Monday, July 30, 2012

The Couch Sloth Olympics

I'm going to get a gold medal in couch slothing.  For the next two weeks my ass grove in the couch is going to get a good workout as I watch Olympics non-stop.  This is the first time I'm going to be able to watch huge amounts of it.

I'm already loving the swimming.  I have a large screen TV thanks to hubs.  The pool looks so inviting I just want to dive into the screen.

I've also watched the women's and men's gymnastics qualifiers, swimming, diving, women's weight lifting and kayaking.  It is a good thing I don't have cable or I would be online watching the events live only taking breaks for food, sleep and bathroom necessities.

I never thought of myself as a sports nut.  I guess because I don't like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, golf or hockey.  The stuff they normally show on TV.  But I love watching gymnastics, swimming, weight lifting, archery, figure skating, snowboarding, fencing.  I guess it is really the individual sports rather than team sports.  There aren't any complicated rules to follow.  You either got it or you don't.  Hubs has had to walk away.  He truly doesn't like sports of any kind and doesn't share my enthusiasm for the Olympics.

I'm wondering if all my voluntary couch time is going to result in an improvement of my CFS symptoms since I'll be spending less time online, reading and mucking about the kitchen.  Either way my couch is going to get some good exercise holding me up.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I have to face the fact that I am a fall risk.  I came to the realization today that I have a perfect storm of symptoms that combine at inopportune moments causing me to loose my balance.  Basically, due to the CFS, I can't multitask, I get distracted easily, I get dizzy easily, I can loose my orientation in space if I move my head quickly.  So each time I have almost fallen, I got distracted by something while I was trying to stand/turn/walk down steps, snapped my head around and blamo a good case of the dizzies where I had to grab onto something to steady myself.  The only difference Sunday was there was nothing to grab on to stop my fall.

I am normally very careful when moving around.  I sit up slowly.  I stand up slowly.  I move slowly.  However, all the times I can remember stumbling, almost falling or falling I got distracted first.  Whether it was a spider, someone talking to me or something shiny that caught my attention, and suddenly I wasn't paying attention to how my body was moving through space.  Often I snapped my head around to look at the distraction causing lightheadedness only adding to the disorientation.  So I'm not sure I can fix this.  I'm not sure I can be more careful than I already am.  These falls always occur when I'm not doing very well, when the neuro symptoms are coming on, so I'm not confident that I can avoid these incidents.  I'm seriously worried that I'll get a concussion.  I've had a few already (not CFS related) and they are NOT pleasant and can be deadly.

I've made an appointment with my CFS doctor to see if he has any suggestions.  The prescription meds for the OI jacked my blood pressure through the roof so those aren't an option.  I've increased my salt intake but probably not as much as I really need particularly in this hot weather.  I need to invent my own Gatorade to replace salts in my system.  I have been eating french fries more often lately since I have been craving salty food.  But I digress.....  I need some help on this one.  My regular doc is kind of ignoring the whole thing.  Hopefully my CFS doc will be more helpful.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Little Tumble

CFS bit me in the ass yesterday but not in the way you would expect.

I was out on the deck grabbing a pillow to do a little sunbathing.  I was close to the deck edge and turned suddenly.  I don't know if I got dizzy or over confident but I stepped down suddenly and without looking.  I missed the step and ended up on my back in the grass staring at the sky wondering what the heck just happened.

Somehow I managed to twist my right ankle, scrape my right knee, scrape the top of my left foot and wedge the corner of the bottom step under my left knee cap.  I had a great case of road rash and had to pick rocks out of the bloody gashes.  And I was in a HUGE amount of pain.

I managed to get up.  For some reason I managed to not curse my head off.  I hobbled over to the garden hose and did a preliminary wash off.  I hobbled into the house and had kids' girlfriend run and get the Bactine out of the bathroom.  I liberally washed both wounds with it.  Dabbing blood and the cut.  I tried the knee out to make sure I could flex it because I knew it would stiffen up very quickly.

Of course hubs was in another state doing autocross racing at the time.  I knew if I called him he would freak out so I waited.  I wasn't dying.  The walk in clinic was open until 8pm.  I could just patch it up and wait until later in the day to let him know that I would not be making dinner after all.

Thank goodness the kid's gf was around.  She was really helpful.  She fetched things for me and offered to help in anyway she could.  Unfortunately she can't drive so a quick trip to the clinic was out of the question.

