Thursday, August 21, 2008

Change is in the air

You know you've had a bad day when you spend most of it in tears. Tuesday was one of those days. Tuesday was bad. Actually, maybe I should start a little further back...

This summer was crummy. As many of you know from following the blog, I have a 17 year-old chronic illness (basically, my colon doesn't work) that got much worse two years ago. I was starting to get a little better, yada, yada, yada - then Bam! This summer I took a serious turn for the worse again. To make my life endless more fun, I found out in June that I need to have another biopsy done due to an abnormal growth (I had a similar one removed 6 years ago because it was growing quickly and was at risk of becoming cancerous). This probably means I'll have to have a small surgery performed again to remove it. I also found out in June that I most likely some freaky skin disease most common in menopausal women (yeah, I'm 34). Somebody help me out here! Then of course, July hit, my digestive disorder continued to get worse, at which time hubby and I decided I should quit my job to concentrate 100% on getting better, yada, yada, yada.

Enter August and lots of doctors appointments to once again try to figure this whole colon thing out. My doc ordered some tests. I did them. And that brings us to Tuesday. 

Tuesday was bad. It's sad to say that I desperately wanted something to show up on one of the tests - some abnormality that could explain the pain, my inability to eat without getting sick - something. Well, we found something, but it has nothing to do with my colon. It turns out that despite the fact that I'm mostly vegetarian, despite the fact that I exercise every stinking day of my life, despite the fact that I eat whole foods instead of processed junk, candy and sodas, my cholesterol is through the roof! Like 275 through the roof (below 200 is good)! The doc admitted almost having a heart attack just looking at the numbers. My only saving grace, he said, was that my good cholesterol was so high (85 where 40-60 is normal). Otherwise, he said, he'd put me on drugs immediately (and he's not a big drug-pusher, believe me). "We have to get that LDL number down or we'll have to put you on medication," he said. My LDL (bad cholesterol)? 169 (where less than 100 is optimal). That puts me in high cardiac risk range. What?!

He and I continued to talk. Of course, the only thing I can control at this point is diet and exercise and I practically live the food guide pyramid as it is. He suggested further cutting refined grains, sugar, butter, etc; and maybe trying a little fish. "Get as close as you can to a Mediterranean diet," he said. 

So I spent the rest of Tuesday reading, and crying, and reading and crying some more. Reasons for high cholesterol? 
  • Obesity - nope, I only weigh 105
  • Lack of exercise - nope, I exercise 30-90 minutes a day
  • Diet high in saturated fat - nope, I eat mostly whole fruits and veggies; very few sweets; nothing processed
  • Age and Sex (over 65 and male are higher risk factors) - no and no
Here I stand. Some freaky skin disease, that growth of abnormal cells is back, chronic abdominal pain, and now I'm a heart attack waiting to happen. I give up. Dave refuses to take me out back and put me out of my misery, so it seems the only choice I have at this point is to deal with it. As far as this cholesterol thing, I have to start making the changes I can.  I go back in 4 months for another test.

After hours of reading, searching, meditating, and just good old fashioned thinking, I've made a tough decision. The local diet experiment is now officially over. For most of my local diet, the 1 year would have been up in October anyway (local fruits weren't added until March). With more restrictions on my diet now, I just can't do both. Ok. Well, I can, but I think I would just be miserable and frustrated. So I guess it's more like I won't do both. 

Don't get me wrong. I'll still be buying mostly local. I'll still be at the farmers market every weekend getting the freshest local produce. We'll still be getting our milk and cheese right off the dairy. I'll still be at the farm patch looking for local fruit and honey. I'll still be growing my own herbs and I still plan on putting a veggie garden in my back yard. It's just that I'm giving myself a little wiggle room. No more absolutes. I'm progressing to balance. 

In honor of my decision, and to make myself feel a little better, I marched to the grocery for a free-trade, organic, 70% cocoa, dark chocolate bar (good heavens, it's been a long time since I've had one of those).  Of course, while I was there, I also picked up 3 organic bananas, 2 sweet potatoes (I've never seen them at our farmers market and I love them), some canola mayo (supposed to be better for you and since I'm going to try to eat some tuna now...), a jar of organic peanut butter, and a box of brown rice crackers. Yeah, everything is still pretty healthy, just not entirely local. 

