Showing posts from February, 2015

Sock 2.0

Having knitting half a sock fit for a sleeping giant, I am many trials later onto bed sock number 2.  I am improving.  More practice needed.  It's funny how stressful an apparently sedate hobby can be!!!

Once I "get it" and am on my way, it can be relaxing.  I am certainly beginning to be able to knit with DPNs as long as they are bamboo.  They look so lovely the bamboo ones, and not overly expensive when bought from a standard craft supplier, and a renewable resource.

If I ever get my shed/apartment/ dream abode I would like bamboo flooring.  Realistically, I am sure a stable and clean floor would be quite the treat.  Well, as long as it had a roof and floors.  Still, there's always a tarp!  Bamboo has such a lovely feel, texture and colour.  I used to own bamboo undergarments and they were incredibly comfortable and cute to boot!

Sock and persist

Teaching myself how to knit with DPNs (Double Pointed Needles).  Bought myself some bamboo needles that I find much easier to hold and use.  The seem to hold the stitches and keep this novice on track.  I learnt straight knitting on bamboo, it seems to suit my style of knitting.  I have no idea why, I just find it works.

Hopefully, I can knit some decent socks by the end of winter.  At the very least I can try.  I've done well so far.  The collar of a chunky bed sock is taking shape!

Keep on keeping on.  It meant I could pretend I was being productive in front of the TV.  I actually often find it easier to do with the TV on, or I get a bit bored.  My grandma has been known to knit, watch TV and read a book simultaneously to manage the boredom!

A geek read

I can not remember whether I have posted this in the past or not.  Considering adding some homeopathic remedies into the mix again, to at least help manage the symptoms of this condition (CFS/ME).

There's evidence that homeopathic remedies may help at least improve the condition:

The art of tea

I keep on reading articles and books about the health benefits of tea.  I even read about someone who has lived for 20 years longer than medical doctors expected with the diagnosis of ALS who attributes some of his relative health to a regular chai tea at his local coffee shop. 

It would seem that the amino acid found in tea, l-theanine can be helpful to those who struggle with managing energy.  Green tea in particular seems to be beneficial.

This article, by Life Extension, in particular is fascinating.  It certainly highlights the possibility that drinking green tea, and to a lesser extent black tea, can provide help in the treatment and management of chronic fatigue and general fatigue prevention in the general population.

Off to have a cup of green tea!

A guilt free sugar rush for CFS patients

I would also like to add that one of the things I really find helpful about Dr Vallings approach and book is that it makes sense to someone who has experienced the condition.  She actually recommends that if people need extra sugar and salt then they should eat it (within boundaries, and not the only advice). 

In my experience that makes sense.  Every time I have restricted sugar/ carbs when experiencing symptoms that are CFS in nature, I get worse, never better.  I think it's interesting.  I might add that I am not advocating idiocy and you would want to make sure you have CFS, not type 2 diabetes for that to be a help.

I suggest reading her book in context though, not just take this one blog entry and eat sugar every minute of every day!  Tempting though, hey!

I would also add that I seem to metabolise glucose better than table sugar and find that restricting table sugar, but not glucose can work more effectively for me.  This may be because I find fructose can be a bit iffy wi…

For when you feel like swatting, another CFS/ME book review

I have been reading, the pragmatically titled "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ME: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Management" by Dr Rosamund Vallings MNZM, MB BS.  It is one of the most comprehensive, sensible books I have read about the condition to date.  I cringed slightly at the general tone of the sex advice, but that's me finding my inner English Literature student, and her being a doctor! 

Generally the advice makes sense, seems to reflect current thinking and research and has given me the confidence to largely pursue an approach based on my experience and individual physiology.  I am looking into whether or not L-serine would help me in the longer term manage the condition better.  I think though that the whey I am trying to incorporate should have that as part of the natural mix.  It sounds like testing levels before supplement such a specific supplement is best, and under the guidance of a pharmacist and/or doctor.  I probably will not pursue it, but it's interesting in ei…

"Overboard" a smug book review for the somewhat housebound

It's not often that you are given the opportunity to feel smug about being so ill at times that you are too exhausted to eat.  Those people that prattle endlessly about the newest diet they are on, only to decide it's too much after six weeks, really could do with a raincheck on their mentality.  We seem to forget that it's a privilege to have so much to eat, you need to diet.  I'm not talking about medically necessitated, or sensible parameters.  Obviously, if you are a Coeliac, no gluten for you.  BUT, I eat plenty else, and rarely prattle on, or find it remotely exciting.

