Wellbutrin Replacement

After consulting with my nutritionist, I researched a specific B vitamin that she suggested I look into to help with PCOS.

I found the following helpful information on the PCOS nutrition website.

Inositol is a member of the B-vitamins and a component of the cell membrane. There are many reasons women with PCOS may want to take this supplement as inositol has been linked to improved insulin, triglyceride, and testosterone levels, as well as improved blood pressure, ovulation and weight loss.

Only a handful of studies were conducted on inositol and PCOS, but all showed favorable results, especially when it came to fertility. In the most recent and largest study, 25 women received inositol for six months. Twenty-two out of the 25 (88%) patients had one spontaneous menstrual cycle during treatment, of whom 18 (72%) maintained normal ovulatory activity. A total of 10 pregnancies (40% of patients) were obtained. It is believed that inositol increases the action of insulin in women with PCOS, thereby improving ovulation, decreasing testosterone, and lowering blood pressure and triglycerides.

I found these inositol capsules conveniently on Amazon. (Seriously, what can’t you find on Amazon? Love-love-love Amazon.) But the capsules were so big, I simply couldn’t take them. I have a fear of choking–which has happened before with pills.

Amazon to the rescue again. I purchased the powder form instead. So much better. I simply mix with a little bit of water or juice. Very easy.

We’ll see how this all plays out with my fertility plans, but taking the vitamin has had a surprising effect on my attitude. It’s been very calming for me. I actually didn’t realize that one of the known benefits of inositol is improved emotional well-being. I could’ve been taking this natural remedy instead of chemically-insane Wellbutrin all these years. I remember the first time I took Wellbutrin. I had gone to Marc’s place for some company (or assurance that I wasn’t going to die by myself). I remember staring at the TV with my tongue hanging out of my mouth and a dazed look on my face. I felt like I’d been lobotomized.

Food for thought for any of my readers who need a little happiness kick.


Eating for 1, Dreaming of 2

I am that person who scoffs at lactose intolerance. They say Asians tend to be lactose-intolerant. I say the phobia is in your head.

On the California ballet, I vigorously nixed Proposition 37’s Right to Know initiative which would have required suppliers to label genetically-modified foods. Who cares? For all the people who shop at Whole Foods or read labels or watch what they eat, all that diligence won’t stop those same people from forming lines around Mitchell’s ice-cream or Mission Chinese. I doubt every scoop and every dish comes from all-natural ingredients!

I rolled my eyes in church when the priest announced they had a special line for communion for people who needed a gluten-free host. Have you had communion before? The host is the size of a quarter and dissolves easily in your mouth. If you’re scared to eat the body of Christ because you might have a gluten reaction, then no amount of praying is going to save your soul.

Grocery-shopping, I gloss over the low fat and nonfat dairy. I skip the free-range, cage-free eggs. I zoom by the grass-fed, hormone-free meats. I storm through the organic fruits and veggies, opting instead for regular-priced for regular people.

All my life I’ve been on an all-fat, eat whatever makes you happy diet. Cheesecake for breakfast. Cookies for lunch. Chips for dinner. Wash it all down with 2 glasses of wine a day. I believe that fulfilling your cravings should be the mantra for food consumption.

Until now…this ghost baby has gotten in the way. Instead of saying ‘we’re trying to have a kid’ or ‘we’re trying to conceive,’ I’m just going to say ‘ghost baby’ because this kid is haunting the bejesus out of me and my eating habits.

“Don’t eat that chocolate, mommy. Your insulin will spike.”

“Mommy no! Dairy makes me gassy.”

“Put that glass of Cab down, mommy. Remember what the acupuncturist said about alcohol.”

“Gluten bad. Gluten bad. BAD MOMMY!”

I am going to throttle this ghost baby.

The All Fat-Consuming Skinny Girl

The facts:

I eat the following every work day: a) either a small plate of eggs and sausage or a large cup of oatmeal that I dump about half a cup of brown sugar in, b) either a bag of Fritos or Dorritos or a small can of Pringles, c) either Nutter Butters, Ferrero Rocher, See’s Candies or a small tub of ice-cream. In addition, I have whatever I’m craving that day for lunch and whatever Dean happens to make for dinner.

I do not engage in any form of physical activity whatsoever. Instead of walking to work (which isn’t far), I take buses and cable cars and use that time to check emails before getting into the office.

I currently weigh close to what I did on the day I graduated from high school back in 1993 which was 78 pounds. I’m 4’10”.

All that said, the point is that my body naturally became healthy the unhealthier I became. When I tried to lose weight, by running and working out and dieting and eating healthy, I couldn’t. But when I stopped trying, that’s when I became skinny. Is this explainable? Does this phenomenon make any sense?

A friend of mine told me that he started seeing a nutritionist recently because even though he swims all the time (trains daily and competes), he cannot shed a single pound. He said, in fact, he’s gained weight despite all his training. And no, it is not muscle because the guy is seriously pudgy. When he told me this, I wanted to blurt out, “Stop being active!” But I don’t have as good enough a friendship with him and didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

This year, I am committed to getting my body naturally healthy to conceive a child. I started by cutting out soda from my diet. That was the easy part. Pretty impressive, though, for someone who used to drink a Diet Coke a day.

