Monday, November 29, 2010

Insightful story

I want to share a link to a blog that I found. It is a 96 "chapter"-page story on a couple trying to raise two adopted children that were abused before they got them and suffered severe food-related problems. The story follows their attempt to figure out what was making the children sick and the difficulties in raising them. It was a real eye opener for me. I relate in many ways to the children. It gives me hope that some day I will find an answer and patience knowing that I probably won't until I just don't care anymore and I give up.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Old enemies

I have some pretty bad memories growing up of trying to get rid of my acne. My mom would pin me when I was little to squeeze out a blackhead. When I was older, she made me wear makeup to cover it all up and bought me all sorts of medicated face washes. I would often wake up in the morning having felt like I didn't sleep, my face swollen and puffy, and in tears with pain. I eventually determined that I was sensitive to Salicylates. They are in aspirin, acne medications, and anything mint. So, I did my best to avoid the obvious culprits. But I regularly got guilted into using my acne facewashes, would wake up before school in tears and pain, and get shamed, yelled at, or occasionally thrown out of bed and across the room to motivate me to "get my ass to school".

At this time, I also simply stopped eating. I was too sick in the mornings to eat, would eat what I could tolerate at lunch, be half-starved by afternoon snack, and then devour whatever was given to me at dinner even if I hated it. I rarely felt good after dinner. I would get extremely tired for about a half hour, then anxious and jittery and incapable of sleeping for HOURS later. It worked out ok for me though, because it meant that I could stay up later doing homework. I never could concentrate on my homework while my mother was awake and in the house. Thankfully she went to bed early most nights. I had to get up at 6am though for school, so I rarely slept more than 6 hours.

We also had a "bread drawer" where we kept all the bread, cookies, chips, etc. By the time I was in High School, I had long ago refused to eat sandwiches or anything out of the drawer. I also refused to eat cereal and pretty much any fruit that was in the house (usually only grapes and apples). I had either oatmeal, a waffle, or nothing in the morning. I tried convincing my parents to let me go vegetarian at one point because I hoped that would make me feel better. Their response to that was to prepare ONLY pasta and meat dishes for a month. My mom refused to even prepare our normal veggie side dishes.

I was wild, unpredictable, moody and emotional as a child and teen. I had poor concentration, was easily provoked into a screaming rage, and would go days spinning out of control in a manic whirlwind followed by weeks and months of depression so deep, I didn't even have the motivation to try and kill myself. I knew something was wrong. But the doctors said I had a clean bill of health. I apparently wasn't "crazy" enough to be allowed to see a therapist. If I tried to utilize the school therapists or go to the nurse, my mother would guaranteed find out (she worked at the school) and would harass me until she found out my "reason" for going and then would yell at me that I was just fine. Needless to say, I don't have fond memories of growing up.

Since then, I have been searching for the answer to what was causing me to feel so bad and act so out of control. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and that answered a lot of questions. I've found many more food intolerances since then too. I've always avoided salicylates outright (like aspirin and face wash) but never more than that (except a brief time in college when I only used salicylate free soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, etc). The problem is, and I've said this over an over.... the healthier food I eat, the sicker I get.

Guess what?!?! Salicylates are found in MOST fruits and vegetables. Growing up, I didn't eat a whole lot of flavorful foods that have natural salicylates in them. We had a pretty crappy diet of nothing but pasta and meat and salt and pepper. We didn't eat veggies or fruit or have nuts and seeds and spices, teas or condiments. But as I have searched for "safe" food in my gluten free, dairy free, soy free, yeast free, oat free, and corn free diet.... I have started to eat a lot more veggies and oils and vinegars and spices and all sorts of things. But I still stay up late wracked in pain (and there are no "safe" pain meds for me to take) and wake up feeling like shit. I go through the day in a stupor and my 6 years of chronic diarrhea is only getting worse. Granted, I'm a hell of a lot healthier and more functional (at least cognitively) than I was growing up. But you know what!?, I just want to have a good solid crap and a restful night's sleep. Is that really too much to ask???

