A List of Foods I Should Be Eating and Their Pharmaceutical Properties (Selected from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz)
Almonds (anti-inflammatory, fiber, blood sugar regulators) - I have a whole package of these with the skins on. I really should get on trying to eat more of them. They are a light enough food to keep down.
Apples (anti-inflammatory) - these are particularly yummy with peanut butter, and yet I'm never eating them. WHY IS THIS??
Apricots (anti-inflammatory and full of potassium) - I had no idea on the latter!
Asparagus and every green vegetable (seems to have everything...) - I bought some of the former and put it in the fridge earlier :).
Avocados (same as above) - I'm a HUGE fan, and yet never seem to find any great ways to eat them.
Beans and Lentils (protein, minerals, and anti-inflammatory) - So useful!
Beets (anti-inflammatory) = Love
Chicken (cancer-preventative qualities!) - this is good as I'm a chicken and fish gal.
Chocolate (the dark kind) - has 4 times the antioxidants in tea!
Edamame (jumpstart the immune system) - yay! I like these for snacks.
Eggs (anti-inflammatory) - My protein staple for sure.
Garlic and Ginger (and a million other spices - if it's a spice, it's probably good for you...) - Spices make everything better.
Green Tea (polyphenols keep carcinogens inactive in the body!) - I like all tea. And coffee. And hot beverages in general.
Honey (antimicrobial and aids liver function) - I'd say add it in the tea but for some reason that combination weirds me out.
Onions (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory) - I think these are wonderful but my boyfriend thinks they are the scum of planet Earth.
Oranges (Vitamin C baby!) - Orange Juice is a horrible thing to puke.
Potatoes (regular and sweet - may have an overall detoxifying effect) - I feel ambivalent toward my starches.
Quinoa, Rice, all basic grains.
Salmon (and most fish for the Omega-3s and anti-inflammatory-ness) - I love me some fish :)
Yogurt (probiotics for GI issues and immune system boosting!) - I'm lactose-intolerant too, but a little yogurt has never caused me too many problems.
I am going to talk about my favorite moment of my entire life for a minute.
It might seem a little hippy-esque to some of you, but it is the memory I hold most near and dear to my heart (especially as my bad memories tend to walk all over my good ones as my health tends to ruin most potentially good times).
It was this past summer. I was at the beach with my beloved boyfriend Jonathan, and two other friends. Prince Edward Island is known for its beaches, and this day...with the sun beating down, a light breeze, a bright blue sky, and soft sand between my toes...I knew why.
My body was behaving reasonably well at this time, although I still don't think I was holding down a job. Jon and I wandered into the salty cold water, which I find the most healing substance on Earth. Jon started spinning me around, weightless in the water, and all of a sudden I felt as though I could feel every emotion that a human being could feel all at the same time through the waves - despair, elation, fear, anticipation, etc... It was overwhelming but magical all at the same time. The one time I felt truly connected to something - my body, the Earth.
It probably sounds crazy. Maybe it is.
Does anyone else want to share a single moment that moved them this much? Or tell me if I'm losing my marbles?
I don't expect many people to watch this as it is 9 minutes long.
But if you want to know more about ME/CFS - this is a really striking video that can help others understand the variety of pain and the stigma we are facing. The last part gets a bit preachy, but it is still understandable depending on the severity of the illness.
Since that is depressing, I will make the rest of the post more amusing.
Images from ffffound.com
I'm currently trying to fight my way through a massive novel - I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb.
It's almost too heavy to hold up and flip the pages, but the content is making it worth my while. Sadly, I sometimes get fog and can't remember what I read on the last few pages, but I'm sure it will all come together in the end. It really hits home with what families go through when a family member is severely mentally ill (assuming your family is moderately dysfunctional and abusive...).
I'm thinking I need a project. Something to make me convinced that getting out of bed in the morning is a good thing. This blog is the only thing I accomplish. Anyone have any good ideas?
I'm still running on a natural high of having the best blog readers/commenters EVER, so it will be tricky to get out all my rants in one go here. So let me put on my grumpy face and get started! (That sounds absolutely ridiculous, I know).
Image from ffffound.com
The mass amount of pain I'm in tonight!
Not having any energy! I don't think I could do much more laying down if I tried. I'm like a robot where someone pulled out the plug. *Error 15 - going into sleep mode...click...click*
Dragon Age. It's on my TV all the time. Is it wrong that even though I don't want Jon to go back to work when the weekend is over, I look forward to not having to watch video games??
