Blasting the Time Away

IMG_1917 (2)It is the first Monday of February and winter roars on here in Minnesota. This winter has been a quietly roaring winter but still it is too cold to stand outside in your bare feet and certainly not the time of year to soak in some Vitamin D.

I started something new in December and personally for any of us with hypothyroidism and the resulting aches and pains I think it is almost a necessity. What is this fabulously necessary thing? A fascia blaster.

On Blasting Fascia

Fascia is not a concept invented by a woman named Ashley Black but this little number shown below is. It is a “fascia blaster” and like Rolfing or other manipulation, it digs in to help release tension but unlike Rolfing the little plastic fingers dig deeper than human fingers can (it has been compared to “coining” aka Gua Sha) and have the ability to release trapped fascia.

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Fascia covers your entire body in so many spider-like webs. To quote Wikipedia “Like ligaments, aponeuroses, and tendons, fascia is made up of fibrous connective tissue containing closely packed bundles of collagen fibers oriented in a wavy pattern parallel to the direction of pull. Fascia is consequently flexible and able to resist great unidirectional tension forces until the wavy pattern of fibers has been straightened out by the pulling force. These collagen fibers are produced by fibroblasts located within the fascia.”

When fascia gets bound up the muscle and fat stick through it like dimples. If muscles get pulled on by fascia they hurt. Eventually these tight masses start to pull on ligaments and tendons and that all pulls on bones and joints. Pretty soon you are all bound up, tense and in pain.

You might get migraines because fascia is so tightly bound to your skull it makes your brain hurt. You get wrinkles on your face and neck, losing definition because fascia is pulling on certain areas (for instance scarred areas) and causing dimples (not the cute smile dimples but dimpling of the skin) or wrinkles. Ashley talks about the elevens that form between your eyebrows and crow’s-feet that form at the edges of aging eyes. All of it can in some way be attributed to the pull of twist of fascia and those little fingers in the blaster will help release and straighten the fascia tendrils.

What? Black and Blue?

When you start blasting one scary thing happens. As you release these tightly bound layers you will bruise and I don’t mean cute little bruises as if you bumped your hand on the edge of a door. I mean full, deep purple bruises that might cover an entire side if you have tissue bound by fascia on that side.

I have to admit, here and now, I have a very low tolerance for pain, so my bruises have been small and fairly light because my sessions are under 30 minutes. I blasted a friend the other day who has more tolerance for pain. She had been doing her own blasting, where she could reach with her large blaster, and she had already created a palette of purple I have not seen on the color spectrum (just kidding).

When I was done blasting her I can only imagine the new bruises she has. We worked on one area of her back almost an hour. I could see the redness and bumpiness appear as I worked on her back. She tells me she now has another display thanks to our session and she is fine with it, excited by it and appreciative (I think). She is a nurse by education and her knowledge of the body and how it works helps her understand more of what is happening to cause these bruises, it does not upset her.

Here’s the thing. All the bruising will go away and as she heals and gets rid of these fascial bindings she will re-shape her body. She may get her waist back and her thigh pads, referred to as saddlebags, will lessen and, she hopes, disappear. Other women have their facial shape return, jowls diminish, and their chin line returns. Tummy fat from pregnancies lessen and flatten out. Plantar fascitis will disappear. It is a tool for many maladies and I am hoping for the best of results for the both of us.

Krisinsight

I could quite honestly go on and on but it would get really boring and I would lose your attention for sure. I will provide you with my insight and then set you loose to chart your own course.

I am not blasting to re-shape my body. If that happens I will not be disappointed but I want the Fascia Blaster for pain relief. My poor dental hygienist’s neck has been aching at night like never before. I have tried new pillows and new mattresses, essential oils and Boswellia. I have tried ice packs and chiropractic adjustment all to no avail.

