Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Reasons I left Nebraska

It's winter in Nebraska!
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At thirty-five below.

Oh, how I love Nebraska
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave Nebraska
I'm frozen to the ground!

-- I have no idea who wrote this.. and you might think they're exaggerating, but unless you've experienced a real Nebraska winter.. you have no idea. Yes, your nose will get frozen shut, and yes, sometimes you can get frozen to the ground.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hitting A Nerve

Today someone really hit a nerve of mine. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm in actual pain, it probably would not have hit me so hard.

My childhood was pretty normal. I played and did normal childhood things. I thought I was relatively normal. Well with the exception of having had encephalitis as a toddler and having to have corrective footwear to learn to walk again.

But then there was my sisters, who told me all sorts of things. They liked to tell me I was adopted, and as much as I wished that might be the case, we looked way too much alike for me to swallow it. They'd tell me that I almost killed my mother. That carrying me almost cost her her life and that I stole from her her ability to have more children. They told me many cruel things.

So when they told me that there was something wrong with me from birth. That the doctor had told mom there was something wrong with me. They said I was supposed to be tall (which I relatively am) and that I'd probably make a good athlete .. well except for one thing.. which they were never to tell me. Mom said I wasn't to know, as she didn't want me to think I was handicapped. I wasn't sure I believed them.

I grew up with spontaneous shooting pain coming from my foot now and then. When I complained to my mother (a nurse), she would tell me I was fine and to just "buckup camper" or something similar. My sisters would call me a cry baby. Generally the pain was fleeting, only excruciating for a minute then it'd be tender for a few.. then I'd be fine. I trusted my mother, and over the years just assumed that this was normal and that I was just a wimp.

My feet always seemed more sore than everyone else's. Others seemed to be able to walk around all day then go out at night, and after a 6 hour shift my feet would be really sore and I'd be dead tired. I'd hear my sister's voices in my head of "Oh you're just lazy" or "Quit your whining"... and push myself to do more.

I love going on nature walks, dancing, and some sports (the ones I play, not the ones you watch), but as much as I loved it.. I found myself starting to hate it, and began relating exercise with pain and agony.

But it wasn't until I was 30 that I finally went to see a doctor about it. I was forced to do it as my work (Pharmacy Tech standing on hard cement for 8 hours) was going to 10 hour shifts and I would need a doctors note to remain at 8 hour shifts. I loved my job, but I was in so much pain after 8 hours that the thought of 10 hour shifts nearly brought tears.

I had no idea what doctor to see, because I had no idea what was really wrong. So I went in to a rheumatologist, because I figured maybe it was early arthritis onset due to the damage of encephalitis as a toddler. They pretty much refused to help me, but told me to see a podiatrist. aka "We think you're a fat lazy slob and nothings wrong with you, but to cover our asses go see someone else."

So I research podiatrists. I want to make sure I'm actually going to get some help. I go to one, and she's nice. She takes some ex-rays. Pokes at my feet. Tells me I need to stay off my feet for a while, and prescribes some "boots" to wear to help my feet heal and gives me a doctors note for work.

I wear the boots for one day and I'm ready to amputate my legs because it might be less painful. So I go back into her. She can't believe that I'm in that much pain, as the boots weren't supposed to hurt. (yeah right, those boots were evil) So she sets me up with an MRI appointment.

I go in for the follow up, and she looks at me like "OMG how are you walking?" but she's trying to cover it up. She tells me that with all the swelling, and bruising that didn't show up on the xray, she's seeing on the MRI that I need to be on complete bedrest for an entire month, maybe two. She tells me I have a calcaneo-navicular coalition.

Yeah I didn't know what that was either, so she explained. She pointed to a chart with bones of the feet.

"This bone here, and this bone here are held together by a joint. That joint is the basic structure of the foot and the arch. You're missing that joint, and when you walk around those bones just bang together. So your muscles are the sole reason you have an arch at all, and they're working double duty. Which is why your calf is so large."

I've always had large calves. Large, 100% muscle calves. Now I know why. Unfortunately that means I can't diet or exercise them smaller. Damn.

She continues that its a birth defect that I've had since birth, and something that they look for in newborns. That the obstetrician should have informed my mother of it when I was born.

In many ways, I understand why my mother didn't tell me. She claims now not to have known btw. But had I known, I'd have been able to do my life differently. I'd have had more drive for a job that I could physically do.. like office work or computer science.

I spent the next few months wrapping my head around things, healing, and relearning to walk without pain. It took me nearly 5 months to be able to stand up for 4 hours a day (that includes walking, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc). My doctor is amazed that I don't have any major knee problems or back problems... yet anyway.

I have to keep on top of taking care of my feet. Meaning rest. Arch supports. Moderation with activity. To keep from being in pain and damaging my body any more.