I finally got the nerve to call hubs and told him what had happened.  He said he would be home in about two hours and would figure out what to do then.  When he arrived he told me that the clinic would probably blow me off since it was late on a Sunday night.  I would prefer to see my ortho guy anyway.  He has been great with my joint problems in the past.  I also wanted to see how I felt in the morning.

When I got up this morning, I had deep jarring pain when I put weight on my leg.  Not the surface pain of the cut but deeper joint pain.  Not good.  I peeled the bandages off and my entire knee was swollen and pink with road rash.  At least it wasn't infected yet.  I put ice packs on it when I could tolerate them and called my primary care doctor.  He was on vacation.  I asked the secretary if I could see my ortho doc and she arranged it for me.  Yay!!

My kid miraculously had the day off work so he was available to drive me.  The doc was worried about my knee as well.  She said it didn't look good and the fact I hooked the knee cap with the step corner didn't bode well.  I had a series of x-rays done by the ortho specialist consisting of a bunch of odd angles so they can see all sides of the joint and even underneath the knee cap itself.  No fractures!!  Yay!!  So I have a nice bone bruise on the left knee and a slight sprain on the right ankle.   They gave me a really cool ice pack to wear and I have to go back in two weeks so they can check on me.

I'm not normally a klutz but this illness has turned me into one.  I am constantly dropping things, knocking things over and now apparently falling.  This is bad.  It makes me worried.  Can I no longer be left alone?  Is my decision making, balance, and vertigo bad enough that I can't be trusted to be by myself anymore?   This seriously worries me.  Probably more so since a good friend just lost his mother to a nasty fall.  She couldn't catch herself and got a nasty concussion that finally took her life.  Falling is serious.  If I hadn't rolled over and landed in the grass I would have faceplanted on the stone patio.  It could have been way worse than it was.  I came one foot away from having a nasty concussion.  As it is my rib cage is really sore.  I can hardly wait until my chiropractor comes back from vacation and puts everything back where it belongs.

But falling.  Now what do I do?  I'm usually pretty good about going slowly, looking where I'm going, looking at the steps before I go up or down them.  But there was that little lapse of judgement.  In typical ADD CFS fashion I got distracted by a spider hanging off the edge of the cushion I had picked up.  Instead of looking where I was going, I span around too fast and  literally stepped into oblivion.

So I'm paying for that now with pain and swelling and bleeding.  Thank goodness it wasn't worse.  But now what do I do?  Do I have to have someone come and stay with me every time hubs goes out of town?  How embarrassing.  I'm only 50.  Gads!  Until this point I never felt like a burden to my family.  Even at my sickest.  I don't want people worrying about me.  For some reason that bothers me.  I don't want to burden family with unnecessary worry.  I always thought of myself as independent, even with hubs having to take over the bills and the driving and the housecleaning.  I always knew I could manage on my own if he wasn't around.  It was nice that he was doing it but I would figure out how to get along if he buggered off.  But now.   Now.  With the falling incident I can't possibly be on my own.  Someone has to be around.  Someone HAD to check up on me.  If I had knocked myself unconscious yesterday how long would I have laid on the ground until someone found me?  An hour?  Two?  Three?  Kid's gf was inside the house when I fell.  She had no idea that I fell.  I had told her I was going to lie down for a while.  She wouldn't have come looking for me for a long time.

This makes me feel so old and dependent and needy.  Ugh.  Now I'm worried.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh Stairs, You Tease Me So

We had a big BIG HUGE thunderstorm roll right over my house today.  I was taking it easy recovering from all the excitement of yesterday's driving test.  I was doing okay but I knew I was a bit tired. Then the boomers rolled in.  Then the sky opened up and dumped tons of rain, 7"/hr according to the news.  That is a lot of rain.

So I'm running around the house closing windows as fast as I can.  They were all open since it has been close to 100F for the last several days running.  I get the windows in the living room closed and then I hear it.  The window in the loft is open and the rain is pelting the side of the house.  I look out the window and it looks like I live under a waterfall.  Sheets of water are cascading down the closed windows.  Crap.  I'm going to have to climb the stairs and close the window.  Crap.  Crap.  Crap.  I am SO going to pay for this.

It isn't that I can't climb stairs.  I'm still physically capable of of it but for well over a year now stairs bring on PEM for me.  Yup.  Major crash after stair climbing of any sort.  Even very slow stair climbing.  I swear it is the change in altitude but I digress...

