Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Mean Green

For the past couple of years, I’ve been dealing with pain. I didn’t know what chronic pain is..but have since learned I have chronic pain. I don’t remember when it started exactly. I know that the past 2 months it has reared an offensive ugly head. I was scared. It happened on a Thursday. I could barely walk. I truly looked like a 98 year old woman trying to get around the house. I couldn’t get on the floor with Bennett. It was extremely difficult to navigate the stairs going from the main floor to the basement. Either I felt like I was losing control and going to fall down them and going up them was like climbing a mountain for a 98 year old woman. Such pain in my joints – all of them. I was bruising very easily, and just a general pain and ache all over my body. For years, I had been telling myself, “You fatty…get off some weight and then you won’t hurt. You carry more than your body is built to carry!” Real loving, right? The Fall that Levi died…I had shed 30lbs. really fast but looking back the whole time my self-talk was SO hateful towards myself.

I went to the doctor. He ran some labwork that showed high auto-immune levels and inflammation. He referred me to a rheumatologist for further examination and a diagnosis. I had an exam with the specialist and he ordered lab work. Almost 3 weeks ago, Steve and I went to meet with the rheumatologist. He had taken 13 screenings. The inflammation screening got missed. This was the most important of the screenings to me, because I know I have inflammation. Instead, the lab did two tests on the auto-immune levels which were a non-issue based on the newer technology and science, ordered by the rheumatologist. He told me I’d have to have another round of labwork drawn up and then he’d call me if the inflammation levels were alarming. I haven’t don’t his yet. I keep putting it off, because I’m annoyed. In the meantime, he gave me pain pills - a medication they prescribe for fibromyalgia patients. We left. As we drove out of the parking lot I learned that Steve heard everything positive – because the specialist ruled out rheumatoid arthritis and lupus –though it “may be the beginning stages of it”. I didn’t receive it positively. I heard him telling me that based on the lab …I don’t have anything. As if the pain and excruciating pain was in my head. So, two days later, I started taking the pain pills and I also started juicing at least twice a day, for meals. Why? Because I want to give my body a shot at healing itself if I fuel it properIy. I also decided to drink only water [no more than 60oz./day] and an occasional cup of coffee and the occasional gin and tonic or martini. It’s about balance for me. I need to program myself that it’s not an all or nothing gig. There are “sometimes” foods and beverages. I basically cut out sugar except for a seldom treat. I’ve been using agave nectar and honey and Stevia in the raw. I’ve been successful thus far in mostly cutting out aspartame and the likes. It’s long been known the damage those agents will cause to joints. I’ve been doing the common sense things like portion control and listening to my body and asking myself, “are you hungry or trying to fill up some hole that keeps eating away at you?” Rarely is it hunger. So, I give the hole to God. This happens over and over. The pain pills worked the first 6 days. Then, they started working less and less. I’ve continued to take them because once when I missed a dose by 3 hours – I was laid out again and could not believe the pain. So, I know they tame the pain down. Then, last Thursday, I had a relatively pain-free day. Mother’s Day and most of Monday – zero pain. Tuesday was good til the afternoon and I had a Mean Green juice for supper and within an hour [and I accidentally missed a med dosage by 2 hours] I was pain free. When I say pain free it’s what I mean. I am limber, can almost run up and down the stairs…it’s amazing. That is how I want to live! Knowing the benefits of juicing and how it’s helping me feel, I’ll soon be able to start aerobically exercising. I had such energy last week, even with the pain. I’m occasionally doing pilates. Very occasionally. Like twice in the past 15 days.  ;) 

After talking to my mom, we are believing the pain is less because I’ve gone to a more alkaline diet instead of acidic. All I know is that I’m more in the moment and happier without the pain. It’s about being good to myself. I bought a Kindle a couple weeks ago. I love it! I’m reading more. A couple weeks ago, we organized a stay-at-home-moms group, in our community. We’ve been attending church regularly and are in the process to become members. Eating naturally has been a growing passion of mine and I am excited to share this journey with you. There are some fantastic resources and blogs available to inspire and guide me on this adventure. Here’s the recipe for the Mean Green juice I drink. One can put any kind of produce in a juicer and all of it is good for us. However, for detoxing, blood cleansing, alkalinizing, and overall strength – drink green juice!

My Mean Green:

4 stalks of kale, 2 stalks of celery, 1 green apple or green pear, 1 cucumber [with peel on], 1/2 lime[optional] and 1 kiwi

I really do like what 1/2 lime does to the juice. It jazzes it up a bit with that tang. I love it!

My Breville juicer cleans very easily. The container which the juice goes in to, has a lid that will prevent the foam from pouring into your glass if you prefer that. I guess I mostly like it without the foam on top.

It takes some getting used to..but hey...who ever drank beer or wine for the first time and said, "Damn! I got to have more of that NOW!" ;)

Here is a picture of my Darling Bennett. He is wearing 18 month clothes and he’s not quite 8 months old! He is such a lover. He eats well, sleeps well and still loves to snuggle. He’s starting to get up on all fours to prepare to crawl. We are super excited for big brother to be done with school so we can all be together this summer – only 7 more days to go! We have so many plans….swim lessons, coach/pitch, gardening, riding bike, mom’s group, reading, a wedding in Arkansas, their Mimi [my mama] is coming to Iowa! Jacob is reading! I’m so proud of him. His year of kindergarten was a huge success and he’s so good at school. 

So, stay tuned. Blogging has been an outlet I have missed tremendously.

Love and Grace!

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