Monday, September 30, 2013

Everything has been a little crazy!

Hi Ladies! Sorry I went MIA for a while. Thanks to my IC pal Laura, I thought I'd update...

Things haven't been the best around here...but it's been an interesting journey, and I'm only renewed (and honestly a little tired at the same time) in my journey to find my cure.

So, yes, I got pregnant. This was a great surprise.  Then I felt great for like 2 weeks. Perfectly. I know that elevated hormones help my IC. Except for the morning sickness, all was peachy king. Then things started to slip and things that I could eat before started becoming a problem. That scares me. My list cannot become longer, right?

So I flew to Arizona for a SECOND round of NAET-like treatments (AAR) with a Dr. Dyllan Foster (see my checklist for more info). These NAET-like treatments are formally called "Advanced Allergy Relief" (AAR). I chose to do the treatments with Dr. Foster, rather than doing them with someone local here, because I really feel like he's perfected his method and approach. He uses a machine called BioVeda's machine BAX 3000 (I did my research on it and gave it a thumbs up), and because I've heard that NAET can be a little hit-and-miss for IC patients, I felt like his AAR approach and application was a little better than the traditional NAET stuff. Basically, in other words, if I was going to do NAET, then I wanted to do the best 'version' possible for me and my bod. That's why I picked AAR. I'm not necessarily making any recommendations. Just sharing my journey and happenings.

Anyhow round 1 of the NAET-like treatments (AAR) with Dr. Foster really didn't do much for me (I did round 1 like 8 months ago), but according to Dr. Foster, some people need up to 3 rounds. I was desperate to feed me and my baby more food, so I flew down for 2 weeks. He can do 2 treatments of food-groups per day, so I planned for 2 weeks (assuming that I'd be all over the place with food allergies). I was right. He said that he has never seen someone come back with so many groups of food that needed RE-treatment (round 2). I did the treatments. It was amazing. I have 2 'friends' who did the treatments (really they're friends of friends), and they worked like magic for them. These people don't have IC, but they have autoimmune issues that are food-based. Anyhow, by the end of the 2 weeks that I was in Az, I was literally eating whatever the heck I wanted. It was great...while it lasted.

By the time I came home, I felt that the treatments were slipping a bit. Indeed they were. This is not unheard of. NAET and Advanced Allergy Relief treatments don't always 'hold'. I didn't know exactly what that meant, and I didn't know what that would look like for me. Again, Dr. Foster would say that he has never had to re-treat people more than 3 times. At this point, I'm skeptical if his NAET-like treatments are right for ME. ****I 100% think they work for some people,*** but much like IC and other chronic diseases, I think the journey is finding the right puzzle piece that works for us in our healing. My body may simply not respond to NAET/AAR as well as your body may. I go back to AZ for Christmas with my family to visit my hubby's family (big reunion. Get excited...cowboys and boots...he comes from a very WESTERN family, although he's not much of a cowboy himself ). I will go and see Dr. Foster and probably do my 3rd round. 

At this point however, I'm not convinced that NAET/AAR is really the right path for me. One aspect of the problem is that I'm pregnant. Dr. Foster says that he's only had to retreat people up to 3 times under NORMAL circumstances. An abnormal circumstance would include anyone who has had something significant that would throw your system 'off balance' like, say, a pregnancy, or a surgery, or a car accident, etc. These things would merit a 4th treatment, perhaps. But each treatment is supposed to make your system stronger and more resiliant. 

For me, one tell-tale sign as to whether or not I will continue to pursue Dr. Foster's NAET will be when I go back and muscle test for my food allergies this December. If my results come back with a high amount of intolerances, then I think it may be a big indication that (maybe?) his treatments aren't for me. Again, when I came back this time, he said that he's never had such a long list of foods that needed RE-treatment on a person. But then again, maybe pregnancy really (really) doesn't agree with my body and IC. Maybe Dr. Foster's treatments will hold better when I'm not pregnant!? Maybe maybe maybe. Who knows? I am tempted to throw in the towel and give up. I was so disappointed to have eaten like an organic queen for about 2 weeks, only to have to go back to my limited-diet ways. The nice thing is that Dr. Foster charges 1/2 price for any re-treatment, so it's not that expensive. But money finds a way of leaving my house faster than it comes in.

But the truth is that something out there with Dr. Foster worked for a couple of weeks. It was real. I was perfectly fine, temporarily. My IC WAS FREAKING GONE FOR TWO WEEKS AND I ATE MUCH OF WHATEVER I WANTED. This tells me 3 things:

1) Fixing food intolerances, for me is the way to go. I'm going to stop looking for other issues in my body. I don't have candida. I don't have pudendal nerve problems. Hormone issues are really minimal (and my hormone levels have checked out as 'normal' time and time again! My IC is a food problem. That's my source. I'm 100% focused on that now.  I'm going to spend more time researching how to reverse food intolerances instead of researching how to reverse IC.

