The Treasure Sale That Wasn’t

I had to get out of bed this morning and get ready to go to the chiropractor’s office for some ultrasound for my low back and hip areas. I’ve been doing that for the last three weeks or so and it is helping so very much. I am having a lot less pain, sleeping better, and am walking better as well. It’s always great to be on the getting better side of things. 🙂

On the way home from the office I decided to get a few errands done. I’ve been kind of sick with ear pain and inflammation this week, so I haven’t done much, and that is okay. Getting well was more important, especially when I tend to have ear pain, sinus pain, nausea, dizziness, and balance issues when dealing with ear pain. Today was better and I really didn’t want to miss my ultrasound treatment, they are helping me so much.

I stopped at the food co-op and got my favorite gluten free bread. It’s Rudi’s Multi-Grain Gluten Free Bread. Oh my god! I love this bread. I’ve tried over five different kinds of gluten free bread as well as making some from a mix and this is my favorite. As I said, oh my god! I love this bread.

I was debating whether or not I felt well enough to walk through a few galleries at a local museum after that, as I was biking by there, and decided perhaps next week or the week after that when I might be feeling less pain and have more fun. Right across from the museum is a church, and there are tons of churches in the downtown Minneapolis, and I saw a sign for a Treasure Sale there today.

I debated whether or not I was going to stop and shop, because seriously the word treasure kind of implies to me item and pricing perhaps beyond my pocketbook and perhaps a waste of my time. I did decide to go inside, driven by a desire to check out their book stacks, clothes, and knick knacks. Well, no treasure and so no sale. I couldn’t even find anything after I found out that all the items were 50% off the listed prices. I can’t remember the last time I walked out of a church sale without a bag or three of purchases.

I guess I really need to go to the usual church summer sales that I go to where I lived before, because I always found something, some little treasure, to take home and keep. I need to remember to find out in advance when the sales are scheduled for, so that I can plan ahead. Summer seems a ways away, but in the meantime I still go to the used stores and shop for bargains and that keeps me acquiring small treasures. I am pretty picky, now that I’ve moved so much since last October and gotten rid of so much clutter.

Happy St. Starbuck’s Day

So I biked over to the nearest Target store and went to Starbucks on St. Patrick’s Day. I had, as I always have, a tall Pike Place and then I add lots of half and half, yum, my favorite. This store is nearby the small lake that I used to bike around when I lived in this area before. It was so cold out and after dark much colder biking home. I had a nice time there. Some of the songs were sort of Irish style, but most of them were not. Most of the songs were stuff I like to listen to while there.

I can’t have any of the drinks that most people go there for, because Starbucks will not disclose if any of their drinks are gluten free or have gluten, so no expensive Starbucks coffee drinks for me. While I understand why a company would not do so, it is not so nice when you are left guessing. Ultimately the right choice is not to trust anything you are not sure is gluten free. After eating gluten once this month and once last month, on purpose, I am sure I can’t eat it and shouldn’t eat it and am gluten intolerant, as I have believed for almost four years; due to my identical and serious reactions both times. And even if I am not gluten intolerant the serious reactions lead me to believe I can’t eat gluten, not now and perhaps not ever. Oddly I am okay with that.

Here is a picture I took just after sitting my stuff down at my favorite table by the window. 🙂 That’s my new bike out the window.

My pink converse tennis shoes, now scruffy, make a second appearance on my blog:

And finally the irresistible red Target ball that induces so many children of a certain age to attempt to climb it:

Lovely Valentine Celebration

I had a lovely Valentine’s Day celebration today. 🙂 I went to Culver’s and had a double cheese Butter Burger and unfortunately ordered a turtle sundae as well, unfortunately because I was quite full by the time I ate the double cheeseburger and fries. I sat there for several hours, reading a book, having a great time.

I had just planned to go to the coffee shop and read, but remembered it was heart day before setting off on my bike. Then I heard a lot of suggestions from inside for Culver’s, over and over, until I agreed to it. It was quite noisy for a few minutes and was obvious to them all that I was weakening quickly. 🙂

It was the first time in a long time that I ate gluten, I had a bun with the burger and the fries, both not gluten-free. I wanted to see how well my body can cope with eating gluten. I know I have only been taking the medication for less than a month, but still I wanted to see if I would tolerate it much better since I have healed some. Also since I am still taking the antibiotic, my tummy has been more stressed, sore, and sensitive. My tummy feels okay right now. That is good and huge progress for me.

