Category Archives: Under the Weather

Coping or cop outs when illness is prevalent. Things to do when health is low. Venting is necessary.

From the Couch of: Housewife

I tend to write only when I’m healthy and on a roll.  Making it a bit unrealistic for all the turd little symptoms I have to put up with.  So, here I am.  Couch Planted.  I made an executive decision to stay home and heal.  I put in a call to the doctor to clarify some of the side effects from my new Plaquenil.  It has its benefits, but as all medicines you are warned about nausea, headaches, muscle weakness, joint pain, depression,  sexual impotence, constipation, diarrhea, the very disease you have times 10, hysteria, schizophrenia, pooping your pants, Tourette’s syndrome, wearing mismatched clothing, kicking babies, channeling Woody Allen, and talking to walls.  I woke up something similar to a  migraine. I’ve been having vivid nightmares (thankfully, not hypnogogic dreams which I have regretfully experienced with certain muscle relaxers I no longer take). My muscles were moving strangely, joints were swollen, short of breath, frog in throat, and a few other uncomfortable numbers all at once.  Mostly my forearms, hips, and calves were in pain, hard to move, and that doesn’t even explain the existential sob fest, which I must say was very peaceable and gratifying, but none the less, not acceptable in a workplace with 50 men … and lil ol me.

I’m in incredibly good spirits.  Probably grateful that the universe forced me to take an off day.  I’m fighting the urge to go clean something because I actually have time!!! The need to rest is paramount, but its hard to stay still.  Especially, when whatever body part that wants to move gets sore from collecting stagnant blood at the site. Regardless, I aim to take it easy somehow. Thank you Netflix and audiobooks.

I have been violently nauseous.  Violently in comparison to someone who always is ready to eat, not someone who has been through chemo.  I believe I have not been eating and drinking enough water due to the nausea, or the medicine is just making my tummy acidic. I don’t know.  I don’t know how it works.  Before, the investigative journalist in me would come out and I would scour the earth’s library and internets to find out why and how, but instead I think I’m just gonna plop a DVD of Foster’s and fall asleep while drinking juice.

Link to site, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

I have a growing suspicion that while I was drinking nopal, my liver was cleansing out some of the harsh effects of the medicine.  My skin was not experience the side effects as strongly.  I did not get strange stabbing pains in say, my armpit or behind my ears.  I was doing it everyday until the chick at the produce stand stopped selling them prepped, spine-free, and I decided I had poked myself one too many times to keep doing it myself.  Also, my fingers get sore really fast with such detailed work.  However, I see it is something I will have to endure.  Or ask my mommy to do it.

Other possible side effects are sun sensitivity and cold/hot flashes.  I felt it they improved when I fist started the meds, but it’s back . It can easily just be recurring Lupus symptoms, or the setting in of generic medicines hating my body.

I’m not sharing this to enhance your day with useless facts you never needed to know about me.  (Fact 1: First place I sweat during cardio: my elbow. What? Fact 2: I don’t sweat anymore. I physically don’t sweat, I overheat like a baby.) I’m sharing mostly for those who have taken Plaquenil and have had different experiences. MTV’s Real Life: Lupus and Diet Related Stories. Mostly, I write to share ups and downs and know someone else out there might go through similar problems.  It sometimes feels like I’m the only 28 year old with these silly issues.  But I know that’s not the case.

Remember the No-No Mission. I feel responsible to tell you I am not holding up my end of the bargain.  That’s right. Today at 5, when Cappy’s opens up.  I’m surrendering all my faux-vegan claims and shamefully (but ecstatically), eating pizza.  I’m going down with my dignity in flames.  I will not overdo it, but I certainly plan on not reaching my goal.

Dignity Robbing Justifications:

1) Sick day, I ain’t cooking.  Feel fine now, but in 1/2 hour into scrubbing pans, I will curse the day!

2) Cannot take any trips to health food stores.  No energy and the sun and heat can make it worse.

3) I’m starving.

4) The nausea is making all foods, except Glowing Green Smoothie and apples, disgusting and my gut needs something to masticate.  I’m gonna be hungry this evening.

5) I’m out of gluten-free bread to whip up something quick at home (that won’t make me hurl).

6) I’m going insane dammit.

7) Husband is out of town AND I feel crappy.  I earned my pouting.

Like I’ve also mentioned before,  I don’t believe in moderation of certain foods.  But I also don’t believe I can go a whole lifetime without it. Apparently, not even 30 days.

Either way, I’m a pinwheel turn away from  morphing into psycho-midget…so I’m gonna pacify myself with some good ol American indulgent food.  And I’ll feel better. Then I may or may not feel worse (sometimes my body actually appreciates that I ate something hearty..justification). But I’ll quiet the battle of whether I will or won’t.

Or I may just have an avocado and beans bowl and not screw this up!  The world will never know.

