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ICLW #3–Welcome!

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G’day peeps! If this is your first time here through ICLW, welcome! If it isn’t your first time here, thank you for being enticed enough by my polycystic ramblings to come back for second helpings. You should try the hard boiled ovaries. They’re delightful.

I recently did a 100th entry post that pretty much sums up my journey over the last 6 or 7 months of TTC. Click here to read oodles and oodles about my nether regions and kooky health plan over the last couple of months which eventually led me to (spoiler alert) get a period.

The short story is, I have PCOS. I’ve had irregular periods since I started having periods, although I was never formally diagnosed until I was 30 (I’m almost 32 now).I went off BCP in August of 2011 so Hubs and I could start TTC. For 7 loooooong months, I didn’t get a period. As a last ditch effort before starting Clomid, in March I went to see a Chinese medicine/nutritionist/acupuncturist who I have labeled Intuitive Health Lady. Within 4 weeks of starting acupuncture, and a FREAKING INSANE diet in which I eliminated all foods that brought me joy, I JUST got a period last week. Crazy.

So, now I’m holding off on the Clomid for another month to see if I can keep the period trend up au natural. I’m on the last 3 days of my 28 day Elimination Diet, and am also debating whether or not I should continue with the diet since it seemed to have jolted my system back into cycling again. Goal is to get my ovaries popping eggs like a Pez dispenser, and my system cycling like a Lance Armstrong.

Happy ICLW! I look forward to checking out your blogs this week.

 

 

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Headed to the Big Apple

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I went in and saw Intuitive Health Lady again yesterday for acupuncture. I don’t know why, but this time, the specific areas she stuck on my legs, feet and toe area felt really tingly–particularly the area between my first and second toe which she says is a Liver Qi point. After doing my front side for about 45 minutes, she came back in and took out the needles. I thought I was done, but she told me to flip around, and lie face down on the table. She did my back area for another 45 mins! Love this lady.

Today I am leaving on the red eye after work to join Hubs in NYC for 5 days. NYC is his City of Dreams–he is most vibrant when he’s there. He lived there for 10 years before moving out to LA in 2002 so he saavily knows his way around (unlike me who just looks up at all of the tall buildings, stares, and munches on a pretzel). We’re going to see “Once” the musical on Broadway (ohmylordholyshit LOVED the movie!!), go to the Museum of Natural History, go to a photography exhibit called Weegee: Murder is my Business, and maybe catch a Klezmer Brunch on Sunday. Then we head to Boston for another 5 days to visit his family and attend his sister’s bridal shower (thank god it’s not another baby or braby shower).

IHL told me that I needed to stick to the non dairy diet while I was in NYC. To which I obediently shook my head “yes”, and thought in my head: “There is no way in hell I am not having pizza while I’m in New York.” I’ll do my best, but honestly, I’m not going to stress about it if I don’t keep a strict diet while I’m there.

I will probably not be updating as much in the next week or so, but will do my best!

I will bid adieu with my favorite song from Once. Gaaaaa. I am reduced to a puddle of mush when I hear this song.

 

Intuitive Health Lady

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Yesterday, I used a Groupon I’d bought a couple of months ago to go see a nutritionist/acupuncturist near me. For $35 for a nutritional assessment, I thought it was worth it. It was my last ditch effort to find someone who I felt could help me get a handle on what’s going on with my body. The bottom line is: I have not felt well for years. My sleep is awful, I have really really bad IBS issues (horrible diarrhea 2-3 times a week), and of course, there’s the massive quantity of cysts on my ovaries and the fact that I have not had a period in 6 months.

The woman I saw practices a combo of Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and nutritional healing along with something she calls “intuitive healing”–yes, my bullshit meter was up. But what the hell. I didn’t have much to lose. So, I went in and met with her yesterday. She had long, dark hair and wore thin rimmed glasses. She may have been around 50. She had an earthy slightly hippie look to her. Pretty much what you’d expect an acupuncturist meets intuitive healer to look like.

I should preface this by saying this woman is not a fertility specialist. She treats all sorts of ailments for both men and women. She had no idea why I was there, only that I came for my discounted “nutritional consultation”.

When I arrived she asked me to fill out an extensive form on what my health concerns were. My top picks:

#1. Constant sleep issues. #2: Horrible IBS #3: PCOS

I was sort of rolling my eyes at the whole thing because I’ve been to acupuncturists before who have looked at my chart and who haven’t been very insightful, other than telling me they’re going to get my Yins and Yangs aligned so I can ovulate.

She came into the room, and I handed her my chart. She asked me to put it face down on the table. She didn’t want to look at anything I had written down about any symptoms. She was going to “intuit” what was wrong with me by looking at my tongue and body.

Right…

So, I stuck out my tongue, and she immediately scrunched her nose: “Geez, girl. You’ve got a lot going on.” She scribbled some notes on a pad of paper. She asked me to stand up straight in front of her, fully clothed, so I did that too. More frowning and scribbling of notes.

The skeptic in me kicked in again. Of COURSE she’s going to find a lot wrong with me. She wants my business.

When I sat down, she looked at me rather seriously.

Intuitive Health Lady: “How old are you?”

Me: “31”.

Intuitive Health Lady “Hmmm. Well, I’ll be honest–you have a lot going on for someone your age…but I’ll focus right now on 3 main issues that are really troubling you.”

Me: Yeah…I do have a lot going on health wise.

IHL: Well, first off, you have major sleep problems.

Me: Wow. Umm, yeah. I don’t really ever sleep through the night.

