Archive for the 'Autoimmune' Category

End of An Era


May 5th, 2015

chef bio
Hello out there! It’s been way too long. I’m wondering if anyone even still reads this thing. Well, I’m still here. Though not online as much as I’ve been at other points of my life. A lot has CHANGED. It’s kind of cool for me to come back to this now. Who knew this blog was going to lead me on such an incredible journey. I mean, I was just trying to get healthier. And boy did I.

fuzzy guitar
When I started this blog, I was just your average girl. I had developed a lot of HEALTH PROBLEMS from a toxic exposure. It’s kind of a LONG STORY. I had worked in restaurants forever. I was in a band. I wasn’t feeling well. I just wanted to feel better. So I started a blog of figuring out how to eat so I could feel better. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a crazy adventure.


I started feeling better. And changing my diet was a really key component of that. I was inspired to learn more. I wanted to get better at it. I wanted to be proficient. I was spending all my free time making food. And I wanted time for other things in my life again. So I went to CULINARY SCHOOL (YOU CAN FOLLOW MY JOURNEY). It wasn’t so much a career move. I was just thinking I could maybe do some freelance catering gigs afterwards. And keep my day job. But the universe had another plan for me.


Shortly after I returned, I was in a serious CAR CRASH. I was in physical therapy for about eighteen months. A while anyway. I was pretty knocked out. It took a while for me to get it together. I wasn’t moving very fast. During that time, I started making products. It was mostly a physical therapy project at first. Something to work on while I was getting it together. I started making kale chips first. And those went well. But it was painful for me to make them. Because I had nerve damage in my shoulder. So I started making these cheeses. Dairy free cashew and macadamia cheeses. Cheeses that I could eat. For me. At the time, there weren’t really a lot of options out there. There was one company making them. DR. COW. And that was it.

cheeses
These little guys CHANGED MY LIFE. I am not kidding. It was like a movie. The cheeses took off. They started selling all over the country. I did a launch on KICKSTARTER when I finished physical therapy. And donations poured in from all over the world. I was in over my head pretty quickly.

julie and me
That’s when my partner JULIE came on the scene. She had been right under my nose the whole time. She had just sold her record store and had some free time. She can’t eat dairy either. So she was passionate about the cheeses and had been helping me make them. It was clear that things had evolved beyond me. I needed help. And the universe had put the perfect person in front of me. We found some investors, and BUILT OUT OUR OWN SHOP just for the cheeses in 2012. It’s been a whirlwind ever since. We’ve just been trying to keep up.

Julie and Sonny
Then, Julie became a mom. To the fabulous Sonny! We definitely had our hands full. But the cheeses never slowed down. They just kept growing. And we had to keep up.

heidi and me
That’s when HEIDI came into the picture. Heidi is a nutritionist/registered dietitian based in Seattle. We used to be roomates. Back in the day. She also happens to be the one who helped me get my diet on track. When I first got sick. She led the way for me. So the two ladies who helped me get back on my feet when I was down and out became my business partners. I can’t really think of a better foundation for greatness. Things have evolved a lot. In a very grass roots way. It’s funny. People often have the impression that we are a big business. And are surprised when I tell them how big our space is. And how much cheese we pump out. It’s been a labor of love. To be sure. My health has evolved a lot too. I’ve definitely had some ROUGH PATCHES.


Adjusting to the stress of running a business was a difficult puzzle to figure out. Luckily, I had some little CRITTERS TO SHOW ME THE WAY. It seemed like the more I adapted my lifestyle to work for me, the better I got. Despite all the stress and trauma. The way revealed itself to me.

cheese
Meanwhile, the cheeses just kept growing and growing. They did so well that since we started, a bunch of other companies with a lot more money have jumped in the scene. Now there are tons of products out there like us. We have been like the little engine that could. Just chugging along. While bigger companies have flooded the marketplace. A whole new CATEGORY OF PRODUCTS has emerged. There have even been articles in the press claiming that we have been following their footsteps. You can rewrite history in the press. And people will believe it. But I’m here to tell you that we are the REAL DEAL over here. We are the ones that sprang from a truly divine inspiration. We did the work ourselves. From the ground up. We’ve been here from the beginning. We may not be the biggest. But we have heart and soul. It’s frustrating sometimes. That not everyone sees that. But honestly, I’m just happy to have graduated to normal people problems. I am happy to be functioning in society again. Actually, I’ve gone way beyond that. I’m thriving now!

karyn's
Here I am now. I was getting ready to do a cooking demo at one of my very favorite restaurants. KARYN’S in Chicago. KARYN CALABRESE is an inspiration and an icon. And I was honored to do a demo at her holiday event last year.