So I go up the stairs at a normal pace, I can see the rain blowing in through the open window.  I get up there and close it.  I wander around the loft a bit since I haven't been in that part of the house for many many months.  I pick up a pile of books to loan to a friend.  And suddenly I'm out of breath.  I'm gasping as if I had just done several fast laps around the ice rink.  Odd how this starts well after I've climbed the stairs.  Then suddenly I'm sweating buckets.  I take one last look around the loft and go back downstairs.

I close a few more windows and collapse on the couch.  That was well over nine hours and several naps ago.  I'm still here on the couch.  I have no idea how long this crash is going to last.  I'm still hot and sweaty and dearly dearly wish to take a shower.  But alas this is going to my home for a while until I can recover enough to get up.

I've gone through the hoarse voice stage, sleeping stage, painful joints stage, fuzzy eyesight stage, aching calves stage, lost words stage.  Maybe just maybe I'll be mobile by tomorrow.  Then again it could just be wishful thinking on my part....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Driving Mrs. Daisy

One of the casualties of my CFS neuro symptoms has been my ability to drive.  Hubs stopped me from driving over a year ago.  Now I only drive short distances across town to get the odd daytime appointment.  I find that driving myself is less stressful than using the handicapped van.  If I'm too messed up to drive, if I don't have a ride and don't want to use the van service I simply cancel the appointment.  I don't screw around with this sort of stuff.  I understand the damage even low speed accidents can cause.  I am still messed up from being rear ended twice six years ago.

This past January, when I crashed really hard, my doctor, without checking with me first, reported me to the DMV.  I wasn't driving at all during the winter so it wasn't like I was an actual road hazard.  At that point I wasn't even a walking hazard.  In fact, I was in such bad shape I was canceling all of my appointments and not leaving the house even if someone was available to drive me and push my wheelchair.  Yes, I was that bad.

So I get this letter from the DMV that I have to go for a competency road test.  WTF!?!  So I wait until the week prior to the deadline in the letter to start calling for a test date hoping that I'll be in better shape and able to drive.  Lucky for me there were no test dates.

This started a three and a half month daily calling spree to the DMV which included at least 20mins of on-hold music prior to getting a person telling me that there were no appointments available.  During this time period I renew my license on line; get my credit card jacked the next day courtesy of the DMV, and start driving short distances again.  However, I still can't read books/manuals/papers or anything that requires concentration so I can't read the driver's manual.  I have no idea what this road test will entail.

Six weeks ago I finally get a test date of July 17th.  Good thing I wasn't a real road hazard.  Seven months to get a competency road test!  Holy crapoly.  Just gives me the warm fuzzies thinking about all those delusional drivers that won't stop driving or surrender their license even though they are crashing into things regularly.

Now one of the stupid things about MA DMV is that during Romney's reign he privatized as much of the DMV as he could.  This means that you now have to pay for driver's ed to the tune of $1000, they got rid of the test vehicles and they got rid of the Registry cops.  So now you have to bring your own vehicle to the test BUT it has to have a center ebrake.  You know, the handle on the floor between the driver and passenger seat instead of the pedal on the floor near the driver's left foot.  If your car doesn't have one, you have to rent a car that has one if you can find a company that will rent you one for a road test.  HAH!  You can NOT take the test with a car without a center ebrake.  And, American cars do NOT have center ebrakes.  All my family owns is American cars.  Luckily we found a friend to loan us a car which is both good and bad.  Now I have a car to test in but it is a strange car that I'm not used to driving and will not have access to it until the night before the test.  Ugh!!

This has been a good month for me.  I've seen steady improvement since the farmer's market opened.  Coincidence????  I'm reading a little bit.  Driving across town once in the while.  The brain fog is lifting more often and for longer periods of time.  So maybe just maybe I can do this.  Nice thing is that I have six tries in a calendar year to pass the test.  Also if I do fail the test, it would be better for my LTD claim.  Gosh she can't work, she can't even drive a car!

Two nights ago I go out with hubs after dinner and practice driving in my own car.  In 30+ years of driving I have NEVER had to parallel park.  I never learned how to do it since it wasn't on the test back then.  He taught me how to parallel park and do hill starts.  I practice stopping at the ends of roads since after 30 years of driving I tend to do rolling stops.  I also practiced how to park on a hill so I would drill into my brain which way the wheel got twisted depending upon the car's orientation.

