Symptom scoring

progress_lineWhen you have any sort of chronic condition, forward progress seems very slow and is erratic. Healing is never a straight path, so sometimes it is difficult to see how far you’ve come. This can be discouraging, to say the least, so it is a good idea to score your symptoms along the way with, say, a score of 10 for when they were at their worst and measuring relative to that.

It is obviously subjective but it can be uplifting if you find you have come further than you think. On the other hand, it also helps you to see where you are ‘stuck’ and you can then focus more on particualr aspects and/or up your game overall.

I realised when I started scoring my symptoms that some which were really severe at some points had virtually gone (eg arthritis, chest pain, breathlessness). I don’t have my blood pressure monitor with me but at its worst it was 175/95. It dropped to normal when I was doing the raw food regime for a few weeks but after the surgeries last year it became very high again – to the point where I got so scared I stopped taking it.

Things do change slowly but if you are doing as much as practical and being consistent with regard to the four pillars of health, you cannot help but move forward, even though it can be a rollercoaster ride at times and seem as if you are regressing. This is because the immune system, when it starts to work more efficiently, will cause inflammation and pain as infections get tackled. This can be scary but if there are no symptoms it is not a good sign, unless you know you are in the most robust of health. So try to stand back and be objective – this is where scoring comes in. There is no point scoring every day – recovery is more long term than that. I will be re-scoring every month, and probably the scores won’t decrease that much, as the last bits of healing take longer, very often, but as long as the general direction is OK I will try not to fret! It should also give me an idea of what is working most effectively in the various aspects of the healing journey so I can prioritise what I do. Everything will help, but some things move you along quicker than others and we can’t do absolutely everything.

My current scores

Symptom Current score compared with initial score of 10
Jaw pain intensity 7
Jaw pain frequency 7
Shoulder pain 7
Neck pain/stiffness 7
IC symptoms 7
Constipation 3
Lower back pain 3
Tiredness 5
Energy levels 5
Brain fog 3
Insomnia 4
Depression 4
Sinus pain 3
Arthritis symptoms 0
Chest pain 0
Breathlessness 0
High blood pressure ?
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My current basic health regime

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This is the regime (see below) I have tried to adhere to (some days more than others) for the past few months. It has certainly moved me forward to the point where I am not in pain all the time, day and night. One some days my energy levels are relatively high and I barely feel pain at all in my jaw. But I want to boost my recovery further and will be adding to the following over the next few weeks, with reasons why I am doing particular things.

Brief reasons for the basic plan are given below, as appropriate, and these tie in with the four pillars of health. At the moment I am away from home and outside of my ‘normal’ routine, so a few things have slipped. The ones in bold are those I intend to add back in next week when I am back on home turf (and what I did before coming away)

