Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Love Two Men & I'm Keeping Them Both - Part I

Yes, you read that correctly. There are two men in my life and I refuse to get rid of either of them.

But wait, before you get angry and judge me (or, if you are my husband reading this and you are really confused right now) just take a breath, be open-minded and read further.

Over the years of discovering my son's food allergies, I found myself having strange, unrelated symptoms that caused me to go through a huge variety of tests. I was bounced from Doctor to Doctor, Specialist to Specialist and I was given so many different medications to try that I wound up broke, feeling worse and angry because I still had no answers. How did I go from being healthy, being the Super Mom that does everything all of the time to a puddle on the couch not able to function? Why were all of my Doctors simply chalking it up to stress? By the way...I refuse to use that word now unless it is absolutely necessary. The worst part was that I allowed these Doctors to make me doubt myself when I knew, deep down, there was something else going on with my body.

After two years and a pile of medical bills still unpaid because "this would find out what is causing my symptoms", I felt the pain of being left alone and pushed aside. My Doctors had thrown in the towel and I now felt as if I was "that crazy patient" whenever I was making another appointment. But how did I get here and how could I be making this up inside of my own mind? The pain was real, the dizziness was real, so what was it? I wanted answers and I decided that I would need to find them on my own.

Growing up, you are told that your Doctor is safe, they are there to help you and make you better, right? And, to my previous Primary Doctor's credit, she really did her best for as long as she could. But then the other Doctors began to discuss my huge, thick file and talk amongst themselves. Pretty soon, I had progressed to officially being that crazy patient. I stopped making appointments and I started to research anything and everything that I could. I Googled every pain, every symptom and I spoke to anyone who had an ache or a pain that remotely sounded like mine.I took notes from Dr. Oz and House and Googled even the strangest things that I could not possibly have. But I needed to know and I needed to have answers so that I could move forward and get myself better.

Then, one day, I broke down and I had had enough. I couldn't play with my children, I couldn't be a good wife and I felt alone. My family was great but when you feel horrible and you don't know what else to do, you still feel alone. I cried one night when everyone was sleeping and I asked the universe to please, please help me. Show me a sign or point me to where I needed to go to "fix" myself. I refused to give up and be like this the rest of my life. That week, I received a sign. There, in a free natural magazine that I had passed week after week at the store. The front cover featured an article that described so many of my symptoms that I did not even wait to get home to read it. I went to the car and opened it - dizziness, constantly tired, stomach issues, hormonal imbalances, blood pressure issues.....it was all there! Not only was it all there but there was a Doctor in my area that I could go to for it.

My first appointment with "Dr. A" was nerve-wracking for me. I was afraid I would leave with no answers or worse, answers that I did not want to hear. In the end, I had a diagnosis and a plan- a healthy plan. And, without me asking, his statement to me that changed my life was "You are not crazy". My diagnosis? Adrenal Fatigue, Candida allergy and hormonal imbalances that were driven by the allergies. I asked the scary question "How long will it take me to get better?" My answer was "6-10 months, if you are lucky". Six to ten months....that would be forever! But as he reminded me, this is nothing compared to the time I had been sick and I agreed. What was the plan of action? I dreaded this..more pills, more tests? Even worse, more money I didn't have? Pills yes but they were all supplements for my vitamin deficiencies. Tests, yes but these were tests that were covered under my insurance copay and those that were not were inexpensive compared to the two MRI's I had previously had.

The best part were the answers- I finally had answers! I began to see how everything fit together, how everything had put my body into the state it was in and why I felt the way I did. Relief washed over me but it was then quickly replaced with anger at all of my previous Doctors. How had they missed these simple things? How had they not listened to me- REALLY listened to me as a person, not as a patient? This was replaced yet again by extreme research and forgiveness...I forgave them for not being the best Doctors they could for me. It had nothing to do with me, just them and that is something that I cannot take personally.

Why was Dr. A so different from the other Doctors? He is an Integrative Medical Doctor, not your typical Primary HMO Doctor. He is a medical Doctor that looks at the whole person, not just the symptoms and he looked at my specific symptoms, not just what was "within normal range". He listened, he understood how I got to where I was and everything that he offered was something that would only benefit my health, not harm it. I have tried to thank him many times for giving me my health back but he says I did it, not him. He is the first man I refuse to give up. I admire him and I love what he does for people. I would not ever jeopardize myself by going back to any of those other Doctors. This is the one time I would have to say that it's ok to be selfish for myself.

To Be Continued............

I normally try to write upbeat articles because laughter is the best rememdy. However, I have recently noticed so many people having the same symptoms that I had, going through such a similar bunch of events that i went through, I feel that it's important to write about it to educate others in case you also are having the same, unresolved issues. Please feel free to reach out if you feel I can help you- Tracy

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