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Monday, August 29, 2011

dairy testing, days 1 & 2

This allergy elimination diet is driving me MAD. I spontaneously decided to reintroduce dairy into my diet, after being in the control phase for 2 weeks, on Saturday. Today is day 2 of dairy. I had a Swiss & Mushroom Angus (no bread) for lunch. Delicious. But I really wanted a side of fries with that. Also ice cream (sugar!), a milkshake, and PIZZA. I thought I could make pizza today but got home with toppings only to discover that I have no crust. DANG! The big question is: how does dairy affect me? Answer: I don't know.

Yesterday, I had a 3-cheese grilled cheese on yeast-free, gluten-free bread. Half-way through, it tasted sour to me. While it was good, it was delicious. Breakfast occurred without much pain, I think.

Dinner turned out to be dairy free, but positive for gluten and corn. Go figure! Mom and I went to Houston's. "Grilled chicken salad" has been my idea for diet-safe restaurant eating. Bonus! I can even have the cheese. Well, no. It was fancy looking. Salad dressing apparently contains gluten. And they included corn. I ate about 1/2 to 1/3 of that, then it was nasty. I started to wonder if I've lost my ability to eat and enjoy food. Ummm. Just after dinner, I had a brief headache. Sometime yesterday, I had that "this area of my skin burns or hurts for no reason" thing. Actually, I think it was on the way to Memphis, so a few hours after breakfast. Ummm. The details of yesterday are fuzzy. Hence, the importance of prompt recording, i.e., me blogging tonight so I don't forget it all.

I didn't sleep well and felt lots of pain over night. Of course, I may have also been sleeping and imagining the pain. I did become fascinated with something on the back of my leg. My thought was, "something bit me. Is it still in the bed?" The spot never grew though so who knows what caused it. I don't have a hand mirror so I can't even see how the spot looks. I remember lower back pain, of course pelvis pain, tight shoulders....

Today, I drank a bottle of TN milk (purchased from Whole Foods) for breakfast. That's 2 dairy servings. I felt fine. Then there was that bathroom trip. uhhh, honest blogging.....

For lunch, I ate a Swiss and Mushroom Angus Burger from McDonalds with an orange and iced mocha. It was delicious. Then I was sleepy. Then I woke up. Brief fatigue.

Dinner: gluten free pasta with cheese and nitrate-free bacon. Yum. I'm happy and full. And have a sore throat. Interesting. Also, acid reflux. And now the sleepies come.

Is this how a positive feels? Elevated pain is not really occurring. I mean, there's that skin pain around my right knee but I imagined GIANT, CONTINUOUS PAIN when I thought I might identify some triggers. hum. And stabbing pains on my left thigh, to join my right leg and also both sides of the lower back-- or my obliques? Maybe I'm just a hypochondriac. lol. Left shoulder stabbing pain.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

a medical update, apparently

Friday, I went to the doctor. She's proud of me. I'm indifferent to that. I don't feel well. I'm holding on to the allergy-elimination diet by a thin thread.Tomorrow, I'm going to introduce dairy, even though my pain isn't totally gone. Tuesday or so, I was pain free. By Thursday, pelvis pain had kicked back in. If dairy is a trigger, it should probably intensify the pelvic and definitely set off other signals of "an allergy". I decided to bring it in just a few moments ago. It's my next step at trying to hold on to the diet. Dr. Murphree said you can bring dairy in after 2 weeks of being in the control phase. I'm going to obey. Adding dairy will be me progressing through the steps and not just willing myself not to eat that. Half an hour ago, I was singing, "I have food, Hallelujah, I have food...." I imagine myself to be similar to someone in a starving nation or a homeless American that doesn't eat at soup kitchens or have a viable income. "What will I eat next?" is often on my mind. That's probably not healthy and is probably why Dr. Murphree advices that ppl not perform the allergy elimination diet before doing the steps of his jump start program that will give them better sleep. I guess I'm hard-headed. I thought I was stronger than he thinks I am. When we spoke on the phone, he told me he thinks I'm barely holding on, though I might not yet realize it. Well, I realize it now, Dr. Murphree. And?

