Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I'm Doing Now

After an unexpected horrific day yesterday, I've decided to start using my blog as a tracking tool to take snapshots in time for what I am doing from month to month. My hope is that I can make some kind of connections between what I am eating,  how active I am, how bad my brain fog and fatigue are, what protocols I am trying, and what I am taking as far as supplements and meds. I want to figure out why on some rare weeks I am able to paint in the studio, have visitors, go out grocery shopping and feel joyful. But many days/weeks I am flat on my back all week, horribly depressed, fatigued and in pain and can't even clean or cook. If there is some rhyme or reason to this I hope to find a common thread by weaving it all together  here.

What I'm Doing Now
Always searching for new ways to live the best I can with MSIDS (Chronic Lyme), Ankylosing Spondylosis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Raynauds, IBS, Systemic Inflammation, MTHFR Genetic mutation   and a cluster of other autoimmune issues. 

I am currently on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet and it is a struggle. I seem to have a lot of difficulty staying away from almonds, rice crackers, cashew butter, Lara Bars and Gin Gins. There also are the accidental exposures to things like black pepper, nightshades and who knows what else when eating the occasional lunch at the co-op while shopping. When I was on the strictes version of AIP for 3 months last year I was doing great. Then I started to add things back in but I didn't do it properly so I couldn't tell what was affecting me. Then a tragic loss happened in our family and it threw me into months of intense stress while trying to help out a family member. Fast forward to Christmas, even more cheating on AIP and I was bottomed out. Severe depression, fatigue, brain fog, vertigo, ear ringing, infections, and pain. I felt like a tapestry that had unraveled to it's last bare thread.

Since the beginning of January I have been working my way back to the strictest version of the Autoimmune Protocol diet and it is making a big difference. Still not 100% strict but very close at this point. The fatigue makes doing all that cooking very difficult, even with batch cooking.

Lunch today was a salad with fermented carrots, homemade AIP dressing, pasture raised ham 
and applesauce with cinnamon.

Because I have the MTHFR genetic mutation taking meds, supplements and even biologics like herbs can be a nightmare for me. My body just can't detox, so to date I have not been able to tolerate the slew of mainstream meds they have tried on me over the years. I am currently on a very short list of supplements that I seem to tolerate well. I sometimes ad in others either when my symptoms are very stable or I am in crisis but I will only post those when I am adding them in.
Here's the current list:
Co-Q10 100mg
Mag Glycinate 100-200 mg
Methyl-Guard by Thorne 2 pills a day (I was taking 4 a day last year but muscle testing showed a need to decrease)
Barleans Fish Oil EPA/DHA 2,000
Vit K2 & D3 combo by Ortho Molecular (5,000 D3 and 45mcg K)
Cholacol very rarely
Heartburn TX also rarely
1-2 of either plain vitamin C or Aller-C
Daily Lemon Balm Tea with raw honey and lemon
Fire Cider as needed

I am also currently brewing my first batch of homemade Kombucha to include in my fermented foods.

Meditation has always been such a struggle for me. Chanting as a form of healing meditation has become an important part of my life and I feel deeply drawn to the chants of the Sikh tradition as taught here in the USA by Yogi Bhajan in the 60's and 70's. They assist me greatly in transcending pain and copping with the crushing fatigue that keeps me from going out or even doing activities around my home. Still, I have trouble keeping up with a daily practice so I started an 11 day meditation on Tuesday January 19th using the chant at this link: Mera Man Loche – Meditation to Heal the Wounds of Love. It takes about 55 minuets to do it the full 11 times and it is always a challenge for me to sit still that long but I did it and I did feel very peaceful afterwards. I just hope I can keep it up for the full 11 days.

Below is a video where Satkirin Kaur Khalsa talks about Mantra

The other thing I don't get nearly enough of is exercise. During the non-icy months here in Vermont I walk on any day that my health allows. I don't got for very long walks or I get "Post Exertional Malise" for days, but I do love to take short walks in the woods. I also do a combination of physical therapy stretches and yoga but not nearly often or long enough. for some reason the stretching takes more energy than the walking. My goal is to work up to doing at least some stretching every day. I also love pool therapy but I can never get rides up to the therapy pool and last time I did a round of pool therapy the chlorine affected me negatively for days after each session. Wish I could find a salt water pool nearby. 


  1. Terri Windling has written the most beautiful post today
    Stories are Medicine: "healing tales" in myth, folklore, and mythic arts

    1. Thanks Mo. It is a great blog post. It reminds me of the work I did with a famous Shaman for a couple of years and the paintings are superb! I have read some of the writings she mentions but I am off now to look up 2 books she mentions that I have not read. Thanks for the recommendation.