Monthly Archives: March 2014

MTHFR-…WHAT did you just call me?!?!

I recently had some genetic testing done through a company called 23andme. When the results came oh boy was I confused…just take a look at this mess!

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What the heck does all that mean?!? Well I’ve been hard at work researching, and I’m STILL confused, but here is what I have found out…

Let’s just start with this part…

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First of all, I am what is called “compound heterozygous” for MTHFR mutations. This does not surprise me, as mutations of the C677T gene run in my family (1 cousin is homozygous, and 2 are heterozygous, on my dad’s side).

– Heterozygous means I have a + and a -…meaning I have 1 normally functioning gene, and 1 mutated one

– Homozygous means ++…meaning both genes are mutated.

Apparently being compound heterozygous is sort of bad. According to the information I have found, the order of potential severity from most to least is:

1. C677T & C677T (Two C Copies – C677T Homozygous)
2. C677T & A1298C (One Copy of Each The C & A – Compound Heterozygous)
3. C677T (One C Copy – C677T Heterozygous)
4. A1298C & A1298C (Two A Copies – A1298C Homozygous)
5. A1298C (One A Copy – A1298C Heterozygous)

As far as what that means for my life, I’m not entirely sure. Here is a link with some good info about the MTHFR C677T gene…

http://mthfr.net/mthfr-c677t-mutation-basic-protocol/2012/02/24/

Essentially the link says to become a rabbit and eat only veggies, but not TOO many veggies! Remove any mercury fillings, avoid using anything that touches my food and is plastic, get rid of all the carpet in my home, as well as any gas appliances…oh screw it, I might as well just stop breathing air, that’s got to be bad for me too right?

I’m mostly being sarcastic…but really, read that list all the way through…

This link gives you a list of conditions that can be caused by being compound heterozygous for MTHFR mutations…

http://mthfr.net/mthfr-mutations-and-the-conditions-they-cause/2011/09/07/

Out of that list of conditions, I am currently diagnosed with 7 of them, and am currently being tested for or need to be tested for 2 more. I also have a family history of at least 4 more conditions, on top of the ones I have in common with some family members. Pretty scary, right?

From what I can figure, these mutations mean that a) I have problems processing vitamin B12 and folic acid  and b) I am at an increased risk for blood clots. Therefore I have been taking special forms for vitamin B12 and folate and have discontinued birthcontrol (as it also raises your risk for clots) and will soon be starting to take a supplement that is supposed to help with clotting risk.

That’s about as much as I know about all that. There is SO much info out there, but a lot of it is conflicting, and all of this is so complicated that I feel like I have just begun to scratch the surface of understanding it all. Maybe someday I’ll really get it…because I find it all fascinating.

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Be NICE!

Today I am feeling very…introspective? Perhaps that is the word for it…What ever this feeling is called, I wrote some stuff (I won’t insult poets everywhere by calling it a poem, although I don’t know what else to call it). Read it if you want, don’t if you don’t…just whatever you do, be nice…I only write stuff like this from a place of deep, real, emotion.

 

I want to know you.

I want to know your deepest fears.

I want to know what makes you insecure, and love those parts of you.

I want to know when you are happiest, and make that be all the time.

I want to be your safe place, your haven.

I want to show you all the beautiful in you.

I want to be your person.

 

I think you amaze me.

I think you are one of the smartest people I know.

I think about your smile all the time, and about kissing it too.

I think you make me laugh more than pretty much anyone else.

I think you are a little frustrating sometimes.

I think you are absolutely incredible.

I think you rock.

 

I know you’re scared.

I know you’ve been hurt before.

I know you feel something for me too, even if it’s not the same.

I know you won’t admit it to anyone but you’re lonely.

I know you deserve to be happy.

I know you understand me.

I know you crave love.

 

I want to hold you in my arms.

I want to take every hurt or sadness away.

I want to show you all the love you deserve, and more.

I want to make you laugh, every second of every day.

I want to understand what makes you you.

I want to hold your beautiful hand.

I want you.

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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Limbo?

