Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Story: Part Eight (Desperate for Help)

In the last post, I discussed how I ended up taking a leave of absence, because I was getting sicker and sicker. This post covers my experiences from February 2008 to March 2008.

So, I left work in February. When I left, I thought it would be only temporary--until I could figure out what was going on. Was it not enough thyroid hormone replacement? Was it too much Thyroid Hormone Replacement? Was it the combination of drugs that have been in my system? To this day, I have my theories, but no answers. My questions may never be answered by doctors. Sometimes, although I have been diagnosed with various illnesses, I sometimes collectively refer to my conditions as Environmental Illness, because I feel that various toxicities helped to contribute to the break down of my neurological system and my immune system.

In continuation, I was so desperate to get some answers that I consulted a doctor that I found on the Internet who had an office about 45 minutes away from me. The doctor was a Chiropractor who claimed to have extensive knowledge regarding the Thyroid and Thyroid issues. Yes, I was leery, because he was a Chiropractor, but he had listed many other certifications. When I called, I was in tears, because I felt so ill. The secretary assured me that he would be able to help. She was very kind.

On my first visit, the Doctor was very encouraging. He ordered numerous tests including a stool test, blood test, and a hair analysis. He agreed that the "traditional" doctors don't do much in terms of treatment for people with Thyroid issues. He also put me on a detox diet in which I could only eat fruit, vegetables, and some meat. Usually, there is no meat involved in the detox diet he prescribes, but my weight is so low already that I was allowed to eat meat. I was put on green food tablets, a protein shake, fish oil, and a few other things. I was on this diet for about a month or two. I remember not being able to eat my usual Easter Dinner because of the diet--that hurt. On this diet, I continued to suffer from constipation. I was told to take something called Turkey Rhubarb and to drink more water. Well, I was drinking a lot of water, and the Turkey Rhubarb made my stomach hurt.

On the next visit, his nurse went over the results of the tests. There was a lot covered. I will discuss some of the more important points. I was told that I suffered from Adrenal Exhaustion. I was told that I had food sensitivities to milk, soy, and eggs. My cholesterol was a bit high as usual (common in patients with Thyroid issues). I was also told that I had a high level of some metals such as lead and cadmium in my system. The tests showed that I had a very low amount of digestive enzymes, a high amount of bacteria in my stomach, various stomach infections such as toxoplasmosis and several others. Some of these results could explain my elimination issues and inability to gain weight.

I now know that this doctor was on the right path as far as some things. I believe the results of the blood tests and the stool tests, because the lab that processed the tests is a reputable lab. I'm leery about some of the results that were received through the hair analysis. Some items have been confirmed by other doctors and/or second opinions. For example, even more food
intolerances were eventually confirmed by a blood test ordered by my allergist. The stomach bacteria was confirmed by a test done by my gastroenterologist. And, I have a history of mineral and vitamin deficiencies. In terms of the metals, I had a blood test done by another doctor who specializes in Environmental Issues. This test showed that the level of metals were not elevated, but I have read several sources that say that Hair Analysis is the best way to measure metals in the body. So, perhaps the doctor's test were accurate for the most part.

However, some of the doctor's practices did not sit well with me. For example, his test showed that I had an intolerance to soy, eggs, and dairy. But, as part of my detox diet, the doctor had given me a protein shake to take three times a day that contained milk and soy and I had been eating eggs during my diet. The test that showed food intolerances did not come back until after I had finished the detox. So, I had been ingesting lots of soy, eggs, and dairy for two months. The test should have been done before telling me to take the protein shake. Ingesting a large amount of the soy, milk, and eggs could have potentially wreaked even more havoc on my intestines, and have caused me to be more ill.

The doctor did not seem interested in treating my Graves' Disease and Thyroid issues, although that was my major concern. It seemed like all he did was throw supplements at me (i.e. Chelation pills to remove heavy metals, cream for Adrenal Fatigue, enzymes, etc.).

The real disappointment was that he acted like he would address my thyroid issues. He even told me there was a medical doctor in his office who could prescribe Thyroid Hormone Replacement. That turned out to be a lie.

At the doctor's suggestion, I bought a bottle of supplements that he gave to his Parkinson's patients. Although, I still shake, at that time, I was shaking as if I could have had Parkinson's Diseases. I bought the expensive supplements. But, I decided not to take them--out of fear. After all, he hadn't done any test on me to justify me taking pills that he gives to Parkinson's patients.

When I asked this doctor if it was possible that I had been given to much Thyroid Hormone Replacement (I was bouncing off of the walls), he performed some ridiculous kinesiology test that would test for weakness/intolerance. The doctor had me hold my pill in one hand. Then he had me hold my mother's hand. Then, he held her hand. After doing that, he said the medicine was okay for my system, because he didn't feel any weakness in my mother's hand. Now doesn't that sound ridiculous? It did to me. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. It was after that, I decided I would no longer be his patient. While some people believe in kinesiology, I do not believe in the method he used. I would eventually find out that I was taking too much Thyroid Hormone Supplement. So, his "measurement" technique was ridiculous in deed.

Even if he would have discussed why it was necessary to take all of the supplements in order to...But, it was just "take all of these." I asked questions, but got no clear plan of action as to where he was going with all of it. I spent a lot of money on the supplements and visits to his office and insurance did not cover this type of treatment. I was very disappointed about being so encouraged that he could help me and then realizing that he probably would not be the one to help me. But after prayer and discussing the situation with others, I am just grateful that I did decide to stop seeing this doctor.

Even though I feel duped by this doctor in many ways, I feel blessed that his tests opened my eyes up to some things. The test results led me to investigate my intestinal issues. The results led me to further investigate food intolerances. While I feel he was a snake oil salesman in a sense, it was a necessary part of my path. I am still searching for help and answers. This was to be a part of that puzzle.

My dream doctor: A doctor who is knowledgeable medical doctor with an equal amount of knowledge in Naturopathic Medicine. I'm still searching...

The next "My Story" will discuss how an internist sent me to a Neurologist.

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