I have always eaten pretty much anything that I wanted growing up and I didn’t think anything of it. My parents developed issues with cholesterol when I was in Jr High School and so we stopped eating as much fried food and ate a bit healthier. I felt better, even though I still wanted my French fries and Fried Chicken. YUM! Zoom forward to 2009. *whoosh* I got a quick blood test at work that they were doing for free, and I was told I have high cholesterol. I couldn’t believe it. I was only in my 30s… granted my job was pretty high stress, but still fun. So after that, I went to a real doctor to double check it and it turns out that I did indeed have high cholesterol. So in an effort to not have to put me on medicine my doctor and I started doing regular blood tests and I started to modify my diet to regulate my cholesterol. My doctor didn’t really give me any guidelines about how to do it, so I did a LOT of research and I got my cholesterol down to a level that made him happy. I had thought I was eating healthy at the time, but with the research I realized that I wasn’t. It is still a struggle at times because I am predisposed to having high cholesterol through my family, but it is doable. (In 2011 I was told by my doctors that I needed to stop eating wheat, cut down on carbs, and eat more protein.) Zoom forward to 2012. *whoosh* I started having really bad pains in my left hand and wrist. I thought it was having issues with carpal tunnel as I had some light issues with that before that eased once I used wrist supports. However those didn’t seem to work so I went to the doctor and he did a few more blood tests and examinations and told me he wasn’t 100% sure, but thought that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. So he sent me to a rheumatologist to be checked out. He took some more blood (I think doctors are basically vampires). The final vote came in and I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (in case you don’t know, RA is an autoimmune disease). I was really surprised because I thought it was a disease that only older people got. It turns out that you can get it as early as your 20s. I later talked to my parents and they talked to their siblings only to discover that it is something that is genetic apparently, one of my aunts had it pop up as a possibility in her blood work, but it hadn’t been activated.
*Side note* If you have a disease that even one or two people in your family have, or if your family is pre-disposed genetically to a disease please talk about it or mention it to the rest of your family. It can be really scary for someone to find out about it on their own.
Story Time There was snow on the ground, not much maybe an inch or two, it was around 30 degrees out and a friend and I decided that it was the perfect weather and time to get ice cream cones. We walked up to town and got our ice cream, and slowly walked back to our dorm with ice cream cones in hand (no gloves, because we didn’t want to get fuzzies in our ice cream) chatting and eating. When we got back to the dorm I noticed that part of one of my fingers turned completely white and had no feeling. Both my friend and I started to freak out. I went to the bathroom and ran it under some water to try to warm it up. Nothing seemed to happen so we went to our RA and showed her. She freaked out because she thought I had frost bite and told me to go to the clinic RIGHT NOW! So my friend and I ran up to the health clinic and sat in the lobby for a bit waiting to see a doctor. As it always seems to happen, my finger started to go back to normal while we were sitting there. When the doctor came out it was back to a nice pink flesh tone. We told him what happened and that my finger had been white for about 30 minutes. He grabbed a book and told me that I had Raynaud’s Disease, he said that I shouldn’t have to worry too much unless it doesn’t go back to normal after 50 minutes. We then left and went on our merry way. I later called my mom to tell her about this freaky disease I have and she informed me that not only does she have this happen to her occasionally, but her mom and my dad’s sister also have the same issue.
Now that you know a bit of my history I can tell you that I am keeping all of these under control using my diet and some supplements. It isn’t easy and it has been an adventure. I hope that through this blog I can help other people to live a bit easier with these diseases. ALWAYS consult a doctor before you do anything to change your medicines or diet. I have been able to stay off of medicines for my cholesterol and I have been able to stay on a light medicine so far for my arthritis. I am not saying I don’t get flare ups and that I don’t cheat occasionally. I am human.
I will be posting recipes, articles about research I find, and even some herbalism as I continue my study of it. I will try to label all articles with key words so that it will be easy for you to find everything I have about each topic so if you only care about the one disease you can easily find it. I will also have some tabs dedicated to each major topic/disease so you can get more details about what I have been through and how I have handled it.