geanniegray.com

a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

I’m bAAaack!


Hey guys!  I’m back from my unintentional hiatus.  As I have alluded previously, things around here have been crazy what with the kids moving to Ohio and me being sick and now the hubbs is dealing with some medical stuff.

He had allergy testing a couple weeks ago and lit up like a Christmas tree for a LOT of things.  Mostly foods and environmental.  Several trees and grasses (hay fever), the usual indoor culprits (dust thingies) and a whole list of the oddest foods.  Strangely enough (or not!) most of the foods were things he had eaten recently.  WEIRD!

So, we’ve gone off all these foods.  I’m talking things like wheat (yeah, his celiac tests came back negative, but he’s allergic to wheat and I don’t quite understand that just yet), carrots, grapes, coconut, apples…WHA??  Yeah, weird.  Oh, and turkey!  Pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds… sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes!

Poor guy, he was pretty stunned and dazed.  You’d think after living all these years with a type 1 diabetic, he’d be used to the concept of not being able to eat certain things, but nope.  He seems so baffled.  It’s all I can do not to say, “See?  Welcome to my life!”  heh!  But no, I haven’t done that.  But occasionally I REALLY want to!

On top of finding out about all the allergies, he then had to begin the prep for a double scope.  From the top and the bottom.  Yikes!  So then he had to go off things like rice (which is what most ‘wheat free’ things are made of) and fresh fruit and veggies (seriously?) and nothing purple, red or blue… that was only for 5 days, thank God.  Then on the last day, he had to do liquids only and take that nasty diarrhea stuff then drink like 40-some ounces of clear liquid immediately after.  Egads!!

He did okay but it was a challenge figuring out what he could eat.  During the 5 day thing, we were in Cincy with Corey and Melissa, so that actually helped since Corey has celiac disease and has learned what to avoid for that.  We just basically put Tommy on a celiac diet with the added restrictions from his allergy test and/or his prep diet.  My brain was fried after all that food juggling!  And that’s not counting my own food restrictions like dairy and super-acidic foods that either give me horrible sinus issues or cause my tongue to swell and crack.  (yes, crack…it’s so painful!)  It’s a wonder we can find anything to eat between us! Ha ha ha!

So back to the scopes.. this was the same gastro doctor he went to for scopes before, so we were thrilled to get in with her.  It was probably three years ago when he had his first one done and we hadn’t seen this doctor since.  Anyway, she said there wasn’t any new damage, thank God… no ulcers or any thing like that.  But his stomach was a raw, irritated mess.  She said the same thing about this irritation, which he also had on his first scan years ago…get off the NSAIDs.  He’s been on those off and on (mostly on) for ages because of the pain in his back and legs, specifically his Achilles tendon.  It tightens up so much, it had tears the last time he saw a rheumatologist.  He went off the NSAIDs then, but ended up in misery so the GP he had at the time put him on a “new” pain med that he said wouldn’t bother his stomach.  Yeah, whatever.  And so now, he’s been having pain under his ribs on the right side, classic gallbladder/stones symptoms, so he’d had an ultrasound the week before.  We hadn’t heard those results though and they hadn’t forwarded them to the gastro doc, so we had to wait around to get those.  The report from the imaging center only said the tech saw nothing that “needs immediate attention” but the gastro doc wasn’t good with that and told us she’d look at it herself.  The next day, they called Tommy to schedule a hida scan.

Hmmm… me thinks there WAS something needing attention on the ultrasound.  A hida scan is when they put that radioactive dye in an IV and then have you hang around for scans over a few hours to watch the dye move through the gallbladder.  Nice.

I’ve had radioactive dye stuff done before.  It’s scary to think about, but apparently I survived without issue (that we know of, at least!) but we don’t want to do that if we don’t have to.  Besides, we’ve already knocked this year’s deductible in the head with these tests and don’t want to add more bills to the heap.  I’m sure the hida will be uber expensive.

ANYway, so Tommy started looking up stuff on the gallbladder online, which was surprising and exciting.  He usually is all, “Well if the doctor says I need to, I won’t question it.” while I’m all like, “NO!  Don’t do that, I don’t care what the doctor said!”  Heh.  And I joined him in the research til we found all this info on a gallbladder flush.

Maybe you’ve heard of this before.  I guess I sort-of had during my time working in the health food store, but being the youngster I was, I didn’t really ponder it.  Back then, with my fully functional 20-something body, it all sounded gross and like something only old people needed to think about.

