Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Life can be challenging in many different ways and each and every one of us is challenged on a daily basis in some shape or form.  Some will take the easy way out and others will put the head down, bum up and power on through.  Since I have been unwell I have taken the latter approach and I have fought this disease every step of the way.  As previously mentioned, my arthritis medications aren't working as well as they should be, my body is resisting them, my arthritis deteriorating and remission has been slipping further from my grasp.  I am frustrated and sick and tired of being sick and tired!  To kick the arthritis to the curb I started my whole 30 challenge yesterday and here I am on day 2 still alive! Who would have thought it! No sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, white potato, alcohol or preservatives and I am surviving.  Ok, I don't exactly feel a million bucks right about now.  Yesterday there was a mild headache late in the day and today I have been struck down with persistent nausea.  My brain is sending me messages that 1 small coke would fix the nausea.  Yes Ladies and Gents, I am in the grips of sugar withdrawal. 

I didn't enter this challenge with blinkers on.  I always knew that I would feel worse before I felt better and that is why I took a few days to prepare.  I wrote out a menu and then a shopping list.  I removed, gave away or hid the no no foods.  Shopping was the hardest part of it.  There are contaminates in what feels like all of our foods.  Finding an all natural curry powder was hard but finding a curry paste was even harder.  In the end I gave up on the curry paste and opted to make one instead. 

On day 1 of my whole 30 challenge I was at yet another hospital review.  This time I got some good news mixed with the not so fabulous.  All of my scans are clear of cancer and I don't have to go through any further imaging.  This was the best news I have had this year.  I can say with 100 % confidence that I am clear of cancer.  Then came the blood results which remain abnormal and can't quite be explained at the moment.  Next week I have further blood tests to try and figure out what is happening.  I can deal with whatever they throw at me, it's not cancer after all! So I started my whole 30 with fantastic news and it has motivated me even more. 

Have you done a whole 30? Would you do one? What holds you back?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Neglected blog and a plan for change

My poor blog has been neglected in the past year, but I am back and planning to use it more. 

Life took over in the past year and not always through good things happening.  My health deteriorated and saw me admitted to hospital multiple times for swollen mouth.  Also I was readmitted a lot with severe headaches that had struck suddenly and left me holding my head and screaming.  On one occasion I was also covered in a horrible rash and viral meningitis was suspected.  I had to suffer a horrible lumbar puncture - 4 stabs - which in the end they abandoned because they couldn't get it in the correct spot.  Then it was discovered that I had an impacted tooth embedded in jaw bone and partly in my sinus, so I had surgical removal of that.  One of my specialists believes that the infection surround that tooth was what was causing my swollen mouth and severe headaches.  I am now 3 weeks post op and have not had a migraine or swollen mouth.  Fingers crossed that this continues.  I wish that was all that had happened to me, however, I was also admitted with an inflamed and swollen left arm.  We all thought it was cellulitis which is an infection of the skin and needs IV antibiotics.  Unfortunately I didn't respond to the antibiotics and my arm got worse, an ultra sound was ordered and it was discovered that I had 3 clots in my arm.  The reason for this is not known and it is very rare.  The doctors are worried that I have a malignancy and so now I am going through multiple tests and scans searching for any sign of cancer.  So far I am clear but the tests aren't yet complete. 

You would think that all of that was my rock bottom, but it wasn't.  My rock bottom was sitting in  my Immunologists office on Thursday in severe joint pain and on some pretty strong painkillers.  He told me that he believed my big powerful medications were no longer keeping my arthritis at bay.  My joints are continuing to deteriorate.  I'm 31, that was not something that I wanted to hear, it was not something I was prepared for.  But I refuse to accept it as my reality.  So I am taking matters into my own hands. 

In recent years I have flirted with paleo, I would follow it a few months, feel better and then give in to cravings.  I never lost any weight on it thanks to always being on steroids, and so I would say that there was no point in following paleo as it didn't take any weight off me and I was still in pain and needing medication.  The truth is that I never stuck with it long enough to really see a difference.  I was never 100% paleo and so my body was always having some inflammatory foods.  With all of that in mind I have decided to embark on a 'Whole30' challenge.  This means that I will have no sugar, dairy, grains, white potato, legumes, alcohol, msg, carrageenan or sulphites for 30 days.  Yup, I too was wondering what the heck I was going to eat!

I didn't want to jump headlong into whole30 half prepared and only half focused.  Therefore I have spent the last couple of days reading up on it and planning my menu.  The idea is that you have 3 meals and no snacks.  There is a list of compliant food and if it isn't on the list then it is a no.  You weigh at the beginning of the month, do measurements if you chose to and a before picture.  Then you do not weigh yourself again until after you have completed your whole 30.  Should you consume anything not on the allowed list, then you must start right back at the beginning again! The idea is that you remove foods which can have an inflammatory effect on your body (in my case flares my arthritis) and the 30 days gives your body time to heal and reset it's immune system.

My whole30 begins tomorrow.  Keep checking back for my progress and feel free to join me.  It is free and you can only benefit from it.  It is only 30 days!