Monday, 20 October 2014

MRI Results


Current updates on my journey through chronic pain, include (1) the flu during midterm season (2) trigeminal neuralgia flares up and an apparent degenerative disc. due to MRI results.

1)This flu has lasted at least a week n a bit and has been kind enough to join me through midterms with a side of brain fog that makes everything fuzzy. Thus in between intimate dates with my washroom I've been studying for midterms and desperately trying to focus. While taking exuberant amounts of vitamins, soup and green tea. I am doing my best, and when that fails I watch funny John Oliver video's and pin funny jokes to make me laugh :)  

2) The MRI results showed an inflamed trigeminal nerve explains the paralyzing pains I've had in my head lately and I would explain it myself but I found I don't remember a lot of what the Dr told me as brain fog seems to cloud it out. However Ainsworth institute explains it as being, "also known as tic douloureux, trigeminal neuralgia is a neuropathic disorder involving the trigeminal nerve (the 5th cranial nerve) that has been diagnosed as among the most painful conditions known to mankind. While its overall estimated incidence is low (1 in 20,000), there may be significantly more people suffering from this due to misdiagnosis. Patients with frequently describe stabbing, burning, electrical shocks, shooting pains in the distribution of the trigeminal nerve that can last seconds to hours. Things as harmless as the wind or chewing have been known to bring on the symptoms. Several theories exist as to the cause, but as of yet there is no consensus." This seems to be somewhat related to the neuropathic pains that I've been suffering.  Yet life goes on, my Dr. has lowered my Lyrica dose down to 300mg in the morning and upped the Nortriptyline  to 30 mg at night to help with the pain. Then also added in Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM for the degenerative disc. Currently the Pain Specialist wants to pursue looking into the possibility of MS. And the Endocrinologist is looking into the reasoning behind my swollen thyroid, decreased function, multiple nodules and their sizes. So that is the medical side of life, and now back to studying, through brain fog to attempt midterms tomorrow. 

~Elysia B 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Summer discoveries: Brownies, Knitted shapes, and Frozen herbs

Top discoveries this summer:

1. Coconut Flour Brownies:

A handy tip for using or substituting coconut flour:

  •   use 1 egg to every 1/4 cup of coconut flour  required. 
The recipe that I used to try it out was pinned on pintrest and can be found here, although I altered it a bit as you can see below and it was still amazing. Yet a tip about this recipe is that I found it was quite dry and crumbly so be forewarned. Perhaps coconut oil and an egg per 1/4 cup of dry ingredients would have been better. I will try it again, as it was so delicious that even the crumbs were inhaled.   

Coconut Flour Brownies.
    makes one 8x8 or 9x9 pan
    1/2 cup  butter (coconut oil)
    3/4 cup  brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 tsp  vanilla extract
    1/3 heaping cup  cocoa powder
    1/4 cup  organic coconut flour
    1/2 tsp  baking powder
    1/2 tsp  baking soda
    1/4 cup  dark chocolate chunks

To make your brownies:
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2.  In a medium bowl, use a mixer to cream butter with sugar, until light and fluffy.
  3.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
  4.  Add vanilla extract.
  5.  In another bowl, sift cocoa powder and coconut flour to remove lumps.
  6.  Stir flour mixture into wet mixture and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7.  Pour into a greased/oiled 8x8 or 9x9 pan, depending on how thick you want your brownies. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.
  8.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until center is slightly set and springy, and the sides are pulling away from the pan.
  9.  Cool and enjoy!

2. Knitting a Hexagon Blanket:

After seeing it on pinterest and then being frustrated by only finding crochet patterns my search has ended and I have found that brilliant knitting pattern! So now I can begin a new project for my favourite old yarns to get used up by! Here is the pattern copied from Knitty, Vintage, and Rosy.

One Hexagon requires about 12 yards of wool

Cast on 79 stitches.


Row 1. And every odd row, Purl.

Row 2. K2T, K 10, *Slip 1, K2T, PSSO, K10. Repeat *four times. Slip 1, K1, PSSO.