So anyway, I’ve been thinking…That since this blog was about my journey back to wellness…And since I feel like I can say now that I’ve arrived…It might be time for a new era. So I’ve started a new blog. With my business partners, HEIDI and JULIE. A PUNK RAWK LABS blog. I’ve been posting over there lately. I might show up here again. Sometime down the road. But I think this is gonna turn into my personal blog now. And since I’ve become part of something larger than me, I’m embracing a NEW ERA to reflect that. Come by sometime and check it out!

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No Wrong Answers


June 5th, 2013

aiko and meHello out there! It’s been a while since I posted. I kinda had to take a step back for a moment and recalibrate things. But I’m doing a lot better these days. Thanks in a large part to what my friend, Janice, calls pet therapy. These little critters have taught me a lot about balance and where to find it.

crybabyWhen I start going off the rails, they sure let me know! This is Aiko. And she sure has opinions about things. But I swear that her sweet little purrs are healing me. The last time I checked in, I was not in the best place. But things have come a long way since then. My business partner is back from maternity leave. And I’ve kind of got things functioning a little smoother at the shop. But beyond that, I think there’s been a big internal change. An attitude shift…towards something more empowered.

Admittedly, when scary symptoms start coming up, I think a person is naturally inclined to run to the doctor.  To try to find an answer. And that has pretty much been my approach for the last seven years. But truth be told, that approach has been FRUSTRATING ME. I mean, let’s face it. Our healthcare system is DYSFUNCTIONAL. Everybody knows that. And it’s getting more expensive by the hour. Nobody knows how much anything costs. And there’s not a lot of internal incentive to be efficient. So a person with a mysterious chronic health problem that nobody understands can easily rack up some big bills and not have a lot to show for it. And I’m not gonna lie, I’m not independently wealthy. I mean, who is? And if I keep going the way I have the last seven years, I’m gonna end up broke and probably, if I were to be completely honest about my experience, not any healthier. So I’m thinking it’s time to shift gears. Change the way I’m looking at this problem.

gymnastCute little Aiko is quite the gymnast. She can get herself into some pretty odd defying places. And she has been inspiring me to look for solutions in places where they might not be obvious on first glance. Fresh eyes.

bookHere she is with my dad (who btw, is reading my friend, Janice’s book FREEDOM TO THRIVE: RECLAIMING OUR POWER TO HEAL). Don’t get me wrong, my doctor has helped me in a lot of ways. But I think the big shift for me is that the things that are happening in my body are scary. Unsettling at times. And I think when these things happen, a person wants to hear something definitive. They want to understand. They want to know what to expect. They want it to be well, less scary. But here’s the truth. The doctor can’t do that. Make it less scary. The only person who can do that is me. I feel like I’ve been hung up that there’s a right way to deal with a health problem. The ‘accepted way’. But there isn’t really one. We are all different. Different people will react to the same situation in different ways. Depending on all kinds of factors. Personality, will to live, support systems, luck, the position of the sun on the day you were born…whatever!

eco-liciousAs my friend, Joshua, would say…’This is my movie!’ I get to decide how it ends. Hell. I get to decide the whole damn plot. And this movie is not about a sick girl who gets beaten down by the world. Hells no! I mean, let’s be real. I don’t have time for that. I’ve got a business to run. (Cheeses at ECO-LICIOUS in Charlotte).

perelandraAnd in cased you missed the MEMOS, things have been BLOWING UP! I mean, things have gotten SERIOUS! (One of my yoga teachers sent me this pic yesterday from downtown Brooklyn – at PERELANDRA!)

