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January 2014 Cleanse – Day 3

I slept from about 10 PM until 4:40 AM. Tried to go back to sleep but that didn’t happen. Got up and had coffee with coconut oil but decided to switch from a coconut oil cleanse to a broth fast. Of course after making that decision I wanted to drink more coffee right away…with coconut oil. I didn’t but I ended up drinking Teecino in the evening blended with coconut oil. As much as I want to do a strict broth/juice fast, I just don’t think I have it in me this time. Last night was really hard actually and I was tempted to eat all night long.

I felt that adding antimicrobials while fasting wasn’t a good idea, so decided to skip them. My body is probably going through enough die off from fasting alone. But then later added back in my wormwood tincture (1/4 of the recommended dose) which gave me a headache I believe and caused me to feel more withdrawn again.

The heart rate issue is frustrating and one of my persistent symptoms that I haven’t found a solution to – yet. It’s the whole POTS issue. So I got up and my heart rate walking around was around 110 to 112. Sitting it was hovering around 72 to 74. Once my morning dose of hydrocortisone kicked in my heart rate dropped like it usually does. Walking around it was only in the 90s, however, any kind of exertion other than just walking raises it way too much. For example, I went to the garage to get some paper towels. Our garage is 8 steps down from the first floor. By the time I had walked back up to the kitchen from the garage, my heart rate went up to 120. From walking down and back up EIGHT steps. This is the reason I take a beta blocker because without it, I would not be doing much all day. Even raising my arms to brush my hair or get something from a top shelf cabinet raises my heart rate way too much.

Symptoms AM:

  • Left eye lid mildly swollen, right eye lid mores swollen but not as bad as yesterday
  • Heart rate walking around kitchen 110ish, sitting 74
  • Definite coated tongue
  • Fluid retention (detox??) but that is why my heart rate is lower – can’t figure out that connection either
  • Mild anxiety/negativity
  • Slight upper and lower (sacrum) backache
  • No motivation
  • Belly more bloated than yesterday morning

Symptoms Throughout Day:

  • Eye lids and face back to normal by mid-afternoon
  • Negativity went away and I felt like myself – joyful, motivated happy – until I took wormwood
  • Heart rate got worse throughout day for which I took Metoprolol
  • Tongue more coated
  • Increased headache early evening sometime after taking wormwood
  • Feeling cold and cold hands and feet
  • Very hungry
  • Very, very tempted to eat
  • Distended abdomen after broth and rest of day

Detox Support:

I did not do enough for detox today.

  • Well Belly applied to abdomen after shower (no bath today)
  • Castor oil mixed with essential oils (clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, lavender) applied to abdomen and liver/gallbladder at bedtime
  • Physical therapy – not sure if this is actually detox support but I happened to have an appointment today

Antimicrobials/Digestive Support:

  • Bee Propolis Extract (took a few extra dropperfulls just because I like the taste)
  • Wormwood
  • Digestive Enzymes

Liquids Consumed:

  • Organic coffee blended with coconut oil
  • Filtered water (we have a whole house water filter for crud and fluoride)
  • Filtered water with electrolytes, micro minerals, and borax
  • Clear vegetable broth (from kale, parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, zucchini)
  • MISO soup (water and Miso Master miso)
  • GF Teecino Dark Roast blended with coconut oil

January 2014 Cleanse – Day 2

I slept pretty good until about 4 AM. Got up to use the bathroom then went back to bed and sort of dozed off until about 5:20 AM. Not bad considering I went to bed at 9 o’ clock last night.

Symptoms AM:

  • Left eye lid mildly swollen, right eye lid extremely swollen (not sure why the right always swells more in addition to other issues on the right side of my body only)
  • Heart rate walking around kitchen 104, sitting 74
  • Coated tongue
  • Mild anxiety/negativity
  • Slight upper and lower (sacrum) backache
  • No motivation
  • Mildly bloated belly

Symptoms Throughout Day:

  • Eye lids and face back to normal by mid-afternoon
  • Negativity went away but had mild anxiety on and off throughout the day
  • Heart rate got worse throughout day for which I took Metoprolol
  • Tongue more coated
  • Mild headache
  • Feeling cold and cold hands and feet (it doesn’t help that it’s 10 degrees outside – fasting in July, when it’s in the 90s and humid, might have been a better idea!)
  • Very hungry
  • Distended abdomen after broth and rest of day

