Posts Tagged With: brain

healthy gut = healthy brain

I read an article recently about how your gut is your “other” brain. Meet Your Second Brain: The Gut
My sister-in-law has been talking about bits and pieces of this concept for a while, but I really didn’t understand the impact until I read all about it.
Here’s the gist that’s directly important to me: If your gut isn’t healthy it can trigger neurological issues.

What if this whole brain swelling situation is simply my wretched digestive system?
(yeah, I’m going to leave that here and walk away for a moment)

I’ve had digestive issues my entire life. Even as a little girl I struggled with the pain of constipation and bloating. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal until I was an adult. That was an interesting learning curve. I was surrounded by people with healthy digestive systems.

My stomach simply doesn’t digest properly. The holistic “doctor obvious” shared that gem. I was a whole lot of ‘well no sh*t, dude’. I haven’t been to him in a while. Honestly he’s so expensive and insurance doesn’t cover it. Also YBW thinks he’s a bit of a quack. Which makes it hard for me, because I really need him on board if I’m going to get treatment for this. Some of his stuff is quack-like. For instance: him preaching ‘don’t immunize your kids’ is one that makes me want to stab. But some of his stuff is totally on point.

Though I may not have to go see him…
I’ve been researching as much as I can the last few days and I’m learning what to do to help restore my “good gut flora”. It doesn’t seem all that difficult apart from one thing. I’m going to have to give up wine. At least for a little while.
In learning what to eat to heal my gut I’m excited to discover fermented foods are a must. That means kimchi. My dad used to have a special refrigerator ONLY for his huge jar of kimchi. I don’t think I’ll get that drastic, but I love it and am excited to know it will help me.
My friend in Arizona went completely gluten free to help with terrible headaches and digestive issues. I’ve been researching that too. I suspect that will help me a great deal.

What this means is an upheaval of our foodstuffs and the way I prepare things. I’m not sure how it will work when the boys are here, but I can simply feed YBW whatever I’m eating when they aren’t here. It’ll be good for him too.

I don’t know if I’m actually on the right track, but I’m willing to try this as apposed to waiting around any longer to see if my brain get’s it’s act together. I’ve struggled with this brain swelling since May. And though I’m not getting any worse, I sure as hell am not getting any better.

I’ll continue to research and begin to make changes and cross my fingers.
I’ll go see the holistic doctor as a touchstone.

It’s time for me to be well.
I’m not getting well the way we’re doing it. I’m ready to try something new.
I’m gonna get healthy if it kills me!

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it’s as simple as that

I worry that my brain will never get better.
I’m damn tired of being in pain. I’m sick of feeling tired all the time.
I keep thinking my brain must get it together and heal itself. But it doesn’t seem to give a damn. Sundance and I were talking about it yesterday. I told her I don’t even tell YBW how my head is feeling anymore because it’s chronically painful and I don’t want him to worry about it.

Is this just the new way of being?
Of course the constant low pressure weather systems that have been hanging over the mid-Atlantic only make it worse.
I’m being a whiny crybaby. But I’m so damn tired of feeling like this.

Perhaps writing it down and getting it “out” is helpful?
I don’t know.
Am I simply grouchy? (it’s possible)
Do I long to see the sun? (Good Lord, YES!)

Being alone during the day isn’t good for me emotionally. I’m acutely aware of that. But I feel like hell all the time…that doesn’t bode well for doing anything productive.
It’s been since September that I’ve had a job. It’s time. I can’t stay home any longer. It’s taking a negative toll on YBW financially. It’s taking a negative toll on me emotionally.
It seems ridiculous that I never feel well enough. Can I go to work and have my head hurt all day long? (pourquoi pas?)
What I’m most passionate about, I can’t really do successfully if it compromises my health. (au revior, early childhood education)

Perhaps I just need to suck it up and stop whining. This brain swelling isn’t going to kill me…it would have done it by now if it was going to. It really might be the new way of being. So, I get used to the new and different chronic pain and live my life around it. I just quit whining and as Mommie used to say: ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ and get it together.

velvet jones
Eddie Murphy’s Velvet Jones says: “It’s as simple as that.”

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way to go, brain

I got good news from the neurologist yesterday. The swelling in my brain is no longer increasing!!
WOO HOO!
My brain is still swollen.
They’re still not quite sure why.
But it seems to be holding steady where it is.
I’m thankful for “just” swelling because it isn’t increased swelling.
Good work getting it together, brain. Keep up the good work.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

how a swollen brain can lighten the load

I’ve had a migraine since the day after my birthday. My birthday was the twelfth of this month. The first day I woke without migraine symptoms was Saturday. Saturday was the twenty-third. So for a solid ten days I suffered a migraine.
I’ve experienced migraines since I was too young to say anything other than ‘my tongue is funny’ and then burst into tears holding my head. (One of my auras is that my tongue and lips go numb.) So I’m pretty adept at dealing with the nausea, light and sound sensitivity, and brain crushing pain. I’ve been on pretty much any over the counter med you can think of and prescription meds from imitrex to percocet.

In addition to this migraine, I had swelling in my brain. (Yes, I know this is a migraine symptom, but for some reason the neurologist assured me it was not related.) Stroke runs in my family. My grandmother dropped dead of an aneurysm in her mid fifties. So I have been…a bit concerned about my brain.
I’m taking toradol for the swelling now. (God, it makes me so nauseous!) I’m trying topamax for the first time. (Arrivederci, my beloved Nectar of the Gods. Diet DP tastes like…well I can’t describe it…but it’s absolutely foul.)

I refused to go down the road paved with “what if”…but I do see the road there…and it makes me anxious. This is the only brain I’m ever going to have. I need it! I need to keep it happy and healthy and definitively unswollen(!), thank you very much!
I’m being mindful about taking good care of my brain. Paying attention to stress and keeping my body healthy so my brain can be healthier.
I’m reminded of Dennis from The Python’s Holy Grail, I’m thirty seven! I’m not old!
I keep thinking, I’m forty four! I’m not old!
I’m about to marry the man I waited my whole life to find. I need to be as healthy as humanly possible! My brain has to get it together and remain the proper size so I can have a wonderful rest-of-my-(REALLY-FREAKING-LONG)-life!

I suggested to YBW I leave my job at the end of summer when “summer camp” is over and this group of children move on to their “PreK” class when “school” starts in the Fall. I suggested this rather randomly, out of the blue when we were otherwise engaged in tedious home improvement tasks in our kitchen with our backs to each other listening to the Nats game on the TV in the next room. Turns out that was exactly what we needed to have that pretty serious conversation. He felt pretty strongly that if the last two weeks were an indication of the way the job impacts my health it was time to move along.
I’ve really not been sick since we’ve been together. I think it scared him a little. I know it scared me, and I’ve lived through ever single one of my sicknesses.

I wrote my resignation letter yesterday and when I signed my name the weight that lifted from my chest surprised me. It was bigger than I had ever realized. I’ve needed to lighten this load for so long.
I’ve told my co-teacher. She cried. I’ve told some other teachers, a couple of parents. I told the assistant director. My director is on her honeymoon. She and I will have a conversation when she returns.

I believe I made the best choice for me. For my good health. For my family. And even for the families of the children I teach. I can be with them until they would leave me anyway. (As long as my brain holds out.)
I feel peaceful in my decision.
I feel my body figuring out how to heal itself.
My brain and I have spent every single moment of the last forty four years together we need to keep up the good work.

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