Last night after we picked up the friend's car we did the same thing again.  I was shocked at how I had retained the information.  Also his car was much easier to parallel park than mine since it had a shorter wheelbase.  Fifteen minutes and I was done.  I was confident that I shouldn't have a problem.

Now as part of the DMV downsizing, lack of registry cops, Romney fiasco, the closest facility I could test at is a 45min drive from my house.  A distance long enough to put my brain in a twirly whirl even on my best days.  This meant that I had to get up early, drive to the town with hubs, go hang out in a coffee shop or diner for a while, eat, drink, wait until test time all in order to give my brain enough time to recover so that I could drive safely.  Of course, this meant dosing up on my sleep meds way early.  This sort of worked.  I was tired but it took me much longer than normal to fall asleep since it was three hours prior to when I normally hit the hay.

This morning I got up after six hours of sleep.  Not good but I was too nervous to stay in bed.  Plus I was worried that if I went back to sleep only to get up an hour or two later I would be in much worse shape cognitively than if I just stayed up.  I sleep best in three hour chunks and that wasn't available to me.  Sigh.  So we get up there over an hour early.  We drive around a bit.  Hubs finds a diner.  He orders lunch but I'm too nervous to eat.  I know to get my brain working really well I need to get hopped up on sugar and caffeine so I ask for coffee and pie or ice cream.  They don't have any.  Coffee yes, pie no.  What respectable diner doesn't have pie????  Humph.  I let hubs eat while I choke down the worst coffee on the planet!  Go to the bathroom for the umpteenth time (nerves) and we go looking for a Dunkin Donuts.  Woohoo!  There is one a couple of buildings over from the registry.  Boston Creame donuts and good coffee.  I LOVE donuts and don't get to eat them any more cuz of my diet but not today!  I get a nice fresh gooey donut and a cupful of really good coffee with cream.  YUM!!  And no guilt!

I love having an appointment at the DMV.  You get to cut all the lines.  Tons of people waiting and we go right down to the tester's office.  Turns out he is a nice guy and I relax a lot.  He explains everything and then has us meet him in the parking garage.  He checks out the car to make sure all the lights work and the horn works.  He is standing outside the car and I'm now entrenched in the drivers seat with hubs squished into the back seat.  Did I mention hubs is 6'8" and this is a honda?  Anyway, the test guy asks me to show him the hand signals.  Instant brain freeze.  Seriously?!?  People still use those?  I've only seen bicycle riders use them.  Thank God I took a bicycle safety course in girl scouts and learned these.  My brain started to work slowly, L is NOT left!!!  Arm up = right.  Arm straight = left.  Arm down = stop.  Woohoo!!  I remembered.  He then climbs in the car.  I've got my seatbelt on and the mirror all adjusted and he has me pull out of the parking garage and the car immediately in front of me stops dead in the middle of the road and a door pops open to let someone out.  No signal.  No arm wave.  Nothing.  I don't say a thing but tester guy is spouting off at them.  LOL.  I wait them out since the road is too narrow and too close to the end to go around them safely.  I pull up to the stop line, count to three, inch forward until I can see the road, pull out when it is clear and I get my first praise from him.  Yay!!  The rest of the test goes off without a hitch.  The only thing he nabs me for is not turning my head before I executed a three point turn.  However, I looked at my mirrors, glanced sideways and I knew there was nothing on the road.  He said I had good control over the car, stopped properly, stayed put at the red light and did an excellent job hill parking (even though I turned the wheels the wrong way into the curb).  I PASSED!!!!  YAY!!  I can keep my license after all that torture.  I'm so glad I don't have to deal with the DMV for another ten years, as long as my doc doesn't rat me out again.  I'm still pissed at him seven months later!

And it was totally worth that Boston Creame donut!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012


So far, I've considered my diet experiment as an N=1 experiment.  N=1 is when there is only one subject and it is the worst type of experiment since there is no way to determine if the results are real.  No comparisons.  No other subjects.  What about age, race, gender?  It is an experiment of one.  It is also the mantra of the Paleo community.  Go ahead, try the diet, become your own N=1.