The fact that there is not a magical food pill yet.
My flowers are dying...this is why I buy plastic flowers. I mean I lost my sense of smell anyways, so why not?
There is a cyst scab on my chin that I have managed to rip open about 882 times and then proceed to cover in a band-aid and Polysporin. Can anyone say upcoming infection if I don't cut it out?
Boredom. I mean I am pretty good at keeping myself entertained for how often I spend in this apartment. Alas, I can hardly pay attention to a book or movie long enough to take in any of it. If I didn't have the Internet, I would be one depressed girl.
Not having any Mocha Cappuccino protein drink in the fridge for tomorrow morning. That stuff tastes so, so yummy.
Stalking my friends' blogs and being sad that they have lives and don't update as often as I do haha.
image from ffffound.com
Those are all of the problems I can come up with (that are not redundant and health-related!). What about everyone else? Anything gear-grinding going on???
To anyone and everyone whose situation I have ever thought I understood. Those who I attempt to understand and give advice for, at least my heart is in the right place. But throughout my years, there have been people whose motives I thought I could follow, reasons in my mind of why people would do the things that they do. Sometimes I still get caught up in thinking like that. I'm sorry for this.
The sheer number of experiences that mold a single human life are enormous. I mean, half of my own I can't even remember!
I have a love/hate relationship with the human brain. If I thought I could handle going back to school, it would be all I would want to study. I'm ashamed at what it has managed to do to me, but also amazed at its limitless power.
Sorry for the weird rant but I've been really reflective. Shutter Island is an incredible film (far surpassing the novel) and it has been making me think of my brain non-stop.
Also, a special shout-out to the lovely Sarah and Adam for putting up with my hypo-manic ramblings of last night after seeing the movie haha. I upped my own meds so that would be my bad (sorry mom!!). Just tired of being epically depressed.
Anyways, I recommend the not squeamish to go take a look at this. Maybe it will send you off into over-thinking mode like it has with me.
Maybe I'm just too excited about seeing Shutter Island later, but the Hillsborough Hospital scares the bajeepers out of me. Even though it's in use, it manages to feel abandoned. There is virtually nothing on the walls and the vibes given off by everything are so negative. Plus it is designed like a maze, which is not good for me when I have the memory of a goldfish. By my description, you can tell I was having a nervy spaz before I even saw the doctor.
On the plus side...he was nice! He took me very seriously, and asked a lot of questions not asked by my other doctors. He chose not to prescribe any new medications, but bumped up another appointment to a month from now. A CT scan is going to be ordered for my head so we can see what all is going on in there.
Either way, I am pleasantly surprised to not be passed over again.
I doubt they are going to find anything super explanatory, but at least there is a sense of hope again.
Wow, either the weeks are going by really fast or really slow and I'm not entirely sure which. This is the joy of living life in a fog while currently unemployed.
Now it is time for my positive spin on the week:
Marathons of Project Runway, inspired by Miss Robyn. I'm pretty sure I could spend my entire life getting sucked into that show.
Watching Taking Woodstock with my lovely friend Sarah. Dreaming of being a hippy, although I'm pretty sure she already qualifies haha. Also, her new positive spin on life which is pretty much the best thing ever.
Having a doctor's appointment tomorrow - always the chance for hope!
Naps. I've been having a lot of naps this week.
Apple juice. Also, Vanilla Chai. I've been rocking the beverages instead of food this week.
The fact that I got flowers from Jon for Valentine's day and from my friend Leslie, as she loves me even in my sickly state. I don't think I've ever had this many flowers!
Jon is playing Hawksley Workman songs as I write this :)
My little sister comes home for a visit next week!!
Body butter. Any kind. The winter is KILLING my skin. My poor cuticles need help!
I got a little pick me up from the wonderful Nancy over at Chronic Connection, as she gave me The Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award! I've never managed to have any of these things thrown my way, so it's kind of exciting :).
In accepting the award, I am to list 10 Things About Myself
1. My favorite things in life (minus a few people) are brand new books and glossy magazines.
2. I am absolutely terrified of becoming stuck in a life like this where I can never fully feel capable of anything.
3. My boyfriend is my best friend and the funniest person I have ever met. I met him because of a rather forward phone call on my part and we've really never been apart since.
4. It often disturbs me that I make more friends and relate better to the young people in the psych ward of a hospital than I do out and about in the world.
5. I have a fear of food.
6. I love daydreaming about indulgent things I could have, places I could go, and lives I could live. Sometimes I wish I had the energy to write them down because I could be a pretty good storyteller.