Detox Support:

  • Coffee enema
  • Castor oil mixed with essential oils (clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, lavender) applied to abdomen and liver/gallbladder area while taking a bath with Epsom salt
  • Well Belly applied to abdomen after bath, and to bottom of feet at bedtime
  • Castor oil mixed with essential oils (clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, lavender) applied to abdomen and liver/gallbladder at bedtime
  • Liposomal Vitamin C (not sure how much but this batch is pretty strong)

 

Antimicrobials/Digestive Support:

  • Bee Propolis Extract (took a few extra dropperfulls just because I like the taste)
  • Paraclear A
  • A blend of peppermint, rosemary, fennel, ginger, grapefruit, and cinnamon essential oils in olive oil
  • Oil of Oregano
  • Digestive Enzymes

Liquids Consumed:

  • Organic coffee blended with coconut oil
  • Filtered water (we have a whole house water filter for crud and fluoride)
  • Filtered water with electrolytes, micro minerals, and borax
  • Clear vegetable broth (from organic broccoli)
  • MISO soup (water and Miso Master miso)
  • Small amount of beef broth PM

January 2014 Cleanse – Day 1

So I ate crap yesterday. Actually, I ate sort of crappy the last two days. This is in part why I felt rough this morning when I woke up. It is really not a good idea to eat a TON of food or to eat in an unhealthy manner ever, but certainly not the day before embarking on a fast. However, I think I was on too much hydrocortisone again and not only had a ravenous appetite, but was craving sweets. When my hunger hits the intensity it hit yesterday, or when I have uncontrollable sweet cravings, I usually know that something is up. It can be die off from adding a new anti-microbial, the full moon (parasites are more active), sex hormone imbalance, or in this case, too much hydrocortisone. I reduced my dose yesterday, and today, and my hunger is back to what it normally is.

Symptoms AM:

  • Swollen eye lids/small eyes
  • Puffy face/enlarged pores
  • Mild fatigue
  • Fluid retention (from eating crap yesterday!)
  • Significant abdominal distention

Symptoms Throughout Day:

  • Symptoms from morning continued except for mild improvement in swollen eye lids
  • Mildly coated tongue (yup, happens that fast for me)
  • Mild headache
  • Mild sweaty smell
  • Vacillating between mild anxiety and eerily cheerful/funky mood
  • Mild bad breath (I hate this one the most)
  • Feeling slightly cold starting late afternoon

Detox Support:

  • Coffee enema
  • Castor oil mixed with essential oils (clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, lavender) applied to abdomen and liver/gallbladder area while taking a bath with Epsom salt
  • Zeolite
  • Charcoal
  • Well Belly applied to abdomen after bath, and to abdomen and bottom of feet at bedtime

Liquids Consumed:

  • Organic coffee* blended with coconut oil**
  • Filtered water (we have a whole house water filter for crud and fluoride)
  • Filtered water with electrolytes, micro minerals, and borax
  • Clear vegetable broth (from organic broccoli)
  • MISO soup (water and Miso Master miso)

*It is NOT recommended to consume caffeine while fasting/cleansing, but it seems to work for me.

**I can’t really call this a fast since I am consuming coconut oil. However, I have done coconut oil cleanses before and have had great results/benefits. Adding in a little coconut oil felt right. Tomorrow may be a different story.

Hot Chocolate Coffee (with protein)

what you need:

what you do:

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until well blended. Enjoy hot or poured over ice.

 

September 2013: Days 2 through 5 at Sophia Health

Despite having more time this trip, I did not get to finish writing about all my appointments. Unfortunately now most of what happened is sort of a blur. I did try to record the appointments, but I am not sure everything was recorded. I haven’t even checked the recordings yet. Things have been really busy since coming back with getting No Junque going, church, and a new dog. But here it goes…as far as I remember.