I wasn't planning on posting it for months, but I'll have to do a lessons learned post soon about the last 10 months of local eating. It's amazing to look back at how much I've learned and I have no doubt the lessons will continue. I'll still be canning; I'll still be cooking; and I'll still be eating locally - mostly. Please, stay with me as this ride takes a new turn. Things WILL get better. I feel change in the air...

42 comments:

ttammylynn said...

Everything will be fine...just take care of yourself, stress can cause more problems than the problems themselves. They say that a positive outlook can cure any disease. I believe. You are so young. What is your blood pressure? That is a big risk factor for heart attack/stroke. Do you eat eggs, grassfed meats, free range poultry? This all goes back to your diet. Whole grains are supposed to help cholesterol(such as steel cut oats), white flour is said to clog your digestive system making your body unable to absorb nutrients. I try to avoid white flour and sugar. I use organics and locals when possible, focusing on the health of the food items. I like to eat more veggies than anything. I'm afraid I've never had a cholesterol screening, but I'm thinking maybe I do need to get that done. I tend to believe in eating more like our ancestors did. They didn't have many of the issues we have now...just a thought.

Burbanmom said...

Heather,

I'm so sorry to hear about the new diagnosis. I hope you'll feel better to learn that some new studies are showing that there actually is NOT much of a link between elevated cholosterol levels and incidence of heart disease. (My hubby's cholesterol was over 300, and my mom is in medical research, so we've done lots of checking). Fish oil - specifically Omega 3's help to lower it more than anything else we've found. They can be purchased as supplements - if you're not a fish eater!

And for criminy's sake, don't worry about the local diet thing! Your health comes first. Period.

Melanie said...

I'll be thinking of you during this time. High cholesterol and heart problems run in my family as well, and it would be better to relax your challenge right now for the sake of your health and get this under control. I think it's already been said, but stress is a HUGE factor in all of this as well, so as a result, you should take lots of time to do the things you love right now and go easy on yourself. I've really been enjoying your blog, FYI....spent all day Wednesday catching up (don't tell the boss). You have so much insight to offer!

Heather @ SGF said...

ttammylynn - It's a good thing I've quit work cause I definitely have some "work" to do now on my health. I've been doing lots of meditating and relaxing, a few bike rides and walks, and I ate well yesterday (oatmeal - yuk!; whole grain rice and veggies, and lots of fruit). I'm planning on only eating sweets on VERY special occasions and I found a recipe I'm going to try for 100% whole wheat bread. It gives me something constructive to work on. I don't eat much meat, but I do eat eggs on occassion. The whole bloody meat thing creeps me out (that's why I don't ever cook the stuff) so I guess I'll try some fish or something. I just figured since I exercise every day and my diet consists almost entirely of fresh, whole foods, I was fine. So much for that.

Oh, and my blood pressure is really low - 80 over 50. I know. I'm a mess.

burbanmom - Wow, 300! I suppose that's not a number they see often. Did you guys change your diet much? I guess that's what gets me. There's not really much about my diet I can change. I am going to try some fish. At least it's only once or twice a week, right? Another friend suggested fish oil (as an oil), but you can't heat it and I couldn't quite make myself just drink some of it. Maybe the supplements would be a good idea. Those crackers I bought have flax seed (has omega 3's) so that's at least something.

As far as the local diet, technically I could still do it. I mean, we're in Texas so I'm sure I could find some fish here, but I don't know. With sweets, bagels, and that challah (darn it, I just learned to make that) now out of the picture, I just had to cut myself a break. Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Heather, have you ever been tested for food allergies? Reading about your problems reminds me of people I know who have casein intolerances or allergies to dairy. It seems like you eat a lot of milk and cheese. I love dairy so I sure hope I'm wrong, but you might consider going on a short fast and then re-introducing certain foods and see how they affect you. Good luck no matter what you do. I know how awful it is to be sick.

Bobbi said...

