Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't be a Goof!

So, in efforts to keep myself busy and occupied with things other then my health..... I have been doing a lot of pinning on  There I have been able to connect with other PCOS glam gals and find tips on diet, exercise, and crafts.  There is so much to do on the website it a total time suck, beware.... don't say I didn't warn you!

So last night I decided to do 2 things.

1. Go to Trader Joe's and get the following ingredients for a morning smoothie ritual I intend to start.  (I'm off to a good start I had one today, hehe)  

Blythe's Glam Gal Smoothie Recipe 
 I made this in my Magic Bullet, you could use a blender too.

*Almond Milk Unsweetened  (many benefits to almond-milk - Check out the link)
*Honey - organic clover
* 2 ice cubes
*Organic Non-Fat Vanilla Yogurt  (tip: freeze in ice cube trays for fast servings)
*Half of a small banana - I froze overnight
*handful of frozen organic red raspberries - (check out that link did you know red raspberry is good for fertility)
*2 organic whole frozen strawberries

It was very tasty - even my husband loved it.

2.  I decided to make a craft I saw while doing some laundry.  It's for monogrammed soap dispensers.  We have recently repainted our bathroom, and I thought this would be a fun way to spice things up.

Here is the link I used for instructions: Soap Dispenser

Everything was going okay and I was at the last step.  We didn't have goo gone as suggested - but we did have Goof Off 2(to remove adhesive).  It was working wonderfully I was almost done and then it happened...... My hands turned bright red,were stinging in pain, and broke out in a rash that was starting travel up my arm!  I freaked and made my first call ever to Poison Control Hotline.  They were very kind and I followed the instructions they gave me and all is well now.  I just was so surprised at how quickly I broke out, I had not had a reaction like that before.  Lesson for the day: ALWAYS read the bottle before using... I was supposed to be wearing gloves with it and I hadn't.

I think my lil craft turned out well though... what do you think?  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wait for it....... Nothing!

So, I called the Dr. today because it's been quite a while since my last cycle.  Also, because it seems like lately I can't go a week without contacting the doctor either.

My phone tracker app that I use on the iphone "Period Tracker" (I love it, so easy to keep track of everything), estimates that my cycle is about 34 days in length.  I don't know how long it takes to get on a somewhat regular cycle using Metformin/MetforminER....I have read so many articles and visited so many chat room posts I could go cross eyed.  

I have also taken 2 pregnancy tests and both were negative.

When I talked to the Dr.'s assistant and explained that my last cycle was quite sometime ago and that I am taking the metformin as prescribed and still no period.  The assistant seemed surprised that I was taking the metforminER for regulation of my period - I can only assume that maybe she thought I was a diabetic patient.

My lower Back really hurts too!  I have also experience 2 bouts of  insomnia this week. We have been doing some cleaning around our office and moving boxes - I just hope it has something to do with the back pain I am experiencing.  I have a tiny bit vaginal discomfort - but with my hormones all out of whack I am not sure what to expect.  The symptoms from my UTI are slowly starting to go away, still not feeling 100% yet though.  

I also have fallen into the trap of typing my symptoms into google and reading all the scary searches - WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DCI for PCOS Progress Post

Chrial Balance DCI Progress 
The Journey:
Below what you will find is weekly progress of weight and acne.  
I started 2 pills daily of DCI on Jan 16th.  (I am also taking daily MetforminER and a multi-vitamin)  
For the first two days I was taking them after I ate breakfast, I called the company and they suggested taking the supplement before food in the AM... which I switched up right away.    

For those not aware read about DCI for PCOS here:D-chiro-Inositol 

1/16/2012 Start
 Weighed in @ 158.00
*frequent breakouts (sorry I deleted the "first week" photo I took of my acne by accident)

1/23/2012 Week 1
Weighed in @ 158.8
* I notice tiny bit less acne - no real big change

A Glamorous Up the Nose Shot! lol
(no makeup, photo taken using i-phone)
So as you can see there is not much improvement in weight (bummer) I can't believe the scale went in the other direction! 

However, I have noticed that the were less painful breakouts.  My skin is a teeny tiny bit clearer.  So, that is a step in the right direction.  Usually each week I have a few really painful zits brewing, this week only one I notice so far.  

I have even been a little lazy and if I wasn't wearing makeup, I skipped washing my face once or twice before bed.  I always wash my face in the morning, that I never skip... I know by then it's really to late.  

It's hard to stay motivated throughout this process, because.... like any other  American gal I want instant gratification!  