  1. Oil pulling first thing.
    This is good for anyone but especially those with dental issues as it helps to draw toxins out of the body and particualrly in the oral cavity. As pathogens are killed off, very nasty toxins are released. This helps to get them out of the body and reduce so called die off/herxheimer reactions. I found it helped a lot but haven’t got my oil with me (I use organic sesame but can use coconut oil or even sunflower oil if you wish). Basically it involves swishing about a tablespoonful of your chosen oil between your teeth for about 15-2o minutes, before you eat or drink anything. DON’T SWALLOW THE OIL as it contains a lot of toxins. Spit it out down the toilet (not down the sink) and rinse throughly or brush your teeth.
  2. Walk outside in sunlight/light or garden (30 mins) as soon as possible after waking – ideally within the first hour of waking. Why I haven’t done this more regularly since I’ve been in sunny Spain is beyond me – it would be the perfect place to do it. But I have been off track (had the odd glass of wine and strayed from my usual virtually vegan eating) and I have noticed a real impact on my mood and sleep pattern. I am back on track now so will be out there first thing tomorrow!. The reason that this is so beneficial is it helps set your melatonin by exposing your eyes to natural light, first thing. Studies show that it aids sleep and melatonin is also important in immunity.
  3. Antimicrobials. Curently I am taking colloidal silver and orengano oil. I’ve been a bit erractic but on the whole pretty good. I notice the benefit when I take them and the difference when I forget!
  4. High dose vitamin C. Again, a little erratic on a few days but, again, I notice a difference when I take it. This has literally been a life saver for me. I take around 30g a day, ideally spread across 6 doses of 5g (1 teaspoon) of ascorbic acid. Be careful to get non GMO. If you are sick, you will almost certainly be able to take this without reaching so called bowel tolerance (basically where your bowel empties out a bit like a bucket!). I have only ever reached BT once since I have been unwell and that was at 100g! I should probably take a bit more as ideally you should take around 75% of BT to help restore health. But it does give you gas and whilst on holiday I would prefer to be less ‘explosive!’ I will be upping the dose when I’m home though and closer to the bathroom!
  5. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day (walk, gardening or yoga). This really helps and it is something I have tried to keep going in Spain – no excuse but I am also revising for exams and working so it’s not really a holiday – but I have been relatively regular with this and from now on it is a given every single day.
  6. 70% + raw and at least two vegetable juices each day. The more raw I eat/drink, the better I feel. I love my cooked food and wish things were different but this makes such a difference to my wellbeing if I deviate it is immediately noticable. So, apart from a couple of days, I have stuck to this. I have a juice, grapefruit and smoothie for breakfast, a vegetable juice and big salad for lunch and a vegetable juice, cooked something or other and side salad with cooked veg for dinner. It is mostly vegan although I have had some fish – and even a very small amount of meat – whilst in Spain. What I notice immediately is a) less energy and b) I start to get constipated. It is so immediate and happens every time I stray that there is no question in my mind that I need to stay faithful to this eating regime and maybe even up the ante to push my recoevry on a bit.
  7. Probiotics before bed. I take VSL3 before bed and space it away from antimicrobials. I started doing this in Spain but have run out of VSL3 so will be resuming once my stocks are replete in the UK
  8. Mg oil at night or Epsom Salts baths twice a week. I don’t have either Mg oil or Epsom Salts here but will resume this back at home – most sick people are very deficient in magnesium and rubbng the oil in at night really helped me sleep.
  9. 2-3 litres of water per day. I feel so much better when I am well hydrated yet, for some reason, I find it one of the hardest things to achieve and I have slipped up on this – even in a hot environment. But this is the day when I resume full responsibility for hydration as there have been a couple of days when I have probably only achieved half of this.

Hmm – I realise how remiss I have been. I am not going to beat myself up but noting this down does focus the mind somewhat. It’s amazing how you think you are doing so much when, in reality, you aren’t doing what you think you are.

I am here in Spain for a few more days so will be concentrating on achieving everything apart from the items in bold which I will add back in as soon as I am home (Friday).

As of next week I will be adding in one or two more things such as rifing, using the Spooky2 frequencies for jawbone infections and a few other things, plus I will be adding in PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic frequency) and ozone water before breakfast. I will also be trying to discipline myself to go to bed earlier and start up the Wim Hof method again – details to follow.

 

 

The four pillars of health and ways to support them

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Anyone with a chronic health condition – or anyone who wants to avoid one – should do as much as they can in order to support these four key pillars of health. My goal is to at least be healthy enough to fully recover from another cavitation surgery – or hopefully to avoid one altogether. Bone infections are very hard to cure, especially in the jawbone. Many people have multiple surgeries and still have problems. There are people who have had as many as 60 surgeries only to have worse symptoms and health than before they started down the surgical route, so you really have to be firing on as many cylinders as possible – not only to feel better, but to stand any sort of chance of a successful surgical outcome.

Over the next few months I will be adding various of the following to my basic protocol, the elements of which I will document in a separate post. I will also be discussing the benefits of each one in more detail but, for now, this is just a brief overview of what can be done. Some of the following are things anyone can do with the minimum of expense and other require special equipment or treatment from a third party.

The pillars are inter-related; strengthen one and it will have a positive knock on effect on the others.

Pillar number 1 – Boost the immune system

It is often said that disease cannot exist in a person with optimum immune function. We have many systems in place to identify and destroy pathogens and rogue cells (eg cancer cells) if our immune system is as it should be. The problem is that most people’s aren’t – for various reasons I will cover in more depth at a later date. Here are some of the things that can be done that will have an immediate beneficial effect on immunity:

  • Nutrition dense diet – especially vegetables, greens being particularly helpful but all vegetables, especially highly coloured ones, which contain elements called phytonutrients that are INCREDIBLY powerful at boosting the immune system. Try to incorporate several helpings of greens, a couple of helpings of cruciferous vegetables, a serving of mushrooms, onions, garlic and root vegetables each and every day. For maximum effectiveness have some of them raw in juices, salads and smoothies. They are easier to digest in juices than anything else, so if you are very sick, that is the best form to take them. Highly coloured fruit, such as berries, is also very beneficial for your immune system and living foods like sprouts and/or wheathgrass are incredible for all round health as they contains all the enzymes intact which makes them easier to digest as well as imparting so called ‘life force’ to the body. Chew food thoroughly to get as much nutrition from it as possible and to support good digestion.

