Thursday, October 14, 2010

Parnate is the Problem

For about a month now I have been having funky allergic-type reactions to a whole new set of foods that never bothered me before.  It has been very frustrating because I never knew what would set it off.  Well, I have figured it out!  It's the Parnate.

Parnate is an older type of anti-depressant, an MAOI.  I was on a high dose, 60 to 80 mg, for over a year.  Parnate has a lot of drug and food interactions.  Everything I have been reacting to this past month is on the list of things to avoid with Parnate.  Aged meats, bananas, chocolate, soy sauce -- all have given me reactions.

It is quite a relief to have an explanation for what is happening.  And it is good to know that it is not really allergies.  So now I have a list of foods and drugs to avoid, and hopefully things will calm down around here.

I have been on Empowerplus for 17 months, and it is pretty wild to consider that old drugs are STILL releasing in sufficient quantities to be giving me reactions like this.  And really, this is a new situation, it seems like the Parnate is just now starting to release.  It's kind of strange to have all these time bombs ticking away inside me.  But, now that the problem is identified, it will be easy to deal with.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thyroid Update

Excellent news at the doctor this morning!  My thyroid is running normally without the help of medication of any kind.  Back in June I stopped taking my Synthroid all together, and after 5 months my thyroid is doing well, with my TSH at 1.8.

I have Hashimoto's Disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid and makes it irregular but generally very slow.  I was on Synthroid for many years, and Cytomel for a while, but I never felt any better.  Even before my blood test this month I could tell that my thyroid was doing fine just by the way I feel.  The chronic exhaustion is gone.

Before I started Empowerplus I was taking 0.125 mg of Synthroid daily.  When I had the weird allergy attack/thyroid storm in December 2009, after 7 months on Empowerplus, I cut it back to 0.075 mg.  In April 2010 my TSH was 1.9.  6 weeks later it seemed like I was still taking too much.  I switched to half a pill, 0.0375 mg, and got another blood test.  Before I could get those results I had another weird allergy attack/thyroid storm and ended up in the emergency room.  There I learned that my latest test result was a TSH of 1.0, a dramatic drop despite reducing my Synthroid dose.  That was when I decided to stop the Synthroid completely.

Now that decision has proven to be correct.  Obviously the Empowerplus is supporting my thyroid so much on it's own that extra medication is not necessary.  Considering that I feel so much better now than the Synthroid was ever able to achieve, I'm feeling pretty good about that!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


A year ago I wrote about my loss of interest in music in a post called Chrysalis.  I think this is proving to be an interesting choice of words.  If you think of a chrysalis as a time when everything shuts down before the new creature emerges, then I definitely think the first year on Empowerplus was like that.  But, if you look at the chrysalis stage as the intermediary between the earth-bound caterpillar and the high flying butterfly, then this is not my experience, because more and more it seems like I am going back to a more youthful state.

My taste in music is one example of this.  For most of my illness I have hardly listened to music at all.  It was irritating.  But, over the past couple of months I have been rediscovering all my old favourites.  I finally got my new stereo set up (it had been in the box for 9 months), and I've been listening to CDs I probably haven't played in 10 years.  And I'm enjoying finding a lot of my old vinyl on iTunes.  What's really interesting is that I'm feeling the feelings I used to have when I listened to those songs.  The chills up my spine and appreciation of raw talent are all back.  Also back is my complete intolerance of bad music.  It seems my sensitivity has returned.

I was a reasonably good classical pianist when I was young, but I have only played a handful of times in the past 20 years.  We still have the piano, but it has been out of tune so long I am not sure if it can be saved.  I am not really inspired to play yet, but who knows where this may lead?