I know, I know "one step at a time".  Here's is hoping for the best.  

1/30/2012 Week 2
Weighed in @ 158.8
* Painful Zits & no period, I'm pretty unhappy.  Face very irritated.

2/6/2012  Week 3

Weighed in @157.6
* My face and forehead totally broke out this week.  It was awful, but I think it was due to my PERIOD!, yep that's right you read it correctly..... I got my period - only lasted for 2 days, but I would say was about the same "flow" as when I would take Provera (script for a medical induced with drawl bleed "period") very exciting week! 

2/13/2012 Week 4
Weighed in @ 157.8
*Face irritated, slept in Makeup one night.  
No real great improvement in skin or weight.  I do notice not looking so bloated though.  That's got me feeling a tiny better about things.  Just got to keep on keeping on!  

2/20/2012 Week 5
Weighed in @ 157.6
* Face is the best it's been in a while.  Feeling slightly better.  Note: since starting the DCI, I missed Saturday's dose this weekend.  

2/27/2012 Week 6
 Weighed in @ 158.2
*Face is again best it's looked in a long while.  Feeling a tad bloated, but overall happy with my condition of my face.  Wore makeup more frequently this past week.  Feeling much better about the condition of my acne.  I also noticed less of the "darker" hairs that I once noticed on my face as well.

3/5/2012 Week 7
Weighed in @157.2 
*Face is irritated more so then last week.


3/12/2012 Week 8

Weighed in @ 156.8
* Referrer to Acne.... Stinks Post. For Pics.

3/19/2012 Week 9
Weighed in @ 157.0
* Acne much better then last weeks outbreak.

3/26/2012 Week 10

Weighed in @ 155.6 
* Acne okay 

4/2/2012 Week 11
Weighed in @ 154.8
* Acne was really bad before and right after period, which I have not experienced before.
I'm wearing makeup in this pic.... I have to go to the DMV today and get a new ID.

4/16/2012 Week 12

Weighed in @ 154.4 
*Acne Better no real complaints.  Couple white heads that popped easily ( l know, I shouldn't touch them but I could not leave them along & healed quickly).

4/23/2012 Week 13
Weighed in @ 152.6
*No complaints about Acne Much Much Better!!

4/30/2012 Week 14
Weighed in @ 152.6

5/14/2012 Week 15

Weighed in @ 151.8 
* Face looks good no real complaints this week. I just noticed I have been a bit of a slacker with my progress posts.  I also started taking Vitamin D this week.  I'm wearing a slight amount of makeup today, powder and blush.  

5/22/2012 Week 16
Weighed in @ 151.2
* No real complaints, seems to be okay.  Today I had a surge on my Ovulation Test Kit - felt a little sick to my stomach with slight cramping.  

5/29/2012 Week 17
Weighed in @ 149.4
* Things seem to be going well.  No complaints... white heads not real problems though.

6/05/2012 Week 18

Weighed in @ 150.60
Thought I would have had my period by now, waiting........ 

6/21/2012 Week 20

Weighed in @ 150.80
No news really.

7/2/2012 Week 21
Weighed in @ 148.2
Acne around my chin has been really hard to deal with this week.  I expect my period soon, so that is most likely the case.  The number on the scale makes me happy, starting to go down in the right direction again.  

8/14/2012 Week 27

Weighed in @ 147.9 (it's been a while since my last post, sorry)
Not many acne concerns lately.  I expect my period soon.  The number on the scale makes me feel okay - wish it was still descending.  

9/6/2012 Week 30

Weighed in @ 148.2

Friday, January 20, 2012

PCOS ACNE and taking Photo's....

Zits, pimples, black heads, white heads, cysts..... whatever you call 'em.... I have them and I loath them.  I never experienced acne growing up, only in my 20's. I feel really awful with a face full of zits all the time, and constantly think (see* obsess)  about it.  I have slowly come to realize that I just can't control it.

While On birth control the acne would greatly improve but now that I want a baby TTC  birth control pills are not an option.  Metformin  & MetforminER so far have helped with the Acne, but by no means has it gone away.  I still have breakouts very often.  I can tell when a breakout is coming, because my entire face is sensitive to the touch around the soon to be pimple.  I am admittedly a picker too.  I just can't leave a white head alone - I know it's bad but I just can't help myself.

My breakouts are centered around my chin and mouth, which according to my dermatologist is purely hormonal.  I have been given every topical prescription a try and nothing works.  The medicine just dries out my face in addition to a host of acne.  Having constant acne is really hard on my self-esteem.  Acne is a constant throne in my side.