“It felt like a winless game, the probabilities working against my progress, holding me in place – neither married nor divorced, neither in love nor healed, neither moved on nor an occupant in my old life. I was in limbo, wanting to be done with the process and the pain yet lacking the skills to get there. I didn’t know when to cut, when to fold and when to stand firm. “

This describes EXACTLY how I have been feeling lately…in limbo. And it’s kind of making me crazy…

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March 24, 2014 · 7:57 pm

Love like that…

My grandmother (whom I have been staying with) looked at me this morning and said “you know, if your grandpa hadn’t died we would have been married 68 years today”…you read that right, 68 YEARS! My grandma was 19 when they married, and they stayed married for 47 years until my grandpa passed away from cancer. My grandma then was single for close to 15 years before she met another man, married him, and proceeded to be his caregiver until he passed away from congestive heart failure. To this day, even though her second husband has been gone for several years now, she will not sit in “HIS” chair, or use “HIS” shower (even though these things would be easier for her to use as her health is not so great lately). And she stopped what she was doing this morning and paid recognition to the day, even though my grandpa has been gone for 21 years now. 

I’ve been thinking about this all day, and I wish I had something more meaningful to say but all I can say is “wow”. It amazes me to think what kind of love that is… My grandma is the most incredible person I know, and I hope some day to experience love like that.

Yet it saddens me a little to think about too…given the state my love life is in…

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Health update

So it occurred to me that I haven’t written about my health lately (I’ve apparently had other stuff on my mind…I wonder why that is? :/)

So I guess I’ll write an update…

First of all, I have been having a surprisingly good few weeks…so good that I’m literally waiting for the hammer to drop; any day now I’ll wake up and not be able to walk or something…things have been just way too good. I’ve been sleeping (for the most part) a normal amount, fatigue has been way less than it usually is, and pain has been lower than it has been in over a year! (Probably longer than that!) Also I have had very minimal twitching and no electric shock pains for quite a while.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:
– been getting better at gluten free/ sugar free eating
– added magnesium and vitamin D supplements, and vitamin B12 injections
– added Oil of Oregano supplement (to combat candida, more on that in a minute)
– been much better about taking my probiotics
– started drinking apple cider vinegar (also to combat candida)
– kept up with weekly chiropractic/acupuncture appointments
– added flax seed into my diet almost every morning
– kept up with adrenal support cocktails also almost every morning, and some afternoons too
– oil pulling every morning
– dry brushing before baths/showers
– started making kombucha…although I have not drunk any yet. That’s a post for another day, in about 2 weeks when it’s ready!
– preparing to try coffee enemas (also a post for another day, once I know how it goes!)
– working on understanding the results of my genetic testing, that shows quite a list of genetic mutations…most of which effect my ability to process vitamins (explaining my very low vitamin D and B12 levels!) Perhaps more on this when I understand it a little better…

So as you can see I’ve been busy working on my health, even if I haven’t been blogging about it!
I have no idea which of these things is causing me to feel as great as I do, but I’m not complaining!

Although there is one problem…I have a long anticipated (and very expensive!) appointment with a specialist coming up in about 3 1/2 weeks. “What’s the problem?” Right? Well, those of you who are chronically ill will understand…but it is the worst possible thing that could ever happen to be feeling great when seeing a new doctor for the first time. Just trust me on this one…

So what’s a girl to do? Hope I wake up feeling horribly crappy sometime soon, or pray that this doctor will be willing to ignore the fact that at the moment I look like a fairly healthy young woman. Personally, I’m hoping for the first scenario, as crazy as that sounds.

What is candida you ask? Read this : http://www.thecandidadiet.com/candida-symptoms/

I have decided recently that what my primary care doctor keeps calling “a systemic yeast infection” should actually be called candida. I have SO MANY of the symptoms on that list (although yes, they could almost all be caused by other things). So since many, MANY rounds of diflucan (anti-fungal medication) from my doctor over the last 4 years really haven’t done much good, and most recently a round of ketoconizole (stronger anti-fungal medication) didn’t do much of anything, I’m going to take matters in to my own hands. I have added oil pulling, apple cider vinegar, probiotics, and oil of oregano pills to my routine, as well as changing my diet, and I already see more of a difference in my symptoms (mostly the thrush issue) than I have ever seen from rx anti-fungal medications. I have also successfully warded off 2 vaginal yeast infections so far before they got too bad using garlic.