Row 3. Purl

Row 4. K2T, K8, *Slip 1, K2T, PSSO, K8. Repeat *four times. Slip 1, K1, PSSO.

Row 5. Purl

Row 6. K2T, K6, *Slip 1, K2T, PSSO, K6. Repeat *four times. Slip 1, K1, PSSO.

Row 7. Purl

Row 8. K2T, K4, *Slip 1, K2T, PSSO, K4. Repeat *four times. Slip 1, K1, PSSO.

Row 9. Purl

Row 10. K2T, K2, *Slip 1, K2T, PSSO, K2. Repeat *four times. Slip 1, K1, PSSO.

Row 11. Purl

Row 12. K2T, *Slip 1, K2T, PSSO. Repeat *four times. Slip 1, K1, PSSO.

Row 13. Purl

Row 14. Slip 1, K2T, PSSO, Slip 1, K2T, PSSO, K1.

Break wool. Leave a twelve inch tail. Run end through remaining 3 stitches. Draw close and seam two edges together. Leave end for joining next hexagon.


The only problem is my pentagons are hexagons and I didn't notice the difference till i attempted to pull them together...I think I misunderstood a knitting term and instead of PSSO I may have passed one over, knitted the next and then passed the one back over the one I just knitted.....SOO I have a lovely Pentagon pattern now :) 


3. How to Freeze herbs for the winter 


1. Pluck all the bigger leaves and leave the smaller ones to grow
2. With your pile of bigger leaves and a knife, dice them into smaller bits
3. Melt butter 1/4 cup or so
4. In a ziploc bag dump in the chopped herbs and add melted butter 
5. lay flat in the freezer 
After a day or two you'll have fresh frozen herbs, freezing them will lock in the flavours. When you'd like to use them simply break of a chunk and add to the frying pan :)

~ElysiaB 

P.S. Pictures will be added soon 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A quick Update

Dr. Update:

Went to the walk-in Dr to review my ultimately low thyroid levels and he starts off telling me how the Hashimoto's is effecting me and how my thyroid may be coming to it's end. Politely I ask how long it has and he states that based on the levels maybe a week or two and then it will be dead and turn into full blown Hypothyroid. Later the following week I see my Pain Specialist and he tells me that my belly swelling is do to the Pain med's (Lyrica) having Plateau'd  and becoming less effective which has spurred on the development of more swelling and cognitively impairing symptoms. Which explains why I keep getting asked if I'm pregnant, not cool body, not cool. Isn't that a side effect everyone wants at this age... I'd say it was a below the belt symptom haha. Well that's the news oh  and I'm also deficient in multiple area's so now I've added CLA, Selenium, Chromium to the docket of morning pills and will be started on a new pain med and decrease the old Lyrica.

 In other words I will be re-experiencing the medication altering effects so we'll see how that adventure goes. It's always a dangerous trip when sailing into the sea of side effects. Your body takes on a state of illness until the storm clears and as a ship can get turned around in the fog, the side effects of new drugs and side effects of old drugs mingle and I couldn't say which is effecting me and which is not. As I'm certain they are both at war inside me and I just need to wait it out and get back to the harbour.
~Elysia B

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

laser

So it's been a couple months of drought from blogging as sometimes I can not muster the words to cement my feelings, as so much is left uncertain with my condition. When I was young and in high school we went through hardships on multiple levels at school and at home, and there were things I was certain I couldn't ever come back from, at least not unscathed. And yet, looking back those parts of me healed, scarred but healed. Then there were times when I felt so broken and I felt like I could never get past it but things change and mended. Time did not change in a way that erased it but I did heal from it. And now going through illness I wonder how I can ever possibly come away from this unscathed? is there a way? The truth is I don't think you pass through hardship or loss and come out exactly the same. I don't think it's possible. I think you are forever change and respond to life accordingly. However, its important to recognize that this is not the end, you can not stop living because the grief of loss can swallow you if you let it, but you can't. When your at the end of your rope you must hang on and find away through it all.