Anyway, although I've been considering Paleo/Primal as an experiment of N=1 is is really N=1.5 since hubs eats in the same house as I do.  However, I can't count him as an entire one since he still eats cereal, bread and sandwiches but his dinner is Paleo/Primal and he is eating pastured meats for this meal.   This week he has made some interesting comments to me including the following repartee:

Him: How does your diet make you not burn in the sun?
Me: It is the pastured meats.  Possibly the omega 3s.  Not totally sure since I haven't found any science to back up the blogs I've been reading. Why?
Him: I didn't get a sunburn yesterday.
Me: Were you out in the sun all day?
Him: Yup.  And my friend is a lobsta (short for brilliant red sunburn) today.
Me: Did you burn at all?
Him: A little on my neck.  Just pink though.  Not red.
Me: Not lobsta?
Him: No.  Not lobsta.
Me: It must be the meat.

Today he told me that he feels better than he used to.  He isn't sick and has always felt well but now he feels even better.  He worked all day in the heat and came home only wiped out not nauseous or headachy like he normally would.  He was also telling me that his sweat doesn't reak like it used to.  And I think the same goes for me as well.  I'm not nearly as stinky as I used to be.  I guess I have fewer toxins to get rid off.  Now it takes me several days of nasty heat before I get mildly stinky whereas before I used to reak the same day.  Finding deodorant has always been a problem for me but not this year.  He is very happy that he is less stinky than he used to be.

So to add to the list of prior positives of my diet, I'll add less body odor and hubs is feeling great.  He is now cutting down on his bread and soda consumption so that he can feel even better.  Over time I think this will become an N=2 experiment.  Possible even N=3 once my kid moves back in when college starts.

I guess I'm kind of encouraged that my family is feeling better even with only one Paleo/Primal meal a day.  The body really is an amazing machine.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Missing Piece of the Puzzle??

Before I got sick I was very active: on ice training 3-4 times per week, weight lifting 3 times per week and cardio almost everyday.  I ate organic, low fat, low salt, moderate carb GF diet with no red meat.  I ate sweets in moderation.  My weight was stalled at 220lbs.  At 5'2" I fell into the morbidly obese range and I totally baffled my doctor.  "I don't understand why you aren't loosing weight."  But instead of testing anything he just let it slide since my cholesterol numbers were good, although on the high end of normal.  He did threaten me with statins if they crept up anymore.  I think he couldn't understand how I could exercise so much and eat so healthy, he even told me that I ate healthier than most of his patients,  and not loose an ounce.  Of course I had lost quite a bit of fat only to be replaced by muscle so scale wise I had only dropped ten pounds since starting figure skating training and totally stalled out for a year and a half.  He let it slide.

One more piece of information, most of my weight is around my middle.  I'm portly.  Too bad I'm not a guy I would be considered a nice portly English gentleman instead of a fat old broad.  Anywho,  this all points to thyroid issues but he never tested it or looked into it.

Once I had CFS my body went totally berserk and I had trouble temperature regulating my body.  My hands and feet were cold constantly.  My mom had to knit me wristlets to keep my hands warm and I had to have socks or slippers on constantly.  Often even during the summer months.  I always had my feet tucked under blankets.

Once I started the Paleo/Primal kick I noticed that my hands and feet weren't cold quite so often.  I was barefoot more often and didn't require my wristlets on a daily basis.  This summer I'm not sweating buckets unless it is close to 100F outside and I'm not living in the AC everyday.

A few weeks back I read about people on the Paleo diet are often iodine deficient since they tend to eat either Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt, neither of which have iodine added.  So unless you eat seafood or sushi or sea vegetables on a daily basis you are probably running a little low.  See Mark's Daily Apple post.  So I tried some kelp capsules but they gave me instant heartburn.  It took me a while but I managed to find some iodine pills.  Turns out that these buggers are scarce since people have forgotten that you need iodine for your thyroid to function normally.  Check this list out of what happens when you are iodine deficient:

–Weight loss is stalled or you gain weight despite your efforts.
–Heart disease risk is escalated–Total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride values increase
–Risk of fibrocystic breast disease and possibly breast cancer increase (breast tissue concentrates iodine)
–Gingivitis and poor oral health increase (salivary glands concentrate iodine)
-Thyroid swells

Guess what I have!?!
Stalled weight loss.
Excess belly fat.
Fibrocystic breasts but the cysts are too small to worry about.
Elevated LDL and triglyceride levels (these started to come down after I went Paleo)
And nodules on my thyroid!!  (the endo I saw for CFS found these) Can't remember if it is swollen but I wouldn't be surprised.
When I first got sick I measured out as hypothyroid (underactive).  It is now in the very low end of normal which I doubt is optimal.

