Friday, September 28, 2012

Curing Lupus, Step One

Anyone who follows me on Facebook probably saw my post about trying to fix my Lupusy self (it is a title, deal with it) using Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong, Chi and Element management, and correct diet. I am doing this for a few reasons
-I am bloody terrified of doctors, its a silly fear but I have had a lifetime of almost comically bad medical events in my life to earn said fear
-normal conventional medical techniques seem to not work on me...I build up immunities to medication really fast, I get just about every side effect there is (not just minor ones, I had seizures from Zoloft) and end up worse off then when I am not taking any meds at all.
-I prefer the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to looking at the body and treating illnesses, I remember reading about it as a kid and thinking 'you know, that just seems more right to me' and never changed my mind.

The first step is finding out how TCM looks at Lupus. First off apparently Lupus affects primarily people who are Metal or Water types, to be expected I am a nice mix of both, very heavy on the Water and Metal (and I like it that way) with like no Earth to speak of at all (that I should probably balance out)

Lupus is caused by deficient Lung Metal Chi and deficient Kidney Water Yin causing small brushfires around the body. It is not a true 'Fire' since the body lacks sufficient Chi to fuel them and is caused by deficient Yin rather than a true excess of Yang. I like to think of it as being a drought in my body and the Yang starts small fires because the Yin just did not show up to the party! These 'fires' show as inflamed joints, mouth ulcers, Malar rash and other things in that nature.

There are a few well documented herbal remedies and acupuncture techniques to help the yin deficiency, but the first (and possibly easiest) thing to try and implement is a diet change (groan...I really hate diet changes after my bought with Celiac misdiagnosis and then the Ulcer problem)  but luckily this one is not horrible (yay!)

Foods that increase Yin
Barley, millet, oatmeal
Alfalfa sprout, artichoke, asparagus, kelp, mung bean sprout, okra; pea, potato, seaweed, string bean, sweet potato, tomato (especially tomato paste), water chestnut, yam, zucchini
Apple, bilberry; blueberry; blackberry; apricot, avocado, banana, goji berries, lemon, lime, mango, mulberry, pear, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, watermelon
Adzuki, black beans, black soya, kidney, lima, mung
Bean Products
Tofu (not too much for potential thyroid or osteoporosis issues)
Nuts and seeds
Coconut milk, sesame seed, black sesame seed, walnut
Fish in general but especially clam, fresh water clam, crab, cuttlefish, oyster, octopus, sardine
Beef, duck, goose, pork, pork kidney, rabbit
Cheese, chicken egg, cows milk (especially raw and grass fed), duck egg
Herbs and spices
Marjoram, nettle slippery elm, marshmallow, holy basil
Oils and Condiments
Honey, malt, coconut oil, ghee, red palm oil for cooking, extra virgin olive oil as condiment. Carlson’s lemon flavored fish oil as condiment.
American ginseng, royal jelly, blueberry solid extract, tomato solid extract, cod liver or fish oils, Vitamin D

Foods especially useful to tonify Kidney Yin Deficiency.

Potato, squash, sweet potato, yamAlfalfa sprouts, asparagus, kelp, potato, seaweed, string bean, sweet potato, yam
Lemon, lime, mulberry
Aduki, black bean, black soya bean, kidney bean
Nuts and Seeds
Black sesame seed
Fresh water clam, oyster
Duck, pork kidney
Chicken egg

Examples of every day western foods that can be used to build yin

• Fruit smoothies with honey and banana
• Oatmeal with slippery elm powder and goji berries
• Fruit salad made with the fruits listed above
• Fish dishes with coconut milk and stir fried okra
• Omelettes with cheese and vegetables
• Japanese seaweed salad
• Asparagus and egg salads with sesame seeds
• Tacos made with Kidney beans and topped with a small amount of cheese
• Baked Potato stuffed with tofu with soya sauce and sesame seeds.
• Pork and apple dishes
•Liver, especially pork liver stir fried with sesame oil and mushrooms
• Miso soup with tofu and seaweed

Foods to avoid

It is important to ensure that stimulating foods are not being consumed, as these will only further depleate yin. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar and strong heating/ pungent spices all belong in this category. Note. Yin building foods like yin tonifing herbs have a tendency to be congest the spleen and promote stagnation if large amounts are consumed.
It is therefore important to consume small quantities frequently rather than large helpings irregularly.
(copied from This site there are lots of others that say the same thing more or less but this one had the best layout)
One thing this list forgot to mention was Green Tea and Chamomile tea...easy enough for me! I will be adding in other things like Qigong and Chi balancing along with the food...wouldn't it be great if all I needed was a new diet!

*note, I am not giving medical advice or proposing one style of treatment over the other, this is just recording what I am doing so that the people who care about me and live far away can keep up and so I can keep a personal record. *

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cat Interview: Tao

Well Tao has been giving me that look lately the 'how come Espeon got an interview and I didn't look' so lets make the little ball of fuzz happy!
Greetings not as small as the other fuzzy one, for the curious readers please state your name: Tao, also occasionally known as Goetia (for my lovely singing voice) and Monster (since I like to use my favorite person as a scratching post) 

Scratching post, really? Yes, she is soft and squishy and perfect for scratching...really I just play hard and don't mean to claw her to ribbons when we are playing, her hands just get in the way sometimes.

I have heard some rumors somewhere  that you are a bit fat and on a diet, is that true? Saying I am fat is just cruel, I might look fat to the untrained eye but actually I am very fuzzy and made of muscle. It is true I have a bit of a belly pouch due a little litter of kittens I had when I was young, but you can't fault a lady for being a mother, can you?

