Fighting Food Allergies

Well I have a new Naturopath. The previous one I had in 2013 discovered my food allergies through blood tests. As an aside, I often refer to them as allergies, but they’re technically sensitivities. The difference between the two is that true allergies bring about a reaction that is anaphylactic. A sensitivity is one step down from that and still gives major reactions like hives, rashes, difficulty breathing, headaches, etc. An intolerance is even lesser on the scale, though commonly results in mad cramps and diarrhea. Technically there’s more to those delineations, but for my purpose I don’t need to go into the deep scientific and medical details.

Now I’m trying NAET. Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques is admittedly on the hokey side of treatments. It uses a lot of asian healing techniques like acupuncture. It also uses a test for muscle weakness in the presence of the allergy that can easily be faked by the practitioner. There’s another test that uses electrical currents to find meridian points in the body, which supposedly link to chi blockages. Strangely the results from that test were in line with the aforementioned blood test results.

It also brought up another element. Chemical sensitivity. Specifically to formaldehyde. Why does that matter? Formaldehyde is in a lot of things. Toothpastes, though not Tom’s of Maine, use it to help kill bacteria. If you kill the helpful bacteria though, you can end up with a leaky gut and problems with yeast.

Formaldehyde is also prevalent in building materials and particle board. I may have mentioned before that I was married for 6.5 years. The entirety of that was spent in renovations. Surely the stress of renovation was a problem in itself, but the constant exposure to formaldehyde and other harsh chemicals could have contributed to making me ill. Throw in a crappy diet and little exercise and I’m not surprised I became allergic to food.

This new naturopath spoke to me on a more scientific level, for the most part. We talked about why yeast consumption often leads to me feeling hungover. It’s possible my body converts it to alcohol inside my body. We talked about different metabolic processes. She seems to be someone who doesn’t completely believe big pharma is the enemy as some medicines truly are helpful. She advocated getting more “legitimate” tests through my doctor.

Most of all, what she wants to do for treatment mostly makes sense to me. Kill the yeast will super loading my body with good bacteria. We’re also going to do an OTC treatment for C. Diff as I have several risk factors for getting it. Other than that I drink a little bit of baking soda in water to get my overly inflamed body to reduce its acidity levels.

She wants my doctor to check for some things that are all in line with my history and my family’s history. Mostly vitamin and mineral deficiencies. She’s suggested a low-histamine diet.

What’s the goal? Either eliminate them totally or get to the point of at least being able to have a treat like a slice of regular pizza once per month.

There hasn’t been much that has been alarming suggested. There is an odd thing with NAET about holding jars with your allergens in them and massaging pressure points on the body. Medically there’s no reason to think there is anything curative in that, but psychologically I could see it getting your mind to stress less about your allergens. Stress can make an allergic reaction worse than the actual physiological reaction is.

Meditation is seen as hokey by some, yet it’s one of the top things recommended to reduce stress.

One hypothesis I don’t know how to feel about though. Sleeping beside another human sends me into a panic attack. It doesn’t matter their gender or what our relationship is. It’s more prevalent if they’ve drank alcohol that day. She suggested that it could be as they breathe, they are putting more yeast into the air near me and literally making me have a reaction to them. As if dating wasn’t hard enough for me.

But she recommended I talk to a counsellor anyway in case there’s anything lingering in my past that could be causing the panic on an emotional level.

So what was my previous naturopath like? She gave me supplements with things like casein in them and milk is one of my sensitivities. Every visit with her was ultra expensive. She didn’t even try to get the yeast issue under control.

The new one wants to fix the yeast issue and train my body into distinguishing the difference between good yeasts and bad ones.

I’m going to give this a try. Pizza is worth it. Cheese is worth it. I even miss eating eggs. Sometimes I crave milk… Yeah, I’m so done with this food problem.

Even if it seems a little crazy, pizza is worth it.

