Many of you probably wonder where I've disappeared to, if I'm back for good or if I'm just popping in again, only to drop off the radar once more. I can say this for sure, if things continue on the way they are right now, I should be back indefinitely. That's IF I correctly diagnosed and treated my own condition.
If you read the latest email I sent out then you're already aware of the health issues I've been struggling with. I've dealth with health problems since I was six and started developing pharyngeal cysts. These fluid filled cysts started forming in my throat and I'd have to go have them drained every few months or so. Then one came up that was filled with blood, eventually growing blood vessels and starting to block my airway. I ended up having an 8 hour surgery to have it removed and continued to have small, minor cysts in my throat that usually went away on their own until well into my teens.
Soon after the surgery to remove the cyst, I began developing chronic ear, nose and throat infections. I had my tonsils, adenoids and another couple cysts removed adding a total of eight surgeries to my belt by the time I was ten. Blame the fact my mother smoked while pregnant with me, refused to breastfeed me so she could resume her alcoholic lifestyle or blame it on bad code. Either way, I was a sickly child so it's not surprising that life wasn't finished dishing out the punishment just yet.
I have dealt with a hormonal imbalance for as long as I've had a cycle. Painful periods, sudden mood swings, acne, sore breasts and rashes that would all show up only during the five days before my cycle began, however, it wasn't until around age 35 that my hormones, particularly estrogen, began to overwhelm my body so badly that I really thought I was going to die. No joke.
I've been taking five self-prescribed OTC supplements each day: diindolylmethane (aka DIM) 800mg, sulforaphane 450mg, calcium d-glucarate 500mg, tumeric/curcumin 1950mg and magnesium 200mg at night for what I self-diagnosed as estrogen dominance. Doctors agreed that I "likely" have a hormonal imbalance, but insisted I try birth control (even though I've been there and done that... awful) along with other BIG PHARMAceuticals which did nothing but make my situation FAR worse. Each time something wouldn't work, it was just prescribe more drugs, prescribe more drugs, more drugs, more drugs. On top of that, after COVID and the whole mRNA vaccine debate, I no longer trust medical "professionals" as many physicians I know personally lost their jobs, their board certifications and worse for simply following their oath of "Do no harm" and offering alternative COVID treatments with science-based evidence instead of a government funded experimental injection. Everything just seemed so... wrong about all this. Red flags were everywhere and it seemed like everyone else was just too scared to look up and see them. Many nurses were also put into a similar position as physicians. What do you do as a healthcare worker? Sacrifice your job? Or do as your government tells you so you can maintain an income and provide for your family? What kind of country had we just become overnight? All in the name of fear? Is that all it takes for people to break? Are humans that easily fooled? It made me sick to my stomach and still does. I'm so grateful that neither me nor my husband were put into that situation and I cannot fathom how hard it must have been for those people.
But I digress...
Seeing articles offering multiple opinions on a drug literally wiped off the internet before my eyes, replaced with one opinion and one opinion ONLY... that of the government, pushed me to hyperfixate on learning all I could before the information wouldn't be available any longer. So I did what I always end up doing in health situations for my entire family, I became my own doctor. This time I was having to study an area I had little understanding of, vaccines and virology, and I had to do so within limited time.
To keep the length of this post as short as possible, I'll spare you the details. I will just say that I did my own research into the science behind mRNA vaccines, studying every article, reading every medical journal, examining every study and going as far as to translate studies that are in other languages like Japanese to see interpretations from around the world. I considered both sides of the debate and devoured microbiology and virology textbooks that I borrowed from a friend of mine who is now a physician himself. I literally became obsessed with understanding all things COVID, forgetting to eat, sleep, shower and having to be reminded to drink fluids. It sounds crazy, but those also on the autism spectrum can likely relate to this type of obsessive behavior.
Within a month of deep diving all things COVID/mRNA technology, I came to the realization that everyone is NOW FINALLY coming to... the vaccines do not work, COVID was serious to some, but it was also overplayed as a political tool, and you're actually worse off for getting it. Especially if you're under 40.
I lost many friends, family cut ties with me and I was called every name possible all because I did the research no one else bothered to do. If I didn't understand a word or medical term, I looked it up. Only two of those individuals actually bothered to reach out and apologize for treating me like crap when I was right all along. I forgave them instantly of course. People were scared and fear can make people irrational.
It's truly frightening how easily our own government can make us turn on each other, even our own immediate family.
..and BTW... NO, my views on COVID have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with politics. I am a scientist. I don't do politics. Period.
