My Latest Health Challenges

Twenty-five years ago I couldn’t believe I was hearing the things I heard women discuss in the beauty shop right there in front of God and strangers and everybody. They discussed their bladders like they were discussing their hair, which is what I thought we were all there for. Well, all I’m going to say about mine is that it gets to go to a urologist and the antibiotic I had to take a few months ago and a couple of times since has caused some problems.

We have discovered that I’ve had Candida over-growth for years and I didn’t know that; I’d never mentioned the symptoms I was having to a doctor. We also didn’t know I was gluten intolerant until last fall when I went to a new doctor. A couple of months after coming off gluten I was really beginning to feel great. A month later I had an amazing energy level. I went from wondering how on earth people got up out of bed and went to work every day, to just about going into orbit over the joy of how good I felt and how I could do so much more and do it with energy. I won’t discuss the private stuff, but my hair (the thing I thought we were in the beauty shop for and which had thinned considerably over the past few years because of gluten intolerance interfering with absorption of nutrients) started growing back. I even have hair on my legs again; I thought it was gone because of age. I guess I’m not as old as I felt. Or, maybe getting old isn’t supposed to take one’s energy away? God willing, I expect I’ll find that out one day.

At this point, with my newly unscrambled brain, I went to the doctor about these other symptoms. They were mild at the time. In checking things out it was discovered that I had a bladder problem and had to take the antibiotic – the one that started this mess. After two days of the medicine, my belly bloated back up again like it used to be and the real trouble began. Oh, and yes, I was taking a probiotic , so who knows how bad it would have been otherwise?

In the meantime, we tried a variety of medications to clear up the Candida. Nothing was working; it only helped until I came to the end of the prescription, then my nurse practitioner would try something else. I was also taking supplements that I showed to her and had her approval. There is some good stuff out there for this, but I don’t want to take things like that without medical advice from someone with a degree. There are a variety of yeast (Candida) diets out there and I picked a pretty strict one to follow, again letting my nurse practitioner know what I was doing.

I’m not sure how long I was on the diet before I noticed an acidic smell that I’d never smelled before and it was coming from me. I thought it was because of one of the supplements and I quit taking it. I should have gone to my NP and told her and let her decide what it might be. I guess it’s hard to think straight when you’re hungry. I’d been on the diet for a month and when I started adding foods back, I kinda’ went nuts on biscuits and other carbs. I needed some energy! I had no stamina. I quit the supplement and added back carbs at the same time and didn’t know what I know now.

What I know now is that the smell was not from the supplements. It was from going on such a low carb diet. My body was going after muscle after it ate up all the fat I had. When I dropped under 100 pounds I sort of freaked out. I didn’t eat biscuits all day, but I sure have been eating and eating and trying not to spend too many of those calories.

I talked to my NP yesterday about the bladder problem and the yeast problem. That is how I get to go to a urologist and also, (YEA!) a nutritionist so we can build me back up. Most likely the yeast has messed up my intestines so much that I’m not absorbing enough of what I’m eating and that is why my hair is falling out again. A nutritionist can help me get the balance right so the Candida can starve instead of me starving, and also get me on the right supplements to build my muscles back up. I want to be buff.

So why, if I’m so private that I won’t discuss this in a beauty shop, am I writing about it here? Well, I’m not telling you details, am I? Nope. Not this shy violet. I’m telling you enough so that you will know that if you think you may have a gluten problem, don’t wait too long to get it checked out. Yeast over-growth is common with folks who are gluten intolerant. The other thing I want you to know is that if you are trying to treat a yeast problem, or gluten either for that matter, don’t try to doctor yourself. Even though there is a lot of info and there are a variety of products to help, it really does take medical supervision. You can see from what I’ve written how dicey this can be, and I’ve had supervision. And don’t pay too much attention to what you hear in the beauty shop.

Just a note about the supplement: Early last month, I emailed the company and asked if anyone had ever reported such a problem and they said they had never heard of it. I started taking it again and the only times I’ve smelled the smell is when I’ve dropped too low on carbs. Oh, and I’ve gained back a couple of pounds the past few weeks, so I’m over 100 now.

ADDENDUM: I’ve been reminded if you are gluten intolerant, you can’t eat it for decades and have everything be OK in a week;  it can take 3-5 years for gluten damage to heal. I’ve also read that sometimes, it doesn’t completely heal. Whether the problem is gluten damage or Candida damage or both, or whatever, I’m sure looking forward to getting well.

SECOND ADDENDUM: It was discovered that I had been eating almonds and almond butter that were “processed in a facility that also processes wheat.” This is why my hair was falling out again; it wasn’t caused from yeast damage. Once I quit eating those things and started watching labels for things processed near wheat and eliminating those things, my hair started growing back. I now have hair that is three different lengths because of gluten problems. Also, my hormones have been corrected, along with DHEA and I’m gaining weight back. Please do see a doctor if you are having similar problems. If you get one that doesn’t listen to you, or tells you that your tests are clear and you don’t have a gluten problem, then maybe they don’t understand non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. I’ve heard that some don’t, so find one who does and get some help.

Birds This Summer

Did you get all excited about putting out hummingbird feeders this spring only to have the hummingbirds disappear in early summer? I found out where they went! According to Birds and Blooms magazine, they don’t come to our sugar-water feeders when they are busy feeding bugs to their babies. Ah,ha! I wish I had a bug feeder. (I’ve never heard of such a thing as a bug feeder, but it might be a cool way to dispose of garden pests.)

