Monday, July 15, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Simple Pleasures

Sunlight Through Leaves
In this age of the internet so much conflicting information is out there, that sometimes it is difficult to know just what to believe. It can lead to stress and over thinking some decisions. Today I had a simple reminder from Carlie. As I stepped outside to speak to her, she said, "You should stand in the sun for a while."

I stood in the sun for less than a minute before I had to come inside due to the heat, hot pavement on my feet, and my body being weak and not able to stand very long. But it reminded me of the simple pleasure of feeling the sun on my face. Sometimes it's important to get back to the basics.

Our bodies are like the plants in my photograph in some ways. We are made of mostly water, and our cell membranes synthesize nutrients, in part, from exposure to the sun. Here is an interesting article about how to safely get vitamin D for our bodies, primarily from the sun:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Health and Harmony

In some ways my quest to simplify has really been beneficial and has continued forward despite my health concerns. In others it has stalled. I suppose all of my attempts, whether they have been followed through to fruition or not have been beneficial in some way. For example, Project 333 helped me really cull through my clothes and make my closet more useful. It not only holds my clothes, but serves as a changing area. I scoffed when we moved in and someone said it was a walk in closet, but if used properly, it is in fact a tiny walk in closet. I haven't measured it, but I would guesstimate it is about 3 by 2.5 feet which allows one to hang plenty of clothes, so by simplifying my wardrobe I actually had room to move my 2 small dressers in there, and by putting a cushion on one I created a nice place to sit and change clothes without small animals underfoot. Much safer. If one were claustrophobic maybe it would be a problem, but it has worked out nicely for me.

Since I haven't been going out much other than to doctor's offices I haven't had many occasions to wear my dressier clothes. But yesterday I went ahead and wore some nice slacks with a shirt that used to be too tight to button closed, and which now apparently I fit in quite nicely. Sadly, I could only find one of my slip on shoes that matched the outfit and didn't feel up to putting on shoes I would need to bend over to tie, so I ended up wearing slip on vans which totally did not match the outfit. I only went to the lab for allergy blood tests and to pick up "homework" from the G.I. doc to make sure we got rid of the bacteria I'd been fighting off. And no one seemed to notice the garish toon covered vans next to the dress slacks LOL. Sort of a fun wardrobe mishap that made me chuckle but apparently slipped by anyone else's notice. I only mention it now because I'm thinking about project 333 and how I have or have not followed through and been enriched by trying it. I have not yet gotten a full length mirror in my tiny walk in closet, so I haven't managed to take pictures of the various outfits I come up with from the 33 clothing items, and I think a few pieces of clothing that I had put in the donation pile somehow snuck back into my closet. I have 2 people who help me wash and put away clothing, so sometimes that happens. I also chose too many warm clothes for this time of year. I started the project when it was still cool sometimes, and now it is 97 degrees at night. So I probably should have started the project when it was warmer. That way I would have chosen more shorts. As it is, I don't wear a large portion of my clothing (suits, dress slacks, dress shirts, a few long sleeved pull overs) and don't think my 3 pairs of shorts would be enough if I were going out of the house more often, but since I'm not it's working just fine.

My bedroom still needs work, but it is coming along as well. The large empty dresser which was collecting stuff has now been moved into Nick's room where he is making use of it. Really looks a bit empty right now as the only furniture is my alter, a phone/printer stand, and my hammock, but Patch asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said help finishing the organizing and setting up of my room. Hopefully she will go for that. I would like to build and set up shelves and a fold away desk along the wall which used to have the large dresser, and I plan to make some sort of decoration incorporating some shallow shelves and hiding a stable grab bar or two next to the hammock to help me safely get up and out.

