Oct 18, 2012

Fall Update

I love the fall. It is definitely my favorite season. We had been spoiled with pacific northwest sunshine and perfect crisp fall weather until a couple days ago when things took a turn for the worse and the rain set in. And when I say rain I don't mean light showers. I mean monsoons that result in massive puddles and darkness all day. Don't get me wrong, we desperately needed the rain because of all the forest fires we'd had lately. The air is much cleaner now that it's rained and I'm breathing easier because of it. Pesky sinus problems had been plaguing me pretty badly in September. I despise sinus headaches. (Any readers out there have any natural remedies for sinusitis? Not a big fan of antibiotics...)

But other than sinus issues that things have been looking up health-wise. Physical therapy is going well and I am blessed to be working with therapists who are familiar with both TMJD and EDS. Don't get me wrong, I still have aches and pains, but I haven't been dependent on round-the-clock tylenol as I had previously been. I have also discontinued taking 1/2 a flexeril at bedtime because it was giving me tachycardia all day long as a side effect or reaction. Most prescription drugs seem to disagree with my constitution. I had also grown tired of the daily tylenol for months on end. Especially after Dr. Oz mentioned how over-the-counter analgesics like tylenol and ibuprofen can lead to hearing loss after longterm use. Considering that my grandpa has better hearing than I do, it's probably not a bad idea to cut way back on the Tylenol consumption. My ears ring a bit and my grandparents both insist that I'm hard of hearing. Perhaps it's just because I prefer not to have to strain to hear the television. Or maybe being front row at all those concerts as a teen wasn't such a good idea after all. Or maybe it really is the years of chronic Tylenol use. But I have noticed the need to turn up the volume on my iPod lately.

I attribute my pain relief and improved POTS symptoms to two things. The first is that I have begun taking a multivitamin, extra C, and cod liver oil which has helped A TON with joint pain. I have also begun researching amino acid therapy after being inspired by what I read on lessflexible.com. A woman with EDS began an injectible amino-acid regime (monitored by a physician of course) and explained how it helped her become less flexible in regards to her hypermobility form of EDS (the same type I am afflicted with). I need to do a bit more research before delving into the complicated world of supplements but her personal experience sounds promising and may very well hold some validity.

The second is that the barometric pressure has been high and stable (with the exception of the barometer falling the past few days). I definitely tend to have more controlled symptoms when it is sunny but not hot and coincidentally when the barometric pressure is high and consistent. Like wearing a giant compression stocking. Thus a controlled, comfortable environment is very helpful for controlling POTS symptoms.

The fall has been filled with appointments. Trying to get well has become a full-time job. I am trying to fit in a bunch of random appointments before the new year since my deductible has finally been met. This means I will be continuing with physical therapy, a few more acupuncture sessions, adding massage and hopefully some counseling too. My EP also wants me to go to the autonomic testing lab at the university for autonomic testing and see one of their EDS specialists as soon as possible. I still have not proceeded with the upright MRI of my brain and spine as I am scared of what the results could show. I am also seeing a sleep specialist and an ENT before the end of the year. Too. Many. Appointments. But it beats having to pay for them next year so I am trying to be diligent and put in the time and effort to hopefully improve more of my symptoms. Fingers crossed for some decent doctors who aren't jerks and don't waste my time. On that note, I am digging the lyrics to Sara Bareilles' song, 'King of Anything.' Remind you of interactions with clueless know-it-all doctors much?

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