noochIf this kinda situation even happens to a person, it only comes around once in a lifetime. You have to seize the day! (NOOCH in Denver).

harley raeThis is Harley Rae. She’s been teaching me a lot too. Especially about seizing the day. This girl has no fear! (Just like YOKO SHOWED ME).

harley raeI’ve definitely been pushing my body to it’s limits lately. But the thing I have to remember. My new mantra is, ‘I’ve got this!’ This situation was tailor made for me. By me. I just need to hang on to the reins. And not be in such a hurry to give them up when I get overwhelmed by some moment that will pass. I need to just chill out and get things back into balance.

lovey catSo that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to. Getting back into balance. And it seems to be working so far. At least, the HIVES have been getting better. So yeah. Bring it, world! I’ve got this..

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The Writing On The Wall


April 25th, 2013

poop
I’m not going to lie. Things have been a little poopie around here lately. For one thing, it won’t stop snowing. It’s gotten kinda ridiculous. Poor Harley Rae is from Tennessee and isn’t sure what to make of it. Too cold for southern dog! And beyond that, I’ve been feeling like poop too.

eyeIf you’ve been following this blog for a while, you will know that I’ve been struggling with a MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS for a WHILE. It’s kind of a long story. And it’s pretty annoying. But basically, I have a super FREAKED OUT IMMUNE SYSTEM that likes to MALFUNCTION in all kinds of weird ways. For the last seven years, I’ve been diligently going to the doctor trying to get answers. I’ve gotten diagnosed with all kinds of things. Symptoms range from crazy RASHES to DIGESTIVE DISTURBANCES to RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS to BLOOD PROBLEMS to NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS to inflammation in weird parts of my body (like my EYEBALL, for example) to being insanely tired to all out ORGANS GOING OFFLINE (not even sure how to describe what happened here…at the time, nobody else did either). Anyway, it’s a long story. But the links (in all caps) go back to the past.

armLately though, things have escalated a lot. First, I got diagnosed with a BLEEDING ULCER. Then, I started to have these crazy rashes all over my body. They’re super itchy. And they pretty much come and go all the time. I’ve had them for a few months now. Sometimes they get really intense. The thing that keeps coming up with all these weird symptoms and the one thing that they all have in common is that they are all complications of LUPUS. The word lupus really freaks people out. Basically, it means that your immune system can’t tell the difference between your own tissue and foreign cells. So it attacks normal tissue in your body. It can happen anywhere. I’ve pretty much had a gut feeling that that’s what is wrong with me since about six months after my TOXIC EXPOSURE. You just know. But whenever I would bring it up, I would get blitzkreiged with all this negativity. NO!! That’s not what you have. It’s all in your head. Are you sure? Take it back! It’s not true!

I get it. Nobody wants me to have lupus. Truth be told, I don’t want to have it either. Having lupus is bad enough. But getting diagnosed with lupus is almost as bad as just having lupus. It’s a total mind f&ck. I’m not kidding. People think you’re crazy when you say that. Which is part of why it’s so messed up. People who don’t know start to think you’re crazy. But it’s actually a real thing. My doctor even told me about it.

lupus bookThis book talks a lot about it too. It’s the definitive book on lupus written by a guy who specializes in it. Basically, it’s a really hard to diagnose disease. There’s a lot of far ranging symptoms that can be caused by a lot of things. So people go around in a limbo for years until it becomes obvious what it is. Meanwhile, you keep finding yourself in messed up situations.  Because nobody around really understands how sick you are.  Going to the doctor involves getting passed around to all these specialists who do all kinds of tests.  And let me tell you, they aren’t cheap.  Not at all.  And in the end, nobody really knows anything.  So it really starts to feel like a dead end after a while.  Which is why I’ve been throwing a tantrum about NOT WANTING TO GO TO THE DOCTOR.  Honestly, I’m still figuring out what I want to do about it. Right now, it’s just kind of this spector that’s casting a shadow over me.

 werewolfThe word lupus means wolf in latin. I guess the disease was named that because most people get diagnosed when they start getting these crazy rashes that make them look wolf-like. It feels more glamorous to me to think of it like I’m turning into a werewolf when it happens. Somehow more poetic than feeling like you have some weird disease. I mean after all, all the best super heroes are weird mutants that turn into werewolves at night. Right?