Currently, I am blasting my scalp and my neck, arms and pecs to release the pull fascia has on my skull and scapula not to mention the pull on my Occiput and the tension in the semispinalis capitis muscle (if you want to see the areas just click on the highlighted words). When I do a treatment, or when my blasting partner did a treatment of my neck and shoulders, the pain is less intense but it soon returns, so I know the process is a long-term thing and I do not expect overnight results nor results without some maintenance.

I also am hoping to relieve some IT band discomfort and some unnatural pulling on my pelvis and knees. Because fascia covers your entire body extensively treating one area means treating nearly the entire body, so without too much pain and discomfort that is my plan.

So here is a typical session plan. This afternoon, I am planning a full body blast but it will not be a long drawn out affair, perhaps a 15 minute session covering foot to head. To prepare, I will do some aerobic exercise for 30 minutes. While I exercise, my sauna will be heating and when I am done exercising I will warm myself completely in my sauna for 15-30 minutes.

Once my entire body is heated and pliable I will take my coconut oil and my Mini Blaster 2 in to a warmed bathroom (the warmth cannot be over emphasized as fascia will not respond as well when you are cold). I also will take my iPad and my YouTube app along and play one of many Ashley Black Guru videos to ensure I cover all necessary areas in a pattern that is most helpful (it is a must to know all the contraindications, so watch the video covering those).

I will then cover an area or several areas with a nice coating of oil. Working my blaster up and down, back and forth and even in a diagonal motion but never in circles as that just binds up fascia. I will use quick but constant motions with moderate pressure. I will avoid direct or deep contact in the areas that have lymph nodes. I am looking for a reddening of the skin as that means I have increased the blood flow bringing much-needed oxygen and other nutrients to that area of my body.

When I move to a new area I will apply more oil (yes, cover everything around you with a towel that can be washed) and blast that area. When I have covered all the areas I wish to do today I will shower and end my shower with cold water. Before I am done for the day I will take 2-3 pellets of Arnica 200cc (my blasting partner suggested this before and after you blast) to help reduce any inflammation and bruising.

I am sharing this information to inform you of yet another way you can reduce pain and inflammation in your body. If you are curious and want to know more I suggest joining Ashley Black Fascia Blasting Facebook group. They are a great group of women who share amazing photos and experiences. It is very reassuring to see such support among women and I enjoy reading all their testimonials.

Have a great February and for all my Aquarian and Pisces soul mates, happy birthday!

Kris

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Long Time No Write

Greetings and salutations! Before we get started let me apologize for not being active on my blog for more than a year. Life happened and some of it got in the way.

WTF Happened to an Entire Year

What got in the way, you ask? Let me attempt to make a short story long, I mean, let me explain how life can get in the way.

In September of 2015 my SU and I were on holiday in Britain and on our last day I got a text that made me laugh. As the people in the room watched me I’m sure my face went from smile to grimace as I texted back, “You’re kidding, right?” and learned it was no joke. Our lives were about to be turned upside down as my daughter became a divorced woman who was unemployed, had a baby still in diapers and another child in pre-school.

Thanks to this man’s human weaknesses, in December of 2015 my daughter and her two boys moved in to our world. Life changed dramatically for all of us. Buckets of tears were shed and there were troubles galore but, despite all that, we, the adults, came through that particularly dark tunnel of our lives feeling stronger and perhaps more determined to find our happiness. For the children of an acrimonious divorce it isn’t so simple but hopefully time will heal their wounds as well.

Were there things I learned from the entire ordeal? You bet. The biggest surprise for me over the last year was this, our world is not supportive of women or men staying home and raising the children. We, in my opinion, underestimate what a valuable asset it is to have parents raising children but it is no longer respected nor expected.

Anyway,  life got in the way as my house teemed with the voices of little boys. My hours were not my hours anymore but I learned so much my head nearly exploded.

