Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘allergies’

Update …

 

(This is really just a journal of my SCD/recovery journey, so that next time I am tempted to try a teaspoon of Rolo ice-cream or a handful of crisps, I don’t. Please feel no obligation whatsoever to read or engage with these posts.)

Coconut/nut skin allergy reaction on my face - day 3 of healing

Coconut/nut skin allergy reaction on my face – day 3 of healing

Just a quick update … yesterday I shot to the chemist to grab something – anything – to sooth my flaming skin. My kind and friendly chemist gave me Mylocort cortisol cream, and recommended I apply it frequently.

 

I did, along with the SilverGenesis gel.

This morning, it looks a whole lot better >>

Yesterday I had a raging headache all day, and the two aspirins I took did nothing to relieve it. Today is much better though: it’s just simmering now, and the rage has passed.

My gut aches and my digestion seems to have paused. It could be because I ran out of enzymes, although I’d hoped that the probiotics and homeopathic digestive drops and tissue salts might conspire to get things moving. Especially since I have officially eaten NO starch in three and a half days.

 

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Starting Somewhere

Establishing a baseline for pending life changesDay 2 of the blog challenge, and day 2 of eating really clean. (Does coffee count?)

My raging headache has matured into a simmering migraine, and I’m actually thinking of taking a short nap.

I thought I’d get the week started with some stats so that I can track my progress.

Stats

I weigh 66kg and I’m a size 36. Not that I am specifically looking to lose weight, but it helps to know where I’m starting.

Treatments

I apply rubbing alcohol to my suppurating blisters every morning and evening. If you imagine this would sting a little, you’re wrong. It burns like Billy-Oh and takes every ounce of willpower I have not to say the very bad words I’m thinking.

I follow that with calamine lotion.

Throughout the day, I apply Silver Genesis Skin Hygiene Super HydroGel, which seems to be, basically, colloidal silver suspended in aloe vera gel. It seems to be improving things:

bad skin - day 2

Update on my bad skin – day 2

There’s still a long way to go, though. I have to present a marketing strategy to the board at one of my clients’ this evening, and so far I have no idea how I will look presentable for this.

Other than that, I take a combo of vitamins every day, including Staphysagria powder from my homeopath. I also take a fairly potent probiotic, and L-Lysine every morning. The rest includes something foul-tasting called fulvic acid, drops for digestion and drops for immunity from the homeopath, and Doc Frank’s Business Owner Booster (BOB):

  • L-Carnitine
  • Chrome
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin D3
  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • Coenzyme Q10

Every evening I swallow a capful of colloidal silver.

Besides these things, I do Pilates once a week, and I’m supposed to do homework every day. I usually do the homework, but I’m pretty sure I’m not doing it right. I think I’m going to give the Pilates a break, because it hurts my lower back and makes the ache in my gut/ovary worse.

And I get way too little sleep – an average of 4-6 hours a night. I usually do nothing but sit at my desk working, fetch kids from school, and buy groceries. Every day of every week; every month of the year.

So that’s where we’re starting from.

Let’s see how it goes from here.

 

Challenge

h o t - a i rIf you’re still reading this very sparsely and inconsistently updated blog, then consider this fair warning: things are about to get really dull.

This is for two reasons. First of all, I’ve set myself the goal of blogging every day for the next thirty days. (No, I’m not really sure why …)

Second, I am restarting my SCD plan.

It’s been four years (almost to the day) since I started my SCD journey. (It starts here.)

It lasted just on a year, and it was one of the most effective years of my life. I lost weight. I had energy. My skin cleared up* (sort-of). And my brain worked. Also – my digestion worked.

The thing is, towards the end of that year on SCD, my skin actually stopped being clear in what can only be described as a very dramatic way. It’s a bit too gross to describe in a public forum  but basically, I had break-outs everywhere.

It took a long time to get to the bottom of that skin issue. Eventually, it turned out that I had developed an allergy to coconut. Maybe I always had one. I don’t know. The point is, now I can’t eat coconut.

That’s a little bit of a challenge, because coconut and nut flours form the basis of most of the SCD recipes that aren’t simply meat and vegetables.