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Chronic Urticaria


April 10th, 2013

love fest
We interrupt this love fest to bring you another dose of reality. If you’ve been reading my ramblings lately, you will know that i just ADOPTED SOME AMAZING AND LOVEABLE PETS! Part of this was an attempt on my part to bring my life back into balance after noticing some ALARMING SYMPTOMS THAT I’VE BEEN ATTEMPTING TO IGNORE OUT OF FRUSTRATION WITH THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR MEDICAL SYSTEM. Well I finally got over myself and my ‘I’m never going to the doctor again’ drama long enough to go get it checked out.

urticaria
Turns out I have chronic urticaria. Basically this means I have chronic hives. A pretty frustrating place to be. The doctor said that basically it’s a complication that is often associated with LUPUS (a drumbeat that’s been beating in my world for a while). But just because I have it doesn’t mean that I have lupus. She also said that the hives are triggered by stress. Which is also not surprising considering that I became the CEO OF A MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATION this year and my business partner is on maternity leave. The hives won’t be under control until the stress is. So basically, I’m on the right track. I think I instinctively knew what I needed to do. But I need to step it up a bit.

Needless to say, I am doing a lot of processing right now. I have a lot to say about all this. But as with most emotional processing, it will probably be happening in fits and spurts coming up. I’ll keep you posted…

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It’s Not Lupus. Or Is It?


March 31st, 2013

cute eye
Hello out there! I’m making up for lost blogging time with some progress reports. Lots of people have been asking about my health and how that’s going. I’d like to report that I started my business, rode off into the sunset, and lived happily ever after. And in a sense, I did. But health issues are a learning process. It’s kind of a journey. I feel like I’ve passed a big barrier in not letting them define my life and my future. But to be honest, I’m still figuring it all out.

welt
For the past few months, I’ve been having a sort of never-ending flareup. It started out like this. These welts. Really itchy welts. At first under my arms. But now pretty much everywhere. Sometimes it would be welts.

rash
Sometimes I would get these rashes. Kind of all over. Sometimes they feel like burns. But they’re not. I’m not really sure what they are.

octagonal
Sometimes they have interesting and artistic shapes.

clusterfuk
Sometimes they are clusters of red spots. Like this. Sometimes, they look more like clusters of mosquito bites. But in spots where you don’t really get mosquito bites.

mosquito bites
When I do get mosquito bites, they look more like this. Fluid filled weirdness. (NOTE:  This pic is old.  There are no mosquitoes right now.  It’s winter.  At least in Minnesota.)

Typically, a person might go to the doctor for things like this. And don’t get me wrong, I really like my doctor. And I think we have a good relationship. But I have a very LONG HISTORY of going to the doctor with my weird issues and SPENDING TONS OF MONEY on GETTING THE RUNAROUND. After a while, it becomes an intelligence test. You have to ask yourself some important questions. ‘Is this actually helping me?’ ‘Can I afford this?’ ‘Is this helping me to create a life that I want to live?’ I think the answers to these questions are different for different people. But ultimately, you have to choose the path that’s right for you.

