Archive for the ‘Health’ Tag

Good Resource Before Your Next Appt   2 comments

Does this image look familiar?

It does for me. . . minus the full makeup, the smile, the perfect hair, and the spandex clothes.

ūüôā

I don’t even like to use the word headache anymore because I have dealt with my own migraine enough to understand that they are a whole-body dis-ease.

Today, I woke up at 4 am. ¬†I kept hitting my tooth that has a temporary crown on it. ¬†I slept off and on from 4 am to 7 am. ¬†I don’t think i had dreams, but I had a lot of “fretting” and it was not pleasant.

Before work, I scrambled some eggs and they sounded really unappetizing.  All I wanted was plain toast.

I got to work at 8:30 and went right in to a meeting with a smoker . . .

By lunch time, I was nauseated and a bit dizzy.

Back to work, with an ice pack for good measure.

Only to find that there was a huge machine tearing up the driveway in front of my office.  The noise was crazy and I could hardly concentrate.

Ugh.  Calgon could not take me away.  I had a report to write.

It does seem that I took my meds quick enough to stop the headache before it got worse and I could make it through the hot, humid, noisy afternoon.

But I came across this:

http://migraine.com/blog/doctor-patient-communication-set-up-your-own-migraine-summary-document/

I was happy and it was good timing.  I go to a new headache clinic/neurologist tomorrow and this will help me prepare.

Soon I will post about the tracking method I now have and whether or not it helps going to the doctor or not.

Anyway, I hope this document helps you too!

Namaste, Jennifer

Tsunami Of Sugar   1 comment

I thought this article was totally worth reposting. ¬†I found it off of Andrew Weil‘s post on Facebook today.

http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/why_our_food_is_making_us_fat

The author, from the UK, discusses how food has changed since the 70s and how sugar is in so many things that we don’t even expect.

Look at the information out there on inflammation — it’s on sugar, gluten, etc — not fat as we have been led to believe.

Looking for good information out there? ¬†Check out Integrative Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal. ¬†He gives a nice critique of “diets” out there. ¬†And he gives some good solid guidelines for eating healthy, rather than a diet.

Also, check out some of the new Paleo or caveman diets. . . I don’t know how much is hype and how much is real . . . they call for getting rid of wheat, dairy, and focuses on high healthy protein — and of course, non-processed foods. ¬†It’s worth a look.

If you are using anything like a Paleo diet to help with disease or weight loss, please post a comment and let us know how you are doing.

It’s All Interconnected: A Call for an Eightfold Path to Health   2 comments

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think one of the problems with successful migraine¬†maintenance is that there can be many comorbid conditions that you are experiencing… take a look at this post:

http://www.migrainesurvival.com/related-conditions

Most people don’t tend to get that migraines are a biopsychosocialspiritual dis-ease that affects ALL aspects of our lives. . . from how we manage our career and schooling, to mates we pick, to whether or not we have the energy for any kind of relationshps, to mood, perception, digestion, etc. ¬†Look at the comorbid disorders. . . cardiovascular, metabolic, gastrointestinal, sleep, etc.

I am pretty convinced that my migraines started from some pretty drastic dietary changes I made and a sleep disorder that I helped to co-create. ¬†I do believe that I had a predisposition to them as both of my parents have had headache problems over the years and the entire time I was growing up in CT, I had “sinus” headaches all the time.

I found a great letter in a book for you to share with people in your life who just don’t get your migraines (and I bet there are similar ones out there for other chronic pain conditions). ¬†I’ve thought about sharing it at work but hesitate. ¬†(I will post it in a few days). ¬†My supervisor has made some slight changes simply because she knows that she needs to make reasonable¬†accommodations¬†despite the fact that I am not disabled.

But I get tired of odd looks when I don’t go into a meeting because at least one person is a smoker and 3 are wearing things that make my face flush and my sinuses¬†inflamed¬†within minutes. ¬†I get tired of snide remarks when I have to wear sunglasses or earplugs.

I get more tired that people continue to talk loud, let doors slam, and wear scents when they know that they have to meet with me.

I get annoyed that people think I’m just having a headache and they don’t get that simple things like light, smells, sounds are literally painful to me. ¬†That something as simple as a client’s dirty diaper left in a hot bathroom all day long in my hallway is enough to have me in my office with ice on my head for a good part of the day. ¬†Or that keeping my window open all winter helps the room stay cool and that helps with the inflammation that I experience.

At work, I hear some pseudo-supervisors make comments about people’s “so-called two-day headaches”. ¬†I got tired of getting into trouble for making it into work for all my meetings during the week instead of taking off and then crashing by Friday or over the weekend.

It’s a pattern when you take off Monday or Friday don’t you know?

If someone would just google the incidents of “letdown migraines” they would see that this is not uncommon.

So what to do? ¬†Well, I can’t change the system and right now I can’t get out of the system.

But what I can do is try to live a whole-life approach to health. . .

Right Sleep

Right Meditation

Right Stress Relief

Right Nutrition

Right Relationships

Right Exercise

Right Mindfulness

Right Gratitude.

