Change it Up

Change it Up
This picture is entirely unrelated to this blog, but I love it and I wanted to share.

This picture is entirely unrelated to this blog post, but I love it and I wanted to share.

So in like, July I want to say, I got diagnosed with Guttate Psoriasis.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s an auto-immune disease.  Most people take a couple of weeks to make skin cells.  I get my work done in about 2-4 days.  Before my body is done using the old skin cells, it sends the new ones to the surface of my skin to try to crowd out the still perfectly good old ones.  This results in red rashy splotches that really are just my skin cells having a war with each other.  Like, the youngins have no respect for their elders or something and they’re trying to boot them out.  That’s pretty much the medical definition.  Don’t quote me.  After a couple of weeks literally scratching my head and going “Huh…?  I wonder what this rash is?”  I finally went and had it checked by a dermatologist who, in his infinite medical school wisdom, told  me, the nearly translucent white girl who burns through clothing “Go to the tanning salon as many times a week as you can.  This stuff reacts well to sunlight and since you work inside all day, this is your best bet. Don’t use sunscreen, it’s pointless for this treatment.  Let me harpoon you with this cortisone shot in your arm that you’ll now not be able to move for a week and smear some of this nasty goop all over you when you get out of the shower every day before you dry off.  It should clear up with treatment in about 4 weeks.”  Okie dokie.  If you say so.

Fast forward 4 weeks and mostly nothing had changed except now my head was flaking and I was pissed off on a nightly basis from all of the things that would stick to my skin once I put that nasty stuff on my whole body.  I wear a lot of black.  You know – fat person uniform.  Flaky head and lots of black aren’t a particularly attractive combination.  So, I called the doc up again and made an appointment to see him.  Again.  He prescribed some stuff to put on my scalp and told me to use head & shoulders. Uh, no.  I shall not.  I spend a fair amount of money “bleaching the piss out of my hair” every 6 weeks as my hairdresser/dear friend says, I’m not ruining it with Head & Shoulders.  He told me I was vain.  He actually told me I was vain.  I buy my jeans at Wal-Mart & Old Navy, jerk.  Clearly I’m not vein.  Listen, dill-hole, if you were covered in disgusting itchy flaky splotches that sometimes hurt too, you’d maybe be a little over-protective about the ONLY part of you that wasn’t currently affected by this newly diagnosed auto-immune disease.  But alas.  He says I can’t have another cortisone shot because it would rot my hips or something and told me to keep doing what I was doing and that in about 3-4 months it would clear up with treatment.  Except last time I saw him he told me it would clear up within 4 weeks.  Ummmm…..

So I started really researching.  I read as much as I possibly could online about treatments both medicinal and homeopathic.  I learned about the origin of the disease and how I’m pretty much screwed.  I learned that I was born with it, and that there’s no cure.  It could turn worse, but that likely it will clear up on its own.  And some splotches literally have.  Except then new ones come and I get more mad.  They say don’t stress – stress is a big factor in increasing the risk for flare-ups.  Except it’s maybe a little bit hard not to stress when your whole entire body itches all the live-long day, every day.

I waited patiently until the end of my “your splotches should clear up by this time” window and then I called another dermatologist to get a second opinion since my splotches were still, well, splotchy.  I saw her within a week and she immediately cut me off from tanning, saying that was a TERRIBLE plan for someone with my complexion.  She switched my medication and gave me some pointers and told me that this would basically clear up when it was ready to and that I may go years in remission or I may just have splotches all over me for the rest of my life.  She apologized when she saw tears well up in my eyes (not vanity, I swear, I just can’t stand the itching) and told me to call her if anything changed.

Well, nothing has changed except I’ve really been amping up the research.  A girl with whom I went to high-school had cancer some years back and really posts a lot of stuff on Facebook about clean eating and how foods really can have an internal affect on your body.  Something I knew, but never really put much thought or effort into because nothing was “wrong” with me.  I’ve pretty much hit desperation mode now.  I can’t handle this as my quality of life for myself.  My daughter has some nasty allergy issues and some nasty respiratory issues.  My husband has blood pressure issues.  So since the medicines I’ve been prescribed really aren’t doing much at all to help me, I’ve been putting a great deal of thought into how I can take matters into my own hands.

For years I’ve theorized that the food industry and the drug industry are in cahoots with one another.  Foods make us sick so we can take medicine to get us well, except the medicines cause too many problems that require more medicines and the cycle continues.  80% of the foods on the shelves in the stores now didn’t even exist 20 years ago.  I read that somewhere.  Everything we buy at the stores is drenched in chemicals and preservatives and poison and I heat it up and serve it to my family every day.  I can’t do it anymore.   I’ve hit a wall with regard to the food I serve my family.  I stopped feeding my family margarine a couple of years ago now because your body doesn’t even know what to do with it.  It’s a chemical, it’s not a food.  I stopped buying coffee creamer and only use actual dairy products for my coffee.  I buy natural peanut butter.  I started making my own pasta sauce. Well, or really I started making The Pioneer Woman’s pasta sauce because it is FANTASTIC.   I stopped buying pre-shredded cheese because it  contains sawdust.  I can shred cheese.  It’s a pain, but at least I know what it is.  I don’t buy only organic, that’s not a budget friendly option for my household, but I buy it when I can.  I have no idea what I’m doing going into this, but I have to make the change.  I’ve found a couple of great blogs on Pinterest that I’ll be adding to my Blogroll here shortly.  I’ve made mental note of some common sense tips (shop the perimeter of the store.  Only go down the aisles for things like coffee and tea and household products, etc.).  I’m not going to go through my cupboards and throw away everything that’s processed or non-organic.  They’ll get eliminated over time and eventually we’ll be all flushed out.  We’re not cutting out any kind of meat -my husband would have a melt-down.  I’m not going to say that we’re only going to eat clean foods and organic foods, but I’m going to make an effort for that to happen at least 75% of the time to start.  It’s not realistic otherwise and then we all know what will happen.  Maybe some weight loss would be a nice added perk through all of this, but really I’m after a greater level of overall health for my whole family. Maybe we can get some of this stuff cleared up.

Like I said – I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’ve done a million diet plans before, but this is a little different this time.  My family will be my guinea pig, but I’ll do my best and learn along the way.  If you’ve got any tips or tricks, let me know.  I’ll keep you posted as things progress!

One Response

  1. I have thought the same thing about the drug & food industries. I have been back on the weight loss wagon since Sept 1. Well, until two weeks ago when work got uber stressful and I compensated with comfort foods (read: carbs). I feel like complete crap. I have to get my act together. Again.

    I’ll be interested in reading about your progress!