On Making Resolutions for 2017

I have often eschewed New Year’s resolutions. If you need to make changes in your life why does the calendar determine when it should happen? I don’t have a good answer anymore as I now find myself using January of a new year as the date I get back to my blog. Yes indeed this is a New Year’s resolution and, even I now admit, perhaps one does need a new day and new year to set a goal.

 

Krisinsight

So, for today and for this blog post, let me redefine my blog more as a disclaimer than anything. Krisinsight, is just that. My name is Kris and on these pages you will find my insight. This is not a place to come if you are looking for scientific data. This is a place to come if you want to know what I have experienced.

I am not a medical doctor. I am a health enthusiast who loves to read and research. I have hypothyroidism (my diagnosis is nearly 2 decades old), so my main emphasis is thyroid health but my interests are varied and I love to experiment, so that is what I do.

In the coming year I want to address such fascinating subjects as my genetic report on 23andMe, liquid T3, fascia blasting, inflammation, heart health and so on. I hope you join me now and then and feel free to leave a comment. All comments will be shared and addressed.

Happy New Year to my readers. May your 2017 be full of good health and learning.

 

ALCAT and All That

???????????????????????????????The dog days of August are upon us in Minnesota. Define “dog days” you say? To me they are days of heat and humidity when all you want to do is lay around panting like a dog. Dictionary.com defines it as “the sultry part of summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the dog star, rises at the same time as the sun; now often reckoned to be July 3-August 11. Also they say it is “a period marked by lethargy, inactivity or indolence”.

Food sensitivity?

As with many of us who have autoimmune issues I have looked at the possibility that I have food allergies or food sensitivities but I was never interested enough to try an elimination diet nor to spend the big bucks and have a blood test done. I did eliminate gluten entirely about three years ago and other than the accidental bits of gliadin protein that have managed to sneak in to my daily diet I have remained gluten free.

Sadly, as my SU is quick to point out, removing gluten from my diet has not been the magic bullet I was hoping it would be. I still have bloating. I still have bouts of diarrhea. I had a bout with eczema and I still have the occasional migraine headache. I have not “gotten over” my autoimmune issues and I still need thyroid medication (now taking 75 mcg of T3).

Causation?

I have never been able to put my finger on the cause of my issues. I can tell you that I have, at one time or another, blamed almost everything that goes in my mouth.

I did give up gluten because I realized that every time we went on holiday, where I ate with abandon, every gluten containing item I was offered, I came home and got sick. Twice I developed a nasty rash on my lower right back that at first burned then oozed and itched, then scabbed over and looked distinctly like dermatitis herpetiformis. Once I got shingles within a month of our holiday. That was the year I had a light bulb moment. Gluten and getting sick were related and I eliminated gluten and anything that might contain the gliadin protein. I can report I have never again had that rash on my back nor shingles, so if nothing else that is an improvement.

Okay, so gluten was eliminated but problems still existed and as I said I blamed many things. I, at one time or another, thought coffee was the culprit, then tea, then dairy. I did realize, correctly as it turns out, turmeric was an issue but I also blamed coconut, citric acid and other herbs. With all these suspicions, and really no proof, I did consider a food allergy test.

Along came ALCAT

My doctor, Kim Lane, had been telling me about a food sensitivity test (IgA not IgE testing) she had done and what a difference it made for her. It came with a hefty price tag (almost $1200) that made my jaw drop but then again can we put a price tag on our health? Not really, and $1200 wouldn’t even pay for one hour much less one day spent in a hospital because you are now in dire need of medical intervention. I mulled it over for months. I talked to my spouse about it and my friends. I still didn’t do it.

A year later the defining moment arrived. I got my 23andMe results back and with my 17 mutations out of 58 polymorphisms I decided that I really needed to know if there were foods, herbs, drugs that were negatively impacting my health. Unlike many people I do not believe that we have to settle for whatever our genes have elected for us, we can take control of our health (quoting Dr. Mercola). The ALCAT that Dr. Lane was recommending seemed like the best thing I could pursue.

What does ALCAT stand for?