If you’re still reading, you either a studying the psychology of hungry women… or you’re a Super Trooper.

3 Comments

Filed under Loopy Lupus, Under the Weather

Teikirizi Day

This ones mostly for the ladies, and the ones who want to know who is that girl who only talks about food and harsh realities. The cast of this blog is on the new tab called THE FAMILY you wanna skip my long entries.  I need to start shortening these things….

Sometimes you just gotta slow down to process things.  I tend to overload.  I’m freaking out watching Freakonomics, grateful that they turned it into a documentary because I cannot read a hefty book about statistics, even if its theoretical. I still don’t know how I used to eat up books like Michio Kaku’s Hyperspace and Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality (albeit with frequent headaches much like brain freeze). Probably because the latter type didn’t have an immediate practicality to it.  No, it must’ve been all that Adderall.  But all these videos, books, and articles about to living simpler, ridding of stress, going green, the corruption in our foods…becomes overwhelming.  The economic world is falling apart, the physical world is literally sinking into itself, GMO corn is creating Corn Children, and the universe is going to implode!!!  Makes you want to throw the book at the wall, give up, and stash Twinkies in our underwear drawer for more emergencies to come.

I’ve decided, I’m not going to think about all the gadgets I dream of owning to take my detox up a notch: a dehydrator for raw foods, a high-speed Blendtech (they all have a Vitamix dammit), an exotic monkey that picks coconuts from a coconut tree in my patio…

I will not pine about living in California where elite foodists shun Starbucks and snack on gogi berries in their hemp-wear at the best fresh markets by the beach, riding a bicycle home with all their precious organics in a basket.  I will forget about having vegan parties with tons of skinny hippy girlfriends where we all bring a spirulina pie and nut pattes and buy our dry goods in bulk to split costs while talking about how to order at restaurants without getting beat up behind the dumpster by our chef and waiter.

I’m also giving up the idea that we should move mid-west and build a bomb shelter with a built-in hydroponic garden and seeds from all over the world in case we need to repopulate the flora.

I’m going to sit still, turn off the damn television, remind me of what I can’t have, what’s “trendy”, what phone I need talking to me, or which news station warps our minds the most.  I’m going to attempt my yoga is my body is okay with it.  Breath slow. Let the cats feed themselves.  And remember that I’m at the beginning of a new healthy life and it takes a lot of getting used to, shape-shifting, mind-warping changes, and patience.  I’m very content with my Oster Blender and Magic Bullet and I’ll use my own veggie rinse for now.  I’ve gotten this far on the cleaning my lifestyle and I don’t ever want to turn back.

Instead I’ll introduce you to my family, which I’ve been meaning to do.  I can’t save the world, it can’t save me, but I’m going down with them.  More so, I’m dragging them down with me.  No lie, my cats eat organic cold-pressed gluten-free food. (By popular standards, your allowed to think I’m a freak now).  I added a new page to my site you can see at the link below, or just click the tab up top.  It’s a simple page, not much to it.  I hope to add some more real pictures, not doctored by my favorite photographer.  Raw truth is how I prefer.  Oh, and a picture my husband actually likes:

La Familia

If you want writing with effort, re-read some of my favorite posts.:

The next post will be more thought out, most likely about dairy and its anti-detox, anti-aging properties.  And what to think-how to view- life without cheese. I know…it’s hard. Rrreal hard. But only up until you realize this is what nature intended.

Another fun read is one of my new added favorite blogs: Eden Eats Everything

At the other extreme of dieting and lifestyle, here is one that struggle balance as well, to eat more.  Eden is a Chef that had an eating disorder growing up and will always have issues with it underlying issues with it.  Much like me.  Calorie counting, guilt, control.  Today, she doesn’t claim to have any particular diet and attempts to not undereat.  She disagrees with die-hard vegans and food elitists, strongly so, as you will see her harsh comedic Jew witticisms.  She still drinks Diet Coke even though her dad has cancer, but she finds it better to eat processed foods every once in a while if its keep you from being emaciated and criminally insane.  Her recipes are averagely healthy for American dieting, sprinkled with a few indulgent ones. Mostly gluten and dairy free. She’s a hoot and I like her.  Despite our completely separate lives…we both live, think, and breath about what goes in our mouths…and then out. 

For those catching up: I’m slowly progressing on the Beauty Detox Solution:  A dietary lifestyle that combines  new revolutionary eating styles (that are actually quite ancient), gradually but surely healing my arthritis, bursitis, scaly skin, hair thinning, chronic fatigue, reducing wrinkles, PMS, PMDD, ADD, FML, DOA.

