Tag Archives: lupus

I Dairy Your Not To Eat This Pizza. (Or Make Bad Puns)

Cheese. Holy Cheese. Cheese and Rice. I want it.

My uterus just skipped a beat.

I certainly don’t need the added hormones, natural occurring and lab enhanced opiods, indigestible lactase, and cancer inciting casein.  But oh how I violently crave the gooey mess and sodium that no plant on earth can provide.  When I die, I hope it’s choking on an endless pizza cheese strand.

See, on the Beauty Detox diet and many similar reads, they warn against detoxing too fast.  Eliminating too many foods at once can starve the body and upset the natural order of addictions that had created part of our diseased homeostasis.  Add  one too many large green smoothies, no artificial sugars, no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine, no chemicals…although healthy, is too much for the body to handle at once and toxins can begin to recirculate in the system, not being eliminated fast enough.

Since I got my new toy, the omnipotent Blendtec,  I’ve been blending everything, not just my greens.  I had about a week of liquids.  Sticking to veganism is also easier since you can make anything creamy on my nifty high speed blender.  Oh, that double edged demon!

The result: the last week I’ve been a terrible little monster.  Mornings are headachy, dizzy, nauseous, I feel odd, feverish, twitchy, hot flashes, straight up menopausal, and I want to go around flicking people on the forehead and giving them wedgies.  Some people even get rashes, acne breakouts, minor infections, can’t poop, throw up, or become pyromaniacs.  This is somewhat of a good sign; it means it’s working, but it can be very intolerable.  On top of that I sometimes takes fungal detox pills (to help with lupus symptoms) and that starves the candida we all contain in our system, which feeds sugars.  I angered the beast by depriving it and it also releases toxins or some story like that.  I have not given my body time to adapt to the new detox principles.  I was mean to myself.

And then Kimberly Detox girl posts on her blog, The 25 Unhealthiest Junk Foods you should never eat. I have no problem with her logic. I believe what she says is true.  Some people believe in moderation.  I don’t.  If its bad, its bad for you no matter how clever your justifications are (which I’m a master of).  If I eat a cupcake, I chalk it down to human folly and weakness, not to “you deserve that treat”.  We don’t deserve DNA wrecking food agents. What I have a problem with is that she posts the most scrumptious pictures of foods that you’ve worked so hard to erase from your mind…and then tells you to go wash down a green smoothie and chew on fermented cabbage! Is she psychotic??? I’ve been muting commercials to forget pizza exists and reading nutrition labels to reason that a french fries should not have 14 ingredients.  Bypassing coupons and missing sales to shield my eyes from clips of burritos.  Seriously considering self-flagellation to mimick the suffering of giving up silky, creamy cheese.  What she does is barbaric! Tell it for what it is, sister.  Plants are nutritious and fuel our bodies, but don’t tell me a chemical laced cheesecake can stand up to kale kabobs….  I’m sorry Kimster.  So sorry.  I didn’t mean that.  I truly and honestly love eating clean and natural.  I’m just going to curl up in my big mac and cry, I mean big bed.

Well, I’ve slowed down on the liquids, adding more solids, especially the complex carbs.  I will sparingly add tiny pieces of meats every few days, once a day (believe it or not, with my weak stomach muscles, I feel it appreciates something to masticate, no matter how much I dislike the idea of eating flesh postmortem ).  I will include a bit of fructose until I’m ready to increase to a new level of health.  Otherwise, I may as well make a date with the judge, because I will go on a machine gun massacre in a playground.

Cheese stops you up! Greens make you goooo!

Spouting off has therapeutically talked me back down to terms with my decision to avoid dairy.  I just don’t do well with that junk.  My skin, my intestines, my energy levels, my unstable alter ego. I’m balancing the crazy by drinking some organic green tea which will appease my flare of ornery toxins, but prevent me from going down the mozzarella spiral.  It’s natural caffeine is a minor evil compared to going to town on cheese sticks, cheese fries, cheese cubes, cheese rounds, cheese soup.  You can’t fix the whole barn in one day. (Whoa. I am not sure where that farm comment came from).

Let me tell you the safe eats I made to prevent a melt down. (Ooh..cheese melt). It was so surprisingly good, it’s illegal.  Instant gratification, without deviating too far from clean foods).

Gluten Free and Vegan One Minute Chocolate Cake

What the what? Oh yes, it’s true. And I was shocked how well it worked. Tastes amazing with just the right amount of indulgence.  And since it’s one serving, you can’t accidentally overeat or take the rest of the huge store-bought devilish cake out of the garbage and pick out the untouched parts.  (I’ve never done that…..)

