Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Good Riddance

Never in my life have I felt so good to see a year fall off the calendar.

I can say with conviction that 2013 was the worst year of my life!

Starting with spending 2012 Christmas in the hospital and going from there, never before have I spent so much time in such ill health.

Even yesterday, New Year's Eve, found me in a doctor's office.

Even so, after 12 months, all I can do is regroup and focus on the positives.
About the only way to explain how it went would be to compare it when you've lost your car keys (in my case, my health).  You start looking in the obvious places, but no luck.  Instead you find a book you forgot to return to the library. You look further for the keys and come across those missing scissors and several odd socks.  Still no keys.  You get friends to help.  Some actually search.  Some, however, try to convince you that there never were any keys and that you imagined them.  Eventually you give up.  You never did find the them, but you do have a pile of stuff you otherwise wouldn't have.

My 'pile of stuff' was that I found I had several hitherto undiscovered chronic ailments that need to be dealt with from now on.  I have severe disc degeneration disease, nodules on and Hashimoto's disease of the thyroid, insulin resistance, and some breast issues to keep an eye on.

Some things in the pile I didn't like so I threw them out.  I'm now Rx free after 11+ years of beta blockers and statins.  Oh sure, my cholesterol levels are up, but I can truly attest to the fact that my MEMORY is sharper than it has been in years and my glucose levels are down.  Damn statins! As for my heart - my new cardiologist was aghast that I'd been on Toprol when I'd never needed it in the first place.  Damn my GP!

More good things in the pile?  Some useful health professionals on my contact list: endocrinologist (thyroid), cardiologist (heart), surgeon (breasts), otolaryngologist (ears) and, my fave, physical therapist (for the disk degeneration). 

Some doctors were useless: a neuro-surgeon, neurologist, and another otolaryngologist (total mis-diagnosis of my ears).  As for that GP that ignored my complaints for almost 2 years?  The one who decided that the only other doctor I should see was -- a psychiatrist (to help me deal with my imagined stress-induced symptoms)?  I'm happy to hear that she is retiring in 2014.  Thank heavens!

I'm still dealing with some depression at this point.  But (knock wood) the nighttime numbness in joints, limbs and even the top of my head, panic attacks, odd seizures, frequent paresthesia, debilitating weakness, night sweats, persistent dizziness and inability to maintain weight have, for the most part, fallen away.  Some things, like occasional paresthesia (ddd related) and weight loss (I really have to make a conscious effort to eat more) will be ongoing.

I truly believe that the statins and beta-blockers were the initial cause of the increasing night-time numbness and that getting OFF the beta-blockers triggered a cascade of nervous-system short-circuits as my body had to re-learn how to control the autonomic nervous system without the drugs.  (While not agreeing, my cardiologist ventured that over the decade my body may have manufactured lots of new beta receptors in response to the Toprol.  Then, when the drug was removed, all the receptors went to battle.  Who knows?)

As for the weight problem?  Now that I know I have a thyroid that tends to go hyper if I don't eat enough goitrogens (kale, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, etc.), if I don't eat often, or if I'm in stressful situations.  I can keep weight, I just have to work at it.

So, there you go.  A year in a nutshell.  2013 is out.  2014 is in.  And all I gotta say is, it can only be better than last.

I was sick.  Now I'm better.  Thanks to all of you who visited and left helpful, encouraging, and supportive comments.  Every one of them was a tonic.

Happy New Year.  I hope that 2014 brings you and yours peace, love and happiness.  And health.  Oh, yes.  Lot's of health.  :-D


  1. I'm very glad you finally have some answers to your health mysteries. Here's hoping 2014 is a much better year. 'Clink'! :o)

    1. *Clink* I'll drink to that! I'll probably never know what really happened, but I'm glad I'm in much calmer waters now. Cheers!

  2. I think, given the way the year went, you've got no place to go but UP.
    May you have a far far better year in 2014,

    I was going to try to get off a beta-blocker (Inderal) that I take for migraines. Eeesh. I hope it's not going to be such a #itch as it sounds..........

    1. Thanks, Sue. I do have more migraines than before, but I'm still thinking I'm better off without the beta-blocker. Also, I quit mine over a 2-3 week period. At that time my cardio didn't know of any withdrawal probs. Perhaps my thyroid issues complicated things. Right now, if my head gets too bad and doesn't respond to ice and acupressure, I take a low dose of Imitrex. Good luck with your plan. Happy New Year.

  3. I think you are headed in the right direction with your health issues. I believe once you body has time to re-adjust, you will feel even better. I now research every single drug either of us has to take or even immediate family members. We have to depend on ourselves with all health issues and ask questions.

    I do hope 2014 will be a wonderful one for you in all areas of your life.

    1. Thanks, Glenda. I am doing much better. Funny. The drugs were, apparently, doing a number on me. Then, getting OFF them put me through hell. I have nothing nice to say about 'big pharm' and the FDA. I'm going to do my best to never get on a 'maintenance' drug again.

      I will say that I've met some good doctors along this ride. Now I'm just going to recoup this winter and start planning my garden for next year. I was so beaten down in 2013 that I didn't even have enough energy to rail against the deer. Well, those guys are in for some serious railing in 2014! Ha!

      Hope your 2014 is healthy and happy for your and the family, Glenda. Take care. :-D

  4. I reacted to statins with knee, shoulder and  finger pain. Within 3 weeks of stopping them I was back to normal.

    I then made s decision that whatever goes in my mouth / body would be thoroughly researched nbefote I took it. And I would look for more natural methods IF I REALLY needed treatment.

    Take it easy on yourself and give your body time to completely rid itself of the chemicals.

    Wishing you a healthier and Happy 2014 :)


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