Anyway, my point was, that there comes into my hot little hands sometimes a book that makes being at home and rarely travelling further than the corner-store seem like something to be smug about.  I'm not sure that I'd recommend this book to hyper-sensitive types, sometimes ignorance is bliss.  I should warn you non-sensitive types, even you may find yourself awake with some of the confessi…

Another sourdough recipe GF/DF

My wine based sourdough worked out beautifully.  Tastes, and looks like normal wholemeal bread, forgot to take a photo.  I am sure you can imagine crusty artisan loaves.

Ingredients (makes one generous loaf, or two middling ones):
2 tablespoons sourdough mix (brown rice)3 cups brown rice flour1 cup of white wine (other gluten free alcohol would probably be fine e.g. gluten free beer, apple cider)3 tablespoons of nigella seeds1 packet of gluten free self raising bread mix1/4 cup of sunflower oilwater as needed (about 1 cup to sourdough, 2 to make loaves) Method (this assumes that you have made sourdough before and are taking a relaxed approach to it all - my apologies to beginners, it's an art as much as a science):

Step 1) Place sourdough mix, 2 cups brown rice flour, white wine in a large glass pyrex bowl, add about a cup of water until a cake like mix is formed.  Place cling film on bowl and place in fridge.  In the next day or two take out of fridge and add another cup of brown …

Stocked up on candles

Among other more important things I did today, I bought myself a decent supply of tea light candles because they cheer me up, and they keep me grounded. 

When I am particularly going through a rough time, lighting a candle, is a symbolic prayer.  When I have been at my fittest, in fits and starts, walking daily was my time to think and talk to a higher power.  I use a candle to focus my thoughts a lot of the time these days.  It helps me ground myself in a way that a nature walk traditionally would.

I light more candles, I pray more, I get almost obsessive with the news, when either of my parents travel, particularly overseas.  I think my parents would be exactly the same if I went anywhere even remotely exciting.  Which I would have once found irritating, and now I understand a little better. 

I can't help wondering whether my stocking up on candles is asking for trouble?!

Gluten free bread bubbling away!

I have a bowl of 3 big cups of brown rice flour and a cup of white wine, with a little mature sourdough (about a tablespoon) happily bubbling away in the fridge upstairs ready to become sourdough tomorrow, or the next day,

...or the next.

No point putting pressure on myself.  It's easier to have low expectations, much easier to exceed.

Today, I did three loads of washing, prepared sourdough, drank 3 cups of coffee and had a nap.  Spent hours on the computer trying to distract myself from pain.  Watched a little television and contemplated my navel. 

Read a few slightly disturbing medical articles I could have done without, but they are buzzing around my brain and will no doubt lead to a post sometime soon.  I'm still cogitating slowly on it.  Not ready to quite express my thoughts yet.  I might just let it go, which is almost a post in itself.

Tomorrow, as my mother oft says, has enough troubles of its own.

The stairs are out to get me!

When I am really aching and fatigued it can feel like the stairs in the house are out to cause me real harm.  Honestly, at times I really resent those stairs.  Naturally, when I feel well, in those rare glimpses of normality, I positively bounce around, up and down those stairs.

I tell you what, everyone thinks it's ageist to suggest that people entering the twilight years find themselves a flat home...well, I did.  Seriously though, when ill at any age you will resent those stairs.  Oh, but you will.  I still like the idea of the stair in theory, just not practice! 

Anyway, I am grateful that most of the time those stairs do not defeat me (I can always stay downstairs a while most of the time, the kitchen upstairs is a slight inconvenience).  I am grateful for candle to cheer my soul, herbal tea and a shell that reminds of beaches to be explored (well, at the very least driven to on a good day!). 

Why is it that my body decides to be particularly painful, some might say prickl-…

Sleep, where art thou?