It was wonderful, but just not as wonderful from four years ago as I remembered, craved, and have yearned for. I could probably eat about a hundred more before I would get tired of them. I’ve lost forty pounds so far and want to continue with that, so it is not as though I will be inhaling a lot of Butter Burgers in the near future, no matter what; my health, my weight, or my finances always being much more important issues.

Finally, Birthday Cake

I haven’t had birthday cake on my last three birthdays. Mostly due to my hesitancy and worry about baking and cooking of any sort. The other part is due to my gluten intolerant issues.

So this year I planned ahead. I found and bought a gluten-free chocolate cake mix in advance. I was uncomfortable with the idea of making a whole cake. I kept planning on making a trial run cake in advance, but found that I was scared of doing it, kept forgetting, and then when remembering kept putting it off. It was overwhelming to me.

I looked for a good recipe for chocolate frosting, but there seemed to be far too many ingredients to research about being gluten-free and for buying. Each time I would go to the grocery store I would forget to buy any of them or wander the aisle not being able to decide to buy or not to buy. Many visits and I still didn’t make any decisions.

It was very frustrating. It was overwhelming to me. When I get frustrated and overwhelmed about purchases, especially gluten intolerant food purchases I tend to keep putting off buying things. This is exactly the same way about cooking and baking. I attribute all of those food related issues to being abused by my mother around food and her rejection and exclusion of me from “her” kitchen.

Finally I found a recipe online for chocolate cake in a mug.

Mix one cake mix and one 4 oz. pudding mix. This mix is enough for about eight or nine cake mugs.

Use 1/2 cup of this cake and pudding combination and then mix one Tablespoon water, one Tablespoon oil, and one egg white.

Use Pam or some other vegetable oil on mug. Spoon mix into mug.

Microwave mug on high for two minutes.

I thought this might be my solution for my birthday cake. I thought it would be very good with ice cream instead of frosting.

When my birthday came I found that I had not bookmarked the recipe and the evening of my birthday, after my dinner with a relative, I found that I couldn’t find it and really was too tired. Almost too tired for a candle, but I did manage that.

But on Monday night, finally, a birthday cake, in a mug. It kind of looked like a tiny muffin. Kind of funny. Kind of cute. It was pretty great.

The Food Co-Op

I love the idea of a food co-op. I love the idea of eating healthier and I am trying. I would love to be able to shop there all the time and buy lots of things there. It’s just that right now I just can’t afford it. I am starting to buy a few things there now.

I had another one of those happy crying moments not too long ago. I rode my bike over to the closest food co-op and was looking all around there. I asked for help several times and got it, so not a normal result in the normal store.

The part that brought me to tears, though, didn’t have anything really to do with what they had or how they treated me in the store. It was that there were little stickers next to certain foods that said “gluten free” on them all around the store. Sweet!

A Few Simple Things

This has sort of been what I have been working on since moving. Although the few things are not simple to do, they are simple little parts of a life. For me they are huge, doing the simple things of life.

Probably lots of people think they are easy, they are hard for me, though, because I never learned them or how to do them due to neglect and sabotage as a child. If it wasn’t for mandatory home economics classes I never would have learned a thing about cooking. On my own I soon realized that what I learned was not practical or applicable or affordable.

I never learned how to cook. I wasn’t allowed to work in the kitchen, except to do the menial work that was unacknowledged or to do the table or to wash the dishes. My mother was jealous and paranoid and didn’t like to share her kitchen with anyone, except to make them into a slave.

So I am slowly learning to cook a few things. I am learning more about gluten intolerance and more prepared foods that are gluten free so I have some more food options. I am taking more time to assemble something resembling a healthier meal. I am eating more fruits and vegetables and trying hard to exercise a bit more, as I am able. A few simple things. It is nice.

Adventures in Gluten Land

For the past ten days I have been dealing with an ear infection. They are sort of inevitable in my life. I have had them since I was little. My ears are very sensitive and it is very easy to get an ear infection. This one was caused by hot tub water spilling into my ears. It was inevitable that eventually I would get an ear infection from that, and so I did.

I got up last Monday and after a trip to the bathroom, came back into my bedroom and sat on the bottom of my bed. Surprisingly the walls and ceiling tipped dangerously to the right. I’ve never really seen something like that before. I always thought that when the world felt like it was pitching it wouldn’t look like it as well. But it did. I laid down and shut my eyes.

