Saturday, May 23, 2009

More on the Migraines and ...Uh, More... :)

I saw a very tenacious, progressive, and, perhaps, worthy, doctor last night (for the second time). And I have some interesting findings to share!

This doctor does a quite fascinating battery of tests to begin the process of treating whatever it is that's ailing a patient. His first certification and education is as a Psychiatrist, interestingly enough, but he now does quite a lot of things. He's helping me with a whole array of issues. It's amazing also that I found him not too far away from here, in a northern suburb of Chicago, when the only other place that does this battery of tests is the Mayo Clinic!!

So, for the answers! He did a test that checked my brain chemistry (serotonin, dopamine, etc.); a test that checked what enzymes I have in my DNA (apparently we all have certain enzymes from our parents and they are needed to break down different foods we eat and medicines); and finally, one test measured things like vitamin deficiencies and such. Very complicated, and I'll try not to bore you!! But it's been somewhat exciting for me, because the results have helped me obtain hope.

Well, for Test One, we discovered that my brain chemistry is, in a word (one that I choose), fucked! At the time of my blood test that morning, there was literally NO measurable serotonin in my body!! Yet, over the course of 24 hours, I had a reasonable amount. It was the same for all of my chemicals. What this means, the doc said, is that over the course of my days, my dreadful, dreadful days lately (!!), I "must be suffering terrible swings in mood and often not knowing what the hell hit you!" And YES! YES! That is precisely how I feel most of the time: waking up perky most times, and yet, by mid-day feeling depressed or even ragingly angry or anxious but for absolutely no apparent reason. It's much to do with the chemicals!!

The DNA / enzyme thing is a bit more complex, but to make a long story short, I am missing two of the four main enzymes that our bodies use to break down most medications and foods. This means that I can take a great deal of our common prescriptions such as painkillers or anti-depressants, etc., and I will often get many of the side effects and no benefit. YES!! This has happened so often!! This also explains why some people in society (at least according to the doc's theory) begin to take more and more of a substance ... say, Vicodin ... hoping to get a benefit, but by the time they do, they've gotten horribly toxic and sick and addicted. And some don't, because it works properly for them, and then they're done with it. Interesting, isn't it?! So we can begin to explore what WILL work in my body now ... both for my moods and my migraines. This is great!

Finally, I was found to be horribly deficient in a couple of vitamins, worst of all, Iron!! That means, of course, that I'm terribly Anemic. I don't know why. I mean, I take a multi-vitamin most days, and I try to eat a balanced diet. But you know, the American diet can be quite lacking at times, and I guess I'm not absorbing enough for whatever reason. The doctor says that people who are as Anemic as I am often display symptoms of terrible depression, migraine and even ADHD!! So some supplements are in order immediately.

I hope this doesn't sound like a bunch of dumb mumbo-jumbo to everyone. I'm just very happy to have some measurable results and some answers...results to turn toward and perhaps try to find treatments. It was sad to me to look at that profile on paper, that person on the page of lab results, if you can imagine. I looked at that poor woman, thinking, Damn, no wonder you are struggling through your days! You are sick, and your brain is out of whack, and then add in the normal stresses of trying to hold onto a sucky job with bad insurance while facing the fact that I sometimes have absences due to these illnesses (and thus lose my wages)...and UGH! It's drama!

I'm not saying that I feel sorry for myself, because I'm not feeling that way. Like I said, it's a chance to do something to fix these things :) It's just that, looking at myself in that objective way, on the lab page, gave me an opportunity to see that it's not my fault. I often go through my day thinking, "Snap the fuck out of your dismal mood! STOP being so goddam negative! STOP being so fucking argumentative / pessimistic / bitchy!!" I'm always ripping on myself in my head for these mood swings, and thinking that something I did (sleeping too long or not enough, stressing too much, exercising too much or too little, eating the wrong things????) caused a migraine that I get ... I torture myself!!! But when I saw these results, I had to step back and breathe and say, okay, this is not all your fault, this is something that is also HAPPENING to you no matter what you do, and it's working AGAINST your best efforts. So that was difficult to accept but also liberating.

Well, on a much lighter note, my brother let me borrow "Hot Fuzz" tonight for something fun and funny to do! It's awesome, and I am laughing my ass off right now. And playing with my cat! All in all, a good day. I even finished two assignments for school. Whew!

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