Author: ksullivan

Just One Little Bite

Just One Little Bite

 “Just one little bite.” This phrase is often forcefully injected into conversation when I politely decline trying someone’s carefully crafted kitchen creation. I promise it’s not your food, it’s my gut, but you don’t seem to be buying that as a legitimate reason to decline […]

Autoimmune Changes Everything

Autoimmune Changes Everything

  Surreal Seriously unreal This can’t possibly be really Happening.   Your Interstitial Cystitis is likely Autoimmune. …..Nobody’s used that word before. How’s that? Gut, inflammation, gluten “intolerance” turned into a death sentence.   Grandpa asked me if I started living in a homeless camp […]

The Cycle Continues

The Cycle Continues

How To Change Death By Menstruation

“I’m dying of being a girl”, was my monthly catch phrase from the very first cycle I ever had at age 16. I remember being spoon fed Vicodin as a last ditch effort to at least sleep and missing school 3 days every month. My Mom took me to our family doctor, who instantly put me on birth control, which had little to no effect. For 15 years I basically ate fist fulls of Tylenol and at times where I felt desperate,  had a muscle relaxer when I could use to allow myself a break, some sleep, a way to cope with unbearable pain for 3 days.

If you’ve read my previous post, “I’m Dying of Being A Girl.” serious catch phrase. You’ll be acquainted with my present circumstances. As I’ve aged, my period went from tear filled nights and days once a month as my uterus redecorated, to full blown body breakdown with all systems on fire.

A routine of heat, Epsom salt baths, magnesium supplements and crying isn’t getting me those days I miss from work, or my life, back. They barely even take the edge off.

I’ve talked to many a primary care physician and OB GYN about my heavy flow and 3 days of horrific guaranteed to be filled with searing pain that, as of 28 years of age, seemed to be a system wide spasm - not just a uterus tantrum. I’ve also talked to my natural health care practitioners who’ve recommended a progesterone cream, which I’ve started, along with further dietary adjustments.

After much of my journey through healing my body naturally and the course of my research, I’ve developed the belief that as women, our cycle gives our bodies another organ to use for detox and the heavier your flow/pain load the more toxic your body is. I can tell you that working through my gut health I’ve had changes in pain at times, some months less unbearable than others. I believe those months I’ve had less pain, diet was heavily involved. I removed things like gluten and diary, and a whole array of other so called foods, with the idea in mind that while cleaning up my gut an awesome side effect could be I’d have a slightly easier cycle (easier meaning I didn’t wake up puking 3 times a night for 3 straight days while my legs felt a blaze with pins and needles).

I intend to alter my diet and gut health until I find whatever niche my body needs to have balanced hormones and minimal discomfort for me during my monthly cycle. I have to believe this is possible. I know how out of whack all of me has been and that the IC is a big red flag for toxic overload and imbalanced gut. I wish I’d listened to other warning signs and I don’t believe birth control is the answer for girls.

Some other sources have stated a diet heavy in fat and sugar can lead to uncomfortable menstruation. I’m removing coconut oil, all nut butters and sugar in an attempt to rid my body once and for all of the ways it wishes to torture me for wanting a dopamine rush of something tasty. Goodbye grain alternatives (already removed so much being on the AIP Diet and IC diet and Low FODMAP diet and how much more can a person remove?), and “peace out” to anything left fun and tasty. I’ll have to work on my headspace around these changes, but relief from agony is worth a diet of broccoli, carrots, arugula, kale and grass fed beef. Bring it on!

Do you have any suggestions on all natural pain relief options for your mensi monster? Help me out and leave your suggestions in the comments section!

Wish me luck in my bod endeavors Apples; I feel I’ll need it this time.

Apple out,

KS

 

 

 

Resources:

https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/nutrition-information/using-foods-against-menstrual-pain

I’m Dying of Being a Girl

I’m Dying of Being a Girl

The worst part of being a girl; the part that brings shame, snide remarks and uncomfortable glances… (even though it shouldn’t) …when we talk about it; a highly misunderstood and rejected part of being a human female – Menstruation. This monthly cycle of pleasantries always […]

Panic Spills Over The Brim

Panic Spills Over The Brim

The feeling is not satiating. I know I have tasks I must complete, but I’m drained of all ability to fully function. Dragging myself through my day is a must. I’m not positive what came first, the anxiety or the IC. Sheer panic engulfs me […]

Under The Weather

Under The Weather

Naturally soothing a cold and space to heal.

My throat tickles and I have a general feeling of unwellness. I cannot be sick, I don’t have time to be sick. My thoughts flash to the previous day, I felt so exhausted yesterday. I told myself last night, “you’re going to crash soon.” Now I’m on the verge of panic because I can’t afford the inevitable crash coming my way. I know it’s a cold, I feel it deep within my cells. I’d basically given my immune system permission to crash with my thoughts of an impending crash and fear of being unsuccessful at all my looming “to dos.”