As I said, it doesn’t count as a cookie.  Though I’ve already admitted to you that I’m a master of justification, there is a reason that my No-No Mission (No Cookies, No Pizza) doesn’t involve all categories of sweets.  You’d have to ask my alter ego why (The Little Fat Girl inside of me). And she’s to hungry to talk right now.  But mostly, it’s because that pair are my gateway drugs.  Eating gluten free cake or a vegan milkshake will satisfy a craving. Period. Dunzo. The No-No’s will trigger an emotional history-soaked schizophrenia freak show of gluttony.  Pizza and cookies has been people all over the world to their demise!

I swear the government is involved and banking off of our addictions in plain sight! Just say no-no!

Aaaanyway, on to the recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons spelt flour (or white, or even coconut or peanut flour) (I used brown rice flour)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar. Total of 8gms of sugars. 7 begins to affect the glycemic index and I drank some nopal blend before to control the spike)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet (or 1 more tablespoon sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Directions:
Combine dry ingredients and mix very, very well. Add liquid, stir, then transfer to a little dish, ramekin, or even a coffee mug. Microwave 30-40 seconds. If you don’t want to eat it straight out of the dish, be sure to spray your dish first (and then wait for it to cool before trying to remove it).

For frosting I didn’t use her recipe.  Click Chocolate Covered Katie’s link if you want it. It was the same coconut butter base though.

I used coconut butter, stevia, and soaked cashews. Okay okay, I added some agave. Sue me and take me for all I’m worth. My defense attorney will go to show this only increases the number of cacti varieties I ate in one sitting and since when is eating cactus bad for you?

Coconut Cashew Frosting

  • 15 oz of Coconut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk – 14 oz
  • Coconut Milk (carton)
  • (Approx 1 Cup of Raw Cashews (soaked and rinsed well to remove toxins) (Kimberly disapproves of cashews)
  • Liquid Stevia
  • Agave (Optional)

Directions:

Blend in a high speed blender.  Feel it out to taste.  Simplistic directions.  I’m no kitchen expert.  

Yields:

About 20 oz. Enough for a regular cake.  Reduce portions for this tiny adorable cake and have some extra frosting dipped in strawberries.

Now excuse me, I’m going to go slurp on my green junk cause I’m actually craving some right about now…

Where is my sippy cup?

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health

New Website Location….Go there!

http://housewifingaround.blogspot.com/

Remember reading my bio where I had made the goal of blogging for adventure, but with ulterior motive, to monetize from spilling out my guts, feelings, and little adventures in health and early relationships???

It has been done.  The switch is being made! Thank you for the 4,122 visits to this humble wesbite.  I beg  invite my regular readers to follow me from this wonderful website host, WordPress, to Blogspot from Blogger, to achieve the dreams a cripple can only do from the comfort of her living room.  (Pull handicap card: Check).

http://housewifingaround.blogspot.com/

If you read occasionally and are on the fence about my semi-organized expression style and occasionally awful grammar and syntax error (which drives me insane too, it’s not all about you), but are interested in reading someone else’s surreal, yet averagely real, fall from grace to get your mind off of yours, you must please follow my link and subscribe to my Google and Amazon affiliated blog.  Oh? did I mention Google and Amazon will be trying to sell you junk while I discourse about sugarless cookies and alopecia?

http://housewifingaround.blogspot.com/

Yes, my money makers  faithful public! I need your help to possibly make some extra money and gain some credentials in the world of the Google Internet.  Taking 14-minimum organic supplements a day just so that I have enough clarity to stop bumping into walls, locking keys in cars, and feeding myself raw foods and fun-free desserts (surprising more expensive that eating Krafts Easy Mac n Cheese or Big Macs), is turning out to be bankruptive*, notwithstanding that Starbucks is a nostalgic memory of the past.  And did I mention I got laid off???