Tuesday – 09.10.2013

I only had Dr. K scheduled that day for 11 AM so had some time to relax in the morning. My mood was off to say the least, but I didn’t actually realize how OFF I was that day until later in the week when I was done with Biltricide. I told Dr. K how I had been feeling and what had been going on – cavitation surgery, PFM  (porcelain fused to metal) crown removal, mild anxiety on and off, still bloated, etc. We talked for a minute then I got on the table for ART (Autonomic Response Testing).

As soon as I got on the table tears started to flow. I was very emotional (probably from Biltricide), plus over tired from time zone changes and not sleeping well, and just worn out, and it sort of came out during the appointment.

He added a few supplements to my treatment plan and then ordered an IV that day. After the appointment I walked into the bathroom and just cried for a while. All the emotions I had been holding in just came flooding out. I then went to the treatment room to get my IVs. One of the other patients, who was just leaving, could tell that I had been crying. We started talking and she assured me that it does get better. She said she was so sick that she wanted to kill herself yet here she is feeling better and traveling the world. She said that Dr. K is amazing (which I already knew) and that I will be healthy again. It is exactly what I needed to hear that day. I know I am in good hands with Dr. D and Dr. K yet there are times I go to a dark place where it feels like this will never end. Part of that has to do with die off.

The rest of the day was rough and also sort of a blur. I went for an ultrasound of my thyroid around 5 PM which thankfully was ok. But when I talked to Bob that evening I just started to cry again. I felt so overwhelmed with everything and it was hard to see things ever getting better.

Dr. K also said that he wants me to take Biltricide again, but after doing a couple of liver/gallbladder flushes fairly close together. He said my liver and gallbladder are really congested and under stress and the Biltricide would go through better after doing some flushes.

Wednesday – 09.11.2013

I still felt off that morning and in addition wasn’t allowed to have coffee, take a shower, or brush my teeth because I had a thermography scheduled that morning. For any coffee drinker our there I probably don’t have to mention how hard this was. I thought my appointment was at 8:30 AM, but when I got there I was told that it is actually at 9:30 AM. I was not happy!

I also had my long appointment with Dr. D that day where she answers more questions, goes over my treatment plan from Dr. K with me, and muscle tests all my current supplements. She also checked to see if there was an issue with all the dental work I had done and she said there wasn’t. She detected some microbial activity but according to Dr. D it’s nothing more than she would expect from anybody who had just had all this dental work done. Muscle testing indicated that the microbial activity was clearing with Watch Your Mouth and PrimiTooth Powder.

My mood was better that day but I still felt slightly off. It was my last day of Biltricide but I forgot to take the last dose in the evening.

Thursday – 09.12.2013

I felt much better that day and my mood was back to normal. When I walked into my appointment with Dr. Klinghardt it felt totally different than the appointment on Tuesday. During my visit in May he had asked me if I am getting any results with the MMS enemas. I told him I was and that I had pictures, which he wanted to see, but of course I could not find them on my phone. This time I had them with me on my iPad and he wanted to see them. What I thought was just  a lot of mucous is actually a rope parasites according to Dr. K. He told me a little bit more about them and said there are two PDFs that someone was trying to get published but couldn’t and suggested I read them. Incidentally, someone had already posted them on the GAPS Help Yahoo group and I was aware of them.

I got on the table for more ART and he determined that the rope parasites had already moved into my small intestine. He also confirmed that they could be causing the constant abdominal distention I am dealing with as well as the constant hunger. In addition to an overwhelming enema protocol I was also put on oral anti-parasitics to reach the parasites in the small intestine. We also did another heavy metals challenge test while I was there and he added some oral metal chelators and anti-fungals.

Later that day I had an osteopathic appointment with Dr. Aleks which was great as usual. Dr. K also said to use the PEMF mat that day and the next day.

Friday – 09.13.2013

It was my last day at Sophia and I was scheduled to go home that day. I had a relaxing morning, packed my suitcase, then headed over to Sophia. I got on the PEMF mat first then had my last appointment with Dr. D. I wanted her to muscle test various foods but forgot to bring the bag of food samples I had prepared at home. For muscle testing, it is best to place all your supplements with a daily dose into little seal-able plastic bags. I started doing the same thing with food, but accidentally left the bag of food samples I had prepared in the freezer.

