Saturday, May 1, 2010

What a tangled web...

What a tangled web we weave….when I had my mammogram a few weeks back, my doc also did some routine blood tests. As I’ve blogged, my mammo was fine but turns out my blood tests weren’t. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been having repeated blood tests because those initial tests showed that I had low red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells and neutrophils (for your immune system).

But at least I know why I have been feeling so tired (read shattered), and having trouble sleeping. I’d also been battling weight loss (as in lose weight, put some back on, lose it again) – which I just thought was from chasing after a 3 year-old, doing lots of yard and garden work and walking to get around (we walk rather than drive locally).

Turns out that it’s a result of a medication I’ve been taking for GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) for the last 10 years. I had a bad reaction to migraine medication in my 20’s that stripped my gut and gave me horrendous gastritis and reflux. But prolonged use of the medication is now impacting on my bone marrow’s ability to create red blood cells for me. It also can impact on bone health as well (but I’m fine so far) and sleep (hence my sleep issues). I started trying to wean off this drug (which is really hard to do) just before we moved house, and gave up due to the stress of moving house.

I’m now super motivated to wean myself off these drugs. I’m going drug free baby LOL. I’m doing it (quite successfully thus far) with probiotics, UMF manuka honey and deglycerized licorice tablets.  So far I’m down to a quarter of my initial dose and will hopefully be done with the meds completely in about 4 weeks time – yay!!

So now I’m treating myself gently (no big walks, no heavy yard work for a while), and trying to avoid sick people (as low white cells increase my risk of infection). I’m glad that we already eat organic and treat our health holistically so I’m not worried about a recurrence of GERD. But its still a wake-up call and I will be really happy to be drug free.

Then it will just be a waiting game for my blood cells to recover (which I’m assured they will) and hopefully I’ll get some unbroken sleep (hope, hope, pray, pray). Onwards and upwards as they say J

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