I love taking pictures and ppl. have told me I am very annoying about it.  Since my struggle with acne I noticed I was shying away from the camera - and in some cases wouldn't even bring it out. I realize now that is silly....I know now I want the memories.  My parents have loads of pictures from when we are kids and I love looking at them, it's important to me to document!  So en light off my acne prone skin, I have become a huge fan of photos that are not in focus, dark, or far away- it draws less attention in my opinion to my face I feel comfortable taking the pics.... and I still will have the memories documented.    See examples below.

A glamorous far away photo of me!
December 2011 

A glamorous fuzzy photo of me!
November 2011

A glamorous Dark photo of me!
NYE 2011

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Having.... Trigeminal Neuralgia

For those not aware of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), it is awful.

My case was very complicated  - you can read about it if you wish in Medical History post.  I have been off Tegretol for 6 months.  The pain for me has for the most part subsided, however at times I feel a tingle sensation in my scalp on the left side and little jerk of pain on that side.  I also suffer from headaches often.  When I was on tegretol the headaches had subsided - I hate having headaches.... the only thing that works for me is to sleep it off.  I was given migraine medication - but I really didn't notice a change after taking it.

Sometimes if the pain is bad I miss the medication - but since I want to have a (TTC) baby that is not an option for me.

Since it's winter I notice TN a lot.  Living in Chicago, the cold breeze in the winter months seems to really irritate TN.  My ear on the left side hurts often and that annoys me the most.... to get through the winter I just picture a beach and to just "hang in there" spring will be here soon.  In 2010 when my medical drama began, I seem to be plagued with Sinus Infections.  I think when then sinus cavities swell is triggers the never and as a result I feel TN pain.

Here are some tips that helped me in the winter:
A good Scarf -
Wrap myself in a good scarf and try to cover as much of the left side of my face as possible.  

Humidifier -
 This helps my sinus's to stay moist and I have less nose bleeds. 

Eye mask -
This makes a huge difference if I have a headache light really bothers me.  I have the one pictured  above, I like it because it is adjustable (mine is so loose it hardly touches my face).  I picked mine up at Bed Bath and Beyond and I love it.


So my endocrinologist called me this morning  - I was still half asleep.  She was calling with news that the urine analysis was "a little plus/minus" and she is prescribing an antibiotic for a UTI.

I have this awful instinct to panic whenever I see the Dr.'s number on caller id.  I guess since I spoke to her assistant yesterday and she assured me that the lab would not have the results for two days.  I was not expecting to be woken up to a call from the Dr. this morning, so I panicked....I can hardly remember what the Dr. said. other then she asked if I had a fever  - which I have not.  The Dr. said that with the meds she would be prescribing, it should clear up the infection within 2 or 3 days.  After the call ended I realized...... I "yes'd" the Dr.  - and now I have a million questions!  I partly think I do this because I am trying to process the information... and secondly I should just don't say "wait, slow down I am not following".

I picked up the prescription this morning for Ciprofloxacin and a bottle of cranberry juice.  I took the first dose at 9 am today (Jan 19th).  I'm not thrilled at taking more medicine (not much choice) - and as usual was freaked out by the extra three sheets of paper the pharmacist added about warning signs and side effects. Can you believe this a 3 page flyer?!?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And I thought I wouldn't have enough content....

Well as my Husband told me "You are never boring"!  So today in my glamorous life, I had a Urine test.  Yea, it  was so amazing, jealous?

I started my new prescription of MetforminER on Sunday night (Jan 15th) when I woke up Monday morning (TMI - who am I kidding this whole blog is TMI) urination was painful, Tuesday it was worse and so on.   I walked on my lunch hour 6 blocks to Northwestern after speaking to my endocrinologists assistant.  This of course is not a typical side effect..... I needed to have a culture done.

I waited for about 10 minutes with a patient in the waiting room snoring loudly.  This man taking up 2 chairs in the waiting room his hand on his crotch, mouth open snoring.   It was kinda of laughable and kinda sad  - maybe's he's really sick.... you just don't know.

The lab tech came and got me and off I went.  I was given overly detailed instructions which equated to "pee in this cup".  It all went fine, the bathroom was clean.

I just got a call from the lab and the dip stick test was negative - but they are sending the culture off for further tests to see if there are any trace amounts of bacteria.  So here we go again waiting for more results.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is PCOS?

 Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

 PCOS is a female hormonal imbalance.   