She muscle tested the few foods I did have with me and we discussed the very extensive treatment plan from Dr. K. After I was done I packed up all my stuff and headed to the airport. Both Dr. D and Dr. K also recommended cryotherapy in Germany so that is something I am looking into now. You can read more about how it is beneficial here.

September 2013: Day 1 at Sophia Health

I flew to Seattle yesterday and as usual it was a long day of traveling. I got up at 5 AM my time, which of course is 3 AM Washington time, and it was midnight my time when I finally got to bed. Then I woke up at 3 AM today so I am worn out.

Today I had only two appointments – a 30 minute consultation with Dr. D and a 60 minute acupuncture appointment with Melanie. I filled Dr. D in on what has been going on and how I have been feeling. Basically, not good. I still have gallbladder pain most days, I had UTI pain for a week which then just vanished, lots of increased GI issues and more. She did her usual testing and found that I have fungal and parasitic stress, and that my thyroid, gallbladder, and intestines are stressed. She feels that microbes are affecting my thyroid. Dr. D recommended some supplements and also told me to start my prescription of Biltricide. She also agreed that it might be a good idea to get an ultrasound of my thyroid to get the lump checked out.

I am staying with a friend (another patient at Sophia) this time and had time to come back to the house in between my appointments. I cooked some food, drank some coffee, and started my meds. Next I went to the spa for acupuncture with Melanie. She is really nice and very knowledgeable. She too said my intestines are stressed and she said my liver was having a hard time. She placed all the needles then told me to rest. At that point I started to cry – sort of. The first two days are usually pretty overwhelming. After traveling, time zone changes, lack of sleep, new information, and possible die off from new meds/supps, you just feel a bit “worn”.

After acupuncture I went back to the house and had some lunch. Then I ventured out, found a Panera, and sat outside for a bit. I thought about going to Pike Place Market, but I was just too tired and didn’t feel like walking around So I chilled in Woodinville instead, made the ultrasound appointment for tomorrow at 5 PM, and read for a little while. I came back to the house and was greeted by my friends awesome kids and their nanny. We talked for a while and then watched a movie together.

Now it’s only 8 PM and I feel like going to sleep. Really hoping I will be able to sleep later than 3 AM tomorrow.

A Lump in my Neck and More Dental Work

So much has happened since my cavitation surgery early July. Actually, a couple days before the cavitation surgery I noticed a big, hard lump in my neck. The next day it seemed smaller, the day after that I had the surgery, and then things kind of went crazy with die off, pain, gallbladder attacks, anxiety and more. So I kind of forgot about the lump or maybe it did go away.

In the meantime I went back to see Dr. Foley for a dental cleaning and some x-rays. She had noticed a mercury tattoo on my upper right gums and wanted to see what was going on. She found that I still had a PFM (porcelain fused to metal) crown on the top right and her take was that it contained mercury which was causing the mercury tattoo. I got my cleaning and we scheduled the crown and tattoo removal for earlier today. I also had a little skin tag that formed after the cavitation surgery on the bottom right and she said she would remove that as well.

#4_Mercury_Tattoo

#18_Skin_Tag

So I went in at 7 AM today and I left at 10 AM. While working on the crown, tattoo, and skin tag, she also noticed some leftover amalgam on the bottom right. Since she was already working on me she decided to go ahead and remove that as well (free of charge – thank you Dr. Foley!). That means I was numbed and had work done on the top right, bottom right, and bottom left. I think all in all I got 8 shots and now I am left with a hole in my upper gums and a very sore mouth. However, I am SO glad the remaining metal is now gone.

Back to the lump in my throat. I noticed that it was back around August 18th. I was tilting my head back and it was just sticking out. It felt very hard, just like the first time I noticed it, but I could move it from side to side, which felt really weird. Not sure if you can tell in the pics below, but it’s rather big. DH said I should name him Herbert. I was thinking Ezra.

