Thursday, June 18, 2009

Front Porch Friday: Towards a More Natural Lifestyle

In a recent post, I briefly mentioned that I had experienced some health problems that encouraged me to live a more natural lifestyle. This Front Porch Friday I would like to share this story with you and comment on how it has affected our lives this week.

At the end of 2002 I started using Ortho Evra (the birth control patch...yes the same one that is now associated with a multiplicity of health problems...). This seems really odd, but almost immediately I started having a lot of sinus problems. I was constantly using Sudafed. Then in the spring of 2004 I started developing pregnancy symptoms every month, only I was not pregnant. Then I started developing horrible yeast infections every month that made me not want to eat. Finally, when I would eat my abdomin started swelling to the point that one of my classmates thought I was 4 months pregnant! This continued into the spring of 2005. I went to multiple doctors in multiple states. They all told me "Nothing is wrong. It's just because you moved to Mississippi, or well, we could give you some extra estrogen on top of the birth control."

I would like to point out, "When you feel that miserable something is definitely wrong! Memphis is not that far from Starkville, Mississippi, and the drug books specifically say NOT to prescribe estrogen with Ortho Evra!" I am happy to say that I decided on my own to quit taking the Ortho Evra. It relieved the worst of the symptoms; however, some still remained. I found a book called The Yeast Connection. I followed the diet in the book, and the nurse practitioner at the student health center prescribed me some Niastatin. It made a huge difference. I was still having 2 weeks of menstration followed by 2 weeks of no menstration, but at least I didn't feel miserable! Finally, after a year or two of being very disciplined about what I was eating, preventing pregnancy, and being told by my mother that I could not have children, etc, we ended up getting pregnant with Jessica. While pregnant and nursing, I could eat whatever I wanted and suffered no ill effects!

A few months ago I quit nursing Jessica. So far I have not experienced an of the problems I had before getting pregnant with Jessica; however, I have wondered if it might become an issue again. This week in particular has been rather unusual. I was experiencing pregnancy symptoms, but I am not pregnant. I am going to see my doctor next week to make sure nothing is wrong. Assuming nothing is wrong, then I plan to try and get back to as much of a natural lifestyle as possible. I find it particularly important as a parent because I do not want my daughter to go through everything I went through.

For me this means: cooking as much as I can from scratch, growing as much of our food as I can, purchasing foods raised in a natural or organic environment (without breaking the bank), fertility awareness, choosing glass and iron over plastic, limiting the sugar, taking vitamins, using limited amounts of "products," etc. I cannot do all of this all the time and still make our budget, but I get as close as I can and hope that I am able to give my daughter a head start by growing up with this lifestyle. What is going on at your front porch?

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