Actually, usually this time of month would’ve made its presence known about a week ago with bouts of crying, sleep marathons, hair loss, horrible skin breakouts, emotional paranoia, acute depressions, unbearable leg, back and joint pains, and selective psychosis.  Since I’ve been having 98% no meat and dairy, no gluten, dropped almost all caffeine, and increased greens by like a million percent, I barely knew it was here until Husband suggested that I’m weird-tired and impressionble today cause he can tell I get loopy.  It’s a miracle that I don’t feel like a beached whale, cry upon commercials with salad dressings, and my knees and hips barely register pain.  A miracle, changed simply by what we eat.

These are the types of enticing and exciting things that this blog will continue upon in the coming months,  So if you’re put off my health promotion and pooping, stop reading my blog, and go watch commercial TV…….nnnnnnnnnow.

1 Comment

Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Under the Weather

Medications, Depression and Food Matters

“One quarter of what you eat keeps you alive and 3/4 of what you eat keeps your doctor alive.”

Take it from someone who’s immunity barrier broke from antidepressants, stimulants, narcotic anxiety medicine, migraine meds, birth control, and antibiotics.  You can say the long, drawn out, collective doctor-prescribed use abuse of medications, without him ever suggestion that maybe you’re having a food reaction to the crap that you eat…is the beginning of malnutrition.  Malnutrition, on a cellular level, is the birth of disease. If you don’t have cancer, heart disease, arthritis, migraines, IBS, PTDS, ADHD, etc… you name it: you don’t have to.  It’s so hard to begin prevention when you can’t forsee yourself with chronic illness, everyday fatigue, or something embarrassing as erectile dysfunction or yeast infections.  But start tiny and small, just by opening your mind to a different way of equipping our bodies of healing themselves.  You might forego these problems without having to feel old, sick, slow and tired, as you age.  But the one thing people don’t relate to food often is depression.

Depression

When I was around 16, during the pubescent years as my mother claims, I began to display many issues of a nervous stomach, and following that, a negative outlook and anxious depression. There wasn’t as much sadness as there was anxiety, but eventually being in one low state of mind can lead to another. No one could understood what was happening, this was all new stuff in the Spanish community. I saw gastro doctors, I saw psychiatrists, respectively. The gastro was quick to put me on a health diet. I lost weight and felt good.  Until I started eating normally again.  The psychiatrist was quick to diagnose me as OCD and Depressive. Never mind asking that my symptoms would happen immediately after eating. Almost anything. At a time where doctors were trusted, I started popping the pills. I needed relief from my increasingly troubled teenage mind. I only grew worse. And what’s even worse is that I started believing the hype and using the misdiagnosed label to explain my erratic behavior almost as an excuse. My poor family went through hell dealing with this little angel who was suddenly emotionally volatile and unpredictable.  It was no way to grow up.  Of course, I wasn’t always down.  Some days were great, but steadily it got harder to deal with the sluggishness and the side effects of the drugs they were pushing on me.

Fast forward to moving out at 19, the dreaded 21 and up years when the mix of antidepressants and alcohol gleefully gave the psychiatrist reason to label me bipolar (another hype I totally bought into because I was relieved there was an answer for my anxiety), and stopping at about 26, no doctors had bothered to make the connection that I might be reacting to the burgers and Oreos I pounded down as a teen, that maybe eating Vaca Frita “fried cow” was slowly debilitating my metabolism, that all the Kool-Aid and Ramen Noodles had MSG, colors, and chemicals that will slowly zap your neurons and freak out your natural body processes.  No one told me to take a vitamin or eat a vegetable.  All the books I ravaged through to find my answers barely hinted at diet.  They spoke of obvious food allergies, but not nutrition in general.  All throughout these medications, I never ever felt stable for longer than the first two days that a new med will zone you out.  Or as long as it takes an Adderall to wear out.

In short, my immune was compromised since the beginning by food. As early as infancy, the overload of toxins and chemicals start setting up the strength of your healing ability for the rest of your life. Some with blessed metabolisms will clean out these toxins and delay disease until they are older, so it is understandable they feel untouchable when they eat at Subway and don’t spaz out from all the nitrates and preservatives added to the meats and breads.  They never gain a pound and are pictures of apparent health (as was my husband until about age 30. Now he’s drinking vegetable smoothies with me). Some of us like the chemicals believe it or not.  Boy did I love me some Red Bull aspartame rushes and purple Pixie Stix! Some of us though, start getting ill young and can be easily be confused -even by trained psychologists- as emotional problems.    As mentioned earlier, I had health diets here and there.  I slowly incorporated new habits of healthy eating as I learned things.  I did the South Beach Diet when I was 19.  I was vegetarian and vegan for months at a time.  But culturally, it was hard to keep up with and the accumulated toxins from previous years were already dug in deep.  If your gut (where the most of your immune lies) is not being strengthen and fed well, the mind and body connection are aware of it and will cave eventually.