Lump3

Lump4

Lump2

Lump1

I happened to have a phone appointment with Dr. D the next day and described the lump to her. At that point I hadn’t taken pictures of it but now wish I had. She said it could just be a calcified lymph node but to be on the safe side, to have it checked by my local doctor and get either an ultrasound or a biopsy. Other new symptoms were excessive sweating, increased appetite, minor weight loss despite eating more, and mild anxiety. I called my local doc’s office and was able to get an appointment August 26th. The doctor who saw me, not my usual doc, took down all my symptoms, then felt around on my lump for a while, then said she would go talk to my doc. After a few minutes she came back in with him, he also felt around on my lump and said he could order a CT. I asked if an ultrasound would suffice but he said it wouldn’t but that he is not really concerned about what is going on. He suggested waiting 4 to 6 weeks and if it’s not gone by then to come back and get the CT. Since I had just had two CTs within 4 weeks I decided to wait.

Once I got home I took the pictures above and my very smart friend who is also a nurse suggested it could be a goiter. Since the other symptoms I was describing above are consistent with hyperthyroidism, and that can be a cause of goiters (not just hypothyroidism), I decided to reduce my thyroid medication again slightly. On a side note, when I first started seeing Dr. D I was on about 75 mcg Cytomel and I a now down to 56.25 mcg! After a few days on the lower dose most of those symptoms were gone or reduced but the lump is still there. Luckily I am going to Seattle next week for more appointments with my doctors and will have them check it out.

I also went to see an oral surgeon about having some metal plates in my upper jaw removed. Dr. K thinks they might be impacting my health negatively. The reason I have them is because I had a cross bite but did not have braces when I was a child. By the time I started checking into it, which was in my early 20s, I was told that the cross bite was not fixable with braces alone. I consulted three different orthodontists I believe and they all said the same thing – braces and surgery. So that’s what I did. After I had had the braces for about 1 1/2 years they broke my upper jaw in three places, expanded it, then put the plates in to hold it all together. I was hoping that Dr. Foley could remove them but she said they go too far up to right under my eyes and she is not qualified to do it. That’s why she referred me to Dr. McKenna at Vanderbilt hospital.

While Dr. McKenna did not think that metal in my body is an issue, or that the plates could be causing health issues, he did say that he could remove them. He said at most it would take 2 hours depending on how much bone has grown on the plates. It would be outpatient surgery, full anesthesia, and he said they would have to cut into my gums so they can peel my face back, and then cut out the plates. Fun! I was hoping to get all this done before my trip to Seattle next week but there just wasn’t enough time. When I mentioned it to Dr. D on the phone she said to wait at least 2 weeks after the surgery before flying. Plus she felt that getting the mercury tattoo and metal crown removed were more important.

So I got all that done and now I am actually hoping that the plate removal is not necessary anymore. Maybe with the cavitations gone and all the metal removed from my mouth, that will be enough to tip me over the edge as Dr. D called it and I will see some significant healing. That would be so awesome!

Last but not least, I have had a UTI since Saturday. As if all the dental work, increased die off, and the usual stuff going on wasn’t enough! I am trying to get rid of it with d-mannose, cantharis 30C, increased Vitamin C, and baking soda. If it’s not better by tomorrow I will get a urine test and will see what Dr. D recommends. Praying I won’t need antibiotics and that my lump is nothing serious.

 

Why I See Doctors in Seattle (and why I don’t take antibiotics for chronic Lyme)

When people find out that I have chronic Lyme disease, and that I travel to Seattle to see doctors, I usually get very similar reactions. I have probably mentioned some of them on this blog before. Here are some of the typical responses I get and my thoughts/comments:

    1. “My __________ had Lymes. He/she took antibiotics for 10 days and he/she is fine.” (It’s Lyme disease, BTW, not Lymes).

      IF you get bitten by a tick, and get a bull’s eye rash, and you take antibiotics immediately, you can probably avoid getting chronic Lyme disease. However, if you were bitten a long time ago, but your symptoms didn’t come on until much (think years) later, a 10-day course of antibiotics will do nothing for you. Not everybody gets a bull’s eye rash and often times we aren’t even aware that we were bitten by a tick. You may not have any symptoms at all initially or for a long time. Depending on your health history and/or stress level in your life, it could hit you much later or not at all.If you have had Lyme disease for a while, which can be determined (sort of) with a CD57 blood test, antibiotics might be helpful but you will need a lot more than 10 days worth. People with chronic Lyme usually end up taking heavy duty antibiotics for 2 to 3 years. Many of them get a picc line for self-administration of antibiotics via IV, which is usually not covered by insurance.Borrelia burgdorferi, the actual bacteria that causes Lyme disease, is actually really smart. It has the ability to “hide” by cloaking itself and avoid being killed by antibiotics. In the meantime, the antibiotics people take will kill other bacteria in the body, good or bad, leaving your gut and immune system defenseless. When antibiotic treatment is stopped, and most of your good bacteria have been depleted, the Lyme bacteria come out of hiding and often times people end up feeling worse than before.

