Thursday, June 13, 2013

Healed and healing

Anyone else call mail delivered to your door "snail mail"? Recently I've lamented that our health improvements are taking the slow route too. We'd like things to get better like e-mail. Fast! So to lift my spirits a bit and take a more long term view of things, I'm making note of what improvements we have seen in the past year.

For my wonderful daughter who led me down this road in the first place, we've seen quite a bit. After settling in a new house and bringing her little sister earth-side, I've been able to give more intense attention to tweaks and "cherries on top" that have helped her. Here's a quick look at the past year.

Some things we've done:
- Finally took her and daddy through the Introduction diet.
- Removed all veggies for a brief bit! Wild and counter-intuitive, but helped us see clearly what was helping and what was hurting, and also illuminated my next point:
-Oxalates and FODMAPS. I was not remotely interested in looking at these, however, her swollen belly and chronic bladder issues (amongst other symptoms) forced me to look into them. For more info on oxalates, see Patty's blog. FODMAPS are a smaller issue for her, but limiting certain kinds has definitely made a difference.
-Enzyme supplementation. She'd already been taking enzymedica's enzymes to help chronic stomach pains, but we worked with a therapist to try some more extensive ones.
-Focused more on good ol' GAPS basics - kraut, broth, gelatin. We've made several attempts to work on stomach acid, and I think we've made some good progress and better habits.
-Parasite cleanse from Mountain Meadow Herbs over the course of several months. This should be it's own post. Some wild changes with that.

And the improvements we've seen:
-She eats a lot less than she used to! An entire head of cauliflower, boiled in broth and drowned with butter would be merely one meal for her. She could down more meat than myself at a meal and still be hungry. It is a huge relief for her to eat something closer to toddler sized portions.
-We're done with enzymes! We started supplementing them over a year ago to help with chronic stomach pains, and they were a big life-saver. The fact that they have no taste made them very doable, so it was an easy routine to keep up. However, over the past several months, we chronically forgot them, and didn't have a painful episode later to remind us of our neglect. Now that we've intentionally not used them in some time, I'm happy to say we don't need them.
-Hair is smooth. I'll do a separate post on this, but with the second round of treating parasites, the chronic rat's nest on her head simply worked itself out. Her hair looks like a normal kid now.
-Growth! She's also grown quite a bit in the past few months. She never seemed to be "behind" (as her parents are petite) and this could just be a normal growth spurt, but I'm still going to count it. :)
-Happiness! She's never been terribly un-happy, and I have GAPS to thank for that, but the times of detox and clingy-moany-life-is-too-much-for-me are more clear cut now. It is much more obvious when we increased or change probiotics, when she's sick... etc.

Why is she still on GAPS?

She still has irregular stools and trouble with constipation. Her mild eczema is still present (though I won't keep her on GAPS just for that) and we can't re-introduce the oxalate or FODMAPS foods without issue. We'll see where the next year takes us!

And what about me?
I'm finally going through Intro now. Very slowly: to protect my little nursling and slow the die-off for myself, I'm doing the stages backwards, and then will go through them forwards again. I'm hoping to see some big improvements and less need for supplements! I'll do a separate post when this month is over :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Egg membrane bandaid

So recently the sharp side of a knife and my finger had an untimely meeting. The end result of which involved other people fixing the meal while I just tried to keep the blood from gushing.

It also led me to the discovery that if I wear a bandaid for more than a day or so, my skin reacts horribly to it - breaking out in a horrible rash and then terribly bumpy itchy skin for weeks afterward. Not pretty.

The little bit of egg membrane I laid on my wound did beautifully. It provided a barrier from the rest of the world, and acted as a second skin.

In fact, the wound didn't even develop a scab until much later - when I wasn't replacing the membrane!

This also was a great learning experience - I've used egg membrane before, but not on this size of an open wound.

On the plus side - it allows some air flow, while keeping water and other things out of the wound. It dries hard, so if you put several layers there, you have quite a defense and I could almost use my finger normally. On the down-side - any moisture on it loosens it. It shrinks quite a bit when it dries, making it tricky to apply. And it chips off on areas that the skin is normal. a little lotion coating helped a lot.

To use a membrane on a wound - gently peel it off from the inside of a leftover egg shell. There are actually two membranes inside - you want the one that is clear when wet. Just rinse the egg shell thoroughly first, and then gently remove. The easiest spot is where there is that air bubble in the shell.

Then lay the membrane on your wound loosely. Some people use a hair drier, but I just blew on it a little, gently adjusting as needed. You will reach a point where it is nearly dry, but hasn't shrunk hugely yet - I found applying a little lotion at that critical moment made it more comfortable (it didn't shrink and pull the skin) and added protection.

So it was a rough night, and I certainly don't recommend chopping off the tip of one's finger... but if you need a non-toxic bandaid that's free, here's what to do!

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