I'm so sorry for all your problems. My mother has Chron's disease (her symptoms match a lot of yours) which she has suffered from for over 30 years.

As a retired RN, I've had doctors tell me that stress is another factor that can increase your cholesterol. Maybe yours is up because of all the worrying you been doing.

I hope everything works out okay!

Abbie said...

Does high cholesterol run in your family? Some people are just genetically predisposed to high cholesterol. I know that it runs in my family, on both sides, and I'm expecting to see it pop up in my future, even if I do everything I can to reduce the risk factors.
I hate to take medications, and I won't even take a tylenol, and I really dislike the idea of taking vitamins. But...sometimes all you can do is go on the medicines, and I've heard great things about the cholesterol medications helping lower cholestrol.

JAM said...

Heather,
I'm also sorry to hear of your new diagnosis - I will echo the stress/cholesterol linage - I've definitely seen that. It does seem like possibly cutting out the dairy might make a difference - I know it's one less thing for you to be able to eat, but it might help. But I think what Burbanmom is saying is absolutely true too - high cholesterol with no other factors (esp when good cholesterol is high) is not so dangerous. My mom eats only veggies, fruit, whole grains and fish, is 115 lbs, and has chol of 230, but because she has high good chol, and no other risks, they don't worry about her at all. Take care.

ib mommy said...

Man, that is a crap day. You can grind up flax seeds and put them in almost anything, even your spaghetti sauce. Definitely take the fish oil supplements.

My father in law has very high cholesterol and it turns out he has thyroid issues. Did your doctor check for hypothyroidism? He spent years trying diet, exercise, surgery and still ended up in the Dr. office with extremely elevated levels before they finally tested his thyroid.

Don't worry about a local diet just think about a healthy diet! I bet you'll just be supplementing your mostly local diet anyway:)

Michelle said...

Heather,

My heart goes out to you. I understand how it is to be torn between needing to do what works and being drawn towards an ideal. For what it is worth, I think you made the right decision in deciding not to limit yourself to only local foods. Obviously, the more of those you eat, the better you will feel, but you might as well enjoy a bit of what our society has grown into; foods available everywhere. It is not like you are buying Cheetos.

I second (or third) the fish oil capsules. Our chiropractor has suggested that you need to take them with every meal for a few months to saturate your system with it, then you can lighten up to once a day if it works for you.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Heather @ SGF said...

melanie - definitely on the path-of-least-stress right now. Hopefully it makes a difference. Glad to hear you are enjoying the blog (you're secret is safe with me!) BTW - your kitty pic is adorable :)

anonymous - Interesting though. I've not technically had any allergy testing, although I've been on tons of elimination diets in the last 17 years including dairy, gluten, vegetarian, soluble vs. insoluble fiber, etc. Nothing was ever consistent, but I'll keep it in mind especially now that I need to cut back a bit on the dairy. I'm keeping a food log for now so that I can analyze these things again. I hate them so it's been a long time, but they can be useful.

bobbi - ugh. Chrohn's. That's awful! Thankfully it's nothing like, from what they are able to tell me. Unfortunately they don't know much else. But my doc put me on a series of vitamin to help my adrenal system. He seems to think that after years of stress, I'm in what's called "adrenal fatigue." I started the vitamins yesterday so we'll see if it helps. There is a second phase of vitamins that I'll start in a month, but he's convinced it's stress too. I guess we'll see.

abbie - I don't think it's on my dad's side, but my mom's side possibly. I'm planning on calling or emailing to find out. That would at least explain a little. I'm with you, though, on the pills. It takes a SERIOUS headache for me to even think about advil. I absolutely abhor taking medications of any kind. So when my doc told me he wanted me to take a bunch of supplements, I was skeptical and resistant to say the least. But I'm trying them. I don't know what else to do.

jam - hereditary must be there somewhere. Otherwise, this makes absolutely no sense. I'll call my mom later today and see what she thinks. Sounds like there are quite a few of us out there that are healthy but have high cholesterol.

ib mommy - good thinking with the flax seeds. I haven't bought any for awhile but it would be easy to add to my pancakes and rice dishes. I've read that you should buy them ground so that they are easier to digest. I'm planning on hitting the grocery later today. I'll pick some up. Thanks! They did check thyroid. In fact, they've checked it many times over the years because my symptoms mimic thyroid issues and my sister has thyroid issues, but all the tests come up negative. Good suggestion though!

