I have been contemplating writing a blog about this for awhile, and I guess now I am. It has taken me awhile because the body is such a difficult thing to approach and people have baggage and issues regarding the body, including me. I have gotten a lot of comments on my body, most in the form of, “Oh, you have lost weight!” and I have, and then I feel like I have to explain everything that is and has gone on with my body, and it is really not something that can be done quickly. Hence the need for the blog… If you have heard this already, you can ignore the rest of the posting.
So, my new body – well, I am skinnier, but this was not the goal of my efforts to a new body nor am I entirely sure it is the best thing. Mr. Velvet tells me, “Eat what you need to eat to be healthy, and whatever weight you are is the right weight.” Which is very good advice. I will say that I was perfectly fine with my curves before I lost weight and the fact that a lot of my costumes don’t fit me right anymore is actually damned annoying!
I do have a history of eating disorders – both anorexia and bulimia – and I can certainly tell you that they are NOT in play right now in my loss of weight, as I am eating more than I ever have eaten in my life. I do worry a little bit that the skinniness and praise for the skinny body may cause me to spiral into eating disorder brain disfunction, so please forgive me if I am not too excited when you tell me how good I look at this weight. And I don’t know what I weigh or how much I have lost because I don’t weigh myself and I don’t let the doctor tell me what I weigh when I get weighed there. It is just not good information for my brain to cogitate upon.
Whew! That was a lot of intro! Those of you who know me well know that I have a history of suffering from migraines. A lot of migraines. Not always the worst migraines, and I am pretty good at functioning through the pain, but never-the-less, it was not uncommon for me to have 3 migraines a week. If I had two weeks without a migraine, that was an amazing two weeks in my life. It wasn’t always this bad. I have had migraines since I was a teenager, but they have progressively gotten worse as I got older. No, you don’t need to know how much older…
The doctors gave me migraine meds, pain meds, preventative meds, took me off birth control pills, put me on birth control pills, blah blah blah. My chiropractor said they were because my bones were out of place, my massage therapist said I was too tense and that caused them, my nutritionist said I wasn’t eating right, the specialist recommended vitamin supplements, and my regular doctor said I was her healthiest patient ever – oh, except for those silly little migraines.
So, I finally go to another specialist – not a migraine specialist, but where you go when no one else can help you kind of specialist. They said, “Wow – that ISN”T healthy. Let’s see what we can do.” And then they ran a gazillion tests. The woman at the lab was in a panic because she took well over a pint of my blood for all of the different tests that they ran. And, amazingly enough, when someone actually took the time to look at tests that were other than the normal things they do for everyone, they found some things that were wrong.
First, my body was making no serotonin. If you don’t know, serotonin is a little chemical your body makes, as quoted in Wikipedia “popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.” So, no happy chemicals… none. Or as the tests said – my level was too small to detect by testing. Not good. However, interesting, particularly given the fact that had been on serotonin reuptake inhibitors for over 10 years. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also quoting Wikipedia, are “a type of drug that acts as a reuptake inhibitor for the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) by blocking the action of the serotonin transporter (SERT). This in turn leads to increased extracellular concentrations of serotonin and, therefore, an increase in serotonergic neurotransmission.” So, in my medically-uneducated vernacular, it basically translates to, it slows your body’s natural depletion of the serotonin that your body makes, so you have more serotonin. However, this is not going to be an effective drug if my body is not making any measurable levels of serotonin in the first place. So, why have I been taking a drug for 10 years when no one has even evaluated to see if it is working on me, particularly, when there are simple tests that can be done to measure my serotonin levels? I guess it is just easier to assume it is working and ignore any actual symptoms…
They also found problems with my thyroid, so I am taking bioidentical hormones for both serotonin and thyroid, plus a few other medications and some supplements for other deficiencies and issues they found. The thyroid has probably been deficient since forever, so I am now wondering whether it was a contributing factor to my eating disorder development, but, hey, that is a whole other blog topic right there!!
So, now I have pills and such. I must be all fixed, right? Nope. I got sicker. I felt like crap by 10AM, and that was if I didn’t feel like crap from the moment I woke up. And the migraines wouldn’t stop! And the medication didn’t help. I told Mr. Velvet – “I start feeling a little euphoric, like when I was majorly anorexic and didn’t eat, and then I start feeling ill.” And he says, well, that doesn’t make sense, but in his vast wisdom (I am serious, he is very smart) he makes me drink sugar water. Lo, I feel better and don’t get sick, but I can’t drink sugar water all of the time. So, then I go to a nutritionist and re-learn how to feed myself so that I am eating healthy and eating enough and eating things that are going to keep my body somewhat stable without having to exist on sugar water 24/7 like I am a freaking hummingbird.. You would think this would all be easy, but it has been a difficult process for me. I am getting better at getting things right, but when I get them wrong, I don’t feel so great – and sometimes getting them wrong makes me feel not so great for days.
But, the good thing is that my good days are really good days, and I have had only 2 migraines in the past 5 months, which is pretty amazing for me compared to where I was before that. Mr. Velvet says I look healthier than ever and he tells me that I have never before looked healthy at this weight level (whatever it is I actually weigh). I feel healthier, I may STILL be a cranky bitch from time to time, but I think I’m generally happier, too.
The body is still changing and the doctor is still making adjustments in hormones, meds, etc., but I really feel I am on the right track now. I am just sad that my body had to spend so many years dealing with pain before I could get someone to really take a look and see if there were any underlying problems. And to everyone who thought I could get rid of them by _______ (fill in the blank) thanks for your kind ideas, and I really wished it had worked for me.
If you have migraines and want to know where I am going, it isn’t a secret. I am going to the Holtorf Medical Group, http://www.holtorfmed.com/. I got their information from a friend who also had tremendous success with them. I am not saying they are miracle workers, but they are willing to check things that other medical practices may not be willing to do.