No, this is not the 8-fold path of the Buddha. ¬†ūüôā ¬†But maybe our biopsychosocialspiritual dis-eases and our living with them should have an 8-fold path. . .

So, let’s explore this together…

Yes, I think this is something that we will start looking at and I will kindly and compassionately challenge you to look at it and perhaps live it. ¬†I know when I incorporate more healthy living in my life, there is more health. ¬†I can’t cure it, but I can have much better quality of life.

Let’s touch base with each other and see what we come up with.

 

With deep compassion and gratitude,

~~ Jennifer

 

Don’t Let Up   4 comments

Lightning Strike In Sydney

Don’t let up when you find a protocol that seems to help!

I’ve seen this for years with people on psych meds… they take them, get to a good place and think, I’m fine. ¬†I don’t need those meds.

I’ve seen it with people struggling with addiction… I’ve changed people, places, and things. ¬†I’ve had some time. ¬†Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought. ¬†I can go to happy hour with the gang from work and drink club soda. . .

I’ve seen it with AIDS patients… I’m feeling great… I can let up on the cocktail of drugs. ¬†I already have AIDS, I can have unprotected sex.

And I’ve seen these very same people have rebound depression from stopping meds too quickly, have relapses from the slippery slope of that one drink, that one old using friend, and I have seen. . . well, people die from thinking they have outsmart AIDS.

Magical thinking doesn’t just go away when we reach a certain age like grade school age. ¬†We still think we have magical powers. ¬†Guess what, what we have is¬†responsibility¬†for our actions, thoughts, and words, not magic.

I’m writing this after having come from the doctor’s office. ¬†I let my guard down and feel like I’m paying the price. ¬†I started a new med that the doctor had suggested without going to “THE google” first.

I didn’t pay attention to the signs like dramatic shift in my thinking and behavior.

I didn’t listen to a friend when she said, “What the hell are you doing rolling the dice”…

So, I’ve had a migraine since Tuesday, on the heels of some stress at work, with really humid, crazy-shifting barometric pressures, and after bending the rules while taking my mom to brunch for her birthday.

I haven’t had a migraine this bad since I first got diagnosed 8 years ago. ¬†Well, this intense that I thought about an ER visit. ¬†I had a few years where I had daily migraines and thought a stray bus running over me was the only thing that would put me out of my misery. ¬†Mind you, I didn’t want jump in front of it, but if one happened into my dreams, while I was trying to sleep and could end it all, especially the pain, well, so be it.

But that was a dark night of the soul and I’ve worked hard to get to where I am.

You can’t stop the biofeedback.

Let me be more honest than that…

I can’t stop the biofeedback.

I can’t stop the mindful diet of foods that don’t create inflammation.

I can’t stop second guessing the doctors who don’t know enough about migraines or pain.

There are no holidays for good health.

There is learning from ill-fated decisions though.

A long time ago, I was a trainer for weight watchers and I learned a valuable lesson… when you screw up, don’t think, I can screw up all day today, the day is wasted… I can start over tomorrow.

B.S.

You start with that moment and make a better decision.

You make that day still count.

You can turn things around at any moment and get back to healing.

You need a plan.

You need friends to support you.

You need experts who you can trust.

You need love and compassion for yourself.

For me, this means making sure there is healthy food in the house — ie, high quality protein and lots of veggies with a few healthy grains like brown rice.

For me, this means being honest with friends so they can call me on my “stinking thinking” — to use a phrase from the 12-step tradition.

For me, it’s about making the time to manage stress by doing things I love.

For me, it’s about making sure I find mindful moments every day, every where, and in every aspect of my life.

For me, ultimately, it’s about walking the middle path, the road of balance and I’m lucky that I have something like the Eight-fold path to help me. . . as well as the Dharma, Sangha, and Buddha.

So, let’s get back to basics.

Let’s get on the cushion today, even if I have to sit there with ice on my head.

Let’s mindfully wash the dishes even if it’s one plate and then laying down for an hour to rest.

Let’s be gentle, honest, compassionate, and real with thinking and feeling.

Let’s start with that compassion and the breath. ¬†Let me, today, remember that it starts with being compassionate for myself and finding that connection with everyone else who is in that same place so that the armoring can melt and I can get in touch with the raw achy heart of the warrior.

And I have to remember, I have choices all along the path.

I let my guard down. ¬†But, I’m in pain and there is no reason who add shame, guilt, or anger onto what already is.

It’s time to remember what’s important, healing, and pertinent in this very moment… that would be health, breath, compassion, love, and connection.

So, at 12pm, I intend to turn the day around, even if it is only in very small ways… with every breath, I have that chance.

I hope you remember you do to.

~~ With lovingkindness

Warning: Flax isn’t always good for a body   2 comments

Flax

Flax (Photo credit: bwmaddog21)

You know… I really hate health food some times!

People just assume that if it is good for one, it’s good for all.

And the FDA does a horrible job at keeping up with the need to label allergens.

As much as EVERYONE is on the flax is the perfect food bandwagon, you have to be careful what you eat.