So when I mention this online to a new online friend, and he replies: "You can rest when you're dead."

All the past of "You're lazy" "Quit your whining" and "Buckup Camper" come flooding through my mind... and I wonder when will people actually trust me that I know WTF I'm talking about? and that I'm doing what I need to do for my body's long term health?

He hit a nerve.. and I know he didn't mean to.. but it doesn't hurt any less.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm not Dead.

Just to reassure those of you who also noticed that I haven't posted anything in a while.

I'm not dead. :)

I am however stressed. Freaking out. and otherwise insane, but I'm getting better at it and more convincing in my bouts of sanity.

I'll write more as life permits. Til then, I'm alive. Just so you know.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tuckered Out

My parents rat terrier puppy, Pepper "the Energizer Bunny", finally
sleepy after nearly 3 days of non-stop running.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not a Jedi Yet - Using the Force 2 - AAT

Had my second visit today with the AAT Dr Gonzales.

Bad News: I'm still in too bad of shape to do AAT yet.

Good News: I'm still losing weight, and I have improved.. not much but a little. Gives me hope anyway.

I brought in a bunch of supplements that I was taking from other doctors (hormone treatment from Dr. Roby was actually making matters worse than better so I'm to stop that), so I had him test those to see which ones I really do need and which ones I shouldn't take. Most of them were "do not take" - at least yet. And he re-evaluated the supplements he had me on, switched up some doses, dropped one, added three. So it all pretty much averages out to the same amount of pill popping, just different pills. :)

What I'm on now:
Multizyme (continued)
Thymex (continued)
Cal-Amo (continued)
Spleen PMG (continued)
Calcium Lactate (new - Standard Process brand like those above)
Total Probiotics - Nutri-West brand (new)
BMR Complex - Integrative Therapeutics (I was already taking this for iodine, and I'm to continue)
Calcium - Phytopharmica (was already taking on my own since I can't have milk in any form anymore, but he "dosed" it for me).

Oh, and I have Wheat Germ Oil capsules (Standard Process) which I'm to open the capsule and spread the oil on my skin where I have some scars (from allergy boils/abscesses)

We're hoping with all the changes and discontinuing the hormones that I'll be in good enough shape next week to start AAT treatments, but we'll see how I am when I get there.. especially after this week being in Nebraska.

Anyway, so despite using the force, I'm not quite a jedi yet.. But I'm showing some promise!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Using the Force to cure Allergies: AAT

Nov. 14, 2008 6pm

Ok.. I've got good news and bad news.

Good News: There's hope for me.

Bad News: Its going to take time.

I got back from my AAT appt today, with mixed feelings. Mostly because I'm supposed to take these supplements from a company I'm not sure of, with ingredients I'm not sure of, based on arm movement or lack there of, which I'm not sure of. :) I took some today already, and well, that part isn't looking very hopeful, but I'm also not sick as a dog so we'll see how the next few days fare.

He did say that I'm in bad shape, and without some improvement first he doesn't think any AAT treatments will hold. So we're working on getting my body in better shape - namely my spleen & thymus gland, which are supposedly in such bad shape that its surprising they haven't just up and died already. :) My spleen also seems to have a parasitic infection, which I'm to take a supplement to treat.

I did talk him into giving an AAT treatment a shot, so we picked one (just one and only one) food to treat to see if it would hold. I'll be slowly introducing that - onion - over the next few days to see if there is any improvement.

He also tested my endurance to a couple foods that I would have chosen for the AAT treatment, but I supposedly do fine with those foods so no treatment was needed. I'll also be trying those over the next week or so to see how valid that is. :)

But as things are now, there is some hope, and I'm hoping that I'm not reacting to the supplements. *crossing fingers* as there are 5 that I'm taking and several of each every day.

They're all by "Standard Process, Inc."
Spleen PMG
Zymex II

Each supplement as some scary ingredient, if not more than one, and a couple do have known allergens.. but since he supposedly tested them and I showed no problems with them.. he's confident that I'll do fine with them. For me, the jury is still out. :)

Anyway, thats the update for now. I'm to go back in 3 weeks.

*** Forgot to mention, He said that by getting my spleen & thymus gland into decent shape, that that alone may eliminate or reduce many of my allergies.



I fear that I may be reacting to the supplements already, but I've only taken one dose and I'm quite a bit sleep deprived from the trip anyway.. so its a little difficult to say for certain that its the supplements but I'm suspicious as I had some relatively uncomfortable itching in some not so nice places which may just be circumstantial.

A couple of the supplements though contain almond, and one contains lactose from dairy. With my milk allergy, and a mild almond allergy.. I'm a little concerned about those, but hoping that they won't be an issue.

The poor guy though. I kinda felt sorry for him as he was running all over his office trying to find a supplement that would work for me.. most wouldn't. One even had Rice bran clearly listed, and I was NOT going to be taking that one even if it "passed", which thankfully it didn't.