There's only so much staring at a darkened room's ceiling I can cope with.  Particularly when I feel hungry and my body is aching rather insistently.

I really would like to get some sleep.  I even made sure I did not eat too late in the day, drank plenty of non-herbals, tried to bore myself to sleep by reading about baking (then again, knowing me I probably got all inspired) and then,...turned my light off,...and still no sleep.  I will now try and stay awake, it should increase my chances.  Last week, I found a cup of tea sent me to sleep.  It's got to be worth a try!

Feeling lousy, but a little better.  Trying a bit of whey again.  I seem to be able to tolerate a little, and I need to take breaks.  If it works, it takes at least 6 months. 

I really would prefer to focus on anything other than my health.  My bank balance is gone, my savings are virtually non-existent, and I have been dreadfully weak and sick.  I would like to be able to be free about worrying about "…

Back to the basics

For the moment, it's back to the basics for my chronic fatigue.  Carrot juices, l-glutamine and a lot of rest!

I think there is hope in the long run with l-glutamine and/or other amino acid replacement.  At present, I desperately need a holiday from this condition.  A break from thinking about it.  I think amino acid supplementation is the reason I have muscle mass where traditionally other sufferers lost theirs. 

One day at a time.  Spent most of the day struggling to stand up, appointments and napping.  This post is many things, smug it is not.


Here's a story to inspire you.  Connor McLeod has successfully lobbied the RBA in Australia to add braille to bank notes.  It should have happened sooner.  Pretty remarkable 13 year old.

A tough one (edited)

I've had a truly exhausting, overwhelming day.  Strangely, reading about a woman living with the degenerative ALS, which used to be called Lou Gehrig's Disease cheered me up.  Did you know that Lou Gehrig was an ultra-fit professional runner?  Sort of gets rid of "it's all in the head" for that, don't it?!

Apparently I would have a better chance of getting disability payments from government if I was telling them I was depressed.  Feeling like I am going to faint all the time, unable to walk most of the time, and being in agony just isn't good enough.  Honestly!  (I don't know of a good doctor that thinks that's logical).

I've had the kind of day where slapping people is an almost constant temptation.  Just enough supportive and sane people to stop me.  Just enough...

Anyway, you might enjoy "Until I Say Good-Bye" by Susan Spencer-Wendal, with Bret Witter, written with one finger on an I-Phone while she lives a year of joy.

Other patients can be our worst marketers

I want so much to get better.  I have tried countless therapies, most of which are expensive.  I have tried dietary interventions, the blood type diet, working on my posture, therapy, exercise, rest.  Countless supplements, sleep therapy.  I could go on but both of us would be bored to tears.

I have not tried some of the more conventional therapies of anti-depressants and anti-virals because the evidence is simply not strong enough for me to risk the side affects.  I have moved between conventional and witch craft faith healing levels.  The only conclusion I can come to is that I have chronic fatigue.

I stumbled across someone who tried to sell me herbal remedies as a solution today, and was it stress related.  He has the best intentions, but yes I have tried herbal remedies and I am still sick, sicker if anything.  I have tried stress management, but ill health is my greatest stress.  Pain and lack of money are stressful, they are not caused by stress.  It's the only circumstanc…

One healthy parathyroid

Just received my blood results back.  No indication that my parathyroid has gone on the blink.  I guess this is something to be grateful for.  I was not keen on the idea of surgery, although I would have done it.

All my blood results good, need to follow up in 1-2 years one of the test related to renal health but even that is within healthy range.  Now, I guess I work on accepting my chronic fatigue diagnosis. I think acceptance of ill health, of sub-optimal wellness is a constant discipline. You can't blame a woman for trying!

I do show a high end score for hypersensitivity/ allergy.  Probably has to do with the whey I've been trying.  Even that is in the healthy range, it's just higher than the ideal.

I was going mad not knowing.  Upped my thyroid hormone yesterday because the depression was beyond a joke (and hormonal/biochemical).  Will give it a few more days to see if that helps with everything else.

Vitamin D is perfect.

Not quite the medical marvel I thought I was…

Cowardice is trendy

People talk about "how can people do" the violence and the evil that we hear about in the media.  When individuals are confronted by acts of terror and violence, the human response is to ask why.  That is completely understandable as a response to evil and pain and suffering.