eat more kale
My answer to all the above questions is a resounding no. It’s not helping me. I can’t afford it. And it’s not helping me to create a life I want to live. I feel like it might have been an acceptable path for an era where health insurance actually covered things. But times have changed. Dramatically. And ultimately, I have to be honest with myself. I’ve gotten very little help. I’ve been emotionally and physically abused. I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars on a wild goose chase. I’ve gotten no answers. And I’ve wasted hours and hours of my time. It’s not the foundation for a life I want to live. Every now and then, I’ll freak out about some scary symptom that comes up. A month or so ago, it was that I woke up in the middle of the night and barfed up a ball of bloody mucous. I went to the doctor. It turned out I had a bleeding ulcer. Kind of a rite of passage for a new entrepreneur. My blood tests showed that I tested positive again for a couple autoimmune screeners. Rheumatoid factor and ANA (anti-nuclear antibody). Honestly, my gut feeling is that I have lupus. I’ve had this gut feeling for years. Since six months after my toxic exposure. I kind of knew. I think most people know. But I went through years of people telling me it was all in my head. And trying to convince myself otherwise. Ultimately, I realized that this was doing more harm than good. I need to accept who I am. What I am. What I’m going through. I do not need to spend energy denying, trying to fit into other people’s boxes, being in some weird limbo because my test results aren’t consistent with other people’s expectations. It’s not helpful. It’s painful. It feels like a step backward. I’m frankly not capable of humoring the situation any longer. I’m a reasonable person. I’m well mannered. I’m agreeable. It’s really not me. It’s the situation. And this situation isn’t working for me. My doctor suggested that I go to see more specialists (a really expensive, really frustrating, really unfruitful endeavor). This prompted a meltdown where I told her I was never going to the doctor again. Kinda dramatic, I realize. But that’s where I’m at right now. And apparently, this is considered a normal reaction to this situation.

What’s the answer? This is a good question. And one that I’m still kind of processing…

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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies


March 17th, 2013

lemon thumbprint cookiesHello out there! Haven’t been posting much lately, but things have been evolving rapidly over here. It’s been quite the spiritual journey. I expect a flurry of posts this week as I sit back and reflect for a minute. It’s been one of those years that moves so fast that everything is a blur. Exciting times. Maybe even too exciting for my delicate constitution. But I suppose sometimes, you have to push it to the edge. Just so you can assess where that is.

Anyway, I just posted a new video. It’s a recipe for the LEMON THUMBPRINT COOKIES you see pictured above. I’ve been pretty addicted to them lately. This is a great recipe for people with autoimmune disease. No wheat. No sugar. No dairy. Check it out and let me know what you think. :)

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Rainbows and Crop Circles


April 13th, 2012

rainbow car
Well, things are moving along at a pretty good clips these days. It seems like magical moments are all around. Starting a business is fraught with impossible challenges. But lately, it feels a little like I have a rainbow beam following me around. I’ve just been tuning out the impossible. I just don’t pay it any mind. And I just keep moving forward.

mural
This week my rainbow beam is coming to me from the RAINBOW GROCERY in San Francisco, CA!!!! I have heard so many good things about this coop! From everyone I know in town.

kickstarter av
So I’m very pleased to announce that they are the latest retailer to start carrying my cheese!! The first order is arriving today. And there will be FREE SAMPLES while supplies last! Go on down and check it out.

crop circles
People keep asking me about my health. How am I holding up? Am I keeping it together? Things are going well. Aside from the usual funky displays of immune system dysfunction, I’m doing great! My energy is great. And I feel like I’ve finally rebuilt my blood enough that I’m not catching every bug that comes around.

dew drops
I attribute both of these outcomes to the high volume of WHEATGRASS I’ve been consuming very regularly. I think it’s also responsible for finally getting ahead of that dreaded CANDIDA infection that I struggled with forever.

octagon
These little crop circles on my arm perplex me. They are the oddest little octagonal shape. Perfectly reproduced. So intriguing. Not sure what that’s about. But don’t really have time to ponder it now. So I’ll just put that in a pot and throw it on the back burner. And I’ll keep you posted on how things develop…

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Fighting The Good Fight


January 25th, 2012

fight
Well, I’ve reached a critical part of my journey. I’m about to break through into the land of the living. To functional from dysfunctional. And I’ve been working long and hard at it. This last part is one of the toughest. Lots of baggage to let go of…physical and otherwise. I am fighting the good fight! There are starting to be some glimmers of hope. Miraculous ones.

My cheeses are now being offered in the juice bar at PURE FOOD AND WINE. It’s amazing! Who would have ever thought it would happen? The OTHER STORE in NYC that is carrying my cheese called me to tell me that customers were complaining that they were out of stock. Word is getting out! I am struggling to keep up with demand. Things are starting to shift. Big time. It’s exciting. And nerve wracking. It seems the only thing holding me back at this moment is the money issue. This has always been the hardest piece for me to let go of. Being Asian.