Eventually I felt well enough to shuffle into the other room and ask my brother to go get me some motionsickness medicine at the drugstore. I asked for Dramamine, it was the only name that I knew of and felt that a brand name would help him find a product.  (I had contemplated using my phone by the side of the bed to call him in the living room to ask him to get it, but after a long nap I actually felt well enough to walk there)

It made my life tolerable once again, though certainly was not helpful much, it seems that the company does not guarantee that their product is gluten-free or sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. At least that is what I eventually read online. They don’t guarantee that their suppliers of ingredients are gluten free. Not a good product to continue using, for me. My body reacted like it had gluten in it. So I need to find something else to use in the future.

For the time being I am Dramamine-free and the walls and ceiling are not tipping. And my body is trying to adjust to not having something in my body every day that creates inflammation and an auto-immune response along with internal damage. Time to find something better. I don’t mind not eating bread, or cookies, or cake or pasta or any other gluten-laden product so much as I mind not being able to take a med to make me better when I am sick, without it making me worse in other ways. That sucks.

Vinegar-Gluten Issues

Though I didn’t know this I have issues with vinegar, because I have gluten intolerance. I knew that there were some vinegar with gluten and some gluten-free. But when I ate something with vinegar I got a bad reaction. It felt as though I had been glutenized. There were several things that I concluded I could not eat and they had vinegar in it.

Some time ago when I was still living in Minnesota and before I knew about my gluten intolerance I read and was often told by others about the healing qualities of apple cider vinegar. Many other people recommended it to me. They said drink it before meals, a few tablespoonsfuls in a glass of water. Well eventually I started using it. It was awful. It made me feel awful. It tasted awful and it smelled awful and it was very difficult to stomach it and keep it down.

Over a period of months I would take it, sometimes once a day. Over that time period my health got much much worse. I had much more swelling, edema, and inflammation. I would have to ice my ankles and knees sometimes every day. I would have to wrap my ankles to prevent further swelling and pain. I would have more pain and more trouble walking, sleeping, and doing practically everything.

When I got ready to move I threw away or donated any liquids, because of my concern of anything damaging my boxes of books and other property in transit to Ohio. So I had been apple cider vinegar free for about four months and doing much much better health wise when it comes to swelling, pain, and inflammation in my legs and feet.

With gluten in so many things it has been difficult to point a definitive finger sometimes on a culprit to avoid as many foods have gluten and it is a lot of work to find accurate information. I read a lot of information online. Sometimes that doesn’t answer my questions and sometimes it does, and sometimes it makes me even more confused.

I bought some apple cider vinegar recently, a product that is declared gluten free by the company and the gluten intolerance websites. Less than an hour of drinking it my abdomen swelled up, there was more pain, and my ankles, feet, and legs became swollen, painful, and visibly larger. That was three days ago. I am still dealing with the side effects. This sucks. I hate when my health issues get in the way of living, enjoying, and life. No more vinegar.

Finally found a thread on a message board that says that some people with gluten intolerance cannot tolerate ingesting vinegar, whether it is gluten-free or not. Nice to know someone agrees with me.

Five States and in my New Place

After five grueling states, here I am, late at night, at my new home. So tired out and in a lot of pain. Hope to be feeling better soon. Forgot to do Reiki for a few days, but did it Sunday and Monday.  All the demands of packing, the stress of trying to get everything done the last few weeks before moving, the money stresses, the hundreds of miles over roads and highways have all taken their toll. Got glutened a few times and so very unhappy about the elevation change, which is playing havoc with my ears and throat. But no tears for leaving my hometown. If I was in better health and could work and do so much more there I would miss it more. But I couldn’t, I can’t, and so I don’t, at least not yet.

It will take me some time to get used to. I am just so tired. I have been this tired the last four nights, without much sleep happening. I will try in a bit to catch some zzzzs.

With the light of day we will be moving boxes in the house and into my bedroom. And then the fascinating work of returning the truck to the rental place. Fascinating. Live long and prosper all.

Doctors, Gluten Intolerance, and Bad Care

Recently I filled out the form to have my medical records copied and sent to me. I have seen the same doctor for about ten years. But I have seen several others at the same clinic, as well as specialists elsewhere, when needed. I asked for all my records. I got them in the mail on Saturday. I wanted to have them for when I move at the end of this month. It seemed very small compared to my chart. I was only sent records for the last two years.

