Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hit a snag and other updates

Well, I'm a bit bummed.  My numbers have gone up.  I've been really good.  Absolutely zero gluten, low sugar, no alcohol (of course).  Just all really fresh, whole food.  But I'm not giving up.  It's just a set back, but it's not the end of the world.

OK the numbers.  For a consolidated place to look I'm going to put them all here.

Bilirubin ALP AST ALT
Normal .1-1.3 30-132 5-35 7-56
2/20/2012 1.7 937 235 389 Initial
3/6/2012 ?? 633 142 253 Almost 3 wks gluten free
4/16/2012 1 194 59 101 Gluten Free and Ursodiol
5/14/2012 1 160 36 56 Gluten Free and Ursodiol
7/6/2012 1.2 163 31 42 Gluten Free and Ursodiol
10/3/2012 1.4 221 58 113 Gluten Free and Ursodiol

So, for some reason my numbers are a lot higher than they were in July.  This is disconcerting.  I was really expecting to go in and see everything in the normal range.

I will just have to work harder.  I will not be beat by this.  It just needs to motivate me more.  I have been trying to get back to working out (before my pinky toe issues), I think maybe that might help? I don't know, but it's worth a try.

16 years.  That's the average length of time from diagnosis to death.  16 years.  I don't like that idea.  I'd be 50, Zoe 19.  Nope.  I don't accept that. No teenager should have to even consider losing a parent already.

AND it makes me work that much harder for preventing for Zoe.  What if this doesn't cure me but only just extends the time? It makes me double up my efforts for Zoe.  If it can't be cured, prevention must be of the utmost importance.  And PBC, per the info from my doctor, tends to hit the second generation younger than the first (and remember, mother / daughter pairs are the most common familial pairs for this- AND she has a 1,000 fold chance of getting this because she's my kid).  So if it hits her younger, what will it be? I was 34.  30? Younger? And with 16 years? No, I don't like this.  Prevention is the key.  Just as it is in so many things, it is especially in this case.

Plus she has the genes for Celiac disease.  I just have Gluten Intolerance.  PBC is even more common with those with Celiac disease.  The odds are stacking up against her and none of these things have a cure.  Just a treatment in which gluten is removed and meds taken- so why not remove the gluten now - if it will have to go anyway, why not take that chance that it might even prevent these diseases from triggering? I don't have a problem with that.  If there were something out there to do that is completely safe and could prevent a particular disease, I think someone would be crazy not to try it.  I mean, it's not painful or dangerous.  We actually eat healthier than just about everyone I know- so what's not to like about it??

It's hard though.  I'm not the only person with Zoe.  She has influence from many other people, and some of those people don't see the value in prevention- Instead taking the "we'll think about this after she gets sick, until then she should just have fun and eat whatever she wants", but I know in my heart waiting until she's sick will be such a harder road to climb.  It's not fair to have her get diagnosed even younger than me and then have to worry about not even making it to mid-life??

Not eating a piece of toast or a gummy bear seems a lot easier than facing your mortality in your 30's.
Not having that cookie or pasta seems a lot easier that being addicted to it and then being told you can never have it again.
Not having that cake or cracker seems a lot easier than being told you will most likely get a liver transplant in the coming years, and then you have a very good chance of that one being destroyed too because this disease is in your Immune System, not your liver - the liver is just the victim.
Choosing to eat whole, fresh foods like meat, fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts seems a lot easier than finding out you have intestinal cancer from your Celiac disease (which commonly happens along with various liver diseases, thyroid disease, RA, type 1 diabetes, etc, etc).

Call me crazy, but those all seem like easier things.  I have perfected the gluten free alternatives to just about anything you can normally get - and I make them even better with less sugar, whole foods and minimal processing.  I've learned more about cooking from scratch than I ever knew and I can say- it makes complete sense.  No wonder we're all so sick - the crud in the boxes and bags in the store is just appalling.

Anyway, enough of that for now.  On a good note- Zoe's dad and I toured a school today and have decided we really like it.  It's Montessori style learning, which seems like it might be right up Zoe's alley.  They foster learning with each of the kids at their own pace.  And since Zoe always seems so far ahead, this will be great for keeping her engaged.  It's a small school, which feels like a good thing.  It's very clean and they do all kinds of extra things like dance, spanish, music, trips to the library and to the nursing home.  All things we think will be really good for Zoe. They even have times that the parents get to be involved in various school activities, so this seems like it will be great for all of us.  She will start in a couple of weeks.  Costs an arm and a leg to get it started, but after that the price isn't too much more than I'm paying now.  So that's a good thing! Some places that also seemed really good were $1200+ a month.  I just can't afford that right now.  Hopefully by the time she's completed this school (it goes through first grade) there will be another option within the budget for her.  We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it, but for now we think she will really like this school.

One last item to mention- Friday is my divorce mediation.  It's not something I'm looking forward to, that's for sure, but it will be good just to get this all done.  For the longest time I just wanted to believe it wasn't going to happen, that some how things would heal, but I know that's not true.  I know it's not possible.  Once someone has decided, they have decided I guess.  But I guess it's been long enough now that I have accepted it - for me anyway, I'm still having trouble with it for Zoe to have to grow up this way.  But I AM ready for it just to be done, one way or the other.  Living in limbo stinks.  I don't want to be divorced, but I think I hate being 'separated' even more - it's just hard to be in-between...Like balancing on a wire 10 stories up, any wrong move will send you crashing down.  Yea, I'm ready just to get to the other side - even if it's not the side I wanted.  I always say, things happen for a reason, just the way they were supposed to.  So I've already found many reasons to be thankful my life has gone down this unexpected path.  I try not to focus on the negatives, and just think about those positives. I know it will be tough for Zoe, but I just keep trying to help her see the good things about her life - not to minimize her feelings about the bad things, but just to help her see there are lots of good things too.  She and I both benefit from this attitude!

Well, I think that about covers it for now!

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