I'm not happy about trying an elimination diet to see if salicylates really are my problem. There is a pretty good likelihood they are though. This is going to be really tough. Its kinda crappy to realize this on Thanksgiving and going into the holiday season. I finally thought I had figured out something so that this year I can FINALLY partake in the festivities and not just stand around starved watching everyone else pig out. As much as I don't like it, I also don't have the luxury of throwing out all the food in my house and restocking with "safe" salicylate free food because I am beyond poor. Its going to be a tough journey of negotiation and gradual replacement of the most troubling culprits to start with. The salicylate diet is much more complicated than a gluten free diet. Wish me luck! I am going to need it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More gluten (alex)

I've been spending a lot of time in a lot of excruciating pain lately (and on the toilet). A few days ago when I increased my meds, it got worse. So I did a bit of investigating.

Guess what?!?! The manufacturer of my medications changed the inactive ingredients to include corn starch, which i react to as if it was wheat gluten. great.

Even more joyful is learning that "enriched" rice is "enriched" by spraying it with starch so that it has more nutrients. So.... that makes most types of rice that I eat, NOT gluten free. White vinegar is made from corn too. My frantic search to find a safe ketchup and avoid headaches has resulted in NOTHING! Damn it! You can take away my tacos and my english muffins, but I won't let you take away my ketchup!!!!! I guess i'm making my own ketchup from now on!

I'm not eating healthy. I'm struggling to get enough calories. And the calories I am getting is from fat... peanut butter and other nuts, full fat coconut milks, pan-frying all of my food in copious amounts of oil or drenching my salads in oil. OMG I am so frustrated. I need help feeding myself.

Will this ever stop???

Apparently not.... my boxed potatoes have corn on them too. I feel utterly defeated. At least I know why I've been getting so sick lately. All I've been eating is my boxed potatoes and enriched rice.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ghosts (Vickie)

My neighbor committed suicide yesterday. Last night the police were here cleaning up the mess. My apartment manager is totally unhinged about it. I've been in shock. I didn't know her well. But we share two walls with each other, including the bathroom with all the piping and everything. My roommate and I felt a totally strange energy yesterday morning and now her ghost won't go away. She was in the shower with my roommate earlier today. I have felt her presence in a general sense, but not specifically yet.

I really don't want to deal with this. I've been confronted with more ghosts at an alarming rate this past 6 months than I really care to since I finished Trauma Touch Therapy. My grandfather has been causing trouble back at home. Not so much here though. He showed up and I talked to him and told him to go away. I haven't seen/felt him since. But he has been at my dad's place a few times. However, I don't feel like this ghost is going to have such a quick resolution. She is lonely and terribly sad and wants company. I have a problem with that. I don't know the woman. I wouldn't even let my grandfather stay. My roommate suggests that this may be a learning opportunity in energetic boundaries. I may try talking to her and setting some boundaries. This is certainly much more complex than the two spirits that live in my Spanish lamps (I had to finally tell them who was boss and let them have their own space, because they were crowding me out of my own apartment! We made some deals and compromises.).

So, my roommate and I have decided that we will be moving out of the apartment in January. We actually made the decision before the whole suicide thing because there is so much mold in the apartment complex that I have been very sick.

I'm just totally freaked out by this whole ordeal.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Coping with Grief (Vickie)

I've been Ms. Networking this week. I created a LinkedIn profile, polished my website for my massage business, updated the Facebook page for my business, became more active in both of the forums I frequent (one for bigender stuff and the other for Lyme Disease), relaunched my networking Facebook page (almost 500 friends!), and helped create a group and page on FB for the Rotaract club that I am helping to start. We went to Vegas last weekend for a conference to learn some great tips on how to help our club move forward! It was great.

Right now I am listening to Europop and dance/techno. I am really working to reach out to people and find my roots here. I need a web of support. And boy, have I managed to create one over the last year! It has been inspiring. Not so inspiring for for my homework/school grades though. I am looking forward to break. I have been on the go for much longer than I should have been. Good news is that my Lyme meds are actually working (!!!!!) so I am handling it reasonably well.

I've been struggling with balancing my checkbook these days with all the doctor/therapy appointments I am going to. Its been a big source of stress these days. And, keeping up with my therapy and Lyme eradication protocol. Its a job in itself!!! I am enjoying my classes this quarter, but they are a bit much sometimes. Especially my Kinesiology class. I'm not really eating anything anymore.

I've had a bit of change on my gender perspective. I've been sliding into a more static bigender situation. My third gender, while there, is not much a part of my life right now. I haven't quite figured it out yet. Maybe I will update about it later.