Sunday, June 17, 2012

Middle Age hits Sarah Louise...

When you spend more time on your aches and pains than you do on your beauty regime, you realize, oh, I'm getting old(er).

I take a morning bath for a chronic skin condition. I flex my foot and put on Ben-Gay after heating it at least twice a day b/c I wore stupid shoes in APRIL. And for the record, the stupid shoes were not heels, they were regular shoes with out my prescribed arch support insoles. I did a lot of walking when I was in Grand Rapids in those shoes. They were cute, but ultimately stupid. I thank L.L. Bean for their liberal return policy, and I am enjoying my skirt very much.

I time breakfast so that the antibiotics I'm currently taking will be 2 hours away from when I have dairy or vitamins.

I may not have the best health, but I am working on it. I may not do everything right, but I am working on it. I am eating more whole foods (e.g. non-processed.) I am trying to walk at least a mile at least 3 times a week.

And this afternoon, I'm going to go to a poetry meeting. And I might even use some of my paycheck to join the Carnegie Museums so that I can come and go as I please...there is an exhibit on the Impressionists that I want to go to.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's all about the blood...

Right now, on a blog far far away, a comment war is occurring.  My friend, Carol Howard Merritt, a pastor and writer, takes on the firecracker topic that's been labeled the "war on women." This is a topic that I have wanted to write about since it started but have lacked the courage to write or the desire to do the research to write a thorough piece. What you read below is Carol's response after a male commenter blasted her four times. Women in ministry get enough flack as it is (and I am not here to discuss that topic, this is my health blog), but the one thing men will never understand without a sex change operation is menstruation.

Carol's words need no further introduction. 

Do you know what it is like to bleed so profusely for two weeks straight that you become weak and anemic? Every time you stand up, you feel dizzy. Do you know what it’s like to have pains in your stomach that are so debilitating that you have a difficult time going to school or to work? Do you know what it is like to go through menopause, with incredible floods of blood that seem to come from nowhere, and frighten you even though you have been bleeding for over fifty years? Do you know what it’s like to have hormonal swings? Alongside the weakness, you have vacillation in body temperature, becoming hot or cold and feeling faint for no apparent reason. Do you know what it’s like to have depression and anxiety that creeps in regularly? You learn to manage it, aside from all the other pain. Do you know what it’s like to have surging, pounding migraines due to your menstrual cycle? A lot of girls begin going through this when they are nine years old, and many do not stop bleeding until they are fifty.

Do you know what it’s like to realize that one tiny pink pill could help with all of it?

There are some things that men will not understand. You cannot understand. Women have a different embodied experience. So it is difficult to hear men condemn women for using birth control, assuming that they will be using it as “a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be” (as Santorum said) or assuming that we will use the pill as an abortifacient (as you have done).

I imagine that is why many Evangelical women and Catholic women go against what their churches teach about birth control. We learned to ignore men when it comes to birth control, because a RC Bishop may understand a lot things, but he can never be an authority on what it’s like to menstruate.

Thank you, Carol, for saying what is on the minds and in the hearts of so many women.

A little bloggy love for Carol's books can be found here. I have spent time with Carol in person and online and can vouch that she is of sane mind and a kind heart. I recommend her writing if you are interested in the church in modern times. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Allergies...are ya kidding me?

So, I do not have medical evidence (aka, the skin tests*), but I know my body well enough to know that I am now allergic to the following foods:

tree nuts (almonds, at least)

The top two make me sneeze or eyes itch. Soy makes me disoriented. And soy is in EVERYTHING.

I know it's wrong, but I subsist on tv dinners. Well, if you want no soy, you have to get everything with CHEESE. Which I'm not allergic to, but I try to stay away from dairy in the week before my period. Also, dairy is not the best if you're trying to avoid sinus infections. So. Week 1 of my period: monster cramps AND a sinus infection. Yeah.

So I'm compiling good allergy links, as I look into the fall and cooler weather to cook, recipes, dining out tips, etc. Here is some of what I've uncovered:

Allergy Eats. The site is new and a little buggy, but it does give ratings from folks that have eaten there on what the response was to allergy related requests, etc.

Allergic Living. Website to the magazine with the same name. Will look into a subscription. The website has recipes, blogs, food allergy info, asthma info, all sorts of good info.

Best Allergy Sites. A sort of catchall for a lot of sites on gluten-free and and hypo-allergenic living.

Mom's Food Allergy Diner. A blog written by a mom with allergy free recipes. I think my rate of home cooking will go way up once the weather cools down.

Tips for eating out. I especially liked this one from WebMD.

I'll keep you updated. I have not been blogging regularly anywhere, life has been CRAZY, but it is helpful to have a place to park this kind of information.

What makes me so mad (and sad) is that foods that I used to love are now off limits.

getting those after my sister's wedding in 6 days!
(unless I have to use an antihistamine after

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Learning the hard way...about detox

So, I wasn't planning to do a detox. I just happen to own a box of detox tea and read "use two tea bags for more of a punch." (That wasn't the exact wording.) I took the bait. It was a weak moment. I'm trying to lose weight for my sister's wedding (and my own well-being) and it seemed like an okay idea.

That was then, this is now.

Ever experience a detox "die-off"? Me neither, until now.

What is a "die-off"? Well, apparently, your liver is overwhelmed by all the bad dead cells that the detox has killed. Some folks say it's a good thing, others say, well, you want to avoid it. After this, I'm in the second camp. Slow is better, I'm thinking. I do not ever want to feel this way because of something self-inflicted.