I’ve seen four women doctors there in that time. Two were lovely, two were horrid. One even yelled at me. I was surprised to see that my regular doctor did not write negative things about my body in my chart. At least not in the last two years. The two horrid doctors did.

They wrote negative comments about me, which I won’t repeat here. Disparaging things about me and judgments about my life, without even knowing me or what was wrong.

Well my records showed me that my regular doctor selected what he listened to and wrote down, to my health detriment and two female doctors who I did not like or trust were mean spirited and wrote mean and derogatory things into my chart about me; my permanent record. Something I was always told to fear since I was little and in school.

The internist that I went to when my regular doctor kept telling me I had IBS wrote that I had not had this problem before, writing it was a new complaint. I had been talking to my regular doctor about it for some time. Though he never put it in my medical record. That was wrong of him to do. She wrote as though I was faking the pain I was going through. I asked for the h pylori test, thank goodness I had read about it in a magazine and knew what to ask for. She was shocked and amazed when it came back positive. I don’t get that, I had all the symptoms.

He kept telling me it was IBS and I needed to eat a lower fat diet. I kept telling him that I didn’t eat a lot of fat and that there was definitely something wrong. He would give me that look. That look he always gave me when I talked about prior health issues. That look that I was ignorant, lying, or not able to tell him that I was indeed a food addict.

I told him plenty of things that he could have concluded gluten intolerance long ago. Years ago I showed him, many times, weird rashes that I got that were coincidentially a rash that some people with gluten intolerance get. Yet instead of seeing my symptoms as being something he needed to deal with, he chose to believe negative things about me that he never confessed to, to not document some things and I guess that got in the way of him seeing the truth.

Finally three months ago I brought it up, when I was sure that I had gluten intolerance. He gave me the standard lecture about it was rare and probably not what I was going through. (It’s being diagnosed in almost 1% of the population now, that is not rare.) I said I knew for sure it was what I was going through. He said he could refer me to a specialist, though he had never said that in the past about all the gi issues I have presented with, that he never bothered to write down. I don’t want any doctor that he will recommend. I will find a new one by myself after my move at the end of this month.

So I look back and I see how he refused to help me to find the reasons I was so sick and something so easy as not eating gluten. I always felt abandoned and like nobody truly cared about me there. My money, yes, but me, no, not so much. 

I have a broken bone in my lower spine called a spondiloletic spondilothesis. I might be spelling that wrong here. Basically that means that at the point of my spine, my body core, where I should be the strongest, I am the weakest. This creates among other things a pinched nerve and sciatic pain that is like having a knife stuck in my body and moved around. The current thinking is that this is caused by child abuse before the age of seventeen. Yeah.

This causes issues all the way up my spine to my neck, causing pinched nerves there as well. The neurologist, though he was willing to go over my tests and explain to me in detail what was going on, had nothing else to offer me but medications that I could not tolerate and a recommendation to a physical therapist who thought that he could bend me like a pretzel. After that he told me he had no other recommendations, since he did not believe I should have surgery. My regular doctor kept trying to push surgery, I told him no, not at this level of functioning.

Even though they wanted to tell me I had fibromyalgia and dignosed it, I knew there were a lot of unexplained symptoms and they weren’t getting it right and none of them listened to me. The rheumatologist didn’t do a single test for anything else to eliminate other issues. He didn’t even bother telling me the three diagnoses he gave me that first day. He didn’t even bother telling me I should take vitamin d supplements, as that can help with muscle pain. I had to find that out almost a year later when I switched to a female specialist in the same clinic. 

I knew for some time that I really should go to a naturopath, but could not ever afford it. Though I have known others who have been mistreated by natural healing doctors and methods as well.

I also see how my being a survivor and being ignored and abandoned by others repeated itself in my medical experiences. I just wonder if this treatment is common for many people, and more common for survivors of childhood abuse.

I’m sure that lots of people who aren’t survivors get let down by doctors, get the wrong treatment and diagnoses, and bad care. It’s just that having trouble standing up for myself is one of the big aftereffects of having been abused and makes me vulnerable to being re-abused and deficient when trying to advocate for myself.

I am moving towards the end of this month and all these doctors are on my list of things I am happy to leave behind.