Come 26 years old, right before my wedding, started the migraines. I had already reduced working out because of joint and muscle pain. I started suspecting something was incredibly wrong. This was the first time it hit me, when the Neuro doctor asked me if I was reacting to foods, to MSG in particular. I started paying attention to what I ate. This is when the great Red#40 dawned on me.  I didn’t know much about the hazards of food, even though already having been through a large vegan stint in which I felt fabulous, had read Skinny Bitch (in efforts to lose even more weight on top of working out, I stumbled into this deceivingly but awesome fowl-mouthed book detailing in excruciating details everything that was wrong with animal products), and heard that certain preservatives can cause behavioral problems in children.  I knew it was real somewhere in the world, but not me.  I was always physically health aside from being pudgy, a few gastro problems, and having mental health issues, which who doesn’t? Right???

Wrong.  After the wedding …and I mean, right after the wedding!!!…  is when the barrier broke and all the tiny chronic issues amounted to one autoimmune inflammation disease.  Barely able to hold a job, stand for an hour, and drive to a store. Poor husband had a newlywed cripple in the house and we were both unsure of how to go about this.  I decided to drop the migraine medicine which seemed to have destroyed the last bit of immune I had left.  I battled with antibiotics because of infections that were becoming resistant.  At doctors’ insistence, I just needed to take more antibiotics, weakening and depleting my immune more.

Until… I found a Rheumatologist that had more integral view:  I was put on the anti-inflammatory diet.  I dropped Adderall (the stimulant drug for lack of focus), refused all antibiotics, and flushed the migraine medicines.  Half of my symptoms declined.  I kissed gluten goodbye and suddenly I could see and think clearly! Recently, I dropped dairy and the inflammation is significantly reduced.  Not just the swelling, but actual weight.  I can breath, not even registering that I wasn’t breathing optimally before.  My skin has cleared up nicely, a few wrinkles have reduced, and the flaky patchy problems are almost gone.  Hormones seemed to be balanced, there is energy coming through, and though Lupus is still raging a war in my body, I’m winning most of the battles.  I have a hard time imagining how I ever used to be such a depressed, and disturbed child.  If you discount our enemy, PMS, my mind and mental state if stronger than ever.  I’m a pretty damn optimistic person.  On no synthetic medications at all. (There’s no cure for my sarcasm and dark humor though).

Moral of the story, and there are many:

  • Don’t attribute all of your problems on life, and yourself, and others. Forgive yourself easier because the root of underlying problems may surprise you, even absolve you.
  • Check your diet.  Drop one food at a time for two weeks and see how you feel. Do your symptoms get better? Do you have more energy?  Are you regular?
  • Don’t trust doctors and medication. Not that your doctor isn’t trained well.  He just is not trained in nutrition.  If you watch the video links I gave you, you will find that they hardly touch the subject in medical school.  That is, if you don’t want to read this shocker: What The Drug Companies Won’t Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn’t Know. I was devastated to find out the our caretakers were being manipulated by a money making machine.  Our friend Merck has dreams that we stay ill to keep his profits up.
  • Do your research.  Goes hand in hand with the previous two points.
  • Rely on nature.  One thing we forget (or were never taught) is that you can’t just turn off a problem with a pill, we can help our bodies heal themselves.  It’s pretty miraculous really.
  • It’s hard work to protect yourself and the ones we love from the dangers of the world, but its doable if you can find, admit the problems, and create change.
  • Add your own….
For those who are genuinely experiencing non-food related depression, meaning you digest well, your stress levels are regulated, there is nothing of significant distress, trauma or abuse, sleep enough, and aren’t narcissistic living an empty life, this is a genuine imbalance and it is believed these imbalances begin not in the brain, but vitamin deficiencies.  They could also be malfunctions in the adrenal system if it seems to come on pretty suddenly (hormonal imbalances).
From the same video shown above, Food Matters, please watch this excerpt below.  For anyone taking antidepressants, even antipsychotics as they now have you believe this is a great addition to your ‘other pill’ that can’t get the job done, and not getting enough results, and too many side effects, there is a reason these medications will not work long term.  Where do I get off saying that? Oh you know, just having taken every medication known to Glasko and Pfizer!!! There are natural alternative ways:

For anyone curious of trying this (you can take on top of your antidepressant) please see link below for instructions on how to increase a Niacin (Vitamin B-3) supplement.  You have nothing to lose except a few bucks.  I know someone trying this and the gradual results are extremely promising.  And as usual, eating healthier always helps the healing process.

http://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp_417125/How_to_Take_Niacin_-Vitamin_B3-_for_Depression_and_Anxiety

Dr. Hoffer’s story on how Niacin treatment was successful, but rejected, as a treatment for alcoholism (rooted by depression and anxiety).