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  • Sleep. We are generally a sleep deproved lot. There is so much to destract us with technology, plus worries about things like health and finances – probably more than any preceding generation. Insomnia is endemic and this has a terrible effect on our immune systems. The answer is simple – if not easy. Get into good bedtime habits; no technology for at least an hour before bed, darkened bedroom, tidy bedroom and one which is not too hot. Avoiding sugar, alcohol and stimulants and eating a nutritious diets will really help sleep. Getting worries down on paper (eg writing a prioritised list for the next day) will help put your mind in a calmer place and calm the thoughts that churn round and round as you are trying to nod off. Get some exercise and fresh air every day if possible and get some light, ideally sunlight, exposure as soon as you can after waking to stimulate melatonin production. An early morning walk in the sunshine will impart a host of benefits. You can also wear orange glasses at night to cut down on blue light, which supresses melatonin production. These are available from Amazon and are great for anyone who is addicted to their screens, which emit blue light.
  • Reduce stress as much as possible – of all kinds. This is a broad subject, but any sort of stress will affect your immune function by raising cortisol. So keep well nourished, well hydrated and well rested. Manage your time well (I will be covering time management in a later post) by writing lists and priotising and delegate as much as you can. Deep breathing several times a day can be very effective at lowering stress hormones, as can meditation and yoga.

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  • Get happy. Raising endorphins has been shown to boost immune function, so have a laugh whenever possible. Avoid situations or people that drain you or make you feel guilty, miserable or agitated. Focus on the good in your life/the world as often as you can. There is so much gloom, doom, corruption and negativity in the world it is easy to get pulled down. Be aware and turn it around as best you can. Think of three things to be grateful for last thing at night and first thing in the morning. It really does help.
  • Avoid/limit sugar and refined foods Fake foods and sugar will really stress your body. Sugar has been shown to depress the immune sysytem dramatically for several hours following consumption. It also feeds the bad bugs so it is massively detrimental to health. Processed carbs convert to sugar quickly so have a similar effect. Food additives are stressful to the body – thay are not recognised as foods and act as toxins. Eat real food as much as possible and choose as high a quality as you can afford.
  • Improve gut health. Around 80% of immune fuction is gut based. Creating a better environment for gut bacteria by clearing out toxic waste (see next section) and replacing/encouraging good bugs (fermented foods and probiotics), plus healing the gut by, eg, having a three day liquid diet (soups, smoothies, vegetable juices, blended veg) and eating food that encourages your own beneficial strains to fluorish (high fibre diet with veg, legumes and some fruit) will have a significant impact on your immunity and general mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Avoid mineral and vitamin deficiency. Vitamin D, zinc and magnesium are often deficient in immune compromised individuals. Deficiency of vitamin C and some B vitamins can also be an issue. By eating a nutrient rich diet you can help to avoid this but for vitamin D, the best source is sunlight so get outside as often as you can and expose as much skin as possible (decently!), depending on the climate. You can get your vitamin and mineral status checked but it is probably safe to say that if you are ill you would benefit from taking extra zinc and having Epsom Salts baths a couple of times a week or using magnesium oil, as magnesium is best absorbed via the skin. It can be very relaxing if you have issues with insomnia, so it can help support immune function further by aiding more restful sleep.

Pillar number 2 – get rid of the bad stuff (detox)

  • Avoid constipation/have a clear out. Most people are constipated and have a lot of old faecal matter clinging to their colons. This is detrimental to health and should be addressed. There are several ways to move things along – examples are as follows:

Colonic irrigation You can go to a professional for this. It is not the world’s most pleasant experience but good for long term constipation and a quick result. You feel great afterwards too.

Colon cleanses you can do at home (eg Blessed Herbs Colon Cleanse, Oxy Powder from GHC). The former does a very ‘thorough’ job on old feacal matter, the latter is a gentler but less far reaching. You can also do a psyillium husk cleanse (lots of info online). Whenever cleansing drink LOTS of water. This goes for any of the other detox procedures listed.

Other: There is a protocol called the Wilking Protocol which advises flushes using salt, vitamin C and magnesium. This is something I intend to try but cannot comment on it right at this moment. I prefer to try things myself before giving a verdict, but many people have had good results form this – there is a Facebook page you can check out if you wish. Not only does flushing help you release old toxins but the materials used are antibacterial and it is claimed to help rid your body of mercury and heavy metals.

