune-related issues and nutritional side of my health. It was a VERY informative appointment, and as it turns out, the results of my stool sample (sorry) showed that I DIDN'T have yeast or dysbiosis! Go figure! We were almost certain, after the deluge of antibiotics that have been in my system, that there would be yeast. Even better? There are NO indications that there are any active infections in my body!! Take that, CT!
However, there were two abnormal findings. The first, one of the IgG (or was it IgA?) tests was extremely elevated. The abnormal would have been over 180 and my number was 233. She said it wasn't horribly elevated, but definately significant. And it shows that my body is having some kind of inflammatory reaction to SOMETHING - and this reaction is an AUTO-IMMUNE RESPONSE. Amazing. I have been tested for so many auto-immune disorders, only to discover that everything turned out normal. But my GUT is showing otherwise. Dr D. didn't seem surprised, and what she recommends is a good gut healing. What, pray tell, would that consist of, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you:
First, we need to discover WHAT EXACTLY is the culprit that I am ingesting which is causing this response in my body, and then ELIMINATE IT. To that end, I will be doing yet another food sensitivity testing, this time one by MetaMetrix (I think?) which she specifically recommended. My stool was tested for the four main allergens and, SURPRISE, was negative for gluten, dairy, soy, and egg. She said the stool tests for allergens are not the most conclusive, though, AND it may be some other type of food like nuts, citrus, night shade vegetables (I would DIE, I LOVE EGGPLANT!!), or something else. Then once I find what it is and eliminate it from my diet, I will speak with the nutritionist she recommended and come up with a great meal-plan with is also low in carbs and sugars for PCOS.
Second, I may then consider seeking out treatment for my pelvic organs with a place that specializes in Abdominal Physical Therapy. When the Dr described this place (she forgot the name but will email it to me, and then I'll let you all know), she said she was blown away by their detailed reports. Their physical therapy is mostly geared towards people who are experiencing lower abdominal and pelvic pain, but their therapy helps to restore anatomy and function of the organs, so it therefore also helps to treat infertility. She warned me that it was a little "out there," to which I replied, "Oh, I don't care, I will give anything a try!" Then she added, "Well, I believe they also do internal massages..." Hmmm. Sounds pleasant.
Third, I may ALSO consider using a very mild drug (she went out of her way to tell me how mild it is, and how minimal to nothing the side effects are- I think I love California Doctors!) which is used primarily for senior citizens to help them with memory loss. The mechanism of action, though, is to lower the TNF-Alpha, which is a cytokine. (I don't completely understand how cytokines work, but I do know they are a big part of the immune side of things, and this is something Dr Kwak-Kim tests for regularly in her patients.) I am going to get my cytokine levels checked again soon to see if I could benefit from this drug, which is called "Trental."
The second thing that was found to be abnormal in my stool was something that tests for enzyme-action. (Don't ask me to explain this.) My level was 3, abnormally low for someone my age, she said. It shows that I am not fully digesting all of my food, or something to that effect, and the way to correct this is by adding an enzyme (supplement) when I eat meals. She recommended Wobenzyme, which is so funny, because I have seen this same supplement talked about frequently on the immune-related infertility community y.ahoo group. (I just never knew I needed it until now!)
A few of the questions I had for her were:
Should I increase my compounded progesterone to 600mgs (as she originally suggested) or is 400mgs doing the trick? She thinks 400mgs is definately sufficient based on my 18-day post-Peak phase last cycle. She even wondered aloud if I were pregnant last month and lost it early... (omgosh, my Dr must be delusional, too!) ;) ;)
Should I get my thyroid re-tested and then go back on T3 if my numbers aren't in the upper 1/3? She thinks my adrenals are still healing, and once they do, my thyroid will settle into perfect range. Back in November when they were tested, even though they were slightly below the upper 1/3 (Free T3), she was very very pleased with those numbers already, as they are. I told her I wasn't opposed to going back on T3 but if I didn't need to... and she cut me off to agree wholeheartedly and say she didn't think I needed it after all :) I really do love her!
Finally, I said that I did not take her suggestion for increased Vitamin C, because I was worried it would make my mucus even worse (and I've even gone back to taking Amoxicillin to improve it), and she said at this point since my energy has improved and my adrenals are well on their way to healing, I don't need the Vitamin C and she's glad I didn't go on it. Phew!
I do need to get more Omega 3s because I ran out a while ago and haven't been able to afford another bottle (they're so expensive!!) - but she said it really is a good idea to take them consistently, to calm inflammation. I also need to invest in a top-of-the-line probiotic. She recommended VSL #3, which I think someone mentioned as being the one they take (was it you, Wheelbarrow?)
And that's that! It was a quick but very worthwhile appointment. I can't wait to get this food stuff figured out once and for all, I'm SO TIRED of cutting random stuff out of my diet which is obviously not even helping!!
I think 2011 has potential.