healingjournies

gluten-free healing ala GAPS, paleo and nourishing traditions


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The Conclusion: A Farewell Post

So… I decided I should bring this little blog to a close.

I learned a lot through this whole process and my life is much better for it and I have some answers which are amazingly helpful so I want to finish this off. One part specifically almost feels like GOSPEL to me, it is so huge and has made me so much better that I kind of want to tell the world.

Part 1:

Soo… these crazy red itchy painful lesions on my scalp and groin are actually NOT fungal infections, like I was told on two separate occasions in the doctors office! The story is that I had to have a preliminary appointment with a GP to be referred to see a dermatologist. I went the first time, she took one glance and was like “oh honey, that’s fungal.” and prescribed me an antifungal cream. I was kind of relieved and disappointed but thought at least I don’t need to see a dermatologist now and passed on that appointment. So I got the cream and used it until they would no longer refill it at the pharmacy. At that point I talked to the naturopath again. Once she realized the antifungal had not made any difference over several months she commented that it was probably a wrong diagnosis.

Soo… I tried to make another appointment with the dermatologist. BUT since I had not done it right after the first appointment with the GP, I had to go back again for another appointment just to get a new referral! Crazy! At that appointment, the next lady was like “Oh honey, that’s fungal. ….but if you want to see the dermatologist, you can…” Yes, I do.

Finally I see the dermatologist. I told him how the others were so SURE it was fungal but nothing was helping so I was confused. He asked if they did the super easy, final answer diagnosis in 10 minutes scrape test. Nope, they hadn’t. So he did it on every little patch of skin that has issues and…. not one bit was fungal!

Hooray! And also CRAZY. That I had been trying to treat that for over six months just based on some ladies who didn’t take the time to confirm anything or listen to me, for that matter.

 

So the actual diagnosis is: Psoriasis. I also get serious outbreaks of eczema and at that time I also had several of those. 

In the process of trying to treat the “fungus” naturally, I eliminated dairy. Within 3 days my eczema cleared up!! And I didn’t know if that was a fluke or how big a deal it was, so I went back to dairy. Then again I had some, and more eczema. Which I can remember having since my sophomore year of high school. (Which is to say 15 years.) Then I went off, and in 3-4 days, no eczema. Back and forth like this. Eczema isn’t a big deal…. it’s more annoying than anything. But I began to realize that if my immune system was so busy dealing with the dairy every day, it was too worn down to take care of the chronic staph infection, increasing allergies, and getting sick so often and severely in the last year and a half. On another note taking away dairy did not make the psoriasis go away.

So GOSPEL part 2:

Five years ago, I remember discovering I had seasonal allergies for the first time, kind of on accident. I just thought I had a terrible cold that I couldn’t get over for 2 months. I had always teased people in my head when they’d sneeze and then look warily at me and sigh “Allergies.” So I felt like I was getting the judgement I deserved in developing them myself.

Right from the first year they were pretty serious, but every year since, they have gotten worse and worse. The second year I developed a two week long severe sinus infection, not to mention the surrounding months of regular allergies. All this leading up to last spring where I spent days in bed, which meant Nathan had to take several days off from work to take care of the kids. And that was on allergy meds. I’d also use a neti-pot, do pressure points to drain sinuses, hot washcloths, humidifiers, etc… and I still couldn’t sleep at night and I’d be in such a miserable fog in the day.

So I was dreading this spring. But guess what?! Since the season began I only took meds ONE DAY!!! It is such a shock, such a night and day difference, such a feeling of HEALING I can’t believe it. I have been mostly off dairy now for several months. I also started taking a quercetin + bromelain supplement the last month which is supposed to help regulate allergic response in your body. And for real: heavy reactions only ONE day, at the very beginning of high pollen season. I still sneeze a bit and have minor congestion, but I am fine! I am not much of a salesman, but this is one thing where I feel like it helps so much I want to tell ALL THE PEOPLE in the world who deal with allergies to consider going off dairy, at least before and during allergy season. 

It’s so significant to me that every day this spring I have found myself reflecting on how different I feel and how thankful I am. Dairy is honestly easy to give up when I know how bad it makes me feel.

Meanwhile we’ve discovered it’s Ezra’s deal too. I keep hoping it’s not and a couple times these last couple weeks he’s had something and only confirmed that it is. Last week I let him have a yogurt at breakfast. He then spent the morning laying on the floor, complaining of his stomach hurting. Then he had some diarrhea, felt better, and got up and had a good rest of his day. But to see this energetic boy out for a couple hours, laying still on the floor, it’s easy to see it’s not worth it. He’s actually come to know it too. He knows macaroni and cheese and yogurt hurt his stomach. 

Soooo…. anyway. I would be cranky that we spent a month without gluten, but in the end I’m not. If I hadn’t tried it, I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to try taking out dairy for a bit. We have learned so much and are literally a healthier, happier family for this process.

Lastly… I also read that dairy can be auto-immune-response-inducing (which psoriasis is, in nature). But I haven’t seen that improve at all. The only thing that has helped is a coal-tar treatment which I just learned last night is a carcinogen?! So I don’t know where I’m at with any of that. 

But I’m thankful that I’m at least giving my body a fighting chance now vs before. 

Sooooooo…… anyway. That’s the end of this blog! Thanks for joining me along the way!


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Weighing values of nutrition in the real world

cute little leopard (?)

The tigress/cheetah/leopard pictured above is totally unrelated to the post. But isn’t she cute? Or, fierce? :) She’s a good one to keep around, especially if you’re into playing dialogue-heavy imaginary worlds. That are dominated by princesses. Non-stop. :)

What’s been rolling around in my mind these last weeks is the tension of different values in our lives. Recently, kind of because we’ve been forced to, we have to put some value on health and getting better. Obviously that’s a good thing. But over these weeks I’ve watched that value butt up against other values and it’s fascinating to see where I end up in those instances.

Case study from my life A: I’ve been making meals for our little fam since we got married. So naturally over the last (almost 8!) years, I got used to cooking and I could throw meals together, and oatmeal breakfasts (ha!), without much thought. It was easy to shop sales and prepare a meal pretty effortlessly. Since trying to heal by focusing on nutrition, it’s taken relearning, time, effort. That sounds easy on paper, like a worthy cause and not that hard, but on some days it’s been a really big deal. I’m spending all my resources to cook three meals from scratch? So the value of relearning life and cooking so it becomes natural is awesome but how much is it worth? This seems like one I should press in on. But not this intensely forever.

Case study from my life B: What about when it challenges relationship? I absolutely believe that in most cases, relationship goes first. It’s true, hopefully a loving two way relationship would honor where you’re at as well, but what about when someone doesn’t know your dietary restrictions and is trying to love you? Last week at chipotle our friend who works there walked up and handed my kids two chocolate milks. We’ve built a friendship with this guy over the last couple years. This summer he invited us to his daughter’s quinceneara- total honor. I handed those chocolate milks to my kids without hesitation to thank our friend for his generousity, never mind that I loathe those things. (Have you looked at them? You already know that I heart dairy done well, but those little boxes have all the nutrients cooked out of them and are packed with sugar), never mind that ezra has a clear reaction to dairy. *I’m not sure that was the right thing for him, and if things get worse, of course I’ll protect him in that situation in the future. Back to the subject at hand: I read blogs of a lot of families who for great reasons are choosing this lifestyle. Maybe there really are times to totally refrain and separate yourselves from society to heal and recover. But as I am attempting some of that and then it bumps into relationships, I have to weigh the relationship against the health cost. I try to let Jesus’s instructions in Mark 16 inform my thoughts: as his guys reach out to others he says they can drink poison and it won’t touch them. They can be people of healing to each other. So while I’m not looking for poison, or offering it to my children in my home, I really value people in my life more than having perfect food all the time. Hopefully it doesn’t have to be one or the other. But I still want to live in Iran, so this is one I’m probably not going to drop. :) Although it’s a constant tension because at some point you want to influence others for good health and not let them influence you towards poor health, right?

and finally Case study from my life C: Cost and finance. I don’t know at all where I am at with this one. When Ezra and I were not well, obviously money was going to have to go somewhere: drs and conventional medicine, or food as medicine. Or both. We want to try healing as naturally as possible right now, so it’s okay to us to up our budget and use savings money for this. But obviously that can’t go on forever. Otherwise we’ll be out of savings. :) And in theory, obviously! It’s worthwhile to invest in food that is going to nourish you. I’ve read lots of studies comparing even the 1950’s to today or Europe and Asia to the US and how in all these cases a larger part of the family budget goes to food cost than it does today. So perhaps we need to shift some priorities. But it’s really a tough one. We know how to eat pretty economically otherwise.

Anyway… all this to say, there are constant tensions, values and choices to make. It helps to think through it, write it out, know where I’m going and why. Where are you at? Peace to you and goodnight. I was staying up with the election news but now it’s getting late. :) over and out….


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The blog continues!

Here’s a picture of me trying to scare you, like you didn’t know I was here. Like you probably thought this blog was dead, so you’ll just check one last time and then BOO! and SURPRISE! Here I am.

This is why, ahem, I will probably never receive any kind of acknowledgement that any of my friends or family actually check this blog. And I don’t blame you. I don’t know why I do these kinds of things. Forgive me.

Good news, bad news here people.

The good news is: the blog is back and the journey to health continues.

The bad news is: there is more to blog because the destination of great, functioning health has not yet been reached.

I mentioned before that a naturopath doctor was coming to Colorado Springs to teach some health classes. It has been this week and it’s pretty much rocking my world. Hopefully I will process what I learned here and share the holistic health love.

Anyway soon I’ll give an update what happened with us and gluten, and where we’re at now. Just wanted to let you know I’ll be posting here again…

Happy to be back with you all. :)

And don’t forget to check out the Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe below!


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Lucky

Naturopath Classes Coming to CS

 

Again with the misleading titles! First of all my dad would totally chide me on that. “Lucky, Elizabeth? Are you sure that’s what you mean?” Sorry FH! It’s also not exactly the most descriptive word for my current state.

At this moment I’m kind of just done. And then I’m hopeful. Then I’m blessed and overflowing. Then I don’t think I can  make it one more second. Surprisingly, what I thought would be an easy gluten free month has been an emotional roller coaster. At least a kiddy ride version. :)

I’m not sure if you want to hear this or not, but I’m going to write for a minute where I’m at medically. There have been lingering skin issues for years, like eczema and styes, but nothing serious. Allergies began a few years ago. I would say it really kicked into gear about a year ago when we went to Turkey. The whole time I was there, I got one thing after another. Starting with hand foot and mouth disease, mastitis, strep, random fevers for weeks and that weird patch of skin on my neck/scalp that is still itchy. Around the time we left and came back to CO, all of us got this crazy flu that wiped us O to the U to the T. N said it was the sickest he’s ever been in his life. After that the staph infection and the fungal infections started that I have been dealing with until now. In Turkey, I just powered through everything happily. And even now, I’m so aware that these themselves are not really big issues. But in just about every one that I read about I always come across the fact that these problems start in the “immuno-compromised.” Seriously like every one except maybe that flu.

I’m encouraged I get the chance to hear a naturopath come to CO and share directly on these topics. I also have a covered check-up in the works so I get to see a doctor soon too. I’m really blessed. And hoping I can wade through all the muddy waters from both the medical community and the natural one to work some of this out. I’m thankful it’s all probably pretty simple and that I get to try to address some things now.

I’m praying for you who are walking through health challenges right now. I know mine are so so minor compared to pretty much everyone’s. I’m not writing about it because I think I have problems that are severe and attention-worthy. My heart breaks for some of my friends and family and what they are facing right now. I don’t even know how to write about it. I see the humanity and brokenness, as well as the incredible strength we’re all given. Meanwhile almost everyone I know faces something that must be so confusing and I just wonder at it. This whole blog often feels like silliness to me, but I’m hoping in just writing honestly where I’m at, as simple as it is, it will feed strength to others in their journey. Love to you, friends. Hope today has something that will be a stepping stone for you…