Holy crap!  Maybe, just maybe, I have an iodine deficiency?  I've been eating low salt for years since that is what I was supposed to do and then when I did use salt it was Celtic sea salt.  God knows how long I've had an iodine deficiency.  No one has EVER bothered to check this.

Since I've been supplementing I'm hotter.  I am no longer cold like I have been for the last two years.  This kinda blows since it is the summer and I'm miserable when I'm hot but this also means my metabolism is kicking it up a notch and the iodine supplements are doing something.  

So here is the source for the above list.  Wheat Belly Blog.  It is a quick and interesting read.  It also discusses dosing levels.  I apparently started out on the low end of things and noticed a difference the same day.  I broke out in a sweat (it has been hot here but I've been running cold for two years now).  My hands and feet are hot again which they haven't been for years.  My reaction was kind of alarming so I started cutting the pills in half.  Mark's Daily Apple explains why this probably happened.  The thyroid basically overreacts since it has been iodine starved for so long.  I'm sure the thyroid wonkies of CFS don't help any here either.  So if you start taking iodine take a very small dose!!  And work up.

So a week or so later of intermittently taking half doses I'm up to intermittently taking whole pills.  My body isn't reacting so violently.  I'm hot.  All.  The.  F'ing.  Time.  My feet are hot.  My hands are hot.  I've been taking cold showers to cool off (last year I wouldn't have been able to tolerate this at all).  I'm sweating buckets but it is hot and humid out so this is a normal reaction unlike last year where I used to sweat in my room when the AC was on even though I was cold.  

The thing I'm curious about is now that I've tinkered with my diet, I'm eating very few grains, almost no sweeteners of any kind, taking iodine and my thyroid seems to be working better, and I tapered off the steroids, will I loose weight???  Finally???  Please God!?!?!  Please!!!  I'm begging you!!!!

Or I'm just going to have to accept that I'm forever going to be a dumpy old broad.  I should be used to going against social norms by now.  I've had fifty years of practice at it.....  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hot Tamale

I'm melting.  I hated the heat before I got sick and I hate it even more now that I have CFS.  I seem to be doing better controlling my body temp this year than last.  I remember last year my eyelids and the soles of my feet would sweat even if I was sitting in the air conditioned rooms.  I had to walk around in socks to absorb the sweat from my feet.  This year it is just tank tops and shorts and I'm leaving the AC off as much as possible since the noise bothers me.  I can't have loud roaring going on endlessly.  I start getting really irritated and cranky from it even if I'm comfortable temperature wise.  So this summer is going better.  The heat is brutal this year though.  It is only July and we've just ended one heatwave, had a four day break and are promptly moving into heatwave number two.  Ugh!!

I'm going to buy a kiddie pool to set up in the backyard so I can go sit in it to cool off.  I'm too sick to take care of my big pool.  It is filled with two years worth of oak leaf debris.  It would take about a week of cleaning and then another week of chemical treatments to even get it functioning again.  It is cheaper and easier to get a kiddie pool I'll fit in and set that up instead.  And I don't care what the neighbors think!  I'm melting!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Big Toe

Finally made it to the dermatologist this morning.  8:30am UGH!!  We were only a little late.  I really liked the doc I saw.   He smiled a lot and was very happy to discuss my toe with me.  I even explained CFS being causing all sorts of problems with the immune system and he agreed that the CFS might be playing into the sudden appearance of the rash.

So the diagnosis:
bullous tinea pedis
Which is an odd type of athlete's foot fungus.  It creates small blisters and inflammation which makes it look like an allergic reaction.  However he took skin scrapings and looked at them under a microscope and confirmed the presence of the fungus.  He was 100% sure of his diagnosis.

Easy treatment, just put on some cream.  Ironically it is the same stuff that I've been using for two years to get rid of the rash along my bra line.  He didn't recommend pills yet as they are very toxic to the liver.  I agreed I didn't want to go that route until I had tried the cream first.  He told me that it would be 2-4 weeks before it would clear up since it is on the foot where there is reduced blood flow.  

On the one hand I like the idea of taking a pill and getting rid of all of my various rashes at once but the fact that they are a liver toxin doesn't bode well.  I have enough trouble detoxing as it is without adding something that is a  known toxin to my system.  I'll just stick to the cream for a month and see what happens.