      That is a very brief explanation and it’s obviously much more complex than that. However, based on the research I did, and given that I already had pretty significant gut dysbiosis, I did not feel comfortable taking antibiotics.

 

    1. “Oh, that’s like Lupus, right?”

      The short answer is, yes, chronic Lyme can present like Lupus. It can also present like Parkison’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Depression, and many, many other illnesses. Borrelia burgdorferi has the ability to get into your blood stream and affect just about any organ and system in your body. It is also believed that it can cross the blood brain barrier causing neurological symptoms. Some interesting reading about this here.

 

    1. “You go all the way to Seattle? REALLY?”

      Yes, I travel all the way to Seattle to see doctors. Why?

      a. Because it felt right and because I believe they are among the best doctors in the world for people with chronic illnesses, whether those illnesses are caused by chronic Lyme or some other infection or underlying cause.b. All the doctors and other staff at the practice I go to are compassionate, kind and caring.

      c. The doctors spend anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes with me, listening, and I mean REALLY listening, assessing what is going on with my body, testing, and evaluating.

      d. The doctors I see are always up on the latest research, findings, testing, and treatments.

      e. They don’t just treat the symptoms but look at the whole person – emotional, physical, and spiritual. They recommend dietary and lifestyle changes along with using supplements to kill bacteria/parasites/fungi/viruses and to build the immune system. If necessary, they will use medication including antibiotics.

      f. They think drinking coffee is fine. (OK, I wouldn’t travel all the way to Seattle for that but it sure is nice).g. The doctors I see recommend GAPS (see this link for more information), they know that saturated fat is good for you, and they don’t buy into the conventional wisdom regarding diet like the food pyramid.

      h. While just about every doctor I have seen has literally freaked out about the fact that I am on a replacement dose of hydrocortisone, my doctors realize that it is supporting me right now, as I am fighting these infections and symptoms, and we can worry about weaning off of it later, when I am feeling better. For reference, I currently take 30 mg of hydrocortisone per day. A healthy person produces anywhere from 20 to 40 mg a day naturally, more during times of stress. So I am taking what my body might produce on its own, versus mega doses of steroids.

      There are many more reasons why I travel to Seattle, but those are the key points that come to mind right now.

 

    1. “They don’t have good doctors here?”

      What I wrote above in #3 also answers #4 – sort of. Yes, there are good doctors here in Nashville, but none of them offered all the things I was looking for. They either utilize antibiotics (right for some, not for me), wanted me to get off hydrocortisone, told me to eat more fiber (the last thing I need), etc.

 

  1. “You can die from that.”

    While I don’t believe I will die from chronic Lyme, because I am fighting with all I’ve got to get better, that comment really isn’t helpful. Neither are the other comments but I truly believe people don’t say these things to be unkind. I believe they mean well and have good intentions. Despite the fact that Lyme disease and co-infections are spreading rapidly, a lot of people still know very little about Lyme, let alone co-infections. In 2011, when I was first diagnosed with a blood test, all I knew was that you can get it from a tick and it can be very serious.

Speaking of the CD57 blood test above, here are the reference ranges:

  • >200 is normal
  • < 20 severe illness
  • 0-60 is seen in chronic Lyme disease
  • > 60 Lyme activity indicates improvement

When I first got tested in June or July of 2011 my level was 20. Roughly 6 months into treatment it dropped to 3, which is not unusual. I just had it tested again and it is now up to 39!

Low Testosterone and Elevated Cortisol

A few days ago I posted about dealing with anxiety, negativity, and thoughts and fear of failure. All those can be due to Lyme disease and/or co-infections like Babesia, Bartonella, and others. However, I believe my symptoms may have been from a lack of testosterone and too much hydrocortisone.

