Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Adversity & Epic Wins

For our powers can never inspire in us implicit faith in ourselves except when many difficulties have confronted us on this side and on that, and have occasionally even come to close quarters with us. -Moral Epistles, Seneca, Epistle XIII.

What a year this has been: a sinus infection resistant to antibiotics, an allergic reaction to Benzonatate, my father's stroke, a migraine headache and ensuing ambulance ride, a fractured arm, broken tooth, two teeth knocked out of place, excruciating TMJ pain, oral surgery, and the real bane of my existence, adult acne.

Yet it's been a good year. With the help of fellow bloggers, researchers, doctors, and writers, I've discovered and created solutions and blogged about them so that they might help other people.

SWAMP (sinuses with a mucus problem). My brainchild for curing sinus infections with a huge dose of vitamin D, salt and mucus thinner. Based on integrated pest management (a method used in gardening and agriculture), the idea is make your sinuses less hospitable to bacterial overgrowth. My parents, a few coworkers and I have cured our sinus infections with this. A plus-one to Dr. Michael Eades of the Protein Power blog and Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council, without whom SWAMP wouldn't exist.

Getting my father off statins. After my father had a stroke, a doctor at the nursing home where he recuperated scared him into taking statins, even though my father had pain on them before, the number needed to treat to prevent stroke and heart attack is large, they haven't been shown to do any good for men over 65 (Dad is in his 80s) and the benefit they do confer may come from actions other than lowering cholesterol (e.g., reducing inflammation). After Dad rallied himself and came home, I discovered the statins among his pills and gave him some of Dr. Briffa's information on statins. Within days, he started feeling and functioning better. Thanks go to Tom Naughton of the Fat Head blog, Dr. Michael Eades of the Protein Power blog, Dr. William Davis of the Heart Scan blog, Dr. John Briffa of his eponymous blog, and Dr. Malcom Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con.

Discovering the horrors of carrageenan. I'm not buggo on food additives. If a food has additives, it's probably full of flour, sugar, chemically extracted oils and other baddies that are worse for most people than, say, food coloring. But carrageenan is used to induce inflammation in laboratory animals. It's a poster child for foods that don't belong in anything labeled "organic." I found this out after a police officer found me, throwing up by the side of the road and suffering from a migraine headache, and sent me back to my parents' house in an ambulance. Carrageenan is added to cream, almond milk, and sausage, things a lot of us think of as real food. Credit goes to The Amateur Food Detective, researcher J. Tobacman, and the paramedic who jogged my memory of what I'd been eating.

My soft low-carb food recipes. After a bike accident left me unable to chew, I created these since there were virtually none out there (unless you're into protein shakes). If you haven't tried one, do so--they're really tasty. My favorite is lemon ice cream A plus-one to Jennifer McLagan, author of The Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal. I lived on a variation of her recipe for sanguinaccio the first two days after my accident. Another plus-one to Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, and Nick Stellino, author of the cookbook Mediterranean Flavors, without whom the low-carb lemon ice cream wouldn't exist.

Recalling the tension-spasm-pain cycle. Over 20 years ago, a neurosurgeon explained to me that tension can lead to spasms, which can lead to pain, which can lead to more spasms, and so on. Break the cycle at any point, and you can relieve the pain. Remembering this and applying it to an excruciating episode of TMJ (via frequent doses of ibuprofin) after oral surgery led to relief.

Milk gives me acne. Every time I start putting half-and-half in my coffee or eating cheese, I have to break out the concealer. A shout out to paleontologist Dr. Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Answer, and Dr. Briffa for explaining how to clear up my skin.


tess said...

the Mayan-calendar-hypothesis seems to have shown itself true in your case -- an old world ended, in a manner of speaking! ;-) here's to a better 2013 for you....

Lori Miller said...

I hope this string of disasters has ended.

Happy New Year!