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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.

 

 

My 100th Post

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“When I was a girl…we used cigarettes to induce labor.”

Pregnancy 101’s fab post has inspired me to do a 100th Entry post as well!

It’s been a lightening fast five months. The concept that we are now four months into 2012 is crazy. Cray. Zee.

But seriously.

I could not have gotten through the last five months without the support of this blog community. I don’t know what I would have done…”thank you” isn’t enough. I wish I could give all of you a big IRL hug. Your comments, your advice, your funny, poignant, inspiring writing, the way you all bare the rawest, truest sides of yourselves…you are the reason that I feel strong enough to bear this journey. Because, at times, it can be a very lonely journey.

In purely scientific terms, I haven’t really progressed much in terms of where I’m at fertility-wise since I started the blog. After all of this time, I have still not ovulated. Who the hell knows if this new fangled diet will have any impact. There is no way to know if I am any closer to conceiving than I was back in November. These last five months have been a trial to see if my body will wake up and join the party…but I think it’s safe to say after 100 posts that my party is just not cool enough for Syndee and Ali. I will need to resort to more drastic measures to get them to attend, ie: Clomid. Beyond that, I do not know.

On November 10, 2011, this blog was born. I honestly had no idea how blogging would be, or what I would experience through writing, only that I needed to write A) because I needed an outlet to brain dump all of my fertility related anxieties and B) I was driving Hubs nuts with my constant obsessing over fertility. What I have ultimately gained from writing is more than just an outlet. I gained an inlet. I gained a community.

In the course of the blog, and attempting to remedy my ovulation problems I have:

Named my period something other than Aunt Flo

Took Provera, and didn’t even freaking bleed from it (thanks, low estrogen!)

Took Metformin for 2 months (and have subsequently stopped–I couldn’t handle the 24/7 diarrhea)

Took Soy Isoflavones (they did nothing. NOTHING.)

Got a killer bladder infection that I attempted to wait out for a week to see if it cleared on its own. BIG mistake.

Traveled to Toronto.

Sprained my neck in yoga and haven’t been back since. I suck.

Had dinner with an Uber Fertile who loves to use me ordering water instead of booze as an awkward segue into whether or not I am TTC.

Had an awesome Oscars Party at my house.

Named my ovaries.

Met Intuitive Health Lady.

Got Hub’s SA results back

Ate soup dumplings in NYC!

Hung with HRF in Boston!

Started my Elimination Diet and began my Poop Diary.

And now, here we are.

Thanks for coming along for the ride with me. Here’s to another 100 entries!

 

 

Food

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It’s the other four letter “f” word at this point.

Forgive me if this blog is turning into some sort of crazy food rant… it’s just that I’ve been thinking about what, when, where, and how I’m going to eat for 6 days now….my brain is fritzing.  Food has become this all-consuming time suck, and I’m not enjoying it, to be quite honest. If I’m not reading labels, cooking some nasty gluten free/egg free/ dairy free bread, chugging water, chugging the horrible Green Drink, or taking vitamins, I can generally be found at restaurants with friends sullenly picking at a bland salad while others are enjoying food, drinks, and deserts.

This diet is not good for anyone who wants a life outside of obsessing on food.

This week I went out to dinner three times (these dinners were planned well in advance of me knowing I was going to diet, and I couldn’t get out of them) and it was painful. To cap off the glorious weekend, Hubs and I went to a wedding last night where I had to bring a bag of trail mix with me so I could have something to eat. The wedding was rained out, and we all had to pile inside a tiny cramped room with no dance floor, where all there was to do was drink and small talk with many people I didn’t know. Let me tell you, I pounded those waters. And I was BORED OUT OF MY FREAKING MIND.

But I’m sticking to this. I need to see if it works…I need to see if it will all be worth it in the end…wait a minute. What is “the end”. How do I know if this worked???!! Argh!!!

A few things that are working:

1. I have not weighed myself since Tuesday, but my pants are already fitting better.

2. I am starting to crave water over any other beverage, which I think is a good thing.

3. The gross white coating that was all over my tongue for so long (and which, in Chinese Medicine is indicative of congestion, and weak spleen) has almost all cleared up. My tongue was also very swollen (which is indicative of teeth marks on the side of your tongue). This indicates liver taxation/toxicity. This morning, the teeth marks which have been there for months were almost entirely gone.

4. The hemorrhoid that has plagued me for almost 10 years is all but disappeared.

5. My face is the softest and clearest it’s been in a long time.

6. I don’t feel sharp hunger pains anymore, as I’m better able to manage what foods my body needs and when.

7. Salads are actually starting to taste good (amazing how that happens when there’s nothing else to freaking eat.)

Tomorrow I see Intuitive Health Lady for my Week One Check In/Acupuncture session. We’ll see what she says. Until then, I’m making black beans and yellow rice today and studying for a Lifespan Psychology midterm.

ICLW #2–Welcome!

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Heya all you ICLW-ers. Can’t believe it’s that time of the month again. And no, silly…I don’t mean THAT time of the month. It’s not like I ever get my period these days. It’s time for ICLW! Time for fun, frolic, and fertiliy related frivolity!

For those of you new to the site, I don’t ovulate much (or ever in the last 8 months.) This would be awesome if I was actively trying to avoid pregnancy, but since I’m TTC, it’s, how do you say, shitty?  My timeline goes something like this:

1. Formally diagnosed PCOS in July 2010, although I’ve always had irregular periods.

2. Get on on the pill for a year to “regulate” my cycles.

3. Get off the pill in Aug of 2011 in hopes of TTC with Hubs.

4. Get one “normal” period in Sept of 2011

5. Never ovulate again.

In the span of 8 months, my emotions have run the gamut between hopeful and really effing pissed. Even with PCOS, I have never gone this long without a period, and I believe that BCP may have messed royally with my system, but I can’t quite be sure. I have a doctor who is more than ready to prescribe me Clomid (just as he was more than ready to prescribe me birth control), but I am working with an acupuncturist/nutritionist (whom I have named Intuitive Health Lady) on trying to get my system detoxed and healthified before I start trying to force an egg out of my crusty ovary. I will most likely be starting Round 1 of Clomid in May.

I’m traveling right now with Hubs in Boston, staying with his mom. We’re sleeping in his childhood bedroom about 2 feet from his mother’s room (HAWT!)  in a twin bed with another twin mattress that pulls out from under the bed, so I have nicknamed us Ricky and Lucy for the time being. There is a 99.9% chance that no children will be attempted to be conceived in this room for the next week. The .1% chance depends on how much wine I drink at dinner tonight.

Happy ICLW! Looking forward to meeting all of you.

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!