3 November 2010

Comfortably Numb

No, I'm not a Pink Floyd fan at all. Their music actually creeps me out a bit. Before I give you all the lowdown about my two appointments today (yes, I know my readers are waiting with baited breath! [insert sarcastic tone here]) I saw Geddy Lee from Rush walking on the street! Mr. JB and I were so lost trying to find the Napro-trained naturopath I decided to find the office on foot. As I was madly trying to find the office I saw Mr. Lee and I believe that he was fiddling with his i.Pod. I wasn't about to ask for an autograph since I was in a mad rush (ha ha, rush!) since I was so late. That's the last time I take the stupid GPS's word for it!

I was about twenty minutes late for my appointment with Dr. Nora, but she was so great. It was wonderful to sit down with someone that spoke Napro. She went through my infertility history and she also asked some very interesting questions. It felt almost like a therapy session more than meeting with a naturopath! The most important thing that I gleaned from my appointment is that she thinks that my asthma and allergies have really affected my adrenals. I can't remember all of the details since she gave me a lot of information in an hour and a half. Basically she wants to strengthen my adrenals and she hopes that my chronically low progesterone and estrogen will be helped by that.

Another thing she wants me to do is have a smoothie every morning with flax and hemp seeds (with berries, plain yogurt and apple juice). She wants to boost my intake of Omega 3's which will help with my hormones as well. I'm going back to see her on the 15th and she said that she's got some research to do. She seemed very excited and she reassured me that I'm not old and that getting pg is a possibility.

Oh how I wish that I could believe that!

Mr. JB and I killed some time between appointments by going to my favourite shopping mall (I used to work there when I was in university). I finally found a winter jacket that is not only warm, but stylish. It's winter for six months up here, I need to look good while I'm trying to stay warm! If you're friends with me on FB, you can take a peek at it. :)

My appointment with my Napro doc, didn't go as well. It seems like my case has stumped her. My hormones are okay -- although Dr. Nora said that they're still low. My estrogen in September was 564 and my progesterone was 240. In October my estrogen was 420 and my progesterone was 98.4. She also re-tested my DHEAs and they were in range (5.9). The only thing that she was concerned about was my fasting insulin level. It's at 43 and she wants it at 30. I'm going to do another fasting insulin test that takes two hours, but that will have to wait until Christmas break. She said that if I'm insulin resistant that she will have to put me on M.etformin -- does anyone out there know anything about insulin resistance? I'm stumped.

Dr. T also wants me to take a break from F.emara and I am so relieved. I've been battling with headaches for the past month or so and I definitely thing it's hormone-related (well, there's the stress factor at school, but the headaches are worse when I take Fe.mara). She still wants to continue with the HCG and E.strace until I see her in January. She has also upped my dose of H.ydocort to 5mgs twice a day (5mg in the morning and 5mg at lunch). I hope that will do the trick, but something tells me that I will still need more than that, but we'll see if Dr. Nora can bump up my adrenals naturally with B and C vitamins.

Dr. T also suggested that we go back to the surgeon that did my laparotomy. I had a feeling that since we were coming to the one year anniversary of my period returning post-L.upron that another surgery was on the horizon. Dr. T isn't 100% sure, but she suspects that since my case of endometriosis was so severe that perhaps not everything was removed or that I may have adhesions. I know that after my pelvic abscess that the risk of adhesions was that much greater. We will have to see what Dr. I, the surgeon says. Mr. JB was pretty surprised that I took the news of possibly another surgery so lightly. I guess I hadn't mentioned to him that I have thought that another surgery was possible.

Is it strange that I'm not even worried about being cut open again?

Dr. T did put going to Omaha out as an option, but we told her that we wanted to save our money for adoption. I have to have faith in our health care system and I know that there is no way that we could go to the US AND adopt a baby. She understood 100% and said that it was great that we were considering adoption. She's an amazing doctor, I just wish that she had some other ideas of what we could do for my treatment.

Hormone Queen told me this morning about a Napro RE that she has seen, but Dr. T said that she isn't currently taking any new patients. She said that she will refer me to her, but it won't be until early 2011, at the earliest. I'm not holding my breath.

