a little update on me

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This year I have been trying to take control of my health, specifically my clotting disorders. I wrote this about a month ago to some friends…

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Since Caroline was born I have really been struggling. Mostly, lack of energy, both physically and mentally. I think it has manifested itself in depression – when life is so overwhelming that I can’t deal with it and just retreat into myself. I am so tired and I hate who I am right now. I feel like I am just surviving life – my goal each and every day has been to get myself through the day with my children’s basic needs met. If I eat that day, it’s only a bonus. This doesn’t seem like a way to live life. And not to compare myself to other moms, but I’ve been looking at my friends (both online and IRL) and I don’t think this is normal. Every mom has a bad day, but it doesn’t seem that it’s every single day. I have wondered if I was lazy, but I really truly felt it was more than that. I was in counseling for depression but while that seemed to answer a lot of questions, part of me didn’t think it was exactly it. I felt I was just floundering and so tired of trying to figure out what was wrong with me.

Over a year ago I was diagnosed with homozygous MTHFR C677T. At the time, I was only concerned about it affecting my ability to stay pregnant. Now that I’m not pregnant anymore, I somewhat forgot about it but have kept it in the back of my head, especially when I’d come across research about MTHFR and depression. Then a friend sent me this link:
http://www.easytolovebut.com/?p=2782

It’s long but a good read if you want to learn more about MTHFR. The parts that spoke the most to me were these:

The MTHFR gene sits at a critical point. If you have a glitch that keeps this gene from doing its job, the cogs on both sides of the picture are going to get mucked up. Instead of the light switch being on or off, it’s stuck in some sort of dimmer switch mode, functioning, but not nearly as well as it should be. The proper interaction of methylfolate and Methyl-B12 is what drives your body’s ability to fuel every cell in your body with energy…

While exact numbers are hard to verify, one mutation on C677T means you’re probably methylating (converting) folate into methylfolate at 40-60% efficiency. If you have two mutations, that number drops to approximately 10% efficiency. In my personal experience, this is a pretty big deal when it comes to dealing with anxiety and depression.

Suddenly, everything made sense. I wanted to cry. With relief, with exhaustion… No wonder I have no energy, my body is running at 10%! Of course, while that might be the explanation, that doesn’t mean there is a miracle pill. MTHFR is largely dismissed by the medical community. I am not anti-Western medicine at all, and I’m not a person who has distrust of medical doctors… but I felt really discouraged when my hematologist brushed me off. So I sent the article to my midwife and asked her if she’d help me figure out how to supplement to make up for the methylfolate that my body is incapable of processing. She has agreed and has been doing a lot of research on her own to learn more. Can I just say I love her for that? She is truly doing what I wish my other doctor had… coming alongside me to help me figure out a treatment plan for a mutation that doesn’t have a lot of research behind yet.

The plan right now is to supplement with methylfolate. We aren’t sure what the appropriate amount should be, so we are going to start with one amount and reevaluate in 2 months. I am also going to be taking supplements of magnesium, calcium, and omega-3. I was tested for vitamin D deficiency, and my level was at 13 (compared to the 50 recommended minimum level). So I’ll be supplementing for that as well.

I am hopefully going to be ordering all these supplements soon and start them. I really hope they help with my overall energy level and depression. Actually, I really think the depression stems from not having the energy to emotionally handle challenges. I am really looking forward to being myself again. I want to be a good mom. I don’t want to be supermom, I just want to be able to do simple things like go grocery shopping AND put the groceries away when I get home.

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I started the supplements around the beginning of April. I had to buy a huge pill organizer (4 compartments for each day) to keep them all straight. :-) I have noticed a difference already – not anything major, but just in my overall energy level. I went grocery shopping with both girls today – and put away all the groceries when we got home. I also made dinner. There is still so much more I need to be doing, but I really feel this is a step in the right direction. For the first time, I feel a sense of hope, which is a wonderful thing to feel.