ALCAT (antigen leukocyte cellular antibody test) does not test IgE immune responses to food and chemicals but according to their literature it is “a highly sensitive, objective test of assessing which foods, chemicals and herbs you may be intolerant or sensitive to.  Food sensitivity/intolerances affect over 80% of the population while less than 5% of us actually have an IgE or ‘true’ food allergy.

I will not go into every detail regarding the test as anyone can “Google” that and find out. I will explain the details I find interesting. They take 5-6 vials of blood and test a lengthy list of items including 200 foods, 50 functional foods and medicinal herbs, 20 food additives and colorings, and 10 molds and antibotics and medications. A phlebotomist is sent to your home to make the blood draw and that is included in your test price. My phlebotomist was a retired nurse and while she seemed a bit confused about what was expected of her she was very proficient at drawing what seemed like endless vials of blood and sending them off.

When your results are back you have a consultation with your provider, in my case, Dr. Kim Lane. She went over the results and discussed the best way to go about working with my new found knowledge. A really interesting comment she made was the nutritionist was amazed at my test results and generally speaking they discussed how clean my diet must be to have very little that I am sensitive to. Huh?

I had no severe reactions to anything in the food and herb category, nothing. I had a moderate reaction to three things, strawberries, rhubarb and tilapia. My list of mild intolerance was longer and included two things I was having every day, turmeric and apples. Other things were not daily items but I did use them frequently, cumin, pork, beef, asparagus and red/green lettuce (grew that this year in my garden).

I did have a severe reaction  in the “chemicals and molds category” to one drug, Ibuprofen. And there was a severe reaction to a mold, trichoderma. I am not sure of the implication of the severe reaction to trichoderma but I avoid ibuprofen like the plague. I recently took one because I had a terrible case of conjunctivitis but that was the first one I had taken in a year or more. Now I had proof that it was not good for me and I was correct to avoid it.

What is prescribed?

According to an ALCAT site everything falls in to various categories. There is a red column. Those items falling in to the red category are avoided altogether for 6 months and then possibly can be added back on a rotation basis. The orange column items are not eaten for 3-6 months and then rotated back into your diet. The yellow column contains things that should be avoided for 3 months but might be okay to eat once a week. Green means you can eat and enjoy but they firmly believe everything should be rotated even if in the green category.

Since I had no severe reactions (no food items in the red column) my prescription is to remove the items that I am moderately intolerant to for six months, so no rhubarb, no strawberries and no tilapia. (At first, I exclaimed “Who even eats tilapia anymore?” One should never get too smug. Dr. Mercola’s supplement of krill is in a fish gelatin casing. What is that fish gelatin made of? Tilapia. Why is that important to me? I needed to replace my fish oil because it is in a beef gelatin capsule. I went to Mercola.com ready to order the krill until I saw the label. TILAPIA!)

Under the “mild intolerance” the list is longer and included beef and pork (thus the bovine gelatin was out and so was my idea of returning to natural dessicated thyroid medication as it is porcine). Just to bore you with more detail than you want I will list all the items in the this category: apple (even apple cider vinegar included), asparagus, bay leaf, beef, brazil nut, canola oil, cayenne pepper, celery, cherry, chicken liver, cumin, fava bean, guava, mung bean, nutmeg, paprika, pork, red/green lettuce, sesame and turmeric. Those items can be consumed once a week but if I consume them I should note how they make me feel.

There are three blue boxes included in the test results. These list your blood’s reaction to candida, gluten/gliadin and casein/whey. Of those three I had a mild reaction to candida albicans, so no honey, cane sugar, fructose or maple sugar for three months. I had no response to casein or whey. I had no response to gluten/gliadin and I really don’t know what to make of that but I am going to assume that is because I haven’t had it in any quantity in a long time. I admit to being perplexed regarding my non-reacton to gluten/gliadin, so stay tuned for more information after I talk to the nutritionist.