Anyway, since getting to the bottom of the coconut thing, my skin did clear up. I have eased up on the eating plan and basically just follow a gluten-free eating plan now.

It includes potatoes and potato crisps. It also includes gluten-free flour, baked goods,  pasta, and pizza bases. The upside is that I picked up some of the weight I lost on SCD. Then some more. Then all of it. Then some more again.

At which point it stopped being an upside.

I also slowly started introducing dairy products, like cheese and yoghurt. The yoghurt (no matter how whole and pure, and even goat’s milk yoghurt) makes my throat, nose and chest close up. So that’s off the list.

Everything else seemed to be okay, but in recent months I feel like my health has steadily declined again. (Of course, it could be all the late nights. My gut is bloating and something that feels very like my right ovary is incredibly sore pretty much all the time.

On Wednesday I ate a gluten-free rusk, without checking the ingredients (#RookieMove!). It had coconut and nut flour. By the end of the day my jaw line had started to itch. The next morning, I had itchy bumps lining the lower part of my face, and the skin had started turning red.

 

bad skin 17 Jul 2016

My Skin on Day 1

Now, Sunday, my face is a mess. It’s itchy and blotchy and ugly – and all from just one stupid rusk. Which actually tasted a lot like chipboard, if I’m honest.

 

So here’s the plan: SOMETHING in my diet is hurting and fogging my brain, growing my gut, scarring my face, and causing me belly pain.

So it’s back to SCD. Except without any dairy, nuts, or coconut. Which leaves meat, veg … and maybe some seeds. We shall see.

This is day one.

 

Autism Spectrum on a Shoestring

The point of Joy on a Shoestring is to focus on being joyful even when the budget is tight. It’s my own personal motivation to keep a good attitude even when things are hard (or harder than I’d like them to be, anyway).

If you’ve read more than a couple of my posts, you’ll know I’m not particularly good at this.

I’d like to be. I’d like to be counting my blessings and focusing on the good stuff.

But I don’t always get it right.

And that’s okay.

Part of the journey is being authentic, and it wouldn’t be much of a record, or much of a journal, if I didn’t also record some of the hard stuff, and some of my honest reactions to that hard stuff, instead of being all ra, ra, jolly hockey sticks all the time.

Not too long ago I wrote about how it really is possible to eat paleo on a shoestring budget, and I’ve also reported in the past on the wonderful results paleo or SCD/grain-free living has delivered for our family.

The thing is, bread is cheap. Popcorn is an affordable snack. And rice really does make a meal go further. I wish that wasn’t the case. But there comes a time in the life of every cash-strapped paleo family, I am sure, where the thought of another green apple, or one more slice of roast butternut, just doesn’t fill the heart with the same kind of joy that a fresh, hot slice of buttered toast doesn’t. And even though I honestly oppose the practice of using food for comfort, I also know that nothing warms the cockles of one’s heart like a home-made rusk dunked into yet another cup of coffee. With sugar. And milk.

Sometimes, it just goes like that.

It’s been going like that in our house for a couple of months.

I still get migraines and digestive issues and rashes and breathing difficulties when I eat wheat, so I don’t eat it. But everyone else has a less dramatic reaction, and it takes months to manifest.

It’s manifesting now.

Red Riding Hood has a chesty cough that hasn’t budged in about two weeks. She’s battling with sinus, growing pains, nightmares, grumpiness and bloating.

And Goldilocks? Well, it’s definitely not making things easier. Her tics are off the charts – for her, at least. We’re not in any kind of Tourette’s Syndrome support group, so I don’t know what other people are facing, but Goldilocks is battling more vocal tics than she’s ever had before. She has a tic that forces her to swallow, one that makes her breathe hard, a teeth clenching tic (I have that too, at the moment), a yawning tic, and tonight she started a violent head nodding tic that is really going to make social interactions a trial for her if we can’t take care of it. She has an intermittent windmill-type tic, as well. She has to wave her arms (one or both) like a windmill, and it looks rather uncomfortable. It’s also not as easy to disguise as some of her other tics.

Furthermore, Goldilocks’ ADD is a serious challenge for us both at the moment. I realise that stress and an erratic approach to healthy eating are not doing my patience any favours, but even when I step back and assess the situation objectively, there’s no denying that her ability to focus is at an all-time low. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her like this before. She can’t sit still to any degree. She can’t keep track of conversations. We all love playing boardgames, and usually she’s streaking ahead in the game, but not now. She can barely keep track of what’s going on from one moment to the next.

Both girls are also displaying unusually high levels of anxiety. Now, I know what you’re thinking: they’re picking up on our stress. Okay, perhaps you’re right. Even though we go out of our way to shield them from most of it, they are wise, perceptive, sensitive children and we’re not that good at hiding our emotions.

But the thing is, we kind of are. When we talk about our lives and our family, they consistently report happiness, contentment and joy. They describe how grateful they are for how bountiful our lives are. They’re happy with life.

Their anxiety focuses on bigger issues: the economy; the government; the after life. Big issues that are way outside of any of our control. It could be a sublimation of what they feel at a grass roots level, but it could just as easily be the kind of sweeping paranoia that comes from eating bread – in our family, at any rate.

There can be no doubt that, at least for Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood, a grain-free diet is the only hope of a life that resembles “normal”. I am not calling it a cure, or even a solution for anyone else in a similar situation. I’m just saying our family needs to be paleo. I need to get us back to that.

Have you found similar results with paleo in your family? Or do you have a different solution/coping mechanism for your challenges? I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment in the box below and let’s chat about what works!

Another one of those weeks.

The girls and I making our very first snow man!

The girls and I making our very first snow man!

This has been a rough fortnight and I am exhausted.

The Highs

The highs of the past two weeks include a trip to see The Snow – the first time the girls and I have ever seen it! It was awesome and amazing and a wonderful highlight of the whole year. We made a snow man, had snow ball fights, stood in a snow fall, made snow angels, and had hot curry in front of a roaring fire. I didn’t even veer off SCD! The girls did, with immediate consequence (pain, bloating, headaches and moodiness). Poor babies. But we saw the results and realised that we’re on the right track here.

After that we visited a friend whose son has Tourette Syndrome. She gave us a tower of books that we have been motoring through, and we’ve learned a lot about our family. What we’ve learned includes confirmation that Goldilocks and I have relatively mild cases of Tourette’s, although hers is worse than mine. Papa Bear definitely has some kind of tic disorder, if not full-blown Tourette’s, and Red Riding Hood is too young to tell. We’ve also been investigating the diet/allergy/environment link to Tourette’s, and the link between this and ADD/ADHD. The results are fascinating and worth their own post (or series of posts).

My sister moved successfully into a wonderful new place with light, space, privacy, security and a garden. I am so happy and relieved!

School has been going well. It seems a little “light” to me, but maybe I’m just getting used to it? We now easily fit Maths, English, Art of some kind and Konos into a day. It worries me and makes me think I’m missing something. I should just learn to be grateful!

We had our second SCD birthday when Papa Bear turned 42. I made lasagne again, as well as cake with marshmallow frosting, nougat, and chocolate mousse. Everything was delicious and ready when he got home, and he said he felt thoroughly fêted even though we’re technically on diet. (Most of the recipe are on the Aunty Em’s blog).

SCD is going well but tough. We’ve seen huge improvements in most things, particularly digestion, alertness, energy, mood and concentration. However, we’ve been using nut flours and butters instead of grains, and as a result (I believe), Goldilocks’ tics are worse than ever (mine too, truth be told), and my skin is terrible. So we’re back to the beginning on Monday, which is a real drag because the intro diet is so boring and so labour intensive.

The Lows

As a result of SCD, Tourette’s and an interminable mountain of housework, my “work” work is suffering badly. I simply can’t fit it all in and since my family’s physical and emotional health is such a priority to me, that comes first. Apparently my brain has deemed our fiscal health less of a priority for some obscure reason, and my efforts at reprogramming it are in vain.

We’ve had some pretty bad news regarding work and finances on each of the last two Fridays, casting a nasty pall over the weekend and the future, and creating the opportunity to feel fearful and anxious.

I am blessed to serve a mighty and generous God who knows my needs and meets them.

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