The universe wouldn’t lead me all this way just to fail at the end. I need to keep the faith! Keep pushing ahead. And trust. I can do this!

kickstart campaign
Two weeks left on my KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN. I can definitely use some help getting the word out! Thanks!

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I Heart Yoko


January 14th, 2012

wayne megaphone
Happy New Year! This post is a little delayed. Forgive me. For I have been BUSY. But I had to take a moment to absorb this because it was so inspiring to me on so many levels. How did I ring in 2012? I spent it watching THE PLASTIC ONO BAND and the FLAMING LIPS in Oklahoma City. (Thus, the visit to my ALMA MATER).

yoko ono band
The show did not disappoint. It was so thrilling. I really struggled to be there (due to my MYSTERIOUS LUPUS-LIKE AILMENT). But I fought for it and one (this was a typo which I decided to leave as is). They really went all out. The lights and the balloons were incredible. No expense was spared. It was absolutely breathtaking. Yoko is an artist of the highest caliber. She is amazing. I can’t say enough nice things about her. She is such a rare gem. Intelligent, fierce, intuitive, compassionate, and actualized. Most people go through life living from the outside in. Only very rarely do you encounter a person who is truly actualized. From the inside out. Like Yoko. She is a woman who was so far ahead of her time that a lot of people still don’t get it.

ballons
The show opened with Yoko singing, ‘It happened at a time in our life when I least expected…’ followed by the most gut-wrenching, raw, painful wail you have ever heard. It was abrasive. And it came out of nowhere. And just blew you away. So much pain. Transformed into art. Truly incredible.

yoko sean nels
The band was super tight. But also loose. In the best possible way. One of my favorite moments was watching Nels and Yoko going off on each other. Nels also plays in the band, Wilco. But he’s really versatile. My boyfriend has toured with him a couple times. So I’ve heard a lot of his more experimental stuff. And I’ve seen him play quite a few times. He can be pretty out there. The first time I saw him play, I was bowled over by this bizarre sound. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It was out of this world. So I started looking closer at what was going on. And I noticed that Nels was literally playing his guitar with a springed coil. Instead of a pic. The guy can get wacky! But Nels with Yoko is a very interesting combination. Yoko introduced this crazy noise jam by saying, ‘This is a song that I first played with John. And then Sean. And now Nels…It’s about my childhood or something.’ (Who knew that Yoko has such a dry sense of humor. I am particularly fascinated by this because my mother is Japanese. About the same age as Yoko. And I had always assumed it was because of the language barrier that she didn’t have a sense of humor. It’s not that she doesn’t have one exactly. But something like this would definitely fly under her radar. That is making a connection to another culture that is very unusual for a foreigner). She then proceeded to rock this jam with Nels.




She almost sounds like a guitar. She’s just fully out there. No holds barred. And Nels gets in there and juices it up. It’s unbelievable. She just has no fear. She’s just out there. No safety net. No predictable structure. She’s so fearless that it’s beautifully poetic. Not in a contrived way. But just real. And raw. And present. And truly her own. I feel like this was the reason I needed to be there. I needed to see this. And I needed to draw inspiration from it. This is supposed to be my mantra for 2012. ‘No fear’. It’s like when a person gets sick, they inevitably encounter all kinds of overwhelming situations where they don’t measure up. And I think that in response, a person naturally develops a sense of fear. Of being in situations where they will be overwhelmed. And this is protective and helpful to a point. But in order to rejoin the world of the living, you reach a point where you have to release that fear. I am at that point now. And I think this is why I needed to see Yoko. And why she resonated with me so much.

glasses
The show was hard for me. Mostly the crowd. It was a very packed room. And I often felt overwhelmed. Like the air was too thin. And I might pass out. And I kept going to the back of the venue. To get more air. But I wasn’t leaving. No matter what.

