Monday, June 29, 2009

Random Stuff

Here's a picture of the cheesecake I made for me hubby's birthday a few weeks ago. It was to die for and I'll have to make another one some day. This was the first cheesecake I've ever made and was extremely pleased with how it turned out. The chocolaty center and topping was something I decided to do halfway through the recipe and I think it really added to the overall flavor and presentation! I mixed some strongly brewed coffee in it to give it a little kick.

It was a pricey cheesecake! That's for sure. LOL I think ingredients alone it must have cost me about $30 for all the cream cheese, eggs, graham crackers etc. Of course it was all organic, so that adds to the costs.

Here's a picture of what I have been working on outside. Unfortunately the one flower is in between a blooming, but you get the idea! I completely cleared out the area because it was full of weeds and really tall grass. Thankfully there is no poison ivy around this tree.

These are my neighbors blackberries, but they hang over into our yard. I don't think they are missing them. =p They taste absolutely delicious, but they will be all gone from the birds very soon! The robins have been picking at them quite a bit.

The other tree has so much poison ivy around it, that it actually LOOKS like it is PART of the tree! This is the type of poison ivy that gets people because it has woody vines and hangs down like the other tree's leaves. I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed a huge increase in poison ivy or not. However it just seems like I am finding new sprigs of it EVERYWHERE!

I've never had poison ivy before, but I'm not about to go walking around that tree!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Lived Through It!

This water deprivation was much harder than the last one. I woke up at 5AM so thirsty and I couldn't do a darn thing about it. The crazy thing is that I had to wake up and pee too. Wow! I was 7 hours into the deprivation and my body was still urinating during the night. That's pretty crazy.

I was awake from 5am to about 8am. I literally just laid in bed, sweating and just hoping that this would be over. Then eventually I fell asleep and woke up around 10AM. I felt so lifeless this morning. My mouth was tacky and I cracked my lip really bad during the night. It was bleeding. My left arm started to cramp up really bad. My fingers wanted to curl and my forearm was on fire!

We got to the lab and they were closed...LOL so we had to go to another lab about 30 minutes away. /sigh I told the lady to get the blood out of me now, so I can drink some water. She knew what was up and before she looked at the tubes said, "oh you are getting ADH checked?" I was impressed to be honest and she's drawn my blood before in the labcorp near my house.

My urine was fairly dark when I collected it this morning. That's a good sign that my body does concentrate urine somewhat. I know that I don't have severe, complete DI or I wouldn't even been able to go 3 hours without water. People with complete DI usually can't go more than 2 hours before their vitals get so weak that they are at serious risk of going into shock from fluid loss.

I am very curious to see what the results are from these tests. We did a BMP to check sodium, BUN, and potassium. Sodium is supposed to be higher when you are dehydrated and now that I'm taking florinef I wonder if my body is responding appropriately now. We also checked blood osmolality to see how thick my blood was getting. This tells you exactly how dehydrated the body is at that very moment. Anything above 295 means that you are maximum conservation mode. Lastly we checked serum ADH. This test isn't always that accurate, but I did it just to see how it compares to my numbers from the test in '08. The urine osmolality will tell me just about everything I need to know, but you have to compare it to the serum osmolality and sodium levels in the blood. You can't just look at 1 thing.

I will definitely post my lab results when I get them back. It will probably be 2 weeks because I know they have to send out the ADH to another lab.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beginning Water Deprivation at 10:30PM...Gulp

I am starting my 12 hour water deprivation, so I can get my lab work done tomorrow. I am doing this again, so that I can see exactly what my body is doing now that I am on Florinef. I haven't taken my DDAVP for about 3 months! This water deprivation is going to be hell. Let me tell you. I thought tonight would be a good night to do this because it was fairly warm today (80 degrees) and I was sweating, peeing and drinking a lot. If my body can't conserve water in 80 degree weather then something is very wrong.

I'm already nervous about it because I am very very thirsty and have been all day long. I haven't kept up with my thirst as much as I should have, but that's what happens when you are working around the house.

If I start to feel really sick I will just quit. It isn't worth risking my life for some stupid numbers on a lab. However I will try my hardest to get through the night. I probably won't be sleeping much and when I usually can't sleep it's from the extreme thirst. I won't be able to reach for that water next to the bed to calm my body down...

Wish me luck because I'm going to need it tonight.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tinea Versicolor Flare Up

The first time I had tinea versicolor it was on my chest many years ago, but never knew what it was. It was one of those things that I "lived with". Then one day my husband was like you should find out what is on your chest because it's getting worse.

