This is a radical topic change for a moment, but I want to give a quick update to folks about how the past few months have been. The more distance I have from last September/October the more aware I am of just how sick I was in that period. I didn’t write much about how bad I was feeling, but a few details can be found in the posts from that period (e.g., “still not over…” and “Highs and Lows“) and perhaps their topics are most illustrative — I made my first visit to a support group; wrote about how the people around me could best help, and reveled in a few pain-free moments. Rather than dwell on the details, I’ll just say that that period of my life makes me even more grateful for what I have now. It took only about 2 days from the switch from Minocyclin to Zithromax for my improvement to start, and while I think I have plateaued, I am definitely doing well.
Last week was one of my best since February 2008, with about 5 or 6 good days and 3 days in a row feeling like my healthy self (boy can that get addictive!) except for the early bedtime. Looking back over my very sparse notes from last Spring I’d say I’m doing about as well as I was right after the IV antibiotics ended. On the other hand, I also still have bad weeks, and this one definitely qualifies. Hot flashes (sometimes every few minutes); nausea; naps (twice a day sometimes); that heaviness in the limbs … time to hole up and rest.
Interestingly, my improvement also coincided approximately with the installation of a device to dry out my house a little more than our basement humidifiers could.
To give some background on this, I’ve written posts before about the possibility of a mold connection. Well I actually went so far as reading the book “Mold Warriors” and getting the genetic test recommended in the book to check how major a role that might be playing. As an aside, I should write a post sometime about how I got that test done — it took three months and three separate visits to the bloodwork lab, along with about 30 phone calls to get it done! I came up as susceptible, but without the “dreaded genotype” that would indicate that Mold might be the primary problem.
Around the same time, my parents gave us a Wave Humidex system because they felt that the house was still moldy despite our attempts of remediation (they claimed to smell it, those of us living in the house didn’t notice it of course). It simply sucks warm air from upstairs and spits it out the basement, drying things out on the way. I wasn’t sure if it was working until I realized that my kids, who have been sick ALL winter ever since our mold bloom two years ago have been very healthy (infrequent, short colds only) since the device was installed. I am pretty sure that the med switch made the biggest difference in my personal health (since the change happened so quickly that I was still in NY) but perhaps the reduced mold in the house is also helping.
So in the end perhaps this isn’t a radical topic change. Mold is part of the puzzle for me, and the practical steps (testing and remediation) described above helped address it. No doctor of mine recommended these treatments, and though I hadn’t gone so far as analyzing them in the sense described in my previous post, I followed the evidence and my gut (and my parents’ advice :) and the changes seem to be paying off.