1 Week Corn Free. Feeling better!

It’s been a week since I cut corn (and a few other foods) out of my diet due to the results from my elisa / act delayed onset allergy test and I am excited to report that I am legitatmely doing  better.

I would first like to give another shout out to Dr. Ginevra Liptan and her book Figuring out Fibromyalgia.  I first heard about the test in her excellent book and despite being ridiculously poor decided to take a chance and get the test.

As you know from last weeks post, my results have been challenging.  Cutting corn and corn byproducts out of your life is ridiculously challenging but I’ve completely changed my eating habits (ie. making homemade everything from bread to pizza sauce to not eating out or eating anything made by anyone but me).  Because of this, I have been corn, black pepper, grapefruit, couliflour and brown rice free and in the words of a svelte Jennifer Garner, “I’m feeling good!.”

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Results from Elisa / Act Delayed Allergy Test

I’ve been talking about Delayed allergies in several posts in regards to the Elisa / Act test.  You can read either of them by clicking on the links below:

Food Intolerance Post

More info on the Elisa / Act Test.

For those of you not wanting to read these posts, I’ll give you the Cliff’s notes version. We have delayed allergic reactions to food, chemicals, molds, compounds etc that result in all sorts of bad body reactions.  These reactions occur 24-78 hours after we come in contact with these products / foods.  Our immune system believes these products / foods are foreign bodies and attack them as they would a virus entering our bodies.  Not all doctors buy delayed onset allergies despite the fact that there have been tons of studies done validating this theory.  My doctor is one of the people not believing in this phenomenon.  Despite his opinion, I decided to go ahead and get myself tested for delayed allergies.

The Elisa / Act Test tests your blood and determines what you are allergic too.

I recently got my test results back and apologize for neglecting my blog recently as I have been trying to figure out how to navigate through life dealing with what I believe is the most difficult allergy ever.

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Sleep Better with Fibromyalgia

There isn’t a cure for Fibromyalgia and I’ve come to terms with the fact that there probably won’t be one in my lifetime.

Ugh.

The reason there isn’t a cure is because scientists haven’t even figured out what causes it.  This puts Fibro Warriors in the interesting position of doctoring themselves cause frankly, we probably know more than they do since we’re the ones living with it day to day.

John is always saying things like Are you sure you should do that?  Maybe you should talk to your doctor first?  or If your doctor doesn’t believe in that, why do you?  They have years of training….  My response of course is that I went to doctors throughout my 2os who had years of training and not a single one even figured out that I had Fibromyalgia.  I have however had a kabillions tests and was told that I might have a brain tumor, epilepsy, ovarian cancer, MS… I could go on for pages, but I won’t.  That being said, I am at the point where I’m pretty skeptical about the healing powers of doctors when it comes to Fibromyalgia.

Feeling utterly alone in my search for healing, I began keeping journals, reading everything I could get my hands and put myself in charge of my health.  My first step as Dr. Margo was to form my opinions about what’s going on in our bodies which I’ve discussed here in various posts.

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How to overcome nightmares

Laurel Hill Cemetary

There is something troubling me.  I’m just not sure what it is.  My subconscious has a funny way to telling me when something is wrong with the gift of horrifying dreams.  I’ve been having nightmares for a few weeks now.  I go through phases in my life where I have nightmares for a few weeks to a month and eventually it passes.  They normally involve the faceless man trying to kill you, my teeth crumbling out of my mouth, someone trying to kill my cats, ghostly demons chasing me through unfamiliar houses that have an endless amount of doors leading to yet another room. These bad boys are child’s play compared to what’s been happening in my sleep the last few weeks.

The other morning I woke up yelling help.  Poor John was lying next to me and didn’t realize I was dreaming & Buttercup (good girl) started barking downstairs.  So much drama in the morning!

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Fascia Stretching & Myofascial release therapy for Fibromyalgia

Hello spring!

Hello spring!

After reading a ton of theories about what causes Fibromyalgia, I believe there are a few major things occurring in our bodies.   I believe our central nervous system has switched into permanent “fight or flight” mode and our body is suffering because of it.  Since our bodies are constantly trying to protect us from imminent danger we don’t digest food as well, have alert sleep, experience extremely tense muscles and much more.  All of these things occur when people are in fight or flight.

The problem is that our body can’t handle being in fight or flight 24/7, so our systems start to malfunction.  A part of our body that is often ignored by western medicine (but studied by eastern medicine) is the fascia.  The fascia is the tissue that covers all of our muscles.  When you get chicken, it is the white “stuff” that I am normally removing.  This tissue is filled with TONS of nerve endings.  It is also believed that when people experience feats of great strength from adrenaline rushes (like a mom picking up a car to save her child) that their fascia is working in tandem with their muscles.  When our body is in fight or flight mode, our fascia is activated.  It stands to reason, especially since tests on Fibro warriors show that our pain is not coming from our muscles, that the pain is coming from our fascia…

I have heard that people get relief from myofascial release therapy (stretching of the fascia) which makes sense if it is indeed your fascia that is in pain.  I began searching for a therapist who performed this technique and found a few.  However, after further research, I discovered that we are able to stretch our fascia ourself!  What a cheap alternative!  And… instead of going once or twice a week to a therapist, we can do it every day!

