Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"A Lovely Daaaaaaay"

Hiiii, Friends & Readers,  

Just wanted to make a post to share some good stuff--and now I've got Bill Withers gracing the soundtrack, which is an even bigger bonus as I love that song.

I woke up this morning feeling well rested--and well I should be after sawing MAJOR wood for what was surely 12 hours, (not including the usual frequent pee breaks, of course ; ).

Today, so far, (and it's only 11:50am), has been VERY productive, enjoyable, sunny and WARM and I'm milkin' it with Tony.

After a fine berry musilx breaky with my favo decaf espresso from, (and I hate to admit it), Starbucks, I slapped on the knee braces, the sun screen, set my pedometer to go and hit the streets, heading for the river with T where we did a fantastic 4.11kms@ 4.35kmph in 55 minutes, including some stair work.

Came home just drenched, pleasantly drained and cooled off in the back yard with T in the sunshine.  Even gave him a gooood brushing to help that Spring coat blow .

Here's the sweet lil fuzzer getting his roll on:
Had a blessed hot 'n bubbly bath, got some laundry going and soon, I'll be enjoying some roasted green beans with a filet of Tilapia for lunch.

This is all a MAJOR contrast to yesterday which was, overwhelmingly and amazingly challenging.  My chi was near non-existent from about 1pm on, leaving me just a sedated-looking mass of semi-consciousness for the rest of the day, drifting in and out of sleep and only getting up for snacks and pee breaks.  I managed to eat a yummo shrimp supper with P and then hit the sack like a led zeppelin straight to this morning.

I think this has much to do with my now rather low hemoglobin count as well as low iron and today I faxed my doc asking what we can do about it, along with some other Q's on other matters.

And perhaps my improvement today is in relation to last night's shrimps?  Don't know if things work that fast in the ole bod, but it makes sense at least.

Hope he gets back to me soon and in the mean time, MORE SHRIMPS TONIGHT, as they are particularly high in iron, while being not over the top in potassium and that's a perfect combo for me these days.

So voila, just wanted to share some positivity, if only to balance out the extreme zombified state of yesterday that honestly, at a couple points, left me in quiet tears of utter flabberghastation.

But today is a NEW DAY!

Be well, be swell 'n thanks for reading,

: J

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Beans are Jumping!

Hello, All,  

Just a quick pop in after retrieving the bi-monthly blood test results today to share that my kidney filtration rate, (and I first typed "flirtation" by mistake, heheh), is up ANOTHER two points since last time!

It is now at 35 and well into the category of Stage 3 CKD, which is just music to my eyes.

All the electrolytes are normal too, (though the potassium is at the max), and while the hemoglobin is getting pretty low, as is the iron and I may need to be treated for that, in general, it's a pretty GOOD report card with only a few levels that are not right. 

I sure would like to get off this BP med that not only steals my voice but causes me to retain even more potassium than I normally would being a kidney patient, but alas, as that drug also apparently helps improve the kidney's filtration rate, I'll just keep a lid as best I can on the K-rich foods until this 6 month attack on the MPA is a wrap.

In other medi-news, I had a Doppler scan done today too on my left ankle, (which has been slightly swelled for years now and since the chemo, has begun to hurt).  I am happy to report that at least vein-wise, all is totally normal in there.  The scan technician thought it might be more of an articulation issue and  I'm sure more scans will be done on that eventually but for now, so far so GOOD.

So boom, there it is, 35, YAY.

Wishing you all well with good vibes for the week,

: J

Monday, April 22, 2013


Hello again, Juan Day Readers,

And I thought the weekend was a bit of a nail-biter, what with the big ANCA blood test taken today which I found out takes a whole week for the results to come back.

As mentioned a couple times here and on fb as well, I am rather anxious and excited to see those results as they will show just how much progress has been made by all these meds to arrest the development of the Microscopic Polyangiitis thus far.

It’s been a long haul since that fateful eve on January 10th, but in the same breath, I’m more than happy to be at the stage I’m at in it all now, with only ONE MORE chemo session to go and over the course of the next two months, the Prednisone will go down to only 10 mgs/day.

This also means that all these other daily meds I’ve been taking because of the heavy immuno suppressive therapy will, as I understand it be finished with too and YAY!  No more daily antibiotics, no more buffers, no more vaccines and hopefully soon, less/different BP meds too as I’m really not liking this loss of voice on an almost daily basis until the evenings. 

At least tomorrow I can pick up the usual blood work results, (electrolytes, kidney filtration numbers, hemoglobin and leukocytes etc.), always interesting to me as I’m continuously experimenting with exactly how many and how much of the “forbidden foods”, I can get away with and still have stellar electrolyte levels.

For eg: lately, I’ve been sneaking 3-4 crumbled walnuts into my morning muslix and it’s DEEEEEEELICIOUS, and so many wonderful healthy oils in them and keeeerrriiiiist in a smart car, do I EVER miss nuts.

Anywho, just wanted to keep ya’ll posted as I’ve been a lil quiet lately and this is the reason why.  Also because I’ve been sleeping like a marmot since this last chemo session.  Feels soooooo nice and I know it’s healing me even more.

So voila, wishing everyone a great week and take good care of yourselves.


: J

Monday, April 15, 2013

Smellin’ Salts, Please...

Good, Good Morning, Readers, 

After a bit of a fainting spell yesterday after supper, it’s clear to me now that a meeting with my Nephrologist is highly in order to amongst many things, discuss reducing my BP many meds.

The ole blood pressure went down to an all-time-low of 105/47.  

The photo on the left here taken just after I came outta the rather twitchy fog I was left in and methinks that that, coupled with how I’m consistently getting normal BPP readings of for eg: 125/75 in the mornings, BEFORE taking any of the three BP meds I’m on is reason enough to start talking about removing some of them from the regime. Or, at least decreasing the doses.