Constantly, I push myself to be more, to be better. I get laser focused on what I want and have a tendency to lose sight of everything else. (like this blog, sorry!) A sad truth is, I lose sight of myself sometimes too. I love that I can focus, it's a gift of sorts, yet I need to manage it better as there is a time and a place for that. But, the cost is great if the focus of the lens is too narrow and so it must constantly be managed and readjusted to include priorities. By this I mean learning to prioritized goals in a way in which you are giving things like school work, house work, communication, job and relationship all an appropriate amount of time each week. When I laser focus on my practicum, I try to learn everything by devoting my time to making flashcards reading the training manual, and focusing on management of situations better. I learn it faster but then, my house becomes messy, my diners become a flop, my courses are neglected, and my husband gets grumpy. Pretty much everything else is half-assed but my focus is brilliant, and its not worth it. I've learnt that its important to look at the cost of whatever your doing, and to look at what is in your control. I see that the cost of my illness is great, all I can do is minimize the damage it does on other areas of my life by preparing for flare ups, that is all I can control about it. The practicum is a grand adventure I'd love to consume my thoughts with learning more about however I need to look at the cost of it, even though it is a great thing to do and be consumed by it doesn't mean that it being good does not cost. It costs time, and if I risk spending too much time on it inevitably something else will be effected by it.  I'm finding that life is a grand balancing act and the most important thing to remember is that nothing, not even good things are worth the cost of your relationships suffering. Relationships at times need to be protected from ourselves. The Lens of my focus needs to be adjusted at all times to include people.

~ElysiaB

   
 


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Rotisserie Chicken Soup

I got up today very bummed out over my recent visit to the hospital where they poked, prodded,  pushed, took blood test, did invasive physical tests (without buying me dinner first), and then ended with sending my body for tests. So after being on IV med's and finally having the infection since christmas finally-FINALLY gone. BUT still no relief of pain and no explanation of pain, I woke up today and was frustrated, I even felt a sense of forlornness towards my body and myself. Thus, when I looked in the fridge and saw that there sat a lonely rotisserie chicken that no one wanted, with a couple chunks taken out, I decided today is the day I make soup.

How to make chicken soup from scratch:

Taking out old cook books passed down to me, I carefully flipped through pages and found that it's simpler than I thought so get ready for this:

1)You take your chicken, deboned or not...and put it in a pot of boiling water. I just took my whole chicken and drowned it in enough water to cover it.

2)Add spices of your choice. I added 4 cloves of garlic chopped, a bay leaf, dash of sage, dash of dill seed, some greek spices, and parsley.

3) Leave it to simmer for 3-4 hours or if you want it fast you could use this recipe. It is suggested that you add veggies to the soup in the last 1 hours of simmering.

And so I wait and ponder what I will do with a pot of chicken soup as I don't know that we can eat all of it I may have under estimated how much the chicken could feed. It's like alone the chicken will feed a family yet in soup it tenderizes and separates into double the amount it was before.

~ElysiaB

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Mortality

I write out a new post an update of my mortality, and I am faced with opening up the truth that I don't want to admit, and so I cowardly delete the post. I go through the christmas season when asked I say "I'm fine", the shared charade continues Surgery comes and passes as christmas comes and passes. The new year comes and the old year becomes memories, when asked I say "I'm recovering but I'm fine". After all isn't that what I'm supposed to say? I've tested the waters and anything different from "I'm fine" people seem either ill equipped to respond to or are unaware of their own expression of recoiling. Sometime's I wonder why? Why, do people recoil when hearing of someone else's lot in life? If I say I've been struggling with infection some recoil, others show concern but then change the subject immediately or walk away, and others are compassionate but don't have words. I wonder if hearing about illness, reminds some of their own mortality. In our culture we can go weeks without running into reminders of mortality.

