Tuesday, June 25, 2019

~ Not so Pretty in Podunk ~

Hello happy quilters!   It's been a long time since my last post due to some health issues.  Thank you so much to those of you who have contacted me privately with your concerns of my absence.   That little bit of love from each of you did more for me than any medicine.  I'm feeling much better and planning to get back to my normal routine.   I know some of your are curious as to what has put me out of commission for so long.  So this is fair warning for those of you who don't care(I understand), the rest of this post is for the most part whiny about my health issues over the last few weeks. 

How about we start out talking about the best thing that has happened lately, Miss Khaleesi.  She's doing well and making great progress.  About a month ago she became very aggressive towards Mr. Podunk for no apparent reason.  Thankfully he was not injured due to my cat like reflexes...LOL!   At that point we knew we needed help to help her.  So we contact our veterinarian and asked for help.  She put us in contact with a dog trainer that specializes in reactive dogs.  Reactive means they lack social skills for whatever reason.  This could be due to being a puppy, or abused and neglected.  It's a slow process of building trust and training us to stay calm and respond quickly to any issues that arise.   

Part of the training requires we make sure she plays or exercises everyday to burn off the abundance of energy.  This means walking her daily or playing fetch.  Both require me to be outside.  This hasn't been easy due to my health issues.  Just what is the issue?  At the moment Hives.  The picture below is a mild day.  I've been tracking the percentage of hive coverage on my body.  At one point it covered about 60% of my body.  The hives would appear only at night for about 2 to 3 hours, in between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.  It was mild at first, around my ankles and back of my knees.  Over a few weeks it gradually became worse, interfering with my entire life.  I wasn't sleeping and the rash was staying around for longer periods of times and it was spreading.  But lets back up a bit.   My feet and ankles started itching with no hives about a year before my mom passed.  She passed in 2017.  My feet and hands are always cold so I chalked it up to poor circulation and didn't give it much thought.

About three months ago the hives started slowly showing up an then it happened again....For the third year in a row Mastitis has set up in my right breast.  What the heck?  Mastitis is a clogged mammary duct/gland that leads to infection.   Breastfeeding moms sometimes get this not menopausal women.
The first year of my boob infection I treated it at home with all natural remedies.  But as any woman would be I was concerned there might be an underlying issue.  A quick trip to a breast specialist to calm any fears was needed.  She was impressed with my ability to treat the infection naturally.  However she prescribed (and a I took) antibiotics.  Then she wanted a mammogram, absolutely not!  I requested a breast ultra sound.   That's right, an Ultra sound is safer and better than a mammogram.  Have you ever had a mammogram come back bad?  The first thing they do is order an ultra sound.   So I bypassed the mammogram and paid out of my pocket for the ultra sound.  Let me rant here for a little bit....why don't they just do the ultra sound to begin with?  It would save the insurance company money and the hospital time.  Our insurance will pay for a mammogram first and then the ultra sound if needed.   Last year I decided to let them do the mammogram to save myself some money.  MISTAKE!  I was bruised and sore for two weeks.  I was told my breast tissue was too dense and infected to see anything.  So they did an ultra sound a few weeks later that came back okay.  The technician doing my ultra sound said I would always need an ultra sound due to the dense tissue in my breasts even when it's not infected.  So why did they order another mammogram this year?  When I refused to let them do one they marked my chart as "patient refuses mammogram".   GRRR... our medical system is broken.

Complaining about the medical system is useless.  All I can do take better care of myself and do a little research about what causes mastitis in older women.   What I found out was it could be hormones or I eat too much junk.  Surprise surprise, that maybe why I've put on 40 lbs in 10 years.    So it was time for a change of lifestyle.  Eating better and going back to exercising.  Before moving to Podunk I was very active and thin.  I rode my bike 5-10 miles a day and I walked about 5 miles a day at work.  My diet was healthier as a single gal, cooking for one is hard so I ate a lot of salads.  Mr. Podunk likes good food, big meals and tasty treats.   All the sugar and carbs has destroyed my immune system.    I've almost all the signs of a candida overgrowth.  Which is basically a yeast infection in your whole body.  Never heard of it?  Neither had I, you can find more information about it here.  Eating well and treating it with a few home remedies should take care of it in a few weeks.   One of the biggest and hardest changes has been no sugar and cream in my coffee.  Cream I can live without but sugar... NEVER!   I've tried almost all the alternative sugars out there and Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener is the best so far. Ideally I should use no sweetener, but come on, do I have to give up everything?!