Ciao,
R~

A Gradient Day

I’ve been a little grumpy today. I had a setback with my food reactions, but I figured it out. For a time, I thought that I was reacting to sugar, but that wasn’t it. I had a reaction to raw apple today. Earlier this week I had no issues with cooked apple. What does that mean? Likely that I have trouble with certain proteins from the apple. Why? Because I’m allergic to trees and apples grow on trees. Annoying, but at least I figured it out. I hope. I know that sounds nutty. There’s a thing that happens called Oral Allergy Syndrome. People with environmental allergies can become allergic to a part of a food that is similar to something they are already allergic to. That similarity is removed when the food is cooked. Raw isn’t always better. I wonder if this is part of why I became sensitive to yeast as I have a penicillin allergy, which relates to mold and fungus. No idea on the dairy and egg sensitivity. I feel like that came from left field except for cheese and yogurt as cheese is a mold food and yogurt is fermented.

But enough ranting about food allergies. I’ll continue aiming to eat like the mediterranean and lower sugar and salt to reduce inflammation.

I haven’t heard anything yet on the last medical tests. It usually takes at least a week. Waiting is annoying. It’s hard to keep my mind off of this thing no matter how busy I am. I did find some insoles that have greatly reduced my ankle tendon pain though. I can once again use stairs. Yes it’s been that bad.

Some really great things have been happening though.

I have a new man in my life. He buys me flowers, massages my ultra tense neck and shoulders, and he’s really fun. We have a lot in common and I’m enjoying our time together doing a wide variety of activities. I met him at my dojo. We’re enjoying dancing and geocaching together. He takes away my pain instead of giving me more. I really like that.

I also found salsa that doesn’t have vinegar in it! The brand is Hernandez. I got it at Metro in Gloucester, Ottawa, Ontario. I always get excited for food that is free of my allergens. I can make my brother’s salsa chicken recipe now 🙂

Planning for the panel I’m part of at Can-Con has begun. It’s too bad we only have an hour as I’m sure we could talk for much longer, but I know I’ll make myself available for questions after the panel. Anyone can hit up my contact page and send me an email. Initial discussions are so good that I think it should be a great panel. If you have battle scenes to write, you should probably be there.

I signed up for pitching sessions with two small presses at Can-Con. I also signed up for writing critiques by published authors. I’m a little scared about the pitching as it’ll be my first time. My manuscript is well on it’s way, but it’s not ready for the public just yet. The story is done, but I feel it still needs refinement before selling it to anyone.

My writing course starts tomorrow. I’m debating on whether to use characters from a WIP or invent new ones. The first week is on character. On one hand, I could get feedback on current characters and where they might need work. On another, I might want to branch out and try something I’ve never done. Maybe work on a character for something I haven’t started yet, so when I’m ready to write it, some of the leg work is done? There’s always a character generator if I get stuck too.

Well, I have a few things to do before bed.

Ciao,
R~

Sick and tired

I’ve been sick this week, so that made me not want to do anything beyond watching TV. Judging by my acne and a slightly itchy spot on my belly, it’s partly allergic reaction. I forgot some chips had milk and yeast in them. At least I realized before I ate the whole bag. It took a little bit for my body to react as it does often with food sensitivities, but I’m getting over it more quickly than I did a year ago, so my immune system is in much better shape. In previous years, my salivary glands would get blocked to the point that my ears would get infected and I’d need antibiotics, so I didn’t hesitate to go to the clinic and have it looked at. The doctor told me I didn’t need antibiotics as it wasn’t bad enough and seemed to be clearing on its own. That is the first time that’s happened.

Yesterday I pretty much managed to heat food up, sleep, and watch tv. I was on auto-pilot for the microwave part.

Well I got posts from October, November, and December 2013 copied into Scrivener. I have a bunch left to go, but I’m well underway. Five months worth done and nine to go. That’s almost 22,000 words… My brain has started thinking about potential ways to use the old blog posts.

