I’m starting this post by saying I’m feeling better these days, but it’s not necessarily due to fessing up my shit and trying some new ways to get healthy. In the interest of (semi-) full disclosure, I’ll admit that it might have more to do with the fact that I had a first date Friday night. Understand that I haven’t had a first date in almost two years. And according to my (possibly narrow) definitions, I’m not sure I’d really call this one an actual date. But I did meet, on purpose, a pre-determined man at a pre-determined place and time, and we hung out together. We drank a little, danced a little, talked a lot, got home way too late. Apparently we both had a really good time, and since he firmly believes it was an actual date, and seems determined to follow it up with a second date (which would be lovely!), I’m willing to give him this one and call it a first date. And I admit, this and the pre- and subsequent texting has me feeling a lot more cheerful. One reason I think I can just enjoy this and not stress out as I normally might is that I’m leaving for Michigan soon, so I can have fun without getting all wigged out about it. After all, I’m leaving. How serious can it get? Which also makes it easier for me to overlook the undeniable fact that he is much younger than I am. And he was raised by women, so that gives him a definite edge in maturity as it applies to how a man should treat a woman. LIKE.
So back to the main news: this past Thursday was my appointment with a functional medicine practitioner, starting the New Plan to Get Me Healthy at Last. Let me just say that this was not your average doctor visit. The appointment lasted two hours and forty minutes! She asked questions, and listened to the answers. I asked questions and she didn’t get all insulted that I would question her obviously superior doctor wisdom. She wanted to hear about my physical symptoms and my emotional and mental symptoms, back all the way to birth. And at the end of the appointment, since she is also a chiropractor and had a table just hanging out in the office with us, I asked her if she could help me with a misplaced rib that had been causing me a great deal of trouble, and she did, sure, no problem. It wasn’t an easy fix, either, she really had to work at it. And she didn’t charge me extra! And the original fee (which I’ll grant you was not what I’d call cheap) includes the two-week follow-up visit. Am I favorably impressed so far? Oh heck yeah!
I had sent in a sample (of what you don’t want to know!) ahead of time, and she had the lab results, so we went over those extensively. I tested positive on one of the two Helicobactor pylori strains, and negative for the antigen. Negative as in zero. What that means is that I’ve got an overabundance of the stuff that is responsible for ulcers (though thankfully it doesn’t seem that I actually have an ulcer), and it looks as though I’ve had it for a very, very long time, maybe for as long as I’ve been feeling crappy (40+ years!), and that I’ve currently got nothing in my gut to fight it with. I also am high in something (which shall remain unnamed) that indicates that I’m not processing fat, so it just hangs out with me forever. So that’s a yes for long-term leaky gut syndrome, which means a yes for all kinds of malnutrition.
Back to the H. pylori: if this was treated by conventional western medicine, I’d be in for at least three rounds of heavy duty antibiotics. No, no, no! However, I’m going a different route, and as of this morning am taking a supplement of mastica (for more info on mastica: http://www.modernherbalist.com/products/mastica.html ), which kills the little blighters in a much more human-friendly fashion, and won’t kill off all of my beneficial gut bacteria at the same time.
I have to appreciate my doc’s approach. I was already taking a really great probiotic daily, as well as acacia fiber, both of which are great for gut problems. She had me add diatomaceous earth ( DE – basically I’m now drinking dirt twice a day with my acacia), but she had me take that for two days before I added the mastica, because she doesn’t want my super-sensitive highly compromised system to wig out and get me really sick before it gets better. The DE works like microscopic scrub brushes in the intestines to clean out whatever needs cleaning out, and once my system adjusted to that (fingers crossed!) I added the mastica, which has the potential to make me feel pretty crappy at first as it kills off the massive colonies of H. pylori. On Tuesday I’ll start taking a licorice root supplement, which helps with cleaning unwelcome critters (yeast comes to mind) out of the gut and also can be useful in situations of depression. In days to come I’ll be adding a B-complex, whole food vitamin C, Magnesium Citrate and eventually activated charcoal, but the charcoal is off a ways because that’s the big guns and I’m way too fragile for that at this point.
I thought she’d talk a lot more about my diet, but at this point I need healing before we can get a good idea of what I really have problems with. For example, I tested as having no reactivity to gluten, but is that because I don’t react to it or because I haven’t had any for so long that there’s nothing there for me to react to? At this point there’s no way to know. She knows I’m already mostly organic and that I have a jones for chips and chocolate (also organic, so that’s okay, right??) and that alcohol makes my gut feel better, but she didn’t talk about any of that. She just encouraged me to add more color to my diet (Eat a rainbow every day? Yes.). (I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean skittles.)
So, I’m out the gate and the race is on, though it’s going to be a lot more like a marathon than a sprint. Happily, the mastica and licorice root are here for a limited engagement; two months and the H. pylori should be successfully eradicated. As for the rest? I honestly don’t know. I’m here to tell ya, 2-3/4 hours worth of info is way too much for me to remember! But I feel so much hope, not wishful thinking type hope, but this lady seems to know what she’s talking about and has a plan that makes sense to me and it feels like a big, floaty life preserver to me. Whew.