I was hoping to do some adoption research today, but we left our house at 10am to get to the naturopath and we didn't get home until after 6pm because I wanted to do some retail therapy after our fertility-focused day. I was very happy to get new winter boots that are pretty darn cute and I think they will be warm too!

Honest to Pete, being infertile is like a full time job!

I remember when I used to feel so hopeful after seeing Dr. T. I wish that I felt something other than numbness, but self-preservation comes in all forms. I sometimes wish that after my second surgery that the doctor said, "Sorry JellyBelly, but you can't have kids." But it's the hope that seeking out new treatments from new people and that perhaps my doctor will have found some amazing discovery that has me hoping that perhaps we've found the missing link. I used to love being an eternal optimist, but right now that hope is driving me a bit crazy.

Who would've ever thought that I would begrudge being hopeful? [sigh]

p.s. I got an invitation to the baby shower for the bride from the scandalous wedding.  I am certainly not going and thankfully I have a real excuse! I'm helping at the religious articles sale at our church and I have a yoga workshop that same day. So when I call with regrets I have two excuses and I won't even have to stretch the truth!


  1. I think that my insulin resistance was a huge factor in messing up my hormones, but my levels were crazy! I was never so happy that Dr. H did blood work (2 hr test) to really verify this! I started out on metformin, but my epically wonky body did not absorb it! We tried the name brand (insurance pd since my body did not absorb the generic) and it worked. My local doctor is the one who upped the dose to 1000 mg and two months later we saw amazing, miraculous results.

    Of course, there was a huge array of things working together for our miracle to come about, I know that this was a key component.

    I believe insulin resistance is more common that people know, but then again you may not be facing that at all.

    I saw your new coat on fb, so cute :)

  2. This is all very interesting to me. I have been thinking about seeking out a naturopath for some time now, but how to find a good one? What a bonus to find one near you who's versed in napro stuff! I've wondered about my adrenals since I've had various bad allergy problems as well. What is she going to do about that--is it just the B & C vitamins so far or anything else? I have the same thing too as far as low estrogen & progesterone if I'm not on Fem. & Prometri. Never had my fasting insulin tested though. How long have you been on Fem.? Sorry I don't have much to offer here, but keep us posted on what happens!

  3. Ok so I want the smoothie recipe...or is it just combining all those? I'm not good at balancing out how much of what....I usually overflow the dumb blender or it taste like poo!

    Infertile---full-time job is so true. It's even starting to involve my students. They are so darn curious, those teenagers.

    I know u are running out of hope but I have hope for u!!! Looks like u are in good hands and are on a good path.

    Haha, love that u have TWO excuses.

  4. This is all very, very interesting and also very similar to the path I'm currently taking/starting to take. I will have to post an update on what Dr D has recommended for me, but it is so much of the same stuff!!
    We are IF sistas, for sure.

  5. I'm insulin resistant and that's why I went on the low G.I. diet a couple years ago and lost forty pounds. I believe my doctor telling me to start that diet (as well as putting me on metformin) was the biggest turning point in my infertility journey. Six months later my lh/fsh ratio had righted itself (is yours off?).

    I know the last thing you probably want is to start another diet, but cutting out sugar can help your hormones so much if you're insulin resistant.

    I have to say, too, that you sound a lot like me. I had so many different causes of infertility (probably all linked somehow if they understood more about that sort of thing). You try to treat one thing, then another, then before you know it the first thing creeps back up again (in my case, endo). It's like that game Whack-a-mole!

    Anyways, my point is I really do have hope for you that you can tackle the hormones from different directions, feel better and hopefully one day even conceive.

    (And what's wrong with Pink Floyd? Haha.. I love Comfortably Numb!)

  6. Insuiln resistance (IR) completely messes up hormones. My testosterone is crazy high because of IR. The extra insulin in the blood does something with the hormones, I can't remember if they bind together or if it just triggers higher production.

    My RE put me on Metformin and I think it helped. He also recommended low carb. Any spike in blood suger will produce extra insulin and make your body go haywire.

    I agree infertility is a full time job. I just wish if we had to suffer with it, we could at least get paid to deal with it! :) HAHA!