 So the other rumor about you being very maternal is true as well? What am I, a rumor factory? I am a very maternal cat (which makes the resident permanent kitten, Espeon happy) Whenever someone is sick or upset I am there to cuddle and make everything ok. It is pretty much the only time I will cuddle voluntarily (which is why I think Amanda fakes being sad sometimes) 

So, what kind of cat are you and how old are you?
I am a European medium length haired cat with a bit of a deformity. You know those munchkin cats with the purposefully short legs? Well I have a mild case of that accidentally so I am a bit short. 

Any special toys, treats, or foods you love? Catnip..I love the stuff. I might be addicted to it actually. I do have one nasty secret...whenever I want food or attention I find a plastic bag and chew on drives Amanda BONKERS..hehehe
Alright fluffy one, how did you end up with Amanda? Ah that is a sad tale with a happy ending. Someone abandoned me at a park and I was terrified, I don't like being outside...its very BIG! Amanda and her mother found me and took me in and loved me. I was the first cat Amanda had since she was little and thought she was allergic to cats (only boy cats apparently) so I was able to fill that void in her heart. 

Last question for you! What is it with you and boxes? I love them! Who needs toys when you have the endless joy of a box! My only problem is sometimes I don't fit and they break under tragic!

And that is Tao, not as funny as Espeon's interview but face it, Tao is not a comedy cat like the Esp is, she is a sweet cat (sometimes)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Craft Show Prep

So I know I swore of craft shows forever after my last bomb over a year ago...but when Ben's granparents were nice enough to let me know of one at their retirement center I really couldn't say, hey..I want more craft supplies and I got Christmas gifts to start shopping for >.<

At least I will have Ben's help, he is always so awesome when it comes to supporting my obsessive crafts :P

So a to-do list to get done before October 20th to help me get motivated when I start feeling better (hopefully in a day or two)

-make a bunch of ornaments (since it is a Christmas show)
-make star garlands
-make star earrings and jewelry
-make several kusudamas and sonobes
-make holiday themed star jars
-price everything (boring)
-make boxes and gift bags
-make a bunch of 'purchase' bags for people who buy things
-print some business cards
-find a table cloth that is suitable
-make some mobiles

roughly a month to get them all done...ugh...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Passion Lost and Found

Saturday morning bright and early (eww) I might be getting up to go to a yard sale half an hour this yardsale there will be something that will be life changing in a very dramatic way.

A French Horn
This one to be exact. It is a Conn Double from the mid 80s, as old as me (maybe) and it shines like moonlight.

Why is this horn so important to be considered a dramatic life changer? Well...story time I guess!

It all started with my dad, he was a musician and an amazing one at that, Trombone was his instrument of choice but he had several brass instruments around that I would try to teach myself. Turns out I wasn't too bad at matching sounds I heard to sounds coming out of an instrument...even if I really had no idea what I was doing I knew music. It was in my soul and in my blood.

As to be expected I was very excited for Middle School Band. The school I was going to was known for its amazing music program (and terrible sports...why is it that where one flourishes the other suffers?) I really wanted to play French Horn but all of those slots were filled up early and I started out on Trumpet. I played it but didn't really enjoy it that be honest it always gave me a bit of a headache! Luckily one of the Horn players moved in the middle of the year and I got my chance to play what I really wanted. That Friday my instructor gave me one of the school's Horns to take home and told me to practice and try to figure out the basics. Monday was a seating test but she told me not to worry about it.

On Monday I took first chair away from the person who had had it all year. I was so happy with this instrument, it was like some part of me that I did not know was missing had been found. I would play for hours until my lips bled, I planned on eventually playing professionally in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I went on to compete and because 2nd best in the county (my band teacher was convinced I could have taken first if I didn't have such crippling stage fright...but hey, I did) This blog is not going to be me just talking about how awesome I was, its more than me....umm...tooting my own horn >.<

When I played well it was the only time I felt like my dad was proud of me, it was the only thing we really shared. He understood that overwhelming drive to make music, we would practice together and it was awesome.

Then bad things happened and I had to move away from my dreams. I lost my home, half of my family, most my stuff, and most my friends. I lost the desire to play the French Horn, every time I picked it up and tried to play it felt like a betrayal. I tried switching to the Clarinet and not only did I hate playing it I still felt nothing but sorrow when I made music. Sophomore year of High School I gave up music and wiped it from my mind.

I deliberately forgot how to play, how to read music, how to even hear music. I wanted nothing to do with it. Of course, oh so predictably I would play it in my dreams and wake myself up from the longing. It has gotten stronger and stronger over the years but a night about a week ago the musical dam broke open in my sleep. It all came back, along with this overwhelming desire to play again.

I told Ben about it and he dropped the bomb on me that he figured something like that was going to happen because I had been 'playing' in my sleep for a while now >.< and he planned on getting me a horn for my birthday. Keep in mind those things are expensive and I have never owned one myself. Doubles are extra expensive since they are the more 'professional' horns (and of course what I prefer to play)

So I am terrified...Saturday I might have a horn, I might start playing again...but what if I can't? What if a decade of stagnation and bitterness has ruined my ability? What if it hurts too badly to play?

But at the same time, what if I keep denying what is so much a part of me...I have felt its absence for so long now, I thought that this hole in my very being was because of what I went through when I left Georgia but I have laid most of that to rest...this really is the only thing left.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Another Collections of Projects

So yes, this is another collection of projects I plan on working on :P Soon I will bring back more paper soon as my mad dash to make lots of stuff calms down a bit, you all know how inspiration attacks!

  • a collection of minigami charms for a charm bracelet (or whatever)
  • do something with all those paint chips I have gathered 
  • make recycled boxes and baskets from magazines
  • ornaments!!! 
  • a garland of octahedra 
  • boxes...more boxes
  • bouquets of flowers
  • all different modular origami home decor