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. read more

impending vacation

supine Edwin X-ray

supine Edwin X-ray

We’re supposed to leave for our fall trip to Japan this coming Monday, September 15. I say this with some trepidation as the last vacation in March was cancelled the day we were to board a plane because of Edwin’s emergency surgery. That’s Edwin in the picture above with his completed bilateral subcutaneous ureteral bypass system. Our cats are our family so there was no question we were cancelling the trip. They bring a great deal of stress relief to the house, but this particular event was anything and everything but. To say that it tested our ability to cope would be an enormous understatement as Edwin really wasn’t in the clear (or as clear as any being living with these kinds of implants can be) until recently. That’s a long time to be under that level of stress. Not good for anyone. We’re stable at this point, but things could change at any time. Isn’t that the truth for all of us, though? read more

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!! read more

vacation mode

2014-09-03 18.04.36
As we get ready for vacation from finishing up projects to cramming in extra appointments in hopes of lightening the load that we must deal with upon our return from Japan when we will be severely jet-lagged and incapable of dealing with much of anything, it is difficult at times NOT to simply focus on vacation. My partner runs two businesses; one is an online business which always goes into what we call “vacation mode” before we leave: it accepts orders but nothing ships until we return. I somehow feel that we, too, have our own vacation mode where we run about with our hair-on-fire trying to accomplish more than humanly possible while living for that time when we step aboard a plane and are finally, truly on vacation. Let me just point out that this is not a desirable way to live. You run past your life while focusing on a moment in time in the future. Definitely NOT living in the NOW. Vacation is wonderful, but so is life in general. You need to enjoy all of it. From the drive to the grocery store to the wait in a dental office, all experiences offer a chance to learn and experience. One might want to do that fully instead of through the prism of a to-do list or the screen of a phone. read more

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. read more




We cancelled our trip to Japan because Edwin, the brown tabby of the household, had emergency surgery Friday, March 21. Japan will always be there, but there’s only one Edwin. We visit several times a day and are honored to see his steady recovery.

staying paleo in Japan

How does one remain paleo while traveling, particularly in Japan, where soy is such a huge part of the diet? From different types of tofu, soy sauce, etc. to soy beans in everything from green tea treats to donuts and bread, visitors are deluged with different ways to consume soy. Not a good idea for someone who espouses paleo and the belief that legumes are not a good thing to be eating—particularly if you are autoimmune like I am and are concerned about other possible GI problems with soy.

I bring a piece of paper written in Japanese and English which reads: read more

preparing food list for Japan

We’re getting ready for the spring trip to Japan which means I start trying to remember what to bring on a trans-Pacific plane flight such that I can survive with enough calories and not poison myself with airplane food.

I haven’t consumed airline food in decades, but my diet has become even more restricted with the allergies which I was previously unaware of (gluten, eggs, etc). The trick is that you want to bring things to snack on. One wants to snack when you are on a plane for over 10 hours—okay, when you’re on a plane for over 15 minutes. When the crew walks the aisles calling, “cookies, chips, and candy,” you don’t want to be in a position to have to accept any of it only to regret it when you arrive at your destination, or worse, before. read more

ramblings on disability

I endeavor not saying, “MY” MS or “MY” RA. I always felt it gave too much power to the disease. I was somehow relinquishing control as if that’s WHO I was—THE disease. The solution for me was to name them. At that time my neurologist was female and my rheumatologist was male. I decided to name the MS, Lucy, and the RA, Ricky. Yes, a reference to Ricky and Lucy Ricardo. One must find amusement where they may. I look at Ricky and Lucy as a part of life. I recognize them, am aware of them, but they don’t control me or what I do. Of course, I have limitations. We all do no matter the age—disease or no disease. They, however, do not define me. read more

trigeminal neuralgia

December of 2012, I experienced trigeminal neuralgia–most likely related to MS. I distinctly remember that it is not what I told Santa I wanted for Christmas, but he was a shmuck that year, and that’s what I received. It started off cycling (about 20 minutes with pain, 20 minutes no pain), and I thought I could handle it if it continued to do that. It did not enter my mind how exactly I thought I was going to live as I was just trying to cope. It then stopped cycling. The trigeminal nerve has three main branches: opthalmic, mandibular, maxillary. Both the mandibular and maxillary branch were involved; it felt like I was having root canals on all the teeth on the right side of my face, both lower and upper jaws, without the benefit of a numbing agent. read more