The Right Doctor & Follow-Up Appointments

I tried to be patient about getting a phone call from the doctor’s office to say that they had received my test results and that I could schedule my next appointment. But, on the inside, I was pacing back and forth. I knew the analyses would take 3-4 days. I gave them 5ish business days; and, then, I called to see about the results. They hadn’t received them. Ugh. Frustrating. I had to call the lab myself to see if they had my results and could they please fax them over to the doctor. The anticipation was intense, despite the fact I had been given some good information during my first appointment.  And, when I could finally schedule my follow-up appointment, I am pretty sure I took the next one available.

Follow-Up Appointment #1: The doctor apologized for the long wait: “The lab is in the middle of a whole re-vamp and has been causing issues left and right”. At this point, the whole mess-up was in the past. I just wanted confirmation that the doctor’s initial hunch was correct and a plan of attack for getting rid of this pain.

As it turns out, the doctor’s initial hunch was slightly off. Yes, I have low cholesterol and low thyroid function which means I am suffering from a hormone imbalance. BUT, my iron levels look good. Sigh. I couldn’t imagine that a hormone imbalance was really the cause of all of my pain. Hormone imbalance for my fatigue? Okay. Hormone imbalance for my mood swings and extreme irritability? Okay. (SO sorry to my hubby who put up with me – he was probably thinking just how much his life had changed since baby.) Hormone imbalance for not being able to successfully breastfeed? Okay. Hormone imbalance for my near daily headaches? Okay. (Those things are all pretty cool to figure out, too! Don’t get me wrong.) As I started to ask the doctor “could that be the cause of my glute pain?”, he cut me off.

“Slow down, there is something else, we are getting to it.” I took deep breaths. I had been in pain for over two years…what was two more minutes…

And as his words left his mouth…my jaw dropped and my mind raced a million miles a minute…”You have a UTI.” Uh, come again? UTI? FOR TWO YEARS? SINCE PREGNANCY?! (I had heard pregnant women are more at risk for a UTI, but just thought I was one of the lucky ones. Joke’s on me.) Anyway…he said that the bulk of my piriformis pain should clear up once the UTI was gone. But, because my nerve and my muscle had been so irritated for the past two years, I probably would need some physical therapy. He basically said I could just do the exercises I had previously learned in PT at home and didn’t seem worried about that part.

He gave me supplements (did I mention he’s a holistic doctor?) for the UTI and my hormones. He wanted to follow up with me in three weeks.

Follow-Up Appointment #2: I was still in pain…maybe, just maybe, slightly less. I was, however, less fatigued and less irritable (yes, my husband noticed.) So, all in all, I was okay with the progress. My better mood made dealing with the pain a little easier.

However, I don’t think the doctor was too impressed with my progress. I still had lots of weakness. I was still in pain. He was going to up my dose of supplements and put me on phase 1 of a food plan. He didn’t go over the food plan in any detail. He just told me to look up the plan on his website…which I did once I got home. The only thing I knew about the plan before pulling it up on my phone was that I was going to have to eliminate sugar. That was one of my questions for him that morning: should I completely eliminate sugar from my diet? His response was a nicer variation of “duh, that starts today”.

I pull up the “Phase 1 Food Plan For Balancing Body Chemistry” on his website…I read the first two pages detailing “The History”, “Most Important Steps”, and “General Guidelines on Eating”. General guidelines mention eating foods in their rawest form is best – kind of like the Whole30 mindset. Oh, and I am allowed coffee in small amounts. Yay! AND THEN I get to the chart of all the foods I can eat and in what amounts…

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I didn’t realize I would be cutting out ALL sugar out of my diet. I can’t have fruit. I can’t have honey. I can’t even have legumes or brown rice. I had done low-carb diets before, but I had never gone this extreme. This chart was a little shocking and daunting for the first 10 minutes after review.

But, for once in my life, this wasn’t about losing weight. This about ultimate healing. And, I was willing to try anything. Besides what the doctor had said, I had done my research about thyroid issues and noticed that sugar was one of the worst things for your thyroid and its major task of hormone production. I was onboard with this phase 1 plan and started a shopping list and meal prepping…

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