One Foot, Then…

…the other.

The past 8 months have involved health challenges so overwhelming I can only sum it up in this way: It’s the worst I’ve experienced in over a decade, after the best I’ve experienced in over a decade.

So, in 2014, I went from best yet to worst yet. The amazing takeaway from it all is not merely a seriously upsetting reversal but a series of seriously validating revelations. In short, I know more about the systems and sources comprising my overall health picture than I ever would have known without the reversal. A gift posed as a curse, it seems.

For now, suffice to say the work to assimilate and integrate what I’ve learned has created a stall here, total silence. I’m coming out of that silence screaming. What am I screaming?

Keep your gallbladder. (This means don’t have a “cholecystectomy!”)

If it’s acting up, functioning poorly and turning your life upside down, imagine what will happen if you don’t have one at all. In my work poring over gallbladder removal refugee forums, one commenter on a post cholecystectomy forum said it all: If it’s bad with it not working properly, imagine how horrid without it. The body has a gallbladder connected to the liver for a reason.

The combination of CFS/ME relapse and ghostbladder nightmares created a total body shutdown for me this past fall. I could barely move just to do the basics. My gut was not absorbing anything. My legs shook at the slightest provocation and my symptoms escalated to include MS/ALS/GBS hauntings. Tests ruled out all the worst fears but the leftover issues have been plenty to face.

I cannot say this enough: Keep your gallbladder. If it’s not functioning well, heal it. Don’t have it cut out. You won’t be given the full picture by doctors who refuse the nutritional and holistic approach. If I had known all the risk, I would have refused this one. Research alternative nutritional approaches and healing modes and, if your budget can withstand it, find a doctor not constrained by insurance oversight. Without the gallbladder the gut goes into total imbalance and turmoil. 15 years post surgery, I hit a brick wall after year after year of challenges, patching up my resulting problems as best as I could. It wasn’t enough.

So, this week I see a doctor of functional medicine and my work to heal will take on new dimensions.

One foot, then the other… (but hey, keep your gallbladder!)

Advertisements

GAPS

Gut and Psychology Syndrome = GAPS

Over the summer my CFS/ME struggle became the perfect storm, tossing me into the abyss. But we can learn much in said abyss, thankfully. I learned not to take advantage of a wellness milestone but to wait for a year or two of wellness milestoneS. I learned the hard way. But along the way I’m refusing regret because the lessons learned have offered me jewels of insight I would not have been open to before the inevitable perfect storm. For one, the GAPS diet. Or, as I prefer to see it, the GAPS lifestyle. While I’m still at the beginning stages of this radical approach, I’m realizing some of the components will have to be a lifetime practice for my unique situation. Bone broths have become a must for my healing. And I’m seeing the benefits after 8 weeks in my skin and, of course, in healing my gut. For many CFS/ME sufferers one of the “sacrificial” systems the body begins to shut down or diminish support of is the gut/liver. And the body does so because blood pressure is suffering due to low cardiac output. But first, support of the skin/thyroid is diminished. Bone broths rescue both in a terrific dual bonus I know I’ll never be able to abandon.

GAPS focus, as well as the paleo, particularly anti-inflammatory, nutritional regimen brings everything down to the basics of good gut health and improved energy levels. There’s no wiser approach, in my opinion. So, for anyone curious enough or in dire need, check out the resources of gapsdiet.com as well as Weston A. Price.

Of the Mother…

Of the Mother…

The intuitive path has recently insisted I pay attention to all things mother. And the first association I make, beyond the obvious maternal meaning, is goddess, earth mother. Taking it a step further, for those of us who suffer the disadvantages of CFS/ME, the mother connection comes in with our mitochondria. It’s the mtDNA or DNAmt. Were you to go all “mystical” or “metaphysical” about the mother, you would point to the mitochondria and be backed by the science since the DNA for the mitochondria runs along the maternal line. So, it goes like this: my grandmother quite literally suffered and died due to complications created by CFS/ME. Her heart gave out. She had seen all the doctors, been pronounced “fine” and sent home with quite a few drugs to alleviate her symptoms for which they knew no cause. For years, she bootstrapped her way along, often complaining of freakish levels of fatigue and afraid of what her heartbeat suggested. She had every reason to be afraid. The great thing about CFS is the fatigue, as ironic as that is. It’s what separates the heart failures/transplants from those who get to keep living and keep their hearts. If you heed the fatigue, let your body regroup and heal, pacing yourself, your heart should sustain you.

Today is my 3rd day of feeling more connected to earth mother as I heal my soon-to-be mighty mitos. I hold this brew in my mouth and swish it around, careful to avoid my teeth(!) and the colours alone fill me with joy. As I’m juicing the organic beets, beet greens, kale, carrots and apple, I feel the whole body equivalent of my mouth watering…if that makes sense. My gut is saying “Hurry up, must have. Get it down the hatch!” But I take my time with the whole process, careful to pace even my least strenuous motions, making a meditation out of the work. The colours seep into my vision, flood my soul and all I can do is grin. Much like the joy I feel when colours pile up on a canvas, dots piling up to reveal the image coming from my depths…these vivid hues sing with life. Of the mother…of earth mother’s depths sustaining…

Here’s to healing practices that bring joy…

2014, j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved

2014, j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved

CFS = Cardiomyopathy

Not a surprise but not fun to have affirmed, repeatedly. This is my current focus in the interest of … drumroll … longevity! Life has definitely kicked the challenges up a notch here with my health.

“CFS Compensates for Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy

“Let me first of all define heart failure. There are two kinds of heart failure. There’s the kind that any cardiologist can diagnose in about a minute. That you do NOT have. Which is why cardiologists missed this. What you have is Compensated Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy.” [Idiopathic: cause unknown; Cardiomyopathy: structural or functional disease of heart muscle] “And your primary means of compensation—now this is the big twist—are you ready? Have you got your seat belt on? The primary methodology for compensation for this disorder is in fact CFS itself.”

