Ok so I was really hoping I would have gotten my super-quick-super-easy-fuss-free-minimal-ingredient-Carob Cake recipe to you guys by now (you can find a pic on my Facebook page here), along with another post/update of how I've been doing since my TCM appointment (if you're unsure of what I'm talking about, read this post)… but as you can see I've not written anything. I think I’ve just about learnt now that each day is so totally unpredictable for me in terms of my energy levels that planning and sticking to plans are starting to appear as pointless. Like today; the plan was to study all day and instead I've been lying in bed all day. And as such the blog posts I wanted to write never got written.
Today however, I did want to write. It wasn't planned, I just felt like it. More for a bit of a rant or a vent though I suppose. A way to get everything that's in my head, in my body and in my emotions, up and out of me, and I don't really feel like using my old fashioned pen and paper as I usually do. So you all get the benefit of hearing a rant of mine, with the added bonus of a little catch up on where I'm at.
I’m not writing this for sympathy or empathy. I’m merely typing because these thoughts are already circling in my head faster than I can type or even say them, and any outlet is better than none; even when my thoughts are far behind my typing skills (it's kinda like a fast kid running ahead and forever having to stop and wait for his slower mate to catch up, then go again). This also serves as a ‘processing’ reflection type-of-a-thing that I can look back on sometime in the future, and think Ahh hindsight is such a valuable thing. And laugh at my blindness in seeing things clearly, or see patterns that I can then use for my own clinic sessions with patients.
Wow I'm already seeing how I so rarely do anything just because - there's always a reason or something to be learned. That is probably a huge part of my everything-messed-up-ness! I was once asked by a good friend of mine what I do for fun; ok so I do yoga for fun (No he said; that's exercise). Ok I run for fun (No; still exercise). Well I loved weight training at the time so surely I did that for fun (No; still a fitness goal underneath there). I kept saying things and kept getting knocked back. I came to realise that I there was nothing I did for fun. Just for the fun of it. I don't go see movies or out for regular dinners at restaurants. I don't go on road trips just for fun, I don't paint or draw or make pottery just for fun. I don't climb trees, go on adventures, and I no longer swim at the beach coz I live in Cairns.
I could justify and say I love my study and that's fun; but it's still working towards the goal or starting a career in the field. I could say I love my job and find it fun; but again I know I do it more so for the money that I need as a student. What the hell do I do just for fun?!?!?! Live music. That's it! In high school I was at a different live music gig every weekend and have always loved seeing a band or artist perform live. I know for a few years I let that slide for different reasons but after noticing this, and my ultimate love for live music, I made sure I was going again. And so I have been. Other than that I can honestly say that getting in the kitchen on my own or with a girlfriend, turning some music on, and having all day to potter around is total fun for me - not when it's rushed in a pokey kitchen full of crap lining the benches. But I digress - big time...
The main reason for this post is because I feel inspired to write. I’ve got the day off work and had planned (of course) to study all day. I've got a few assessments to catch up on and if I fall behind I get very worried about it all, so I tend to push myself a bit which is good, but it does have it's dark side. It was 230pm when I started this post, and since returning from the doctor and typing some more it's now 6pm, and I’ve done nothing on my assessments. I have done a bit of reading on liver dysfunction since my Chinese practitioner mentioned that being one of my problems, and since this morning I've had all these thoughts (which I’m about to let loose on) circulating in my head – pity the thoughts weren’t more aligned with the mechanisms of hormonal regulation, the functions of the glucocorticoids, or the nutritional requirements for erythroporesis (college work yet to be done).
So my rant - I struggled just getting out of bed this morning and thought a walk around the block might wake me up (after a short lie down on the couch - yep at 9am) which it didn’t but no regrets for walking. Since then I’ve been lying in my bed all day. I’m having difficulties even sitting up in bed so when I say I’m lying here; I mean that literally.
I’ve done a yoga nidra meditation which I have found in the past to be very beneficial when I’m struggling physically and mentally, but today not so much. It's also my Day #1 No Coffee (again) as I have a love for the stuff but if it's on a daily basis, my body doesn't and I start flaking - where I'm at now. Add that to the mix and I'm a teary bitch!
A tiny lunch had (so not hungry at the mo' but habitually eat at certain times; need to pay attention to this more) and then a trip to the Doctor for a blood test – I figure now if I try hitting whatever it is that’s causing me all these symptoms from every angle, I can then try to work out the best things to do.
