Sunday, February 28, 2010

Starting Over

I wish I could say that things are better since the 21-day fast but not has changed really. At first the bloating was greatly reduced but as I started increasing calories and eating more food, the bloating got worse as well. I am once again getting candida die off symptoms from small amounts of coconut oil, Nystatin, and other anti-fungals. This is all very depressing and disappointing.

I found two osteopaths - one here in Nashville with about 10 years experience and one in Johnson City, about 4 1/2 hours from here, with about 20 years experience. I wanted to see the one in Johnson City, despite the drive, but her first available appointment is April 19th. I took it, but in the meantime decided to give the one here in Nashville a try. She is a little more expensive, but with the drive to Johnson City and gas prices, she was actually cheaper.

She was nice, listened to my issues, had me fill out an extensive questionnaire which we discussed, and then did the treatment. It was very different than the treatment I had from the osteopath in Germany. He sort of adjusted my body, similar to chiropractic adjustments, but much gentler. The osteopath here laid her hands on my ankles, then my back, and then my neck and head and just sat there for a few minutes. I later looked it up and found that she was doing Cranial Osteopathy. More on that later.

I told her during the appointment that I have some concerns that her treatment will not work. She said a lot of patients come in thinking she will twist their bodies into weird positions and feel they just wasted 1 1/2 hours (I was thinking $375!). But then they come back and feel better.

So - about the Cranial Osteopathy. I have had a Craniosacral Massage before and was skeptical about it. I am skeptical about this sort of osteopathy as well. According to her, my left leg appears shorter than my right leg again. Well, I don't see how having her hands on my head, back, and ankles for 5 to 10 minutes each, without any pressure or massage, will correct that misalignment of my body.

I don't know what to do now. I hate to go back because a follow-up appointment is $215. But I also know that one treatment is not enough. Today I was thinking about going back to Germany every 4 to 6 months to visit my mom and see the osteopath in Germany. In the meantime I could get adjustments from a chiropractor. The chiropractic adjustments would help with the misalignment and they would be cheaper than appointments with the osteopath.

I am so confused and once again not sure where God is leading me. I wish He would make himself known to me and show me where to go, what to do, who to see. I am tired of running from doctor to doctor, spending tons of money, and getting nowhere. Yet doing nothing doesn't seem right either.

In addition I messed up with food. I went back to chewing and spitting this weekend - a remnant from the eating disorder. One reason is that I seem incredibly hungry even when I eat tons of calories and another is sheer frustration. I have done and tried so much to get better and here I am feeling crappy. I just don't get it. So I was chewing and spitting with soaked and dry roasted walnuts. Now I regret it and I am starting over.

I also haven't stuck to my goals of not eating while standing, starting my day out with God every day, etc. Some days I do pretty good other days I don't. So I will be starting over with that again as well.

I believe I can get better and be healthy again, I just need to find out what the underlying cause of my health issues is.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I wasn't a military brat but because of my dad's employment with AAFES (Army and Airforce Exchange Service) I did grow up around military bases. Mostly here in Germany - Giessen, Kirchgoens, Frankfurt, and Ramstein. I also worked at the Munich base in my 20s. A lot of those bases have closed by now.

Tuesday mom and I went to Wiesbaden to go shopping at the PX and commissary. Before going to the stores we had to stop at the Wiesbaden airfield to pick up some forms for mom. Because she also works for AAFES she is not required to pay German income tax on large purchases like furniture. Walking into the building to pick up the forms I suddenly felt sad that this is not part of my life anymore. The old buildings, old furniture, military guys walking around, the food court. It probably sounds strange that I would miss old furniture in an old office but I just missed that kind of life.

On a different note, the bloating is still reduced. I had eggs, turkey, and goose fat this morning and it's not near as bad as it would have been before the fast. I wish it would go away completely but I am grateful for even small improvements. There is still other stuff going on like the elevated heart rate and some more die off, but I am confident that God is healing mybody. I am SO ready to be healthy again!