I've looked up most of what he's given me, and for a few of them Phytopharmica/Integrative Therapeutics makes a relatively similar item. So if worse comes to worse, I may purchase those and take them with me next time for an evaluation on whether they'd work just as well or not. Hopefully it wont come to that though.


Nov. 15, 2008 11pm

Thought I'd let you all know.. The supplements went better today, but I'm still a little cautious about it. I talked to a local alt. health guy today, and some of the issues I had yesterday could just be the supplements detoxing my body. So we'll see how things progress from here.

I did experiment with onions today, and it looks like the AAT treatment he did for that might be holding. I'm not sure I can eat them, but I cut up an entire onion today without breathing issues, or runny nose. Of course my eyes got a little irritated, but nothing major like it used to be. So I'll try eating onions in a day or so. Woo Hooo Progress!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Useful Insomnia?

It's been a while since I've had a full blown case of active & persistent insomnia. Sure I've had the zombie, can't sleep but not really awake insomnia. I've had the "maybe I should try reading a book" insomnia. I've even had the "racing thoughts, can't think, distract myself with simple games" insomnia. (I must have more problems with insomnia than I thought.)

But this brand of insomnia is different. This brand of insomnia is a full burst of energy right at bedtime or shortly after, if I'm even tired at bedtime at all. I am a bundle of energy, and when most days I drudge along, a bundle of energy is awesome. Sure not quite so awesome at 12am, but hey whatever helps get the house cleaned right?

But while I'm bursting with energy, I'm also wondering if by being active I'm perpetuating being awake. Ugh. Thankfully I had little scheduled to do today, so I did try to take advantage of the energy while it lasted, but I was still torn as I didn't want to end up sleeping all day today.

So between doing things last night, and catching up on some projects that I'd been putting off due to lack of energy or time, I tried to sit down and rest to see if I got sleepy. No luck on that.

I finally did get sleepy at 7am this morning, and at 7:30 hit the bed and was out. (An extremely rare occurrence).

Rarer still, I woke up after barely over 5 hours of sleep, wide awake and in a relatively good mood.

Sounds great huh? It was. But as usual with my body and allergic reaction symptoms (which all of this is just part of the cycle of allergic reactions), every good is followed by an equally great negative.

As I type this, I'm pretending to not notice the little blips of negative & paranoid-esque thoughts slowly increasing in number in my head.

But the upside I guess, is that I did manage to get some laundry and dishes done.. and still hope to get a little bit of baking done before the down gets into full swing. Wish me luck! :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

My Love-Hate Relationship

I used to love going Clothes shopping, especially if I had money to buy some clothes. I could spend hours in a store trying everything on, and seeing all the latest styles.

And Now?

I hate clothes shopping! No, I love it. I hate it. I love it.


I have been putting off going clothes shopping for months now. The occasional order from OldNavy.com or the occasional picking up an item at Costco not included, I haven't really been clothes shopping for anything since May? maybe longer.

I used to go once or twice every two weeks.

Well the coupon I had for Lane Bryant was nearly expiring so I couldn't put it off much longer, so yesterday I went clothes shopping.

Ooooo Pretty Clothes.. MUST TRY ON!! Ooo More Pretty Clothes! Oooo Pretty Clearance Clothes!

It was a shopping fiesta! Ooo I love shopping!

It didn't hit me right away, thank goodness for the benadryl I took before I went in, so I got a few happy moments possibly an hour of happy shopping before it started to hit me.

Then I looked in the mirror.. My eyes were bloodshot. Sniff.. Yep and my nose was stuffy. Deep breath check.. Cough.. yep gunna have trouble breathing soon.

So I finished up, checked out. I did good.. 4 shirts, 3 shorts, 2 capris for less than $80. (its still shorts weather here btw) So financially I did awesome!

But then I came home, and my eyes itched, my lungs hurt, and I felt like crapola. Ugh, I hate shopping!

So I took a shower, and crawled into some sweat pants and a sweat shirt, and played dead the rest of the night while I popped benadryl every 4 hours.

I'm better today, nearly back to what I was before I went shopping.. except that I gained 2 lbs (corn allergy bloating/swelling) which I somehow have to figure out how to lose them now. Yippee!!

I hate shopping.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Newest Fast Food

It's funny to me. Ironic. That I got the idea for this latest fast
food fixing from a 60 year old cookbook.

I am a cookbook-aholic. I admit it, but until recently hadn't looked
into finding old cookbooks. I had a few already from my grandparents,
so I thought I was set.

I have cookbooks from The Silver Spoon, to Culinary Institute, to
Williams-Sonoma that I have found extremely useful in corn-free
cooking and baking. From the simple ideas in my older cookbooks (and
their complete lack of pictures) I really didn't think that older
cookbooks would be very fascinating.

