Thursday, October 28, 2010

Follow your intuition

A little recap on my leg episode: A few weeks ago, my left leg went numb and tingly. Over a period of about 4 days, it got worse and then the right leg went into this foot drop thing. That's basically where you lose control of your leg/foot and are basically dragging it around. Then my right hand joined the fun and I could barely hold a pen.

First visit to the health clinic yielded a diagnosis of "sciatica" even though I insisted that I had no lower back pain. No blood work was taken.

The condition got worse and I didn't believe it was sciatica. So, I started doing some online research. Many diseases had the similar symptoms, but tracing them back to their causes, I kept finding the same root: B12 deficiency.

B12 only comes from animal products and nutritional yeast. Since moving to Kentucky, my intake of animal products, which was already only dairy and fish, greatly diminished. Seafood isn't exactly plentiful here.

Upon this discovery, I called the clinic again and insisted getting blood work done. They had me come back in and after an hour, the practitioner agreed to order the blood work for B12. Meanwhile, I began to take a vitamin with high levels of B12 (400% dv).

My legs are 100% better now, about 3.5 weeks later. And I finally received the results of that blood work. Drum roll please....the blood was taken 4 days into my vitamin regimen, so I was expecting that I might even be normal and never have the satisfaction of proof...continue the drum roll...but here are the results: my B12 levels are at 149. The normal range is 175-852.

The lesson to be learned is
1) Don't let healthcare practitioners bully you into the easy "diagnosis."
2) Always follow your intuition. If someone says you have sciatica, and you feel that is not true, press on and find the answer yourself.

Once again, I'm so grateful for the yoga. If I hadn't learned how to listen to my body, I could have ended up treating the wrong problem and never finding a solution.

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