Well, guess what, Poopsie!  You’re OLD now!  sigh

We looked at several sites and watched a bunch of videos detailing what the gallbladder does and what the flush does for you.  One doctor said, “If you’re 40 or older, you WILL have some gall stones which may or may not give you symptoms or at the very least, you will have developed sludge (thickened bile) in there which leads to stones.”  Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

Ugh!

When Tommy realized that the gallbladder helps the liver in filtering toxins and such, he was all like, I NEED my gallbladder!  At this point, we knew that if something showed on the hida, they’d most likely want to take his gallbladder out.  So after months and months of me telling him he needed to change his habits or he was gonna be big as a horse and have a heart attack…he’s ready to commit to changing his diet.

Of course, I have to do it too.  And I get that.  I mean, I don’t stick with a diet unless he’s at least supporting me if not also doing it too.  It’s just easier that way.  He’s just not always willing to be talked into being supportive!

I figure a flush will not hurt me either.  I mean, I am in that magical area they talked about…”over 40″, so I’m sure I have my share of sludgey-crapola in there too.

We made a run to the Aldi in the next town over since they have so much affordable gluten free and organic stuff.  We got organic olive oil and lemons and apple juice.  Yes, even though he tested positive for apple allergy, and he DID have some slight allergic symptoms (looking back, that is) after eating apples like a slight scratchy throat, we figure doing the juice instead of whole apples would be less irritating.  The pectin in the apples is supposed to soften the stones so they come loose or become soft enough to pass out of the gallbladder.

We read anywhere from 5 to 14 days to either eat 5 apples a day (Gah!) or drink 2 cups of apple juice twice a day before doing the actual flush.  Then, you go on a very low- to no-fat diet for a couple days then choose your day to flush.

Obviously, you need to stick close to home/the bathroom for this.  So even though we (he) don’t have time to do a full week with the juice before the hida scan (this coming Thursday!) we’re still going to do it.  After the apple juice days, on flush day, you stop eating at 2 pm then you begin a schedule of drinking an Epsom salt/water mixture at 6 and 8 pm.  They have you lie on your right side after each dose (to allow the mixture to gravitate to the gallbladder).  The Epsom salt helps open up the bile ducts in the gallbladder so the stones and sludge can move out easily.  At 10 pm, after you’ve gone potty (so you don’t have to get up during the night), you drink an olive oil/lemon juice mixture and go to bed.  Again, lying on your right side, as still as possible for at least 40 minutes.  At 6 am, you drink another dose of Epsom, lie back down, then same thing again at 8 am  and then at 10 am, you can eat.  They say very light, bland foods and wait for the “magic” to happen.

By this time, of course, you have effectively given yourself the screaming trots which is the mechanism by which that sludgey-stoney goop is to exit your body.

Yay.

Oddly enough, none of these instructional sites give any detail about how long or how um…er.. intense this phase of the flush is, but I’m guessing it’s gotta be pretty daggone epic.

On one site where we found this flush recipe, the guy (an Oriental doctor, I think) asks for photos of your results.  BAHAHA!!  Um, nope.  I don’t think so, pal.  I’ll be doing well if I can find the handle with my eyes closed to flush the toilet, okay?

Oh yeah, in an effort to keep him from being in so much pain from going off NSAIDs, we are using tart cherry juice and tumeric.  I’ve wanted to try the tumeric drink (sometimes called “golden milk”) for awhile after hearing that it’s good for inflammation and helps you sleep.  I could use some-a that.  So we also bought coconut milk (which, for any T1D out there, has NO CARBS!) and organic tumeric.  I made a batch last night and it’s not bad.  I was afraid the coconut milk would be strong, but it’s not.  I don’t really like the taste of coconut which is weird since I use coconut oil for everything!  Anyhow, coconut was a 1 on Tommy’s list of allergies, meaning it was a mild irritant, so we’re going to use it anyway with the hope that getting his gallbladder flushed will relieve these silly allergies!  Anyhow, I thought the golden milk was actually sorta bland, so I think I’ll use a little more cinnamon next time.  I ended up putting apple juice in it last night.  Heh.

So there you have it.  You’re mostly caught up on the doin’s around here.  Hopefully, this ol’ gal will start feeling better soon.  I’ll let you know AFTER I’ve recovered from this flush.

Tah-tah!



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