I went to Maple Leaf Health Food store after my doctor's appointment to pick up my new "meds". Dr. Murphree recommends starting with 50 mg of 5-HTP but she only had it in 100mg. Add to that, Dr. Murphree seems to be the only person that thinks it's okay to take it and Cymbalta at the same time. Both increase serotonin levels and too much serotonin is a bit dangerous. My doctor forbade me from discontinuing Cymbalta but wrote a prescription for a lower dose. Maybe it + the tiny level of HTP will be okay and maybe even increase my sleep? I do hate that Dr. Creech isn't familiar with even the popular herbal remedies/drugs so she can't offer much of an opinion on whether or not I take something. Well, she did recommend that I basically add nothing so I can clearly tell what's a result of the diet. I've started taking an adrenal supplement, vitamin B complex, and vitamin C to hopefully improve my adrenal health. I also agreed to exercise at least 15 minutes most days- increasing my practice around 45 minutes per week. There doesn't seem to be much room for lifestyle change for adrenal health in my opinion. Sleep? I do that. I'm making a conscious effort to be headed to sleep by 10pm to ensure that I get 9 hours of sleep each night. Before, I'd go to bed between 10 & 11pm. Naps? No time. I guess I can strive to take at least 1 nap per weekend, but I don't know how effective that one nap will be. I get home around 5pm and go to bed at 10. Taking a nap during that block of time during the week just seems silly. Moderate exercise? Check. 3 days per week. As previously noted, I'm increasing that a tiny bit. High protein? Of course! I like meat, not vegetables, and this allergy elimination diet has taken away most anything else I would eat, which leads me to less carbs-- possible, but not at this moment. It's something I'll have to be aware of once I've tested each group on the elimination diet. I don't think I'm going to have much bread in my future though. Then there's the vitamin additions. I've been taking B complex and C for a week now. I just picked up the adrenal supplement on Friday. Wouldn't it be nice to feel a difference in only 2 weeks? The lady at Maple Leaf told me she felt better after a year of treatment and great 3 years later. Great. I'm barely hanging on to my 12 month commitment to kick fibromyalgia's ass. 3 years down the road? whatever. I'll almost be at the point where I can apply for SSDI. A bright note: Maple Leaf apparently sells my favorite foods to buy from Whole Foods. Yea! I don't have to drive so far for pizza crust now.

The doctor noted that I've lost weight. I figure it's because I'm always hunting for food (I can't literally say that I'm starving. I'm not and I'm grateful for that. In my mind, however, I'm going to starve because there are so few food options.). The doctor is proud of me for trying focused and bold things (my words, not hers) to feel better. I do appreciate that, I guess. I just don't feel the self- pride. I feel sleepy and "hungry".

On sleep, I was zonked by 6pm probably 4 days this week and gone by 8 the remaining days. boo.

I'm not sure that this post was going to be all about my health when I started typing it but that definitely seems to be what it is. That's an interesting thing about blogs and blogging to me. They take on a life of their own (if you let them).


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

more of the uproar

I find it quite sad that kids are stressing about their weight this way. Really? 6 year olds on diets and with body image issues? THAT'S an issue.

Also disturbing to me is the author using a virtual 14 year old to reach an 8 year old (or girls, ages 6-12). Most of them want to grow up to be that popular teen. "Friends or no friends, children?" If Maggie is 14, can't she at least be written for 14 year olds instead of shaping the dreams of girls that just learned to tie their own shoes? SMH.

What are your thoughts on the book or its concept?

health summary, washer/dryer drama

My body is failing me. Whenever I bend over, I have extreme pain in my calf muscles. Can you imagine how it feels not to have the strength and energy to bend over to turn on the water hose? Yesterday, I got off the phone with Tammy around 9pm (my resolve not to speak to her at all lasted less than 2 days) and instantly went to sleep. Silly me, apparently already sleepy enough not to fully execute the sense that I have, thought that if I laid there, even if I drifted to sleep, I would wake up during the night and shower. Has anyone not told me that A.J. can sleep like a mofo? 6:30am, the alarm went off, I growled as I still wasn't ready to wake up. 7ish, I was out of the bed and moving around to get ready for work. I knew I'd be late today. I pulled off at 7:45, which means I was in my office by 8. Wow.