  • Flush out toxins through the kidneys Drinking loads of water is essential – between 2.5 and 3 litres a day, especially if you are de-toxing. This will help your body deal with the increased toxic burden as pathogen cells release their contents and help you excrete via the bowels and kidneys. Coffee, black tea and caffeinated beverages plus alcohol and fizzy drinks will all dehdrate your body. Try to avoid them but if you do have a small amount of any of these, double up the amount with water to help replace that which is lost.

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  • Get the lymph circulating. Your lymphatic system plays an important role in helping you fight disease and deal with toxins. Be kind to it by getting your lymph circulating. Lymph circulates with help from the muscles plus you can use things like massage and skin brushing. So exercise is essential to help move the lymph around your body. Rebounding is often suggested as it helps the whole lymphatic system. You can also get vibration plates quite cheaply on Amazon and just a short 10 minute session on one of these will help both lymphatic and blood circulation as well as impart many other benefits.
  • Breathe! There are many benefits of deep breathing and one of them is that we expel toxins via the lungs, so breathing in deeply and expelling as much on the outbreaths as possible is a good way to help reduce the toxic load. Exercise that leaves you slightly breathless is obviusly also helpful in this respect
  • Detox through your biggest organ. The skin is the body’s largest organ and often overlooked in the role of detoxing. Sweating is a very good way to get rid of many toxins, some of which may be harder to get out vis other routes, such as heavy metals. Saunas are great, as is doing exercise to the point of sweating. Salt baths can help draw toxins out of the skin, so you could alternate those with your epsom salt baths.
  • Minimise exposure. Choose and use as many ‘natural’ products as you can in your immediate environment and on/in your body. Again, this will be looked at in more depth later on and will cover things like making your own cleaning and skincare items, having purer air in your home and so on.

Pillar number 3 – oxygenate

Every cell in our body needs oxygen to fluorish and most pathogens aren’t overkeen on an oxygenated environment, so keeping well oxygenated is a win:win situation. There are simple and cheap ways to do this, such as deep breathing, exercising (outdoors, ideally) and eating a diet high in raw green foods such as salads, juices or smoothies.

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You can also oxygenate by therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen and/or ozone, both of which will be covered in detail in later posts.

Pillar number 4 – reduce pathogenic load

This will be something I will be focusing on in a big way. It is something any sick person will need to consider – there is a huge link between many chronic conditions and an overload of pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. As the immune system gets overwhelmed and the body becomes weaker, it is difficult to address the balance with just food and detoxing alone. To speed things up/help the body heal, identifying and lowering the load can be incredibly beneficial. There are several ways this can be done – here are a few examples:

  • ‘Natural’ antimicrobials. There are many antimicrbials other than conventional antibiotics, many of which have been shown to be equally effective or, in some cases, more effective, often with less of a dramatic impact on our beneficial flora. To name a few – colloidal silver, oregano oil capsules, olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, rosemary extract.
  • High dose vitamin c. This is an in depth subject but high dose vitamin c, both intraveous and oral, has been used successfully to treat a number of seemingly impossible to cure infections such as sepsis, H1N1, snake bites, malaria etc. Thomas Levy has written some fascinating books on the hugely beneficial properties of vitamin c. The work of Klenner and Pauling is well documented and worth looking at.
  • Ozone and other oxidative therapies. High dose vitamin C is classed as an oxidative therapy as are things like ozone treatments, hyperbaric oxygen, MMS and hydrogen peroxide. In simple terms, the aim is to create a high oxygen environment which is lethal to most pathogens.
  • Rife machines. Again, in simple terms, the idea behind Rife machines to to use frequencies that are pathogen specific in order to disrupt the cell membrane of particular pathogens a little like an opera singer can shatter glasses with a frequency that resonates with the glass. I have purchased a Spooky2 and will be documenting how I get along with it as I introduce various frequency sets and use the different elements.

The next post will be a basic daily plan that I will be following and that anyone can implement with no special equipment. It is designed to help support all the above pillars so that, if you are in less than perfect health, you can help your body to move forward in the right direction. As the weeks go by I will be adding in/test driving other therapies and measurely how my symptoms fare, accordingly.

 

 

Near death experience and catch up

So much has happened since I last posted in 2014, but I will keep it to the abridged version!

