Well has this been a rough health year for me or what? I am writing this from bed with pneumonia for the second time since April. I’m also packed in pillows and ice because I coughed so hard we think I have a cracked rib. Because why not, right? I had a little pity party today. Ok it was more of a big one because I’m so incredibly frustrated. But because I’ve had so much time alone to think today, I realized I’ve been through a lot this year and perhaps would be better served being a little more kind to myself and cut myself some slack. And I also reminded myself what others think doesn’t matter. Other people’s misconceptions about my health are their problem, not mine, and I need to let that go. Easier said than done, right? But I’m working on it. Fortunately for me, I have a wonderfully supportive family and the best friends anyone could ask for. And a strong will that never keeps me down for long.
So the treatment process this time around? Bed rest for one. I am under strict instructions by my doctor to stay in bed and rest. I’m on another round of prednisone (40mg a day for five days), breathing treatments every 4 hours, codeine cough syrup so I can sleep and Tesslon Pearls during the day for cough. And Tylenol for my rib and the fever I can’t seem to completely shake. The non-traditional cures I’m incorporating? I’m working hard to stay hydrated and doing lots of sinus rinses. I’m steeping astragalus root in my tea, I’m drinking my gut healing smoothies (recipe below), I make sure I incorporate a probiotic, I’m drinking lots of Kombucha and I have been meditating – something VERY hard for me but I’m trying.
- 2 bananas
- 2 cups frozen organic berries ( I prefer blueberry and strawberry)
- 1/2 lemon, including rind, seeds removed
- 1 inch fresh ginger root, unskinned
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh kale or spinach leaves or cabbage
- 1-2 carrots if desired (nope)
- 1/2-1 cup sprouts if desired (eg, broccoli sprouts, micro-greens, etc – available at Whole Foods or Trader Joes). (not desired in my house)
- 1 cup organic plain Lifeway kefir (my preference is strawberry kefir)
- Protein powder, 20-30 gm or 4 oz organic tofu (allergic to soy so I use Vital Proteins)
- 1/2 cup full-fat canned organic coconut milk
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, or other spices of your choice (I don’t use any of this)
- 1-2 tbsp organic cocoa powder if desired (so not desired)
Add in soluble fiber right before you drink your smoothie, eg, organic flaxseed meal, hempseed meal, psyllium husk, or chia seeds – start with 2 tsp and slowly build up to 4-6 tbsp per day. (I prefer chia)
I’ve played around with this a bit and my go to on a daily basis has become bananas, berries, 2 tbs lemon juice, 1 cup spinach, Vital Proteins collagen (great source of protein), Probiotic powder (I use VSL3), kefir, coconut milk and chia seeds. I take ginger daily and add to food so I’m ok with not adding to the smoothie as I hate the taste.
When you have an autoimmune disease, there will be flares. Mine are exacerbated by stress, this year grief – lots of grief- and complacency. And sometimes, for no reason other than I have an autoimmune disease. By following a Paleo diet, however, I know I am doing the best I can do for my body. I’m also re-reading “The Wahl’s Protocol.” (You can click on link below to purchase. It’s an amazing book for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease).
Life happens. Sometimes it’s fantastic and others, not so much. What’s important is what we do in those “not so much” times that count. I could continue to wallow in self pity but what point is that? It won’t change the fact I’m lying in bed with pneumonia and a cracked rib. It’s not going to make me feel better. What will is by helping myself. By being active and in charge of my health. By being kind to myself and getting back to basics. For me that is by following a very strict Paleo diet until I’m feeling strong again. By removing foods from my diet and then reincorporating slowly to allow my body to heal. There was one positive this week. I had a 102 degree fever. I know, you’re probably wondering how that could be positive. Well, I’m excited because even though I came down with pneumonia, my body is actually working. It’s actively fighting. So while it may seem like my efforts have been for naught, it’s quite the opposite. Four years ago, I was very ill and my body wasn’t fighting. I’m still going to have blips because my immune system isn’t like a “healthy” person’s. The difference is even during the blips, my body is fighting. So, pity party aside. I’m choosing to look on the bright side of things. And you can too. I promise!