At work today, I had a realization about why I don't like to exercise.... I don't get better. When I was in undergrad, I exercised and over time was able to lift more weight and walk faster than before over time. Now, every day is like day 1. For the first time ever, it occurred to me that maybe that's not my fault. Do others with fibro notice this inability, or great difficulty, to grow and push further in their exercise? One of my current goals is to walk 30 minutes at 4.0 (i.e., 2 miles in 30 minutes). I inched up my walk speed .1 yesterday, something I've been debating on my ability to do. I've been barely hanging on as is. I'm a weakling.

In other news, a man that talks to himself while he works fixed my washer and dryer today. My mom bought them from my cousins moving to Vegas but they have been like a migraine since they got to my house a little over a week ago. They were hooked up. I put in vinegar and water as a test/clean cycle and went to my "gym" to try my new-to-me treadmill. When I came up for water in the middle of the workout, I found my laundry room, kitchen, and part of my living room flooded. Damn. Money will be paid out for damage. I tried to fix things where the washer wouldn't leak but nothing that I tried worked. Refusing to go unnoticed, teh dryer arrived with a 4-prong ending, but my wall can only take 3. I went to Lowe's to find out how to remedy the situation and returned home with a 3-prong cord. My landlord had someone change out the cords while he was hear checking out the ruined copy and the message that I was sent was, "it doesn't work". I don't know what that means. I threw some of my towels wet from mopping up the floor into it and they dried. Eventually, I looked for help with my units. I called that liar, Shane, that installed my previous washer and dryer. I offered to miss work to suit his schedule. He told me he'd come Friday evening; he never came, called, or texted. Monday, I went through the phone book looking for help and there I found my Talks to Himself Angel. AAA would have also fixed it but it would have cost twice as much as I paid. I've done a test run-- no water in my floor. Praises Be!

Other exciting news: I have the DHEA of a 85 year old and my cortisol levels are shot. I think that means I'm sleepy, depressed, and incapable of handling stress. Also, perhaps I have cold hands and feet, low blood pressure, and some other things that don't sound like me. Another term: adrenal fatigue. That's why I took the saliva test that reported this data in the first place. I'm taking vitamin C and a B complex vitamin to treat this but don't know for sure that my body absorbs vitamins yet. No wonder I'm so darn tired. A funny? I feel much worse now than I did when I took the test but my DHEA barely registered on my testing date. Let's visualize where my level is now-- unless there's little variation in DHEA readings.

Having the fibro monster win and boss me around is a daunting thought. I'll respond to it now by eating popcorn. Ciao!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

day 2

Day 2 also went well. Failures: popcorn after dinner again-- I really need a snack or dessert at this time. Popcorn continues to be my compromise. Sugar in my coffee 'cause we didn't have enough splenda at work. 2 packs, splenda, 1 pack sugar compared to my 4 packs of splenda norm. Lunch again- last boxed lunch: dairy. Yea for being gluten free. Two category failures, so many more successful :). Also, I stared down Hail Hanigan's and won. I sat outside of their facility for 90 minutes waiting for someone to complete a job application. I even went in there and got water. I looked at their cupcakes for 70% of that visit and told them WHY I couldn't buy one. I'll probably DREAM about those cupcakes. A plus? They didn't have that banana pudding cupcake out today. Oh how I want that cupcake. I'm thinking, maybe I can do 3 days on, 3 days off, 1 day of what I want, 3 days off. That'll give me a week between my official tests but allow me to sneak in a little somat somat. Grade B?

Monday, August 15, 2011

day 1

Day 1 probably went better than I expected, though not all that well. At work, I found that gobstoppers were above my desk. I thought, "I should eat these so they aren't here to tempt me later." By day's end, I realized there were many, many gobstoppers and that Friday might not even be the end of them. That's a big box, ya know?