Mexico

In a bid to get my health on track, try to minimise the impact of my jawbone infection and to help my daughter with her type 1 Diabetes, we went to Mexico several times in 2014 and 2015. The first place we went to was RCT in Puerto Penasco for some targeted peptide treatment. This cost a fortune but both of us were in a pretty bad state of health and it was worth investigating. What is life worth, basically? It certainly helped both of us initially but then the doses were reduced as an experiment and gradually we started to slide back. We bought a few more of the higher doses of injections, which helped, but we couldn’t afford the price of the treatment to maintain the beneficial effects.

We then went to another place in Mexico, which was less expensive at the time. This was in Tijuana, where we got stem cell treatment and immune modulation. Again, this helped and we felt a lot more ‘human’ when we got back. The other things that helped both of us – and they were a lot cheaper in Mexico – were HBOT and IV vitamins and glutathione. If only we could get the same thing for the same price in the UK. If I were in a chronic condition and lived in the US, I would book myself on a flight to Mexico and have a few weeks of both of those, as we felt totally amazing after even just a few.

I carried on with HBOT when I got back to the UK at a local MS centre but, although it helped, the pressure was a lot less than the chamber in Mexico and I would have had to go to a diving centre to achieve the same results, which would have been difficult, not to mention costly.

Spain

My health started to slide gradually and I was – and still am – always aware that I have to look after myself way more than the average person or the jawbone flares up. My blood pressure was rising, my shoulder on the same side as the infection was constantly painful, my sleep pattern was off and I was getting more breathless plus my (what I now realise) IC symptoms were worsening.

Out of the blue I got contacted by someone who knew I had a jawbone infection and missing teeth and she told me about a supposedly brilliant maxillofacial surgeon in Lugo, Spain, who not only operated on jawbone infections but used ozone (a must) to help sterilise the site and could place zirconia implants. I felt the stirrings of hope and contacted him. He answered all my questions to my satisfaction and it sounded almost too good to be true – a perfect fit, on paper, at any rate.

After a week in Madrid with my mum I went off to Lugo by bus. I met up with some great people and had the chance to immerse myself in Spanish, somehow managing to communicate. The Hotel was full of ‘mature’ Spanish people on a package and smelt of sulphur because of the sulphur baths. Apart from that it was fine. I had a room overlooking the river, the staff were lovely and Lugo was an attractive town.

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I went up to the Polusa hospital to meet up with Dr Mendonca. He was not exactly what I anticipated. I took my CT scans with me and he barely glanced at them. I told him that several people had said the infection in the jawbone was so big it was virtually inoperable but he shrugged that off and said it was ‘very small’. I thought maybe he was used to bigger problems than mine, so convinced myself that this could be a good thing – ie it was possibly no big deal to him because of his experience. He took an x-ray and told me I would need to have several teeth out on both sides, leaving only four at the top and I could replace them with implants but only the bases of the implants would be placed initially. I was shocked, to say the least. He was dismissive of my concerns and implied I was being vain and pathetic. He told me he could sort the infection out, do a sinus lift, a bone graft, 5 extractions and fit 8 implants at one sitting. As I only went there to get the infection sorted out and investigate the possibility of implants it was a lot to take in. I got back to the hotel room and contacted the person who had recommended him, telling her I thought I would go for a second opinion. She absolutely bent over backwards to convince me not to do this and to stick with Dr Mendonca, telling me how amazing a surgeon he was and, essentially, how fortunate I was to have this opportunity. She had seemed genuine enough in our previous correspondences so I allowed myself to be swayed by her, against my better judgement, as it turned out. But I decided to draw the line at having teeth pulled out on the other side and, in the end, we agreed that I would have the two extractions, 5 implants, sinus lift and bone graft.

When I went back for the surgery I was very nervous but tried to think of how I would feel when it was all over – FINALLY the end of many years of knowing this was lurking in the background, a constant drain on my health and energy. The other patients I had met from the UK had been operated on in a theatre but Dr Mendonca told me my operation was ‘very small’ and it could be done in a chair at a closed off area at the back of his office. Even as I am typing this I realise how idiotic I was to go along with him – on every front – but it is difficult when you have few options and you are on your own in a strange country with an arrogant surgeon, being reassured by an apparently intelligent and decent fellow Brit that he was as good as it gets in the dental surgery arena.

