One month check-in - Tactical Ninja
Aug. 26th, 2015
09:08 am - One month check-in
Today it's been one month since I gave up on my doctor in disgust because she was insisting that I was depressed and all my weird symptoms were a product of that, against my view that the depression was a symptom of something else, along with all the other things.
Test results pointed vaguely towards something adrenal-y, which naturally isn't accepted by the medical fraternity, and I officially turned into one of those fruitcakes who self-diagnose with non-accepted illnesses and thus should probably be derided for my ignorance, or something.
My 'treatment' involved reducing stress (since the mythical adrenal fatigue is mythically caused by ongoing stress), and following a diet that's focused around maintaining stable blood sugar and thus reducing demand on the adrenal glands - it's more or less paleo with dairy and carbs, so lots of protein, fat, complex carbs, vegetables, and cutting out sugar, processed food, white flour products, and starchy vegies. So on top of being an ignorant fruitcake, I'm now also a horse food nut (if horses were carnivorous).
Anyway, because I'm not actually ignorant, or a fruitcake, I gave myself a month to see if I could observe any difference in my symptoms.
weird rash I started with about 15 lesions, which gradually faded. 2 weeks in another crop came up, as many but smaller. I kind of freaked about this, thinking "Am I doing something damaging?" but then I realised that a sudden drastic change of diet is exactly the sort of bodystress that would bring it on. After a month, most of them have faded. I have maybe 3 new ones - so not out of the woods yet but it does seem to be improving. Keeping an eye on it.
back pain In a very specific place on top of my right kidney. In the first 2 weeks I felt it about every 4 days. I haven't noticed it at all for the last 2 weeks.
depression, low motivation I never believed I was depressed anyway, and at the moment my general mood could be described as 'annoyingly chipper'. I'm not saying it's the diet because I think reducing stress is probably the major factor here, but I'm definitely feeling better.
waking early (3am-5am) Comes and goes. For the first two weeks I was waking at 5am about half the time and 3-3:30ish the rest of the time. In the last 2 weeks I've woken at 3:30am once, between 4:45 and 5:30am most other days, and one momentous day I made it to 7am before waking. I think this is steadily improving.
difficulty concentrating Still having some trouble with this, but at work I'm being generally a lot more productive, had a good performance review, and have taken on a couple of extra projects due to my improved mojo. Also, I don't hate my job any more.
loss of libido Improving. Nuff said.
dry skin I don't know how to judge this tbh. My skin just feels like my skin. It's stopped peeling off my fingers?
worsening PMS I've only had one period and I did have grumpiness, but no soreness in my breasts or back pain, and at least I didn't murder anyone?
short temper I have not lost my cool in the last month. Yay!
beaded, ridged fingernails This is hard to judge because one month's growth isn't enough to really see what's happening yet - but my nails feel thicker, which is weird.
low tolerance for cold Again hard to tell because the coldest part of winter is over now. I still need an extra blanket to what Dr Wheel does, and sometimes sit at work with my coat over my knees.
poor reaction to stress (crying jags, emotional instability) Hard to say, since I've reduced the stress in my life quite a lot. I can't recall any specifically stressful events by which to judge my reaction. I'm gonna call that a good thing.
craving for sweet and salty food I still have a sweet tooth, but the urge to go and buy a tub of ice cream and just eat it has reduced significantly. I have had this craving once in the last month. I've managed to knock off the chocolate-for-supper habit as well, and have managed to eat one or two potato chips out of Dr Wheel's bowl without ending scoffing the rest of the packet. Win!
difficulty maintaining stable weight Not sure how to address this. I've dropped 4kg in the last month, which puts me back to where I was before Mum got sick. I've been training pretty hard and gained some muscle mass, which I put down to the high protein diet. It remains to be seen whether this is an ongoing thing and also, I don't want to drop much more or I'll tip over into unhealthy and weak - not so fun when your main sports involve being able to lift your own bodyweight.
The main thing here is that eating 5 meals a day of food that is slow to digest means that I'm never hungry, and I think that ties in with many of the other things I've been experiencing. Especially making sure I have something healthy before bed and eat breakfast - two things I've been shockingly bad at my entire life.
I haven't been entirely strict about it - we still have fish and chip Saturdays, and I ate some ice cream over the weekend (interesting to note the only hint of back pain I've felt came 2 days after that). One of my colleagues is a feeder and occasionally I give in to her proffered salted caramel slice (both to be polite and because NOM). But one of the biggest differences I'm noticing is that these indulgences no longer make up a significant part of my diet - and I'm pretty sure that's got a lot to do with how much better I'm feeling.
So the jury's still out on some of the things, but overall I'm feeling significantly better. I like what this experiment is doing for me overall, and it's certainly not doing any harm, so I'll keep it up and see where it takes me.
In other news, last night I deadlifted a shoulder mount with straight legs for the first time. Stoked!