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Showing posts from January, 2012

Nutritional Healing Update

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ~ Michael Pollan

It has been about two and a half weeks now since I made some radical changes in the way I eat. A lot has changed and I have to say it has been quite the journey so far. A few close family members and friends have been a great support in this HUGE learning process and I am grateful. I have also received a lot of questions and comments regarding what I am doing so I thought I would do a blog update on how things are going and post some helpful information I have learned along the way thus far.

Since starting this new way of eating, I have been better able to define exactly what it is I am trying to do. What is that? Well to start with, I am completely gluten and dairy-free (including casein). I am soda and fast food free. I have drastically reduced my refined sugar intake and have reduced my processed food intake. I am working on the artificial sweetener thing which at this point is only in my gluten/dairy-free flavored wate…

Helping the Person With A Chronic Illness.

Chronic illness: any disorder that persists over a long period and affects physical, emotional, intellectual, vocational, social, or spiritual functioning.

I have had a chronic illness called Sjogren's Syndrome for approximately four years. I say "approximately" because in my mind, that was about the time my noticeable symptoms began to have an impact on my level of functioning. Looking back, it certainly seemed that the Sjogren's may have been lingering for years before that. I didn't notice though because I was too busy living my life.

Sjogren's Syndrome, like all autoimmune diseases, is a chronic illness. That means that it is always there. It is not like a cold, broken bone, or flu where you get treated, feel better, and continue on with your life in the usual manner. It is always a part of your life, every single day. Like a roller coaster, it has peaks and valleys. Sjogren's Syndrome also has the great misfortune of being an "invisible illne…

The Road Less Traveled

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” ~ M. Scott Peck

I have had a lot of questions about how my new found eating plan has been going so I figured I would blog about it rather than updating my Facebook status several times more a day than I already do. I know, I am working on that. What can I say? It's winter, I have been housebound way more than usual, and even the dog gets sick of listening to me after a while!

So I have been going strong since the day after Christmas with eating healthier and getting back on my green smoothies. I wrote about my intention to further expand this in my previous blog entries: Patient, Heal Thyself and Nutritional Healing.  Last week I started the whole gluten-free, dairy-free, semi vegetarian, no so…

Are You There God? It's Me, Christine

"People see God every day, they just don't recognize him." ~ Pearl Bailey

Remember that book? Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume was a pop culture sensation written in the 1970's. As a child of the seventies and eighties, it was a must have for any teenager's bookshelf. It is the story of a young girl's quest for a single religion during a time in her life where she is confronting so many coming of age issues. At one point during the book, Margaret becomes angry at God and stops talking to him after she is in the middle of a confrontation between her parents and her grandparents. However by the end of the story, we hear Margaret praying to God again as she thanks him for being there for her.

When I woke up this morning my first immediate thought was to wonder if God was there with me. I have to admit, it is not the first thought I usually have in the morning but it was powerful enough to send me to my laptop at seven in the morning so here …

Nutritional Healing

“Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.” ~ Michael Pollan

As I have been blogging about recently, the whole Sjogren's Syndrome/health situation has pretty much been on a steady decline for me lately. Along with many other avenues of trying to improve my situation, I am amping up my efforts at figuring out an appropriate and healing way for me to eat. I won't call it a diet and if I use the word "diet" anywhere by mistake, please call me on it!

Right after Christmas last month, I had decided to resume my green smoothie plan (I will probably blog about this in the future), get back on track with eliminating soda and fast food, and attempt to eliminate as much processed foods and refined sugar as possible. That in itself was enough of a challenge because up until 2011 my eating habits were horrible for most of my life. At one point I was one hundred pounds overweight. And as I spend more and more time reading about nutrition, I can…

Patient, Heal Thyself

"It is during those quiet hours of desperation that truth and enlightenment are revealed to us." ~ Me

The past five days or so have been some of the longest I have physically struggled through in quite a while. You know that saying "It can't get worse?" Well, it can get worse so you may want to think twice before uttering that well-meaning phrase. When I thought that the Sjogren's joint pain I experienced back in 2008, before I was treated with any type of medication, was as bad as it could get, I didn't realize that it could be outdone by the stabbing, burning, and agonizing feeling of nerve pain. Well at least that is what it seems to be according to my primary care's physician assistant. I'll get back to you all on that when I can finally get in to see my rheumatologist this week.

So the hours of the holiday weekend ticked on. I tried not to panic when I struggled with my coordination and balance as I tried to get some errands done with Chuck…

Giving Up and Finding Peace

"Anything in life that we don't accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it." ~ Shakti Gawain

My fiancee and I were watching a movie in bed last night, Not because we were having this big romantic lustful evening, but because our bed was the only place I could get remotely comfortable after a nightmarish week of autoimmune related health issues, including severe pain. After the movie finished, I turned to him and asked him if he ever just felt like giving up. The question came out of my mouth so fast that at that moment, I realized how strongly I felt about wanting to give up. I didn't mean giving up as in ending my life, but I meant giving up in the sense of not fighting so hard to try and be well. I wanted to give up all the doctor's appointment, medications, advocating for myself, all of it. Most importantly I wanted to give up trying to maintain this positive attitude of "life is great, I am so grateful" crap.

Because reality …

The Power of Facebook

I have read a lot of articles lately about the hazards of Facebook. These articles have talked about how teens, and also adults, can bully each other through the use of this social media giant. The articles also mentioned how many people get so consumed by checking status updates, notifications, and playing games on Facebook that the other aspects of their lives suffer. Facebook has also been blamed for less face to face interactions between people which results in social isolation. I don't disagree with any of these claims as I have witnessed all of these pitfalls of Facebook. But I would like to present another view about Facebook that many people I know never get to experience.

When you have a chronic illness, social medias like Facebook can be your saving grace. Since I started battling Sjogren's Syndrome, Facebook has been an enormous wealth of information and support for me. To start with, there are a vast amount of pages and groups that discuss various topics, which is …