Ami said...

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I love your blog and can't wait to read more.

I'm sorry to hear that your health isn't well and I'm sending healing thoughts your way. Get healthy and don't worry about the local eating "rules". You've learned a lot from what I've read and you'll continue to make the best choices you can given the situation.

Be well!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

This has to be so frustrating and hard for you Heather, having some mystery illness that impedes on your life. And the cholesterol? Wow, that doesn't even make sense! Just hang in there and hopefully things will start to work out soon, perhaps at the very least you can get your cholesterol down and begin feeling better.

Meditating and crying are good ways of coping, the meditating helps put your mind in a better place and crying helps relieve your inner stress - which is VERY important when you're sick.

I wouldn't even worry about the local diet. You're going to keep up with it to an extent, and your health is far more important, you've done amazingly, don't beat yourself up.

Just keep your head up, try to keep the stress levels down, and come vent to us whenever you need an ear, that's what we're here for!

:-)

greeen sheeep said...

Heather, I would check into the food allergies. The daughter of a woman I volunteer with was having horrible abdominal pain. It went on for months. Whenever she ate she would get sick and have horrible cramps. She rarely had bowels movements. Infact, as crazy as this sounds, she went six months without one. Completely impacted. The doctor's were dumbfounded. They went through a barrage of tests and she saw many specialists.

Finally after a year they discovered she had a fructose allergy. All this time they were telling her to drink fruit juice to help with the constipation and it was adding to the problem. Do some internet research on food allergies and digestive problems and talk to your doctor about it. It's worth a shot.

Green Resolutions said...

I am sooo sorry. I totally understand wanting something to show up on the tests so you can have a plan or at least know what you're coping with.

My son has feeding problems. We went through tests looking for physical problems that caused his gagging and throwing up. Turns out he has sensory issues and his brain has trouble processing the feel of certain textures.

He can't handle wet or mushy foods, so we buy freeze dried fruits and veggies from California. I live on the East Coast. Do you think I feel guilty? NO, I'm grateful.

My son has a healthy diet because of the availability of different foods and technology (freeze drying) and transportation.

I do think eating locally is important. And I wouldn't buy imported peaches when they grow so well right here. But I also think there are times we should be glad that we have other options when we need them.

Anyway, I'm not medically inclined, but I thought this post might help you:
http://fiddledeedee.net/2008/05/14/fried-and-battered/

There are a lot of resources for different diets listed in the comments.

Good luck figuring out what works for you.

And here are two other blog posts where the resources might help if you pursue the allergies line or dairy elimination:
http://www.5minutesforspecialneeds.com/246/246/
http://www.5minutesforspecialneeds.com/235/special-diets/

Green Bean said...

Oh, Heather! I'm sorry. Don't beat yourself up about not eating 100% local. Balance is key and, more importantly, you can do nothing if you are not well.

Also, I'd second anonymous's comment. My oldest had a number of intolerances as a young child. For 18 mos, I handmade everything for him. He could not tolerate gluten, caesin, rice, corn, soy, certain nuts, coconut, etc. We slowly reintroduced the foods and he is now fine with everything but the gluten - which he can only have in small amounts. I would see an alternative practiioner and ask for an IgG (these are not true allergies but intolerances). You could also ask for the Enterolab gluten tolerance test. Many mainstream doctors do not agree with these tests. I don't necessarily buy into all that stuff but I will say that, following the IgG test, my oldest went from being underweight, diarrhea multiple times daily, and in a lot of discomfort to a growing, eating machine.

Feel free to email me if you want any more information about the tests we did for him and the food we ate during that period.

kale for sale said...

These are the times I appreciate our industrial food system, when we need far away and prepared food to bolster up our health. We are so fortunate to have the resources. And how beautiful that you have the experience to make the local choices when you can. My best to you as you continue your healing.