They say most autistic folks have at least one "savant skill" or superhuman understanding into something that no one else does without years of study. I can't say I'm "savant like" though I do have a knack for medicine. Too bad med school isn't usually an option for a group home kid with no family. I once made a bet with my husband's doctor that I could guess his blood pressure with 100% accuracy... and won. No I didn't check it before hand. I could tell that it was high. Guessing the correct numbers? That was sheer luck. It sure looked good though! I also managed to heal my severely damaged liver in less than two years with a combination of milk thistle, N-acetyl cysteine and clean eating after an SSRI I took in my early 20s, either Depakote (most likely) or Zoloft, wrecked it. If you drink alcohol regularly, I highly recommend taking milk thistle daily. Of course talk to a doctor first.
I knew I could diagnose myself if I devoted enough time to trying. I kept a "symptom journal" inside of a planner and each day recorded my symptoms along with my menstrual cycle, noting that around ovulation was when my symptoms got worse. I also found it interesting, though not necessarily related, that each seizure I've had occurred the day before or the day of ovulation. Coincidence? Perhaps.
Over the last five years the symptoms became increasingly severe. I've always had PMDD, but now I was suddenly going from 105-110 lbs to 130-135 lbs, well over my BMI for being just 5'3" tall. Dieting and exercising, even fasting for days did nothing as my weight only continued to increase.The symptoms really began to take a toll just before COVID.
As of just two months ago, besides looking 8 months pregnant, gaining an entire cup size and putting on weight primarily in my thighs, stomach and ass that would not go away no matter what I did, I was also experiencing:
A month and a half ago I truly thought I wouldn't live long enough to open the store back up. I can't even describe how bad of shape I was in. I had to change my number due to bill collectors calling over the medical debt I am in from all the doctors I've seen who haven't given me a single answer or even possible diagnosis for what's wrong. I'll pay on the bills I receive for any actual testing and the few times a doctor actually DID something besides hand me a prescription for a $500 placebo. A blood test can detect hormonal imbalances, but without health insurance the ER wasn't going to perform any tests they deemed "unnecessary" so I'm still not sure what the thousands of dollars in bills are for. "Unnecessary" is their word, not mine. One bill is for a blood test they supposedly ran when they never could get blood from me. No one could hit a vein to take my blood that day so they gave up on the test and then billed me for it! I'm still wondering who the results belonged to because they weren't mine. WTF!
In my last email I explained how I started taking 400mg of diindolylmethane (DIM) first, which comes from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and felt better within just two days. Within 5 days 85%-90% of the above symptoms had ceased, pretty much proving my diagnosis correct. Even my ADHD had seemed to improve and during that time I lost 11 lbs. My skin cleared, I could taste food and smell flowers again. I felt like a brand new person, but after about 3 weeks on the DIM, along with magnesium and tumeric/curcumin, I woke up one morning feeling like I'd been hit by a semi truck. It was like being hung over times 100 when I've had no alcohol in years, no prescription medications, nothing had changed. All of the usual symptoms had returned fiftyfold. Over the following week I truly thought I was going to die. I had shortness of breath, was coughing up fluid, my feet, face, hands and legs were swollen and I had no clue what the hell was happening. I thought the fact that I was feeling better was all just a placebo effect, one hell of a placebo effect at that.
As I dug around and explored more about estrogen dominance online, I came across a website by a woman who basically went through the same thing as I have. Doctors were useless so she educated herself and found a way to keep her estrogen dominance at bay.
Why am I sharing so much detail? One big reason is because there are way more women out there are struggling with this than I ever knew. There are so many possible reasons why. There is a toxic chemical used in plastic bottles, fertilizer and is even in tap water that has a molecular structure almost identical to estrogen and can contribute to estrogen dominance. I also wasn't breast fed as a child. Not because my mother couldn't breast feed, but because she didn't want to. She wanted to drink instead. Breast milk contains special nutrients that support immune health. Could that be why I was so sick as a kid? Maybe, but who really knows. The fact is, hormonal problems are just one of many other chronic conditions that are either increasing due to the toxic environment or just becoming more recognized due to awareness and therefore receiving more diagnoses than in the past. If any other women are experiencing similar symptoms, these three key supplements are safe according to what I have read. Of course they will never been approved by the FDA because if people were able to prevent and self-treat, billion dollar pharma companies would suffer and we wouldn't want that, now would be? *eye roll*
These supplements even show really promising results in studies on estrogen sensitive cancers like breast and even prostate cancers. One study conducted on women with stage 4 breast cancer were taken off of tamoxifin and given large doses of DIM in place. Over 80% of the women saw significant tumor reduction after taking the DIM. Almost all of the patients saw at least some reduction in tumor size compared to placebo. There is another study showing huge benefits to men with prostate cancer as DIM helps prevent and fight against prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, aka the precursor to prostate cancer. I could go on and on about the benefits of DIM, but this post would never end. In my case unfortunately, it only partially helps the body detoxify excess estrogen.