That is the last, but not least, recommended thing I will do, talk to their nutritionist. Included in the price of the test is that 30 minutes with Dr. Lane and 30 minutes with one of their nutritionists. I am hopeful that the nutritionist can fill in some of the blanks especially why I had no adverse reaction to gluten/gliadin.

Krisinsight

I am still digesting all of the information I now have in my hands. I look over my results every day and learn something new (for instance just now I learned what trichoderma was). I was relieved that tea and coffee were not to be eliminated but still their nutritional recommendation is no food or herb or drink is ever repeated more than once every fourth day. I have tea every day, more than once, and coffee is one of those social things that I am not very willing to give up even though I do not drink it every day (normally). I can give up the offending items for the required amount of time and I can even rotate them back in to my diet but a rotation diet of all the other foods may be really painful, too painful. Time will tell and so will my gut.

Santé,

Kris

Discovering Your Genetic Code

???????????????????????????????My last post was at the end April and here we are nearing the middle of June. I will not repeat the same old tired phrase regarding the passing of time but I will say it has been a busy and kind period of my life.

After my Sidney died I started investigating adoption options as my heart and home felt empty and in need of a poodle. I contacted Sidney’s breeder in Oregon and I had friends investigating options for breeders in Minnesota. One fateful inquiry led to adopting our new furkid, Vienna, a miniature poodle.Vienna

Vienna, age 4 almost 5, belonged to the family who run the kennel where my boys have boarded for almost 10 years. Mark, one of the owners, grew up with miniature poodles and wanted to raise them and sell them responsibly. Vienna was going to have a litter or two of puppies but when the first litter turned out a bit wild and incorrigible they felt it was best not to have any more puppies and they considered finding a good home for Vienna. As Mark was to say later, “We have had our eye on you for awhile” and when I contacted him about responsible breeders of miniature poodles in our area he had a gift for me.

Vienna is a sweet little girl and while I still get misty over Sidney she has become part of the family. My heart and my home feel whole again and I like to think that Sidney would approve of her wholeheartedly.

23andMe

On the topic of health, I may or may not have mentioned that a few months ago I bought a kit from 23andMe. I did it with some hesitation because the company often comes under criticism for invasion of privacy, collecting data to sell, etc. Also, the SU was not wholly behind me doing it but I really wanted to know more about me. A friend of mine was going to place an order for two kits and was willing to order one for me (they are slightly cheaper that way), so I asked her to order one for me. When I got my kit I deposited my saliva in the tube supplied, closed the kit up as instructed and sent the kit in to be analyzed.

The results were confusing and absolutely mind boggling at first as the government has essentially hogtied 23andMe making it impossible for them to tell you anything important about your results. They do compare your results to a person named Lilly Mendel, part of the Mendel family, and from that you can deduce some details about your health.

On the other hand, your ancestry is more clear cut and not illegal for them to tell you. I am 100% European. 34.7% Scandinavian (no surprise there, my mother’s mom immigrated from Sweden and her father was born to Swedish parents here in America) 16.1% Irish and British (Dad always told us he was a mutt, meaning he had a little of everything and he may have been right, at least as far as Europe was concerned), 4.5% French and German, 3.7% Finnish. Oh, and 2.7% Neanderthal. I might have hoped for something more amazing but this was confirmation that I already knew where I came from (although the Neanderthal was a bit of a surprise).

But what of the rest of the test?

Ugh, the rest of the test. The first thing you need to do is contact other sites to analyze your genetic results. I bought the Sterling App and eventually I purchased results from Livewello.com. I got free results from Geneticgenie.org, Knowyourgenetics.com and Nutrahacker.com. Overall, I use Livewello more than any other because it is more complete. Geneticgenie, Nutrahacker and Sterling are more about MTHFR issues and while I wanted to know the totality of my MTHFR issue I already intuitively knew I had a methylation issue, so I was curious about the rest of the data. I feel Livewello shows me more information not just methylation issues.