Drinking the apple cider vinegar did cause what is called a herx reaction (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Herx). A herx reaction is essentially a build up of dead things (in this case yeast cells) in your body, that accumulates and makes you feel like crap because it is more than your liver can manage to detox out of you. After about a week of gradually increasing the amount of ACV I was drinking per day (starting with 1 t. and then 1 T., then 2 T. etc.) until I reached 6 T. per day, I started to feel like CRAP. Like I mean I had a migraine complete with aura and sound/motion sensitivity for almost a week, and then horrible fatigue and shaking. So I have stopped the ACV for the time being, until I can work on detoxing better so that hopefully I won’t have such a bad reaction when I start again, or at least I will have ways to help my body through it.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on! Just working on kicking candida’s ass, taking care of myself, and getting ready for this specialist appointment!!

Resources:

Info on oil pulling: http://mamanatural.com/how-to-do-oil-pulling/

Info on coffee enemas: http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2011/11/wellness-warrior-tv-how-to-do-a-coffee-enema/

Info on kombucha: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-kombucha-tea-at-home-173858

Info on apple cider vinegar: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5875/15-Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day.html

Info on dry brushing: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0QpQZyze3Yk

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For Better or For Worse?

“But if you make a vow, and making it systematically destroys you, it’s ok to break it. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a person who doesn’t want to be destroyed”

I found this lovely statement in a piece on Elephant Journal called “5 Things I Learned From My Good Marriage (and 2 I Learned From my Bad One)” by Erica Leibrandt…and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

One of the hardest things lately, now that I’ve sort of come to terms with the fact that the man I fell in love with is essentially gone, is accepting that because I chose to end my marriage I have not failed; I am not a bad person. And it doesn’t matter how many times I say that to myself, or how much I think I have accepted it, when it comes down to it I am worried that other people will think those things about me…so I realize that I really haven’t accepted anything.

I have been married for exactly 13 months today, and separated for 2…and it seems like a lifetime ago that both of those things happened.

I’ve heard women in support groups say things like “15 years of my life wasted!” Or “I can’t believe after 20 years it’s all gone!” And while I understand that that must be incredibly hard for them to experience, I am not down playing that, it’s also REALLY hard to chose to walk away after only 1 year. I’ve heard it, I’ve seen it in people’s eyes, the “you know marriage takes work right?” and the “what? Did you have your first big fight?” thoughts… how am I supposed to answer that? “Yes, I know it takes work, but…”? Tell them the truth about my reasons for doing this? It is very important to me that I not become that woman who spends her time after a break up doing everything she can to smear her ex’s character, I’m not that kind of person. Yet, the truth doesn’t look so good for him.

So instead I just assure people that I really do have good reasons, that I’m really not that immature, and remind myself that it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, just that I’m a person who doesn’t want to be destroyed…

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Love the Way You Lie…

[Chorus]

I can’t tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now it’s like a steel knife in my windpipe
I can’t breath but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right
It’s like I’m in flight
High off a love, drunk from my hate
It’s like I’m huffing paint and I love it the more I suffer I suffocate
And right now I’m about to drown, she resuscitates me
She fucking hates me and I love it
Wait! Where are you going?
“I’m leaving you!”
No you ain’t. Come back we’re running right back
Here we go again
It’s so insane cause when it’s going good, it’s going great,
I’m superman with the wind at his back, she’s Lois Lane
But when it’s bad it’s awful
I feel so ashamed I snapped
Who’s that dude?
“I don’t even know his name”
I laid hands on her, I’ll never stoop so low again
I guess I don’t know my own strength

[Chorus]

You ever love somebody so much you can barely breathe when you’re with ’em
You meet and neither one of you even know what hit ’em
Got that warm fuzzy feeling
You, them chills you used to get ’em
Now you’re getting fucking sick of looking at ’em
You swore you’d never hit ’em
Never do nothing to hurt ’em
Now you’re in each other’s face spewing venom in your words when you spit them
You push, pull each other’s hair, scratch, claw, bit ’em
Throw ’em down, pin ’em
So lost in the moments when you’re in them
I’ts the rage that took over it controls you both
So they say you’re best to go your separate ways
Guess that they don’t know you
Cause today that was yesterday
Yesterday is over, it’s a different day
Sound like broken records playing over but you promised her
Next time you show restraint
You don’t get another chance
Life is no Nintendo game
But you lied again
Now you get to watch her leave out the window
Guess that’s why they call it window “pain”

