Update time as I’m 10 days in with the VNS. It’s hard to tell what to attribute to which thing I’m doing. I have four tracks going on simultaneously. I’m back into deep ketosis and have been for a month. I’m on Metformin. I’m full of Botox. And then there’s the VNS.
Today is a Thursday. I had some rough days over the weekend but my atlas slipped, did that squish the brain stem thing and made me miserable until Monday afternoon when the Atlas Orthogonal chiropractor fixed it. When my atlas slips there’s no help for MAV apparently. Nothing works though I gave the VNS plenty of tries. I stay drugged and miserable and in full aura until I can get to the chiropractor. It took a couple of hours after seeing the chiropractor but I felt hugely better. A better feeling I’m starting to think of as normal. (!)
Monday I went from my chiropractor to my physical therapist. After slow and steady progress over the course of the past six months I managed to again rotate my hip way out of joint last Thursday. So much for that froggy kick in the pool that was supposed to strengthen all those surrounding muscles. (Limping away from the pool really adds to my short, fat, middle aged sex appeal. Hot momma on an invisible hobby horse trudging through. Keep hold of your men!) On Monday the PT got it to slip back into place. It’s weak. It slipped again Tuesday, though much less severely. Today, for our 70th visit in three years, she’ll put it right again. Patience, patience. (Should I bring cake? What’s the appropriate gift for such an occasion? The co-pay check hardly seems adequate considering this woman is the reason I can walk and stand upright like the rest of the species. Surgical adhesions are an unmitigated bitch.)
Between the atlas and the hip fix by Monday night I was literally dancing in my kitchen. It was such glorious relief. And it felt natural, normal. I’m used to MAV suffering as normal. This is more like the sun coming back after a long polar night. And I drank blush wine without consequence - the joyful rapture!
Back to the what’s doing what question. I’m having mixed days. Metformin is notorious for severe gastrointestinal side effects. This is my third long term round with this drug. I’m having no trouble remembering why I’ve dumped it twice before. Weight gain from venlafaxine and propranolol and the subsequently disastrous blood work forced my hand. My endocrinologist also wants me on statins and a second heart med. Nope, not going there. For God’s sake, I already have 8 open scripts plus the VNS, Cefaly and Botox. Stupid comorbidities.
I don’t think I’ve gotten the mix of Metformin timing and ketosis quite right as I’m frequently hypoglycemic. I am, unfortunately, rather annoying to everyone around me when my blood sugar drops. Lots of rapid talk, not much sense or substance.
So that’s the background. But what’s generally missing from the foreground is MAV. Ketosis done consistently has always made me feel energetic and clear eyed. It’s what I used to use to hold off both MAV and insulin resistance before a perfect storm dropped me into chronic MAV in 2017, requiring a much more comprehensive approach.
Now I’m also clear headed. With the exception of the really obvious Metformin timing, I’m not nauseous or dizzy much of the day. I can focus. My head doesn’t hurt and there’s no pressure. I can sleep and wake up rested without MAV crashing around in my frontal lobe. Photophobia is less but probably will never be gone, same with the tinnitus in my damaged ear. I can feel the tips of my fingers, though thanks to Botox I can’t feel my forehead. On the whole, there’s reason for hope here. That’s something I haven’t felt in a long time.
I think it’s quite possible this has a lot to do with Botox. I’ll know in April when it starts to wear off and I see where baseline is.
I frankly can’t tell where the VNS features in all this. It will stop heart palpitations and that feeling like someone is sitting on my chest. It can’t overpower Metformin but it can ease the queasy, painful stomachache. If I start to feel pain or some low grade MAV indicator, it can sometimes stop that. I get the sense a continuous implant that’s firing on a fixed and regular schedule might actually prove hugely beneficial. That alone is worth continuing this trial a few months more.
One more note. Eight months ago I was crashing hard in a long drawn out, take no prisoners, catastrophic descent kind of way. One doctor told me to take serious time off because a controlled crash is better than ending up hospitalized. My therapist suggested much the same though she also threw in the threat of involuntary commitment. (Quite the wake up call for this Type A, power through, define yourself by your job modern woman.) At the time I was under enormous stress. All I wanted was a long break from responsibility. The universe was listening and promptly took away several clients and the vast majority of my income. (Be careful what you wish for. Though it did quite literally save my life.) I’ve spent the last six months coming to terms with my new situation. I’d like to say I’m there, have found peace, but I haven’t been able to face the we might lose the house issue, so not there yet. But, this whole thing sends mixed signals. If you’d asked me Sunday before I saw the chiropractor, I would have said my career is over, I might as well take up a hobby and live in a shack. Ask me today and I can’t stand the boredom and financial stress and want to jump back in the rapids or fight dragons. Last month I was pretty sure I was done. Now I’m not so sure. I have hope again which is scary because losing it nearly killed me. But, like spring, it’s budding inside me. I’ll have to find a balanced place between those two extremes - poor ignominy or dragon slaying. Suddenly I think I might have options to define myself in whole new ways.
(So much for n=1 objectivity. Too many moving parts to focus on just one theme.)