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, PCOS is defined by the presence of any two of the following characteristics:
  • lack of ovulation for an extended period of time
  • many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) on the ovaries
  • high levels of androgens (male hormones)   

Symptoms can include acne, weight gain (trouble loosing weight), abnormal growth of hair on face and body, irregular periods, depression, and fertility issues among others. Women who have this condition are able to get pregnant with the right surgical or medical treatments under doctor supervision, the good news being < Pregnancies are usually normal!

Here is a link to an in-depth look: PCOS

Monday, January 16, 2012

Metformin ER - Hoping for the best!

After being on Metformin for a month (and getting a period, Woot Woot!) the side effects SUCK!  My endocrinologist has given me a script for MetforminER the extended release is suppose to help with the side effects.  I really hope this helps because I am sick to my stomach all the time.  I have been literally running to the bathroom.  

I have given up the hope that Metformin will help me loose weight.  My Dr. said to expect 3-5 weight loss.

Since starting Metformin I have lost to date 4 pounds.  Something is better then nothing I suppose.  I just hope I can get somewhat on a schedule so I can track my ovulation, and have a baby without other medication.

I am currently frustrated that I have not had a cycle yet.... but I am trying to be patient.
I plan to take the dose at night - I just hope I don't feel sick all night.  I tried taking the Metformin at night and it was miserable.

Medical History : If I were a Mystery Diagnosis Episode

Medical History. 

So, if I were to be featured in an episode of Mystery Diagnosis....

Opening scene:  Date 2010

Scene 1:
I had just gotten married in November in 2009 and things were starting to settle down, after all the excitement a wedding creates.  I have heard that it's not uncommon for Brides to get sick right after the wedding. I was sick for my wedding day!   
Wedding Day      November 14 2009
  Spent the entire week with the flu! Wedding Day 101 FEVER!    
However, thankfully you'd never know it.  

I didn't have dental insurance prior to marriage, only health insurance.  After the honeymoon, the first thing I did was go to the dentist.  The dentist found that I needed  3 cavities worked on and a dreaded root canal - I had a  bit of sensitivity to cold so I figured something was up.  I didn't go into the dentist office expecting to leave with a clean bill of health.

I had the root canal and other dental work completed, and within a couple days I started to not feel so great.  I was congested, fever, stomach ache, tooth ache, and sinus headache.  I had developed a Sinus Infection  - I had never had one before.  I didn't really know what it was until I looked it up on the internet.

Scene 2:
I went to my general Dr. who prescribed Augmentin I took the dose as prescribed and didn't feel any relief.  I actually felt worse with a stomach ache the entire course of the medicine and I developed a yeast infection (not uncommon with antibiotics).  I went back to my general Dr. 1 week later with the same concerns.  At this point my general Dr. couldn't do anything else for me so I was referred to an ENT (Ears Nose & Throat Dr.) who then put me on another round of the drug Augmentin.  No prescription drugs or over the counter medications were working.... Zyrtec, Nasal Spray, more antibiotics nothing helped.  I was congested and the left side of my face seemed to always be inflamed and irritated.... and my left ear was in pain and constantly popping.  I had about 3 visits with the ENT in total.  

Nothing was helping and I was still in pain, the ENT sent be back to the dentist blaming the root canal, then the dentist sent be back to the ENT assuring me that he was missing something.  I was told over and over between the two Dr.'s that is was a problem with the other.  Months had gone by and there were no answers why I was having awful facial pain and my left ear constantly bothered me.  I was so annoyed and sick of going to Dr.'s offices I felt like a ping pong ball being bounced between the two of them.  In the midst of all this the ENT sent me for a CT scan - which was normal.  

Scene 3:
My Husband was so dismayed at the Dr.'s and felt helpless that I was always feeling miserable.  I can only imagine how awful I was to be around - grumpy and irritable.    I experienced Constant headaches, twinges of pain in my face and scalp on the left side, odd sensations on the left side only, countless nights not sleeping.  Sleeping these months was impossible, I noticed the pain was worse at night.  

One night the pain was so bad we finally went to the ER.  The ER Dr. gave me a flyer that read Trigeminal Neuralgia.   I was released from the ER with Norco and a Steroid Blister Pack.  After 7 months of constant debilitating pain I saw a neurologist as the ER Dr. had suggested.  I had an MRI and nothing abnormal was noted,  I was then prescribed  Tegretol an anti-seizure medication.  My life drastically improved within a month of taking the new drug.  

