Thursday, May 6, 2010

Riding the High

What’s going on around here?

If you are reading this blog, I would love some feedback from time to time. I don’t really have any way of seeing who is really reading it. Just a quick email or comment would encourage me. Thanks .

Riding the High: As it turns out; all that feeling fabulous last week has come to a crashing end. I was feeling so euphoric, and energetic because of the massive steroids I was getting while in the hospital. Those are out of my system now, I am taking 15 mg prednisone and that is lower than I have been in years. I think this is going to be a bit like other drugs withdrawal process. I went to work this Tuesday and just getting ready for work seemed to take longer. Then at 11am I knew I was never going to make two days in a row, so I asked them to get someone else for tomorrow. What a good choice!!! I did make it through the day and also really enjoyed family dinner with the nieces and Ryan, Becky’s boyfriend, but I was asleep before 9:30pm and did not wake up on Wednesday until 10:30 when Bill called me. That is all I did on Wednesday, sleep and my walking, and I walked a lot, but it was a slow pace for sure.

Healing Process: Saw a new endocrinologist (Dr Endo) on Monday. He is young and smart and excited to have me as a patient. He has been doing his homework. He came to see me two times in the hospital; he spent 45 minutes or so each time. He asked lots of questions and started formulating a plan with my internist about what to do with me. It seems the years of steroid use have been costly, to my system. Of course I would have been dead without them, but if I want to live a lot longer I am going to need to make some big changes, number one being the reduction of my daily prednisone dosage. I have been on 20 mg a day for several years, actually about 4 or 5, it was when I got pneumonia and didn’t know it. After that each time I would try to lower my dosage I would have symptoms, like no energy, getting every cold and sinus infection that came along, and more gastrointestinal problems that were all very hard to deal with and my ‘Dr Internist’ and I agreed to ‘manage the meds, as needed’. She says now she didn’t like it but it was better than me being sick so much and so often. I was gaining weight and especially in my stomach. My grandson once said; grandma you have a very fat tummy. Then he quickly added, I like your tummy, as he patted it. Lucky he said that part or I might have smacked him, not really but I did not like my fat tummy at all. Dr Endo’s goal is to eventually get me to 7.5 mg prednisone by making other changes; he says this will be a very slow and not always easy or pleasant process. If this week is any indication of what is to come it is going to be dang hard.

The other thing is that the stress of the perforated colon, the meds needed to take care of the toxins and the surgery has stress out the rest of my body a lot. All the time I was in the hospital they were monitoring my blood sugar levels and I had to have insulin. Now I am not taking insulin and the blood test numbers are a bit confusing to the Dr’s. So for now, I am trying to cut back significantly on carbohydrates like; rice, pasta, potatoes and breads. Also I am trying to stay away from sugars and much fruit to help control the blood sugar. This weekend, I will pick up a glucose monitor and start checking my blood sugar 3 times a day to see what is really going on so the Dr’s can make even more informed decisions.

Dr Endo and I also discussed the fact that I have had loose bowels since I can remember. I just assumed that was part of the Addison’s disease. I know with Addison’s your body is just trying to get rid of water all the time however it can, sweating is another thing that is a problem for me. I have fans everywhere and just a little moving air makes that problem so much more bearable. So he laughs and says have you ever thought you might be lactose intolerant? (Well NO – I LOVE cheese.) Then he says starting now, no dairy. Funny that would come up as I had had a long chat with my nephew that is becoming the best personal trainer and had been at a weekend seminar on diet and nutrition and he was suggesting I read about it and think about it, as it might be a good choice for me. So there it is two times in two days something I never wanted to hear was coming up. What I told my ‘Dr Endo’ was that if when I had the reversal surgery I went back to the loose bowels all the time, I might not want to go back. So if I really feel that way and changing my diet might help, how dumb am I, I am going to try to make good choices. (That’s what my daughter-in-law is always saying.) My nephew also mentioned he learned that foods in the legumes family and nightshades family are not good for people with autoimmune diseases, but I just can’t go there yet. I have to do this one step at a time, and I am not giving up tomatoes and peppers (salsa) the week of cinco de mayo. I want to make good choices but I just am not ready to make that choice.  In the next blood draw he is also going to check for a sensitivity to gluten.  All this is stuff I really did want to avoid but it seems to keep coming up.  

With all that stuff discussed do you see what I can eat right now? Lean meats, and veggies is pretty much it. I found almond cheese (a better choice than soy cheese because that is too close to wheat,) almond milk in plain and vanilla, some kind of nondairy sour cream and cream cheese and also coconut milk, turns out coconut is really good for your ‘guts’ with lots of healing properties and it is just fine in my coffee.

Just for fun: Last Sunday afternoon Bill and I went to a performance in Everett w/ friends. The performing group was called Archedream for Humankind. It is a multi-disciplinary mask theatre. It was awesome and I want to make masks with the kids in my world now. It was all glow-in-the-dark with black lights focusing on the stage. There are videos on utube if you’re curious and want to look it up.

What's up at the dental office?
There is lots of science out there now about Xylitol, but in the dentist office it significantly reduces cavities, basic cavities in children and the more complex problems in adults where you can get decay around crowns and shorten the life of the crown. In children the science is saying that using it two times a day cuts way back on the incidence of ear infections as well. It is still very difficult to find these products in the stores. Trident and Orbit sell chewing gums and mints with Xylitol but they are pretend amounts not enough for the 'benefits' of the product. So I was online Tuesday looking up products that we might start carrying in the office for our patients. I ordered some hard candy, chocolate caramels and vanilla sweetener to try before we decide what we want to have for patients at the office.

Sorry, no Granny's diary edition today.  I am behind on transcribing and too tired to push myself.  Later, for sure.

1 comment:

andrewsplumbing said...

Hi CeLinda! We have been using Spry gum and breathmints for several years now, which is 100% sweetened with Xylitol. We usually buy it at our local health-vitamin store. Top Foods now also carries Xylichew, which is more expensive than Spry. I buy the big buckets. Love it!