I mentioned in my last post that I was going to see a naturopath, but as per usual, it’s been a busy time, so 3 weeks post that appointment I finally have a moment to write about it.
I went into the naturopath’s office feeling hesitant. There was a strong sense of optimism coming from Will, but to be honest I am just too tired to carry that weight around these days, I am a bit more of a realist, and I wanted to go in with healthy skepticism. The appointment was really tough, mostly just from the point of view that I am tired of “telling my story” (she says as she willingly continues to write about it in her blog posts, yes, I see the irony). I explained how I got sick, that I stayed sick until I saw the herbalist, and that things have kind of stalled since then.
He then ran a series of tests, which included the standard taking my measurements (weight, height, etc) and then also measuring my… I don’t know what to call it, hydration levels? I told him “oh they are probably going to be low, I haven’t had much water today and I feel quite thirsty” and he confidently replied “oh you’d be surprised.” Wrong, we both were. “You would be classed as clinically dehydrated right now.” I knew I was thirsty, but not that thirsty. I was completely confused and said that I drink loads of water most days, but he said that to get to this level of dehydration this would have been compounding for quite some time. He explained that it seemed that although I was drinking lots of water, my cells aren’t actually using it, it’s just sitting there between them. So that was an interesting discovery.
Next we talked about my diet, I proudly exclaimed that I eat a nutritious diet, he then put me in my place and said that I do eat plenty of vegetables, but I am not getting enough whole grains. To be honest, I should have seen this coming. For the last couple of months it’s just felt like nothing has sat well in my stomach aside from my standard chicken and vegetables, so that’s what I’ve been sticking too. I would eat whole grains occasionally, but I certainly wouldn’t call it balanced. Honestly I was just so tired of manipulating my diet that I just wanted to keep things stable for a while. But now that I was in a naturopaths office, it was time to manipulate again on his advice.
I left the office with instructions to order two different supplements. One was a highly concentrated turmeric tablet, the other was some probiotics. His theory is that I am not getting enough fibre, and so I may have successfully cultivated some excellent gut bacteria with my dietary changes last year, but I failed to feed that bacteria sufficiently, and as a result it’s not working so optimally for me. The probiotics and instructions to eat more legumes, beans, rice, grainy crackers, etc would help this. The concentrated turmeric tablet was to help my energy (after all, I was there for CFS) and also to help my mood (this is a whole story in itself, it’s no secret that I suffer from anxiety and depression from time to time, but the latest development has been a short temper, Will would probably happily tell you that it seems to have subsided even since started these turmeric pills).
Now, before I even started on the supplements, something happened. Let me remind you that last year I had vertigo for a couple of months. In that time, I didn’t throw up once (round of applause, please). That even includes the most turbulent flight of my life, with vertigo. In fact I haven’t thrown up since I was like 8 years old. But here I was three days after the naturopath, before I had even started the new diet or supplements, and I suddenly had the worst stomach pain of my life to the point where I threw up, even with my seriously strong stomach. I knew my stomach had felt off for the last couple months, and here was my evidence. I actually went to a doctor about it, but comprehensive blood tests and two ultrasounds revealed absolutely nothing of concern. Fast forward three weeks and I think I still have the same discomfort in my stomach that I’d had for the previous two months, but I am just more aware of it now. I thought maybe the new diet would help, it seems to be making no difference.
However, I think the turmeric pills are helping my energy levels. I do think I am having more good days than not, but I can’t celebrate it because I am just so distracted by whatever is going on in my stomach. The doctor asked if I wanted to be referred to a specialist, but I am just so tired of all the different health professionals in my life that I couldn’t take another one right now. Instead I am going back to the naturopath and am going to see if this can be tackled with diet. Honestly, I am convinced that I am intolerant to some food that I just can’t put my finger on so hopefully he can help me work out what it is.
For now, I’ll just add this stomach issue as another item on my ever growing list of health issues. I still think that I will get better, I do. I think that my energy is on the rise after starting these tablets, so much so that I’ll actually be working nearly full time starting next week (that’s a bit scary putting that in writing!!), but I wish I could recognise that for the achievement that it is without this other issue getting in the way.
Hopefully I can check in soon with some more news, sorry if this one was another downer. On the bright side I am already feeling so settled in Perth. I’ve got friends here, favourite cafes to work in, an apartment that is feeling more and more homely each day, Will’s family has the cutest dogs ever who I visit regularly, and I’ve even started adding recipes here again.
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