Next up: eating healthy. That means:

No sugar – since sugar seems to play a role in my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) disorder

Consuming organic – since so much of what we eat has hormones that can really screw with your system

No alcohol – this will be a toughie

No caffeine – this will be easy

I’ve been told that being underweight may be prohibiting us from getting pregnant, or at least play a role in our difficulty. God, we both have a shitload of fertility issues. Here’s my concern: if I start eating healthy and cut out all the cookies and ice-cream and chips that I’m used to eating every single day, then I am going to be 70 pounds before you know it!

Ironically, women who have PCOS tend to be obese. Even my doctor said, “Well, looks like you are the rare skinny person who has PCOS.”

How am I the rare anomaly on 2 fronts.

1) I’ve gone against the grain when it comes to my hormonal disorder. I should be fat, yet I’m skinny.

2) I am the most disgusting eater (often asking waiters “What is the most caloric thing on your menu?”), yet I’m skinny.

Any health experts or nutritionists want to help me understand?

Are You Lacking Brain Cells? Kaiser is Hiring Retards

Are you ready for another KAISER IS SHIT post?

Before I get into yet another tirade, let me delve into a little background. I am a life-long Kaiser patient. During my teenage years, I was at Kaiser every month seeing a dermatologist for severe acne. For God’s sake, I was a candy striper at the Kaiser Oakland hospital in high school and as a result, was given a nice little scholarship for college. Cool beans. I loved Kaiser. I felt like it was a well-run organization.

But now, as a patient with even bigger problems than acne, I am starting to see how deplorably they run the business. It’s like they decided to cut costs by hiring a bunch of dumbnuts who could care less about doing adequate work. Hmm, let me just sit here at my desk and collect a paycheck. What a fucking amazing job! Don’t answer phone calls. Don’t fill out paper work. Do absolutely nothing.

I think that’s the criteria Kaiser uses. Are you good at nothing? Do you like to do nothing? Work at Kaiser!

Considering how much I detest Kaiser, I should clearly explain why I chose to stick with Kaiser for 2013 instead of switching to a PPO. Bottom line, Kaiser is cheap. In total for 2012, I have spent less than $3,500 on all my health care expenses: paycheck deductions, 2 ultrasounds, 1 hysterosalpingogram, a multitude of lab work, 4 intrauterine inseminations, fertility meds, a year supply of contact lenses, 15+ acupuncture treatments, herbs, and various prescriptions. That total also includes my dental and vision expenses, but obviously the bulk of the expense has been Kaiser costs. I can only imagine how much all of the above would have cost me if I’d had a PPO.

I guess, in the end, you get what you pay for so I need to temper the bad patient experience with the cost.

I’ve wanted to go to specific recommended acupuncturists (not covered by Kaiser) in the past, but am now thinking of going the cheapy route and trying the acupuncturists who are covered within my plan. Might as well give it a try. I called Member Services to ask what my options are. Mind you, I called Member Services not some Hyderabad-based customer service rep.

Member Services: No, acupuncture isn’t covered.

Me: What? That’s not possible.

Member Services: Kaiser does not cover acupuncture. Acupuncture is not covered with any medical plan. You have to pay for it out of pocket.

Me: But my employer-based Kaiser plan has it in writing. I quote, ‘Acupuncture Services – Covered.’

Member Services: Hmmm, let me do some research.

[2 minutes pass]

Member Services: Yes, acupuncture is covered for you.

Me: Excuse me? Can you explain to me your process? You initially told me acupuncture was not covered. Now you tell me it is covered only after I press you. How did you suddenly change your mind?

Member Services: I had to read the notes for your plan and it shows that you’re covered.

Me: Why didn’t you read the notes for my plan before telling me I wasn’t covered? Are you dumb? Seriously, are you dumb?

Does Acupuncture Even Work? A Pissed Off Patient is Wondering

I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist for over 4 months now. The whole point is to get pregnant by regulating my periods which sadly have been occurring less frequently ever since I became a patient. My period finally came today, a whole two months since my last cycle. I forget, until it happens, that I get highly emotional when I’m on my period. That emotion came out in flares.

Tonight while I was laying down waiting to be needled, my acupuncturist talked about my need to do this and that, and how I should be focusing on this and that, and I swear to God all the thisses and thats got to me. I could hear the tears bubbling inside and then I just lost it. A river of hopelessness and despair poured down the sides of my cheeks into my ear canal and my hair. “You are stressing me out!” I sobbed. “Why am I never doing enough? Why isn’t this working for me!”

I held back all the other things I wanted to say. I truly believe in the power of acupuncture, but is this all a waste? Maybe he’s not the right healer for me even though 3 personal friends of mine swear by him. These are friends I trust wholeheartedly. And oh, the money. Flushing money down the toilet as our accounting professor used to say about corporate excess. Was this my personal excess? A waste of money, a waste of time. I don’t even enjoy the sessions, the needles do hurt sometimes.

Bleh, hopefully I will be feeling less volatile tomorrow. I was reading a book about how you should stick with something for 3 months and if it’s not helping to stop. I will give it another month or two.