Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Silent "u" in "HRT"

Hello again, All,

Here's the rundown of what's been going on here over the last week or so:

After more than 6 months of being given a prescription for the HRT patch, (hormone treatment for menopause--which came early for me thanks to chemo), I decided to go against my inner voice and finally give it a try.

This decision was not made lightly, nor based on the endless hot flushes nor moodiness but on consistantly high, (often double), serum uric acid levels for well over a year now.

High uric acid levels are not only a gout concern, but can lead to adverse cardiac events as well.

After reading of some research pointing to hormone therapy lowering uric acid levels, I finally bit the HRT bullet and gave it a try, in patch form, the type that's worn continuously.

Here are a couple of links to said studies for those interested: 

As some of you know, I am no stranger to headaches and migraines, so when I had a migraine early Saturday morning after putting on the first HRT patch on Friday, I considered it just another migraine bummer to deal with and took a zolmiptriptan, which took it down to tolerable and the day went on in decently veiled pain.

The following Friday, when it was time for a new patch, I was hit by another migraine within 15 hours of patch application--just like the week before but much harsher pain.

That second migraine did not respond to one dose of the triptan and the pain quickly escalated, leaving me wretching and soon balled up on the couch shivering and squirming and groaning under the unbelievable mounting pain.

It was the most severe, incredible migraine I had ever had in my life.  And that's really sayin' suMm.  It was like the usual vice from hell on the skull, but with an added high-E guitar string being pierced into all areas of the brain--the unfathomable pain moved quickly and fiercely and I was so scared.

When immense pain like that happens, one cannot help but think it's due to something in there rupturing/exploding--something deadly.

Enough time passed for me to take a 2nd dose of the migraine med (directions say to wait 2 (torturous) hours between doses), and that finally took the pain down significantly, leaving me a wracked, limp noodle for the rest of the day.

That HRT patch was of course removed during that mega-migraine episode and I've not used them since.

So that was Saturday.

Then on early Sunday morning, I woke with another migraine--which thankfully responded to only one dose of the triptan and that day was spent very low key as I was so very drained, physically and mentally.

Forward to Monday and ANOTHER migraine came, in the wee morning hours again and thankfully, that one responded (enough), to another zolmitriptan.

I was beginning to note some cognitive issues, (mistyping words, stammering over words I couldn't find, light headed-ness and weaker than usual with light nausea too, which I shared all of this with the medical team.

I was resting post-migraine on the couch Monday morning when my Nephrologist called and he told me to go to the ER immediately.

For those who don't know, this rare form of Vasculitis I have, MPA, likes to attack not only kidneys and lungs, but head tissues and sometimes even the brain.

Considering I already have damage in my R eye socket, sinuses and nostrils, I proceeded to pack up for a possible hospital stay and off I went, scared and already feeling the trembling effects of my sub-functional adrenal glands failing to help me deal with this new stress.  

Ten+ hours in the ER included a physical exam/blood draws, an EKG, CT scan and eventually, a brain MRI, (no contrast dye), all so thankfully NORMAL.

Due to these last few strange days, I will be spending the next month or so getting more tests done and then seeing a neurologist.  My neck will Dopplered and ultrasounded and my heart will be checked out further, (though I don't know why, if the physical exam and the EKG were normal).

I'm glad to have this chronically owy neck of mine looked into finally as my headaches and migraines usually stem from that area.

I'm hoping it's all connected to disc degeneration between C3 & C7 and/or a reverse-angle in the vertebrae  due to an "8 seconds" type of horse accident back in '95 when I was thrown and landed hard on the back of my neck.  Being in Japan at the time with no health ins., (ahhh the folly of youth), I never had it looked at, only x-rayed some years ago when the migraines were increasing again, which showed the degeneration and mal-angle.

So yes, let this be a painful lesson to any women out there who usually have migraines and are thinking about HRT/HuRT.  For me at least, it proved to be a helluva pain catalyst.  And it also caused uterus and cervix pain.

But it worked great on the hot flushes!  *eyeball roll*

RE: the high uric acid levels, since reading of the power of cherries to lower uric acid, I'm now eating about 30/day, in hopes that they'll do some kind of trick.

Happy to report that since yesterday afternoon-ish, my chi levels have increased and the headpain has decreased.  Guess those hormones are almost all rinsed out.

Now, time for some yoga-ish yoinging about on the mat methinks.

Bon, healthy vibes, Everyone,


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

J's Blueberry Almond Oat Squares/Cookies

Hello Readers and Bakers,

Soooo, after a few damned hard days of multiple, monstrous migraines that lead up to a 10+ hour stint in the ER this week, I was in dire need of some comfort food.  (I'll likely be blabbing about that adventure soon.) 

Craving something sweet, crispy 'n chewy (and of course healthy), I soon found myself getting busy in the kitchen with theeeese little lovlies:

J's Blueberry Almond Oat Squares/Cookies

2 cups of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup of oat milk
1/2 berry juice
1 egg
a big shake of cinnamon
Stevia to sweeten
1/4 cup of crushed almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp of olive oil
4 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup of 0% yogurt

All ingredients eyeballed and organic when possible.

First I preheated the oven to 200C then stirred up the egg, juice, oat milk and yogurt, then combined all ingredients and poured it into a non-stick baking tin and waited 20 minutes.

Yields about 12 small cookies or squares.

As our baking tin is a tad warped, the concoction was thinner at one end, resulting in the above crispy and most satisfying cookie-like treats.

Here is the chewier, thicker section--equally satisfying and both enjoyed still warm.

Couldn't even wait to make a decaf to go with and so good I don't even want a coffee now.

Beats the hell out of buying some packaged "healthy" cookie or power bar and I must confess, I have already eaten almost half of the tray.

Dangerous time of day to be messing with baking, 5pm is.

(I flipped the remaining thick section over and am re-baking them into crispy goodness now.)

Anywho, had to share with those of you like-minded healthy foodies out there.

As usual, bon ap & +++vibes,

: J

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

TumerEGGano Pasta

G'Day, All,

Sharing the latest fad in lunching over here.

It was created in a pretty nerdy way, basing the dish itself on two spices that I've been reading about lately and how good they are for our health, oregano and turmeric.

This coincided with a huge pasta-craving, so I boiled some whole wheat Farfalle.

I've also, (for the first time in my life and wow), been having to eat more calories lately, which is darned agreeable, I must say.

About half an hour before hand, I mashed up one clove of garlic.  Something usually I do way before lunch nowadays, but it was a busy morning--and one that included a sizable blood draw so yeah, I was pretty peckish.  ;)

While the pasta boiled, I fried in a bit of EVOO, one whole egg plus a white and then set it aside, covered.

Drained the pasta and added the fried egg up side down and combined with: (rough estimates)

1 tsp+ oregano
1 tsp+ turmeric
1 tsp + minced dried onion
1 tbsp ACV
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbs of organic flax seed oil
the smashed clove of garlic
black pepper
2.5 tbsp of grated grana padano, (or parm)

That was real hard to take that pic, (hiiiii, Tony), the ole mouth just grabbing at that bowl, but I did it--'cause I believe in this pasta.  ;)

Because this is made with my daily sodium allotment considered, healthy people will probably wanna add either some salt or more cheese. ***Renal dieters: depending on your serum levels, note to sub white pasta and use less parm.***

Every time I eat this dish I'm surprised by how well the turmeric complements the rest of the more Italian ingredients.

Looks perdy too.

It's screaming for some kinda green garnish.

So boom, an easy and healthy lunch idea for those days when minimal #%#*around-ery is wanted.  (With a side of veggies, or a salad, of courrrrse. ; )

Bon ap et +++vibes,