I switched out my Diet Sierra Mist to Zetia.  It's a little pricey, $4 for a six pack but I only drink one a day.  This has no artificial color or flavorings.  It's carbonated, caffeine free and non GMO, sweetened with stevia.  It comes in several flavors as well as traditional soda pop flavors.

Drinks were a big change but the biggest will be BREAD, there's nothing better than homemade bread.  It's who I am, it's what I do, I am the best bread maker in the family.  How can I give up bread, pastries, and pies!  Finding healthy alternatives at the store has not been easy.  Oh they are out there but buyer beware, check the ingredients.  Most of the time if its low carb and low sugar they have added some sneaking ingredients that are carbs and sugar but are not labeled as such.  Gotta love the FDA and Lobbyist.  Since I can't trust a label I guess I'll just make my own.  After several failed attempts at bread this one is my favorite.  No gluten, wheat, or sugar and only 2 carbs each.  Wonder bread they are not and they don't hold a candle to my homemade yeast crescent rolls but they'll do in a pinch.  

My dad is also low carb so I sent a few home with him.  The rest of these will be frozen and used as treat every now and again.

So at this point I should be on the mend, right?   WRONG!  At first the diet change was great.  The hives were fading and then about 3 days into the new diet and BAM, the hives started getting worse.  It made my symptoms 10 times worse. Why?  I'm detoxing my body, internal organs included and with that comes some pretty awful side effects.  Detoxing faster than a body can absorb the toxins causes hives.  It's looking like there might be some damage to my liver, so I'll be getting some blood work done soon. 

  By this point I'm exhausted emotionally and physically.  The one thing they say will make the itching go away is my old diet of sugar and carbs.  So that's exactly what I did.  Not just a little cheat to knock the edge off the itch I went full blown PIG OUT.   White Castle sliders and frozen Jacks pizza!   Was it worth it?  NO...All hell broke loose in my body.  Not only did the rash get worse I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  My heart wasn't just beating fast and hard, it was thumping so hard it shook my chest.  I could feel it throughout my entire body.  I needed to stay calm and do everything possible to prevent my heart from exploding.  This is where all those years of being a mom came in handy.  As moms we learn to stay calm in times of great stress.  My mind drifted back to when I was in labor with my 3rd child and the hospital didn't believe I was in labor because I was so calm and not showing signs of pain.  When they finally hooked up the monitors to my belly they freaked.  I was in the last stages of labor.  You should have seen those nurses stepping and fetching.  All the while I remained calm.   45 minutes later I delivered a baby.   Anyway....this reminded me to stay calm, breathe slow and deep a few times and then cough.  Coughing can stop a heart attack, or so they say.   Maybe it was the breathing and the coughing or maybe shear luck whatever the reason I'm still alive.  I'd like to tell you I prayed but honestly the thought never even crossed my mind.  I was too busy trying to control the situation.  Right then and there I decided carbs and sugar will never be a large staple of my diet again.  

Many of you are probably thinking "why don't you just go to the doctor?'  All I can tell you is I always try to heal myself before giving into modern medicine.  Not that there's anything wrong with those who chose to use modern medicine.   Crazy?  Yep a little I suppose and if you want to get technical I have the papers to prove it!....LOL!  That's a story for another day.  

After a little more research I think this time I've found the answer(again). 
This magical powder has kept the hives at bay for 3 days!  I guess if your brave enough to drink this muddy glass of tasteless goo you deserve some relief from whatever ails you.

Now that the worst seems to be behind me I'll be headed back into studio.  After I clear away the cobwebs that can be seen when the evening sun shines into the studio.   Thanks again to all of you for checking up on me.  I'll do my best to stay in touch from now on.  


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