Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful

I am thankful for so many things.  First my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Without Him, I would be nothing.  I am thankful He died for me when I do not deserve it.  He saves me... every single day.  Then I am thankful for my family.  People say that a lot, but I don't know if a lot of people give the reasons they are thankful for their family.  Matt is my other rock.  He keeps me grounded.  He always gives me a practical and logical answer - which I am thankful is usually the 'non-stressful' answer.  I can see where Mati Claire comes from.  He sees things differently than I do and for that I am so thankful.  And he still makes me laugh.  My kids do too.  I am thankful for them.  They teach me way more than I ever expected.  They have taught me to be more patient.  And to see things through their eyes is absolutely amazing.  I am thankful for every single minute with them.

I am thankful for a roof over my head.  I've had one of those months where I've been praying for a rainy day to stay inside and do nothing.  A day where I didn't have to try to cover these spots up...or pretend I don't itch from head to toe.  God blessed us with rain today! And we stayed in and decorated the Christmas tree.  Tried to ignore my 2 little one's being Scrooges, and forced the Christmas spirit upon them.  I couldn't even get mad at Mattox when he broke ornaments, because I am thankful for the time we had together today.

I am thankful for my parents and sister.  They are still teaching me and helping me.  Whether its a cooking question, or a parenting question, or a 'how-do-i-fix-this' question - they always help me.   And they are always there for me.

The list goes on and on.... but I'll cut it off there.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My 2 turkeys have slept late every morning this week so they will learn to be thankful for holiday breaks from school eventually.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Diet Schwiet




So out of my recent psoriasis research, I found that ALOT of people respond well to drastic diet changes. This was never even mentioned that I know of 15 years ago or I would have tried it then.  But for the last week I have been sugar free, caffeine free, carb free, gluten and wheat free, dairy and egg free, "nightshade" free, and berry free.   Yes, I cheated twice this week.  I am having the hardest problem with gluten/wheat and cheese products.  When I think of diet, I think of whole-wheat breads, yogurt, portion control, etc... this is on a whole new level baby.  All I eat is fruits (and only certain ones), vegetables, salads, fish, chicken, turkey, and water.  To me it seems close to the raw/vegan diet but adding a little meat.  Even if I buy gluten free, it still has something else in it like sugar or egg.  Ridiculous.

I've been pretty good until today.  Today I could have impersonated Chris Farley well when he screams "I'M STARVING!!"  What have I learned so far?  Food is not your reason for living.  It's there to sustain you.  Period.  It doesn't have to taste good.  And I do feel better.  I noticed I didn't take a snooze on the couch while kids were watching tv.  I have more energy.  I sleep better.   And then when I did cheat, I felt tired and sleepy, and just really guilty.   When I say energy, I woke up at 7:00am Thursday and stayed wide awake through the midnight show of Twilight.... got 4 hours of sleep and was back at Mati Claire's school by 8:30am still going strong.

What were my cheating foods? You'd think it would be chocolate or a real Coke.  No, went to Chick-Fil-A and ordered the grilled chicken breast on a WHEAT bun plain.  Then today, we had Shipley's donuts.  Yes that was worth it.

I haven't managed to bring myself to making a certain named smoothie recipe.  Can you imagine blending romaine lettuce, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, celery, sweet potatoes or yams, squash, parsley, flax oil, onions, unsweetened apple juice, olive oil, unsweetened soy milk, pineapple, banana, pears, grapes, honey, and lemon???  Some people with psoriasis make this first thing in the morning and that's all they eat!!  I bought all the ingredients... and then chickened out.  Individually, yes... all mashed together, no!

The spots on my face and neck are looking better.  Not gone, but better.  I still look dreadful from there down.  They say I can start to add things back to the diet when you figure out what your trigger is.  I honestly don't think food is my trigger, but I will try anything that may help this go away faster.  Another good thing is that my family is eating somewhat healthier because I don't cook anymore.  ha!

And I've reached the "flaky" stage.  So if the wind blows, its me snowing, not the weather. ;)  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Guttate Psoriasis

My name is Carrie.  And I have guttate psoriasis. 

ha!  I have to attempt to crack jokes because there is nothing funny about it.  And I'm sure you've never heard of it, right? 