As I was coming round from the surgery Dr Mendonca told me they had done a lot more than he thought – and that the cavitation was ‘massive.’ Well, hello, did I not explain that to him when I showed him the CT scan? I tried to push the doubts about his judgement to the back of my mind and concentrate on moving forward. During the next few days I didn’t feel too great but thought that was just the aftermath of all that surgery. I got back to the UK and felt worse and worse. I started to suspect that I may have an infection and contacted Dr Mendonca. He told me it was ‘detox’. After another day or so I knew it definitely wasn’t detox. I was in agony and my partner was very worried. I called Dr Mendonca and we agreed that I would fly to Spain in the next few days and he would take a look. He opened up the surgery site and said there was a ‘mild’ infection. One of the implants fell out – the bone graft hadn’t taken but he said he was taking it out ‘as a precaution’.

I felt better to begin with as the infected material was released but after a day or two I got worse and worse. A huge amount of gunk was going down the back of my throat and I could not sleep lying down. I felt hot and sick with general malaise. It was extremely frightening. Eventually I saw Dr Mendonca who was very vague about what to do. He said I must be ‘immune compromised’. Well anyone with any sort of infection in the bone is pretty much immune compromised so he would have known that in the first place. I decided to go home early but asked him about my lower jaw, which had also flared up after the surgery. I asked if he had come across infected bone there when he was operating. He avoided the question several times but eventually said ‘no – it was perfect.’

At home my condition deteriorated further and neither Dr Mendonca nor the person who had recommended him wanted to know. I contacted Munro Hall clinic in Bedfordshire – the place I would have gone to for a second opinion had I not been persuaded against it beforehand. They normally have a three month waiting list but, after reading my notes, they told me to get in the car and get there that day as I was in a life threatening condition.

Munro Hall

It was confirmed I had both chronic and acute infection right along both the top and bottom of my jaw on the right hand side. Dr Mendonca had just banged implants into infected bone. I was slotted in for emergency surgery – all the implants were removed, another tooth taken out and the jawbone scraped. It was a well performed surgery but, as I was in such a poor state of health when I got there, although it saved my life at the time, I did not – and have not – made a complete recovery.

Brighton

Dr Mendonca had not only driven the infection deeper into the bone, he also punctured the sinus floor with one of the implants, so the foul tasting gunk at the back of my throat was still constantly flowing and I had a hole between my mouth and nose which was impossible to keep clean. I had antibiotics, high dose vitamin c (which I am sure kept me alive) and ozone injections into the site, but it was very touch and go. Everyone was concerned and I really though I had no future with my partner and family. I was in constant misery and pain and couldn’t see a way through. One of the dentists at Munro Hall recommended the Vision of Hope Clinic in Brighton for high dose vitamin c infusions and ozone therapy. I contacted Dr Andre and headed off down. When I got there I was completely broken – in pain, grey looking, chest pains. I went to grab some food shopping from Waitrose that night and envied every single person for being ‘normal’. I Googled euthanasia and cried when I realised I couldn’t even afford to die – at least not by that method. That night was the worst of my life. I used everything I could think of to bring the infection and pain down and eventually found some Jim Humble information about dental infections that recommended a combination of MMS and DMSO. It was totally foul and as I swished it round my mouth a load of the mixture came out of my nose, combined with discoloured blood. It was truly my lowest point.

The next day Dr Andre cheerily asked me how I’d found the previous night – and I burst into tears. He hooked me up for my first treatment – autohaemotherapy, which is ozone mixed with some of your blood. He also irradiated the mix with UV light. Later that day I had IV Vitamin C and I felt marginally better. After my second lot of treatments on the Monday I felt well enough to walk into Brighton. It was fantastic just to be able to sit in a cafe and sip on peppermint tea without thinking about death and pain constantly.

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I met some great people in those two weeks and felt significantly better when I left. I dipped a bit and decided to go back for another week, just for a few more treatments as it was all we could afford. I also did a juice fast – which was really hard at the time but fast forwarded me tremendously.

This all took place last year – I had the surgery in May and my last visit to the Vision of Hope Clinic was in July. I am still not well – but I am better than I was then. My challenge now is to get better – completely – doing whatever it takes. That is what my future posts will focus on – the things I do, why they should help not only me (hopefully), but many other with chronic illness and how successful I have found them to be.

 

Adrenal challenge day 65 – New You in 22 continued

Oh dear – this really is a pretty rammed time for me. I feel as if there definitely aren’t enough hours in the day and I can usually squeeze a bit of time to blog but it’s been crazy. I am away from home a LOT, inspecting garden centres (for work) in the north of the UK, getting back, writing reports and, basically, setting off again. This is no good for the adrenals, I can tell you 🙂

Despite all this, I am trying to stick to the New You in 22 regime – it would be a whole lot easier if I didn’t have to visit garden centre cafes with their array of gorgeous cakes!! When I am home, I have my new favourite breakfast, a smoothie to top all smoothies (in my humble opinion):

  • Handful of mixed berries (blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry – any combination, I use the whole lot!!)