So after the cavitation surgery I increased my daily dose of hydrocortisone from 30 mg to 47.5 mg. Your body naturally increases cortisol during times of stress. If you are supplementing with hydrocortisone, you need to increase your dose which is referred to as stress dosing. It’s kind of hard to gauge just how much your body would produce on its own, but after a while you get the hang of it. Within a few days I reduced the dose to 42.5 mg a day but then I was stuck there. I felt utterly fatigued, had lots of heart racing, just didn’t feel well, and then the negativity and anxiety started. Those can be symptoms of low cortisol so I kept my dose where it was.

I also had some other symptoms like excessive sweating which I thought may have been caused by too much thyroid medication. Needless to say it was getting pretty confusing. Yesterday morning the anxiety had lessened somewhat, but I felt completely unmotivated, had absolutely no energy, was more negative than I had been in a long time, and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV. I had a chiropractor appointment in the afternoon and almost canceled it because the mere thought of getting dressed and going to the appointment seemed overwhelming.

While I was on my way home from the chiropractor I was thinking about the fact that I have been on a much lower dose of testosterone for a while now. Dr. D put me on 5 mg/day sometime last year but for various reasons I was unable to get a refill on my prescription when I ran out middle of June. (If you are aware of the controversy around compounded medicines right now then you can probably guess why it’s hard to get a refill). My local doctor RXd some for me, but she was only willing to prescribe 0.5 to 1 mg/day so that’s what I have been using. Apparently it wasn’t doing much for me. When I got home I decided to try a larger dose and I applied 4 mg of testosterone cream. Within about an hour I started to feel more positive, had more energy, and wasn’t so negative.

Back to the hydrocortisone for a minute….you take it in divided doses with the largest dose in the morning. You then take subsequent doses every 3 to 4 hours. On 30 mg a day I would start my day with 10 mg, then taper down slightly with each dose. After the cavitation surgery I started my day with 15 mg, then 10 mg, another 10 mg, and then would taper down.

This morning I got up and took the 15 mg dose of hydrocortisone and also applied another 3 mg of testosterone cream. That was around 5:30 AM. My mood was better, the anxiety was reduced and I had much more energy. At 9:30 AM I still didn’t feel the need for another dose of hydrocortisone which is a huge change from the previous days when I couldn’t wait to take my next dose. I decided to take only 5 mg instead of 10 mg and that seemed fine. Overall today, by the time I take my 2.5 mg bedtime dose, I will have taken 35 mg total which is 7.5 mg less than yesterday. Yet I had way more energy today and felt much better. Yesterday all I accomplished was a short trip to Whole Foods and the chiro appointment. Today I did laundry, ironed clothes, took a very brisk 35 minute walk, dusted all the blinds and window sills, went to Costco, worked on my lotion business, and made pizza for DH. That is a huge change on a much lower dose of hydrocortisone.

Here is my theory about what happened and it could be totally false, but that’s what I am going with. I believe that being on the lower dose of testosterone caused the fatigue, depression, negative thinking, and other symptoms. I thought they were due to low cortisol and kept my dose higher resulting in elevated cortisol levels. The elevated or excess cortisol probably caused, or contributed to the anxiety and also caused the excessive sweating. Adding the larger dose of testosterone back in improved my energy and mood which made me realize that I was taking too much hydrocortisone so I lowered my dose. I hope that I am right and that the increased dose of testosterone with the lowered dose of hydrocortisone will bring things back into balance.

Having balanced hormones is so important and being low or high in any of them can cause pretty severe symptoms. Having said that, even if you have the exact same symptoms I have, please don’t just start using testosterone cream. I have regular blood tests done through Dr. D to monitor my levels and I did have an RX for 5 mg a day. I DO NOT recommend using bio-identical hormones (BHRT) on your own or without any kind of testing to confirm whether you need them. BHRT should be used responsibly under the supervision of an experienced physician!

French Fried Onion Crusted Ranch Pork Chops

what you need:

  • french fried onions (like these for example)
  • ranch dressing (any brand will do)
  • pork chops (however many you need – I made two)

what you do:

Slather pork chops with Ranch dressing and coat all sides. Crumble some French fried onions and pat onto pork chops. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. That’s it.

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Guten Appetit!