Twice I have gotten very sick by eating/ingesting healthy things.

The first time was when I took a natural decongestant when I lived in TN.  It had bee pollen in it and I blew out an ear drum a few weeks before moving away to grad school.

Flax seed

Flax seed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other time was, at the instance of a then-boyfriend who was a health food freak, when I started taking flax-seed oil supplements and eating bread made from flax-seed. ¬†He insisted that it was a “bad” batch of flax until I found a site from Andrew Weil that said it was possible. ¬†I didn’t want to go to the ER so I made him stay up all night with me, to make sure that I could breathe as my throat closed.

And what did I learn? ¬†Never date a guy who insisted on things I did not feel comfortable with … like crazy “health” remedies that felt counter intuitive. ¬†And get to the doctor when you are not sure…

My point is, if you are intuitive at all, do your own research and go within to decide what you need to do about your own body… don’t let someone try to force you to do a treatment (of any kind) that you don’t feel is safe. ¬†Don’t fall for gimmicks that promise the moon and will most likely not even deliver moon rocks!

Here is a blog post that disguises her experiences with flax.

Learn from our lessons.  When in doubt, research, research, research!

http://allergyfoodie.com/2010/03/16/uncommon-allergies-flax-seed/

Here’s What Harvard Says About Healthy Eating   2 comments

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/ — the article where I found this diagram

Remember that health institutions put out guidelines for the general public.  I do believe that some people do better with some foods or should totally avoid some foods.

I think this is a great depiction of what a plate should look like. ¬†Research shows that most women with migraines tend to eat high carb, high fat diets and I am sure there are a lot of reasons why… comfort and the ease of digestion come to mind first.

Be smart. ¬†Don’t be extreme. ¬†Listen to your body. ¬†Breathe. ¬†Drink water. ¬†Manage Stress. ¬†Love some one or something… or practice lovingkindness to all beings.

For Love. . .   3 comments

cold-cuts-photo-from-alex-belths-bronx-banter-blog

cold-cuts-photo-from-alex-belths-bronx-banter-blog

(Things to Avoid List Below)

Things are so much easier to do when you are doing them out of love… or for someone you love.

I guess I must have loved myself enough to do all this research…. but I am sharing it because someone I love has pain issues and I don’t ever want someone to feel un-empowered.

We might be able to take away pain, but we can take away suffering.

My neurologist only did so much… well, he took me off of 7 different medications that could have killed me. . . that’s a lot. He told me dead on though that if I thought foods were a trigger, I needed to solve that on my own.

There were so many things that the pain psychologist, pain specialist, biofeedback technician, primary doctor, etc didn’t do and well, all I can say is I am grateful to Google and other search engines.

We can become empowered when we learn… doctors usually don’t take the time to teach which is a shame. ¬†When I told the pain specialist, I want to figure out what part of my pain I am causing and figure out ways to stop it, he looked at me with a blank look… then he proceeded to say… well, you’re more sophisticated than most of my clients, they just want me to fix them and they won’t take any of the blame.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, it’s not about blame, it’s about¬†responsibility, it’s about being an agent of change!

Never will I have a doctor (or anyone else tell me)… I’m sorry… it will be like this forever, there is nothing you can do.

Why?

Because even if I was diagnosed with something that could end my life, I still have choices, I still have my attitude, I still have my breath, and I still have hope.

Now, I’m not talking blind hope or something like denial. ¬†I’m talking hope… the kind I had when I trusted my¬†acupuncturist, like when I trusted my physical therapist and massage therapist. ¬†Like when I trusted myself to keep data and do my homework, including reading everything that was out there.

These foods can create difficulties for a number of reasons:  having histamine responses, being high in tyramine, tannins, nitrates, etc.  And not all of these foods will bother you.  But this can give you a guideline.

Interestingly, if you look at diets suggested for some health conditions, like rosacea, there are a lot of similarities.. well, many diseases have at their root inflammation and so similar things will trigger inflammatory responses.

Now, I make my own choices… if I am craving pizza, (can you tell that I love pizza I keep writing about it)… I make sure I don’t do something silly like eat it with a bowl of soup or with a big salad with lots of cheese. ¬†I can still have a headache, but I minimize the possible effects. ¬†And I know to take my migraine medicine before hand. ¬†I don’t make a practice of it but if the craving is there, I’ve tried some mindful eating, and it persists, I don’t beat myself up any more… I take cautious action.

So, I’m going to give you another tool… A list of Foods to Avoid if you have symptoms of migraine headaches. ¬†Here it is: ¬†foods to avoid Sheet1

I spoke with someone I love today and promised this list… so here it is to anyone who reads this blog.

I hope it helps you to feel empowered to change your own health.

I hope it helps you to find safety, deep peace, joy, and lasting success.

What’s next? ¬†A list of foods that are usually safe. ¬†YES, there are safe foods.

So, may this be a labor of love for the people in my life that have pain, particularly migraines.  May the merit of my work and my words bring some comfort and ease to others.

Namaste!

Posted March 31, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

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