IHL: Second: you have awful digestive symptoms. Not constipation, more like bloating and diarrhea. IBS?

Now I was getting a little bit creeped out. She hit 2 out of 3 of my top concerns right out of the gate. But these were really common concerns–I mean, insomnia? Who doesn’t have insomina sometimes. And the chances of me seeing a nutritionist for IBS issues was pretty high odds, so I didn’t think she was THAT special.  However, there was no way in hell that she would guess my #3 issue.

IHL: Lastly, I’m getting a feeling that you have some real problems with your menstrual cycles.

Jaw drop.

Me: Well, umm, yes…how did you? Wha? Hmm. But there are a lot of problems I could have with menstruation, and honestly, I will be shocked if you have been able to pinpoint what ‘s wrong by checking out my tongue.

IHL:  I am sensing that you have a major problem with ovarian cysts–they are causing very irregular cycles. Have you ever been diagnosed with PCOS?

Out of ALL the possible permutations of things that could be wrong with my menstrual cycle–she picked PCO fucking S?  WTF??? After I pinched myself that I was not in some M. Night Shamaylan movie I asked her how she could tell that by looking at my tongue.

IHL: Oh, I can’t exactly tell that by looking at your tongue. I told you–I’m an intuitive healer–I just looked at you and I could “tell”.

Right….

WTF??????????

I was impressed/freaked out to say the least. For the next 30 minutes she did what no practitioner has done with me to date: We came up with a concrete plan together. She has a nutritional program that when combined with acupuncture and supplements will supposedly help me immensely. The problem is, it’s a bit hard core with what foods I can and cannot eat, and will require me coming in for weekly meetings for about 4 weeks. Had she not been able to detect the PCOS, I would have been a bit more skeptical, but I feel good about trusting her. I don’t feel she is hustling me. I have come to the realization that I cannot do this nutrition thing on my own  through Dr. Googling everything.  I need the support of a practitioner. I’m hoping that this will help me…truthfully, knowing that I can devote the next 4 or 5 weeks trying to get healthier, and that someone has recognized that I need help with my nutrition makes me feel better already.

More updates to come on Intuitive Health Lady!

Acupuncture…Good? Or A Scheme to drain me of $95/session?

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So, I’m having second thoughts about acupuncture. I feel like it *can* work…but I also feel quite skeptical now that I’m being asked to shell out $95 2 times a week until I get my period. That’s almost $200 a WEEK! I canceled my appointment today as I was realizing that I’d better be really really sure what I am getting into.

The more I research PCOS the more I also realize that some of the advice that my acupuncturist gave me about eating right for fertility does not apply to me, and could actually be really detrimental to my cysts. This leads me to question her knowledge in general. For example: She recommended I eat lots and lots of red meat. Although I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t been obsessively calmly researching things that aggrivate PCOS, meat produces an acidic environment in our bodies. This acidic environment causes CYSTS. Normal Fertiles may be able to eat tons of meat and process the acidity differently, but for me, red meat is not good. An acidic environment is also what causes YEAST INFECTIONS–something else that us PCOS-ers are also very prone to, given that our bodies are prone to being acidic.  I feel like this acupuncturist may not know as much about PCOS treatment as she claims…I’m edgy. Nervous. Indecisive.

My next step is to make an appointment with my ObGyn to get another blood work up for all of my hormones so I know exactly what I’m dealing with. I got one over a year ago before I started the birth control pill, and my estrogen was very low. Progesterone was normal, and FSH/LH was at a 2:1 ratio (another classic symptom of PCOS.) I had mild insulin resistance, and so I have since been attempting a low GI diet, although my seriousness on that will ramp up after Thanksgiving (I cannot stomach the thought of giving up the blessed, blessed stuffing, pies, and basically anything that will send me in to a diabetic coma. Fertility be damned!! ).My testosterone levels, although in the normal range, were also skewing high, leading me to believe that I need to do something to lower my androgen levels–which may subsequently lower the number of chin hairs I pluck on a daily basis. I will do a post on natural remedies for lowering androgen levels soon.

First Visit to the Accupuncturist

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I had my first acupuncture visit today, and it was pretty great. She was so nice, and sat with me for over an hour while I regaled her with sad stories about my ovaries, and missed periods. I found her on Yelp, which is sort of a crap shoot, but I’m happy about my choice. The cool thing was, she was the first woman I’ve spoken to about PCOS who actually “got” what I was going through, and had a road map of some sort that we’re going to try together to see if this helps me get my period.

1. Stay away from gluten. Evidently, it’s irritating to a lot of PCOS-ers.

2. Exercise 3 times a week. Nothing too crazy, but she said I should keep up my running (unlike some advice I’ve been getting to only do “gentle” exercise which kind of bores me, and doesn’t work up a sweat)

3. Eat plenty of red meat–twist my arm.

4. cut back on my dairy–when she checked my tongue it was slightly swollen and “greasy”–ew. She said that was due to a waterlogged body and liver/spleen stagnation. Dairy aint good for that.

5. Try white wine, if I’m going to drink. Red wine tends to disrupt sleep more frequently for some reason. She said I could have a glass of wine on the weekend if I’d like. I like this lady!

She would like me to go to her 2x per week until I ovulate regularly, then down to once. At $95/pop that isn’t cheap, but my insurance will pick up 30% of it. I’m also going to see if I can get a “frequent needle” discount or something.

For those of you who have never tried acupuncture, it’s well worth it. I could barely feel the needles–except a little bit going in. Whether or not this actually helps will be the test!