Wednesday I got a pedi from Brigitte. As usually I was not allowed to pay. In addition, she had gotten me some eye shadow base that I like to use and gave it to me as a gift. This woman is truly amazing. She is the most giving, generous, positive, fun person I have ever met aside from her husband. A truly wonderful couple.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have noticed two changes in my body since the 21 day fast. My hair used to get greasy at the crown after two days of not washing it. I could never go longer than that actually before I had to wash it again. It has been three days since I washed it and it looks fine.

My tongue is still coated whitish/green. This was never an issue for me when I was eating - only during fasting did I have the white coating. So I guess I am still detoxing which is a good thing. Not that I am enjoying the actual coating on the tongue but hey, I am all for toxins coming out.

On a different note...I think I am getting a pedi from mom's friend Brigitte today (my other mom here in Germany). Both of them are truly spoiling me.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valuable Learning Experience

Eating a bunch of beef, butter, nuts, and eggs two days after a 21 day fast is NOT a good idea. Last night I said I didn't care about the gallbladder attack. This morning at 3:30 AM, when it hit me full force, I changed my mind. I took a Percocet with some extra Tylenol and after about 45 minutes I couldn't feel the pain any longer and went back to sleep. Of course now I feel tired and nauseated from the pain killers but can't really eat much because of the GB attack. I had half an apple, a few sips of coffee, and water. I'll have to stick to lemon juice and water today for the most part and then start over again tomorrow but more slowly.

Learned my lesson!

I'm "home"

I actually got back to my mom's house yesterday. It was good to be back here and to see my mom. Pete and Uli (brother and GF) picked me up at the concentration camp. It was good to see them and get to chat with them on the way home.

I meant to break the fast today but I was so hungry, tired, very cold, and worn out yesterday I decided not to wait any longer. I did have broth for lunch but had a little bit of coconut oil with it. Later I had more coconut oil, butter, and some smoked salmon. Everything tasted SO GOOD.

After the food I had a tiny bit of bloating but nothing even close to what I had before. There was no die off from the coconut oil the next morning either and there were no insane cravings after eating butter. At first I was a little disappointed that there still was some bloating but then I decided to look at the improvements.

Today was tough. I was still tired, worn out and cold. I had some more fish and coconut oil for lunch. Mom was making beef stew and it smelled incredible. Not only does food taste better after a fast, but it all smells better. I had two little pieces of beef with my "lunch". Before the fast that would have been enough to give me the big pregnant belly and a lot of discomfort. But again, I had only the slightest bloating and no discomfort at all.

I spent some time at Pete and Uli's house and when I came home had more beef. Unfortunately I ate way too much along with more butter, and a little liverwurst. A little later mom made "pancakes" from ground almonds and eggs and I had one of them. Then I tried some turkey cold cuts and a piece of chicken. The good news is, I am not very bloated at all. This means that I most likely really did not have food intolerances, but it was all due to the problem with my colon. The bad part is I ate too much too fast and now I am starting to have a gallbladder attack. But I am so excited about being able to eat all those foods without huge bloating that I don't even care. I expect that things will continue to get better and better now.

I also thought of some more post-fast goals in addition to the other ones I posted:

* Spend time with God first thing in the morning – before anything else. At home I used to check emails first and more often than not my time with God was cut short. At the clinic I didn't have internet access in my room so I spent time with God first.
* Study Spanish at least 4 days a week – ideally more.
* Sit down to eat my meals and ideally, eat without watching TV or reading. My initial goal is NOT to stand in the kitchen wolfing down my food. I want to sit down and take my time. If I watch TV while I do so at first that’s ok, but eventually I want to stop that as well.
* Pray and thank God for my food before each meal. Bob and I do this together, but unfortunately I usually don’t when I eat on my own.
* Chew each bite of food 30 to 60 times, depending on what I am eating. Basically follow the concept of “chew your liquids and drink your food”.

I did chew my food properly so far and I did sit down at first, but later in the day I was standing in the kitchen eating. After 21 days of fasting I just sort of went crazy. Tomorrow I hope to go back to sitting down and not eating so much. I don't think my poor tummy, or my gallbladder, can handle this much food yet.

Now I am very tired although it is only 8:30 PM. I have not been sleeping well the last three nights, and waking up around 4 AM. Then I toss and turn until about 5:30 PM.

