It has been about four weeks since my last post. After Cynthia left for the States, I decided to take two weeks off because my body was tired, sore, fat and arthritic. I hung around, sat in the sun on the roof deck, and generally goofed off. At the end of the two weeks, like Forest Gump said when he stopped running, I told Armando, “I think I’ll go back to work tomorrow.”
But when tomorrow rolled around, I told Armando, “I think I’m getting sick. I don’t feel so good.” And thus began two weeks of the flu. I had the typical fevers, chills, and the sweats and lost ten pounds, which I am happy about. During these two weeks I ate only fruit smoothies in the morning and vegetable broth at night. Kind of a modified fast.
So I’ve accomplished a grand total of not much. One day it rained early so I pulled Armando, who was weeding the gardens, inside. He and I sanded and prepped the container wall in the living room/dining room. The sweat from being sick poured off of me. The crane operator put a big gash in the container wall and I welded and patched it with some Bondo. This forty-plus-foot-long wall is now ready for paint:
One day when I was feeling better I ran some wires for the light fixtures in the beams in the kitchen ceiling. You can see some of the wires hanging down in the next photo:
Of course it has been raining a lot, evidenced by the water running off the roof by the back door:
Although there are currently no flowers, the new hibiscus bushes (on the other side of the gravel walkway) are taking hold. Armando fertilized them last week.
And all this rain has been good for the gardens, too. Here are some big flower pods just beginning to bloom:
My real reason for writing is to give an update on Cynthia who has been in San Antonio, Texas, for the past month. She has been having a very difficult time breathing for some time now, so it was time for a battery of tests. She had her first follow up visit with her cardiologist a couple days ago. Here is a “press release” that she just wrote:
Thank you so very much for your concern and support while I’ve been in TX for medical testing. Knowing there were so many people who’ve cared so much has been a tremendous support to me.
There has been some good news! The nodule on my lung has been diagnosed as benign and that worry has been eliminated.
The blood work testing was extremely thorough. I do have some “issues” with my heart, but we’re going to adjust my blood pressure med dosage to bring that back under control. The artificial valve and pulmonary artery, which we had wondered about, have been cleared as culprits for the breathing problems, and I consider that to be very good news (no open heart surgery!).
Instead of suggesting statin drugs (for high cholesterol) (happy news since I’m opposed to their use in women), we are going to treat some of the other conditions with niacin and supplements of D3, B12 and methyl folate. This female cardiologist is recognized nationally and is very highly regarded, especially in women’s (cardiac) health. I feel very confident in her capabilities. She even recommended several books. Contact me privately if you’re interested in the titles/authors.
To combat my cardiac issues and arthritis pains, Dr. Bogaev suggested going low-carbs and gluten-free. She did it herself six months ago and confirms that it was helpful to her personally. Thankfully the Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. which is the company who analyzed the blood/urine, provides a dietitian to help make this transition and life style adjustment.
A very special note of appreciation and thanks to my cousin Greg and his wonderful wife Susie, without who’s cheerful support I’d have been a basket case. They’ve very graciously allowed me to stay with them in their gorgeous home in San Antonio and have chauffeured me from one test to another to another. I am extremely grateful to the unflagging support of my wonderful husband Fred with our multiple phone conversations daily. He’s even agreed to try the low carb, gluten free diet that’s been recommended.
Glad to be able to report good news to “y’all”!
She is still working with a pulmonologist and needs to do a sleep study, but it looks like a lot of her problems can be resolved or greatly reduced by making minor medicine and major lifestyle changes.
We have a lot to learn and to put into practice. I’ve been a vegetarian for about thirty-five years, but I need to reassess my diet. I eat a lot of grains and beans and on a low-carb, gluten-free diet it will be
difficult impossible. We’ll need to eat a lot more protein and fats (coconut and olive oils primarily) and a ton more vegetables.
I’m happy to go along with Cyn on this journey because it is all too easy for me to put on an extra ten+ pounds of abdominal, um, fat, and this is the worst thing for a man heart-health-wise. And the grains really aren’t all that good for my arthritic constitution.
Eggs of course will be on the “good food” list. But what about chicken? I still want to limit dairy (the exception being an organic, lactoce-free yogurt that I regularly eat) and Cynthia hates the stuff. So with cheese and milk off the protein list, there isn’t much left. I mean, how many almonds does a low-carb, gluten-free vegetarian have to eat to feel like he/she has eaten a meal? And if Cynthia and I can get on the same page, meal preparation will be a whole lot easier for the chef.
With this in mind, I challenged myself to try some chicken. After thirty-five years it was a daunting, alien, repulsive thought. I pulled a pre-grilled chicken breast (that I had grilled for Cynthia) out of the freezer, let it thaw, and heated it in a frying pan.
I waited until I was good and hungry with no remnants of my fruit smoothie breakfast on board to compete gastricly. I sliced the chicken into thin slices. I thought I would try a small piece and see what my reaction was. I screwed up my courage, slipped the charred beast into my mouth, chewed the strange texture and swallowed. Odd. Truly odd. It didn’t repulse me as it had in the past. It was kind of neutral, not delicious, but not so bad or vile that I couldn’t take another bite. This is really uncharted territory for me (or anyone who has reverted to eating meat after some time as a vegetarian).
But after a half hour nothing awful had happened in my stomach. In fact it felt pretty good. So slowly, piece by piece, I demolished the entire chicken breast. Three hours later, I’m still good. Blow my mind, I never expected that I could do this without a lot of gastric distress or revolting machinations. Go figure! Maybe it is because I’ve basically been fasting for the past two weeks. I don’t know.
So it looks like Cynthia and I will be testing out a new low-carb, gluten-free, Mediterranean, Paleo diet. I hope that this helps her regain her health. She’s a great gal and I’m behind her 100 percent.
Now the only question is, what is she going to do with the many pounds of high-quality King Arthur flour products that she bought and was planning to bring back here to Panama? Will they make the journey?
That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
(Something seems to have gone goofy with the formatting in this post. I can’t seem to get the paragraphs spaced properly. Sorry about that.)