Howdy Hydrocephalus

Understanding my unique gyroscope


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Bringing back the Food!

_MG_0069aOkay I survived the elimination food diet. It really wasn’t that bad. There are so many options to eat. You get to re-discover the real tastes of foods again. I also was able to experiment with foods I haven’t eaten in a long time or ever. Although I travelled in the southern United States and I tried grits (didn’t like), fresh beady eyed shrimp (good); I didn’t have the opportunity to try okra. (given that were were on a young person’s budget which meant we lived in tent and cooked our own food).  I finally was able to try okra and I loved it. I just need to learn how to cook it at home. I just hope it is not part of the nightshade family. I experimented with recipies. I made a bean and sweet potato soup, or what the boys call a stew. It was yummy and the boys even liked it (score!) The boys have loved the granola too! So much I am making it from scratch (easy peasy) as soon as I was able to find GF oat as the tiny bags as store are ridiculously priced. I saw a funny video and thought here I am writing about my experiences.  How to become gluten intolerant I know that there are plenty of books on this. I only read one (forget title) based on food intolerances and I never finished it as it ended up being a diet to lose weight book. What a crock. The book sparked my memory of allergy testing eons ago and gave me courage with food recipies (along with Internet) to move forward to see if my tap of a nose, rash, snots & bubbles were caused by food or other external factors. The only way you could lose weight by doing the elimination diet is really like any other diet is to cut calories and starve yourself. There really are endless good food items to indulge in.

I was so excited to bring back the food, I kind of forgot the second part of the elimination diet and went full bore into eating. Never trust a brain injured person (okay just me) to get it right the first time. I ordered a fast food burger and french fries (hey I am human) then ate/devoured it without thinking (can’t remember if I breathed at all during the feast). Of course I still have no idea which items of food were bugging my chest and nose as I ate wheat, dairy, tomato. Oops.. all I know is that my face felt tingly, I got phlegmy and my nose ran. Great.  What was I supposed to do again. Oh yeah…add back one food item every four or five days. Mmmm what to do…carry on like all is normal. and try, try again.

_MG_0060aSo after another food kafuffle or two or four, I have found out that I am able to eat corn, peanuts (not a big fan of peanut butter but fell in love with almond butter in this process), and soy. I will continue being gluten free for a bit. However I miss having a beer (nose runs almost immediately when drink it). I love cheese and have been dreaming about when I could re-introduce cheese. I went out and bought brie and herbed goat cheese to test dairy this week. I am a little dis-heartened as I had a fruit smoothie for dinner at a restaurant as the boys had burgers & ice cream for dinner (a treat from surviving their yearly check up at our family doctor). About 30 minutes after drinking my mango/pineapple smoothie, I was given a treat of some nice belly pains. So instead of calling off all dairy for the evening, I instead bring out my wonderful cheese, rice crackers and a glass of red wine after the  boys go to bed. Mmmmm the brie was soft and rich, while the tangy goat cheese went awesome with the wine. All went down smoothly. I went to bed and woke up coughing from a phlegmy choking feeling. Damn…not the cheese…I love the cheese. So I made a compromise with myself. I will try not to eat cheese daily but will allow myself to indulge once in a while. I do this as I working out food options for when my friend , Manj, the four kids and I take off to a cabin in Cypress Hills for a few days during spring break. Life isn’t black & white so my food choices will not be either. I will just have to live with the consequences.

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A glitch

IMG_4780So I have been doing this elimination diet in hopes to find new energy for my beyond endless fatigue, bad skin, and motility problems. So I enter into the second week all good. Thinking that the first week wasn’t too bad. I didn’t have any cravings and my skin appeared to look better.  My constantly runny nose and sludge going down the back of my throat has stopped! Well the motility problems went from a complete standstill (since having SJS even motility prescriptions/nor fibre have helped) to “hey – I am here and don’t ignore me or I will teach you a lesson” type of quickness. Crap – I mean literally crap and plenty of it too! Plus the added walking and farting phenomena too. I don’t even know the last time I farted. Everyone would make fun of me because I could never fart, but heck even a smell of a carbonated drink or water and I was burping louder than a 300lb man! Here I was hoping energy; however, I was extremely tired…three hour naps, full nights sleep (other than the endless bathroom trips from 9:30pm-12:00am), sleeping in an extra 15 minutes….snooze, snore, snooze and maybe a snort here or there – this was me a walking zombie wearing a toque because I hadn’t showered and my hair only wanted to stand up straight. Instead I got poop! And then in the second week, my skin begins to crap out too!