  7. I totally get your exhaustion, I would be going bananas doing what your doing, trying each and every month, it's a real battle! I'm hopeful about this new natropath, and I totally agree about upping the omega 3s, I upped mine with a hemp shake, you can get hemp with maca, and lots of efas a few times a day, and the difference in my eggs for the next ivf was huge!

    Another surgery? I so hope not for your sake hun, I'm gettingcloseto my 1 year anniversary from my last surgery and I feel a few twinges every now and then..

    I'm still hopeful for you!

  8. I do so love alibis. I'm also sharpening my skills at saying, "I'm so sorry, I won't be able to make it [GLARING ABSENCE OF EXCUSE BECAUSE I AM NOT OBLIGED TO PROVIDE ONE]. I hope you all have SUCH a lovely time!" I enjoy this even more. Every time the person fails to respond, "Oh, what are you doing instead?" I am reminded it's my life, my time, my mental health, and my priorities. Delightful.

    With respect to the insulin resistance - I know next to nothing about this, but just this morning I did a glucose test and came back in the slightly high range. Threw me for a loop, because I have no issues with sugar (unlike my hypoglycemic husband) and nobody in my family is so much as pre-diabetic (and some of those people are overweight AND live forever). So I am redoing it tomorrow, and either I will find out it was a fluke result, or I will be learning more about glucose and insulin issues myself!

    "Being infertile is like a full time job" - yes. Yes it is. And that is one of many things about it that I just do not like.

    Also, what do the flax seeds and so forth in the smoothie help with? I have lots of flax seeds and I have to use them for something.

  9. Hi Jelly Belly!

    I have been a long time reader of your blog and I can relate a lot to what you are writing here.

    I actually know dr. Nora and she is great!!! We met in Omaha while we were studying. She to become a medical consultant and I to become a practitioner.

    She has great insights and I was very impressed by her commitment to women´s health. I had dinner a couple of times with her and she discussed with another practitoner options to manage PCOS and with me endo. It made so much sense and her openess to work with both eastern and western medicine and on top of this Napro is unique.

    I am so very happy that you can work with her and look forward to seeing how she helps you.

  10. The easiest and quickest way to deal with insulin issues is to do low-carb. I've never had an abnormal test, but I do low-carb myself for general health reasons. Staying away from breads & pastas (even GF products are really high starch = high carbs) and sugar (honey & maple syrup are better converted in the body) is the quickest way to change your diet. Of course, easy is relative - if you're really reliant on those things in your diet it might take an adjustment. I've gotten so used to just eating protein and two kinds of veg at dinner and protein or fruits for snacks that it doesn't really phase me anymore. With the occasional treat of course, because I'm human :).

  11. p.s. I should add that the real success to low-carb is making sure you're getting plenty of good fats (clean animal fats, coconut oil, avocado, butter & whole dairy (if you can do dairy).
    Our brains need fat to function, and it is key for absorbing the nutrients of the food we are eating. Plus it works as an appetite suppressant, so you end up not feeling like you're starving all the time like on some diets.

  12. ahh, retail therapy! i have to see the coat and new boots! just love clothes! i think your warm winter coat and boots are perfect for some "flurries" supposedly for tomorrow here in toronto.

  13. A full time horrible job that pays horribly and that every looks at you and thinks, she doesn't have anything going on in her life.

    My Fasting insulin seemed normal but it was not. METFORMIN works wonders...you have to try it out...

    For me, METFORMIN gave me the fun side effect which translates into basically having to live in the bathroom...so, I couldn't stay on it.

    So, I essentially eliminated ALL carbs from my diet.

    Getting the sugar out of your blood stream improves not only your hormones but your egg quality.

  14. The naturopath sounds like a great postitive person to surround yourself with! I am glad to hear that people also tell you that there is still time to have a baby, sometimes I worry so much about that factor that I get way wound up. I wish I lived closer and could attend the yoga workshop with you :)

  15. Wow! Insulin resistance! I would have never thunk that from you! I know that insulin issues is tied with cortisol too...But pop that met girly! ;) I hope that 5mgs helps at lunch...Wish she would just give you the full 20 and let you have at it....hahahaha

    Not sure how I missed this post!

    But it sounds promising...Surgery a little bummy though. :(