7. I have two tattoos and often want more.
8. I spend roughly 12 hours a day on the Internet which can't be healthy...but I don't have cable tv, so what's a girl to do?
9. I have a red birthmark that everyone seems to think is a hickey.
10. I feel like I have no concept of reality as everything changes from hour to hour.
It is now my turn to shower other fellow bloggers with the Sugar Doll Award.
If I have picked your blog, please post the award on your blog and pay it forward, and then leave a comment on the person’s blog to let them know. I want to read details about my favorite people!!!
I could lie. I could say that there are moments that life is a breeze, that I get up and go about my day without any interference or reflection on the fact that I am sick. That is what I think people often want me to say. Alas, this is not the case.
I have no idea when my good moments or bad moments are going to show up. My health changes from hour to hour, making it impossible to fully commit to plans. Work is a big issue here, and one I've found myself consistently unable to maintain. When I go anywhere (even for a short visit!), I have to pack a bag of medications and special food. My illness is almost like a child, intertwined so close with me that I have to look after its every move, as I naturally want it to be the best it can become.
Some of the thoughts constantly on my mind:
What exactly is this illness (as my doctors give a diagnosis, but never seem quite sure...)?
What can I do to reduce symptoms?
Again, I'm not going to lie...once in a blue moon, I ask why me? Am I going to die from this?
What are these drugs doing to my body and mind?
What can I possibly eat that isn't another meal replacement shake?
Of course, when a good moment shows up...I treasure it. I even try to make the bad health moments special, as they show up more than I want. I push the question as far back in my mind as it will go, but really I'm wondering - when do I crash down again??
But a life with illness is still a life. One I choose to live and enjoy.
Chilling out on the couch is something I am so good at, I think it deserves awards. Actually, I just made myself sound lazy and that is the absolute numero uno thing I am terrified that everyone thinks and therefore am paranoid.
I watched The Blind Side not expecting much.
Holy feel good movie of the year people! You don't even have to remotely like football to have your heart ripped out, stomped on, and then put back in and made to grow three sizes. For awhile I was like...Sandra Bullock - Oscar nomination??? She really is something else in this.
I also saw An Education (also fantastic!!) and have developed the biggest girl crush on Carey Mulligan. She is so many levels of awesome and also makes me feel wayyy better about rockin' short hair!
Also, lately I have been wishing I could buy absolutely everything off of Anthropologie, but I am poor and make no money.
Internet shopping may be one of the most fun ways to spend one's free immobile time though.
Also, if you like hilarious pet videos - this is a good one!
So I'm feeling dilemma-ish and would like some input from my most beloved blog readers.
I see a new doctor on Saturday. It's a short appointment (only a half hour instead of the regular hour), so I have to be quick with trying to get my point across as I don't have another chance for 3 months.
My general practitioner and main psychiatrist both gave up on looking for any more answers or offering me any more treatment. I have numerous other specialists, but they are not in this location and unlikely to bother in my quest for assistance.
This is a new psychiatrist - which is good, because they give drugs that work whether this is a physical disorder with mental symptoms or a mental disorder with physical symptoms.
What information do I need to get across to him in order to get any kind of help?!?!
- drugs taken
- the fact that no one can decide what I have and have therefore declared I have a million non-treatable disorders?
- therapy taken
- meditation, healthy eating, and yoga practiced
I need someone to get on some better pain management, and if it doesn't happen what do I do?
Go every single day to the emergency room or clinic and raise a fuss?
Check myself into a psych ward?
Eat an entirely liquid diet from this point forward?
Go look for street drugs?
I'm at a loss and worrying, so any advice on how to present to this doctor would be much appreciated.
I'm starting to not be able to tell them apart as nothing changes. Nerve pain is radiating up my back and down my legs. I am only up for a few hours on end. But nevertheless, there are people far worse off than me. So let's get down to being thankful.
Movies for filling in my lack of a social life. In the last couple of days I have watched:
I have to give a super big recommendation for Up in the Air, as it touched my heart in a way no movie has in a long, long time.
Pretty blankets. I have a homemade quilt and knitted blanket surrounding me, and it's oh so nice.
The new issue of Glamour with Victoria Beckham. I love her. And spring clothes [I'm so sad that Alexander McQueen died :(].
Pastel purple (lavender) is my color of choice at the moment.
Putting bobby pins in my now short hair...for some reason I find them cute.
Chili from a can, which is pretty much the food from which I've been surviving.