Thursday, May 8, 2014


Today is my sickoversary.  I came down with a virus May 7, 2010 and didn't get better.  My son had the same thing and he recovered fine.  The mystery continues.

I've already had my pity party yesterday when I had to look through my diaries in prep for my first gyno exam in three years.  I spent a while grieving for my lost life: skating, Toastmasters, gardening, weight lifting, working, etc.  But instead of wallowing in it on this page I've decided that it is time to make a list of what has helped me over the last few years.  Some of it helped a lot and some only a little but when I'm this sick I'll take even minor improvements.

Things that have made a dramatic improvement in symptoms:

  • Glutathione IVs: this was my first breakthrough drug.  It helped detox my system and got me out of bed.
  • Paleo diet and fermented foods: helped heal my gut.  I got off both my heartburn meds and my cholesterol meds and drastically reduced my IBS symptoms.  I can now eat a little bit of wheat and not feel like complete crap the next day and I discovered I'm sensitive to corn so no corn based GF products for me.  Woot!
  • Iodine: since I mostly eat organic from scratch foods made with sea salt and I don't eat much seafood I have very little iodine and selenium in my diet.  For the selenium I started eating a single brazil nut a couple of times a week (not too many because you can OD on them).  I didn't notice much of a change with them but the iodine stopped my cold hands and feet and allowed my body to better regulate its temperature.  The selenium helps to regulate the iodine levels in the body so the two go hand in hand.  BTW, if you have thyroid problems don't take iodine or eat kelp without seeing the doctor first.  It can cause some serious problems.
  • Celebrex: Turns out that I don't metabolize this very well so a low dose works awesome for me for both joint pain the CFS headaches.  Hopefully I can drop this med at some point in the future but right now it is my main pain med.
  • Low dose Trazadone: I take this for sleep and it works great without a hangover the next day.  I don't sleep completely through the night but I get a solid six hours before waking up and falling into a more fragmented sleep.  It has made a world of difference in my sleep quality.
  • Bentonite clay and activated charcoal: when I first started these I noticed a huge difference in functioning the following day.  My head was much clearer and I just felt better.  I often piggy backed the glutathione IVs with the clay or charcoal to detox faster.  Now that I've done this for a couple of years I don't see such a dramatic difference but I still use them when I'm getting sluggish or suspect I've built up toxins again.  They are also great for combating stomach bugs and food poisoning.
  • Sunbathing: I only recommend this after going Paleo since the skin chemistry changes and burning no longer occurs or takes much much longer to happen.  Before I was always burning even after short duration exposures now I can sit out for half an hour or more before getting slightly pink.  I also feel fantastic the following day.  My whole system slows down over the winter and by the spring I'm like a slug.  This all lifts as I get more sun and build up my vit D stores again.  By fall I'm at the best time of the year for me.  Wish I were well enough to fly so that I could get some sun during winter months.
  • Complete rest for 20-30mins every 1.5 hours.  This is the natural cycle of the body.  If I do this I get fairly rapid improvements in energy levels.  Trouble is that once I have more energy the last thing I want to do is lie down in bed.  The only thing that helps with this is getting a good book on tape so that I want to lie down and listen to it.
  • Using a wheelchair and walker when needed.  The wheelchair in particular has extended my range drastically.  It allows me to shop and get out of the house.  It has a great effect on my mental health which is just as important as my physical health.
Things that make minor improvements:
  • ALA alpha lipoic acid: helps with pain but only a little but it is noticeable when I stop taking it.
  • Eating very very clean: this means fully pastured meats; 100% organic fruit, veg and nuts; only raw dairy from grass fed cows; no sugar at all other than honey; no coffee; no grains or beans at all.  There is some improvement in brain function.  However, I'm an emotional eater so bread, coffee and chocolate has crept back into my diet.  Although I know I do slightly better on a clean diet I just don't have the emotional willpower to stick to it for extended periods of time.  I really wish I could do the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol but dang I love food.
  • Niacin: When I first started this I did experience a niacin flush.  Now that it is built up in my system I don't notice anything when I take it.
  • Methyl B12 and methyl folate: I had to stop the B12 shots because they were too painful.  The sublinguals helped to build up my blood levels (which were very very low) but they didn't seem to help much with my CFS.  I did start taking B12 and folate together but that was me dabbling in the methylation cycle and I did a terrible job of it.  I would feel good for a few days and then go back to normal so I started taking them only once every three days but that didn't seem to work either.  I'm now starting Dr. Amy Yaskow's protocol so hopefully I'll figure this out.   Maybe I'll go from meh to woot!
  • Buying a new car that has a smooth ride.  I get way less fatigued and crash less after rides in my new car.  The worst I ever got during a trip was in the back of a wheelchair transport van.  I was bounced around like a sack of potatoes.  I couldn't even hold my head up or talk by the time they got me back to the house.  Worst trip EVER!  
That's everything that comes to mind right now.  I'm sure I've forgotten something.  Meh, that is part of the illness and I'm recovering from a very nasty stomach bug.  Hopefully I won't take such a long writing break this time.  ;)

BTW, Just a note: the above may not work for you.  We are all different and at a different point on the healing path.  These are things that helped me at various points during the last four years.