What I find inconceivable is the extreme view that we should do nothing when confronted with evil, pain and suffering.  That "we should think positive" (I do not call that thinking) that "we should do nothing", that "all killing and war is bad".  Might as well put out the red carpet for the Nazis while you are at it.

It seems to me that cowardice and sheep thinking are the current trend.  Heaven help you if you think for yourself.  Without a defence force, without mandating killing within the theatre of war you have no country.  I think war should always be the last option.  War should be avoided as much as is possible.  BUT It should always be an option.  Evil men prosper …

Small shot carrot juice, healthy kidneys?

One of the many tests that the doctor threw in the mix the other day was kidney function.  One thing, this particular woman wants to be going along swimmingly is her kidneys.  When they are happy, the rest of us is happy.

Anyway, I stumbled across this today, you may find it interesting.

A small shot of carrot juice in the morning may heal unhappy kidneys.  Fascinating!


In pain and fatigued all day.  Managed to do a few errands and spend a little time outside in the fresh air.  Worn out from the intense pain, overwhelming fatigue and feeling trapped by circumstances I can do nothing about.  I desperately want to go for a walk, but the body says "no".

Tried to cheer myself up by picking a bunch of colourful flowers for the kitchen bench. 

Waiting for blood test results so I know where I am.  I am overwhelmed and upset, and fed up with the pain.  So much pain and exhaustion.  Suffering from insomnia as I so often do when I am, as far as I know suffering a CFS flare, just adds insult to injury.

I just want the things that I thought hard work, goal setting and dedication would offer me in my thirties.  Chronic illness was never a part of my life time goal setting.  *Sigh*

I was blessed with a yummy and healthy dinner, green tea, flowers and sunshine today.  I know things could be worse, but in the eye of the storm of pain and suffering, I find …

Doing the best I can

Given how I feel at the moment, with constant pain, and the world sounding far too loud.  Given that every-time I try to move about I tend to feel weaker, and almost faint.  Given that I am scared about my blood test results.  Given that I am surviving on minimal welfare payments, with begging with government employees to be compassionate and human.  Given that I feel like giving up and stuffing my face with food until I explode.

Given all the above, I am doing okay.  I am doing the best I can.  I do feel upset, exasperated, exhausted, wired, tired, like staying up because I do not want to wake up to another exasperating day.  I hold onto a mustard seed of hope.  Yet, I feel weary.

I am overeating a little, I do feel uncomfortable because I am not able to exercise as much as I would like.  I do feel trapped and left behind by my peers.  I am jealous from time to time.  My jealousy is sometimes a small human flash of a green monster best left unfed, but is more often frustration that t…

Turkey Pie Recipe - gluten and dairy free

I guess I should take the time to write down the adapted pie recipe I used for my Turkey Pie I made today.

Filling (two pies):
500 grams of turkey mince3 small onions2 teaspoons of paprika1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce1 medium applesalt and pepper I kept the filling nice and simple!  Blend everything except the mince in a food processor and then mix with mince.  Set aside in the fridge while you make the crusty topping.

Other filling ideas: substitute cooked beans, lentils or nut meal to make a healthy and tasty vegetarian option with plenty of protein.

Pastry (two pies) - adapted from "Pork Pie" recipe in central cookery book:

1 cup sunflower oil1 cup soy milk3 cups gluten free self raising flour1 cup gluten free bread mix 1 teaspoon guar gumpinch salt Method: heat sunflower oil and soy milk until warm.  Stir and keep an eye on it.  Once warm slowly add in dry ingredients.  You may need to add slightly more gluten free flour as the blend will affect the quantities slightly.

Honest turkey pie

First off, I am an imperfect domestic goddess but I did indeed make a pie today.  Even on bad days I try and achieve something however small. 

I made the rustic turkey and vegetable pie only after spending half the day in bed.  And now, I am exhausted from making two pies, biscuits and cinnamon scrolls, and not much else.

I made my pie using the "Pork pie" recipe from The Central Cookery book and substituting Sunflower oil, soy milk and gluten free flour.  It seemed the perfect antidote to a cloudy, drizzly day in Hobart.

Pie inspiration for you: