Last June, I shared in this post the day my doctor came into the exam room sat down, looked at my latest labs results and declared “YOU’RE A MESS!” (side note here is that I have a long standing relationship and friendship with my doctor, her words were not hurtful).
The reality is I wasn’t surprised by her words. I had been through a year from hell. There had been infertility treatments, a miscarriage, Mom’s cancer diagnosis and death and then my grandmother’s diagnosis and death. I also chose to leave my job of 12 years. The fact that I was still standing was significant.
When I met Dr. Lena Edwards 7 years ago, I was in worse shape. She was the only doctor (after several) to diagnosis my hypothyroid condition and explored the fact that my adrenal glands had basically shut down. I was producing extreme high levels of cortisol (this is your stress hormone), my hormones were out of balance and I was exhausted.
Together we worked through different natural and holistic methods of making my body stronger. This involved changing my diet, taking supplements and making changes in my lifestyle (this incorporated rest and less stress.) All along the only prescription medication I took was a low dose thyroid medication.
After successfully building my body up, I technically only saw her twice year for my thyroid check up. I firmly believe because I had learned healthy techniques and was taking supplements that I was able to make it through the challenging year I had. However, last year I knew that everything in my body was out of balance.
This is when I went on the journey of no gluten, no dairy, and no sugar. I also needed to repair the damage to my gut with high levels of probiotics. Within seven days, I immediately lost 7 pounds (this was due to inflammation in my system). I began to feel lighter.
Over the past year I have gone through more food testing (showing reactions to both corn, rice and lettuce), altered my thyroid medication due to my pork allergy and changed my workout routine.
I will be honest that I have cheated at time on my diet (and felt the results). I haven’t worked out like I should (and felt like a slug) and sometimes not taken my supplements like I should (it’s hard to remember).
When you are grieving, it is hard to remember to do all of the things that you need to be doing for yourself. I gave myself grace and so did Dr. Edwards. She is not the type of physician to scold you if she knows you are doing the best you can.
Two weeks ago I went for my blood work and had 8 vials of blood drawn (she does a comprehensive check).
I wasn’t expecting the news I received yesterday. After all, I haven’t been perfect.
But for the first time since I have been seeing her, she proclaimed. “Your labs are not just good, they are in OPTIMAL LEVELS”
I’m pretty sure I stared at her for a few seconds and finally asked “Really?” She has even made the decision to try me on a new thyroid medication. I will only return for my routine check unless I begin to feel differently.
Over the summer I developed a small fear that I could develop cancer and began to worry about my health. Hearing this news is a relief but also validation of what I have been trying to do for my body for the past 7 years.
It has been work. I have made changes and sacrifices. I’ve changed how I cook and eat. I’ve educated myself on how the body functions and the correlation that stress has on our physical functioning. There have been times when I questioned if it was worth it.
My news yesterday is not the end of my health journey. I must continue to practice healthy living. I must continue to improve my exercise routine (I want to lose more weight and gain more muscle). I must remember to stress less about life in general and to enjoy the small things.
But yesterday’s news was validation of how I have been feeling – which is better.
Last year (and 7 years ago) I listened to my body. It was telling me it needed help and care. I was fortunate enough to have a physician who listens to me and guided me in a natural, holistic way.
What is your body saying to you? Is it saying “I’m a MESS!” help me?
Take a few minutes to stop ignoring the fatigue or the aches and pains and ask where it is coming from. I find that most women do not take the time to listen to what their body is saying. If your doctor is not willing to take the time to listen to you, find another doctor who is. If all your doctor wants to do is give you a prescription medication, probe further and ask more questions. There are times when you can change how you feel without taking prescription medications.
You may be feeling like a mess but I’m proof that you can change that!