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The Dunes and Beauty

18 Aug

I’d forgotten the beauty of the Dunes, the mauve / lilac colours of the heather, the golden yellow of the gorse bushes, the various greens and golds of the marram grasses, the moss, the oak leaves laden with new acorns, ferns and bramble with its berries turning to red; the deep blue of the sea peaking over the tops of the low cliffs.

Nature soothes and it has been a long time since I’ve actually tried a pleasurable walk.  My steps are slow and cautious, my body aching and stiff, worried of stumbling and the shooting siatica pain, though the “stick” helps and I am feeling so happy to be here again!  3 years of crippling chronic pain and I hadn’t dared to try walking in one of my favourite places till now.  I know I will pay for my pleasures tomorrow, the stiffness and pain levels heightened but the joy of actually coming here will be more than worth it.

 

As we make our way, ambling over the gentle undulating curves of the grassy-sandy-dunes, grasshoppers – moments before concealed in the undergrowth – spring high into the air.  At dawn and dusk rabbits are abound, shy small deer can be spotted too.  The large strong seagulls fly overhead, the tiny rare Terns nest on the beach, and the equally rare Natterjack Toads make their marshy home here too.  I’m always saddened to see when people have kicked and killed the harmless grass snakes falsely believing them to be poisonous adders.  The adders are only dangerous if provoked, they just want an easy life (basking in the sun) like the most of us.  In my childhood I’d spotted the occassional wild lizard and the seals playing in the sea, though I’ve never seen a live snake; and we foolishly handled the bright furry orange caterpillars because they were fluffy and interesting – later we’d come out in skin rashes, though they did clear!

I am inspired by the gentle colours and have been creating another homework piece for my fashion / textiles course with oak leaves from that day.

I'm loving my new green boots! 😀

www.naturalengland.org.uk

http://norfolkmoths.blogspot.com/ 

http://www.norfolk-bat-group.org.uk/ 

http://www.field-studies-council.org/ 

http://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/

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Endo Milk

24 Jan

I never realised you could make milk from nuts, as some people – such as myself – with endometriosis know, we are supposed to avoid diary and soya as they encourage the growth of endo and increase the pain levels.

(Regarding endo, diary products and non-fermented soya trigger the production of estrogen which encourages this disease.  There are, of course, other reasons for limiting or not wanting to take diary and soya products).

A good endo diet explained.

A friend sent me this online article on Soya, written by Patrick Quanten, a former GP now practising, licensed, in the holistic therapies.  What are your thoughts on soya?    

The thing is, what if you (especially those of us with endo, facing a limited diet) have a nut allergy?  What then?  I suppose all kinds of milk (diary/soya/nut) would then have to be completely, ideally, cut out from your diet.  And according to my “Endo Bible” – Living Well With Endometriosis by Kerry-Ann Morris (founder of the Unveiling Endometriosis Project) – many with endo do have allergies. 

I’ve various allergies (confirmed and pinpointed by tests done whilst living in Germany), and it seems a certain nut is one of them (I forget which nut/s I was then allergic to).  Today the reason I cannot specify which nut, is because I was eating from a mixed bag at the time!  Of course you have to bear in mind that some allergies come and go. In my case, I suspect my nut allergy could be almonds, and if it is, then almond milk is out of the question, however the herbalist, Brigitte Mars, advises (see video, below) that nut milk can be made from other nuts too (pine,walnuts).

If  you are wondering about your own diet and food intolerances – and are able to access these resources – I would suggest seeing your GP who may test you, a dietitian and a respected qualified herbalist who is able to treat you as a “whole” person, who being trained will safely incorporate herbal medicine with any precription drugs you may be taking.  Empower yourself, work together with good health professionals; read various viewpoints with regard to the source (Who is the author?  What qualifications / experiences warrant their advice?)  Not happy with your current health professional – change them.  This is your body, your health, your life, you deserve to get the best treatment.  

A word of caution – Whereas herbal drugs are truly fantastic there is a false assumption that they are “safe”…there are people who do not give thought to any side effects, and whether the herbs may interact badly with their condition or precription drugs.  Unfortunately and dangerously, the world of CAM (complementary and alternate medicine) is still loosely regulated, so make sure you get a good qualified practitioner by checking web sites relevant to your country, such as the British Herbal Medicine Association ; the BHMA also provide other useful web site links

Clicking this link will take you to the written nut milk recipe, this video and accompanying article.