I'll give you my personal history related to this subject (and I'll try to make it the short version).  The day after my freshman year of college, I came home and decided to sunbathe! I wanted to relax and just enjoy the day basking in the sun! The next morning I woke up with a few small red spots on my leg.  The next day they were the size of quarters.  By the end of the week there were so many spots they all ran together and covered my entire torso and the majority of my arms and legs.  I spent the entire summer wearing long sleeves and pants.  Went as far as to think I was allergic to the sun.  I went to 2 dermatologists and no one could tell me what it was or how to treat it.  No cream worked.  The first biopsy showed "yeast" in the skin. (fyi, there's always yeast on your skin).  So we tried anti-yeast/anti-fungal medications.  Come to find out I'm deathly allergic to antifungals.  Broke out in Stevens-Johnson Syndrome which is a whole other post in itself.  I wrote my senior pharmacy paper on SJS.  Second biopsy finally showed Guttate Psoriasis.  You can Google it or click on the link.  I won't give you a term paper on it. 

So I lived with it for 4 years (it had progressed to chronic plaque psoriasis).  Looking back, it was the darkest days I've ever had.  I was severely depressed.  I thought God was punishing me for everything I deserved..and I deserved much worse than psoriasis.  Was I mad at God?  Absolutely.  I thought I wasn't worth anything because of the way I looked.  I mean really, what freshman girl in college do you know that doesn't put alot of weight on the way you look? What guy would ever look at someone covered in plaque psoriasis?  What person would want to be friends with me if they knew what I looked like underneath it all?  yes...severely depressed.  Cried every night for years.  Rock.Bottom.

God taught me a HUGE lesson through it all.  Obviously I learned a person's worth is not what you look like.  I realized I was one superficial brat (words from my own grandmother-ha!) I was putting so much pressure on myself to look right, act right, etc.  Course you couldn't tell me that while I was in the valley.  I went to pharmacy school due to my allergic reaction curiosity.  My first year I came upon a compounding pharmacist.  He said "when you don't have any other option and you're at the end of your rope...come to me."  Course, he was speaking of compounding medicine.  So I met with him, he researched psoriasis... me, him, and his herbalist came up with a plan that you wouldn't believe if I told you.  I couldn't have made up that story - it was so crazy.  Long story short = I took TONS of vitamins and herbs and it took a month for my psoriasis to go into remission. 

I've been in remission until this week.  10 years free.  It was one of those things I never took for granted.  There wasn't a day I didn't remember those days, but it was also 'out of sight out of mind.'    We went to Disney World and I caught an upper respiratory infection (for all you other psoriasis sufferers you know this is a trigger).  I started taking a few medicines and woke up with a rash.  Thought I was just allergic to something - perhaps laundry detergent?  Maybe my Starbucks latte?  ;)  

So its back.  Guess I just wanted to warn everyone that if you see me covered in long sleeves and jeans for the next few years.  At least its winter now.  I have it in my hair and on my face this time - which is different than before.  Can't cover that up.  Going to try really hard for my kids' sake not to get too down about it...  but I definitely have my moments.  Maybe you're thinking it can't be that bad, right?  No one understands until you've experienced it.  I would post pics but it grosses most people out.  The good news is I won't spend months trying creams that don't work, or weeks trying to find out what it is, or getting my hopes up.  There's 10 years worth of progress in the study of it.  I'm interested in trying the diet for inflammation (lots of fish, no dairy or red meat.)  And I'm always up for trying the new medications approved for psoriasis.  I had a bit of a meltdown this morning.  Matt told me it could be worse.. in the midst of my crying I asked him 'how?'.  He said a friend of his (another doctor) had to tell a 35 year old woman that she had stage 4 metastatic liver cancer yesterday. 

Am I mad at God this time? No.  Do I think He's punishing me? No. He gives us trials to test our faith.  I am reminded that God has His own plan - and it is NOT my plan. I have control over nothing.  I know that it CAN go away on its own.  It might take weeks or years.  But I also have to accept that it may never go away.  My heart goes out to all the sufferers of inflammatory diseases (not just skin related). 

Psalm 55.  "Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. (5)... As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.  He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me...(16-18)  Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken."

Jeremiah 29:11-13  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."