http://doctoryourself.com/hoffer_niacin.html

Note: I used to feel self conscious about talking about depression.  It wasn’t yet outwardly common.  It bared a heavy stigma.  Today, so many people are going through these conditions that we joke about our need for valiums and xanax in our coffee.  However, the stigma still lives.  I don’t feel self-conscious about it any more and that is why it took me so long to actually write about depression.  Especially when I went through a few ups and downs after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.  Just as much as society needs to embrace a new understanding of nutrition, cleansing (detoxing and colonics, oh yes, i said colonics), and natural healing, we need to accept that many of us are sick emotionally and mentally.  Our friends and family are going through depressions whether they wear it on their sleeves or not, whether they’re getting medical attention for it or not.  I spent a long life battling emotions and except for the valid and occasional I’m-sick-of-it-all days,  by trial and error and lots of research, I have come across natural and simple ways to improve life quality (Even while still being crippled on some days).  Do not neglect yourself or loved ones if they’re are struggling with depression symptoms.  

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor or a trained professional.  These suggestions and methods are all based on personal research and experience.  Everyone’s physical make up is different and may are subject to individual conditions.  Any changes in your diet and supplemental health should be done at your own risk while consulting a health professional.  Unless you’re like me and do it without anyone’s approval.  

2 Comments

Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Under the Weather

“Mawwage is what bwings us togwether today….”

In memory of my (not dead) husband:

Mawwage is awesome.  Some of the time.  Most of the time. Am I right?

via dailymail.co.uk

It’s been a year and a half.  I still consider us a pair of newlyweds.  I’m still madly in love and surprised at how in love you could be with someone you want to kill a few times a week.

I reckon since this blog is about being recently married and how to deal with so many changes all at once, it was due time to talk about man versus women.

If you’ve kept up with my mini-saga or read the bio, I’ve mentioned how immediately after marriage I – we- began to deal with serious health problems.  This causes a lot of conflict and confusion for a couple who is supposed to be  locked in the bedroom, high on endorphins and in honeymoon stage.  Even during the honeymoon, we had to make modifications due to my escalating symptoms.  Coming home to a surreal reality of problems is not for the weak.  While a women feels, “Thank God I have a good strong man to help me through this rough time”, a man is most likely feeling, “This is not fair! We’re supposed to be having the time of our lives.”  Though a wife still acknowledges the unfairness of it all, a man’s need to fix something he cannot can really test him, especially early in a marriage before either one has settled themselves into a role of new responsibilities.

This is not limited to couples with illness though.  Even before I got married, I was fascinated by the psychological relationship between husband and wife.  Being a naive and arrogant little girl, when I read books like Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus (for fun, yes, I’m a nerd), I thought, “Why don’t people just say what they’re feeling? Then they would both understand each other!!! It’s so simple.” Haha. Hahahahaha. Hahahahaaa.

There are delicate balances in a loving relationship, or a non-loving one.  There are so many fine lines that it feels more like a tight rope when having to express needs, wants, and emotions.  God forbid you overuse that word: f-e-e-l-i-n-g-s.

However, I’m proud to say that through hard work and application I’ve found the strength to be patient and found a man who in his limited-emotional male vocabulary, and has been patient with me as well.  Better said, we have been patient with the life we’ve been handed and managed to breakthrough to all the little surprises that life shoots at the fan and that all the poo that will continually be flying down on us just to keep us on our game.  Disease, unemployment, cars breaking down, Verizon rape bills…… I gotta give a round of applause for a man who deserves more than a break; and I appreciate him not breaking down on me like that damn Ford Focus he spent six months to pimp out for my anniversary gift.

He has proven to be made of that good tough material.  He still hasn’t learned to make me a gluten-free vegan meal to save his life, but he tucks me in when my body is swollen and takes out the cat poop for me. More so, he trusts that there’s still a little firecracker in me, even when I’m stuck on the couch.  My hero!

For all the other new brides out there, and by new I mean at least up to two years (so says one of my favorite books listed below), the “struggle” is normal no matter what difficulties arise.  Men are a different species and us wifeys have a hard time not swatting our men over their heads when times get tough or when inappropriate fart jokes are made.  But we must be patient for them.  We’re the ones who have to figure it out before they do because they’re not designed to read up or ask their girl friends for relationship advice.  Weepy and naggy women, no matter what how much we deserve to whine, can distance a man or make him recoil into passive aggressiveness, closing the door to certain intimacies.  We have to put our big girl thongs on and learn how to control the situation while making them think they’re the ones in control.  It takes developing a strong measure of common sense and sass, if we haven’t learned it already by the time we’re ball and chain’d.  We’re more scientifically gifted and versed in communication, so it’s our burden and privilege to set the tone, the mood, to let them feel relaxed enough to take the reins.

