Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mama's Health Update

 The end of June I took the long trek back to the dietitian for a follow up.  I ended up bringing the kiddos along and thanks to a wonderful friend the trip wasn't such a chore.

Thiel asked how I was doing and I told him really well except I still had issues in the morning with stiffness, feeling like my hands, feet and knees were swollen.  He added on some infam-enzymes to take right before bed.

I also mentioned I'd been feeling on the verge of passing out a lot.  I'd gone to a holistic dentist a few days prior to replace a filling after breaking a tooth while flossing.  The dentist was also an acupuncturist and used an electric machine of some sort on my ear to help calm my nerves.  He said my episodes of passing out weren't allergies to medicine, but probably anxiety.  I mentioned that to the dietitian and he added a couple hypothalamus to my regime.

Since that appointment I'd been getting headaches.  I called and asked Thiel about them and he mentioned none of the supplements have a history of headaches as a side effect, but took me off the hypothalamus.  I'm kinda wondering if they're due to the dentist visit.  To harden the composite filling he used a tool with a light and each time he used it he was majorly pressing on my jaw.  Since then I haven't been able to relax my TMJ, which is where all the pressure and tension seem to be coming from.  Also, I haven't been as hunky dorey since the visit, but I haven't been feeling like passing out either.  I'm wondering if the pain/tension is keeping me from feeling like passing out.  On top of the headaches I've had some clicking in my wrists, which I haven't had for most of the month.

I also saw the rheumatologist July 8th and got the results from the blood tests back.  Everything came back great, except a couple things, which weren't major.  An RA test came back with a 7, where 5 and below are normal.  The doctor told me that those who have full fledged RA have numbers in the hundreds so it could mean it's just beginning.  He also mentioned palindromic rheumatism, that has a trigger and seems to randomly come and flare up and then leave.  It can flare two times in your life or a lot more.  My tests also showed my liver was functioning well above normal.  They also took a bunch more blood for more tests - yeah! (Note the sarcasm in my typing...)

I showed him my supplements and mentioned the cow's milk protein the dietitian said I shouldn't eat.  He was pumped about the supplements and hoping I've found the trigger (milk).  He said the only thing he'd add to the list of supplements was an herb called Kaprex.  His son had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which they found was caused by an infection and treated with antibiotics, along with Kaprex and something similar to the inflam-enzymes I'm taking, and is not healthy and abusing his body in football.

I asked about the calcium Thiel put me on for my lumps.  I wasn't sure the lumps were actually calcium buildup because they're squishy.  The doctor told me sometime the calcium could be the size of a grain of sand and the body puts tissue around the grain to stop the irritation, so the calcium could help. 

Overall, the joint pain isn't horrendous any more.  In the morning I'm still the most stiff and get stiff if I pull my legs up for a long time.  (I've always been comfortable with both legs pulled up to my chest and it's been hard to ditch the habit.)  The sensation in my joints has kinda changed and it kinda feels like something is missing, which I'm taking as a good sign.  I'm sure it'll take a while for my joints to get back to normal.

I was overjoyed that on the fourth of July I was able to run around for the water war without thinking of my joints or having pain.  What a praise!  In the midst of this recent flare I'd been a bit depressed thinking of all the things I thought I wouldn't be able to do again.  The kids I used to babysit used to use me as a jungle gym and now with my kids I was in pain with the slightest monkeying around.  Praise God it's getting better!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rhubarb Recipes

Our last visit to Red's parents they gave us a bunch of rhubarb from their garden. So it's been sitting in the fridge for a couple weeks...This weekend I finally decided to do something with it! His mom had a recipe for rhubarb berry pie that I requested and tweaked with Nourishing Tradition's version of rhubarb pie and used a crust recipe from the new Azure recipe book.

Rhubarb Berry Pie

2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
3/4 cup rapadura/whole cane sugar
2 Tbsp arrowroot

Mix the above ingredients with a spoon and leave out for at least 15 minutes. (As I used frozen berries I left them out longer and as they melted I mixed them a little more to get the juices mixed in.)

Pie Crust

2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup water

Make sure the coconut oil is in liquid form - if not, melt it. Combine the crust ingredients and make a ball.  Split the ball in two, one for the bottom crust and the other for the top. Roll the balls out in between two pieces of wax paper until it'll fit in a 9 inch pie pan. Place one of the crusts in the pie pan.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter) and 1 tsp lemon juice in the pie filling then pour into crust in the pie pan. Add the top crust however you want. I did one with the lattice and one with flat circle with steam vents cut in. If you want you can brush with melted coconut oil (or half and half or butter) and sprinkle lightly with sugar (I used rapadura on the one I did).

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 mins. and then change the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40-50 mins, until crust is golden brown.

The other recipe I made (since we had a LOT) was a rhubarb berry relish from the Azure recipe book.

Raw Rhubarb & Berry Relish

2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, whatever you have on hand and want to add)
3/4 cup honey (RAW honey works well, since it's this recipe isn't heated!)

Blend the rhubarb and honey in a food processor and then set aside. Blend the berries in the food processor and stir into the rhubarb mix.

Good on waffles and ice cream!

Store in the fridge for several weeks or freeze.
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