I was at Half-Price Books (local used bookstore) and was looking for a
different book, Persepolis, when I got turned around and ended up
looking in their old & rare book collection. There before me was an
old (& obviously once loved) cookbook. So I picked it up not thinking
to find anything really useful, but curious anyway.

The first place it opened was to the recipe where I got this idea.
Fascinated, I leafed through more of the book and was amazed. There
were pages and pages of ideas of things to do with quick breads,
biscuits, pancakes, and so many varieties of each that I clutched the
book to my chest and didn't let it out of my sight until it was safely
purchased and put in my car.

There are a ton of recipes in this cookbook. Far more than any current
cookbook would dare contain, and the directions are simple and to the
point which I'm sure helped them squeeze so much into so little of a

The book is "The Settlement Cookbook" published in 1949. If you ever
see one, I highly recommend picking it up.

Now to the recipe...

It's honestly extremely simple. Make biscuits, however you make them
with whatever limitations you have. Roll them thin (1/2 inch or less)
and cut with biscuit cutter. In between the cutouts place an already
cooked similarly sized very thin burger or sausage or you could put
chopped meat. Then bake till biscuit is done. Voilà mini-burgers!

I've found these freeze extremely well & do fine reheated in the
micro. Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fed-Up with Politics

For the record, I have a love/hate relationship with Politics. I do love a good discussion and talking politics can sometimes provide that. I also like playing devils advocate, and talking politics can be an awesome venue for that.

Unfortunately, politics also seems to be extremely personal for some people and thus many political discussions devolve into "Yeah, well so is your mother!".. which is one of the things I hate most about politics.

I honestly cannot comprehend why people take politics so personally. Taking them seriously, I get that. But taking someone's disagreement with your point of view as a personal attack.. that I don't understand.

Maybe if someone said "We shouldn't have laws or legislation that helps protect the rights of the food allergic, as they should just die and get out of the gene pool." I might take that personally, maybe. Maybe not. It would probably cross my mind to deck them, and I might even revel in the thought of doing it, but whether I'd act on that urge or take it as a personal attack.. I'm not sure, it would really depend on the situation.

Anyway, what prompted this post, was a series of emails I received with an Anti-McCain/Palin standpoint, from a stanch Obama supporter.

These weren't the normal "my guy believes this, the other guy believes that" type emails. These were dirty, twisted, and in some cases hateful emails. None of the messages were hate directed at me, but hate directed at McCain/Palin as if they were evil incarnate. This person doesn't know McCain/Palin personally, and in the emails there is nothing of real substance, just hateful attacks as if they personally stole this person's lover, ran over their dog, or some other personal evil affront.

That kind of personal hate, I just cannot understand when it comes to politics.

If a person is for something that you're against, of course discuss it, and if needed duke it out. But in politics, if you want peace (and anyone at least half-way mentally stable would) wouldn't you at least try to understand where the other side is coming from, and present to them where you're coming from, before you start in on "You disagree with me, thus you are evil".

One of the big things against Palin, for me & most other women, is that she's against choice in any situation.

But I guess I understand that stance enough to know that she's not anti-people, she's not an evil overlord trying to force herself upon us all.

To people who believe that conception is the start of life, abortion is comparable to executing a 5 yr. old child.

Sure that seems like an overkill comparison, but in truth that is how many who believe that life starts at conception view abortion. Would you not try to put yourself in between an axe and a small child?

That said, unborn babies are just that.. unborn. They need an incubator to live, and that incubator has thoughts, feelings, and rights too.

So no matter how black and white people like to paint things, there will always be a little gray.

Luckily, we have these documents we call the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Which tell us that every single one of us has the right to pursue our own happiness and our own religion.

That means, as much as I want the right to believe the way I do and think others should believe what I believe, I don't have the right to make my beliefs law if those beliefs negate someone else's right to their own belief.

So as much as I may not like some peoples choices, they have the right to make them and stand by them. It doesn't make them any more evil than I am. (well unless their choice is to become a serial killer, torture, or something else obviously "wrong" to innocent people - but that goes against our laws anyway).

As it nears election time, and more and more people pick sides, and more lines are drawn in the sand, for me it always boils down to one thing:

Which candidate is true?

I could care less about their religion, their personal beliefs, their family. They could be pro-life, pro-death, pro-whatever.. doesn't matter to me. What does matter is, are they fair? do they have a backbone? are they all talk? are they themselves or just a puppet? do they hold their own strings? if not, who does?

I tend to vote for whomever is constant. If you know where they're going, you know you can fight them on the things you disagree with. If they flit everywhere and are unpredictable, you'll never know what they're doing or what they're planning.. thus you can never arm yourself for battle and will find yourself screwed.

I may just write in Ron Paul.