Men can reach their husband potential relatively quickly if we support their individual needs;  all throughout keeping ourselves together during our times of needs when they’re too stressed to cater to us.  They were not created to wait on our hand and foot to our every want, and even need.  As a matter of fact, we are their complement.  Some men will be very helpful while learning to love after the lust period, but it will not always come natural to them and we have to buck up during this process.  I will admit that some husbands can just turn out a dud altogether sometimes, but that’s a whole other story.  But personally, I think, the ones who are honestly committed,  deserve a wife who can make them feel just as safe and secure during rough times, as they can to us.

So, here’s what has helped me through times when we’re both stumped, tired, annoyed, stressed, you name it….

  • Prayers. I mean, heartfelt, all out, near-accusation-kneeling-supplications, to the Big Guy upstairs.
  • Good and Selective Advice.  Limited to family, and one or two blood-tight friends (don’t want to air business out to everyone), and wise/older/successful couples.  To them, I am forever grateful for their honesty.
  • It’s a Guy Thing – It’s next to my bed.  Looove this book.  A look into the feminine and masculine balance and why men have to scratch and burp while we wonder where our flowers are.
  • What No One Tells the Bride – This book, with collective realizations from different types of new brides, allows women to ease into the violent shock of living in a committed relationship with a penis carrier, especially the independent women.  It takes two years for the average woman to feel like a settled wife.  And we all fear becoming our mothers.  This alone will settle a girl.
  • Why Mars and Venus Collide – I read this one before getting married. The knowledge carried through to the big plummeting vows was priceless.  Out of all the Mars and Venus books, this one seemed most relevant in its insight into times of high stress.  An reasonable  look into why men and women can’t help the way they are and communicate, why it clashes even though its biologically designed to complement each other, and why modern stresses affect the natural balance.
  • Feeling Good – This book is not about marraige.  It’s actually about depression.  I never wanted to read it because at the time I did, I was not depressed.  But for anyone who is highly emotional and reactive, (which marriage can highlight this part of our psyche) this doctor can lead you into enlightenment about why we have certain emotional thoughts and  behaviors and how to find the root of controlling ourselves.  Knowing thyself.  The downside is that you can catch when everyone else is behaving irrationally too and you have to resist the urge of calling them out.  If we can command ourselves, we can deal with others better.
  • Holy Scriptures – Oh yes, I’m serious. And I don’t mean the Ephesians where we’re all told who we are to submit to and that’s that.  Proverbs 31:10-31.  It talks about the capable wife.  Every time I feel lazy, whimpish, resentful, or needy…I read this over and over and imagine a Middle-Eastern prowess of ancient times, taking care of business, and being honored by her hard working husband.  This woman is energetic, spiritual, a real go-getter, a community socialite, runs her house like a tight ship, earns the trust and respect of her husband by being proactive, and earns the praise of her God.  Highly inspirational and more motivating than any of the other books I have in my library.
Have I got it all figured out? I don’t think so.  There are many more obstacles and adventures to come before we croak and we’re released from our sacred vows.  However, when you start with hardship, but constantly come out winning from each test, I swear it only gets better.
If children are involved, please disregard everything I’ve said and please find another source on advice.  I know nothing about dynamics with little ones and I’m no where near ready to know or comment on.  I would dare to say keep the scriptures attached to your foreheads like the Jews used to do.

4 Comments

Filed under Housewifing, Picture of Health, Post A Week, Random, Under the Weather

Little Victories : Discovering Awesome Household products

Today I bought medical gloves to wear for house chores.  Specifically for any use of beach products or cat duties/doodies.  I slapped on the green nitrile gloves, got inside our bathtub and sprinkled Comet all over and started scrubbing away.  I got really into it.  Within about two minutes of finishing, the bottoms of my feet had slightly swelled, my legs had feathery currents running up and down up from toes to knees, I was sick to my stomach, nauseous, my head was pounding.  The chemicals had seeped up my bare feet, paying no mind to the hand protection I wore, and penetrated its way up.

Our bodies absorb everything and our feet are no exception.  To most people, these chemicals and toxins build up over time and your immune system will start figuring out what it is and find out by what process to get rid of them.  If too much builds up you will get sick, down the road.  With an autoimmune disease progressing in my body, it immediately acknowledged unlawful entry and planned an attack toward my own body.  I’ve known for a while I must go natural on home cleaning products, but I doubted they’re effectiveness.

But it’s a good day.  I really didn’t have much faith that homemade cleaning products could be any good, but I figured it was still something I had to look into being at how transparent my pores could be to anything around me and honestly, the tub was in dire need of a serious scrubbin’.  Remembering back on my favorite book on domestication, No Hassle Housecleaning, I had learned about cleaning with tea tree oil, a natural powerful antiseptic big corporations are slapping the sticker their flammable liquids.   Additionally, I now have cat babies and they’re the ones closer to the floors we clean with toxic materials; a reason many pets are also getting diseases in this modern world.  Oh yes, your dog may have lupus too. Inconceivable!

