I’m No Superman

As I write this post at 4:50am, I am reminded of the pain and suffering I continue to go through during my rehabilitation.  I have an auto-immune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and have been medicated with an auto-immune suppresor called Enbrel since 2003.  While Enbrel has carried me through these 9 years, it has only masked the symptoms, but never treated the cause.

In January of 2012 I discovered a holistic way of treating the cause by not eating starches, or commonly known as the Low Starch Diet (LSD).  I’ve sought out multiple nutritionists and focused mainly on fruits, veggies and nuts.  Additional research lead me to understand supplements to heal the areas of my body that have been severely damaged by AS.  A little over a month into the program, I stopped taking Enbrel completely, but I paid the price.

I have been on the LSD diet for 2 1/2 months while being off Enbrel 1 1/2 months.  During that time, I have fought pains, stiffness, and swelling in areas I’ve never dealt with before.  I’ve relied on my parents helping me out of bed when I could not do it myself.  I’ve come out of the chiropractor’s office shaking and bewildered due to (much needed) the spinal and neck adjustments.  And my sleep continues to be intermittent – I wake up 2-3 times per night knowing that my body is desperate for full nights of sleep.  I put up with a lot, but I’m no Superman.

As of last week I’ve decided to improve my quality of life and become more functional by allowing Ibuprofen into my diet and use as much as I need to get me through the rest of the days/weeks/months until my body heals itself.  Up until this point, I’ve always convinced myself that any time of medication will somehow stop the process of healing my body.  Only a few days into this regiment, I found out how much I was wrong.  When healing the body from AS, you need to always be moving, sleep as much as you can, and take in quality whole foods (no processed junk!).  With Ibuprofen, I take my normal draining days and reduce the pain & inflammation by 80%.  In turn, I sleep longer.  I move more.  I function.  And now I’m taking less naps during the day, I’m able to bend and be more flexible, and I’m getting longer nights of sleep.  So the recovery time the body needs is getting met whereas before I couldn’t due to all the pain and inflammation.  And when the body gets enough days to recover, I will ween off my Ibuprofen as it only stays in the body for a short period of time with no major side-effects.

If you’re ever feeling guilty of taking low-dose NSAIDs like aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, etc., consider your recovery time over your fear of medication.  While we’d all like to be Supermen and kick AS ASAP, we need to remember that pain and inflammation don’t need to follow you while you’re fixing your body.  Keep up the good fight and God bless you on your journey to 100% health.

Day 22 to 6 Months – Week 10

Info for Week 10

  • How to Make Quick Coconut Bread
  • Wall of Nuts:  On Sunday, I found a very nice Richard’s Whole Foods on University Parkway in Sarasota.  It’s the largest variety of nuts, dried fruits, dried beans, and chocolate-based foods I’ve seen in Sarasota.  However, Whole Foods does have more varieties of organic dried bin foods.
  • Moe’s:  Like Chipolte, you can opt to have a “naked” burrito (w/o the wrapped tortilla), but they’ve recently added tofu instead of the meat.  So you can get a  vegan meal with quality ingredients.  The downside, like Chipolte, is that there’s never enough food since it’s veggie-based.  Having a container of nuts in the car might help fill you up or you need to do a double order.
  • List of Proteins without Meat – Soybeans, almonds, pumpkin & hemp seeds, Quinoa, & Cottage Cheese have the highest levels of protein.
  • List of Calcium without Dairy – Soymilk, collard greens, tofu, OJ, and black-strap molasses are a few foods with calcium.
  • Natural Cleaners (and much less toxic) – cleaning floors, sinks, stove, dishwasher detergent & all-purpose cleaner.
  • Need to research Mercola’s Nutritional Typing – another way to tell what foods I’m allergic to.

– Foods Tested & No-Flare-Ups:  Coconut ice cream.
– Nutritional Yeast:  Although it’s too early to confirm, I might have developed a flare-up with Nutritional Yeast and it seems that others do too.

Now that I know coconut is ok, here are some recipies to try (and gain weight) – all NSD/LSD approved:
– Muffins
– Choc Chip Cookies
– Brownies/Chocolate Cake
– Pancakes

My Health in Week 10

  • Overall:  After mentally breaking down at the beginning of week 10, things have been easier to manage than week 9.  However, I still wake up 3 times a night, my back dripping with sweat and a sore back.  Getting out of bed is also quite difficult.  Daily life is more manageable and I get less times of exhaustion.  On Saturday (3/24) I was able to take a walk and swim back-to-back – a first for me during the diet.  On 3/26 I did not need to take a nap during the day – a 1st when on the diet (afternoon is the best time of the day for me currently).
  • Swollen right ankle –  My ankle fluctuates on the amount of swelling.  I need to keep the foot elevated and on ice throughout the day.  Also the left ankle is getting weaker due to all the weight I put on it as I do tasks around the house.
  • Added Apex Energetics Proglyco-SP 90 (regulates hypoglycemia’s blood sugar & adrenal glands).  I take 2 in the morning, 2 whenever during the day & 2 before I go to bed.  Since it contains loads of B-12, I am not using my Mercola B-12 spray.  So far no changes, but I’ve only taken it for a day.
  • Tests:  Just got a list of D.O’s today around Venice & am waiting to hear from insurance on coverage + Dr. Joseph for tests picks.
  • Enbrel:  It has been 5 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 136 lbs. and a BMI of 19.07 (gained 1 1/2 lbs. day after).  Others on NSD / LSD do have the same issues, but found out that coconut flour recipes can help gain the weight.  I’ll be using these sparingly to gain weight (especially the more sugars in the ingredients).