A few weeks ago, I began doing stretches before going to bed and holding them for 2-3 minutes depending on the stretch.  All of the stretches I performed are lying down and most of them were yoga stretches.  I have noticed a definite improvement in my muscle pain since doing this in tandem with yoga every morning & a 20 minutes meditation.  I would recommend to anyone to start yourself on a movement program that involves gentle stretches.  I am so much better since doing it myself.  My pain went from a 7 or 8 to a 3 or 4 (sometimes a 2).  It’s truly been a new lease on life.   I’m going to talk in more depth about what I do in my next post.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda waiting for the shoe to drop and all the pain to return, but here’s to hoping it doesn’t!

What’s amusing is that not one of my doctors (except my chiropractor) suggested stretching to me.  In fact, my physical therapist suggested I not hold a stretch for longer than 5 seconds. I am going completely against his suggestions and considering I felt better than I have in months, I wonder what the hell is wrong with doctors?!?!  But I digress.

I recently purchased the book The Permanent Pain Cure by Ming Chew.  His book is specifically for stretching your fascia.  I have read this book and am just starting to try to poses suggested.   His poses are quite different from anything I’ve done before.  I tried three of his fascia stretches this morning after doing my usual morning yoga routine.  I will say that my trap muscle (the muscle between your neck and your shoulder) does feel a little tighter than it did prior which I’m not thrilled about.  I did stretches for my neck & mid back as well and they feel fine.   Despite the increased tightness in my traps, I am going to continue doing his stretches.

I will update you about his fascia stretching techniques in a few weeks.  Nothing happens overnight, and it will take some time to figure out if this helps.  I’m going to do his stretches after my yoga routine in the morning.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t start your own regular stretching routine every night!  I think it could be a great first start to regaining some of your life back!

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My Carpal Tunnel Cure!

strawberry pot

I’ve had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both my wrists for awhile with the most pain and numbness in my right hand.  Unlike most people, I don’t get carpal tunnel from working on a computer.  I get it from life.  Sigh.  I have a section on my blog called Help the Symptoms and I talk about what I’ve been using to help my Carpal Tunnel.  I added an exciting update on my page about the technique that I’m going to talk about here.  I found that I have essentially cured my Carpal Tunnel!

If you think you might have it, some of the symptoms I experience are pain and numbness in my hand.  Pain also runs up my arm.  An interesting quirk is that when your fingers go numb, your pinky does not.  Another way to test for it is to tap the wrist with the fingers from your other hand and see if your fingers on your affected hand go numb.  I had an especially hard time at night before I used my Futuro Night Brace.  I would wake up in excruciating pain and numbness multiple times a night.  On top of that, I wore my Futuro Day Brace 24 hours a day for about 6 months.  Without it, my hand was constantly painful and numb.  Slowly, I believe with the help of the braces, my wrist calmed down and it wasn’t a constant annoyance.

You’re probably sitting here wondering why I’m blabbing about my experience and want to know what the amazing cure is!  Well here goes….

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We booked our wedding

Jamaica Mon

Jamaica Mon

So John and I finally booked our wedding in Jamaica.  February 2012…  I’m excited.

And nervous.

The picture on my left is the last night John and I spent in Jamaica on the vacation he proposed.  This picture was taken about 5 hours before I woke up in perhaps the worst muscle spasm I’ve had in my life.  And let me tell you, I’ve had some doozies…

In grad school, while shopping at Ross, I reached up for a tea cup and literally thought someone had stabbed me in my ribs.  I had pulled a muscle in my side that wrapped around my lungs and it proceeded to inhibit my breathing and consequently made a trip to New York later in the week extremely difficult.

But I digress.  Back to the picture.  I love this picture.  Not only because John looks especially cute in light blue, or because of the fabulous light up tree that sat in the center of the indoor bar, but because we are so happy.  That vacation was really great.  Every morning we ate breakfast in a restaurant that had a roof but no walls.  John proposed on our anniversary in a beach cabana.  Those are the things I remember when I think about our vacation in Jamaica.

The only time I think about waking up in the middle of the night in muscle spasm is when I think about getting married in Jamaica.  I’m afraid of waking up the morning of my wedding in spasm.  In Jamaica.  Without my arsenal.  When I wake up in muscle spasm here I have a lot of options: my massage chair, my chiropractor, my massage therapist…  Lots and lots of options.  In Jamaica, I have a heating pad and advil.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s definitely created some anxiety for me which of course makes Fibro worse, blah blah blah…  I’m trying not to think about it and John chimed in saying, it’s possible you’ll be feeling better by then.  His optimism is sweet.  But I’m not buying it.  Recently, I’ve felt like I’ve been teetering between feeling the same and feeling worse.  There hasn’t been much improvement, despite the yoga, and stretching and meditation and chiropractics and physical therapy… I’d keep going but I’ve exhausted myself doing so.

I’m not saying I’m not excited to get married in Jamaica.  It has completely taken away any stress of planning the wedding.  Apparently you arrive in Jamaica and meet with your wedding specialist for about 10 minutes where you point to some pictures of flowers and a cake and that’s about it.  Sounds heavenly.  I also found an RSVP site online where the guests can go to RSVP and it will keep track for me.

Sigh of Relief.

Here’s to hoping that I don’t wake up on my wedding day with a muscle spasm.  Cause I’m walking down that aisle either way.

Yours in health (and hope)

m

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