Monday, August 31, 2009


Just found a list of some common gluten allergy symptoms. Ones I relate to include:
upper respiratory issues (mostly sinuses for me)
digestion issues (I'll spare you the details here)
muscle aches
anemia (I'm borderline)

So yeah.
Didn't eat enough today and I'm pretty sure that's why I'm feeling down and kinda anti-Sonya. Hypoglycemia, so interesting.


Did I mention well Of Mercy has a walkable labyrinth? It does. The clouds were sprinkling a little at twilightish when I decided to walk it. When I first got there (it's up a bit of a hill from the buildings of the Well) a rabbit dashed away, flashing its white tail at me (hi mom, who loved rabbits and has shown up as one a few times since her death). As I began walking the rain got heavier, and when I reached the center it was accompanied by thunder and lightening that was the only way I could make out the paths of the maze, and I couldn't make out the details of the boulder 2 feet from where I sat. I thought, "well, I could just get up and leave. Or I could brave my fear of thunder, dark, and alien encounters (no really, I have a pretty big thing about aliens) and walk the labyrinth back out from the center." So, although quite a bibt more quickly than I had walked in, I rewalked the labyrinth. Here's some thing I elarned that night:
-You seem closer and further from the center (your goals, wholeness, nearness to God), but as long as you stay on the path and keep moving, you are actually always getting closer to center.
-Fear takes you out of your experience. So does battling fear. Accepting fear with nonjudging compassion keeps you in the present.
-You might think you can see where you are headed, bubt you might be looking at things the wrong way, or seeing an illusion.
-There will always be enough light to see your way if you are ready to take advantage of it whenever it may come.
-If you can't make out the path, look directly in front of you (step by step, day by day, cam cam ruz be ruz).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Well of Mercy

Well of Mercy is a retreat center nearish here. I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon and will be back home on Sunday, to spend time there. They don't have internet (heck, their cell phone coverage is kinda shady) and I'm only bringing one book, for bedtime reading. My plan is to spend a lot of time getting the writing complete for the pamphlet and website for my work. I also want to make some basic layout plans for them both and my business card. Then when I get back to civilization, all I need to do is find some pictures and/or graphics to use, find a printer (hmm, my brother printed a bunch of pamphlets once...), and figure out how to upload it to the website I already own.
The work stuff is my primary goal, but I also plan to do lots of walking around in their gorgeous woods, journaling, and that kind of stuff.
I'm very much looking forward to it, and would appreciate good vibes sent my way during this retreat time!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

B-12, Spit, and the Immune System

Alright.... this is turning into a medical blog, isn't it. Oh well, that's kinda what I'm doing right now. So, just got back from the doctor.
She thinks I'll be on the candida killing diet for another 2 or 3 months, maybe maybe 4. Then I'll be able to have sweets or something like once a week and be fine. Switched a couple of meds up just to keep the yeasties on their toes; they are highly adaptable creatures.
The b12 shot I got last week seemed to up my energy a little. I still sleep like 12 hours at night, but don't need naps any more. Actually got some housework done the past few days, yay! So I'll be getting one a week for the next few weeks.
The rest of this is from the spit tests. Digestion and candida can effect some of this, especially the chemically bits, so for now I'm staying aggressively on the yeast protocol and when that steadies, we will see how things look.
I have an actual allergy to gluten (versus an intolerance) so being gluten-free will be a lifelong thing for me. Allergies don't tend to even out like intolerances sometimes can. That's kind of a bummer. At least its a kind of hip thing to have right now, so there's lots of gluten-free alternatives to things. Some are even decent!
Cortisol is the stress hormone, so you don't want too much. But too little isn't good either, because its the hormone that gives you energy. My cortisol levels are really low, especially in the morning, which explains why I have so much trouble waking up. Throughout the day it goes into the normal zone, but stays right on the low side borderline. This is also why I have a weak and thready pulse: my heart just isn't motivated, it doesn't have the energy to do more. The pulse isn't scary, I'm not about to keel over. But it helps to explain low energy levels also.
The other big thing is a chemical called SIgA (don't ask what that stands for, I dunno and can't be bothered to look it up). This is the first defense of the immune system. Its in your saliva and mucus and acts as a germ killer. Normal is 25-60 milligrams per deciliter. I scored an 8. So that's really really low and explains a lot of why I'm sick all the time. Fortunately, its also one of the things that's probably very affected by the whole candida situation and should get much better once that's under control.
Every thing else on the spit test was pretty normal... I have the basic building blocks to build all the chemicals my body needs, I'm not allergic to milk proteins (although dairy does upset my stomach if I have too much), my DHEA is a little low...I don't even remember what that is exactly... I just know it can contribute to depression if its low.
So, for now, staying hardcore with the candida killing diet and meds, eating every 2-3 hours (I think that really is helping to stabilize my mood), and staying well clear of gluten.
In excitinger news (what, my spell checker didn't underline excitinger?!) I seem to be headache free, my eergy is somewhat up (as mentioned earlier), my mood is more stable so I've less of those kill-me-now depression times, and I'm starting to really beleive this is worth it.