I can’t afford to be sick, but I can’t afford to get more sick. Taking off one afternoon is probably in my best interest. With self care in mind, not the feel good pampering type but rather the ‘I have to be my own mother’ type of self care, I called into work and went straight home.

Being Celiacs, in the midst of healing my gut and terrified of most foods, I absolutely refuse to trust medicines. Even Tylenol is out for me because I’m not trying to further tax my sensitive system, but instead support it and give it a much needed break.

With extreme limitations and few resources, the below steps are what I try to soothe my symptoms and get back on my feet faster.

Step 1: Detox and hydrate (Links below)

  • Drink as much filtered water as you can.
  • Detox baths including any of the following, and as hot as you can stand it:
    • Magnesium (epsom salt) (I used 1 cup but read your bag label, it should give you bath serving sizes.)
    • Essential oils (tea tree/frankincense have antimicrobial properties) (I used 10 drops for a full tub.)
    • Ginger, fresh ground (I used 2 tablespoons)
    • Apple Cider Vinegar (I used ½ cup)

Step 2: Nourish.

  • Healing Nutrients like: (Link)
    • Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium according to Crystal from Zen functional Wellness
  • Foods like (Link)
    • Homemade:
      • Kombucha (link to post)
      • Bone Broth Soup (link to post)
      • Lemon Ginger Root Tea (link to post)

Step 3: Soothe the throat, loosen the cough.

Chewing on some fresh basil leaves, or making a tea by boiling them to get rid of tickly throat.

  • Homemade cough syrup - Honey (1Tbs) , Coconut Oil (1Tbs) , Fresh Lemon Juice (1tsp) All in a warm shot glass. You can always try less at a time like a teaspoon of each but this was what I found most effective for my symptoms. I was surprised everytime I did this as my cough loosened and all kinds of mucus came out. I’d do the mixture when the cough started becoming painful and dry again. I wouldn’t try this more than 3 times a day.

(However be warned...coconut oil can have diuretic side effects, i.e make sure a toilet’s close...and prepare to detox).

Step 4: If there’s a fever.

A temperature is another way your body tries to fight infection. By raising the heat your body’s attempting to kill off bad guys.

I let it run its course, watched it but didn’t reduce it. I would recommend you do what you’re comfortable with, maybe try this and just keep an eye on fevers, it shouldn’t be worrisome unless there’s a fever in a child raised above 104, in this case, seek medical attention! For adults, 102 is really considered high so I’d recommend seeking medical attention. (I’ve read that for either 104 really should seek medical attention). It’s up to you if you try fever reducing medicine first, or even a cold bath to change the body’s temperature. For me I really tried to stay bundled and sweat out the cold/fever. My fever was 101 for 2 days during this sick experience and as I run a tad lower than the norm, this was really high for me, so I closely monitored my symptoms.)

Step 5: Rest

This is the most important step because it’s what the body needs; time and space to heal. Think about animals when they’re sick, are they off scampering about? No! They generally go off to a secluded area and rest, sleep, and heal. Let the body heal the illness and give it the space it needs to combat what ales you.

 

Rest easy apples, be well.

 

Apple out,

K. Sullivan

 

Word Whiplash

Word Whiplash

Careful what you say Don’t get cut on my edges For all the games you play There are always consequences   You’ll get cut on my edges My dialect is sharper than knives There will be consequences Ramifications, none survive   My tongue is sharper […]

When I’m a bitch

When I’m a bitch

You don’t know what I’m up against From pain my focus won’t steer Split in half at my most intimate parts   You don’t know what I’m up against Today I must bare my agony to a stranger Split in half at my most intimate […]

An Attempt to Heal Through Food

An Attempt to Heal Through Food

Autoimmune Paleo Protocol - The AIP Diet

Interstitial Cystitis -an autoimmune xxperience, I flare, pelvic floor tension, low back and hip pain - all engulf my body much more frequently than I’d like. Some days I am able to manage symptoms, but at other times they are terribly unbearable. Sensations  to the effect of what can only be described as, “torturous elves trying to escape my urethra by using tiny, sharp knives; or the need to make my bathroom my new throne from where I shall conduct all manners of business. There’s awkward and uncomfortable swelling, throbbing, sharp stepping, aching hell when I flair. The most recent being a 5 week episode including all of the aforementioned fun, along with a terrible cough and cold I contracted, only making things even more unbearable and tense.

For the past year, I’ve been focused on a low oxalate, low acid, IC friendly diet including gluten free and sugar minimal  foods. I try not to eat processed foods, I almost never eat out, and I do my best to make everything and anything that touches my lips, because my body’s on high alert ALL THE TIME.  I believe that it believes most things are the enemy. However much fun this has been, I’m still experiencing symptoms at even a tiny sleep. I must be vigilant.