Wednesday I didn't notice that I felt crappy until I did my first story time. My mouth was dry and I felt like death warmed over. Not that I was going to vomit (I rarely do) but just that I really wanted to lie down for a really lie down. Okay, I left something out. My bowels were an indication.

So after my first story time, I negotiated the rest of the day off, if I did the second story time.

I drove home and crawled into bed. I slept for 3 hours and had lunch at 4 pm.

"Detox die off" became something I regularly Googled for the next couple of days. Yesterday was when I found some help. After my back started hurting Friday (a symptom of die-off is joint pain, and if you Google die off and back pain, you get a bunch of hits) I found some tips that helped.

Drink lots of water. I have not gone the distilled route because I'm not into distilled water.

Take lots of vitamin C. Okay, I'm up with that, but not to the point of diarrhea, which some sites recommend. Um, I feel bad, I don't want to feel worse.

Take baths with Epsom salt. I can do that.

Eat lots of vegetables and no red meat. Okay.

Add to that stuff that you do for a back ache: Thermacare wraps, Tylenol (I am allergic to NSAIDS, which means ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.), sleeping with a pillow between your knees (I'm a side sleeper.)

And lots of sleep.

Today, my back feels a little better (good enough to sit through Les Miserables, after lunch, after driving through city neighborhoods to pick up Lilly, after cleaning SNOW off my car.)

What am I grateful for? Right now?

That I do not live in any of the places that are flooding. As I've been sitting here, writing this, watching CBS Sunday Morning, the TV has beeped and run the emergency ticker tape at the bottom of the screen: FLOOD WARNING.

I'm also grateful that I have a little bit less of the chalk mouth, and that tomorrow I get to see my chiropractor, who will be a little less judgmental of a detox than my regular general practitioner.

Chalk this one up to: lesson learned.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Miss Susie called the Doctor...the doctor called the nurse...

This children's verse actually is a great outlet for my frustration with the medical profession in this country:

Miss Susie had a baby, she named him Tiny Tim.
She put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water, he ate all the soap, he tried to eat the bathtub but it wouldn't go down his throat.
Miss Susie called the doctor, the doctor called the nurse, the nurse called the lady with the alligator purse.
In walked the doctor, in walked the nurse, in walked the lady with the alligator purse.
Mumps! said the doctor, Measles! said the nurse, Nothing! said the lady with the alligator purse.
Out walked the doctor, Out walked the nurse, Out walked the lady with the alligator purse.

Last week I called my dermatologist, as I had a boil under my arm that was getting inflamed. I started myself on an antibiotic that had been previously prescribed for this type of thing. After a good conversation with the nurse, I asked some more questions, and the nurse said, we'll call back tomorrow with the answers. Well, she called back to say they were going to prescribe an antibiotic. Which one, I asked? She gave the name. Oh, no, that one makes me anxious. The nurse notes that and says, it says here you are allergic to penecillan and aspirin. Oh, and sulfa drugs, I said. Oh, we'll put that on our chart.

The next day I get a recording from Walgreens saying there is some insurance problem with my prescription. So I call Walgreens and talked to the pharmacy tech, who said, your doctor just called in an antibiotic and you had just refilled that recently so it's not going through. Which antibiotic? The same one I was already on!!! Which I had mentioned in my first call to the nurse.

Plus, lovely TMI detail, all these antibiotics give me breakthrough bleeding because I'm also on the Pill. So I really want to get off the antibiotics since I've been on them 10 days now. And so I left a message with the nurse's station answering machine. I think I'll have to make an appointment. Sometimes they can inject the boil with steroids. They might not be able to since I'm still recovering from the Shingles...

I got a book out of the library last night, Stop Being your Symptoms: a 6 week mind-body program to ease your chronic symptoms. I'll let you know how it goes. I will try ANYTHING at this point.

Over and out, I need to chill with my book.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"I do not think that word means what you think it means..."

(from Princess Bride)

Shingles is a pain in my side. Fortunately for me, it's more a mental anguish that my body doesn't have energy than a literal pain in my side or on my head. My co-workers have not been as lucky. My one co-worker has it on her scalp and she can't brush her hair and she says that by 3pm it feels like someone has been pulling her hair all day.

And all the literature says, "Immuno-suppressed." Well, I may be fighting boils left and right, and I know my co-worker and I are both under a lot of stress as things change at work, but I have heard enough stories from people that weren't dying from cancer and shingles was just a symptom, a flag that said, oh guess what, you are REALLY sick.

And it's not just old people. It seems that Shingles is as pervasive as Mono, just not as well understood. I've heard of 14 year olds getting it, college students getting it...

Oh, and here's something. When you get it, start taking B vitamins and Vitamin C at therapeutic levels *right away* and aggressively. Your doctor won't tell you because "it's not proven that those work" (from my friend who is married to a doctor and deals with too many doctors). Avocado is a good food to eat a lot of. Also beta carotene.

This is not a scientific blog, but a place for me to be frustrated with the status quo of how doctors and patients operate in this first world country. It's all about germs and not about your body's mechanisms to fight it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

at least I can say, it really is my hormones...

from Hormonology:

Week 2
Day 8 to Day 13
Today's hormone-cast:
Stress is at an all-cycle high this week as rocketing estrogen amps up your anxiety level. As a result, you may feel plagued by headaches, tense shoulders and a sore back. Luckily, a little self-massage can work wonders to loosen up tight muscles and give you a mood boost. In fact, research shows that giving yourself a rubdown is just as relaxing as asking someone else to do it for you!

Today started out completely craptastically but by now, the Universe has figured out that it needed to compensate in the other direction. YAY!

You can almost, not quite, see all the crap that happened this morning roll back into a ball, as if the film were rolling backwards.