Friday, November 23, 2007

Reclaiming my body (oh, and I'm back from the dead).

I know that my six or seven readers may have been wondering where I've been. The truth is I've just had no energy for blogging, and I've been short on time as well. As some of you may know, I've been conducting this experiment of "reclaiming my body." It sounds strange, but I just want to get off of all of these medications, start eating healthily, and exercise more.

Throughout my college years I slowly started going on more and more medications for various reasons. The first was birth control pills. I didn't go on it for contraceptive uses (no need for that at that point in my life), but because I suffered from horrible hormonal acne. If any of you have suffered from this before, you know how horrible it is! I tried everything, and as a last resort the doctor put me on Ortho-tri-cylen. This cleared up my skin beautifully almost immediately. However, a few months later I started getting horrible anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. Nobody thought to question whether it was the birth control or not. Instead, my doctors just put me on more medication. I went through a very dark period in my life of suffering from horrible anxiety while trying to find the right medication (a post on that later when I feel more ready to write about it). Now fast forward a few years. I was taking birth control, anxiety medication (which is actually an anti-depressant), and a sleeping pill. Over the years while I was taking these medications, I gained over 30 pounds! I can't say for sure which medication caused what, and I'm not even sure the birth control pill caused the anxiety (although I know it caused some other side effects which I won't write about here for the sake of my few male readers). Over the years I have struggled with knowing how much I should rely on God to heal me, and how much I should rely on the medications. I don't believe that taking medication for a problem means that I'm not trusting God, but I certainly don't want to take these medications forever unless it's absolutely necessary. So, I felt like it was time. Time to reclaim my body.

The catalyst for these changes was new information that I came in contact with about the Pill. I had no idea that it was an abortifacient (granted, early chemical abortions from the Pill are quite rare because it usually stops conception from even happening), and I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with this new information. Let me just say right now that I have no desire to get into a debate about this, and I'm not condemning the Pill. I'm just saying that I personally am not entirely comfortable with this new information. And in researching the issue, I discovered that many of the side effects I've been experiencing may be being caused by the Pill. Why didn't any doctors in the U.S. tell me this? I find that doctors in America tend to downplay side effects or deny they even exist, while doctors over here in Asia are almost overly paranoid about them. Hardly anyone takes the Pill over here (almost everyone just uses condoms) because they aren't comfortable with using hormonal birth control. In Japan, hardly anyone uses the Pill!

I've slowly been trying the replace my medications with a regime of diet, exercise, and prayer. I'm tired of feeling lethargic, of being overweight, and putting foreign substances in my body. As a result, I've been busy adjusting to my new lifestyle (hence my long blogging absence). Please pray that God really helps me in this. I can't do it without Him who gives me strength! Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything stupid like quit my anxiety medication cold turkey without exercising every day (a natural way to fight anxiety). I'll slowly wean off, and if I notice a return of symptoms, I'll accept the fact that maybe God, in His perfect wisdom, hasn't removed this thorn from my flesh yet. I'll keep everyone posted, and expect a whole ton of posts this weekend, because I've had all of these post ideas cooking in my head and no motivation to write about them! But I'm back. Hurray!

5 comments:

  1. I commend you on making the decision to go off the pill. I don't go into the moral issues of it. I just know it's not as safe as the doctors want you to think. I was on the pill as a young married woman and ended up with a DVT from my calf to my thigh which broke up, with pieces going to my lungs before they discovered what was going on. Immense, incredible pain, 5 days in the hospital, three months at home, on the couch, with my leg elevated, 6 months on coumadin and all things associated with that lovely medication, dropping out of college for a semester, then the pain of not being able to walk, having to give up my horses (I can't ride anymore--my leg doesn't have the strength to support my weight on the irons, I come back with a huge back ache and can't even dismount), heparin shots 2X a day for two pregnancies, and having to avoid any kind of hormone therapy in the future. This was 15 years ago--I still have problems, though of course I have learned to live with them. I can't hike for long distances; I can't ride a bike or a horse for more than about 20 minutes; I can't run or jog; can't go up more than about 4 flights of stairs without having to stop. Plus, I'm somewhat self-conscious about the fact that one thigh is much fatter than the other and even the color of my legs changed.

    Weird, I know. Now I'm old enough that it doesn't bother me that much anymore--I've even bought a couple of short skirts to teach in, LOL, rather than floor-length skirts like I've worn for many years.

    I don't know about emotional but I certainly know physical side effects of the pill (which I also won't go into, LOL). I wasn't unhappy to go off it.

    M

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  2. mom2twoboys,

    It's shameful the way the doctors don't pay enough attention to the side effects of the Pill. I can't believe you're still enduring the effects of taking it briefly today. I've only been off it for about 2 weeks now, but I have to say I feel great!

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  3. ahhhh...i have heard similar things regarding the pill. and it desturbed me as well. God bless you as you take back the land! and your body. Shalom....

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  4. Reclaiming your body...that is such a gift to self!!

    I know what you mean..we MUST take it into our own hands!
    take your time..you did not get where you are in a week...be easy on yourself...you will be feeling GREAT in no time..your priorities are right...God first and the rest will follow!
    prayers in your corner.
    peace,
    lori

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  5. Ruth,

    Thanks for the blessings!

    Lori,

    I never thought about this as a "gift to self." I guess I kind of deserve this gift. Thanks!

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