The Lips set was also amazing. Wayne came out in his bubble again. My boyfriend shot this FOOTAGE OF HIM (For some reason, this drat computer won’t let me embed this video. So you have to click to it. Definitely worth it). Truly surreal. The amazing light show and the bubble plus the lips. It was like being in an alternate universe. It was so great that we went two nights in a row. I paid for it though. I spent the entire next day with my head in a garbage bag. But hey! That’s the price you pay sometimes.

moi
This is 2012. No more living in the protective bubble of being sick. It’s time to pop the bubble and get out there and rock. Just like Wayne. And Yoko. I am going to live my life on my terms. And that’s all there is to it. If I allow myself to live in fear of my illness, I will be defined by it. I don’t want that. I am the definer here! And guess what? No illness is going to hold this girl back. Watch out world. Because HERE I COME! Thanks for the inspiration Yoko!

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Anti-Nuclear Meltdown


December 8th, 2011

snow
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, you realize it’s a little cold for your taste. Isn’t that how it always goes? Well, I’ve been having this kind of ongoing discussion with my doctor ever since my LAST MEDICAL MELTDOWN.

eye drama
Remember this one? When my eye swelled up for no reason. Again. They were going to send me back to rheumatology when I had a meltdown. Long story short, I’ve already been there TWICE. It was awful. Really expensive, really emotionally draining, really unproductive, frustrating, and negative. Basically, a step in the wrong direction on multiple levels. So I had a MELTDOWN.

mosquito bite
If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you will know of my struggle with a MYSTERIOUS AUTOIMMUNE ILLNESS. Despite years of BIZARRE UNEXPLAINED SYMPTOMS and HOSPITALIZATIONS following a TOXIC EXPOSURE. It’s kind of a long story. (An epic saga, if you will).

wheatgrass
In any event, I got the news last week that I tested positive for ANA (anti-nuclear antibody) again. This has actually happened a COUPLE TIMES already. And each time, I went through the testing process and was worked into a tizzy only to be told that it was all in my head. Apparently, this is a pretty common occurrence for people with autoimmune disease. Having a meltdown from being run through the ringer when asking for help is par for the course. According to my doctor, people (who are clearly sick) can go through this process for up to twenty years! And doctors recommend anti-depressants. To help patients get through it. Really? Seriously?! I need to go on drugs to tolerate an unacceptable situation. Two words. NO THANKS!! I’ve done my time. After that, it becomes the recipe for insanity.

I had a long talk with my doctor about it. She seems to understand where I’m coming from. And sympathize. At this point, it appears that it’s one of two things. It’s either lupus. Or it’s some other disease that’s closely related to lupus that doesn’t have a name. So, basically I have lupus. Lupus basically means that you’re immune system is miscalibrated (which mine definitely is). Your immune system attacks normal cells in your body causing disease. I personally think that my immune system is attacking toxic stuff that has become part of my body since my exposure. And the reason I think this is because I have these violent seizure-like episodes (called MYOCLONIC JERKING) at times. It’s always centered on my diaphragm. And it literally feels like my body is trying to kick something out. In the end though, a name is just a name. It’s not going to change my symptoms. It’s not going to make me feel better. Why do I care? I am already self-medicating with my anti-inflammation diet. I’m not interested in going on the drugs. So why put myself through all this? Truly. What is the point? The medical testing and wild goose chase are literally going to bankrupt me. I’m not doing this anymore. I want my life back! And I don’t want to spend the remaining precious energy that I have on pointless dysfunction. I think that as long as patients tolerate this situation, it will be perpetuated.

kits
There are more important things in life. Like, look how cute my kitty is? OK. Technically, she’s my boyfriend’s kitty. But she snuggles with me more (probably because I’m ALLERGIC TO HER).

twin town
Oh yeah. And I love to play guitar. And I used to be in a band. And do all kinds of interesting things. And those things have been passing me by. It’s time to reclaim them.


So that’s what I’m doing. Check it out. I just played a recital with my GUITAR TEACHER, Jeremy, last weekend. And I am getting ready to officially launch my business (stay tuned for details coming soon)! I’m on a mission to rebuild my life on my terms.

flatbread
And it all starts here. Check out my latest video for this RUSTIC HOLIDAY FLATBREAD. My boyfriend says it’s my most creative recipe yet. Not only does it not exacerbate inflammation. Like normal bread. It’s actually anti-inflammatory! I’m filming the companion video for this today. A holiday cheese platter. Check back soon…

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