I bought a few ingredients for very low prices, some I already had, once my Target floor cleaner had been used up.  I looked up a recipe online and found this wonderful blog article and recipe:

BEST FLOOR CLEANER EVER

  • white distilled vinegar
  • distilled water
  • tea tree essential oil
  • baking soda
  • spray bottle
  • Optional – essential oil for fragrance – peppermint, grapefruit, eucalyptus, lavender, etc.

Obviously, sharing the recipe isn’t my method of persuasion.  But I promise it was better than the expensive natural cleaners my mop was chugging through.  So, what are the hang-ups you might have?

EFFECTIVENESS

Amazing! Stains that had been on our apartment floor since before we moved in were cleared out.  A bit of baking soda smooths grit and leaves a polished gleam.  It takes some tweaking -more oils for me, waaay less baking soda -but it leaves the floor (and counters) sparkling!   I couldn’t stop finding surfaces to clean.  I was so excited I almost sprayed Chev Chelios…the cat.

SCENT

Your house will not smell like salad dressing.  This was an important one to me because I DO NOT Like that acidic smell and am easily nauseous.  The good news is that the scent of vinegar fades and leaves behind the aromatic smells of the tea tree and/or the optional additional flavor you add on.  You must use the tea tree to clean and disinfect, the rest are just for additional aroma.  I had peppermint on the shelf so my house ended smelling fresh.  I did notice you have to shake up the bottle before each use or it’ll smell of the smell of vinegar takes longer to fade.  I wanted it to smell stronger of peppermint, stored in my pantry for fresh breath, digestion, and muscle pain, so I added double the drops it called for.  An added plus is that peppermint repels bugs,roaches, and other creepers.  Even without an additional oil though, there will be a clean overall feel about the place.

PRICE

The above ingredients are all you need.  If you have a home water filtration system you’re set in that department.  If not, buy…

  • Distilled Water – Free or by the gallon. $0.65 cents. $0.25 for refills.
  • Distilled White Vinegar, buy by the gallon about $2 or 3 dollars.  Will last a few months.
  • Baking Soda – $0.78 per box.
  • Spray Bottle – $0.98
  • Tea tree oil – Starting from $8.99 and up at Vitamin Shoppe if you can’t find a health food store. Will last forever.
  • Optional essential oil – $4.89 for Peppermint (good for repelling bugs and creepers

CONVENIENCE

  • You have a start-up fee of about $15 or less and don’t have to replace the oils for a long time.
  • The larger the sizes of vinegar and oils, the more you save.
  • It serves wonderfully as a floor, stove, surface, multipurpose cleaner.
  • It’s safe enough to eat off the floor.
  • The pets may feel free to lick the linoleum, if they’re into that.
  • Tie a red ribbon around it and it makes a cute homemade gift for all your “green” friends, ill family members, new moms, etc.
  • The oils for other purposes as well, like ailments, aromatic burners, base massage oils, and bath and foot soaks.
  • You can clean barefoot and not have to worry about dry yucky feet.
As you’ve read, I’ve been fighting my health issues since December, but it’s taken me this long to pull a simple recipe together.  However slow at it may be, start allowing the idea to simmer that chemical free is better, and nature has always been superior, without the side effects (and the side effects do come to stake their claim one way or another).  Maybe in a few months or a year you’ll be ready to try it too and love it as well.  I’m started to round up more ingredients already, like alcohol and borax, and see where that leads me.
Personally, I’m taking this experience as proof I can confidently venture into more homemade cleaning products, like bathtub, oven and glass cleaners that don’t require a Hazmat suit to have a sparkly smell-good home.  I just had to share.
Additional Links:

4 Comments

Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Under the Weather

Relating to Reality TV

Catherine Zeta Jones admits to the public she’s battling bipolar disorder, so it’s okay for the public to be a little more honest about their own mental health issues.  Now Toni Braxton is coming out with a reality TV show (because who isn’t coming out with a reality TV show?) on the WE channel to display to the world “THIS IS WHAT LUPUS LOOKS LIKE”.  Maybe now people will understand what it’s like? Whatever!

As if being a D-list celebrity with no worries about having a real job or wracking your head over where to afford the tests you need to understand health, rights, and benefits, is a realistic portrayal of what having lupus is all about?  I’m already fed-up, and hope the rest of you are, with Reality TV, but exploiting whatever minimal survival stories paired along side with dying fame is shameful.  Having a TV crew, makeup artist, and whatever else entourage may follow you and your ridiculous fame-seeking leaching family members and telling people it’s hard to be you because you’re tired doesn’t extract empathy from people in the real world.  Should it really take the voice of a celebrity to raise Lupus Awareness?  Not everyone with the Wolf Disease jumps on the diseased marathon band wagon or cares to attend conferences about “hope” and “butterfly survivors” and “spoonies.”  Certainly not me.  Some glamorize the disease as if it’s a culture in the making.  Same with the Breast Cancer Awareness, which has become more of a marketing opportunity, than actual knowledge and understanding of cancer.  Seriously, what truths have you learned about Pink Ribbons other than “it happens a lot” and “it’s a real problem”?