*bankruptive: noun \ˈbaŋk-(ˌ)rəpt\iv 1: the process of suddenly nearing the economic pitfalls of poverty due to an onslaught of modern woes, i.e. trending organic foods, juicing, overpriced coffee houses, sulfate-free shampoo, discount stores exploitative child labor.

http://housewifingaround.blogspot.com/

While I teeter on the verge of peddling, on the more serious side, I do intend to lose the Call of Full-Time one day, in order to tend to my health and household at a pace that doesn’t accelerate cellular degeneration.  I intend to work from home, study for a job that allows me to me minimally physical, or learn an art that keeps my mind strong and alive to endure the days where I’m ready to shoot a government worker for partial disability which, long story short, I will never be eligible for because I have opted to take the natural avenue rather than the pharmaceutical.

http://housewifingaround.blogspot.com/

What I have to offer in the new website?  I will not put ads in shameless direct view of the page.  It will be as discreet as possible.  The content is the same and similar information on how to attempt to live chemical free, stop or reverse an autoimmune disease, reviews on trial and error methodology on a budget, while managing life’s little annoying, tedious, and quality-disrupting inconveniences, cat pictures, men who burp “bow wow” and expect treats, shared finds (books, music, packaged “organic” foods, etc.) that are awesome, and have endured snobbish and rigorous critique…all so that you won’t have to.

If anything, if you sympathize with having too many one-of-those-days, and can’t think straight with the baby blaring, the microwave dinners whirring, the cranky boss condescending, the clueless husband, and the xanax starting to take effect, just use the repetitive motion of clicking on my ads over and over as stress therapy.  Use the search boxes on my page.  And I will personally find you and kiss your forehead if you were to purchase your books (ANY BOOK, even the dreaded Kindle) directly from my links.  Know that you are buying me a cup of coffee (which I can’t drink) and sending me on my way to a potential career in, 1.website creation and/or, 2. a future B.S. in Wellness and Nutrition, my life long passion.  I mean a Batchelor’s Degree, but it’s brainless as to why they call it a B.S.  We’re I to gain knowledge and experience on any of these, you’re viewing pleasure would increase by like…a lot.

http://housewifingaround.blogspot.com/

What you CAN’T expect from the new website. My ventures into HTML and web language are novice.  The website isn’t yet perfect and/or smooth and or/cutting edge.  Although I will have the freedom to advertise, I also have a great opportunity to really and truly personalize my story with inexpensive visuals and neat little undecipherable, nerdy codes, work with graphics, and work on the same frame for 3 hours every night… and you wouldn’t even notice.  Another thing you can’t expect: the progress will not take off with lighting speed.  I’m working on a life plan here, relying on the variable surprises that my health imposes, but gradually making baby steps.  Somewhere between the last two eventful (underestimation) weeks, my teenage cousin trying to find her place in the dubious working world, and a temporary job that I landed for one week, I realized I had to make a large leap to get there.

Bells and Whistles

The new website is more app and widget friendly.  What does that mean? Who cares?  But it is Facebook, Twitter, Stumble, Email, Linked In, smart phones, and Apocalypyse-ready.  You can FOLLOW me on Google, which I really don’t know how that works yet: Google Followers – Click it here! Click it! Please and thank you.

You can subscribe to My Yahoo and who knows what else.  You will get similar emails on my new posts.  The WordPress ones will cease. We’ll see.  Not like I said I know what I’m doing.

It will be formatted for Intelligent Phones.  While someone is ignoring you on their Facebook phone, you could pretend you don’t care about the decline of conversational etiquette, but instead you can be clicking on my ads reading invaluable insights.  If you end up playing Angry Birds, I will not hold it against you.  We all need our vices.

If you’re still with me, I thank you from the bottom of my inflamed cardiac muscle.  Frankly, I’m more impressed at your attention span.  I hope you stay with me for a bit longer until Alzheimer’s fully kicks in and I’m publishing giberrish…which actually, still might be entertaining.

CLICK HERE FOR THE INEVITABLE UPGRADE THAT IS MODERN TIMES

Love,

Elena the Wolf

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“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.

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

Shotgun on All Natural vs Organic, for the curious on health

Let me learn you on something new.

For years, America has been adopting little lessons on health and slowly converting meat eaters into herbivorous creatures, as nature intended.  People have slowly started accepting that Coke cleans rust off car engines.  Wary citizens refrain from cocaine and stick to weed.  (Hey, it’s better than the chemical alternative.) In my world, it seemed like I was on the vegetarian bandwagon alone, so much, that my insecure teenage paranoid personality wasn’t ready to be that outcast.  I ate anything in my path.  Eventually, I said screw that and ventured on my own into veganism.  I got laughs, scoffs, and many reactions similar to the Big Greek Wedding movie….”Ok, I maek laam!”  During this time, people thought I only chewed on lettuce and grazed for berries.  In reality, I spent much toil and money to enjoy an interesting variety of yummy foods.  I raved about how healthy, alert, and energized I felt and people blankly nodded while munching on the BBQ ribs, not really caring to understand the concept of radically changing a dietetic lifestyle.  That’s fine.  I wasn’t trying to impose it on anyone.

