Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fondue is so good it should be called "Fon Don't"

Perhaps this is a Saturday Night Live reference that only Ryan and I find funny. But it makes a good post title.

I've developed irritable bowel syndrome over the last several months, and although this may be too much information for you, it leads me to the topic of the post. I've given up dairy. This is a difficult thing for me to do, I love cheese, milk, and ice cream, but when it makes you sick I suppose it could be worth the sacrifice. Maybe it's not the dairy, and in a few weeks I can go back to eating it. But for now it's soy milk with my morning cereal.

I never take any decision about what I eat lightly, and this was no different. What environmental effects would giving up dairy contribute to? Should I believe all the hype from vegans who believe that any animal product causes suffering. I'm not so sure that I'm convinced on this one. However, I can be convinced that the raising of dairy cows do contribute a significant amount of carbon emissions. And by reducing the amount of dairy I eat, could I be reducing my carbon footprint? I don't know.

I need to do more research about the production of soy products and how the emissions and food miles contribute to my footprint.

That's my thought for the day.

Today is my first real non dairy day so I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chinese Fooooooooood

Mom suggested that I write about what I did yesterday. I thought this would be a good idea since it is one of the reasons I am in so much pain today.

Yesterday our friend Kendra and Allen got married. It was a beautiful day with a nice ceremony, wonderful music, and from what I hear a great dessert reception. However we did not make it to the dessert reception. The reason was because Ryan and I catered the wedding dinner!!

After the reception the bride and groom hosted a dinner for their out of town guests. I'm guessing we served about 50 people, and it was all chinese food. This was Ryan's specialty and was a no brainer for Kendra when we offered our services when she got engaged. She gladly accepted our culinary expertise and asked if we could make Chinese food.

The menu included: friend wontons, egg rolls, dumplings, corn soup, white rice, beef and broccoli, sweet and sour pork, and dragon and phoenix. The last dish was a tradition wedding dish which normally consists of lobster and duck, for this occasion it was shrimp and chicken and represents the bride and groom.

There were also fortune cookies, candies, and tangerines.

It was a great day, and I think Ryan and I were very successful. It made us think we could really rock out a diner business.

I wish I had pictures, but I was occupied with other tasks. If something surfaces, I will post some for you to see.

Coping with the Pain

There are obviously a lot of challenges that come along with conditions like mine. One of the biggest is getting through the pain. Most NSAIDS and other pain medication do not work, and I have to rely on other ways of dealing with the extreme uncomfortable and often debilitating pain.

Today, I bought a cane. I played it over in my head, did I just want to use one of my trekking poles that are so beneficial for my able body while I'm hiking, did I want to carve something earthy out of wood, or should I just suck it up and deal with it and take the chance of losing my balance while walking about.

Ryan and I decided the best option would be a cane with a rubber tip to help with my balance and relieve pressure of of sore spots. It's blue and shiny and I'm going to deal with it. I think I have to.

Some of my other pain coping techniques have included sleeping with wool socks full of uncooked rice. By heating them in the microwave, they become heating pads to put on my sorest spots. I originally made on for being hot and one to keep in the freezer for cold, but they have both proved to be useful as hot pads while I am in bed at night.

One thing that has been heavy on my mind is how is this going to affect my love for animals, the outdoors, camping, and my general affection for the earth. I'm hoping to find ways to enjoy the same activities that I always have. Like I said I've already used trekking poles to aid in my hiking anyways, so it will not be a huge adjustment to use them on easier less intense hikes. And animals can be very therapeutic to those who need a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Also, I hope to not always be in the kind of pain I am in right now. I think a lot of the original shock was that this wasn't a sickness that I was going to get over, yet a condition that I was going to have to learn to treat. For 8 months now I've thought about getting better and all the things that I've wanted to do. Now those plans might have to change slightly. For instance, I don't think I'll be learning to box. However, I might get to do something I've always wanted to do, like becoming a proficient cycler and swimmer. These are two activities I enjoy but do not excel at. But because they are low impact I will be able to do them even when in some pain.

I needed to do some of that processing on this blog, as the last months have left me wanting someone to talk to. I hope that you will take time to learn about what people like me are going through. I've posted three new websites to the right. Check them out.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's been a long road...

But here I am. As any of my friends and family would know, I've been sick for quite some time. This illness was sometimes diagnosable like pneumonia, whooping cough, asthma, and hoshimoto's thyroiditis. However, I also experienced chronic fatigue, headaches, digestion problems, sleeplessness, etc. I've finally got an answer for all of these things and the future looks encouraging, but not easy. Last week I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. This is a chronic pain condition that affects every aspect of your life, including my cognitive abilities, which is why I have not blogged in several months.

I am sore all over, it sometimes hurts to sit, or stand, or walk, or lay down. On top of that the headaches, facial pain (TMJ) and irritable bowel syndrome make living next to impossible.

People say, oh but you look fine, or you're so young. And yes, both of these things are true, but they don't make what I'm experiencing any better.

So here I am to say I'm back in the blogosphere, advocating for chronic pain, discussing ecology and the environment, and relating all of this to my spiritual journey, which has been an uphill battle.

Over the next few weeks I hope to post some articles and links to help you understand my condition. As well as share with you my plans for the future.