So maybe I should leave them alone unless there's a really bad craving. Should I bring them home and put them in a corner? Should I hide them somewhere in my office? Also at work, I ate 2 plums, a pear, and a small box of raisins. Healthy. I wouldn't have done that if chips were on the list of options. Add ranch subflour seeds-- they contain milk. I'm hoping it's because of the ranch flavor and that regular sunflower seeds (shell included) are on the approved list. I had 2 frozen meals in the work freezer as of this morning so I ate one. It's not approved by the diet but I don't have room for them at home and can't leave them at work indefinitely. At home, I had popcorn with cheddar topping because I wanted it. So failures include nitrates, dairy, sugar, corn, and nightshade plants. That leaves at least 3 categories I did successfully avoid (yeast, gluten, and soy). Other goods include not hunting down cookies; I wanted them by name. I had a serious sweet tooth just after dinner; that's when I had popcorn instead. Webmd doesn't forbid corn, only Dr. Murphree. Although I objectively deserve a C for the day, I'm damn proud for the way I made it through day 1.

Part 2 of counter attack: exercise. The treadmill tried to kick my ass tonight. Pain attacked me perhaps worse than any other time I've exercised in this counter-attack round. I was limping on the treadmill tonight. I shortened my workout by 10 minutes but refused to sit down just because it hurt like hell. Pain was radiating from the areas around my knee. I'm not even sure I know WHAT was hurting so. My feet fell asleep while I was walking, first the right, then both. It felt like something had pooled around my ankles. It was an uncomfortable experience to say the least. It made me question my ability to increase my speed .1-.2 next week.

At the YMCA, they have a wall where they show how people did with the goal of walking 60 miles or so during a certain period of time. I want to track me walking 70 miles. Yesterday, I hit 1.97. Tonight, it was 1.39. I have a ways to go :).

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I'm editing photos so I can have new images to sale. What do you think? Will someone buy these? What do you think of using them for greeting cards?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

sick days art

Last week, I had the nastiest annual migraine yet. By the end, my chest felt like it was dealing with the used to be annual bronchitis I got while in graduate school. Migraines are horrible enough without body aches to accompany them but there it was. When not sleeping, I struggled with boredom as there wasn't much that I could do that didn't make me feel worse. So, I started my wall of inspiration. It's been my vision since the beginning of being in this house, probably, but the initial bricks are only now being laid. While restrained to one spot, I made the following:

My new hero, Regan, is on here. So it Awesome Minnie that participates in marathons even though she has fibromyalgia. Who says we can't thrive?

It's amazing how much porn comes up when using search terms that might produce healthy, fit, in shape, athletic, strong, EXERCISING women. Is that what we are to the world? Flesh to drool over? Strength existing mainly to fulfill a sexual desire?

Also on the wall is my mom and a yogi that's apparently not featured in this picture. It strikes me how much I gravitated towards photos of yoga while working on this project and how my soul craves to get inked with a yoga image but I'm not currently practicing on the mat. And I think that's good for me. I'm focused on something else for my health and need gazelle intensity this time around. My effort will be split too much if I intentionally practice yoga right now. What might happen is I'll lightened up on my swimming inclinations and spend a day on yoga each week once it gets cold. What's true is that I stretch after I walk and yoga always comes forth at that time. It's not 45 minutes of practice, but it can be 5. Yoga is life.

My fibromyalgia counter-attack continues. M,W, R is when I exercise to preserve my life. My conversation with Dr. Rodger Murphree deserves its own entry but the short is my Jackson doctor and I are trying some of the things he recommends on our own before I decide/act on accepting (or not) the $3200 6-month program he thinks will help me feel so much better than I do. So, I've spent the day spitting in tubes so my adrenal levels can be tested. My doctor took blood to determine how well my thyroid is functioning. And I'm eating up good food so I can go back on the allergy testing diet and try to figure out my triggers. This time, however, I'll be "on" (i.e., eating possible trigger foods) for only 3-5 days and looking for a number of symptoms besides pain to identify the triggers.

May you today take a step towards your Highest Self and feel loved in that new position of the awesome.