I’m excited to get back to my book soon, though it’s good I’m getting time away to clean my house. I hate cleaning, but it’s necessary. I know some of you think me insane for being excited to edit my book.

I think I may write a little on my alien conspiracy soon too as I’m dying to finish its first draft.

It’s taken me way too long to type this. I better get to sleep.

Ciao,
R~

Baby I’m back!

So my writing on this blog has been extremely sporadic. In the beginning I didn’t like to blog, so it seemed like a chore. In fact, with this blog in particular, I felt like I should be writing my novel instead of writing a silly blog about writing my novel. I think occasionally writing this blog helped me stay on track with my novel though, so it isn’t silly, but a tool to help me finish it. Since I’ve copied all of the old posts from an old location, I’m glad I didn’t write too much previously. Recently, I’ve come to enjoy blogging.

LIFE

Life has been pretty crazy. In November 2011, I suffered a loss that was very difficult to bounce back from. It was something that only another woman could truly understand. There are few things in this world that I would say that about.

After the divorce, I continued to live in the same house with my ex for about a month and that had it’s own unique stresses. Despite how everything turned out, I don’t hate him and I don’t think he hates me either. We grew up together and part of that growth included discovering that we couldn’t be what each other needed in a partner and staying together any longer would have destroyed any chance of a future friendship. I’m not meaning to speak on his behalf, but just stating how I see things.

I moved out of the house eventually into a condo in my home town, which was hard to fit half of a house into. I downsized my belongings. During that time, my workplace was being divested, and I was reacting to nearly everything I ate. Food had become the scariest thing to me. I was starving often because it got so difficult to find anything to eat. Because I was reacting to so much and I’m a fairly logical and analytical type, I was looking at the things they had in common. I wrongly supposed that I was reacting to one thing rather than a combination of several. The one thing that just about everything has in common is corn. So I avoided corn for quite some time. I’d still have wicked reactions involving me writhing in full body pain wanting to scream from simply having something like a soda. There were days where I would go to the grocery store and leave empty-handed because I was terrified.

The thing that helped me get through those times was watching hockey. I became a Montreal Canadiens fan in 2013. I chose the Canadians for many reasons. My dad grew up watching Jacques Plante, so I could talk to him about hockey a little. We didn’t talk hockey too much because my dad grew to hate it since it was the only thing that was on TV when he was a kid because of the limited channels. Yeah, my dad is getting old. I also like the Canadiens because they’re not the tallest players in the league and they love to scrap. Scrappy underdogs. I also had a crush on someone who’s favourite team is the Canadiens. I’m human, sorry if that fact shocks anyone.

One of my friends asked me what I was sticking around my home town for? I was single, my job was being divested, and a bigger city would have more help for my food issues. The girl I was in high school would have already have thought of that on her own, but I was a broken shell of myself. I started considering leaving, but where would I go? I didn’t like the idea of Toronto at all. Every time I visit that city I nearly get attacked. I’m also not big on sky scrapers as I like looking at the sky. I contemplated Waterloo, but I felt like there wasn’t enough lifestyle there for me. I wanted a place that was small yet big and that led me to Ottawa.

I managed to find a job in my field that didn’t require the ability to speak French. My first out of town move was hard. I still had too much stuff and early on I had to move in stages. I moved close to work into a place with roommates. I lived at home during college, so it was my first roommate experience. It wasn’t horrible until the land lady started going crazy. Part of me feels like I could have done without this experience as I was still reeling from the divorce, food issues, and I was pretty sick in May. It was an interesting learning experience that I am thankful is done with.

I started looking for a place I could afford to buy with the assets I had, which wasn’t much for the Ottawa real estate market. I briefly contemplated moving to Rockland, ON as the houses are quite affordable, but it felt too far away to be working in Ottawa. I briefly thought about Gatineau, QC as it’s also affordable, but I felt it was far and strange. It’s also confusing to work in one province and live in another come tax time and with the divorce I wasn’t sure how taxes would be.