Well easier said than done. I’m certain that one day I’ll be the go-to girl for weird complicated problems that make no sense to the person experiencing them coz they seem to be all the ones that come and spend some time living with me! Everything I read about the symptoms I experience is confusing me, one book says one thing when a different book says the opposite. It’s no wonder the general public have no clue about health!
So I go to the doctor and in a nutshell, tell him that I’m severely exhausted, have been following a vegan diet for many years, I get regular blood tests done and it’s basically that time of year again. “How’s your physical health?” A little confused with this question, I replied that I occasionally have achey knees??? Well he jumped to that like a kid in a lolly shop and then everything was “how often do you exercise?” “does it hurt more after you run?” Doc I told you I struggle just to walk around the block, I’m not running anywhere! Then he examines my knees like I’ve possibly done damage on these non-existant running escapades of mine. “It could be Fibromyalgia” Oh please! Then he wanted to refer me to either an osteo, a physio, a chiro and/or a dietician! I wouldn’t have even brought this up if your question wasn’t so vague. I came in here for a blood test. And even then just before walking out I realize he hasn’t listed vitamin B12 or D, folate, or ferritin (iron) to be checked on my pathology form. Gees man! Thank god he got the liver function test in there! But not before asking if I wanted a skin check next time I pop in; it’s only a $50 deposit today.
I had read (and can now attest too) Chinese therapists not really telling you much about what it is you may or may not ‘have’ or be experiencing. Unlike a Naturopath who will tell you that your liver is not functioning due to your excessive alcohol intake, or your skin is the flaring up coz all you’re drinking is cows milk, or your reflux is worsening due to certain foods… the TCM therapists just work out what’s up and give you something to remedy it. Don’t get me wrong; it’s tried and tested over centuries and works incredibly from the inside out, but for someone like me who is always reading and researching, especially when it’s my health on the table, it annoys me not really knowing what is wrong with me!
In reading about Liver in TCM, it seems every problem is related to it somehow, making it so hard to decipher and try to learn about. I don’t know if I’m in a state of excess of deficiency, too hot or too cold, too yin or too yang. Nothing I have read really narrows it down. And to make it all the more confusing, you can be both yin and yang deficient at once in two different parts of the body; you can be both too hot and too cold.
My first appointment I was told:
- I have a heated liver
- My stomach function is very poor and it has not been working for over a decade
- My blood circulation is poor
- My body is not digesting the foods I eat or assimilating the nutrients for use as energy; thus the minor weight gain
- My mind is overworked and why I cant sleep
Dietary suggestions were as follows:
- No salads; they are too hard on my digestion
- Cook all veggies
- No sour foods; tomato, pineapple, lemon, lime, chutney
- No hot foods; chilli, spices
- No fatty foods; fried foods (avocado is fine)
- No nuts; even soaked are too hard for my digestion at the moment
- No cold foods; room temperature foods are best
- Chew much slower; loose stools are from poor digestion
- Drink stax more water; to flush out my kidneys and hot liver
- Fruits are ok YAY
And with that I took home herbs to brew into a daily tea which was absolutely revolting! And my follow up I got tiny pills for digestion and a liver powder which also helps the headaches and shocker migrane I got last week. My stomach does feel a whole lot better eating cooked veggies than big salads - but I feel it instantly if I eat something that doesn't digest well. Even veggie juice = massive bloated belly for me now :(
So like I said earlier, this is my rant. I’m studying Western Nutritional Medicine. Seeing a Traditional Chinese Practitioner. Saw a Doctor. Getting blood tests and a hair mineral analysis test. I want to know what each therapist says, what they think is a good healing regime, add to the mix what I already know and what I've learnt, and take things from there.
Other than that, I definitely need to write up a post on all things affirming, amazing, wonderful, positive, and happy coz all the shit, crap and exhaustion I'm feeling 100% totally drags me down. I feel like I never smile. I cry just telling someone exactly how tired I feel. I can’t explain in words what it feels like for me when I can’t physically get out of bed. I forget to brush my teeth for god sake!
I know I also need to go easier on myself and treat me like I would my best friend suffering from the same thing – with kindness, empathy, understanding. I keep trying to achieve, and finish assessments, go to work, attempt some exercise, get out of bed! Nothing gives me energy anymore and I don’t know what else to do, yet know only I can do something about it all.