I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just a Little Unwell

Sorry, just a little bit of Matchbox 20 humor, right there.

So, finally. Answers.

But first, a recap. There are certain issues I've dealt with my whole life. Like fatigue. Other things have crept up on me over the years: weight gain, anxiety, hot flashes. More weight gain, joint pain, leg cramps, lower back pain, and stiffness are symptoms that have started to plague me in recent months. Over a year ago I'd gone gluten and dairy free. I felt better. Then we started the GAPS diet and felt even better still. Then, this past February, my hair started to thin. In addition to my rapidly thinning hair, I was really surprised and disappointed that I still wasn't losing weight and that I was still so tired. I mean, no grains, no starches, no sugar, and still no weight loss? I saw a naturopath in March and she diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue, sluggish thyroid, and hormonal imbalance. She started me on several supplements. The first round went great and I was relieved that my hair stopped falling out and my night sweats stopped. I got serious about getting to bed on time. I started sessions with a personal trainer. Unfortunately, despite all of that, that's when the stiffness in my joints set in. Some days I would just ache. Whenever I stood up from a sitting position, my back and hips would be really stiff and sore and I'd have to hobble around a minute to get it all to loosen up. My circulation was terrible. My legs would fall asleep while sitting and my arms would fall asleep at night, causing me to toss and turn in bed to get comfortable. In short, I felt like I was growing old before my time.

One of the most frustrating parts of all of this was that all of my symptoms were fairly vague. I went to several doctors who were totally puzzled, and, in some cases, downright condescending. They thought I was healthy and didn't see what I had to complain about. They asked me questions about whether I felt like my life as a stay-at-home mom was fulfilling. Was my marriage healthy? I started to think maybe it was all in my head. Maybe I wasn't being honest with myself about how many calories I was consuming, or how much sleep I was getting. I actually went three years without seeing any doctors, despite my symptoms, because I was just so done with it all. However, after GAPS, the naturopath, and the personal trainer and still no results, I suspected something was really, truly wrong.

This time, instead of immediately running to another doctor, I started praying, praying, praying. I happened to read a book about a quadriplegic and realized that I had a lot to be grateful for and that even if I never got any better, my life was really blessed and full. I asked God for an attitude adjustment. While I was happy with the Naturopath, and grateful for what she'd done, I still felt restless. One day, I decided to go ahead and call the practice where I'd last been seen, three years ago. I spoke to the receptionist and told her about the adrenal stuff and she suggested I come in and see the head doctor. In fact, she had an opening the following day. I felt flustered and wanted to turn it down, but I had been praying for answers and it felt I should at least do my part. I said yes. With the doctor the next day, I was nervous and felt like I was talking loudly. I had so many symptoms spread out over so many years that I felt like my words were just tumbling out over one another. The doctor was quiet and let me ramble. Sometimes there were long silences where I wondered what in the world he could be thinking. Just when I started to feel a bit hopeless about the situation, he rattled off a list of things he wanted to test me for. I went back the following day so they could draw 11 vials of blood. They sent me home with a kit to collect saliva and urine and left my pockets about $500 lighter. Once again, I felt conflicted; was I supposed to be searching for answers or was I supposed to be just leaving it all alone. Was this what God had led me to, or was this just another human attempt to control things?

The following Sunday, as we were in worship and singing about how God is enough, I prayed and told him that even if I never got answers or got any better or lost another pound, he was enough for me. Jesus is my portion and is all I really need. I was surrendered to his will. I couldn't promise him I'd always be happy about it, but I could be content.

The very next day the boys and I went to pick up our goat milk. I had been having a rough morning and we got there later than usual. The woman whose home is the drop off was just pulling into her driveway as I was stepping out of the car. I hadn't spoken to her in about 6 months since they had started leaving the milk on her porch, in coolers. Her name had popped into my head at the doctor's office when the dr. told me he was going to test me for, among other things, the MTHFR gene. I remembered her talking about getting tested for it and I wondered if they'd been positive, but I didn't feel like I knew her well enough to call her up and ask. As she pulled around the back of her house, I prayed that, if I was supposed to talk to her, that she would come out. I retrieved and loaded my milk as slowly as I possibly could without making me look like a complete weirdo and just as I was closing the hatch with a heavy heart, I heard her call out my name. We chatted for a bit and she said that she and her kiddos had all tested positive for the MTHFR gene. I wondered aloud if I had it and if it had anything to do with the adrenal issues I was struggling with. She asked if I was sure it was adrenal issues I was having and said that she'd had adrenal fatigue symptoms only to find out she was very, very low in B-12. As she started recounting her symptoms, I knew I'd found my answer: B-12 deficiency due to MTHFR gene.

Once I got home, I started to do research and I suddenly remembered that, three years ago, the last practitioner I saw said I was low on B-12. I took supplements, but to no avail. Come to find out, it's because people with MTHFR need Methyl B-12, not the stuff that's used in most mainstream vitamins. The more reading I did, the more convinced I became that I have the MTHFR mutation and that my youngest, at least, has it, as well. I told hubby that I would be shocked if I didn't come up positive for it. I even went ahead and purchased some Methyl B-12 so that I could start myself and the boys on it asap. The results came in yesterday, and I was not at all surprised to see that I am positive for two copies of MTHFR C677T. I'm also very, very low in B-12, folate, and D3. I'm supposed to send off for 30 syringes of inject-able B-12 and start taking folate and D3, as well. No word yet on adrenals or food allergies, but I'm waiting for a call from the medical assistant so I should know more today. My immediate thoughts: How grateful I am that I started GAPS. Many MTHFR people have to avoid grains and dairy and end up on a Primal/Paleo/SCD/GAPD diet. I'm already ahead of the game there. Immensely grateful that I didn't vax the boys. Among other things, MTHFR mutation makes it difficult to process toxins. I can't imagine if I had unknowingly injected toxins into the boy's bodies. Shudder. Now I'm itching to get all of my supplements and see if I feel better. I also need to get the boys tested and alert family members so they can be tested, as well, and hopefully supplement and adjust their lifestyles before symptoms even start!


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