October 31, 2010
So I’ve been getting these rashes (super itchy) all over my body since July. It started with what I thought were bites….long story short first the doctors thought it was bed bugs, and although I had had them before from travel and knew how bites reacted on my skin I still did all the appropriate things to make sure we didn’t have them or bring them into our house (as we were moving that weekend!).
I washed everything, and sprayed everything down that couldn’t be washed. We got a new mattress (we needed one anyway) and spent the money on a good cover for it and all our 5 pillows we use every night. I took a shower the last time I was in our apartment, and gave my dog a bath and never went back again just to be sure I didn’t get something transferred over. I even left my moving clothes outside until I could wash them all.
The rash still persisted and then it was decided that it must be that I’m allergic to my laundry detergent (great, cause I just spend 3 days washing everything I own in it!). That started my hunt in finding all natural product and switching to them (you’ll see some of them in my Product Review posts!). I started the long process of rewashing everything and was on a few different supplements to clean out my blood to get whatever was in my system out. It seems like it helped a little but after a couple of weeks (more) it still was fighting strong.
Then it was thought that maybe I have a food allergy and my body isn’t processing the food and the toxins are coming out through my sick (sounds pleasant right?). So for a month I kept a food journal. Through that nothing was figured out and nothing seemed to be more or less of a trigger for these rash breakouts. And to add to that it had gotten so bad that I started to have to take pills every night so that I could sleep because the rash was so itchy that the itch would wake me up and I couldn’t go back to sleep! (This is a big deal to me, I’m the type of person that will suffer for days with a head ache and refuse to take something. I think medication is worse a lot of the time).
Finally the thought was that I should go and get a live blood analysis. It was sort of the last resort. Not that it’s that big of a deal but because I had gone and tried every other doctor and specialist that I could think of (my medical doctor just wanted to put me on antibiotics and was still convinced it was bed bugs) and nothing was fixing the problem. To add to the pile my other issues (headaches, neck/back pain, stomach pain, extreme fatigue, depression, and joint pain) were getting worse. I’ve had various health problems for years and if it wasn’t one thing it seemed to be another. I was doing well for a while there and now this just got to be a huge problem mixed in with all the others that were getting worse too. I was very emotional all the time, crying at the drop of a hat (which lead to many embarrassing moments out and a about when I would start crying and have no clue why!) and something needed to get resolved.
After the blood test (did I mention I did medical blood tests and they told me “everything looks normal, you’re fine”?) I felt even more depressed them before. The specialist told me every problem that I had had, every issue, everything (except oddly the headaches) and that was just from the iridology (reading of the eyes) she hadn’t even read the blood yet. First of all she had horrible bed side manor but for sure got the point across that I had some serious issues: I’m anemic, my liver is not working, and my stomach isn’t producing any acid so nothing is really getting broken down or absorbed (sounds fun right?). She wanted to sell me $500 worth of product (on top of the $130 bill for the analysis) but thankfully I could get it elsewhere whole sale ($140).
So I started on the iron supplement, B21, greens, and after a couple of weeks I started the Colon Cleanse they subscribed (pretty much you have a combination of pills, liquids and powders you take every day, and you can’t have dairy, sugar, almost all grains, and there’s a list of 10 vegetables you can have, 5 different fruits and, chicken and fish). The only thing I noticed from the cleanse was I was more depressed, tiered and I got sick and needed to stay in bed for a day because I was throwing up and almost fainting when I stood up (they should put warnings on these things!). OH there was one positive things- I lost 3 inches around my waist and I’m sure some weight too (although I haven’t weighed myself yet).
So the rash is still there, fights strong, and is now on my jaw line and on my cheeks sometimes (thankfully it’s taken new forms and with makeup just looks like raised bumps) along with the headaches, stomach pain etc. Having my clothes fit a lot nicer feels great and has busted my self-esteem a bit but being in constant pain and itchy really is getting to me.
I found there was one more thing I hadn’t tried – a naturopathic doctor- and finally decided I would (I felt with all the other things I had tried what more would he/she have to say). Last Saturday I went in, (after spending 2 hours at home filling out all the questionnaires and paper work) for a 2 hour appointment. We went over a lot of it, he asked a lot of questions and it felt a lot more like therapy (complete with me crying not lying on a couch though, but rather on a table while I had acupuncture needles in me) then a doctor’s visit.
He, like everyone else, put me on a plan, complete with supplements and lots of guidelines. I’ll be honest, I don’t feel that hopeful yet because everything else I’ve tried hasn’t worked, and I know it’s not an overnight solution but he seems like he knows his stuff and he’s honest about how it’s not going to be fixed right away with just one change (honesty is my best friend in these sort of things!) and I’m willing to give it a good go.
So plan….G(?): Because my stomach isn’t producing acid it’s not breaking things down, causing problems in my liver (part of the reason for the rash) and other organs but more over the sugar and yeast in the foods I eat are not being broken down so I have yeast Candida growing in my GI track, bowels etc. (that sounds so gross to me!). My adrenals are also really stressed, not working too well, and my body is worn down and out. I now need to take 50g of protein a day; in the form of sakes and a lot of meal and veggies (if I can find any that have enough to get to 50g without having to eat pounds and pounds of it!). I also need to take iron, B12, a pro-biotic and lots of Vitamin C. I’m sure there’s some other supplement that I’m missing, but just take my word for it, I’m taking a lot of things! I need to drink 2 liters of water a day and do a hot castor oil pack on my stomach every day. Then I need to go on a month long Candida diet, the point being to kill off what’s in my body and start from there. What does that mean? No sugar (no sauces, dips or dressings pretty much because they all have sugar), nothing with yeast in it, no refined foods (no junk food), nothing with lactose or any other form of sugar, only whole grains (and they really mean whole not that store brand stuff that says it’s whole but you read the ingredients and the first one is refined flour) and then there’s a list of veggies that I can have (only cooked because my body can’t handle raw right now), and I can have 1 fruit (from the approved list) or a cup of 100% natural fruit juice (again from the approved fruits) a day. Surprisingly I’m not that bummed out about this. The 15 day colon cleanse I think was harder because its restrictions were weirder and you had to fast for 4 days in there but 30 days of eating meat, protein and veggies, I can do that.
So there you have it. It’s a journey, that’s for sure. No solution is a fast or easy solution with this stuff (and I’ll probably have to go on an elimination diet after this too to figure out what foods I’m sensitive to). It’s a frustrating struggle but I’m just (super!) thankful that I’m having these issues now instead of going undetected or ignored for years only until they turn into an actual diseases and I’m even more stuck.
I know there are a lot of people out there that have minor and major issues but no one seems to be able to help or relate so that’s half of why I wrote this all out. It’s good to share what you’re going through, it’s good to have people to relate to and my doctor told me to make sure I don’t internalize things (another step) so here’s writing to you, Part 1 of who knows how many posts about this. I don’t care if much if it doesn’t get read (or only half read because it’s super long!). If I can help just one person by being able to relate then it’s worth it, and you know, even without that it’s worth it because I know I feel better already having written it all out!