So a bit of cleaning and organizing needed in the bedroom that I haven't been feeling up to doing, but hopefully as we figure out what is going on with my health I will get back to a place where I can do some tidying up on my own, and hopefully people will take me seriously when I say I want help finishing my bedroom mods for my birthday. Looks like I'll have to postpone the trip to California for my birthday tho. It's just over a week away and I'm definitely not in a place to be getting on an airplane. Plus my mom is rightfully worried that she would feed me something wrong and put me in the hospital or worse. Since I don't even know yet what I can safely eat or be around, how is she supposed to know?  Maybe in August I can escape some of the heat here and get time at a beach.

I had my upper endoscopy and spent a few days dragging and sore afterwards. My throat is still sore, but my gut was feeling a bit better. He said that he saw no signs of EoE but my stomach and the bit after my stomach were inflamed and he took biopsies of some particularly angry looking areas. He noted that there seemed to be an overproduction of acid in my stomach, and prescribed Prilosec. This means in the morning I take my thyroid medicine, then wait an hour, take Prilosec, then wait a half hour, take my allegra and I can eat. I've been eating mostly rice. Rice porridge in the morning and rice with a bit of pork butt or pork ribs later in the day.

I watched a beautiful. french movie called Romantics Anonymous which I recommend if you like subtitles and romantic awkwardness. I think there was something missing in the translation, literally. I suspect some of the English words used in the subtitles were not quite what it would have been had I been watching in it's native French, but the visuals were beautiful. Down side, it made me crave chocolate and I decided to eat some of the lovely dark chocolate I had in the cupboard. My stomach did not like that. I am not sure if it was an allergic reaction or just an upset stomach reaction, but lots of bloating, belching, and nausea ensued. I'm still paying for it today. So no chocolate for at least a month. I think I will give the rest of the dark chocolate to Patch, and find some gluten free friends who want some of my gluten free chocolate chips and other things I have in the house that I shouldn't be eating. I think chocolate is one of the most difficult things for me to give up.

Overall it has been easier than expected to avoid foods. The first couple weeks were a real challenge, but I have gotten used to mostly eating rice and pork with the occasional other thing thrown in to test it out. It's a very slow process, and I'm not even going as slow as I would be if waiting for the allergist to tell me specifically what to try. She would have me trying one thing a month. But since she told me it was OK to eat things I don't THINK trigger me, those are the things I am testing about once a week with time in between to recover. So far the only thing I think I've found which doesn't cause a reaction is olive oil. And I"m not 100% sure about that because I do notice some symptoms on days I use olive oil which it may be causing but they're things like acidic taste/feeling in my mouth which may not be allergies but could simply be acid re-flux for all I know. So for now, I've been avoiding olive oil while I recover from the upper endoscopy. I may try it again when my stomach settles down.

The new medicine schedule is a bit annoying and so far means I end up not eating breakfast till around noon since I get up at 9:30 and forget to take the prilosec an hour after the thyroid meds. By the time I've remembered and taken all the meds in the right order and apart from each other my stomach is sore and rumbling but all I can tolerate is some mild rice porridge. Luckily I have created a fast an easy way to make some by blending rice milk and rice from the fridge and then adding some salt and sometimes a bit of sugar after heating it in the microwave (we prepare a cup of rice or more in the rice cooker daily so there is some left over in the morning) I know it's not the healthiest thing to eat, but it's all my stomach seems able to handle in the morning and the only thing i can tolerate without allergies right now. Hopefully soon we will sort something more nutritious out. It turns out the nutrient replacement drink my allergist usually prescribes has coconut in it, which I'm mildly allergic to. She said I could try it, but I'm not so sure that is a good idea. Her office said there is no alternative which I know is not true. I definitely need to talk to a nutritionist because my current set of doctors seems to think it's perfectly fine to subsist on rice and pork forever. How this doesn't concern them is beyond us. I know people who have gotten scurvy from not enough vitamin C, so at the very least I know that I need to find a way to take Vitamin C that doesn't trigger my citrus allergies and I'm not even a doctor. How this isn't worrisome to them is beyond me and makes me question whether they actually have any interest in making their patients healthy. It has been very frustrating to say the least. Hopefully we will find some solutions soon.