Anna, Wenatchee, WA

Diagnosed with PMDD in 2013.

annie

Growing up my Mom was always a sensitive type of person – in her 40’s she developed IBS and in her 50’s was diagnosed with Hoshimotos Thyroid and fibromyalgia. Her delicate health was an influence in my life – she often didn’t feel well and this sort of set the overall tone.

My own health began to be challenging for me in my 20’s – like my Mom I was very sensitive. I went through a period of reoccurring yeast infections, I had terrible PMS/depression and painful menstrual cycles. The intensity of my PMS/depression & cycles increased in my late 20’s – early 30’s. During this time I also contracted staph, which would flare up several times a year – I also struggled with acne, sluggish digestion and frequent periods of feeling unwell. In 2013, after a terrible cycle of depression a naturopath ‘diagnosed’ me with PMDD and I began using a prescription progesterone cream but it didn’t seem to help.

There a times during the month I feel good and I savor these moments, but more often than not I feel low energy, ragged and worn out. Autoimmunity is like an underlying emotion throughout most of my days and sometimes I wish I knew what it was like to feel well, or even vibrant in my health.

In the summer of 2014, my brother passed away – he died in India and it was deep shock for me and my family. His death strained my physical & mental wellbeing. I experienced significant weight loss and a bipolar episode. It wasn’t until I had reached crisis (approx 10 months after my brothers death) that I went to see the same naturopath who diagnosed me with PMDD – at this time, she also ‘diagnosed’ the bipolar episode. I use quotations around each of these because I don’t think either condition can formally be diagnosed. I did a blood draw at this same appointment and found out my B12 & iron levels were clinically low. Later in the week, after the appointment, I was walking out of my friends office where were having a chat and he stopped me because he noticed I had a patch of hair missing. This turned out to be alopecia areata which is still currently active. It was during this same time (spring 2015) that I contracted herpes.

In the last few months I have been experiencing new physical discomforts; swollen glands above my under arm and numbness in my legs and toes. I have yet to be diagnosed with anything specific but wonder if it might be a thyroid/endocrine/autoimmune connection. More than anything, I feel that autoimmunity is overwhelming and I often feel a lack of control within my own body/mind. There a times during the month I feel good and I savor these moments, but more often than not I feel low energy, ragged and worn out.

Autoimmunity is like an underlying emotion throughout most of my days and sometimes I wish I knew what it was like to feel well, or even vibrant in my health. It is strange not to know what is upsetting my health – there are so many tiny discomforts, which all put together are hard to ignore and difficult to keep track if.

I have found that acupuncture & massage are wonderful soothers – especially acupuncture – it brought me my first calm in a year this last spring. At this point, I am simply hoping to find somewhat of a balance.