Until recently, I only had one friend, who lives a few states away, understand healthy and natural eating.  The ins and outs of vegetables and grains, the (not-so-secret but certainly not published) nature of mainstream foods, bad habits, and tofu marvels.  In the last week I have learned that two+ friends are now vegan and one is going gluten free.  This makes me rejoice.  I….rabbit food eater….was able to eat a gluten-free chocolate cake among friends.  The scene of the world is changing.

Friends are discovering books like Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, Suzanne Somers’ Sexy Forever featured in Sex in the City and other books on hormones and health, that NY housewife Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin, and other diets that encourage healthy and plant based diets, ditching or at least moderating, foods that are not naturally beneficial to the human system.  No meats, no dairy, and if so, do it organic.  While not bragging about it since I certainly wasn’t the first hippie to grace the planet and since I’m not even following a solely veggie and grain diet currently, I’ve been reading books like Skinny Bitch (about not eating crap food) and watching documentaries like the Future of Food (free on Hulu.con, and shocking) and changing the way I eat since I learned how to fight for my natural reaction to the movie Babe the Pig when I was eight. I just knew something lay deeper than meat is hard to digest.  The story of corporate food is what is harder to digest.  Please heat this if nothing else, a hard life lesson… HAD I STUCK TO MY HEALTHY DIET, I MAY NOT HAVE HAD A DISEASE TODAY.

I’m so proud of my friends trying to be healthier and closer to nature.  Not only discovering new lifestyles, but loving it.  I’ve been trying to share that for a very long time without isolating myself every time I wanted to tell you that your chicken had beak pieces in it or that your cheese is affecting your puffiness.  In relation to what I said in my last post about celebrities okaying certain topics of awareness, this is one that affects everyone, and can be enjoyed in so many personalized/customized ways.  So if it takes Olivia Wilde to inspire vegan eating, this is one time I’m willing to swallow my words about celebrity endorsing.  Go for it.

Here is one I’m beating you to the punch to though:

If you’re trying to be healthy, unless you do your research, you’re probably still being taken.  If you think that taco meat at Taco Bell is real meat, you’ll wanna read this.  If you think eating an all natural carbonated beverage is any different than the average marketed death drink, peruse a little bit.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “NATURAL” AND “ORGANIC”. Label reading has not been made any easier as they’re trying to vaguely promote through a smoke screen of advertisement claims, with FDA and USDA stamps….read on.  And if this is the first you hear about it, I’m totally taking credit for it.  If you’re trying to eliminate chemicals or unnatural ingredients in your food, please consider this:

http://www.live-the-organic-life.com/natural-vs-organic.html

As opposed to fake dairy?

IMPOSTORS!

Cause now I know in a few years, everyone will believe me and not just think I’m an overbearing stickler that now falls under the medical and psychiatrist diagnosis of having an eating disorder: Orthorexia (people who abstain from chemicals and pesticides who eat a raw diet).  Goes to show every one in the labeling business are idiots!

And for those who are not curious enough about changing such an embedded lifestyle in regards to food-for-fuel vs food-just-to-eat, that’s understandable.  It usually takes an emotional push to get there.  But I do encourage you to toy with the idea.   Curiosity killed the cat, but that feline had a dang good recovery rate to come back 9 times.  Leaf through these books and watch these documentaries on what you are eating.  Imagine what foods you can eat and enjoy, rather than what would be taken away.  The best book for people who aren’t ready for a full on commitment is the Kind Diet mentioned above, which teaches you how to flirt with food.

This is not fanaticism my friends, it’s a way of life worth sharing for those who want to be vibrant and radiant after they eat a hearty and exciting plate of legumes, rice, and veggies; not take a half-day nap with nightmares after eating a Triple Appetizer from Chili’s.  Click on stuff below.  Click it. 

More articles on Natural versus Organic:

http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=natural_vs_organic_whats_truth_and_whats_hype

http://almostfit.com/2008/08/13/demystifying-chicken-labels-from-organic-to-all-natural/

http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-food/organic-food-basics/difference-between-organic-and-natural-food.html

Link that recently inspired a meat-lover friend to eat a plant based diet…The China Study, for you Dr. Oz fans.

For those with Autoimmune Diseases, pay attention about CRP (C-reactive protein or inflammation) levels. Please enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTdVT9UFMFY

Back me up ya’ll!

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Loopy Lupus

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.

