Saturday, April 19, 2008


I've done a lot of medical testing in the past few weeks, to try to figure out why I'm sick so much. I'm sick so much that I've already used up all my sick time for the year! Granted, that's not a whole lot of time, but still.
I did blood work labs, a very thorough physical, and allergy testing. It's fascinating how much the findings support the other methods of medical information I've been using (Traditional Chinese Medicine and a medical intuitive), but that's another post.
The lab results: I am anemic (that's low iron), have an Omega-3 deficiency, and a frighteningly severe Vitamin D deficiency. Those are all being addressed through taking supplements; its too big a deal to wait for a change in diet or something to be worked out and kick in. I also have a Urinary Tract Infection that it looks like has been around for a very long time... months and months. My symptoms are abnormal so I never picked up on it. Basically I just get weird lower abdominal pain at times, but I've had none of the discomfort during urination or anything like that. That's not being treated with antibiotics right now, though my doctor is thinking about trying sulfa drugs instead. The reason we aren't doing antibiotics is....
The allergy testing results. The biggest thing is I am completely over run with candida yeast. My recurring sinus infections, it seems, are not recurring sinus infections. They are yeast infections in my sinuses. I also probably get them in my lungs which is why I almost always have a mild cough. Basically anywhere there is a mucus membrane, I have at least a low-grade yeast infection. I thought my random skin itchiness was due to the different water here, or maybe a detergent or soap allergy. Nope. Yeasties again. So a large part of my brand new diet is avoiding foods that feed yeast. So that's all grains except rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and millet. Also all sugars, including natural ones for a while, except for one serving of fresh fruit per day. In unrelated-to-yeast allergies, there's nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, some squashes), all dairy except for butter and whey (that's milk from any animal, not just cows, that I'm intolerant to), soy in any form, peanuts, nitrates (those are found in almost all food preservatives and colorings so it pretty much rules out anything except fresh foods and home made items), chocolate, coffee, and any corn product, and gluten.
Here, let's make this easier: here is what I CAN eat:
-any fresh meat, but it's much better if it's antibiotic-free
-any vegetable except for nightshades and white potatoes, but only limited amounts of beans, winter squash, yams, and sweet potatoes
-rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, or millet, but only one serving the size of my palm per day
-one serving of fresh fruit per day
-any nut except peanuts
So that's pretty much how I'm eating this past week and a half. Plus the 3 afore-mentioned supplements, a probiotic, a multivitamin, vitamin C, and a grapefruit seed extract pill (kills the candida). For those counting, thats 8 different kinds of pills and comes up to about 24 pills per day.
I've been struggling with feeling restricted and such, but yesterday I had some pretty cool revelations in a dialogue.
1. Things can be big without being hard. So, this is a big change, with a lot of adjustments, but it isn't difficult. It's a lot, but not hard.
2. Cravings are awesome! My body craves sugars and breads because it doesn't have enough of those chemicals. Which means those chemicals are working their way out of me and I am getting healthier!
3. I know empirically that this way of eating and taking care of myself is working. I already have way fewer headaches, sleep more deeply, and wake up feeling awake (instead of having a groggy hour or two every morning). So I know that I am taking the best care of myself that I can by taking such good care of myself.
I go back to the allergy doctor next Wednesday (April 23) and get re-tested for some things. The idea is that the diet will change over time; get less restrictive (like maybe I could have limited amounts of natural sugars again, or could do a rotation diet with some of the foods, or have them once in a while), so I am excited to see what the results will be this time. I don't expect a whole lot of change, to be honest, because there's been some cheating going on in the diet and a few times I've forgotten to take my pills in the mornings.
Eating takes more planning now. I can't just grab anything from anywhere. Once I get into the groove though, I think it's gonna get even better.
Oh, I also have pretty much every environmental allergy there is (dander, dust, mold, quite a few pollens, several household type chemicals), which can be controlled by... well... not being around those things.
Here's to health!

Monday, April 14, 2008

by the way

I got a haircut.

spot checks!

I made a major move in my training. Let me give some background first. There are three levels to this apprenticeship. First is Class B (B is for beginner). In class B you are generally in the playroom once to twice a week, increasing from 15 minutes to 1 or occasionally 1.5 hours. You are videotaped for 15 minutes of both of your times in the playroom, and have 2 feedback classes a week based on getting feedback on those tapes.
After about 6 months you move up to Class I (that's I for intermediate). Class I is in the room a minimum of twice a week, for a minimum of an hour. You will generally go into the room for up to 4 hours a week, in total. Class I is videotaped for 15 minutes of only one of their sessions and has just one feedback class per week, based on that video. For one other session in a week, Class I gets what is called spot checks. For a spot check a teacher or teacher trainee will observe you in the room in person (we have an observation room with a huge two-way mirror attached to every playroom that we observe through). Your observer gives you written feedback that includes the areas that you were most and least effective in, but there is no class or official discussion (of course you are always free to go to your spot checker and ask questions etc). Toward the end of Class I you begin to work to get four video tapes that are considered senior apprentice level. When you get four, you move up to Class A. That usually happens at around a year.
Next is Class A (for advanced) which is also known as Senior Apprentice. These people don't have feedback class any more; their feedback is all from spot checks. When the teachers decide you are ready, you begin to work on tapes again. You are video taped in the playroom at random, at least once a week. The teachers then watch the tapes and decide whether you are at the level of a certifiable Child Facilitator. You have to get four tapes in a row (that's four weeks in a row). Three of the four must be excellent and one can be fair. If your tape for a week isn't certifiable quality, you start over at tape number one. After your four tapes, you are back on spot checks. This time one of the two senior teachers (that's Kate and William) will spot check you at random once a week. When you get four certifiable spot checks in a row (again, that's four weeks in a row) its just a matter of waiting for them to tell you you are truly certified.
OK, so after all that, here's the very cool news: I just moved up to Class I!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

taxes shmaxes

I've always had H&R Block do my taxes, no matter how simple, because I've been afraid to mess anything up. I just e-filed my taxes all by myself though. I think. Cross your fingers for me!