Gym and swim

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I have been meaning to enroll Savannah in some sort of lessons at the Y for ages now. I always seem to just miss the sign-ups! And I couldn’t decide between gymnastics and swimming. I knew she’d love gymnastics – she loves to be active, running and jumping and climbing. I also knew she’d love being in the water, and it’s very important to me that all my kids know how to swim.

I was really excited to see that our local Y offers a class called “Gym & Swim”. It’s 45 minutes of gymnastics and 45 minutes of swimming! And it was cheaper than the price of two separate classes. So I signed her up and today was her first day.

This weekend, I showed her YouTube videos of toddler gymnastics so she would have an idea of what to expect. She’s already familiar with swimming – I’ve taken her into the pool at the Y several times now and tried practicing the basics. She was sooo excited. The class wasn’t until 4:45, and all day she was begging to get dressed to leave. I don’t think she understood when I tried to explain that the class would still start at the same time no matter when we left. ;-)

We got there and she joined the other kids in the gym with the instructor. There were sooo many kids – like, 12. It was crazy and disorganized. Paul and I were both surprised that there was only one coach with that many preschoolers. Savannah enjoyed the obstacle course, but by the end of the 45 minutes she’d lost interest in the routines and just wanted to play. (It didn’t help that the coach was soo distracted that the line kept getting held up.)

When they were done, the coach came up and apologized. She said there was a misunderstanding and next week there won’t be as many children. She also said Savannah told her that her name was River, which confused her because she didn’t have a River signed up. We laughed and explained that it was her middle name, that her first name was what she went by.

After that was swimming. She was already in her suit, so we just walked through the locker room to get to the pool. I usually avoid this time of day because it is crazy-crazy with all the after school kids programs. Today was *no* different. The weird thing is that I completely lost track of all the kids who were in the gymnastics class. I spotted three of the girls, but I never did see anyone else. Everyone was coming and going – it was so crazy. The pool area was echoey and loud, and we stood there for a few minutes looking lost while I desperately searched for some of the other kids we had just been with 5 minutes ago so I’d know where to go. Finally I spotted a couple of girls, so I verified with the swim coach that it was the right place. He asked Savannah her name. We couldn’t hear her, but then he said, “River?” He looked to us for confirmation. We nodded and laughed. Sure, she’ll be River. (It was too loud to correct him.) We both thought it was really funny.

He only had those 4 girls so I was relieved it wasn’t going to be 12 kids to one coach like the gymnastics. That’s just dangerous in the water. He was really good with them, and Savannah (excuse me, River) practiced swimming. She was really upset when it was over and it was time to leave. I’m glad she had a good time. :-)

It was a gorgeous day today, so we stopped by the store for some dinner and went across the street to a playground. Savannah found some other kids and we ate and played. Caroline got her first ride in the swing! She laughed and kicked her cute little chubby legs.

Overall, a lovely day. I hope next week is better with the craziness and disorganization! Otherwise I’m going to be a little annoyed since I paid for the class…


visiting with the doctor

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What have I been up to lately?

doctorwho

I’ve really been enjoying the TV shows on Netflix. I watched through Bones, How I Met Your Mother, Warehouse 13, and Eureka. If you notice a trend… It only stands to reason that Doctor Who was on my list. They rebooted the show starting in 2005, and I’ve been working my way through all the episodes they have of Netflix. (I would like to go back and watch some of the original series when I’m done.)

I’m at the beginning of the 5th season now, and I love it. I feel that I’m living in a world where the Doctor lives, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if a big blue box appeared in front of me and the Doctor pops out. Watching all these episodes certainly is having an interesting effect on my nightly dreams… they have gotten very strange. ;-)

helloimthedoctor

I don’t really have much else to say on the subject… I just felt it was worth a mention since I have spent so much time watching Doctor Who recently. :-) Since this is twentysixcats, it’s only appropriate to close with a meme of Doctor Who + cat. :-) It just made me laugh outloud. (It will only make sense if you’ve seen season 1.)

badwolf