Oven Update

This latest batch of electricians actually fixed the problem! They replaced a burned out breaker.
But I still don't get to cook because I won't be keeping the stove that's 3 inches too big. In fact, I might be getting the old one back. But it looks like maybe, after almost 11 weeks, a home cooked meal is in sight!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Do Not Rent Through Metro Landmarks

I live in an apartment rented through Metro Landmarks. My oven/stove has not worked for TEN WEEKS. During those ten weeks I have made many phone calls and written many emails. I had one visit from the regular maintenance guy, one from the Metro Landmarks lady, one from an electrician and one from an appliance specialist. Last week a new outlet was installed for a new stove.Today my new stove got delivered! It is a 30 inch stove. The hole where it should go is 27 inches. The appliance delivery guys plugged it in anyway, in the middle of my kitchen... and the burners still don't heat up.
This is only the worst of a long list of things that haven't gone right, from being without a bathroom light for the first week of my lease to a crappy paint job. In no way can I recommend Metro Landmarks to anyone, ever.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Light at the End of the Soda Straw

So today I had to go out to get some groceries. I had a thought that I could just buy whatever the heck I wanted, forget the stupid candida thing. And I realized... except for a few very specific items (which are totally weird and things I actually don't normally even like, like cinnamon and brown sugar poptarts, and Dr. Pepper) my physical cravings seem to be gone. I definitely still have psychological ones. My brain really really wants things. But then when I think about actually eating say, a cookie or something, I don't really care about it.
So yay, a good sign!

Friday, August 21, 2009

bumper sticker

Its not mine, but it should be! Goes along with the not comparing myself or wanting to be mainstream America thing.
"It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

But wait! There's more!

My spit test results are back. I don't know them, although the doctor said there is definitely stuff going on in that arena. I have an appointment on Tuesday to find out about all that.
But what I did find out already is that I have this thing called "reactionary hypoglycemia." Its hypoglycemia, but some weird kind that regular fasting blood tests don't catch. I don't fully understand it all. But the result is, I need to be eating something every 2 to 3 hours. To quote the doctor, "Don't even think about getting hungry. You need to put something in your mouth every couple of hours." Apparently blood sugar can really screw with emotions, so this may be another contributing factor to depression.
I also got a B12 shot today. Its a really bright red color... actually the same color as one of mom's chemo meds was. It's supposed to boost energy. I'll be getting one a week for the next few weeks til my body figures out how to work on this whole new system of energy/food it's learning.
Still pretty up and down. Very tired. Some headaches. Should only be a week or so of the really tough part left. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I went somewhere!

Finally I am starting to feel a bit better! I'm still tired all the time (I sleep all night plus a couple of good naps during the day) and plagued by headaches that sometimes get bad. But I did take my niece and nephew out to lunch today, yay! I've been missing them. The hour and a half or so was just about right. toward the end I was getting pretty tired and a vague headache, which is growing a bit now. It was totally worth it though!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

new lessons put to use!

Read the next entry, it's new too. But I just remembered something else I wanted to say.
Often I learn things, have an aha! moment, and then kinda forget to put the learnings into practice. But I'm learning (uhm, no punnish type thing intended)!
Today a group of people I was with were talking about movies and TV shows and music they like and I was all like "Never heard of that one. Who? No, I didn't see it, what is it? Oh, I don't have a TV. No, I don't see a lot of movies. Oh, he's in it...uhm, who is he?" And whenever I mentioned something I had seen or listened to I got the same kinds of questions from them. At first I was thinking I am too totally nerdy or out of it or isolationist or something. But then I thought... you know what? I don't want to be mainstream America anyway!
(see post about comparisons if you don't get the learning I've put to use here)

an attitude of learning

Spoke to someone on the phone today (hi, someone!) who kind of reminded me there are other perspectives to this detox thing.
Like how much I'm learning about myself. For example, I don't differentiate between cravings very well. I can't tell if I'm hungry, thirsty, tired, craving sugar, craving self injury, etc etc. at least, not when it's a strong craving. This is definitely something I want to train myself to do more easily.
And I have deprivation issues. When I can't have/get something I want, it triggers a lot of emotional stuff for me. I'm not entirely sure of where it all comes from or why its there, but not being "allowed" to have, say a cookie (mmmmmm cookie.... drool...) somehow turns into not being worthy of having a cookie which leads to not being worthy of anything good (like other people's companionship or love). Something to explore, fo' sho'. Started to a little bit in therapy this afternoon but had some other stuff to work on too. Plus an hour of therapy just isn't all that long when you're me!
So yes. Trying to approach this detox thing with an attitude of learning now, as well as remembering I've got 15 days at the very outside of this intense stuff. And that I'm creating a lifestyle here, which is the lufestyle I want and that is so good for me.
Also gonna try to research my reactions because (as in childbirth) it sometimes helps you get through stuff to know what your body is doing and why, even if the symptom stays the same
Meanwhile, still wickedly tired, pretty irritable and anxious, and I have a kind of constant lowgrade headache. The hives are gone though, thanks to the facebook friend who told me about sandalwood oil for hives!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