Fascinating or depressing?

When Nutrahacker summed up my results they reported that they found a total of 17 mutations out of the 58 polymorphisms assessed. These were in the Detox and methylation mutation report only. I don’t know about you but that seems like a lot of mutations. Some might find this disturbing but I like having the knowledge at my fingertips and I feel empowered.

Anyone who knows genetics knows we are not prisoners of our genes. Epigenetics teaches us that the way the mutations are expressed or not expressed can depend on a host of things. Knowing what mutations exist I can do all I am physically and mentally able to do to keep them from being expressed. Energy medicine also would say that positive thinking can change the expression. In other words, if you think sick you will be sick. Think healthy and your chances of being healthy are greatly increased.

Is 23andMe for every body?

Simply put, no, 23andMe is not for everybody. My daughter does not find my results comforting and she has no interest in knowing her genetic make-up. I think most young people would find the results more disturbing than someone who is already considered a senior by many. At 61 I feel like I have beat the odds already and if I can continue to stave off one thing or another I have won the lottery of life.

Most of my immediate relatives found my results interesting but had no interest in doing their own genetic testing. My SU is not at all interested in testing. His old but frequent statement is “What will be, will be.” He has little interest in his genes nor in preventing any disease or premature death.

One friend told me she would be concerned about the results and it might negatively affect her outlook on life. Obviously, it is not for that person.

Here is the type of person who I think might benefit from doing a 23andMe test:

  • You genuinely feel you have some control over your fate.
  • You have a keen interest in health and the human body.
  • You have no fear of your future and live life as if each day is your last
  • You or a loved one has a dis-ease of the body and you want to know if it is an inherited tendency

Maybe someday I will share more of my results. I find myself very inhibited when it comes to revealing anything on the internet that you might not want an insurance company or the government to get ahold of. My blog is open to the public and they, the people who are interested in such things, already know I have thyroid issues. I may or may not want them to know anymore.

What do you think of genetic testing? Have you done a genetic test? I would love to know how many people with thyroid issues in particular have tested their genetic code and want their family to be tested.

Santé,

Kris

A Departure

IMG_1448Happy May to my readers. With the passing of a full moon, and its resultant power, our nights will get darker and our souls will once again relax and calm before the power of the next full moon is upon us.

Life and death are closely knitted together in our world, much like the full moon and new moon. I accept these relationships and honor the need for both but this woman has never accepted death quite as easily as I accept life, so last Thursday was a harrowing day for me. I was, as I have been recently, home with my standard poodle, Sidney.

For almost a year, Sidney had suffered from a nerve demylenization somewhat akin to Multiple Sclerosis in humans but called Degenerative Myelopathy. He had lost the feeling in his hind quarters and one side effect was his tail didn’t wag, nor stand erect anymore. When you can’t really feel your hind legs, stairs and uneven surfaces become a challenge. His vocal cords had been somewhat paralyzed as well making his bark a mere shadow of its former self and his breathing loud.

Probably, as a result of his hindquarter lameness he now had a very sore front right leg, so was really relying on one strong leg to maintain his mobility. Despite these maladies, he always had a sparkle in his eyes and a willingness of spirit. I depended on that sparkle in his eyes to help guide me and hopefully to show me when he had had enough. I knew his days were numbered but I was determined to make them joyful.

Thursday in the dark of early morning hours I made my way to the bathroom. Right behind me Sidney hobbled in, unsure of the tile floor beneath his paws, clearly favoring his right leg again but still moving forward not to be deprived of his third eye kiss and his ear rub. We then headed outside for his morning wee and then inside for his food and medicine (he who never needed any medicine had spent the last two weeks on one med or another). Then back to bed, me to read, Sidney to rest and let his food digest.

