Day 22 to 6 Months – Week 15

What I Learned in Week 15

  • New Pillow:  I’ve been using the mid-core pillow a little less than a week – it’s supposed to correct your neck posture as you sleep.  Since there’s the indentation / hole in the middle, your neck goes back instead of forward throughout the night.  For me, the 1st week has been uncomfortable, but I did manage to sleep.  For those who sleep on their back, I was only able to sleep when I tilted my head slightly.  Otherwise I couldn’t breathe right and I snored.  Another trick to “lock” you into place is to take two rolled-up hand towels and place them on the opposite side of where you tilt your head to sleep.
  • Proper Sleeping Positions

My Health in Week 15

  • Overall:  Seeing big improvements, but major fluctuations every day.  I am now doing pool exercises at least 4 times a week, chiropractor 3 times this week, I sleep (with the daily nap) on average of 10 1/2 hours per day.  And, as usual, I follow a strict dietary plan until I get my medical tests back in a few weeks.
  • Current Areas of Concern:  Less trigger points below my right & left shoulder blade, mid-lower back of stiffness, right side rib area & below locks up / stiffness, and ankles swollen (less than last week).  The big issues are the hips this week.  I’ve been having issues sleeping on my back and keeping my ankles from opening out too much – it seems to lock one of my hips, I wake up and my day turns quite ugly.  I have to take a Naproxen so that the inflammation stops fighting with the locking.
  • Sleeping Positions 

There are debates to whether side sleeping is better than back sleeping, I currently sleep on my back similar to the bottom drawing – only I elevate my feet due to the swollen ankles.  I’m finding that it works sometimes (naps are good), but other times  (especially longer sleeps) I lock up.  If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comment box below.

  • Last Major Test I took the Vitamin Deficient test from Spectracell Labs on 4/30.  The test should be coming back in at the end of May.
  • Results from Dr. Alessi:
    Comp Metabolic Panel, Lipid Panel, CBC with Diff w/ Pit, Amylase, Antinuclear Antibodies, CRP, Sed Rate, TSH (3rd Generation), Uric Acid, Urinalysis, Vitamin D (25-Hydroxy), and Testosterone Free Lipose.  I will also be taking a chest X-Ray as it can be difficult to breathe while inflamed. All tests turned out well (some low and high areas but all very near the acceptable range) except my Sed Rate / C-Reactive Protein.  Both are very high (SED rate now at 101, normal 0-15 range).  Also, my blood pressure was lower than expected.  Last visit a week ago was 118/70, now it was 94/60 – this did not concern the doctor, but I do need to watch.
    – Future suggestions for specialists in immunology / Ankylosing Spondylitis include the Shands Rheumatology (Gainseville) & the Mayo Clinic (Jacksonville).
  • Supplements:  My supplements now only consist of Pylicorin, Probiotics, Vitamin D3, Magnesium (Gluconate), HCL (few times per week), digestive enzymes, and Maine Omega-3 fish oil.
  • Enbrel:  It has been 10 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 133 lbs. and a BMI of 18.61 (5/2).  I am now underweight.

Day 22 to 6 Months – Week 13

Before I begin this post, I want to personally thank my mother and father for all the love, compassion, and time they’ve put into my healing.  These past few months have been physically the most demanding in my life and they helped every step of the way.  I wish them plenty of rest and relaxation – you deserve it!

Info for Week 13

On 4/12 I learned new information on Antioxidants from Dr. Oz:

  • Yellow & Orange Antioxidants – Contains lots of vitamin A that boosts our immunity from bacteria.  Cook carrots whole so nutrients cannot escape.  Bananas ripened bring out more antioxidants.
  • Green Antioxidants contain Isothiocyanates – act like soldiers and take away the free radicals.  Prep broccoli by cutting them & waiting 5 minutes before lightly steaming them.  Buy fresh parsley & when eating cabbage, enhance the iron in it by combining with Vitamin C products like OJ or strawberries.
  • Purple Antioxidants contain Anthocyanins – prevent damage & heal the damage already done by the cells.  The more deep the purple hue, the better.  Cabernet wine (1/day women, 2/day men max), prunes, plums, and berries are all deep hues.
  • Most important Antioxidant – Green Antioxidant – studies from cultures who use vegetables mainly in their diet were less likely to get cancer and have a healthier & longer life.
  • Antioxidant breakfast power smoothie – 1/2 cup blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries with 1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice.
  • Shake the berries that are in the containers.  If they don’t move much, there’s mold in there & reduces the antioxidants.
  • Lunch is 1 cup tomato soup with green salad (with kale & broccoli florets).  Combining these two has been known to reduce prostate cancer.
  • Dinner is salmon (poach, steam or broil).  Try not to put on the grill as the charring effect induces cancer-causing HCA.  Rosemary added to salmon reduces the HCA & you use less salt when adding Rosemary.
  • Kitchen cures:  For a splinter, cut a ripened banana peel and put the pulp side down and wrap with a bandage.  The enzymes pull and break down the splinter overnight.  Apple cider vinegar is used to reduce dandruff.  Spray at the root of the hair & really massage it in.  Take a towel (towel turban) for 20 min., then shower, shampoo, rinse & repeat.  The acid breaks down the sebum that the bacteria & yeast thrive on.  Do it 3 days in a row, then 2X per week for maintenance.  It’s also known to make hair “bouncier”.  Muscle craps can be reduce by drinking pickle juice.  The acid in the juice that it works before it’s absorbed so there’s a receptor in the esophagus or in the stomach to stop the cramp.  Licorice sticks that can soften and break down a calluses.  Grind 4 with 1/2 Tsp sesame oil, rub on callus, and non-absorbent talfa bandage / band aid overnight.

My Health in Week 13

  • What a Week!  Overall, I moved from Venice back down to Naples, switched my diet to more meat, learned my inflammation results, saw my family DO (Dr. Alessi), and reorganized my life in 2 days.
  • The beginning of the week saw heavy amounts of inflammation in the shoulder-blade & upper back areas, continued fatigue & trigger points of (shooting) pain.  A combination of the hot tub & daily chiropractic home rehab helped out in Venice
  • Learned that my Sed Rate (tests my inflammation levels) was “extremely elevated“.  Normal levels are 0 to 15.  Mine was at 100 on 4/4.  Based on information I learned from the doctors I met, it’s due to the Enbrel leaving the body & allowing the floodgate of inflammation to come through.  However, as this level dramatically increases, it has also decreased quite a bit since the 4th.
  • Getting Out of Bed:   Since I’m on my own in Naples now, my father came up with a way for me to pull myself up with a rope.  I use the neck brace to keep my neck still while lifting up and adjust the bed to firmer setting if I need more stability lifting my body out of bed.  Lastly, the pillow is very adjustable around my head and neck while I sleep (I don’t need much elevation from my neck but need support as I slightly tilt my head while sleeping on my back.
  • Getting Better:  Over the week I’ve noticed a decrease in fatigue (can go 5-6 hours instead of 4 when taking the ibuprofen), ability to bend and pick things up a little easier, get back to bed quicker, went to Jubilee on 4/17 & was able to lie down on my front and back (1st time in months), and people say I’m sounding better.
  • Getting Worse / Same:  Still losing too much weight, wake up 2-3 times a night, still have swollen ankles, inflammation on the sides & upper back, saliva getting stuck down my throat, and difficulty breathing due to inflammation.  I also lied down to ice myself at Jubilee on 4/17 and it was very difficult to get up (lots of shooting pains).  That still means my body can not handle anything remotely stiff to lie down on.
  • Saw Dr. / D.O. Alessi on 4/16 and recommended I eat more protein (meat) & drink more water.  I’m also approved for new tests = Comp Metabolic Panel, Lipid Panel, CBC with Diff w/ Pit, Amylase, Antinuclear Antibodies, CRP, Sed Rate, TSH (3rd Generation), Uric Acid, Urinalysis, Vitamin D (25-Hydroxy), and Testosterone Free Lipose.  I will also be taking a chest X-Ray as it can be difficult to breathe while inflamed.  He also suggested a Vitamin Deficient test (costs around $500) from Spectracell Labs.  Once done, it will take 4 weeks to get the results back.
  • Supplements:  I am no longer taking Gut Repair I and should be removing the Proglyco SP, Pylicorin, & Zyflamend within the next 1-2 weeks.
  • Enbrel:  It has been 8 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 134 lbs. and a BMI of 18.73 (4/16).