Tomorrow mom and I are going to the mall in the afternoon after she gets home from work. Around 7 PM I am having a girls' night out. Actually, I am just going next door to my SIL's house but my friends Jutta, Sandy, and Simone will be there. I am looking forward to seeing all of them. Tuesday mom and I are going to the base in Wiesbaden to go shopping at the PX and the commissary. Wednesday I am getting a pedicure from mom's friend Brigitte plus Pete and Uli are coming by in the evening. And I want to go see my mom's friend Ulla, too. This week is going to go buy really fast!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Doctor's Recommendation

Had my exit exam today. Doc suggested the following going forward:

1. Fast one day per week
2. Fast 10 days every spring and fall (even this fall although I just did 21 days)
3. Really appreciate and enjoy my food
4. Thank God for my food

Day 20 - 2:40 PM

Wow! I can't believe I am almost done. I am ready to eat yet today I kind of felt like staying a while longer.

This morning I had another osteopathic treatment. It was good and he clarified the blockage in my colon. When I hear blockage I imagine something stuck in my colon. He said that wasn't the case. Because my pelvis was uneven it's more like the side that was elevated was squishing (I think that's a medical term) my colon (and other organs) and causing it to be narrow in certain areas. This caused problems with food getting through, the food sat in my colon too long which caused fermentation and therefore gas to build up in my abdomen. Again, I hope he is right. It's not completely gone but it's most definitely better.

Since the treatment I do have a bit more pain but that seems common the first 2 to 3 days. Other people have complained about the same. And I am very tired - not in a sleepy sort of way. I'm just out of it, having a hard time concentrating when I read, and I am in a quiet sort of mood. I am looking forward to just relaxing the rest of the day, watching some TV, and starting to pack later.

One more Epsom salt tonight and one more colonic tomorrow and I am DONE! Woohoo!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 19 - 5:15 PM

It is interesting how much things can change from one day to the next. Maybe what happened yesterday was due to the honey I ate, or it was a healing crisis, or I was getting worse from the osteopathic treatment. Whatever it was, I feel so much better today. Up until today my heart rate was worse than ever. I was taking two beta blockers a day. Now I am back down to one. I took it early this morning and while my heart rate is not normal, it's better.

I even ventured out and had tomato juice this afternoon. Last week that still caused horrible bloating but today it did nothing to me. The bloating is still about the same as it was this morning. And I still think the 24/7 bloating is from PMS. I did not use any progesterone cream yesterday and may not use any today either. I may ask the osteopath about it tomorrow. I have another appointment with him at 7:40 AM (half an hour after my colonic - whoever is scheduling appointments seems to be clueless).

Yesterday I wasn't sure how I was going to make it here two more days, and today I am really enjoying myself. I had a great day of reading, knitting (I'm on my fourth pair of socks), watching TV, talking to mom, and spending a little time on the internet. There's even a movie on tomorrow night that I am looking forward to (German TV is horrible!). And Saturday morning I get to go "home". Yay!!!

Oh and the headache and backache are almost gone now. I guess the osteopath was right.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 19 - 6:30 AM

I can’t believe I am on day 19 and that I have made it this far. Two more days and I get to go home. My friend Simone is picking me up on Saturday around 10 AM.

Yesterday was a tough day to say the least. I feel a bit more calm this morning but am still confused about the progesterone cream. I just don’t know what to do. I wish I had some clarity. I did not use any at all yesterday. This morning I am back to very slight bloating and some fluid retention.

Bob and I are reading in Proverbs right now – the chapter that corresponds with the current day’s date. Here are the verses that stood out to me in yesterday’s and today’s reading:

Proverbs 3:7-8
“…simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pain.”

Proverbs 4:23
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

The latter is the one that speaks to me the most. When you are dealing with health issues it’s easy to get your thoughts caught up in all that is wrong. But this creates a vicious cycle and a self-fulfilling prophecy. Getting out of this negative thinking takes effort, but it seems to be the message coming into my life from different directions.