I made one last temporary move to get away from crazy lady and thankfully those roomies were cool people. Prior to leaving the house of crazy, I joined roller derby because though most of May was crappy, attending Comiccon lead to me braving the bar alone and I met AxxiDent’s sister. It was an interesting experience as I had never been to a burlesque show before. Browncoat’s is a fun troupe. I dig how they make the ultra nerdy sexy. At any rate, my new friend told me that she thought I should join roller derby as it would help me meet more people in Ottawa and she thought I may make a good jammer someday. My response was, “There’s roller derby in Ottawa?!”

So, I went to a bout at Barbara Ann Scott arena. Slaughter Daughters were playing. I found the info for fresh meat on the wall and I’ve been doing derby ever since.

NOVEL:

On the book front, I was stuck for quite some time. I had two versions of the start of my second half and had trouble deciding where to go from here. I’m still working through that. 

The thing with writing a novel is that each decision you make creates new challenges and closes doors potentially. Extra complications come in when you intend to write a series as is my intention because there are many more things to be mindful of. Consistency is a big thing with a series. Some might say, “just write”, but there’s more to it than that. Today’s publishing world is big on having work pre-edited, especially by new authors. If I don’t want to spend a fortune on an editor, I need to get it as polished as can be before getting an agent and having them get me a publisher.

I say all that, but there is some value to, “just write”. Recently, this part of my book has been difficult because I had been trying to get too detailed in an area that doesn’t matter. A hurricane or tropical storm hits on the open water and makes things bad for my characters, but I was trying to pick which storm and it really doesn’t matter because so many were in that area over several months that I can leave that bit to Hollywood if it ever gets there. The readers won’t care whether it’s Hurricane Florence or Hurricane Sandy. What’s important is what the characters do, how they feel and experience the storm, and what happens after it. I’m still working on what happens after it, but hopefully it’ll be something awesome.

Given all of the life stuff and moves, I haven’t gotten a whole lot farther if you go by number count, but I’ve had a lot of experiences that can only improve my writing.

So what’s my novel about? It’s a soft sci-fi tale about a boy who’s alien and yet not. He has to leave his home in order to stay alive because he’s a pretty big deal.

Sorry for the essay. I had a lot to say. Geez, if I could write this much on my book every day, I’d be done by the end of February. It’d be nice, but highly unlikely. I’ll update soon with a word count and the like.

Ciao
R~

What’s up these days?

I know I should post more often, but though I love writing, I don’t love blogging.

There have been a lot of changes in my personal life over the past few years and quite a few things to overcome. I won’t get into everything I have been dealing with, but the themes include various medical scares stemming from a combination of food allergies and a misdiagnosis of a very treatable condition as a lifelong, incurable disorder requiring medication; working at a wonderful company that became dreadful under a proclamation of divestment; divorce; job changes; several home moves; financial scares; and other losses.

Such things take time to bounce back from and become whole again, but they also provide experiences that, I feel, help me understand the struggles of others, at least, in part.

I continue to work on becoming a better version of myself. I continue to go out and do things even if it means doing them alone.

I chunk away at my first novel. Scrivener has been a beautiful tool to help me keep track of various parts and plot lines. I had thought I may be done it by the end of this year, but I’m not sure. We shall see what happens.

With many life things back under reasonable control, I feel free to pursue all of my passions outside of my writing as well. Friends continue to try to get me out dating and I don’t mind. I know what I’m looking for though and I won’t settle for less.

I am healthy, happy and whole regardless of being single and I think it would be great if more people could learn to be happy before entering a relationship, so they aren’t inclined to put their happiness upon someone else because that leads to unrealistic expectations of another person and both ending up miserable. 2013 has been a year of personal growth for me and will continue to be.

I have found my old fervor… Look out world 😉

Ciao
R~