Patient responds: “I see. So, this is the body’s way of saving us from dying of cardiomyopathy.”

Dr. Cheney: Yes. From dying of cardiomyopathy.”

Taken from this link. And Dr. Cheney is on my list of CFS specialists to visit. (Long gap in posts! Life has been…challenging! CFS has been cruel!)

So CFS is nature’s way of saying, to some of us with CFS, go lie down and save your heart. This is the diagnosis my grandmother should have had. Her heart gave out amidst doctors’ decrees: “There’s nothing wrong!” And to this day, rare are those cardiologists who have a clue what’s going on with the heart of a CFS sufferer. Maddening…

Summer Smash

I rode the wave of energy granted me by some amazing supplements and thought myself free of the end-of-summer smashery but, it wasn’t to be. The problem with CFS/ME and riding the wave of energy that comes along is the inevitable payment made down the road. Instead of pacing, I gorged on activity. And the smash prevailed. But the good news? It’s none of it nearly as devastating (can’t call it devastating, in fact) as it has been in the past. When recovery is well underway, setbacks take on milder and milder hues of frustration – as long as the supplements are continuously available.

These supplements are now at the top of my absolute must list:

Virasyl (Shilajit and Humic Acid)

Bio PQQ

Vitamin K2

Ubiquinol

Acetyl L-Carnitine

R Lipoic Acid

Magnesium (topical and oral)

D-Ribose

Olive Leaf Extract

Bovine Colostrum

And a ton of amino acids. And other basics.

 

Shilajit

Shila…huh? This is one of two earthy substances I’ve decided to consume for more support of immune system, etc. etc. Since recurring fever is well, recurring, I’m hoping this will kick it. I just discovered it is purported to also benefit…

drumroll…

the mitochondria. Oh. Gee, CFS is only mostly and majorly indicative of mitochondrial failure.

An interesting tidbit here:

“What is Shilajit?

Ancient doctors discovered shilajit preserved in the rocks of the Himalayas, and it became an essential part of their treatment for a variety of conditions.2-5 Shilajit is a rich brown organic material that forms in the rhizosphere — the thin layer of earth where living roots and microorganisms interact with the rocky core of the planet itself.2 This intimate organic/inorganic relationship generates the humic substances that make up shilajit, contributing to its more than 85 distinct components.2,6,7

Modern analysis has determined the presence and function of two major components of shilajit, fulvic acids (also called humic acids) and dibenzo-a-pyrones (DBPs). These two components go hand-in-hand to promote andenhance the energy-boosting function of CoQ10 in the body. Here’s how they work.

Fulvic Acids

Found in both living and fossilized organic material (such as peat), fulvic acids protect mitochondria against oxidative damage and reduce dangerous lipid peroxidation.8Fulvic acids carry DBPs into mitochondria9 thereby augmenting the availability of electrons in the mitochondrial energy pathway.

Fulvic acids and related humic substances found in shilajit also work as “electron shuttles,” augmenting CoQ10 to speed and facilitate essential electron flow in mitochondria.10-13 Mitochondria generate those electrons from the food we eat andcapture their energy in ATP molecules. ATP is the cellular energy “juice” that drives all living functions. The larger the flow of electrons, the greater the production of vital ATP — and the more energy there is to power vital functions and protect cells from aging.”

While it’s lovely to protect the cells from aging, I’m going for optimal daily living in spite of CFS. We’ll see what happens. Currently taking a combo of humic acid and shilajit (with Ubiquinol – superior form of CoQ10). We’ll see what it does.

Related Link Here

Topical Magnesium for Headaches

One of the many frustrating realities of CFS is the recurrence of headaches. It’s not something I typically mention if anyone asks “what are the symptoms?” But there it is. Sometimes pounding my head for weeks. I can also go for years with the occasional headache. It’s one of those intermittent (meaning months on/off) realities. As an example: this past Saturday I went around all day feeling like someone had stuck a knife in my right temple. Throbbing horror. But I kept moving. Went to my daughter’s 18th birthday party, the second one and less focused on family. All I had to do was show up, thankfully. Teens, noise and non-stop activity. Headache’s worst scenario. By the time I got home all I could do was crawl in bed. Slowly. Carefully. I use transdermal magnesium nightly. It’s becoming quite a revolution for my CFS story, once again. (I had a magnesium flush-injection while pregnant 18 years ago and my CFS symptoms almost totally disappeared for a number of years.) I had done my usual routine with the magnesium oil but more liberally applied it to my body with high hopes for relief from all the other CFS realities I live with daily. But I was tossing and turning, the knife in my head keeping me awake. Finally, it occurred to me to put some of the magnesium directly on the “knife” in my head. Within minutes I passed out, the pain fading. I haven’t gone without this pain for 2 weeks. I might catch a break for a few hours in the morning but by noon or 2pm my head is pounding.

2 days now. Zero pain. As it turns out I’m not alone in this experience. Magnesium “oil” saves the day for quite a few headache sufferers.

Here’s my current  recommendation for the best product: http://www.ancient-minerals.com/products/magnesium-oil/

CFS/ME sufferers need to realize magnesium is essential to the production of ATP and this is pivotal to our recovery during times of reactivation. For CFS newbies this means those times CFS has flared up and taken over your life on significant levels.

As a result of that evening of dousing myself (drowning, more like) in the magnesium oil, I was able to go walking along NC’s Deep River with my sister. Two days of significant activity for a CFS veteran is risky business sometimes, especially while in recovery. I awakened today to no headache, no fatigue horror and no major pain.

Here’s to more magnesium and more living…

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2013

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2013