So long 2016  –  a year in review (well the treatment protocol bits!) 

This year has felt utterly stagnant in terms of any progress with my health and treatments so I decided to type up all the things is tried or continue to try.  I was quite surprised by the results.  I may not have had one supplement help my overall condition in a bit way,  and I may have had a few make me worse….bur things have definitely not been stagnant! 

Treatments tried which I did not continue due to reactions: 

– ketogenic diet (may try again) 

-ciproxin for fermenting gut. 

-uva ursi herb for fermenting gut (may try again) 

Treatments tried which didn’t work but will take time to come off:

– clonazepam  (addictive sleeping medication) 
Supplements I added in and continue to take:

– pancreatic enzymes (digestion) 

-home grown kefir (gut health) 

– home grown Lactobacillus rhamnosus (gut health) 

– D mannose (bladder problems and low level infection) 

– ashwagandha (adrenal support –  adaptogen) 

– elderberry (immune support) 

– devil’s claw (pain) 

– increased cbd (pain,  anxiety,  sleep) 

– increased melatonin (sleep) 

– lemon balm and Valerian,  Chamomile and hops  (sleep) .  

Prescription medications I managed to reduce:

– Buscopan from 6 tablets daily to 0 except occasionally (IBS) 

– clonazepam from 1mg to 0.6mg –  a work in progress (Sleep) 

– stopped cranberry and swapped for d mannose (bladder support) 

Mental health:

– tried 4 weeks of online therapy via talkspace.  I didn’t really get on with my therapist and found the format didn’t work for me. I’d like to try an email format some time in the future.  

– meditation.  Mostly mindfulness but found yoga nidra towards the end of the year. 

PA stuff :

– switched from 4 PA visits a day to live in.  Later added in a second PA visiting each day.  Ending the year with a system in place though at the time of writing I have found out I will need to make some changes.  
Goodbye 2016,  you will not be missed! However perhaps I need to stop thinking of you as being a non year,  since I have still done things! 

The next step in my healing journey… But is it a step,  a leap,  or a free fall? 

I sent my functional/ecological medicine a very long rambly letter about being stuck,  not knowing where to go next and worrying that everything is making me worse.  

I wrote so many things that I can forgive her for missing some points though I am finding it a little unclear.  At the time if writing I have written back and am hoping her admin staff can answer some basic questions for me.  I’m suspecting it’s a case that by not mentioning certain things (e.g I asked about when to do tests and she didn’t respond) that she is implying things between the lines (I.e either that we do the things listed and come back to them,  we see how we go,  or that they won’t be necessary –  thoufh I hope not the last one).  Hopefully her admin staff will understand her writing style enough for me to get an answer from them instead of waiting weeks (and potentially paying) for a response from the Dr.  

I have noticed that many Drs have quite a specific communication style that I’ve yet to understand fully.  It was interesting to read from my Dr (elsewhere)  something along the lines that she is not here to be nice,  she is here to improve people’s health and that she has changed her style over the years to be more to the point that ‘this is what you need to do’  and not trying to gentle suggest and lead people in certain directions which apparently doesn’t work.  I think the problem for me comes that this bared similarities to the way other drs have spoken to me –  and I can assure you that their advice was not trustworthy.  My gp for example will when presented with a problem claim it is due to me being bedbound, then when I try and discuss what I could do about it,  or (God forbid) give reasons why I don’t think that is and try and give him more knowledge to form a new idea… He can be quite hard line in an unspoken or spoken way.  Either ignoring me and moving on,  or saying something like ‘well that’s what I think and you can take it or leave it’.  This Dr is different in that she welcomes a certain amount of questioning.  She sees her job as finding out why something is happening and helping to improve it at the root cause.  However she is after all still a Dr and I carry a certain amount of post traumatic responses to past medical interactions (with other drs)  that mean I view the whole thing through a certain lens of cognitive dissonance.  The problem with cognitive dissonance is that it is often hard to detach what is true and what is not.  I think that’s probably a blog post for another time. Honestly I’m not sure how a Dr could behave that would make me feel calm about all these things.  Even if they were extra kind,  gentle and reassuring I’d be wondering what this was trying to cover up!  It’s just the way my brain processes these things.  

On the flip side I must remember how much more validating this experience is.  To be told that there is a reason you are experiencing something  is important mentally.  

It’s an odd feeling when you are used to being given an overwhelming amount of things to do by a Dr I.e tests,  treatments,  diets,  techniques ….and then suddenly you are given very few things to do.  I’ll be honest that a big part of me is relieved…. It was so overwhelming having so many things to consider.  On the other hand there’s that niggling feeling of doubt ‘is she giving up on me?’.  I hope that this feeling is nothing more than internalisation based on past mistreatment but other drs and healthcare professionals.  

There is one problem thoufh… A problem I’ve not yet established the size of; the biggest suggestion is something I’ve tried before,  and it made me ill.  How ill I’m not sure because there was so much else going on at the time.  The biggest piece of advice is to so the paleo ketogenic diet.  

Last time I did this diet I experienced tachycardia,  increased resting heart rate,  and increased feelings of fight or flight.  The good news is that I am now armed with more tools to know exactly how to do it correctly,  but it’s impossible to know if that will be enough. It’s hard to know how much of a risk this could be to my health.  After all I did consume extra salt,  I did try for 8 weeks,  i did consume high fat,  and monitoring showed I was mostly keto adapted.  Perhaps’ mostly’ is the key phrase here.