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Filed under Loopy Lupus, Under the Weather

Unemployment: Just What the Doctor Ordered

New posts have been scant, I know.  Stress levels had spilled over the brim and inflammation levels had reached my brain.  Until yesterday.

I said I wouldn’t write about work on this blog… but I’ve been canned, so that dark little hole is unplugged and I can tell you all the horror stories and gripe until my face turns blue and my fingertips bleed.  But I won’t.

Bosslady came down from New Orleans to let me go.  I did not see this coming.  Budget cuts, not enough work, blah, blah, blah.  Until I have evidence to the contrary, I will assume they were implying, “bye bye sick lady” (that’s my cynical side talking).  However, for a change, Bosslady seemed genuinely distraught about having to let me, and a few others go.  She rolled in without barely looking at my face until the moment she called me in to “talk” to me.  Even then I didn’t see it coming, but I sent a quick prayer for peace to control myself from spewing out obscenities about the hell I’m in.  I walked in in peace, and came out of there with even more peace.

via blog.redfin.com

I have bitched and moaned enough about that place.  At this point, venting about it is just piss in the wind.  Enough emotional energy has been wasted there.  Enough neck veins have gorged themselves stiff.  More than all the collective sighs and under-breath mutterings have been emitted.  Now, I’m free and absolved of being a quitter.  Because I’m not a quitter.   I should have been, the moment I realized that place started to take an emotional, therefore, a physical toll on my displaced chi.  But I waited it out like the good girl I’ve forced myself to become.

I drove home, Husband waiting for me with a shot of tequila, he with a Damiana drink *(that we still have leftover from out honeymoon. Yes, we went through customs with about eight bottles from Cabo with us).  I tell you… it was like I took a bottle of Xanax.  I was laughing, cracking jokes, and carelessly having a conversation, at our living room, with my favorite person.  Something that hasn’t happened as much as it should in the last few weeks.

You know how when you go to the doctor with a million complaints and they just tell you you need to reduce your stress, right before your adrenalines spikes from resisting the urge to punch him in the nads for such a daft answer?  Well, he was right.  Let go of that frickin job that makes you miserable.  Obviously, we’re not all in the position to lose our salary and benefits.  Hell, I wasn’t.  But isn’t like Americans to wait until you have a heart attack to stop eating hamburgers?  How long would I have stayed in that personal Hades until I spontaneously burst into flames?

What happens now? I’m not sure.  All I know is that this morning I actually got to partake in faith-based works on a Tuesday morning and I’m more a human than I’ve been in a while.  I just finished filing for unemployment.  My house will be spotless now that I have time to tend to it.  By the end of the week, a job hunt will ensue, after vegetating for a few days. That in itself is reason for another aphrodisiac drink (see Damiana link above).  Being without health insurance, as near-futile as it is, is essential for Husband and I.  But this is a brand new slate, and now I might have the ability to be more picky about where my next job will be.  Maybe not.  Maybe I’ll just fall into another slaving demise in order to survive our increasingly stupider economy.  I’m not sure how we’ll afford my elaborate holistic health treatment and the thousand of supplements I need just to function, but strangely, I’m not worried about it. These things always work themselves out if you don’t get lazy about it.

Meanwhile, I’m so grateful that I was kicked out.  I’m looking forward to the upside of not being in the negative and drowning environment that killed my spirits everyday.  I finally have the opportunity to think, I mean, really think, about my next move in regards to a job that doesn’t dual with my physical and mental health.

My only regret is turning in the office key so quickly.  I would’ve come in the dark, before business hours the next day, and peed on the Swede’s fabric chair as my final building exeunt, with a note behind that read: “We can hear everything you do the bathroom.”

Enough about personal problems!  If your stress levels are coming out of your ears, here is what was helping me decompress before the big news: Ginseng Complex! and Super Energy Up! from The Vitamin Shoppe.

If you have Lupus, or any of the inflammation based diseases,  stress is an enemy of extreme.  The amount of backlash from tension and tiredness will start to decompose you before you expire.  Two weeks ago I started taking this and I was suddenly able to think without short-circuiting, crying, taking nap after nap, other bodily functions if you know what I’m saying, relax, etc.  Hair loss that comes with many autoimmune diseases is at a halt, which is more important than walking to me, but I’m even able to walk longer periods of time right now.  I recommend it to anyone who feels they’re about to go postal.

So, if you can’t bring yourself to tell your boss what you really think about him and get yourself fired, read up on B-12 and chinese herbs.  Little tid-bit: Americans market Ginseng as an energy booster.  Chinese apply Ginseng to achieve calmness.  Center your chi people!

via axemy.files.wordpress.com

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Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Post A Week, Random

Second Edition: But You Don’t Look Sick.