There’s times when it’s an unbearable itchy rash around my midsection, other times it’s pelvic specific pain, spasms and very real discomfort. Sometimes I worry I’m also suffering from IBS, on occasion though, I feel like my old self. In  some moments it’s whole body tension and others I actually can say I’m okay. Some days I feel like I am on the verge of dying, it’s excruciating and a week later I can feel like taking on the world. It’s been inconsistent and I know my emotional state, my mental state, my physical state are all linked and require systematic healing to get to where I want to be.

In working off and on with a functional nutritionist from Zen Functional Wellness, I’ve asked that we try something new with food to help heal my gut with minimal supplementation. She is recommending a 6 week Autoimmune Paleo diet with the intention to start healing my gut, remove possible irritants and reduce symptoms of my IC, hopefully eradicating them completely, but I know healing takes time and patience.

The idea behind this plan is to reduce inflammation and allow a gut that’s distended, inflamed, permeable to heal naturally with foods. Supplementation and testing can be
expensive. With this  regiment, the idea is it will remove inflammatory causing foods so the body can naturally heal itself with  all organic sustenance.

It’s difficult not to want to throw a fit. It’s frustrating to have things further altered and reduced. When I first started learning about oxalates in trying to switch to a low oxalate diet I had similar feelings, more meltdowns and a ton of resentment build regarding food and health. As of now I’m desperate, exhausted and ready to find true healing. I’m willing to put forth any effort to find balance for my body. After years of ignoring it I still feel guilty for its present state. However, with the idea that life gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want, I know that my body is asking this of me. The universe has given me a challenge, to pursue truth in health and healing. I will never know what works or doesn’t if I remain obstinate and stuck in my ways. This self experiment is scary but what fun is life if you’re not up against obstacles you’re desperate to overcome? If you don’t push yourself you never grow. I’d rather suffer along the way while seeking solutions than roll over, accept my lot and wallow.

It’ll take me a couple of weeks to cut out what I need to follow the AIP protocol. I’ll be limited further by the foods that aren’t IC friendly and those high in oxalates, but I’m optimistic as always that this is another step towards real healing.

My grocery list for the next six weeks includes:

Meats - All natural, grass fed, no additives

Fruit - Avocado, bananas, pears, and apples

Veggies - Artichoke, celery, kale, broccoli, carrots, rutabaga,  and sweet potatoes

Flours - none - I'll take out even alternatives as I believe I'm still reacting.

Healthy Fats - olive oil, avocado oil

What I’ll be removing includes: nightshades - (cayenne specifically), all grain alternatives, any diary alternatives, eggs, rice, honey, flax seed and sunflower seed.

My home routine will fill up with making my own foods further until it becomes habit. As I believe I react to anything prepackaged I'll limit those foods as much as possible.

Bone broths and juicing will be staples for me to continue to receive nutrients.

Fermented foods like making my own Kombocha (see post here: http://webadapples.com/2018/05/22/what-is-kombucha/ ), or water kefirs by trusted brands I’ll continue like Kevita. I might try sauerkraut, kimchi, and raw pickles. I might try Raw apple cider vinegar (I was doing this for a while and stopped after my last flare.)

I’ll start my mornings with Raw Lemon Juice,  using half a lemon.

I will also take a break from supplements for awhile during implementation of this diet, then I'll be working through a supplementation protocol with Crystal from Zen Functional Wellness to restore gut balance. The goal is to work slowly and have to protocol complete within one year. I may be  adding Desert Harvest Aloe Vera, but only if I flare.

I’m trying to drink 100 oz of water in a day, filtered by Aquasana filters which is a lot for a 135 pound female, but I do have an active job.

It’ll be an experiment to see how I feel. I’m working on my mental health along the way to ensure that I can change the negative self talk trying to convince me I’m of little worth, to conviction in my basic human worth. I will continue to pursue a career path that makes me happy as a Rossiter Coach, because helping other people reduce their pain in a natural way is the rawest truth I’ve found.

If this finds you when you're on your own healing journey, I encourage you to try whatever your intuition is telling you; listen to your gut and good luck!

Apple out,

K. Sullivan

Resources:

http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/06/02/paleo-aip-grocery-list/

http://shopaip.com/brands/Paleo-Angel-Paleo-Power-Balls.html

https://autoimmunewellness.com/opt-in/

https://www.thepaleomom.com/start-here/the-autoimmune-protocol/

https://aiplifestyle.com/what-is-autoimmune-protocol-diet/

I Eat My Anxiety

I Eat My Anxiety

Pleasure amplified, and pain dulled, all with hand to mouth action. The step I take to procrastinate and feel good about doing so is eating. Stuffing my face until I’m painfully full. Filled and overflowing with food to the point where only sleep or vomit […]