I have added apple cider vinegar foot baths to my routine.  Apparently the stuff is a fungicide.  Woohoo!!  It does stop the itching for a while.  Maybe I'm going to have to paint the underside of my boobs with it.  I'll smell like salad dressing ;-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Seven and a Half Minutes

I watched her vid and I've signed up and started playing on her site Superbetter.  There is even a category for CFS!!!!  How cool is that!!  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sick Humor

This will be me for the next few days...
p.s. I'm not responsible for the spelling mistakes in the caption

funny pictures - Animal Capshunz: Sloth Logic
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Odd Lots

Toe News
I did a little internet surfing today and found out what my rash is: it is an Id reaction.  This is an allergic response to something else going on with the body.  Most often it is a fungal infection such as athletes foot but it can also be yeast or contact allergy.  I don't have anything matching the description of athletes foot but considering I have yeast rashes on five other locations on my body the fact that my toe has erupted in an allergy response isn't too surprising.  So my masseuse was right (she is really smart).  And I'm still going to have to go and see a dermatologist.  I think the antibiotics are helping but the fungal cream isn't since the rash is still fanning out.  Kinda gross I know but just another day in the life of a CFSer.  Apparently rashes are a fairly common problem.  My masseuse said that problems in the body will often manifest as skin issues.

July 4th
Made the 2 hour car trip to VT to visit friends for the 4th.  I was well on my way to full blown neuro probs by the time I got there and I had started out really well that morning.  Not quite headbobbing but I had to have two handed help into the house from the car.  Had to come back today since I was so messed up this morning.  I hated cutting the trip short but if I had pushed any further I would have been in full blown headbobbing glory even before the car trip home.   Several naps and lots of quiet time later I'm doing much better.

Had a great visit.  Talked tons.  My friend has been recently diagnosed with Parkinsons so we talk about chronic illness when we get together.  She is still processing the diagnosis and like me is still in denial.  She is such an awesome person.  We talk about politics, the economy, education, history, food, kids.  Just a fun person to chat with for hours.

I brought up a ton of grass fed meat and the guys spent all day BBQing for the womenfolk.  We had burgers, hot dogs and ribs.  She made us salad with the greens grown in her own garden.  And then ice creams for dessert.  We sat on her front lawn and watched the parade which is heavy on farm tractors and light on bands.  Later we sat on her front lawn and watched the fireworks through the tree tops.  We only missed the short ones.  My kid took some great pics.  He is turning into quite the photographer.

I also had some intensive kitten therapy while there and I've got the scratch marks to prove it.  She is only a few months old and cute as a button.  She loves being picked up, carried, petted and generally coddled.   She is smart and curious and full of energy.  In fact, I had to boot her out of my bedroom last night because she was playing chase with the older cat who had been sleeping on my bed.  He was none too pleased and a spitting fit ensued.  After I turfed both cats out and I was lying in the dark, I noticed that two fireflies had made it passed the screen and were flying around my bedroom.  I fell asleep with a smile on my face, privileged to witness one of the small miracles of life: blinking green bug butts.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Canary in the Coal Mine

Here is a great explanation of why I gave up almost all of my personal grooming potions.  Granted prior to getting CFS I had already converted to organic products but now I only use three items: homemade toothpaste or organic toothpaste (I alternate between the two), baking soda and water "shampoo", and soap (I am switching to South of France products once I'm done with my Yardley.  I love the smell of my Yardley and I'm going to miss it but two lovely scented South of France soaps just arrived in the mail so I can still be a little girly.)

Cosmetics and personal grooming are big business and contain a huge variety of chemicals.  Personally I know that since contracting CFS and possibly before, my body has a really hard time ridding itself of toxins.  I've mentioned before that I take activated charcoal and bentonite clay fairly regularly to help with this.  The fact that cosmetics are basically an unregulated, unsupervised industry is bad for everyone not just us CFSers.

I did buy Organic Body Care Recipes which is a wonderful book but I'm too sick to make the often  complicated recipes.  I'm looking forward to making quite a few of these once I'm feeling better.  Right now make up is the furthest thing from my mind.

Another good resource for make up recipes is Wellness Mama.  She recently did a series of blog posts on very simple home made cosmetics:

And who can pass up Chocolate Massage Butter !?!