That fateful morning, after I had read and Sidney had rested he followed me to the kitchen, but limping badly and clearly in pain. He did make it down the two stairs he needed to navigate to go outside but he hesitated to even wee, much less other more difficult movements, and soon headed back inside, done with being outside on his feet that didn’t work very well.

He headed for his spot by my computer because even having to lift his legs to his cushiony bed seemed too much effort. I think he looked to me for safety in the storm, so wherever I went he wanted to be there glued to my hip. I always have things to do but that morning I eventually gave up and just sat by my computer reading, investigating, thinking, all the while letting Sid rest his weary legs.

That morning, unlike most normal mornings, he was restless but listless, moving from place to place trying to find comfort but always within eyesight of me. I became concerned because this was not my Sidney. Eventually I called Dr. Winter his veterinarian for advice on our next step. We had been visiting his office almost weekly in the last month because there was always something changing.

Dr. Winter was in surgery that morning, so I was told he would call me back around noon. While we waited for the call I had Sidney go to his crate where he could rest and stay off his feet as I moved around a bit to get some things done. I even went out for a couple of hours to clear my head and talk to a friend of mine knowing that the longer he was safely ensconced in his crate the better his hurt paw would feel.

While my friend and I walked and talked Dr. Winter called but I didn’t hear his call and, in the end, this was a good thing. Had he answered Sidney would have had a painful trip to the office for an equally unwelcome x-ray of his right front leg that was causing him to limp so badly. It would all have been for naught, it wasn’t his leg that was plaguing him.

Dr. Winter left his cell phone number and when I got home I called him. He was unavailable, so I left a message to please call me back. Then I took my boy outside because I knew he must be desperate for a nature call, which he was, but on the way back to the house he suddenly stopped as if he couldn’t walk another step.

I looked at him and clapped my hands, trying to make a game of walking inside but he wasn’t having anything to do with my games. I detected a certain sadness in his look and he looked at me as if to say “Have a heart Mom, help me here, I am miserable.” A little later in the afternoon, Dr. Winter called. I told him his limp was really bad, we decided on an x-ray in the morning, 8 a.m. sharp.

The rest of the afternoon is a blur but I remember that Sidney would not quit fidgeting and I knew all his movement was irritating that right front leg that either had a ligament pull or a bone tumor, the x-ray would decide which it was but not until morning. I set his crate up next to my computer, so he could keep his eye on me but stay still and keep weight off his bad leg. He tossed and turned even in his confined space and I finally gave him another Tramadol for pain but the restlessness continued until I suddenly sensed something had changed.

He was trying to stand up but his hind quarters were slack. I looked at his sparkling eyes and they were dull and listless. My first thought, silly mom, was get him a treat and he will get up and be okay. I got a treat and while he took it he couldn’t even eat it and it crumbled down his chest onto the floor where he valiantly attempted to pick up the crumbs.

Those eyes were the worst part for me and they haunt me today as I grieve his loss. When Sidney’s eyes had no sparkle left and the lids hung limply I madly called family looking for a second opinion but got no response from anyone. With a sense of finality and a very heavy heart I called Dr. Winter and asked him if he would come and bring some peace to my beloved furkid. While we waited I did some Reiki for Sidney just for his peace of mind and reduction of any pain he might be in but also hoping if he was ready to go Reiki would help him make that final journey.

I will not gnaw at this moment much longer but please bear with me, I have an inner need to tell his story. Dr. Winter arrived almost at the same time a friend arrived to hold my hand and lend support. We brought Sidney outside to the soft green grass and placed him on his beloved blankie. As I held his head, and kissed his face, telling him over and over that I loved him he crossed the Rainbow Bridge to a place where he can run again.

I like to believe that across the Rainbow Bridge he will forever eat all the food he wants. There will be mountains of meaty beef bones to clean his teeth. He will once again be able to dive in to the snow and come up frosted with its rime. He will stot through the sage covered mountainsides of Idaho just like the deer he used to chase (yes, its true but they were always faster).