I watched Love and Other Drugs before yesterday, which had more flesh than necessary to tell any story… ever.  I had wanted a comedy about pharmaceuticals nonetheless, but about mid-way I stopped laughing so much.  I did not know it was a chick flick.  One close to home.  The following contains spoilers (not in detail), but if you still plan to see it be careful.

So, the main character had Parkinson’s.  A degenerative disease the progresses with time.  I had paused the movie at this point where I realized I was in for some head work and went downstairs to the garage, carefully because my ankles were weak and crackly, legs were tight, knees stiff,  back had strange swelling, other organs flared, and decided to see what’s up with Husband. And hug him.  I told him how hilarious the movie was.  It was awesome, blah blah blah.  Looking straight at me, he immediately asked, “She’s sick, isn’t she?”  Boy can read me like a book. (p.s. Props to him for being there for me, doing laundry, and making sure I don’t feel sorry for myself.)

And, so I’ve never connected so much with the character a movie star portrays (Except Amelie, story for another day).  The fears, the annoyances, the inconvenience, the insecurities, and the walls of conscious denial someone with limitations has to live with.  People that are sick are usually misunderstood or treated different by many, if only slightly enough to make you feel unsure.  It’s usually the ones who have struggled with some temporary illness, an sick family member,  or some kind of infirmity that sympathize and/or empathize with you.  You either end up with the ones who view you with indifference and expect you to carry on as if your life wasn’t severely affected, or the extreme opposite who ask you how you are doing like you are made of porcelain mentally and physically.  Sometimes it could just be a personal perception, an isolation that occurs from being set apart from the healthy, where you imagine people are viewing you a particular way when really their heads are not thinking about it at all.  (At this point, it’s become a question of living with it without using the ‘sick’ undertone, and more like :lifestyle ‘overtone’. )

I’ve gotten the  “How are you doing today?” with the severe head tilt that’s about to fall off as if I were incapable of handling being out in public.  Of course, the worst one, “If I had to live on your diet, or if I couldn’t eat gluten, I would shoot myself!”.  However, the reactions that make me most aware of my situation are the ones with non-reactive behavior.  The blank stares.  The ones who will search the floor and ceiling tiles searching desperately for something inspirational, as if we need it every time we see them.  The ones who skip over what you just said, indifferently, because you’re officially boring.  The friends that stop calling because you can’t hang out much anymore.  During the day, I get all too many reminders of what I can’t do.  Apparently,  I can’t even rent  feel-good movie without the risk of having to re-live the emotional torture of how illness in young people affect work, love, play, and peace.

However bleak the reaction or non-reactions received,  it’s the raw truth, not bitter deprecation. Some people honestly have the right intentions and are more aware of their reactions and some just have to say something, anything, to stop talking about illness because it’s so depressing to them. But every once in a while, somebody gets it.  Some are even interested to know what it might be like.  Some even offer to help.

So for those who care to know, below is an very concise illustrative story that -although I find it very cheesy and verbose- one Lupus patient used to describe to her friend, who had asked to know what it’s really like.  I couldn’t help but choke up a bit.  This story grew to a theory and a band of Lupus followers who call themselves Spoonies.  I won’t join that wagon.  I love to make spoons, but prefer to fork.

I’ve always been fascinated with disease and pathology, even before I had any inclination that I might ever get struck with one of these hip, trendy  epidemics.  I would read books about it for fun (NOT WebMD).  However, I still didn’t let myself relate to a person in pain, with trauma history, or mental illness, too much that it would inconvenience me unless they were already in my life.  One good thing I’ve gained from being in an unfortunate position  is that I now empathize with almost anyone, especially the ones becoming ill or that just need someone to listen.  And if my health allows, I prefer to do more than just care and be there for them in whatever method it be. If.

I’m just as cheesy as the spoon story below, but experience will take the poop jokes out of your stories.  Sometimes. If the occasion really calls for it.

Read below if you are interested what one day with Lupus is.  Skip through the wordy parts. I’ve read this before, but one of my blog subscribers sent it to me.  It made my day, that day. See the link if you’re tired of being on the same website (like I get bored of being on one page too long.  The fast track, people!)

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory-written-by-christine-miserandino/

Thanks, Tiffany and Christine

The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?

I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.

As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.

I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.

I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.

We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.

When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.

I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”

Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.

After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”

Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.

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Filed under Loopy Lupus