So I sucked it up and went to my primary care doctor many years ago and he said it was the fungus, tinea versicolor. I put the cream on my chest for a week or something and it slowly faded away. Unfortunately it would come back over the years and I found out that Nizoral shampoo works just as good as the stuff they give you at the docs, so I just started to self-treat.

Well just a few days ago I noticed a few spots on my chest. Then this morning I woke up and my husband your tinea versicolor exploded overnight. You had a few spots on your neck yesterday I forgot to tell you about, but now it's all over... I thought he was exaggerating just a tad, so he took a picture.

I look like a brontosaurus.

I hate you Night Sweats

Seriously I went back and looked at my blog's history at all the posts where I complain about night sweats and it's truly unbelievable. Why do I experience these all the darn time?

They have been coming and going again. Now that I'm on florinef, I have to assume it's NOT low aldosterone but looking back a few months ago I was experiencing night sweats when I was taking my DDAVP too. It is not normal to be drenched in sweat at night. Maybe once or twice a year, but not on a regular basis.

I made a post about this on the NTH adrenal yahoo group and a lot of people have them, but no one seems to know what causes them. haha I guess there's a group of us out there that deal with this annoying sleeping interruption.

Now for some exciting news. I am doing another modified water deprivation test to see how my body is concentrating urine now that I'm on florinef. My new doc said that he'd be willing to order the labs for me since all I have to do is just not drink water for 12 hours or so. A true water deprivation test is really involved and would involve a trip to a pituitary endo. Honestly I can't handle the hassle of going to a mainstream doc and will settle for this modified (slightly dangerous) water deprivation test. LOL If I get really sick, then I'll call it off. Don't worry!

I'll be weighing myself each hour to see what happens sort of like what they do with the real test. Obviously I won't be able to test my urine osmolality, but I have strips that do specific gravity which can give me a clue. If it's really low, then I know the osmolality is low too. Unfortunately high specific gravity readings can be largely inaccurate.

Just a little while ago, I had this terrible sharp pain in my abdomen and I felt very nauseous. It came out of no where, so I took some extra HC and bile salts. Thankfully one of those fixed the pain I was having, but I'll never know which one exactly.

That is all for now. I'm not taking the armour until my sleep is better, so we will see when that happens. I feel really tired right now and think it's about time to sleep. I just hope I can sleep throughout the night without too much interruption.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Armour Not Going Well

Unfortunately adding in the armour is NOT going well at all. The insomnia is out of control. Today I was told by my doctor not to take any to see if my heart rate calms down a little. Just a moment ago I took my blood pressure and it was 124/76 with a HR of 119! This was upon standing so it is NOT salt wasting as my blood pressure went up rather than down. Obviously the armour has made me go "hyper" or I'm pooling the hormone in my blood. Regardless, this is the worst I have felt since starting the hormone replacement. I just can't take this dark depression I've been in for the past week and nothing I do snaps me out of it.

I have absolutely no motivation to do anything and would have no problems just staring at the wall for hours on end. That is one hell of a drastic change from me just 2 weeks ago where I was feeling fantastic.

Tonight I am curious to see how I feel and if I can even sleep. If I can sleep, I think that alone will help my mood lift.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eyes Seem Bad Today

For whatever reason my eyes seem pretty bad tonight. Lots of lights in both eyes and my floaters are driving me absolutely insane. GRRR! Sadly I know things will only get worse for me as time goes on, so I have to learn to live with this.

I completely forgot to post a picture of that burn I had a couple weeks ago, but now I can't find the camera it's on! It's actually healing a lot faster than I imagined, so that is good.

The armour is going OK. My temps have been running a little high, so I'm not sure what to think yet. I don't feel hyper at all, so I'm just going to keep taking it to see what happens!

If the weather cooperates tomorrow (and I can find the camera) I'm going to show you all what I worked on this past week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Started On Armour Today

I asked my doc if I could go ahead and start Armour a little early since the DHEA isn't causing me any problems and he said sure.

Today I started on 1 grain of Armour. I split the dose of 1/2 in the morn and then another 1/2 at lunch time. I definitely felt a little different today, but I can't say whether it was a good or bad different. My temps were actually running a little high and I needed to stress dose the HC (2.5mg) which calmed me rather quickly.