The nightmare before Christmas has come and pasted leaving me with reminders of how fragile my system is. I went into surgery and the nurses and Dr.'s at Women's Hospital were night and day compared to Abbotsford Hospital they seemed as though they really cared about me and how I was doing, unlike Abbotsford where they asked me to stop crying cause it bothered them. After surgery I awoke to a nurse waiting close to my bed asking how my pain levels were. Going home I didn't realize how much pain I was actually in and how important the whole staying laying down is to recovery after all the pamphlet said I could be up and walking around in a couple of days. However, the pamphlet doesn't know me very well because although I was up and walking around I was also very quickly back to bed throwing up most of the first and second days afterward. The following week we ran to this house for christmas here and to the other house for christmas there and then ran straight back to the nearest emergency centre as I was in too much pain and missed the last christmas because I was having uncomfortable, invasive exams and tests run on my body that was still unusually bleeding. Aside from the bleeding I had contracted a bowel infection and bladder infection. Yah now I talk about these types of things openly...when did that happen....couple years ago when this became my life. It's not awkward, cause really these things just happen to me now. I hadn't realized that I nonchalantly talk about these sorts of infection until it occurred to me that people aren't like "oh no" response anymore they're just like "oh" cause that's normal now....

Acceptance is hard work. Sometimes in life we need to except that we all are asked to walk different paths so maybe when you talk about your life events they will be different from the norm, mine certainly are, but its okay to be different. Coming to a place where that's okay, is a daily thing I'm working on and it doesn't always work. Some days I don't want to accept that my life for the last 6 years has been plagued by a sickness that I don't understand but in spite of a lack of understanding it still controls me. I don't want to accept that I have a different path to walk and some days I just want to give up. But,  I take a step back and get back up and continue going onward. This became my life wether I like it or not but it's okay today my pain has flared so I'll take a time out and live to fight another day. It's important to know when the pains too much and when to take a time out. A "time out" doesn't mean folding in the towel it just means taking a break so that you can get up again later. For me a time out means I go lay down and plot my next moves from bed.

~ElysiaB  


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Quick unwilling update

These past few week have been a bit of an unexpected landslide, as admittedly the new birth control has been angering my cysts, intestines, and neuropathic pain. The pain it's caused, has lit me up like a christmas tree with varying levels of pain switching as though it were on a timer. The most bothersome symptom is that I keep getting electric jolts of pain in my hand and end up dropping whatever I was holding, i.e. cell phone, fork full of food, mug I liked...etc. I called the Dr.'s office and they told me it's too vital to the surgery to go off of it would be jeopardizing the surgery that's already been moved up to December 20th. So I am stalemated by drugs that cause wicked side-effects without other options. The Cysts seem to be trying very hard to fight off the BC pill as it tries to shrink them, throughout my intestines a war is being battled, and I am in turn, in the bathroom enough times to be Clark Kent transformed into superman three times over. The exhaustion I feel is almost unbearable but, I continue, if I nap in a feeble attempt to rest I just lose time, as I will wake from the nap feeling unrested and groggy. When I sleep at night, I am told I can't reach deep levels needed as my pain levels are too high thus, chronic fatigue sets in.  


However, looking into the IUD that my Dr. recommended I allow them to insert, I did my own research and found some shocking law suits to the IUD company Mirena, which is her recommendation. As well as the fact that they cause min-abortions monthly as they do not stop fertilization, it seems they just cause a whole ton of bad thing, abortions, birth defects, cysts, blood clots, etc. It's sad they don't give you all these facts when suggesting you get it implanted inside you. 


Just one of the many things I've been going over in preparation for surgery. If left alone with my own thoughts all I can think of is one looming thing...surgery got bumped up to a week after final exam's and 4 days before christmas....Dec. 20th I go into Women's Hospital and they will take out cysts that have grown, or have formed, and they will be taking out the scar tissue that has attached to organs, or intestines after some cysts have burst and they will cauterize the area's that need that too...I push hard to keep going everyday, I attend classes, I am working on two 12 page papers and I am trying so hard but most of all I just want to sleep....eat some cream of broccoli soup...and sleep...I just want to numb this but how..this pain might not kill me but its starting to feel like a work in progress on top of papers at least...
~ElysiaB



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