  • Tablespoon-ish of melted coconut oil (don’t let it get too hot or it heats up the smoothie) (lots of good stuff in this and helps balance blood sugar)

  • 3-4 ice cubes

  • Unsweetened almond milk (add more of this or some water if smoothie is too thick for you)

  • Tablespoon of flax seeds (fibre and good fats)

  • Scoop of protein powder (I use rice protein powder but good quality whey is recommended)

  • Half an avocado (good fats and gives a nice creamy taste) 

Blend well. It’s yummy and very filling. I like the sweetness of it but if it’s not sweet enough for you, add some Stevia. I thought I was permanently wedded to my previous breakfast of fruit, almond milk, nuts and buckwheaties but I just can’t wait to have this in the morning now. I keep meaning to take a picture of it but I’m usually half way down it before I remember!!

So – the programme (although I haven’t followed it totally strictly all the time) is good. It’s similar to Paleo, but more heavy on the good fats (coconut oil, avocado, good quality fish, meat, butter etc) and lighter on the protein. This seems to suit me well – the fats have definitely helped my skin, which has a tendency to be on the dry side, and I also don’t like having too much meat. Unlike Paleo, the breakfast option of having a fruit based smoothie rather than meat has much more appeal. The recommended program is quite ‘meaty’ re lunch and dinner, but eggs or fish may be used instead, so it tends to work OK for me, although in a couple of weeks I will probably reduce the meat even more and see how that works. The good thing about the addition of fats from coconut oil and avocado etc to the breakfast smoothie is that it doesn’t raise your blood sugar too much, so your insulin levels don’t spike.

Controlling the levels of hormones is a lot of what this programme is all about. As well as the usual focus on insulin, hormones like leptin and grehlin are also considered. These play an important role in regulating appetite and metabolic rate. A low carb regime is followed for the first 10 days and on the evening of the 10th day you have what is called a ‘carb’ feast. It can be ‘healthy’ such as sweet potato/brown rice or fruit, or even full on cake and chips. This gives a deliberate spike in insulin and prevents your body getting too used to low carb living and thus adapting to it by lowering your metabolic rate. Thereafter, you have a carb feast every 4th night. The problem for me is that having a carb feast seems to set off my carb cravings so it’s tough to re-adapt (for me) the next day. My weight has levelled at 141lbs (still 4lbs down) but as I am under a fair bit of pressure at the moment and not getting to bed as early as I should, this will also be having an effect (a very interesting insight into the effects of stress and lack of sleep is also part of the program, but more of that another day.) It’s probably not a good time to be test-driving this, but I am going to carry it on for a while anyway and fine tune it to suit my own lifestyle and beliefs about what is good for me, having tested quite a few things by now. The fine-tuning will begin in around two weeks after a pretty full on week work-wise this week and a trip to Mexico and Las Vegas next week. Hasta pronto!!

 

Adrenal Challenge Day 37 – New You in 22

It’s been a while since I posted – two weeks to be precise – and a lot has happened in those two weeks. The main thing is my brother’s funeral, which was very sad, obviously. It did, however, give our somewhat dysfunctional family a chance to get together.

There is almost a clean split between the sensible side of the family and the drinking, smoking side. We all love each other but it made for an almost comical scenario at the wake. The hard core smokers and drinkers were outside, getting more blasted by the minute, and the ‘sensible’ ones (if you could call us that – we are still totally mad) were inside, drinking tea or water!! It wasn’t a young/old split either – there are representatives from three generations on both sides.

The death of a loved one is a weird thing. You feel utterly and totally bereft but strangely, I have felt comfortingly close to Paul since his death, as if we are in constant contact. There have been too many strange coincidences for me to think I am imagining it and, after a really traumatic day following the funeral, when I didn’t see the point of anything, I am sort of calm and accepting, despite thinking of him all the time and feeling sad that I can’t hug him or call him.

