I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Peripheral Neuropathy in 2006, but my symptoms seemed to take a turn in a different direction in late 2007, and the diagnosis was changed to Essential Myoclonus. Then in 2010 I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Finally, after a muscle biopsy, it was determined that I have Mitochondrial Myopathy.

Share my journey - coping with the testing, the medicines, nutrition, digestion problems, exercise, the emotions, uncertain diagnoses and no telling what else!

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 KJV

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Doctors, Doctors, and More Doctors

I've all but lost track of how many doctor's appointments I've had since I last wrote. I've been to my Gynecologist twice, a Urologist, my Podiatrist, three Neurologists - one of those at the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic, as well as my own Dermatologist twice and a Dermatology Surgeon.

The upshot of all those visits is that the Neurologists can't tell me any more than the UAB Neuromuscular specialist told us after the muscle biopsy results came back - there's no treatment and no cure. I can't even get any advice from them on beneficial supplements or my nutrition. So we have basically fired the UAB Neurologist and the MDA Neurologist and don't intend to return to them. I will continue to see my own Neurologist regularly, however, as I need to touch base with someone from time to time for prescription refills and to have someone I can get an appointment with when needed.

I've been having urinary difficulties ever since my muscles started weakening, so I finally decided it was time to try to get help. My Gynecologist referred me to a very nice Urologist, and I have confidence that he will find a way to help me deal with these problems.

 I'm spending hours a day doing my own research on vitamins, minerals, and herbs that might help maximize my cellular energy production and minimize oxidative stress at the cellular level. It's a good thing I have a chemistry background. I never thought I'd have a use for that Biochemistry course I took almost 50 years ago! LOL! Not that I actually remember any of what I learned back then, but it has made reading all these online papers a little easier.

I've found several excellent books that I've read from cover to cover more than once, making notes about combinations of nutrients that work synergistically to improve energy production in the cells and decrease the level of gene mutation. And I've also wasted my time on a few books that turned out to be selling some proprietary program, rather than really trying to educate.

Thanks to my research, I've been gradually adding a variety of megadose vitamins, enzymes, and minerals, as well as continuing to use the herbal formulations. And all these capsules, powders, and tablets are showing a positive result. I continue to do my physical therapy, but I seem to have plateaued as far as how much I'm able to do at one time. The muscle fatigue takes over pretty quickly. But I definitely feel stronger walking in public than I did a few months ago. And my neck and back pain are more under control than they were. I was able to find a back support that stabilizes my neck and head, so I can manage sitting in a church pew a little easier, and the Neurontin and Robaxin help with the pain, too.

Mitochondrial diseases are caused by mutations of the DNA in the mitochondia, so it didn't come as a complete shock that my Dermatologist found a squamous cell carcinoma on my face. I had Mohs surgery the next week, and it seems to be healing very well. I had to return to the Dermatologist last week, however, when a patch of skin very close to the scar became painful. The biopsy showed that spot was precancerous, so that area had to be frozen.

Next week I see my Opthamologist for my yearly exam. The retina, particularly the macula, is extremely susceptible to oxidative stress, so it's very important that I do all I can to keep my eyes as healthy as possible.

My Diabetes continues to be under good control with diet, but I have been gradually gaining weight for the last few months - something I'm not happy about at all. I know some of it is water weight, because that's a known side effect of some of the nutrients I'm on - but it's not all water weight by any means. I think some of these supplements have increased my appetite, and my will power isn't holding up too well to the urges. That's definitely an area I need to work on right now.

I'm very thankful that I have been able to improve as much as I have in the last few months. I know a whole lot more about the process of cellular nutrition and ways to slow the genetic mutations. My hubby and I have faith that God will give us the wisdom to make good choices for supplements, exercise, and nutrition, and that He will guide the decisions my doctors make.


3 comments:

Anji said...

It all seems very complicated. I hope that you continue to find a way through to improved health

Dirty Butter said...

You're right, Anji! I'm getting quite an education and thankful to have the means to do the research. I love the internet!!

Kim Lawson said...

I stumbled across your blog while researching my 57 year old mother's movement disorder. She was diagnosed with myoclonus and restless leg syndrome(RLS) in early may. We are having so much difficulty getting help from any of her doctors. The RLS doesn't really bother her, but the jerking has decreased her quality of life so much. We've seen a UAB neurologist who has been no help at all. My mom is taking klonopin but its not helping. I noticed you also had been seeing a UAB neuro. Your journey and our journey sounds very similar to ours. I, like you, feel like I'm earning my own medical degree while trying to sort all of this out. Do you have any suggestions?? My email address is kimberlylawson@gmail.com.