Beany said...

This really sucks. I wish it were better for you. And you're taking steps to take care of yourself...hope that amounts to something.

And really, don't worry about not eating locally all the time. As mentioned, its the balance that matters not the extremism.

Heather @ SGF said...

michelle - That's the way I'm looking at it. I'm not exactly eating cheetos. It's just a few bananas, some organic all-natural peanut butter, and a few other veggies I can't get at the farmers market - oh and some tuna or other fish (I have to start looking for that stuff). I just figured since I had to drop a few of my favorite things, I really needed to bring some of my other favorite things back. Things are a little insane right now and if having a banana make me feel a little saner, I'll take it - local or not :)

ami - thanks! I think that's all we can ask of ourselves - to do our best. Perfect just isn't in the cards. BTW - I enjoy your blog too!

jennifer -It's amazing to be getting all this moral support. It's much needed and much appreciated. Of course I also have to credit my hubby (aka sugar daddy, now that I'm unemployed) for being super awesome. I feel really lucky to have him and all of you. Thanks!

greeen sheeep - Thanks for the advice. I'll look into it and mention it to my doc. Definitely something to look into.

green resolutions - you are right. It's important to support local producers and retailers, but at the same time, it's ok to need other things too. I sure hope you son is doing better. That has to be one of the most painful things, to watch a child go through such misery.

green bean - thanks for the names of tests. I'll ask my doc about them. He's a DO so he's way more open to alternative health and wellness than most docs. I'll see what he thinks and let you know if I have any questions.

kale for sale - thanks! If nothing else, I'm thinking some of those comfort foods like peanut butter and bananas will keep my spirits up. I figure I can use all the help I can get :)

beany - balance definitely is the key. I would have done this anyway when the year was over in Oct - well, other than bananas which I wouldn't have done until March. But this is what I was working towards anyway. It's just happening a little sooner. What I think I'll miss most though is dessert and those homemade yogurt rolls. Man were they good. I'll just have to live vicariously through my hubby when he eats them :)

eco 'burban mom said...

Oh, take care of yourself, lie down, rest awhile. Sometimes this cholesterol thing is hereditary. My hubby glares at me like the devil when we go for bloodwork. He exercises like crazy, diets and is much better at his food choices, while I eat butter and consider taking the dog for a walk exercise and wouldn't ya know it, my cholesterol kicks his cholesterol's butt.

Eat a little fish, make a bowl of oatmeal and watch nature take it's course. Some folks just have abnormally high levels, but if the good level is also high, it's much less of a risk factor. It's funny, just like you, I weigh a 105 pounds, I'm only 33, have a blood pressure of barely 90 over 60 (sometimes below, I pass out if I stand up too fast after laying down!), I've never smoked a day in my life and guess what? I have all sorts of circulation problems only related to very obese people who are oftentimes smokers. I have had surgeries to correct it and nothing works. They want to put a stint in my arteries, but I am just done with it all. Smile and hang in there, we are all along for the ride!!

Lynn said...

I really feel for you as I've had similar problems, so I'll pass along three sources that were invaluable. You already do many of the things these sources would recommend, but there's even more. Read Restoring Your Digestive Health by Jordan Rubin and Joseph Brasco. Try the website westonprice.org and read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Hope this is useful to you!

ruchi aka arduous said...

Heather, I am so so sorry to hear about this.

I feel you on the cholesterol thing. When mine was checked at 19, I was a vegetarian and fairly average weight. Mine was at 290. Sometimes it's just family history. My father died at 54 of a massive hear attack, so I know first hand how important it is to get the cholesterol down.

I second Burbs rec of fish oil pills. They also make them vegan if you want to do that. Fish oil pills are better than flax seed because while both contain omega 3, they contain different KINDS of omega 3. The omega 3 you need comes from fish oil. But note, they do make vegan fish oil versions (I think it's made from algae.) It's just more expensive and you'll probably have to mail order it.

The other thing that has helped me? I kid you not, Fiber One cereal. It is gross, but my cholesterol went down 40 points when I started eating it regularly. I definitely recommend it.