On a different (but related) note, I had started something called ‘New You in 22’ by Jonny Bowden – almost without intending to – the Sunday before Paul’s funeral (ie a week ago) in a bid to lose the weight gain of 9lbs that had crept on in a stealthy manner over the past few months. The problem was that I was following the ‘adrenal’ advice of eating three meals and having two snacks in a bid to keep my blood sugar balanced. Well, it may have done that, but it also made my waistline (and a few other bits) expand. I also wanted to get my thyroid a bit more motivated and this programme claims to help with one’s metabolism. To be honest I didn’t give it all too much thought but have been reading through the e-book and it is (surprisingly for me) one of the most educational, illuminating texts I have ever read about hormones and weight gain. Because of all the upset, I think I may have veered off track with other programmes, but this one has been so easy to integrate (and I wanted to keep strong as a sort of tribute to Paul in any case), I just kept it going without cheating.

Suffice it to say for the moment that I have not felt at all hungry, it is a doddle to follow and really makes amazing scientific sense. I have also lost 4lbs in a week. Not only that, despite the crying and angst of the past few weeks – my skin looks better, the whites of my eyes are clearer and I can’t quite believe it!! This is particularly impressive because I eat a low carb diet anyway, but the surprisingly useful addition of good fats at every meal has made a tremendous difference.

I will be doing some more in-depth posts about it in the next few weeks – especially after my ‘carb feast’ on Tuesday night!! I haven’t read everything yet but so far, so good. Will keep you posted…..

Adrenal Challenge Day 23 – some good (health) news

ImageDespite the fact that life has continued to be challenging over the past two weeks, particularly the tragic, sudden death of my brother, there has been a noticeable difference in my health issues – in a good way.

In December when I first went to Mexico – and even the last time I was there in January – my blood pressure was not good. It hovered around 173/99 and, considering my diet is pretty good and I’m not particularly overweight, I was at a loss as to how to reduce it. It was almost certainly as a result of stress (ie general life stress and the infection in my jawbone) and the fact that my adrenals were really struggling. Blood pressure tends to drop at first when the adrenals are on the way out but can ramp right up when in the late stages of adrenal fatigue. I do also believe that what is called ‘white coat hypertension’ may also have had an influence. This is when patients get stressed about getting their blood pressure taken and it can increase it by quite a bit.

My mum and my other half were worried and kept nagging me to get it checked out and get my heart checked out too, as I kept getting chest pains, but I figured if some of the problem was caused by going to the doctors, maybe I should invest in a blood pressure monitor I can use at home. I got an Omron model – not expensive (about £20/30 dollars from Amazon) and very easy to use. Even then I was worried about finding the results as it sort of freaked me out when they were no better the second time I went to Mexico. I have been working pretty hard on managing stress and have used some very helpful pieces of equipment and techniques (which I will post about in detail over the next few weeks) but I was still apprehensive. Anyhow, the results have been impressive, as you can see from the picture – 122/74 with a pulse rate of 65. And that was not long after a cup of tea and a brisk walk!! Yay!! So – this is absolutely normal. According to the chart I looked at, for a woman of my age (55) the normal range for systolic (top figure) is 110-144 (average of 131) and for the diastolic (bottom figure) is 82-90 (average 86), so I’m actually below average. My pulse is in the ‘excellent’ range (one step below athlete – good to know) for a woman of my age, so I must have been doing something right.

Anyone who has had (and resolved) health issues will know how pleased I feel, and of course this is not the happiest of times for me, plus I am still working pretty hard (to pay for the treatment in Mexico :)) I have also seen some good improvements in other areas – ie

– my fibromyalgia pains are much less frequent and reduced in intensity

– my sleep quantity and quality has been better generally, although I do wake up thinking about Paul and sometimes can’t get back to sleep because I feel so sad

– my back pain and flexibility is improving – and holding. I used to have some good days and some bad days but now it seems to be getting consistently better as the weeks pass

– my jaw pain is less intense and less continuous than it was. It hasn’t gone, but sometimes I can forget it – this is so good after all this time.

– this may seem minor, but I am needing to go to the loo a lot less. I used to have to get up several times a night and had all the symptoms of interstitial cystitis (IC) with a tender, painful bladder. This has been much better and I am only getting minor flare ups from time to time

So – what do I think all this improvement is due to? Well I am sure that the treatment in Mexico is having a good effect but there are other things that I have added in/been more religious about doing recently which have definitely helped. I would like to put some more in-depth information up about them as they are so interesting and potentially helpful to many people (well – most people) so I will do this another day when I have the time to do it justice.

The main moral of today’s post is that if you do have high blood pressure and you have only had it checked at the doctors, buy your own monitor and check it at home as a first step. Many patients have been put on high blood pressure tablets simply because they have white coat hypertension and the reading is actually erroneous because of this. There are then many non-medication options available to you, which I will discuss in future posts.