Now that I was on Tegretol, and all the past experimenting  the Dr.'s had done with pain pills, steroids, and antibiotics.... I decided I'd take the Tegretol and go off birth control
 I knew getting pregnant on Tegretol is not safe, so we choose to still be smart about contraception, but I wanted off the birth control pills.  The thought of taking anymore pills just made me sick, I was over popping pills!  I hated that I had been taking so much medication, and always worried about the long term side effects.  For months- the pain was better and things were going well.  I was starting to feel better.

Director's Notes:
While I was on Tegretol I was gaining weight like crazy, my face was breaking out more, my cycles were off but everything was attributed to the Tegretol.   I felt helpless against my weight gain and it was and continues to be a constant struggle for me.  

Scene 4:
7 months later on Easter Morning 2011 I was awoken out of my sleep in INSANE pain. MY face/tooth was throbbing!  (note: I had just been to the dentist 2 weeks prior and was given a clean bill of health).  I woke my husband up and we went to Walgreen's at 2 am for Orajel.  The Orajel didn't numb anything and the pharmacist assured me that it was most likely not my tooth.  The whole night I was up - the pain was more intense then anything I had ever experienced.  That morning we spent Easter in the ER.  I wasn't able to shower or brush my teeth the pain was to intense.  I was given 2 rounds of heavy pain med's and sent home with more narcotics.  I was a hot mess returning from the hospital, I don't remember much of anything.  I came home and spent the rest of the evening throwing up as I have a sensitivity to pain medication.  I was my neurologist the next day who prescribed Baclofen pain med's and med's to help with the constant feeling of nausea.  Nothing helped.  I spent 4 days in extreme pain.   After a week of every Dr. poking around in my mouth taking X-rays and finding nothing.... I took a pic on my phone of this lil beauty on the 4th day. 


2nd Day
 After the visit to the ER & neurologist
Notice the difference in each side of my face.

3rd Day -
Things are not getting better
I am in horrific pain.  
4th Day
Look who Decided to come to the Party.

4th Day
After the Dentist.

So after a trip the Dentist, ER, and Neurologist this HUGE abscess finally showed itself.   MEDICAL MYSTERY SOLVED!  I went to the dentist that day who bumped his patients and had an emergency root canal.  This was very hard for many reasons.  First off the neurologist had told me horror stories of patients/doctors not recognizing they had trigeminal neuralgia and having many root canals for no medical reason, second the pain was horrific!  The dentist had 1 an assistant do nothing else but wipe my tears away through out the entire root canal & draining of the abscess.   That was the hardest hour in my life, I was truly besides myself.   The dentist can't explain why this abscess didn't show on the x-ray and the neurologist was convinced it was not the tooth.  Both said though "these things can happen".  I always expect Dr.'s to know everything - and I have learned through this experience that is not the case.  I was given antibiotics upon leaving the dentist office and told I was very very lucky, if this had gone on any-longer I would have had to have been hospitalized for sepsis.  

Scene 5:
I went to see the Neurologist 1 month after the abscess & talked about the hope that maybe it was my tooth all along and not trigeminal neuralgia.  To help move this story along since there were other symptoms (still ongoing) the Dr. does believe I still had/have the disease but is can go dominant for years and years, and that my pain was a combination of both.  I slowly started to ween myself off the Tegretol in July 2011.  I had some discomfort but nothing like it used to be.   I was so happy to try life without tegretol - and have the possibility of starting a family.  

At this time my husband and I were more serious about planning a family.  Now that I was slowly coming off the Tegretol the option was available.   But there was one hitch no menstrual cycle.  I made an appt with my OBGYN and she did an x-ray of my ovaries it revealed small cysts.  I was given a prescription for Provera and told to take it for 7 days and notify them if I received a withdrawal bleed.  I did, and for the next several months had a waiting game to see if I would get a period on my own.   

During this time I also was desperately trying/waiting for weight loss.  Tegretol has the side affect for weight gain (I had gained over 25lbs).  Nothing I did seemed to help.  I could not understand why things were not improving since going off Tegretol.  My face was breaking out badly, the weight wasn't coming off,  I noticed the hair on my face to become more pronounced.... and that my deodorant wasn't working quite as well as it used to.

December 2011 I had had enough with the waiting games, and having the possibility of having PCOS looming over me.   I wanted to know what was going on, and to be able to plan for a BABY.  I had a blood test that confirmed I had PCOS.  After receiving the results from my OBGYN I made an appointment with an endocrinologist that day.  The endocrinologist gave me a prescription for Metformin and I have been taking that since the middle of December 2011.