Also, my mom would recommend this to you, so I'll do it as well. See if you can get your LDL counts broken down by the doctor at your next test and find out what I think is called the LP2 count. I'll try and get you more information on that.

And lastly, big hugs. I am so so sorry this has been such a crap summer.

Theresa said...

I am going to do some meditation for you when I get home, so get ready to feel the good goodness coming your way in a couple hours!

Can you get Udo's 3-6-9 oil from the health store? There is some info on it here: www23.netrition.com/udos_choice_page.html

The manufacturer says it has "been shown to lower cholesterol levels and help people with irritable bowel problems." I take it, although not as regularly as I should. It could help?

Good for you for striking a balance - moderation in everything is good.

Blessings!

Heather @ SGF said...

eco 'burban mom - dave and I have the same issue. My cholesterol is way higher that his and he's the one that drinks soda, eats french fries and burgers, etc. Doesn't make much sense and it's so not fair :)

I've not passed out yet from my low blood pressure, but I get dizzy every time I get up. I always forget to stand for a few seconds before I start walking and each time I get dizzy. Silly blood pressure!

I think I'm in the same boat, or I'd like to be, as you where I'll be at the point where I'll live with some degree of discomfort. I definitely have a way to go before I get to that point but I'm not expecting 100% improvement. I am getting older, after all :)

Lynn - Thanks so much for the recommended reading! I'll check those out!

Arduous - I'm gonna run the fish oil supplements by my doc, but I'm thinking that's probably a good idea. And I think there's a Kashi version of Fiber One (Kashi Go Lean - not the crunch version, just the regular). Have you ever tried it? I love cereal and this might be a good option for days when I don't feel like my whole wheat toast or pancakes. I've also made a note to ask my doc about splitting up LDL next time. This is great. I have a whole list of things now to ask my doc about. We're going to beat this!!!! :)

Theresa - Thanks! I can use all the good vibes I can get :) I'll look into the oil. Everyone has such good suggestions!

ruchi aka arduous said...

I have tried the Kashi. The reason I go for the Fiber One is because 1/2 cup has 57% of your RDA of fiber. I eat a cup, and I have over 100% of my fiber for the day and everything else I eat (whole wheat toast, fruit, whole wheat pasta) is just gravy.

The Kashi doesn't have AS much fiber. Nothing does. I like getting all my fiber in one go and not having to worry the rest of the day if I'm having enough. But obviously we all have to figure out what works out best for us so if you prefer the Kashi, go for it!

Heather @ SGF said...

arduous - I haven't tried either. The advantage of Kashi is that it's organic but Fiber One has more fiber. Is there a big difference in taste?

Glenda said...

Aw, Heather, I'm sorry to hear your Tuesday was such a rough day.

ruchi aka arduous said...

I don't like the taste of either really!! But I suck it up for my cholesterol. :)

It totally sucks that I'm reliant on a non-organic industrial cereal but, like I said, it brought my cholesterol down 40 points, so I figure it's worth it!! :)

She-Ra said...

hugs.

hang in there!

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry, Heather. That totally sucks. I think your decision regarding your diet is a good one, and that it never pays to be completely rigid. I'm a hardcore locavore ... except for sugar and olive oil and flour and anything else I really want to have, but can't source locally :). The point is that it's important for YOU to find your balance, and you're doing that. That's a good thing. As my husband always tells me, "Virtualize in the middle" :).

Enjoy the chocolate ... and the sweet potatoes! They're both very good for you ;).

sharli said...

Thinking about you....

lauren said...

I'm glad you have so much online support at a time like this. I too am sending you good thoughts. Hopefully, you aren't irritated by so many non-doctors diagnosing your pain. I'm sure you have gone through a myriad of ideas to address your pain.

However, you mentioned stress in your life, and it made me think of my own psychosomatic symptoms/illnesses.

I hesitate to even write that term, since it's connotation is so negative. Psychosomatic brings to mind the "it's all in your head" dismissal of pain. Instead, the pain is very real, but induced by stress, anxiety, and major life events. There has been a connection made between IBS (irritated bowel syndrome) and psychosomatic illness.