Really, just about anything in excess is toxic, including your own hormones. So when my liver filtered the extra estrogen, which was literally poisoning me, I began to immeditaely feel better. The liver works to detoxify the body in three stages. DIM only assists with the first stage. I wasn't able to eliminate the estrogen so my liver was releasing it back into my body to be recycled again, causing the symptoms to come back just as quickly as they disappeared, and all at once. I've since added two other supplements to the mix. Those include one called sulforaphane, which is another compound that you get when you chew cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and sprouts, and the other is calcium D-glucarate. To keep the explanation as short as possible, these two aid the liver in the rest of the detox process, allowing the excess estrogen to be filtered out through the intestines and into the toilet with the rest of the waste.
It took about a week before I started to experience anything positive from the new cocktail, but now that I've officially been on all three together for 8 days, I can say I already feel 75% better. From what I've gathered, I'll know for sure how helpful this self-treatment will be in about 2-3 months. So far, so good.
If you are a woman, especially if you're over 35 and still menstruating, have PMDD, PCOS or any other issue that causes an increase in estrogen production or if you just have extremely heavy and/or painful periods, this cannot hurt to try. Of course, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND DO NOT CLAIM TO BE. If you have ANYTHING like diabetes, high blood pressure, ESPECIALLY if you are on statins (cholesterol medication), antibiotics, SSRIs or really, if you take any medications, please speak with a trustworthy doctor before starting these supplements. Everyone is different and not all women will have the same experience I have had so far. It is, however, worth looking into if you struggle with the hellish symptoms of a hormonal imbalance.
I had no idea that hormones could do such damage to the body. I guess logically I understood, but we always think it could never happen to us. I never thought something as seemingly minor as too much estrogen could cause such misery. This has taught me how wrong.. and how right I can be. Also, trust your body and your gut to tell you when something is wrong. Even when doctors are dismissing you.
I'm doing SO, SO, SO much better. THIS is why it's taken me so long to get the store back up and in order. Why it's been so difficult to stay consistent and interactive on social media. While autism doesn't make social media easy for me, being so ill you are unable to even glance down at your phone to check the time because it feels like someone is shoving red hot skewers through your corneas and into your skull makes it literally impossible.
I've also been without an income all this time. (I don't like to rely on anyone else, even my husband, to pay my expenses. It caters to the making of a co-dependent relationship.) I'm ready to get back to working again, but I have to keep my stress low and my blood pressure down. I'm limiting myself to five (sometimes 6-7) hours of work per day with one day (Sundays) off... though I've yet to take a single day off.
If I am unwell, how can I create awesome journals, notebooks and stationery for you? Please join the mailing list if you haven't already and be sure to include your birthdate and/or mailing address if you'd like to begin receiving a birthday goodie and the occasional handwritten hello. I've already send some goodies out and will start sending more once the store opens. I'll be emailing another update, this one with photos, once my new notepads come in and another the day before the store is officially opened. (I could open it today, but I really want to wait until it's fully stocked and every line of code is correct so no one runs into any problems checking out.)
Hang in there with me if you would. I have so many things I've created and am currently working on that I'm so excited to share.
This is where the updates will be posted until August 1st comes around. Then this blog will be dedicated to all things journaling, creating, writing and working with paper.
If you haven't signed up for the mailing list, PLEASE DO SO! This is how I will be communicating with ya'll regarding updates, new items, shipping issues and I'll also be sending out occasional fun newsletters that's full of free downloadable and printable content, coupons and tips, tricks and techniques for making your journal or Book of Shadows stand out above everyone else's. Stay tuned to your inbox tomorrow because I will be sending out the first official email of the new look and title. You'll also get to see some photos of what's to come. I'm so excited to share with you both my own personal creations as well as items I have purchased wholesale. There will be an entire store page dedicated to all things magical with over 100 different Tarot and oracle decks available before the end of August.
It's 1:41 am and I've got to get to bed. I'll be up bright and early to continue working on getting everything in order and ready for the 1st as well as finishing up the email you can expect sometime around noon.