Three weeks to ponder… On July 12, 2018, exactly 6 years and 5 months and 3 days after the injury spurring this systemic disease into action, I arrived at my mother’s home some 8 hours from my own. With 2 years of recovery, a stable inflammatory response reduced pain, and medications, under my belt I was ready to tackle anything. For God sakes I just day hiked a 3 miles round trip through rough terrain for the first time in 6 years I could tackle anything, right? Maybe, had I maintained what I was doing environmentally, dietary and emotionally…
Let’s start with the emotional factor first. I’m no spring chicken myself, however, my mom is well into her 70’s and has been upright, independent, and kicking ass all these years. She was never told her Rheumatoid Arthritis was autoimmune. She was never told the inflammation contributes greatly to her pain from which is compounded over time by the physical damage from said inflammation and the over the counter remedies she utilized throughout the years. It’s stressful to watch her hurt helpless at this juncture to help her for a multitude of roadblocks. Most of which are hardwired in us as human beings when we state, “I’m not going to give up everything I enjoy.”.
Let’s talk about the dietary compliance or lack thereof, call it road food, is so much easier, time-saving and counterproductive for me. One might also note it doesn’t taste good or decent anymore. Also, there is that I am not eating what my body is accustomed to even when preparing something at the house it apparently isn’t any one thing but a combination of changes. I try to stay as close to the source or as close to raw (not to be confused with how meat is cooked) as possible, organic as possible, non-GMO, grass-fed, no antibiotics, etc… My supplements are plant-based as well. I try to focus on clean eating not depriving myself of what I like but sticking to moderation was tough, to say the least, and my mom wants to reassure me by cooking that she ate well. By the standard definition, she didn’t do bad, however… It was more in tune with how I ate before I made the changes as such my body began to revert to before.
Environmentally… We could argue there is no proof, however, I will ask you to show me an asthmatic who isn’t sensitive to chemicals within their environment. Shortly after my arrival the pest control came through to spray the apartments in the complex for bugs. My mother tries to be earth-friendly but like every one of us has a die-hard habit we just cannot shake… Her’s is detergents in the carpet cleaner she uses, hairspray and perfume-laden products. When we are unaware of these simply allergens we are as well unaware of the impact they have brushing into an individual sensitive to them let alone staying housebound in the environment for 3 weeks. On the flip side why would we question these things when doctor’s offices are filled with air fresheners, scented candles, nurses and receptionists who wear cologne and the list goes on.
How could this have been easier for all involved? Distance makes this very difficult but that’s up to her to move closer to us I cannot force the issue, I live in the location I do for various reasons. The oblivious one being I can control my environment and diet at home easier than at another place, a second thing to consider is being stressed due to an overcrowded population, added pollution, and noise. We all know light and sound sensitivities are real. Also, I do rely upon my husband to help me keep the house up after ourselves, I’ve said before I could no longer work and proved that this past month as such we should hire in help. I was short of the physical caregiver mark I felt should have been reached by me during her recovery. There are a few things a personal assistant/companion could do such as scrub down the bathroom weekly, assist in larger shopping endeavors, etc regardless of her level of improvement just to make things easier for her and relieve the emotional burden from me worrying about if she can do it by herself.
What could I have done differently? Bring my own kitchenette. I am accustomed to working with certain ingredients, certain cooking implements such as cast iron and not Teflon which is known to release toxins into the food at low temperatures, certain combinations of foods, I use a juicer rather than buying processed juice, make my own bread rather than buy something it takes another 4 weeks to mold. I realize it seems as though I speak of only one thing regarding my improvements, diet and chemical sensitivity mainly. While that may be true, remember, I’m not an expert writing a how-to book, I am penning the journey I am on because I am willing to share openly, publicly and honestly, my trials, tribulations and the hurdles while I regain my health that life throws at me. I’ve never indicated once this process was quick or easy and as such you’re getting as far down the road as I am.
More importantly, I discovered I wasn’t imagining what I was doing was helping by hearing that there were others who through similar mean had improvements, almost miraculous in nature, that I started this blog when others eager for food for thought asked what I had been doing to obtain the milestones I had with my recovery. As I discover what other symptoms are also related to my CRPS through you all confirming with me you suffer too I will share what I discover… Until then… Enjoy the show while I tour the how-tos after researching the validity of the claims, as slow of a process it is and use myself as the guinea pig rather than the doctors doing it.
Remember, I am not a licensed physician, I am not a specialist, and sure as hell don’t play on on TV. Any changes you make in your lifestyle which may indirectly or directly impact your physician’s treatment plan responsibly requires you to consult with your attending physician for oblivious reasons. As much as I’ve done I’ve done so while under the direct care of my prescribing physician. While in the beginning, I didn’t directly discuss my lifestyle changes I do so openly, without hesitation now and my general practitioner who oversees my basic care and monitors the scripts the pain management clinic set up for me has witness my medication reduction through my improving health and that my friends is nothing he is going to baulk about because my GP who is a DO is rooting for my team.