Do you make your own nut milk?  If so, I would love to hear from you.

Chronic Pain and Dangerous Plastics

4 Dec

Be informed: Could your immediate environment be making you sick?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I think I know now completely (without the aid of professionally trained doctors) what my chronic pain of 2 years and 2 months actually is. (You may want to, as it is connected to this, view my other Mobility Problems post).

October 2007 – I suddenly started experiencing horrendous back and left hip pain. I went to the NHS docs who didn’t take me seriously…was told by a male gp with a smile, yes, your back problems are related to the weight of your chest. Was later told by another (female) gp, in other words, that I should be happy having what Mother Nature had endowed me, other women (like herself) weren’t so lucky. Neither of these health professionals among a few others including a cosmetic surgeon treated and cared for me in a professional manner. I could detail so much more but this post isn’t about the shoddy service I’ve received. I will just give you a brief timeline of what happened regarding the Chronic Pain…

So I was told to lose 16 pounds so I could qualify for the NHS breast reduction surgery. Not easy to do when you can’t move. But each week I managed to usually lose a pound or 2 and came pretty near the weight they wanted. At this point I was only given paracetamol for pain relief.

Spring / Summer 2008 – The pain worsened to the point of hardly being able to walk – well, if walking is what you can call tiny tiny steps shuffled as if I was 100. Whenever I had to walk more, my fiance either pushed me in a wheelchair, or I used a stick. Parents were horrified, they paid for private physio treatment.

PhysioLady said: “You’ve got a partial hip dislocation. Your spine is a little too curved and your large breasts are putting a pressure on your back…these things don’t help”.

I had a meeting with the cosmetic surgeon for the breast reduction. He was enraged when seeing me in a wheelchair in so much pain…Why didn’t you have a Back Specialist?! He said he would write a letter. 4 weeks later he still hadn’t written that letter despite my regular phone calls to chase it up. I don’t know when it finally got through, I was so tired of it all – the constant pain, the constant fear of what I have, the constant battle with getting the right help – and gave up phoning.

Autumn 2008 – I tried Codeine but it felt like I was giving birth out of my backside. 6 months later: No thanks, not again, I told the doc. He said, “why don’t you take the Codeine…?” (Mmmm typical, I knew you weren’t listening to me again).

Winter 2008 – You’ve had another dislocation, PhysioLady said. She pulled the leg again and put it right again. My Angel.

Spring 2009 – Pain is different, increased, stabbing…a 3rd dislocation! PhysioLady fixes it again. I am now paranoid about lifting heavyish things (the day I felt that dislocation happen – something inside slipped and moved! – I had carried a few food items while shopping, carried too many library books). PhysioLady says I should do my stretching exercises as she showed me from the beginning, and sometimes repeated dislocations just happen to some people.

Fiance back in Canada posts bottles of Canadian Robax which contains the ingredient METHOCARBAMOL. Love these pills! They soothe, relax…only vodka is the best pain killer of all but I don’t want to go that route. However, throughout the 2 years and 2 months pain levels are a CONSTANT in my life, every day, every night – ranging from (sadly just a couple of times) low levels where I almost feel no pain – to monsterous jabbing pains racing up my spine, or down my buttocks and legs; aching, gnawing pains; pains that wake me from deep sleep; pains that leave me unable to function like an able bodied person and that is every day regardless even if the pain level is low. And then there’s the fatigue and depression.

Summer 2009 – I ask the doc for METHOCARBAMOL. He looks in his little medical book, it ain’t there. He looks online, ahh! it isn’t used much in the UK but he will prescribe it for me. Thank you Doctor. But…they’re addictive and in a far higher dosage, can’t put them on the regular prescription, just take them on my Bad Days. So I ask for ibroprufen too so I can make a cocktail “Pain Killer”.

Autumn 2009 – Don’t eat much meat these days (almost vegi / fishy – tarian now) and not much fat. (The reason for this began with wanting to eat healthy, and then the weight loss, and then the cost of meat was too high, and then I felt guilty about slaughtering animals!) However I (was) partial to Fish ‘n’ Chips…well, Chicken Pie ‘n’ Chips. But the METHOCARBAMOL reacted badly when I ate just some chips and half a chicken pie that had obviously also been deep fried. I had a week of misery, such a bad stomach upset…learning I can’t eat any fatty food whatsoever while taking these meds. I decide to split the 750 mg into two. Just for the Really Bad Days.

Wanting to know MORE about my Hip Dislocations I naturally surfed the net…which led me to an article about ENDOMETRIOSIS http://painjoint.blogspot.com/2009/01/understanding-endometriosis-hip-joint.html and the more I read the more I thought THIS IS WHAT I HAVE!!! WHY DIDN’T THE DOCTORS KNOW? WHY DIDN’T THE DOCTORS PROPERLY INVESTIGATE?

Yesterday on my dressmaking course a woman told me that she had / has it! I was very surprised. I don’t know much about this illness / condition, and apparently her daughter has it too. She said I think you do have it by the way you walk (I sort of shuffle, so careful not to move into, across my hips). She advised me to take a special test and now I can’t recall the name of it, but it begins with “S”. She was so nice and helpful and we ended up exchanging phone numbers.

So yesterday evening I drove home in a weird elated frame of mind, thinking I’m finally getting somewhere with this…finding out WHAT it is…and getting the RIGHT TREATMENT (there is an appointment with the pain relief clinic next week; but I will ask for an investigation into ENDOMETRIOSIS too). To date I’ve had an x ray and blood tests, but no scan.

And as for the latter part of this blog – The Dangerous Plastics bit – I starting searching on probable causes of ENDOMETRIOSIS and came across the plastic BPA (Bisphenol A), which is known for simulating the female hormone Estrogen, and in higher doses, IS linked to infertility, cancer, ENDOMETRIOSIS, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and behavourial problems such as hyperactivity and aggression. Very worrying I think. Too important for ANYONE to ignore.

Be informed of the risks of certain plastics! Tell others about this. I’ve embedded this video from Breast Cancer UK. You may not be female, you may not be in the UK, but this is a worldwide issue that governments aren’t paying enough attention to and everyone (men as well as women) needs to be aware of. There is also an open letter from Scottish Breast Cancer and various references at the very end of this blog.

– – –
Letter posted on Pink Ribbon – 10th November 2009

Dear Pink Ribbon,

The constant refutation by those in the cancer industry who stand to lose out if harmful chemicals are banned is to say the least tiresome.

How much evidence is needed before the precautionary principle is applied to all known carcinogenic substances?

The evidence that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are contributing to the increasing incidence of breast cancer is growing on a daily basis. The most comprehensive compilation of this evidence to date is /The State of the Evidence/ (Fifth Edition, 2008), published by the Breast Cancer Fund in the US.

Bisphenol A, just one of many known EDCs, has already been listed as a toxic substance in Canada, which has been the first country in the world to ban the sale and import of all baby bottles/products containing BPA. Many states in the USA have also banned the use of this chemical in baby products. How long must we wait for the UK to follow suit?

It is, to say the least, insulting to hear the continual onslaught on female diet and lifestyle when we know that less than half of breast cancer cases can be attributed to these causes. The impact of chemical toxins in the environment, including personal care products, begs investigation so that woman can be honestly informed to enable them to make choices which suit them.

The persistent emphasis on alcohol consumption and weight in relation to breast cancer by the media and cancer charities has become insulting to the many women who work hard, eat well and try to enjoy life while staying within the recommended limits. Most breast cancer survivors are /not guilty as charged/ of high levels of alcohol consumption and/or poor diet. The image of an obese, drunken ladette is not what is witnessed in most breast clinics.

Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign

Reference –
http://euphoriamaternity.wordpress.com/tag/bpa/
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/132/the-real-story-on-bpa.html?page=0%2C0
http://www.scottishbreastcancercampaign.org/
http://www.chemicalshealthmonitor.org/spip.php?article429
http://www.antiplastic.org/

How to exercise…when physically hurt or disabled

9 Jan

How to exercise…when physically hurt or disabled
~ My personal pain and need to find hope ~
by Mistress Curvalicious
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Everyone knows that the optimum way of losing weight is through both diet AND exercise.  But what when you are in pain, disabled, unable to move like able bodied people?  Is it still possible to exercise to the point of benefitting weight loss?

I hope you haven’t come to this blog looking for this, and other answers, because I am afraid I cannot help you.   
 
According to Disabledunited.com, disability is a term for permanent disablement.  “After all we are all disabled to one degree or another. It is only at a certain level that the official title of “disabled” comes into play, usually when the disability is classified as permanent.” 

So, referring to my own situation, I’ve had chronic backpain since October 2006.  I’m not even sure exactly what is wrong with me.  The NHS system has let me down.  I wasn’t even taken seriously, never x~rayed, even smirked at by a certain male doctor when discussing a breast reduction, since he claimed my physical pain was due to the weight of my chest.  However, the NHS plastic surgeon informed me that 1.  I should have been initially sent to a back specialist (he ~ and I am now laughing because of his own unprofessionalism! ~ was even angry at this oversight of my GPs) ; and, 2.  The level of pain I was / and still am, to a degree, experiencing, is NOT usual for women with back trouble soley resulting from big boobs.  I could go more at length into this, but then I would be diverting from the subject of this particular blog.  

Mmmmmm, how long does one have to be disabled to be termed officially disabled?  For me, it’s been almost one and a half years.

My own disability remains a mystery: my private physiotherapist ~ although truly execellent at her job, and I am very grateful to her for helping me out of that wheelchair ~ is but ONE opinion of why I am hurting.  “You have one leg shorter than the other”.  I mean, I don’t even know, what triggered this chronic lower back pain, that eventually saw me, 8 months later being wheeled about in a chair.  Remember, I had no x~rays.  No back specialist due to the irresponsibility of a certain angry NHS male plastic surgeon apparently too busy 3 weeks later to even type a letter of referral, plus other so called doctors at the NHS. 

Such shoddy work…maybe these highly paid and highly prestiged professionals should pay a penalty?  

I know of one other person, a new friend, who had also been badly let down by the National Health Service.  They didn’t x~ray her back when she was in horrific pain.  Oh, she had to wait  8 months later until she eventually was x~rayed:  They knew she had been run over by a car… 

Whoops!  My blog is now turning into a rant against the NHS system.

I recently learned from another person, that when an NHS doctor DOES NOT REFER you to another specialist, he / she automatically saves themself in the region of £70.  Very ethical, right…?  NOoo.

“…a disability is usually termed as an injury, which will then require rehabilitation exercises to improve and repair.”   (Disabledunited.com)  I can hope that this is what it is I have ~ an injury, that will over time, via exercise (in my case, simply walking half an hour each day), through the barrier of more pain, will improve.

In a nutshell, because of how our bodies are made, we need exercise for the various organs and muscles, anyway.  Regardless of exercising just to lose weight.

Whilst this Disabledunited.com article has a couple of good points, it still doesn’t help me in my quest of:  How to exercise when physically hurt of disabled?  Maybe I need to find myself a rehabilition therapist?  And since I am on limited money, am I able to actually find such a person through the NHS?  This is when I would really like to hear from those people (in the UK) who KNOW from their own experiences of getting into an exercise programme while injured or disabled.  Could YOU be one of them?  If so, I would love to hear from you.

Other than simple bending and doing pelvic exercises, and being told to walk “through the pain”  by my physiotherapist, isn’t there anything else I can do (to repair and loss weight)?  Some days I’ve walked (if that is what you can call it) too much that I am in so much pain I am tired and cannot be bothered to do anything.  

From recent all~day sittings in my business course, I am hurting more.  Lower back pain is increased so I have to take shorter steps, the back is too stiff and my knees begin to buckle.  The left hip where my “short” leg was pulled by the physio, has spasms of pain.  It’s painful sitting.  It’s painful lying.  It’s more painful “walking”, unbearable when I stand.   

I know I will gain some relief from a breast reduction.  But even then, the pain is still there.  There’s exercising for wheelchair uses (see the BBC article, the link is below) but do they experience much pain?  I suppose it varies from person to person.  Of course, feeling the pain is also important, as it is a signal of how things stand in your body.

For the past 18 months I have been in constant pain.  Some days I feel this is how I will always be.  There’s a walking stick in the back of the car for bad days, when I need something to lean on.  Knowing the stick is there gives me some confidence.  But…can anyone really help me? 

                                                                                                                                                                   http://www.ehow.com/how_4670590_exercise-disabled.html                      http://www.disabledunited.com/NewsSports/Sport_detail.aspx?maincatid=6&subcatid=48&sport_id=154            http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/minisites/1580/fact/disabled-fat-nation-2.shtml