It’s also hard not to look at days like yesterday as a setback or even failure, but I need to look at “failures” differently. I read that it took Thomas Edison more than 11,000 experiments before he discovered the carbon-impregnated filament that led to the production of the first electric light bulb. After 5,000 tries a journalist asked him why he kept persisting after so many failures. He supposedly replied, “Young man, you don’t understand how the world works. I have not failed at all. I have successfully identified 5,000 ways that it will not work. That just puts me 5,000 ways closer to the way it will.” That’s a much better way of looking at things.

Not much going on today – just a foot bath and a colonic. I need to iron the clothes I washed yesterday and I am going to read, watch TV, and knit. The usual.

Day 18 - 2:30 PM

This is definitely turning out to be a horrible day. My head and upper and lower back hurt quite a bit. The bloating was reduced after the colonic. I had a bit of broth which was slightly thicker than what I have been getting. I did not have much at all yet half an hour or so later I was horribly bloated again. I talked to the osteopath about the pain and he said to give it time. He said it's normal for the body to go through this after having all the adjustments I had. I hope he is right.

I have been reading more about excess progesterone and found the following on this website:

Possible Side Effects Of Excessive Progesterone.

  • Lethargy or sleepiness. This is probably an effect of allopreganolone, a by-product of progesterone, on the brain.

  • Edema (water retention). This is probably caused by excess conversion to deoxycortisone, a mineralocorticoid made in the adrenal glands that causes water retention.

  • Candida. This is the bacterium present in a yeast infection; excess progesterone can inhibit anti-Candida neutrophils (white blood cells).

  • Bloating. Excess progesterone slows gastrointestinal (GI) transport, and with the wrong kind of gastrointestinal flora, such as candida, this can lead to bloating and gas. (During pregnancy the high levels of progesterone slow food transport through the GI tract to enhance absorption of nutrients.)

  • Lowered libido. Excess progesterone blocks an enzyme called reductase that allows conversion of testosterone to DHT, and thus over inhibits the conversion. This happens primarily to men who are using too much progesterone.

  • Mild depression. Excess progesterone down-regulates estrogen receptors, and brain response to estrogens is needed for seratonin production.

  • Exacerbated symptoms of estrogen deficiency. Excess progesterone down-regulates estrogen receptors and desensitises tissue to estrogen. Because progesterone receptors are dependent on estrogen in the absence of estrogen can cause a lot of problems, Dr. Zava especially sees this in women who have very low estradiol and are taking large doses of progesterone.

The two comments that concern me the most are regarding candida bloating. My neutrophils have been low for quite some time now. I want to just go off the progesterone cream, but it also scares me. I feel more calm on it. I hate these decisions and I hate days like today. I am trying to stay positive but it's so hard. I really would have thought that this far into the fast I would be feeling better.

On this websiteI read the following. This concerns me as well.

Did you ever wonder why so many women have to use progesterone cream? It is because fungus devours this hormone and changes it into prednisone. In fact, one MD reports that drug companies farm fungus colonies, feeding them progesterone to make the drug prednisone--which they then sell to consumers as a remedy for everything. Prednisone is just one of the many powerful mycotoxins produced by fungus which can kill bacteria.

This explains why most women are estrogen dominant. Generally these women do not have an excess of estrogen, but they lack progesterone due to fungus overgrowth. These hormonal imbalances can cause the face to break out, breasts to lose firmness, hair problems, and perhaps most significantly, depression and migraines. Aside from these problems a woman's skin can become so sensitive she can't stand to be touched.

I really don't know what to do but here's hoping that tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 18 - 11:00 AM

I woke up with very mild bloating again and fluid retention. Maybe it's PMS?! I'v also had a headache and upper and lower backache since the osteopathic treatment on Monday. Much like I had before I got the orthotics. I was worn out this morning. Thinking it might be from low blood sugar I got myself 1 T of honey from the kitchen and at it slowly. It didn't really help.

At 10 AM I saw the doctor. My blood pressure was 80/50. Now wonder I'm worn out. He gave me something called "Vitasprint" which his Vitamin B12, glutamine, and phosphorous. I had to sit in a chair for a bit. After a while the nurse took my blood pressure again and it was 80/60. She sent me downstairs to drink some water. When I came back I had to sit again and they took my blood pressure again. That time it was 90/60 so I was allowed to go.