He will have joy and his spirit will be renewed across that bridge. Farewell my big guy. You had a mighty fine life for 13 1/2 years. When Dad and I are at the cabin I will cast your ashes in the same spot with Stanley (July 2001) and Fitzy (December 2013). The mountainside on Elk Ridge will be alive with poodles as the three of you run free, stotting across the sage, your adorable faces wind blown and happy.

God bless the poodles of my life.

Love,

Kris

The Itch of Eczema

???????????????????????????????Spring has sprung across the United States but on the very first full day of spring in Minnesota winter reared its icy cold soul and surprised us with snow the next day. This reversal of the seasons is expected here in the tundra, so if spring gives you snow I guess you might as well make a snowman (or so my grandson thought).

As the earth yawned and lifted its winter weary head earlier in March I optimistically started thinking that this spring might bring something new and different in to my life. You know what I mean, something with flair and perhaps exciting? Well something new happened and it was a flare but somehow the exciting part got lost in translation.

Eczema Goes Walk About

That’s right it was a flare, an all out attack on my epidermal layer, eczema on crack or some such thing. My eczema that previously had partied only on my legs decided to ask all its friends to come and visit, so they could itch together and cause crimson exudate. Ugh.

Anyone with eczema knows the pleasure of the initial itch, it must be akin to the way addicts feel the first time they take an illicit drug. It is intensely pleasurable but there is a fine line that can and will be crossed and pretty soon you regret your weakness. Once you start itching your eczema you cannot stop and very soon you regret that initial itch much like a junkie must regret they ever took that first hit.

Stop the Itch

What does one do when a problem arises? Honestly? I turn to the internet and others who have suffered a similar fate. I also did consult with my homeopath, Dr. Kim Lane. She suggested Rhux Tox and/or Urtica Urens and I started one and then the other but while I waited for the remedies to kick in I needed something for the itch. I really wanted instant relief and I didn’t want to apply steroid creams having read too many horror stories of steroid withdrawal.

After reading all the information I could get my hands on I came upon a solution that made perfect sense to me, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.

One more use for apple cider vinegar and coconut oil

Yes, yet another use for household ingredients like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. Apparently apple cider vinegar sprayed on the itchies takes the itch away and coconut oil serves as a protective layer and moisturizer. Not just any ACV will do but the kind that has a mother and is alive with probiotics, so off I went to my cupboard and pulled out the Bragg’s ACV and poured it in to a spray bottle I had on hand.

I sprayed it on every itchy spot I could see and while the sting was intense the itching immediately subsided. The sting was so much better than the itch I cannot tell you and for about 24 hours every time the itch threatened to be scratched I sprayed more ACV. Each time, after the ACV was dry I applied liberal coats of coconut oil.

The next day the positive results were noticeable. The patches that were really bad had scabbed over, the itch had greatly diminished. The best news was the partying stopped, no new attendees showed up or if they did they got sprayed and chased off.

I am sure the homeopathic remedies were doing most of the work but the ACV and coconut oil were a God send. This past weekend I could even shave my legs, something I haven’t been able to do without intense itching for months.

Krisinsight

I know there are many facets to eczema and other skin conditions that plague millions of people worldwide. I do not think for one minute that all you need do is spray some apple cider vinegar on your skin and eczema and all its causes will go away. What I did want to share is that apple cider vinegar and coconut oil took away the itch of eczema and hastened the healing for me. If you have no known allergies to either ingredient, they will do no harm and they might just help.

Until next time, take care of yourself and I hope spring brings you something exciting with a flair and not a flare.

Santé,

Kris

 

T3 Update

???????????????????????????????Just a quick update on my order of T3. It arrived today. It took about a month and a half but it is here and I was one jubilant woman when the postman brought it to the door.
If you haven’t received your email from the pharmacy, know that they are very embarrassed by this debacle and are offering 17% your pharmaceutical orders according to an email I received last week.
I hope you all are well.

Santé,
Kris