[Chorus]

Now I know we said things
Did things that we didn’t mean
And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine
But your temper’s just as bad as mine is
You’re the same as me
But when it comes to love you’re just as blinded
Baby, please come back
It wasn’t you, baby it was me
Maybe our relationship isn’t as crazy as it seems
Maybe that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano
All I know is I love you too much to walk away though
Come inside, pick up your bags off the sidewalk
Don’t you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk
Told you this is my fault
Look me in the eyeball
Next time I’m pissed I’ll aim my fist at the drywall
Next time? There will be no next time!
I apologize even though I know it’s lies
I’m tired of the games I just want her back
I know I’m a liar
If she ever tries to fucking leave again Im’a tie her to the bed and set this house on fire
I’m just gonna

[Chorus]

– Eminem Ft. Rihanna “Love The Way You Lie”

So I post the lyrics to this song tonight, even though they contain some words that may offend some people, because it is a topic that is very close to my heart. I have, however, left out the lyrics to the chorus because they bother me… they go like this…

“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn, that’s alright because I like the way it hurts, just gonna stand there and hear me cry, that’s alright because I love the way you lie”.

While I love the song, and I was told once that Rihanna donated all income from it to domestic violence charities (not sure if this is true or not, but I’ll choose to think she’s that much of a good person)…the chorus not only lacks any insight into Rihanna’s side of the “relationship” it furthers the misconception that women stay in abusive relationships because they “like it”.

Anyway…some specific lyrics have stuck out to me recently and are the reason I have been replaying this song 12907342437x back to back…

“Come inside, pick up your bags off the sidewalk

Don’t you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk
Told you this is my fault
Look me in the eyeball”

While my “husband” (wow I REALLY like quotation marks tonight, don’t I?) has never been physically abusive I feel like (reading between the lines of course) he has been saying this to me for weeks. It is like he is WILLING me to believe him that he has changed, and then becoming angry that I just don’t; like if he could force me to believe him he would. But those days are over…the days of believing what he says, or at least giving him the benefit of the doubt, are gone. It makes me sad that it has come to that, but it has.

Talking to a dear friend today who is in a place sadly very similar to where I was a month or two ago, and commiserating about an ex we both have in common who was emotionally and physically abusive, it made me think…how long am I going to allow myself to be treated this way? Yes, I finally drew a line in the sand and did something about it when he crossed said line, and I did the same thing with the ex I mentioned, but it took me many years in both cases before I got to that point. Why is it that I can sit here and say to you “I deserve better than that” but when it comes right down to demanding better I tend to roll over and play dead? And not only that, but I swore after I left my ex that I would never again allow myself to be made to feel the way I did…yet here I am, almost 6 years later.

I was feeling very contemplative this afternoon, and also began to ask myself…why do we as women in general allow ourselves to be treated this way? And why is it that men (and women too) think they can treat people so horribly? It is one thing to hear stories, and we all have stories, usually of a friend/sister/daughter/acquaintance, who went through domestic violence…but it is an entirely different thing to be faced with loving someone who honestly believes that they are better than you so you therefore exist to make them happy, and if you do not make them happy you are THEIRS to do with as they wish. Why do we as a collective allow ourselves to be treated this way?

I did an internship in college with the State Attorney’s Office, working alongside a domestic violence victim advocate. I LOVED it, and would take a job doing that in a heartbeat if I was offered one tomorrow. But one case sticks out in my mind, probably because it was the only one I saw go to trial, so it was a big deal. Anyway, the issue was essentially that the man had come home from work and was not pleased with the dinner his wife had provided. Literally. So his response to this was to punish her by throwing her against a wall and punching her in the ribs and face numerous times.

We are so much better than that. I know, I know, easier said than done…but it’s really not, if you think about it. It’s really just a matter of loving ourselves…something I think we could ALL use a little work on…

Pardon my ramblings tonight…it’s a brain-foggy sort of day…

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March 13, 2014 · 10:30 pm

Compliments

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I have recently discovered first hand the power of a simple, honest, compliment; and how most of us never realize how badly we need to hear a few. So ever since then I have been spreading them around as much as I can (whenever it is heartfelt, of course). Some people probably think I’m a wee bit strange, but I’m ok with being strange if it means I can be life-giving too.

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