Finding the Joy

2016-10-28 16.11.19
It’s been awhile since I posted anything. I found that it was better for me to sit among my flowers drinking green tea rather than sitting in front of a computer blogging or tweeting. In short, I stopped writing to focus on living. I may have been focusing on living, but my past crept up on me resulting in this post.

Problem with constant self-care and the necessary daily autoimmune paleo cooking required to regain health (e-stim of anterior tibs and hamstrings, meditation, affirmations, weights, Wii balance exercises, strength exercises, bone broth etc) is that one ends up feeling that “this is all I do”, “this is all I am”. It became a joke around my house. If I was miffed or bored, I’d just announce, “I guess I’ll just go cook some broccoli!” The problem was, it wasn’t a joke, and by repeating that to myself I wasn’t doing myself any favors. In fact, I was harming myself and my already fragile self-esteem.
It became apparent when a close friend asked what I did for ‘joy” in my life, and I couldn’t answer the question. I had a serious problem.
I had lost any joy in my life somewhere between the unexpected loss of an extremely close family member in January and my increasingly longer to-do list.

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Tecfidera

BG-12 (Tecfidera)
I keep track of what’s on the horizon as far as MS research is concerned. Given it takes many years for products to come to fruition with all the studies that need to be done in order to be considered for FDA approval, something that looks good in the beginning can fall flat somewhere along the route. BG-12, now known as Tecfidera, had my interest in its infancy as a drug.

I was so impressed with the data that it was the one drug I had even considered a substitute therapy—to finally leave Betaseron and the injections behind seemed a real possibility.

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low-dose naltrexone (LDN)

Low-dose Naltrexone, better known as LDN, is a recent addition to the repertoire of autoimmune patients. The claim is that it “can normalize the immune system”. There is an extensive page of information found here which catalogs the list of diseases for which it has been useful.

I wanted to know exactly how it works, but it turns out that the best we can do is know “how it is BELIEVED to work”.

In general, in people with diseases that are partially or largely triggered by a deficiency of endorphins (including cancer and autoimmune diseases), or are accelerated by a deficiency of endorphins (such as HIV/AIDS), restoration of the body’s normal production of endorphins is the major therapeutic action of LDN.

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gut results

The results of the GI Effects Microbial Ecology Profile – Stool which I submitted on September 4th, 2014, were all I could have asked for. My usage of Allimed has rid me of three of my gut squatters: clostridia, campylobacter, and a parasite. I had waited a few weeks to have Genova run this particular Stool panel because they had updated their tests such that we’d receive even more glorious information about my poo. That expanded information yielded a much-needed extra result–I also carry another bug: Proteus. Not only did they find out this tidbit, but they also told me what my Proteus is sensitive to and, hence, what to treat it with. Seems my Proteus is sensitive to Oregano Oil and penicillin antibiotics don’t bother it at all. This tells me that the likelihood I’ve been carrying this particular bug for awhile is very high given my life has been nothing if not penicillin-filled.

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tweeking my biochemistry

Appointment with my fabulous functional medicine MD this morning to go over my NutrEval retest. Where are we after two years paleo + supplements? Much improved would be the answer, but I could have told you that! The interesting part, however, is that we now know my system well enough that we are able to use the data to tweek my biochemistry. I still have urticaria occasionally and itchiness caused by things like the Itraconazole I briefly used to kill Candida. Seems my methylation isn’t quite where it should be so I don’t have enough spare methyls to deactivate my histamine reaction to die-off caused by the Itraconazole. Hmm. We know I have a methylation defect so let’s add a bit more MTHF. I’m also low in glycine one of the components of glutathione (soucre of sulfate and plays a key role in antioxidant activity and detoxification). This is probably another reason I’m having trouble clearing my body of die-off debris. NutrEval still shows I’m a bit low in zinc and lipoic acid so there’s more of those in my future, too. I show some markers for bacteria and Candida, but I’m continuing on my SF722 and Allimed while waiting for the results of the GI Effects Microbial Ecology Profile – Stool I submitted on September 4th for all the details. This wll be back by the time I return from Japan. My blood chemistries are pristine, and my inflammatory markers have declined. Great new for someone with two auto-immune diseases!!

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strangers

Serendipity. I love it when I run into people to have a conversation I was clearly meant to have. As I came out of my PT’s office the other day, a woman and her two kids were ahead of me in the foyeur yet the little boy, about 10-years old, held the door for me. This, in itself, surprised me; the woman asked if I had an injury given I was wearing Oscar. People don’t normally recognize him and confuse him with an orthopedic device. I explained he helped the MS-induced foot drop. She said, “I have lupus.” I responded, “I reversed RA.” She pointed at her son and said, “He has T1D, and I have Hashimoto’s.” I replied, “I’m paleo.” We all started to laugh as she said, “So are we!” I realize you’d have to be there to understand. This only took the length of time required to speak the words. It was not done in a one-upsmanship manner. It was done out of camaraderie. This is hard, and I know you understand because of the few sentences we just exchanged. Ensued a detailed conversation of allergies, genetics, functional medicine, food, and those people who like to give you grief because they don’t understand the path you are following outside of traditional medicine. She explained her daughter’s difficulty continued to be ice cream (dairy) which made her asthma act up; she must have been about eight, but the young girl smiled shyly at me, and gave me a look like she knew textbooks of information about food allergies. The woman’s lupus and Hashi’s were under control/reversed with diet. We shared amazing stories of disease reversal with real food and functional medicine. She also explained her son, for the most part, kept his diabetes under control with only diet. He was clearly very proud, and I congratulated him mightily! It was a lovely conversation, and that short human connection illustrated to me that there are many others on this path of consuming real food and the quest for health. We hugged, and as I walked to my car I felt validated and loved by three strangers I’d met only moments ago.

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breaking through mental blocks

I’ve been on a bit of a rampage of late. I discovered a mental block which was impeding my progress and encouraging me to put off several beneficial courses of action until we returned from our fall trip to Japan. I understand that sticking to my strict paleo diet is necessary, but I also know that there may be other pieces of the puzzle to find and incorporate.

Normally I’m trying to get everything done BEFORE we depart so I don’t have a stack of stuff waiting to be done when we return. Somehow I allowed myself to skate past that for several items namely beginning a physical therapy re-education program for my awakening nervous system, making/consuming bone broth on a regular basis, and trying a new med for my Candida problem. Thank you to Emma for unknowingly giving a nudge with her strength and motivation.

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believing in paleo

Healing with real food.

Healing with real food.

Two years ago today, August 14, 2012, I was diagnosed with sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I was told to prepare for methotrexate and all the side effects it would bring. It was my second autoimmune disease; I have had multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1991.

I had no hope except that I had started paleo two weeks previous. I believed in the science behind paleo, I watched Cordain’s MS lectures, but I knew it would take time. I could not so quickly repair a body I had unwittingly been destroying over years. I had my first appointment with my functional medicine MD the next day, August 15, 2012.

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current plan

I had a recent appointment with my functional medicine MD. It’s been 2 years since my first visit (August 15, 2012). I’ve been killing Candida with Thorne SF7222 since January 2014 and Clostridia & Campylobacter with Allimax since mid-April 2014. It’s definitely time to retest and see where we are and how to proceed.

I planned to go in Monday, August 11 for the big blood draw for the NutrEval test, but that was nixed by an uncooperative menstrual cycle. We shall wait until Friday the 15th.

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