Friday, September 25, 2009

Doctor & Fibro Update

I guess it's time for a Fibro update....

1) Exercise:

I joined a gym in mid-August. It's halfway between work and home. And I couldn't possibly love it there more!! It's amazing and I feel right at home. God in his sovereignty worked it out perfectly. I have a terrific advisor, two wonderful trainers, and an amazing nutritionist. I work out with a group of people (as of two weeks ago today) and they are all so nice and fun. They help keep me motivated and accountable. I'm learning a lot! I've managed thus far to push through the pain pretty well. It helps to have such an increase in energy. That part has been unexpected and I'm really pleased to see the results of that so far. I have not had any days where I've been completely unable to walk (just a little), and have only screamed out in pain a couple of times (at home, thankfully). I've felt like I was dying nearly every class, but my trainer is great and helps encourage me to keep going, while also keeping me in check to make sure I'm at the right pace & level for me without overdoing it. It's exhausting and invigorating all at the same time.

2) Nutrition:

This part has been a little frustrating and overwhelming for me. I'm not succeeding in it, despite cutting way back on a lot of stuff. The program is really intense, but my nutritionist is incredible. I could never attempt to do this fully on my own! It's hard to describe the program right now, but it's not like we're just counting calories. We count all the nitty-gritty stuff like proteins, carbs, fats, dairy, fruits, veggies, etc, to make sure we are getting each type or nutrient that we need throughout the day. For example, through the day I'm allotted 1700 calories, but if I workout I need a couple hundred more to make sure my body is fueled for the workout. As a part of those calories, I can have: 7 starches, 3 fruits, 2 milks, 7 proteins, 6 vegetables, and 9 fats. I also need 10 8 oz glasses of water every day. I'm aiming for 25-30 grams of fiber a day, and eating every 3 hours. (In the above list keep in mind things like cheese sticks are protein, and veggies like corn or peas are a starch.)

Yes, it's complicated. But on the plus side, everyone says once you get the hang of it, it'll come much easier. So while it appears overwhelming, I'm glad to know others have done it, succeeded at it, and that it does get easier. Otherwise I'd likely just toss it out the window and count calories only! But it is good for me to learn more about the foods I'm eating, what's in them, and how big my portions really have been.   

3) Doctor:

Yesterday was only my second visit to my new doctor, but I am just really loving her! It was my annual physical. I appreciate so much more of what she says about what's going on with me because my previous doctor liked to blame it on anxiety or sometimes that things were just in my head...but they were legitimate concerns to me! This new doc gives good opinions/thoughts about my medicines, and ways to improve or change things. She's easier to talk to (even though the previous one wasn't bad on this) and she's a strong Christian, which is so great and helps me so much to have someone to relate to! She's very knowledgeable about Fibro and I appreciate that immensely. She doesn't push anything on me or make me feel at all inferior because of the Fibro. She's very thorough and never has a rushed appearance. She diligently spends with me whatever time I need her for without trying to just run out the door. I just really felt like I was meeting with a friend instead of my doctor (although there's also still that clear doctor/patient separation). I'm very pleased!

And the results came back today from my blood test, and I'm totally in the clear. No thyroid or diabetes concerns, no stand-out cholesterol issues although I do need to keep an eye on it, no anemia (I showed up as mild anemia last year), and so on. I'm very pleased with this news!! 

4) Medication:

My doc is incredibly excited about the latest medication for Fibro called Savella but she's not pushing it on me or anything like that...just wants me to know about it and that it's now available in the U.S. (They've used it in Europe for years.) It's not an anti-depressant like most others are, and it really seems to work. The highest you seem to go on it is 100mg. That's good news too. In some cases for Lyrica to have really worked, people had to be taking over 350mg of it, which is just ridiculous to me!! And then those people couldn't really continue on with their lives from the drowsiness and 'out of it' feelings. Savella is not like that. The worst side effect in the case studies was nausea.

I'm not interested in going onto it right now, for issues I'm not willing to discuss here right now, but I hope a lot of people can benefit from this drug. I'm interested to continue learning more about it. If any of you end up giving it a try, please let me know what you think of it.

I'm working with my doctor now to slowly taper off the Elavil/Amitriptyline (sp?). I'm not convinced it's working and am tired of the side effects. But if as I taper off, I suddenly realize it was working and I just didn't realize it anymore, then I'll taper back up to it. It's a bit of a guessing game right now. One of these days I need to get back to my chiropractor and get some more natural medicine in me and less of this nasty stuff. I've seen it work so well for others and I know it could work for me. It's just so stressful to do all that extra driving each time. Maybe next spring. We'll see.

5) Life:

Things continue to be a bit boring and yet overwhelming for me right now. I don't know if it's the nutrition & working out, or what. But I've been in a funk. I haven't really been interested in blogging or Twittering or really keeping up with people. I'm having enough trouble staying in tune with my own life. I'm sorry to those of you who are new here and I haven't had a chance to really investigate your blogs much, I do plan to. And for you near and dear, older (as in how long I've known you) blogging friends, I'm sorry I've been bad at keeping up lately. But I appreciate your flexibility and understanding. It's just a phase. I'll be back soon.

No comments: