Thursday, May 27, 2010

Peeling away layers of confussion...

One of my greatest strengths is determination, and I have needed it.

My life has been like a puzzle, at a very young age I realized that something was wrong, but I couldn't explain it.

Frustration, that is the predominate feeling throughout even my earliest awareness.

I remember climbing out of my crib, how the world swirled around me, how hard I concentrated to find a way down. I remember crying because I thought everyone was talking about me, and I couldn't understand. I remember the stomach aches, lying on the couch in the living room while everyone was eating dinner I cried because it hurt so badly and my parents ignored me because they thought I was being stubborn, that I didn't want to eat my dinner.

My brother was diagnosed with Autism at about 3 or 4, at about the same time I had several seizures. They couldn't explain it, they put me on dilantin, the same drug that my brother took. They hooked me up to a brain wave monitor and tried to figure out what was wrong but couldn't.

The seizures stopped by themselves and so everyone assumed that I was fine. I guess the deceptive thing was that I interacted with people and didn't freak out like my brother did.

But I had a hard time making friends, I would have given a lot to know the secret to it. What made it difficult for me was the fact that I couldn't understand peoples motivations, and I lived in a world of dark fog that swirled around me making me feel as though the world was closing in. In medical terms it is called free floating anxiety.

I couldn't run, I remember so clearly trying to run with the other kids. My lungs would cease up, my head would hurt, I would have to walk. It was so embarrassing to me because I would lag behind everyone else, perhaps they thought I was lazy.

It was hard to stay a full day at school sometimes, for several reasons, I was severely depressed and really only a young kid. I kept wishing that I could talk to a councilor, my mom didn't understand why, I thought that it would help though.

Another reason why it was hard to stay at school was the stomach aches, the bloating, the gas... oh how terrible it was to try and sit at a desk, the edge of which was only a few inches from my hurting tummy. I would walk home burping gas that was like a rotten egg. I remember sitting in the bathroom at home, holding onto the door and just feeling so, so ill. The thought was, what is wrong with me?

The trouble was that nothing could logical explain what was wrong with me. I had gone to doctors, they always had something to prescribe, but nothing alleviated the symptoms. In fact every single remedy that doctors have ever given me has aggravated my condition and/or completely missed the mark altogether.

Case in point, Prozac, I took it one time and went into a swirling darkness where all that I could think is that I wanted to kill myself. I lay down in my closet and refused to move until it wore off, then I threw it away.

Determination has kept me going though, I have never been comfortable with the idea that I could just ignore what was wrong with me and allow my life to be dictated by the monster of ignorance.

The triggers that led me to realize that there were answers to my disorder were a combination of several things. One of which was the walnuts that I decided to add to my cereal (because I heard that they had Omega-3 oils and I thought that the only way to get those were through eating fish). At the time I had gotten very skinny on Weight Watchers, so I carefully calculated 3 points worth of Walnuts to add to my morning bowl of Special K and started to eat that every morning. Amazingly, one day I woke up and I was happy, calm and happy and all that I could contribute it to was the walnuts.

So I told everyone to eat walnuts, they thought I was insane.

Then I decided to try making more things from scratch, after all it was expensive to buy boxed stuff all of the time. I started with bran muffins, and I thought that I would have so much energy that I could help my dad plant his garden and that things would be spiffy!

So I started to make and eat a lot of bran muffins... plus I decided to become a vegan and thought I could replace meat with TVP. I became extremely ill, I tried to take walks with my daughter, but would get about a half mile out and could barely lift my feet so I would turn around. Plus the pain, oh my goodness it was terrible, I was so so bloated, oh it hurts to think of it. I went to the doctor, she couldn't figure out what I should do, she gave me enemas, told me to drink prune juice...

Eventually I became so ill that I felt I was dying, it was like an honest to goodness out of body experience. I could barley lift my daughter I could barely walk, I remember slowly making my way up the walk to my parents house, setting my daughter down and sitting at the kitchen table, observing the world pass by. My mom came into the kitchen and I told her that I felt like I was slowly dying, I felt that it was alright, I supposed that no one could control when their time came and so I resigned myself to writing a few words of advice to my little sister and resting until I passed away. I took my baby daughter home, lay down on the bed and closed my eyes, laboring to breath trying to absorb her presence. Irrationally I didn't want to go to the hospital because we didn't have insurance and it would cost too much. As a last resort I called up the pediatrician who had been my doctor from  birth and who was my childrens doctor at that time. He heard me out and decided that I probably had a condition called alkalosis caused by the change in protein (to TVP) and he suggested that I breath into a paper sack slowly... maybe he thought I was hyperventilating... 

This is when my friend, who has studied natural healing, suggested that I cut gluten out of my diet. I did and a week later things were starting to resolve themselves. The depression was lifting, the brain fog was dissipating, at one moment it was if everything became clear all at once and I sat by the mirror reflecting upon my life and crying, crying because I had been affected in so many ways by ignorance.

This was only the beginning of my journey to being well, I have bought and tried and read so much information on health and what could be good for the body that I sometimes feel a bit estranged from everyone else.

It takes a lot of intuition to figure out what is really wrong, why you don't feel good. I don't believe in any one food, or any one thing... all I know is that each person that truly wants to feel healthy has to define that for themselves and take small leaps of faith until they figure out what works for them. Plus it is expensive to figure it out as well, I've had to have blood testing (self ordered... it cost about $500 dollars), plus I've had an independent lab help me determine whether or not I was truly gluten intolerant. Then there is the cost of experimentation with all of the different foods and herbal supplements that are out there... and as you all know, there are a lot of them.

Generally, what I think will work most of the time for people is focusing on a few key factors.

Vitamin D levels
Vitamin B-12 levels
Omega Oils (Chia seeds are a nice source, but an incomplete solution)
Blueberries
Avoiding Gluten (It is estimated that 1 in 100 people are sensitive to gluten)
Adding the supplement GABA
Taurine
L-Tryptophan (getting enough Omega Oils, Taurine and L-Tryptophan are all going to help to getting a good nights rest).
Probiotics (help even out your digestive system)

I like buckwheat (which is a gluten free seed that is unrelated to wheat)
I've recently started taking Chaste tree extract to help balance out my hormone levels, I like it (so far).

Some foods that don't agree with me and supplements that I don't like (an incomplete list)

Flax seed (makes me incredibly angry and irrational)
Sesame seed (makes me high)
Beets (I am allergic)
Quinoa (a relative of beets, though good for some people)
St. Johns Wort (gave me a reaction similar to prozac... I wanted to kill myself)

Plus many, many different herbs that are good for some people but not good for me... like I said, intuition should play a big role in sorting out what works for you... plus don't think that you've settled on something because often times you can be taking something that seems to have no effect, or it seems to aggravate things and you've got to reevaluate everything basically until you figure it all out.

Good luck with your journey...

SG

Monday, May 24, 2010

Measuring Up

I am like a seive

open

yet closed

not fully letting everything out

and can only be so full

before I overflow.

So I weep

and eventually

a finer self is made.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Irony of Ignorance

Ignorance, ignorance has pervaded humanity throughout all of the ages. Ignorance is a disease which takes a hold of a life, gnawing at the progress that would be made without it.

I say this with irony

It is ironic to be aware of ones own ignorance; yet unable to definitively decide upon a point to begin erradicating it, to somehow be caught in its grasp is a truely ironic situation.

I am gazing upon a picture, an etching which hangs upon the wall above the computer at my parents house. It is of a little wooden cabin, with a few trees surrounding it, a few birds above it, and a dirt path leading up to it.

My thoughts are of how peaceful that little santuary looks, how simple life would be to live in such a place. Yet there, surrounded in the woods the inhabitants would be possessed of a certain kind of ignorance. How quickly could they become dispossessed of their land, if some schemer with more information decided to scam them? How tragic would that be?

Another irony is that we do it all the time, I do it all the time, out of ignorance. Yet what is the truth?

I'm going to make a global statement that most of the time we make or base our decisions upon incomplete information.

That if someone undertakes to fool a portion of society they can easily do it; with smoke and mirrors... what isn't there can seem to be.

Unsettling

I ache to be informed, yet haven't the time to do much more than glance at the headlines, dangerous!

Yet with knowledge comes responsibility

With ideals comes a certain obligation to follow those ideals

in all fairness I am idealogically untrue to myself

and thus deserve in some way my own ignorance.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Musings

My son has been on a Beatles kick lately, which is amusing to me as The Beatles were the Quintessential beginnings of my formative musical tastes during my teenage years. Simmon & Garfunkel, John Denver, the old classics have all been my favorites for quite a long time. Though there was a point where I just outright stopped listening to it all, probably during some depressive mood of mine.

Which is where I have been lately, in a funky depression.

I've found a good job which I enjoy going to, simply because everyone is so easy to get along with which makes it nice to go into work.

A lot of my time has been consumed with putting everything into order as well, it has been such a crazy spiral of a ride. Who knew life could be so insane?!

I have a terrible headache, probably from the soaked nuts that I so lovingly dehydrated earlier this week... it is amusing/not amusing to me that so many things that are supposed to be healthy for you turn out to be unhealthy... or did I just do it wrong? Did I soak those frikin nuts too long or what?! I don't know...

Just stuck with this lovely headache, a vague wish that I could write some profound bit of wisdom or at least have enough time to simple relax and read a book (sans headache...).

Hope everyone is doing well... :)