A frank discussion of Systemic Candidia and what it's doing to my life and the changes I have had to make as a result, which includes major changes in my sex life.
Ok, so I've been writing occasionally about the Candidia/Thrush/Yeast Infection I've been living with since 2007. We've changed my diet; <20g carbs per day, nothing containing yeast, no wheat (exception for Dreamfields - it does work), no corn syrup or starch or meal, no soy, no rice noodles or soba noodles, no TVP, no sugar, no honey, no yeast, most fruit is out, etc etc. There are 23g of carbs in a single slice of whole wheat matzoh, 18g in a serving of organic applesauce withot sugar, 1/2 cup of organic refried beans is 21g. Milk, cheese, meat? All have small amounts of carbs, which count too. I can eat a little Dreamfields pasta, and I found a rice I can have a little of (http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prmenbr=127574&prrfnbr=1509790 - I can have about 1/4 cup after it's cooked) as part of my daily food, but then I need to skip the apple or strawberries or beans of any sort or I'm over my limit.
I do not bake. But T was good to me this week, and got me a kitchen scale and almond and coconut flour and things to start learning. Given that I suck at following recipes exactly (much as I suck at using a commercial sewing pattern) this should be interesting to say the least. But if I can learn to make koulurakia or kourambiethes or even decent flatbread, "rye" bread, french bread and tortillas it'll be a good thing. Part of the problem I'm having is that food smells and therefore tastes bad, which upsets my stomach a lot, and having bread around would be a good thing, even if I can only have 1/2 a slice.
Also, finding prepared foods that do not have HFCS, Sugar, Gluten, Sucralose, Artificial Sweeteners, etc is almost impossible, and I'm supposed to stay away from all of them. Small amounts of Stevia and Agave have been ok'd but that's it. Even the organics use sugar or honey or some kind of juice as a sweetener. And gluten free or celiac foods still have flour and yeast, sugar, etc just not wheat or gluten.
All of that means that I cook, a lot. Usually a big batch or meal that will generate multiple days of leftovers because I don't have the energy to cook every day, I have other things to do like load the dishwasher or take a shower or go see another doctor. And T is picking up some basic cooking skills, plus he plays extra hands that notice when he touches something hot, doesn't slice himself open cutting vegetables, and I definitely need the help.
Then there are the anti-Candidia meds: Nystatin usually keeps the level low if I'm already low on the infection level, and my body tolerates it well. Fluconazole (the primary oral used in the states) gave me serious diarrhea and vomiting regularly, to the point that I'd have to do two or three weeks on and then one off to allow my guts to recover. I've tried herbal anti-yeast medications and vitamins that appear to do nothing. I take "Multidopholis" to make sure that the beneficial bacteria that are supposed to keep Candidia in check are topped up twice daily. And the newest member of the team, VFend. The original, lower dose not so much. The higher dose seems to be helping, but slowly. Vfend can also cause nausea, diarrhea and/or constipation on any given day, but it's not nearly as bad as Fluconazole.
I have Candidia in my mouth, my throat. In my esophagus. On my face. This means I can't kiss anyone really, I can't make out with T, and we go through a lot of plastic wrap. Physical affection cannot involve any fluid exchange, be it saliva, or semen or vaginal fluid or blood because passing this on to anyone else would be very bad.
And in spite of having had no un-plasticed sex in months, and very little at that because I'm soo tired all the time (not that I'm uninterested, just that I don't have the energy to expend most of the time), sometime in January it spread through my bloodstream to become an -azole resistant vaginal yeast infection too. I haven't had a vaginal yeast infection in years, and forgot how much they suck. The -azole resistance means Monostat, Myclelex, etc do not work at all. So now not only can't I kiss or touch, and even though the toys are run through the dishwasher after use and/or wrapped in a condom, I'm allowed no penetration at all until the vaginal infection heals.
But no one knows when that might be, since the medications available aren't working. My regular doctor is overwhelmed and not handling this very well, the specialist is increasing my doseages of Nystatin and Vfend which aren't quite doing it, and the neurologist compared my immune system to that of someone in the advanced stages of HIV when I went for my initial appointment (as requested he has been given copies of all my bloodwork etc).
My Ode to Candidia was an attempt at making myself laugh about it when I was having a bad day. But it's also true and frustrating and was written before it spread to my crotch, and before I had visible sores on my face. Guess how much better I feel about it now?
Edit to clarify: not only do I not want to pass this on to anyone else, even if/when we manage to kill the -azole resistant infection in my mouth, throat, vagina, etc I still probably can't make out with anyone or have sex without dental dams and condoms ever. Because normal people have a bit of Candidia in their bodies, only they have functional immune systems which keep it in check. But that means T could pass me another Candidia infection quite easily since my immune system does nothing to control it at this point.