2) I now have confirmation that there is something out there that can reverse my food intolerance. Something DID work for me, albeit for only 2 weeks, but it was real and it worked. So I'm going to find my niche and reverse this IC bitch  (pardon my French. I swear more when I'm pregnant. Give me 6 or so more months and I'll tone it down :)

3) After my 2nd round of the Arizona NAET-treamtents, my IC is different. The burning is almost totally completely gone. I'm just left with frequency and sometimes a slightly spastic urethra (when I eat dairy). Before, I would have all these symptoms plus that BURNING BURNING BURNING. Sorry. You know what I'm talking need to be overly descriptive . I think that modified symptoms are yet another sign that something real happened, and that I can expect a cure in the future!

In the meantime, I'm not giving up. I think I've been more emotional and perhaps a little more disheartened than usual. When my food intolerances creeped back, I was found sobbing in my room... but let's be honest, I'm pregnant and I cried when me and my kids were watching Mulan. Right. It's a Disney movie. Mulan, people! Yes. I'm probably a little more emotional than normal!

Here's my plan right now: I found a neat chiropractor that is does something called Total Body Modification (I heard about it on YouTube of all places... has a pretty neat story. She doesn't have IC, but sheesh, after hearing her tale, I felt pretty bad for what she'd gone through). 

So right now, I'm seeing a lady named Dr. Erica Statman in the Fairfax, VA area. I just went to her last week. It was just a get-to-know you visit, but her pricing is very affordable (between 25-40 dollars after the first initial visit). My specialist co-pays are 30$ anyways, so this is pretty good pricing! The bonus is that she specializes in working with pregnant women and children. That made me happy because, you know, I'm pregnant and food intolerances are definitely linked to my pregnancies. Oh, and like the AZ stuff, I can do TBM while pregnant. 

Dr. Statman also told me that she felt like NAET was rather inconsistent. She said that it's amazing, it works for many people, and that she herself used to do these treatments, but she also felt like the results were inconsistent, and for someone who is paying cash for the treatments (no insurance coverage!), she needed something that was more consistent. Enter TBM.  

Looking forward: 

Dr. Statman was also very honest with me. She told me that her son had a lot of food-intolerance problems, and that neither NAET nor TBM worked for him, but that there's a doctor about two hours away that she said "is most prolific in reversing food allergies." She wants me to go see him after the pregnancy is over. His name is Dr. Richard E. Layton, and he does Low Dose Allergy. If I choose to go to him after baby is here, it will be a bit of a drive for me, and it will be expensive when you factor in the treatments (no insurance, of course), and the driving gas, etc, but I will do what it takes to get my life back. Some people spend hoards and get into debt for infertility/adoption...well, I'm willing to do what it takes to get better. 

So, in addition to TBM, I have other things I'm keeping in my back pocket to reverse my food allergies. Here is my ongoing list of potential treatments:
-Advanced Allergy Relief (similar to NAET but different): Hasn't worked for me thus far.
-NAET: I never tried it, and I don't think I plan to since I did AAR.
-BioSET. More info here: Haven't tried it.
-Helminthic Therapy that  I heard about here (careful...if you easily feel squeamish, prepare yourself!): Hopefully this will be my last resort and I won't need it.

I 100% believe I will get better someday. Sooner than later. Those 2 weeks of eating whatever I wanted were only an indication that I CAN GET BETTER. I have to see it that way, because that's what it is. There are answers for me out there!

Ok, so let's pause the whole IC talk.

Back to me being I started bleeding like 3 weeks ago! It was scary and kind of gushing. I totally thought I was miscarrying (never had that before). I ended up having a subchorionic hemorrhage, which my midwife says, is a big scary word for normal bleeding in pregnancy. 90% of women who get this go on to have normal pregnancies. Basically, when you get pregnant, your body makes a placenta (duh). Then your placenta reaches out these 'fingers' that attach to the uterus wall. Sometimes these fingers will hit a blood bubble that will pop and bleed. The bleeding can coat the bladder and make it hard for the placenta to attach? Or the bubble can push the placenta away from the wall and make it hard for the fingers to reach the uterus and attach. Something like that. I've GOT to start bringing a whiteboard to my dr's appointments so that they can actually show me what they mean. My midwives aren't used to me yet  They think they can give me quick easy answers and that I'll be satisfied.  Anyways, I went on bed-rest for a while, and now I'm just down to spotting old brown blood. For like 2 weeks! It's a little worrisome but mostly annoying. In my heart I think this will all turn out fine. Once everything is healed (and it typically is during the 2nd trimester), I go back to having a 'normal pregnancy'. I've never ever had any sort of complication in a pregnancy before, so this was new to me. I have an ultrasound this Friday, and I REALLY hope things will have significantly improved!

Doesn't that sound fun, though? IC + Pregnancy + 3 kids + a tricky pregnancy where I have to 'take it easy'? It's super fun. Thanks to my super mom who is here helping out!

Speaking of're all super awesome and cool gals. I appreciate your positive attitude and kind words. To me, hope can be a fragile thing, and I work hard to protect mine. I appreciate having positive friends in my life, and I hope my words encourage you .

P.S. Here is yet another great article linking Food Intolerance to IC. ENJOY!