It's also a pretty hot day here (well in the house at least), so I've been watching my salt-wasting symptoms and trying to remember to drink water. I took a 1/4 tab extra of Florinef today once I realized that it was going to be about 86 degrees in the house. Right now it says 85 and we've had fans running all day to get air circulating through.

I know most people will say that starting on 1 grain of Armour all at once is not right. I looked into this and saw that most people recommend 1/4 to 1/2 grain to start. I asked my doc about this and he said that he thinks that would actually make me feel worse. Sort of like when you only take 10mg of HC, it shuts down the ACTH feedback loop and you feel worse off than if you hadn't taken any. I'm keeping an eye on my temps which are definitely higher today, but it's also really hot the house too.

So far I feel pretty decent considering it's hot outside and I started the Armour. I had 2 things hit me today! haha

In 2 weeks I increase it by another 1/2 grain up to 2 grains total.

PS-- I think I got the old Armour formulation, which seems to be dissolving without any trouble. It looks like my hubby got the new formation, which he said tastes like butt. LOL

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Got my hair cut!

I got my hair cut and it's fantastic! I had about 5 inches cut off the end and went ahead with a side sweeping bang. I haven't had bangs for at least 15 years. When she cut it, the inner voice in me went---"Oh goodness what have YOU done!"---, but it looks so young, trendy and I love how it hangs
in my face. I know that sounds really strange, but I like having those pieces fall around the face. It helps to frame my face which is good.

I can now wear my hair up and can hide the final bald spot with the bangs!

With my new hair style, I needed a flat iron to keep the bangs from trying to flip out strange. I have a very slight wave in my hair, which normally I don't mind. However with the bangs, I need to get it as straight as possible so it doesn't stick out weird.

I have one coming in the mail and should be here in a few days! I'm so excited!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Findings at the Eye Doc's

Today I had my next appointment and things are OK. It appears that the "White without pressure" is in fact in BOTH eyes. I saw a different doc this time, so I've now had 4 people look at my eyes.

This doc said that I have way more floaters in my right eye than my left. I told him that I thought I had a few more but couldn't tell which eye it was in. Thinking that only left eye was an issue, I told him I just assumed it was my left eye. Well all of that goes out the window now. He said the peripheral retina thinning in my left eye is much more advanced than in my right eye, but he said he thinks I'm probably seeing lights in both eyes. Oh great!

He told me to avoid any heavy lifting and to pay more attention to the lights, when it happens and which eye it is in. Now that I know it could be either eye, I'm trying harder to figure it out. I told him the heaviest thing I lift is probably doing the dishes, which he was very happy to hear. He said that I do not need to be putting anymore strain on the eyes and that lifting something heavy could cause the vitreous to pull away from the eye...FUN!

I think I've had this problem for a long time now, but this is the first real eye exam I've had in about 15 Who knows long this has been going on for!?

That's about it. I have another appointment in 4 months, but if anything comes up I should immediately call. This definitely makes me feel a little better because it hasn't gotten any worse in a week's time. I am a little concerned about the long term though. I am certainly too young for the vitreous to detach/tear. This is something that isn't supposed to happen until you are in your 60's-70's.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Some Blood Work

Here's some blood work I had done. It came back the day I went to the eye doctor, so I haven't been thinking about it much. hehe

I started on 12.5mg of DHEA yesterday on the advice of my doc. Then after 2 weeks take 1/2 tab twice daily.

Electrolyte Panel
Sodium 141 (135-145) Good
Potassium 4.0 (3.5-5.2) Pretty decent
Chloride 104 (97-108)
Carbon Dioxide 24 (20-32)

FT4 1.25 (0.61-1.76) Doc says the range should be 1.0-1.76
FT3 3.4 (2.3-4.2) Mid-range
TSH 2.095 (0.450-4.500) Little high
DHEA-S 24 (65-380) WoW!!

With these thyroid labs, my doc wants me to start on Armour in 2 weeks once I get the DHEA up to 25mg daily. He doesn't want to change 2 things at once, which makes sense.

Something weird that has come up out of no where is this strange pain near my right rib cage. It actually woke me up yesterday morning and was excruciating for about 15 seconds. Then it faded some--thankfully. It MIGHT be a pulled muscle, but I'm going to give it some time to see what happens. I have been doing some painting in the house, so it's definitely possible. heh I don't know why my muscles are so weak if that's the case.

Tonight my eye is not good. Very strange with lights near my peripheral vision, but I'm going to hang in there unless a shower of floaters come up out of no where. If that's the case I'll be calling the emergency number.