In my case it was headaches. Talk therapy helped. Even if your medical needs are not psychosomatic related, talking to a professional can help. Chronic illness can lead to depression.

As I write this, I hope I am not overstepping commenter boundaries. But, on the other hand, the stigma of mental illness is only exacerbated by being afraid to mention it.

Sending you many warm thoughts.

Heather @ SGF said...

Glenda - Thanks. The initial shock was bad, but the last few days have been pretty good. I'm eating and dealing well. It's going to be a bit of a change, but I'm trying to roll with the punches.

arduous - Now that I look at the serving size between the two, Fiber One is WAY better. Maybe i'll give it a try. Thanks!

She-Ra - Thanks!

Wendy - I have been enjoying that chocolate. One small square yesterday and two today. There are so wonderful that you don't have to eat much to enjoy it. Yum - balance is a wonderful thing!

Sharli - Thanks! We need to get together one of these days...

lauren - Stress is definitely playing a major part in all this. Please don't feel like you are overstepping. I'm pretty open about all this. I've had a therapist off and on since I was a kid and have been seeing one now for the last 3 years. Cognitive therapy is a wonderful thing. My therapist got me through the worst of the depression when I first got sick. Then I discovered buddhist psychology and it took me the rest of the way. I certainly recommend it.

You know, it has been amazing reading everyone's comments today. I'm a lucky, lucky girl!

Theresa said...

Buddhist psychology - how cool! I am a psychologist with cognitive/behavioral leanings and since I have been exploring Buddhism and Taoism over the past couple of years, I've noticed how well they go together. (Another one of those "everything is connected" eureka moments for me.) I'm so glad you have such strong supports in your life. And thanks for taking us along on your journey and letting us learn along with you. Lots of hugs to you!!

Chile said...

Oh, man, I'm so sorry to hear of all these troubles. Wow.

I'm going to pop an email off to you.

Heather @ SGF said...

Theresa - You're right. Cognitive therapy and Buddhist psychology fit together very nicely, not to mention it's very empowering. I've come a long way, for sure.

Chile - Yeah. It was a little overwhelming earlier this week, but I'm feeling like I'm back in the groove of things. The diet hasn't been too bad and I'm enjoying good things. I'm not dying for a cookie yet or anything :)

Stephanie said...

Whoa. That's really scary. Good luck and try to relax! I doubt anyone cares that you're going to be less of a locavore than you were. 100% for as many months as you were is a really good thing, but your health has to come first. So, once again, good luck! We're all rooting for you. :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Thanks, Stephanie. Things are definitely calming down. I've felt decent the last couple of days as long as I am at home where I can lay down as needed. Most importantly, my mind is at peace.

Lisa Sharp said...

Poor thing! Feel better!! As you know I know your pain as far as chronic illnesses, though so far I'm lucky as now of mine mean surgery.

Have you looked in to alt. health?

Heather @ SGF said...

Lisa - my doc is a DO so he's open to alternative health types of things. I've try colon hydrotherapy and it was so painful for me I cried through two sessions before I stopped.

Then we went to supplement and drinking aloe vera juice twice a day. Nothing else so far. He thinks the supplements will help We're giving each phase a month to try to I should know in two months if this is working or not.

Of course, clouding the supplement issue is that I've quit my job. How will we know if it was the supplements or the reduction in stress, if I get better? I'm not entirely sure. It's all one big puzzle.

Everyone has given me some great suggestions though. I'm planning on talking to the doc again soon to bring them up. You just never know.

Hope you've been feeling well! Have a great week!

Jared said...

No fair! Why is it that some people live into their 90s seemingly sustained by huge quantities of cigarettes and coffee? I think this is a message that you should embark on the "Foie Gras and Irish Whiskey" diet.

Heather @ SGF said...

Jared - No doubt! Sometimes I wonder if all those preservatives in the foods that I'm NOT eating is what I need - a little something to preserve me! It's frustrating to work so hard at being healthy and then get the opposite result. But forget the ciggies and booze diet. If I'm going all out, I'm going for the hot fudge sundae diet :)