today is wednesday

super tired, some headache, some diarrhea

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the uninformed

This may be partly prompted by the afore mentioned bitchiness, but...
I hate when I'm telling someone about how I'm not feeling well and what's going on and they say "so candida is yeast infections, right?" So then it all becomes this totally minor silly thing that obviously can't be big or difficult because, really, its just this vaguely embarrassing girlie issue, right?

candida update 2

new symptom: irritation that occasionally should rightfully be called bitchiness.
the doctor says its all normal, and she's seen much worse. all the symptoms should be gone within 3 weeks of the start of the diet, and she can't really predict how long or how intense things will be.

Monday, August 10, 2009

fatigue, hives, headaches

that's what i have so far, on the third day of the yeast-free diet.
detox, fun.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

my health

I've got this cool new doctor. And some not so cool old conditions.
First: systemic candida. So these little candida (aka yeast) hang out in your intestines, and that's fine. They kind of have an ongoing war in there with other bacteria and they all keep eachother in check. But sometimes candida gets a little wold and crazy in there. If left too long, they grow these weird little arm things, that they use to basically poke holes in the lining of your intestines. This allows them to escape into your bloodstream. Meanwhile, so is partially digested food and all kinds of chemicals and stuff that really should just stay in your gut. So now you've got shit (literally) and candida swimming around in your bloodstream. The clever candida immediately go into hiding in little nests of white blood cells, so your body thinks "ho hum, nothing to see here!" It also releases a chemical that supresses your immune system (so ok, here's at least part of why I'm sick so darn often and seem to get bugs worse than other people) just in case it does get discovered in its little camoflague nest of blood cells. And this just keeps going and going, causes all kinds of symptoms like:
incapacitating fatigue
concentration/focus problems
short term memory
painful joints
muscle aches
extreme tightness in the neck and shoulders
acid reflux
brown colored mucus in the back of the throat
white or blood blisters in the mouth/tongue/throat
unrefreshing sleep
sore throat
white coated tongue
aversion to be touched - "crawling" skin
chronic sinusitis
frequent urination
chronic constipation
headaches including migraines
visual blurring
sensitivity to light
eye pain
panic attacks
personality changes
mood swings
night sweats
canker sores
shortness of breath
hypertension/high blood pressure
dizziness and balance problems
sensitivity to heat/cold
alcohol intolerance
gluten intolerance
irregular heartbeat
irritable bowel
constipation and/or diarrhea
painful gas/abdominal bloating
low grade fever or low body temperature
numbness/tingling in the face or extremities
dryness of mouth and eyes
difficulty swallowing
projectile vomiting
menstrual problems (PMS/endometriosis)
recurrent yeast infections
recurrent ear infections
skin rashes
dry/flaking skin
skin discoloration/blotchiness
jock and rectal itching
chronic athlete's foot
chronic toenail and fingernail fungus
ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
sensitivity to noise/sounds
sensitivity to foods
sensitivity to chemicals
sensitivity to odors
weight changes without changes in diet
feeling in a fog
muscle twitching
muscle weakness
jerky-leg syndrome
low sex drive
I have 43 of the symptoms on that list.
So there's a protocol involving diet and supplements and medications. The diet stsays depressively the same (no more than 2 servings of fresh fruits a day, fresh vegetables except white potatoes [but some of the veg and fruits have to be pretty limited], fresh meat, some nuts and nutbutters. Oh, and all the cranberries i care to eat)/ The supplements and medications will be kind of rotated and changed periodically, since candida are also highly adaptable. It's gonna be a pretty long term project but if all my candida symptoms are really just from the candida, the results will be astonishing. Like, I literally won't know what to do with myself. Which is what I have to keep remembering as I slog through the daily grind of it all.
The other thing going on is wacky adrenals. This one I don't know much about. I need to ask the doctor. I did this saliva lab and once the results are back I'm meeting with her again. The theory here is that my cortisol production is off (not sure if that means its too high or too low) which is why I have a very weak pulse (even doctors and nurses can't usually find it in my wrist, they have to go for the stethoscope), a slightly irregular heartbeat, and a laying-to-standing blood pressure that drops enough that my doctor forces me to sit back down and says "really, you should be feeling quite dizzy right now!" More on the adrenals later, I guess.