By the time I got back to my room the bloating was much, much worse and so was the fluid retention. I am guessing it's from the honey or the stuff they gave me. Either way, I am frustrated. I cannot go on like this. I am on day 18 and still dealing with wicked bloating from something like honey or a vitamin drink. I don't know if I feel like screaming or crying. I JUST want to feel better!

Day 18 - 11:00 AM

I woke up with very mild bloating again and fluid retention. Maybe it's PMS?! I've also had a headache and upper and lower backache since the osteopathic treatment on Monday. Much like I had before I got the orthotics. I was worn out this morning. Thinking it might be from low blood sugar I got myself 1 T of honey from the kitchen and at it slowly. It didn't really help.

At 10 AM I saw the doctor. My blood pressure was 80/50. Now wonder I'm worn out. He gave me something called "Vitasprint" which his Vitamin B12, glutamine, and phosphorous. I had to sit in a chair for a bit. After a while the nurse took my blood pressure again and it was 80/60. She sent me downstairs to drink some water. When I came back I had to sit again and they took my blood pressure again. That time it was 90/60 so I was allowed to go.

By the time I got back to my room the bloating was much, much worse and so was the fluid retention. I am guessing it's from the honey or the stuff they gave me. Either way, I am frustrated. I cannot go on like this. I am on day 18 and still dealing with wicked bloating from something like honey or a vitamin drink. I don't know if I feel like screaming or crying. I JUST want to feel better!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

One of my Goals

This is how I would eventually like to eat again!

Great blog BTW.

Day 17 - 10 AM

I wish I could go home. Tried to walk but my heart rate was so high, despite the beta blocker I took at 6 AM, that I turned around after 10 minutes. I am slightly bloated. Have been all morning. It's very mild but still disappointing. Once again I have so many questions? Is it hormones? Should I stop the progesterone cream or reduce it? Should I keep it the same for now considering I am seeing a PA on the 15th? Is the osteopathic therapist right about my posture and the blockage in my colon? Will the pain come back if I don't wear my orthotics? I have prayed and asked God questions than sat and tried to listen. I got nothing. It is one of the disappointments about this fast. I was so hoping that I would feel closer to God and hear from Him but I don't. It's like He's not there although I know He is.

I am trying to focus on the results I have seen so far - bloating GREATLY reduced even after broth last night. There was no discomfort. Eye lids or face are not swollen when I wake up. No more die off pain from taking Nystatin. Yet I had hoped for more. Am I expecting too much? It's not a rhetorical question. I would really like a reality check right now.

The bad part about doing the fast in Germany is the time difference between here and the US. I would really like to talk to someone right now but I don't really want to call anybody, not even Bob, at 3 AM. I can't talk to my mom for reasons I don't want to mention on a public blog. My friends here are at work right now.

I just want this to be over. I don't want life, eating, nourishment, to be THIS hard anymore. I want eating to be a normal, joyful experience again. And I want to know WHAT is wrong with my body. Not having an actual diagnosis is worse to me than being told I have cancer (I think). I hate these ups and downs. The joy and gratitude I felt after the osteopathic treatment yesterday. Then the disappointment when the bloating came back. Wondering what I will do in the US if I can't find an osteopathic therapist.

I just want my life back!

Day 17 - 8:25 AM

I already had my arm bath and colonic today. Despite feeling somewhat weak, I want to go for a walk and get some fresh air. One of the therapists this morning recommended I try the “potato wrap” at least once so I am going to order one for tomorrow. It’s just small potatoes boiled with the peel on. The cooked potatoes are then placed in a linen sack and they’re sort of crushed a bit. This sack, which is moist from the potatoes, is then wrapped in a towel and placed on the liver. You put a warming bottle on top and rest for half an hour. She said to get it once so I can see how they do it and then I can do it at home.