Although my feathers were ruffled upon hearing of this show, this scolding one is not truly toward the Braxton family.  My own frustration with my health is the reason over the upset of this edited view of chronic illness.  It’s a whole lot more than being exhausted.  It’s so difficult to try to be understood when you barely understand yourself.  It’s a lot uglier than what the public will perceive while these ladies parade their drama in couture apparel.  Many will think they relate to it, but they won’t.    Misinformation about any illness shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who isn’t directly experiencing yourself of someone you love.  Exploiting one case to the public will not accomplish much except limited awareness of the existence of this growing epidemic.

I don’t want to be a hater.  If people want to expose their life on day time TV, they have the right to do it, but please don’t bother with the catch phrase: “This is what lupus looks like.” Reality TV…is not real.

http://www.wetv.com/shows/braxton-family-values

Maybe I should just keep my opinions to myself and be grateful that someone is willing to talk about it, even if in a comedic warped Hollywood script? Life should still be fabulous even if you feel like poop all the time, right? Right? (I ask, cause I honestly don’t know.)

Luckily, I don’t have the WE channel and I don’t have to bother with it.  I’m learning to deal with my health nearly on my own.  As you see, it causes a lot of emotional upset.  It requires a lot of humbling toward myself, toward our finicky nature and it’s complexities, toward the unsuspecting.  It feels more like a magical illusion than a balancing act, but it’ll be a wonderful success when I finally accept this new evolving lifestyle without getting so pissed about how other people deal with it.

Hearing about this new show amidst a barrage of addiction to celebrity lives caught me on a bad day and incited a rant.  I hope the next time I come to this blog is on a good day, one where I’m at a point of acceptance.  For now, I’m glad I had a reason to bitch about something else rather than my own problem. Ha.

Here’s a handful of positives vibe to make up for the venting comin at ya:  Relax, relate, release!

For anyone else suffering a chronic “something”, how do you find your balance? Or how are you finding it? Do you ever figure it out? Would love to hear someone else’s take on this.

3 Comments

Filed under Loopy Lupus, Under the Weather

Elephant and itises

(-itis: Greek derived suffix meaning inflammation)

Inflammation from head to toe.  Front to back.  Inside and out.  I feel like an elephant is trying to fit inside my human shell.

A cute one though:

via Cake Wrekcs

My hair feels like that too! Electrocuted scanty tufts!

Who would’ve thought my favorite picture ever on Cake Wrecks would’ve been of an elephant?

Some medicines, insurance rejections, and not carefully reading food labels have rendered me mentally and physically wrought.  As upset and overwhelmed as I am, I will not let it drag me down after all the progress I’ve made.  The thoughts that go through one’s heads while you’re experiencing pain are usually not reality based and can drag you down.  I know that the feeling of despair and defeat are not based on the facts, but on the current and ephemeral feelings of frustration.  Perspective is key.

My plea and reminder to all those who are sick and tired and being sick and tired is to remember to not be hard on yourself for not being able to do more, for not cleaning those last few pots leaving a food smell, and for having to stay in and watch yet another movie at home. Turn on a few candles, sit down, take naps, rest well, and another run of good days eventually comes around.

Do not punish yourself for not sticking to the diet 100% and if other people scold you for it, you tell THEM to not eat cookies for a whole year and watch them suck at it.  However, don’t give in to more no-no foods just because you’ve had it with the rice cakes.  Hang tight to the friends and family that support you and put aside the ones that don’t for a little while.  Do not resent the things you cannot do and the healthy people who do not relate to you anymore.  And do not feel the need to make others understand what you are going through (unless they ask).  They still care about you just as much even if they don’t really get it.   Mostly, stop trying to explain to yourself why you should be washing the car , re-tiling the kitchen, and hitting the gym.

Do relax while you wait for the worse to past and start your game plan on how to carry on stronger the next go round of health you have.  The easier you are on your body, the sooner you will feel better.  Do remember to wear something cute and put some color on your face even if you’re stuck home.  And do take the down time to think and do something for the other people who have it rough too like a faithful caretaker, a friend who sticks to you when you’re bummy, a congregation member who’s ill, or the families in Japan.  Being chronically ill does not change you’re relevancy in being there for others.

Learn the drill cycle and follow through. (Insert smiley face emoticon here).

And for God’s sake, if you’re allergic to gluten, stop looking at cake websites unless you have the energy and $60 to buy the supplies and ingredients for a wheat free, yeast free, sugar free, night-shade free vegetable, cake.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Loopy Lupus, Under the Weather