When my hummers disappeared this year I took my feeders down. Then a few weeks ago I had a male ruby-throat show up at the kitchen window. One of my feeders normally hangs near that window and he was apparently trying to convince me, by flying back and forth in front of the window and looking at me, to put the feeder back out. I did and I never saw him again.

One day last week, a female hummer did the same thing. I really didn’t want to go through the whole process again of making up the food and hanging it out for them when all I’d get to see is the food getting icky and not being eaten. So, I didn’t run to the stove with water and sugar.

Yesterday, a neighbor told me she and another neighbor are seeing hummers at feeders now, so I reckon today is the day. I’ll feed these fascinating little birds again and they and I will be happy about it.

Now about those other birds. Seems I was having chickens on my platform feeder and not so much the other birds. It happens every year. Not the chickens, but the song birds not coming to the feeder quite so often.

Yep. That’s a chicken.

The song birds like what God has provided in the woods during the summer I guess, so they don’t show up so much. Sometimes when that happens I slack off on the feeder-filling. This year the advantage of this situation is that the chickens might have forgotten there is bird seed up there? We’ll see. There were baby cardinals in the tree outside the kitchen window a couple of days ago, so I started putting seed out again.

If you wondered where your birds went, I hope this answered your question. They’ll be back, just hang in there. As for me, I hope the chickens don’t come back.

Happy Independence Day?

This is a sad 4th of July for me. It’s one thing to celebrate the beginning of our country, but quite another thing to realize what we have become. I can’t separate the two.

How can I celebrate a country that has allowed the President to have a “kill list” with any person who is merely suspected of being a terrorist on the list? They can be shot or a bomb dropped on them and anyone who is with them when it happens is just collateral damage. What happened to the rule of law, warrants for searches and charges being filed and a trial in a courtroom? We still have indefinite detention, and even if they didn’t detain American citizens (Do you trust them on this? I don’t.), but only non-citizens, what can be done to one will eventually be done to all. Anyone who participates in a protest can be suspected of terrorist activity. There doesn’t seem to be a definition of that word, terrorist. It seems to change with the circumstances and the whims of the accuser.

Our military is misused. We go to war to protect “our interests” rather than defending our country against foreign military attacks.  And speaking of the military – we have been militarizing our city police and county sheriffs. Look at the equipment these guys have these days. Tanks? Huge guns? Drones? OH…drones. Yes, those, too. Won’t be long and we will have thousands of them in our skies. They say this is to “keep us safe”?

Just writing something like this may land me on a list of some sort. I am complaining, after all. I’m looking back at how our founders didn’t trust big government and didn’t want a standing army. They didn’t want a government that could do to citizens even a fraction of what ours can, and does, do to us. I guess this article, along with all of our email, phone calls and whatever else they can gather up, will be in their huge database. If you wonder what I’m talking about, just do a search of “NSA database.”

We have a government agency in our airports that has a Ha-Ha I See You Naked Machine, which one can refuse to stand in front of and have their naked body viewed by a stranger, only to then be mauled by the gloved hands of a different stranger. The only basis for such invasive government activity seems to be that one is traveling. Even Henry Kissinger was groped by TSA agents who didn’t even recognize his name. This one truly turns the 4th Amendment on its head.

The abuses and losses just go on and on.

So, how did this mess happen? I read the other day that someone once asked Alexander Solzhenitsyn how Russia became a Communist state? What happened to allow that? His answer was that “the people forgot God.”

Now, if you have read much of my political or spiritual writings on this blog, you know that I am not in favor of making Christianity into a civil religion. I think when a country declares itself to be a “Christian Nation” and then behaves like ours does, invading countries that have not attacked us, going back on promises made to other countries and to groups of people who were fighting off dictators (ones we didn’t support),  just generally running over anyone who gets in our way, it gives Christianity a bad name worldwide. I don’t care if we have “In God We Trust” on our money, or not. I don’t care for the trappings of a show of religion. The church does not need the support of the state, and in fact, it seems to weaken the church when it has had that. The church, and all religions, only need the freedom to practice their beliefs and to speak out in the public square.

But, what happens when the people forget God? What happens when Christians forget about the dignity and reverence for life? What happens when they forget that all men are created in God’s image and deserve to be treated accordingly? They vote their pocketbook, that’s what. They look at their retirement accounts and want more regulation. We’ve got it, folks, and it’s intrusive.* They look at their bank accounts and vote for more welfare and care of every sort. We’ve got that, too. And everything we get takes something away. It takes our privacy and our dignity in being able to live our lives like adults who are able to care for themselves. We get protection that we need to be protected from.

So, now what we have is a President who has a “kill list” and local police who look like soldiers when they do raids and they act like soldiers, too. We have unreasonable searches in our airports and homes. Our papers (all our communications) are subject to the scrutiny of the federal government without our knowledge or consent. No dignity. No respect. This is what happens when we forget God.

*Someone showed me the questionnaire that is required by the Dodd-Frank Act. It asks not only about investments, but also, “For Natural Person, Estate, and Trust clients: Is the client, clients (sic) family member or other person who shares the client’s household a government official?” If the answer is “Yes” they want the name, relationship to the client, jurisdiction, etc.