That, coupled with the bummer that one of them, an ACE inhibitor he put me on a couple of months ago, is really messing with my voice, often reducing it to some kinda Joe Pesci-impersonation is also a MAJOR reason for a BP meds tweak.  “I can’t do mahhh wohhhhhk!”

And, MENTAL NOTE: This is also good reason to start doing LESS as yesterday was a pretty full day for me, housework-wise, with usual morning dog-walk, plus a friend over for tea for the first time since opening up our beautiful solarium.  All without a nap and I clearly just did TOO MUCH.

Sometimes, I actually forget that I'm recovering from a serious, life-threatening illness that if left unchecked back in January, most likely would have taken me out via total renal failure or a heart attack or stroke.

I GOTTA remember that no matter how good I get to feeling (at times), no matter how bright the warm sun is shining, I am not yet healed and I must act accordingly.

In other news, this week I’ve been rather distracted, excited, a bit scared and uber-curious about the BIIIIIG blood tests coming up likely this coming Monday, when I’ll be getting blood and urine tests done which will check on the progress of the arresting of the Microscopic Polyangiitis, by testing the ANCA levels in my blood, (those being the white blood cells, the abbreviation standing for “Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies”, and the markers of most forms of Systematic Vasulitis.)

I believe they will also be doing more conclusive testing on the kidney function as they’ve requested a urine sample too so hopefully, there will be more info on the kidney-health and improvements to enjoy.
So there it is, my Monday mornin’ blog post…
Hope it finds you all out there starting the week in good spirits, with lots of nice plans too.

****THIS JUST IN!!!**** After my faxing him to let him know about yesterday's hypopressure, my Doc called today and after a short chinwag to discuss the low BP as well as some other issues, he took me off the beta blockers! NOT gonna forget to NOT take that lil one tomorrow as it's already in the bag of rejected meds, to bring back to the pharm for proper disposal.

NICER WAY to end this post now, yes? 

: J

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Red Berried Buckwheat Crepes

Good Day, Readers 'n Healthy Cooks,

Lately, I've been reading about how there *may* be a connection between gluten sensitivity and autoimmune disease.   Since I'd never really thought about actually trying a gluten-free diet, I wondered how much better I might feel after switching for a month?  And of course, how tasty I could make it...

This got my butt into the kitchen after buying a sack of buckwheat flour as it's gluten-free and if used in small amounts, is not terribly high on the potassium/phosphorus charts either.

At first I made them pancake-style, (but with no baking powder due to the phosphorus), using an egg and water but alas, it just tasted tooooo--eggy, surprise-surprise. 

So then I thought, as I was no longer crazy-hungry, why not try one using just the flour and some rice milk?  

The result was a nice and darned crepe-like product, which I buttered, using organic butter-like veggie-spread and then drizzled in some Stevia'd up red berry juice and, well--it was pretty satisfying.

Sure, it's NOTHING like an eeeeevil crepe one would get on the streets of Paris; all crispy and crunchy and dripping in hot butter, infused with salt and sugared up the ying-yang but for me,  and how I'm now eating to LIVE, (and not the opposite ; ), it served my hankering quite sufficiently, so I wanted to share with anyone else out there in a similar boat.  Or with anyone simply wanting to start eating better/gluten-free.

It'd be great too with an fried egg, a lil sauteed garlic and say just a smiiiiiidge of light cream cheese with chives.

Here are the doses for one small to medium-ish sized crepe:  Can you even call this a "recipe" with only two ingredients?

-1 heaping tablespoon of buckwheat flour
-1/4 cup of rice milk, (I eyeballed, as usual so start with less)

Whisk it together and pour into an oiled, med-hot pan.  I used walnut oil this time, mmmmmmmmm...   ; )

bon ap and good health to you all,

: J

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pepper-Chic Gazpacho

Good Day, Healthy Eaters & Readers,

As mentioned in that last video-blog, I have been having MAJOR legume/pulses withdrawal lately and since, (always in small doses of course), chickpeas have the lowest potassium and phosphorous of all the starchy beans 'n peas, I recently whipped out the trusty food processor for a lil bit of heaven in a bowl.

I have NO problem not eating meat, or chocolate or so many other of the no-no foods for CKD patients but wow, not eating beans, lentils, chickpeas and the like is just too much for me to handle any more and so I created this lil summery gaspacho number, which can also work very well as a veggie or pita dip.

Today for luncheon, I had a similar mixture, but sans red peppers & onions--more straight up humusy which I dipped my saltless dried bread bits in with wild abandon as I was wolf-hungry after a mighty fast walk with T by the river, which included some high bridge stair-climbing too.

Pepper-Chic Gazpacho

1/3 sauteed onion
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper (raw)
1 cup cooked chic peas, (from dry, never canned)
1/2 cup 0%fat fromage blanc
1-2 tbsps sesame oil
juice of one lemon
black pepper
micro-pinch of sea salt

(Serves 1 as my food processor is a wee thing.)

bon ap & +++++vibes,

: J

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Scientific Salad 9: Cauli-Pepper Crunch ®

Good Day, dear Munchers and Readers,

Just had one lonnnnnnnng nap and had the energy to share another tasty salad with the healthy eaters out there so here it is, in all its tasty and VERY good for the kidneys glory.

This one's on the simpler side too, which is always nice...

Onto the chopping board went:

- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2 large, ripe red peppers
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 head of broccoli
- handful of chives

Cauli-Pepper Crunch Dressing:

-  Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp sesme oil
- 1 tsbp walnut oil
- black pepper
- small pinch fleur de sel
- 4 tbsps organic apple cider vinegar

Be well, happy and have a great day,

: J