Slowly, over the course of a number of months, I fell further and further away from the raw part of my raw, plant based situation. If you need to name it, I'd say I was doing more of an ovo/lacto deal, but really I'd best describe it as Birthday Cake Happens, People.
How did I look? Not so vibrant. How did I feel? Not so terrific. For now, I've come to the realization that raw works better for my body.
And then there's the health stuff.
I was feeling tired most days, getting to the point where I was so fatigued, I had to lay down in the afternoons. Not to sleep always, but just because I couldn't sit up anymore. I chalked it up to peri-menopause/parenting/being 51 years-old/maybe I'm just lazy. Then about three months ago, I started experiencing extreme, migrating (polyarticular) joint pain. One day it was excruciating to put weight on my right hip, hours later my hip was fine and my left knee was on fire, then my right ankle, then back to my hip.
I went to my regular, internal medicine doctor who through a series of blood tests, ruled out lupus, RA, HIV, gonococcal infection, rheumatic fever, sarcoidosis, Lyme, and bacterial endocarditis. He said it was a head scratcher and hoped that it was a weird virus that would run its course. He then referred me to a rheumatologist.
The rheumatologist did more of the same type of tests and found the same type of results. She hoped it was a weird virus that would run its course and asked me to come back in a month. In the meantime, I started working with an acupuncturist and a chiropractor to help relieve the symptoms. It sort of, kind of helped.
I then got a referral to an MD who uses a blend of western medicine and eastern/holistic medicine and who's known for being a good diagnostician. He gave me a complete physical, with an extensive intake interview. He ordered 23 different blood tests. When I returned three weeks later to go over my test results, he greeted me with, "Well, you are VERY interesting." I did not want to be interesting but there it was.
For over an hour, he took me through the thirty pages of results. Diagnosis? I have a lot going on, the most notable problems being Epstein-Barr virus, Parvo virus, and a strain of Lyme not covered in the previous testing. The Lyme causes the joint pain, and fatigue. The Epstein-Barr and Parvo virus both have extreme fatigue as major symptoms. This explained my pain and also my need for coffee at regular intervals to keep me going.
He prescribed a number of medications; some traditional prescriptions and many non-traditional herbs, tinctures, and an IV vitamin mix. He explained that my recovery would be up and down and that I would sometimes feel worse before I felt better. He predicts that I will be back to best in six months to a year. After three week on all these new protocols, my joint pain is all but gone. I feel a whisper of it now and then, but it's nothing like it was. I have energy highs and lows but the highs are a little higher than they used to be. Sometimes I feel like hell, as predicted.
For my part, I am able to exercise again now that the joint pain is relieved. I am back to raw since I felt so great on it before. I'm resting when I can and not feeling guilty or lazy about it.
I am hopeful.