I have to admit that today I really want to just quit and head back to my mom’s house. I don’t feel horrible but I am ready to be done. I do feel very weak because I am not getting juice anymore. And the doctors here are nice, but I am not sure how much attention they really pay. The doc had ordered a blood test. My fasting blood sugar was 63. The normal range in the US is 70 to 99 here it is 60 to 100. So it would have been in the normal range and if I were drinking juice, broth with pureed veggies, and honey at night, I don’t think it would be a problem. Considering all I am getting is clear broth and some green tea, a fasting blood sugar of 63 is way too low. Yet he wrote on the lab that nothing needs to be done. Whatever!

Yesterday was an interesting day. I had the osteopathy treatment. I really didn’t know what to expect. Essentially it’s like getting chiropractic adjustments but they are not as harsh. Osteopathic therapists also manipulate organs with gentle pressure or massage.

When I walked in the therapist asked me why I am there. I told him what the doctor had said about my colon and bladder and also told him about the bloating issue. He said ok and to tell him what else I have going on since that’s not all and then he asked what’s going on with my right shoulder. I was shocked. I walked in there with baggy sweat pants and a baggy t-shirt and somehow he knew I was having problems with my right shoulder. I told him that it often used to flare up with pain from working out and my range of motion would be limited and I would have to lay off exercising. Then he asked what’s going on with my left leg and my feet. Wow – I was impressed. I told him about the leg length difference, misagligned feet, and hammer toes and that I am wearing orthotics. He asked when I got them. I said in September 2008. Then he asked when the bloating started and I told him it started getting worse and worse in September 2008. He smiled.

He then explained how everything in the body is connected and a misaligned body can cause problems in various organs. He showed me on a chart how what is going on with my posture/leg/feet is impacting my colon and digestion. Basically I have a blockage in my colon, food doesn’t completely pass through, it sits and ferments, that causes gas, gas rises, and that’s why I get the distention in the lower and upper region of my abdomen. Interestingly, a doctor back in Crossville, TN thought she had felt a mass and I had to get a CT but nothing showed up. And the doctor here said my colon felt “hard” in certain areas.

Anyway, I had imagined he would be doing a bunch of “massaging” of my colon and bladder but he didn’t. He did mild chiropractic adjustments of my legs, back, arms, etc. Before he started he showed me how my left leg was shorter than my right. He did this by kneeling on the table in front of me (I was lying on my back) and propping both of my feet/legs on his chest. I had to turn my feet to the side and I could see that my left heel was lower than my right heel. After the adjustments they were even.

He did spend about 3 or 4 minutes applying light pressure to a few areas of my colon. Then he showed me an exercise to do every day to keep the alignment. His recommendation is to get realigned by an osteopathic therapist every 3 to 6 months and to work on my feet. Unfortunately I don’t think osteopathic therapists exist in the US. Even here standard doctors do not necessarily recognize this treatment.

The cool thing is, half an hour after the treatment the bloating was GONE. I sat in my room and cried and thanked God. I had flax seed slime for lunch and the same for dinner plus some broth. By around 4:30 PM I had some light bloating but nothing like I experienced before. It was mostly in my lower belly and there was no discomfort associated with it.

The therapist had said that it could get worse the next 48 hours or it could get better, so I am hopeful. I also have one more session with him on Friday. This morning I have no bloating. All of this also means that I may not have any intolerances at all and it’s just a matter of a digestion issue. And it explains why I have had SUCH a hard time getting rid of fungal overgrowth. With food fermenting in my colon those little critters were having a blast.

What is aggravating is that I discussed a blockage with one of the doctors I saw back in 2008 and he said if I had a blockage I would be in more pain. I also considered the fact that I got my orthotics around the same time the bloating was getting worse, but then dismissed it. Although the bloating was gone after the treatment, I am skeptical. Could this really be it? And if so, how do I get adjustments every 3 to 6 months if I can’t find an osteopathic therapist in the US? It’s not the same as a doctor of osteopathy – at least to my knowledge. Unless I call a DO and ask if they do adjustments but the DOs I’ve been to just treat with supplements and diet and look at the whole person. But they do not do any sort of body work.

OK, it’s been 45 minutes since my colonic so I think it might be safe to go for a walk.