I accidently have wheat & dairy in something and say to “hell with it” and have a beer as well as I glitched and didn’t read a label correctly. So that night in bed I start to cough as I feel sludge going down my throat…yuck the runny nose thing had started again.

The next day I start all over again and begin again.  It is not a failure but just a glitch in my embracing a new way of eating. Absolute change can not happen overnight.

I wrote that eight days ago. Today I began week three. I won’t begin to introduce some foods just yet as I know that dairy, gluten and nightshade veggies trigger me.

four days ago I got a hold of my physiatrist and we decided to tirate down on propranol as it may be a big factor in causing the lethargic, fatigue, dizziness and just plain yucky feelings. I already have relatively low-normal blood pressure under 110/70 and the meds lower your blood pressure further. I tried this med when I first came out of hospital and found it very horrible, but my Dr. wanted to try it again. I responded better by not having my vision go black and almost passing out all the time.  I am down to three pills twice a day and I have a bit more energy, but I did sleep in today and I also had a nap too!  We will keep playing by ear. I still don’t think it is the right med for me. However, it has made sleeping through the night easier.

Here’s to hopefully moving a head instead of backwards.


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3-2-1 Blast Off

IMG_0928-0.JPGOn my quest to find more energy and to nip my fatigue into a more manageable piece of my life. I read numerous articles such as Feed Your Body, Feed Your Brain – Nutrition to speed brain recovery. Then I began to read a book about an elimination diet to help your body heal and reduce internal inflammation. This spurred my brain and I remembered about my allergy testing I had done a long long long time ago.

I was having IBS and allergy issues when I lived in Fort Nelson, BC. The doctor there put in a referral to see an allergist. Chris and I drove the six hours to Grand Prairie, Alberta to have allergy tests done. I really wish I kept the list. I had reacted to a whole bunch of things. I was to avoid, eggs, wheat, potatoes, tomatoes and a bunch of other food I can no longer remember. I had also reacted to dust/dust mites and snow mold. I really wish I could remember more. However, I do remember looking at the list and wondering what the heck I could eat there was so many food items on it. The Doctor didn’t have any help for me on that. So I basically said thanks for the info and continued on eating as I normally had always done.

Skip forward 14 years and the options for food choices for people on an elimination diet are amazing. There are meal ideas, recipies, hints, tips and all sort of wonderful stories on the web.
He won’t Know it is paleo blog
The Urban Poser Blog
Gluten Free Goddess Blog
Purusing these blogs and other websites gave me inspiration and the knowledge to be able to test run a 21-day elimination diet. I put word out to friends and found out that Costco carried a gluten-free pancake & waffle mix, cup for cup gluten-free flour mix, organic palm sugar and gluten-free pasta. I went there and stocked up. I already had coconut oil and olive oil and flax seeds.

I began my peanut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, egg-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and nightshade veggie-free diet. It really does sound very overwhelming but so far it has been pretty good. I fell for one-day and ate refined sugar so I had to set the clock back and start again for that one food category the next day.

I have successfully made home-made blueberry/raspberry gluten-free muffins sweetened with palm sugar. Palm sugar is a low glycemic sugar.
I then made tortillas. They were not round but free-form. I had a turkey wrap with spinach and strawberries and it was divine! Bread for me – Yay!
I have been drinking smoothies with Greens and hemp fibre, coconut/almond milk and lots of fruit for breakfast, lunch or snacks.
I have been having fun exploring and enjoying making dinners the most. Tonight I made a pesto pasta with sautéed beet greens, beans and a bit of chicken.

I am tasting so many amazing natural flavours. Thank goodness for lots of amazing options that I can experiment with. I hope that I will be able to notice changes by the end of three weeks. Here’s to blasting of with energy and increased attention span.

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