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Showing posts from November, 2010

Journey to Perfect Health *Part 4*

It is over 3 years since I came out of hospital & I returned home like a zombie!

My body had been living with an over active thyroid for at least 2 years, so it was a shock to be suddenly the opposite... Conventional medication for hyperthyroidism, means bombarding your body with high levels of beta-blockers (to slow the heart rate) & antithyroid drugs - the idea being to speed up the process of slowing the thyroid down (if that makes sense)! Once the thyroid is stable, it is highly recommended that it is either removed or 'killed off' using radioactive iodine. Without the thyroid, you have to then take thyroxine tablets for the rest of your life...

I have continued to refuse both of these, as I have always been convinced that I will recover completely & therefore not need to do anything so drastic, I weaned myself off the beta-blockers as soon as I got home & my heart has been absolutely fine. I have also 'messed around' with the antithyroid drug to my…

Journey to Perfect Health *Part 3*

The words I dreaded to hear were coming from my GP's mouth "Hospital". Now I knew I was in a nightmare...

The ECG carried out on my heart showed that my heart beat had become irregular, as well as operating at 3 times it's normal speed! I had no choice - Sime agreed with the doctor & I was extremely scared of what was happening to me. Looking back, it was irresponsible to have let myself become so ill, but Sime was working long hours & I was trying to look after everyone else. It just crept up on me.

One of the first thoughts that came to mind about going into hospital was of absolute fear, both my Grandad & my Sister died in hospitals through medical negligence, so I was really quite frightened!

As soon as I arrived, a nurse told me that my dangerous heart condition needed to be dealt with quickly. She told me that they wanted to use some sort of injection to stop my heart.
"You'll have a strong sense of impending doom, but it will only last for …

Journey to Perfect Health *Part 2*

What a relief it was to find Claire the herbalist!

She was (& probably still is) very knowledgeable about the thyroid function & was impressed with what I had prescribed myself, she had a lovely calming effect on me & made me feel secure in what I was doing. It was so nice to have someone else to lean on (other than Sime), someone who understood me & shared my views on the way we live. We agreed that if at any point she felt that the herbal treatment ceased working, then I would probably have to consider the conventional route. She also opened up communication with my GP & with my agreement, they shared information on my treatment & results, etc. Great!

Claire treated me for 18 months, constantly tweaking the tinctures & although it did work - I just couldn't remain stable. She didn't fail - it was just my body wasn't ready to recover & another thing I didn't see at the time - was that I was under a lot of stress with extended family mem…

Journey to Perfect Health *Part 1*

I was first diagnosed with Graves Disease (an auto-immune disorder which causes the thyroid to become over active, also known as hyperthyroidism) in December 2005, although looking back - my symptoms started way before... Terrible mood swings, with totally unreasonable behaviour, intolerance to heat, profuse sweating, constant hunger, weight loss, muscle weakness & palpitations. It all came on so gradually at first, that I hardly noticed it!

It wasn't until I was out Christmas shopping in Truro on a freezing cold day, stripped down to a T-Shirt & sweat dripping off my nose - that alarm bells suddenly kicked in... That night we did some research on the internet: either I was going through an early menopause or I had hyperthyroidism, another symptom was suggested in the research... A goitre (when the thyroid becomes enlarged), we had a look at my neck & sure enough there was a swelling - why hadn't I noticed it before? I had choked a few times while eating & put …

Scheming an' a Dreaming

We first met as children, just for a day - back in 1971. I knew that one day we would meet up again & 15 years later - we did! Our first proper time together, we sat up all night talking about everything that was important to us. We discovered how we both felt very different to our own families & so began our journey of what our folks have thought of as rebellion...

Eighteen months later, we decided to marry; an impulsive decision & we did it our way - secretly, so there wasn't any fuss or pressure to have a big wedding. We bought a "special licence" & rings, asked a couple of friends to be our witnesses & off we went... It was brilliant, we spent our day doing exactly what we wanted to do & our honeymoon was a long weekend in Wales! This was the first time we disappointed our families & we seem to have continued to do so, throughout our lives together. From moving into a caravan when expecting our first born, to becoming vegetarian, giving up…

Losing Our Way, Finding Our Way

We always knew where we wanted to be. In our imaginations we lived, in the countryside. A straw bale house, a yurt or little stone cottage would be perfect. Photovoltaic panels and wind turbine, our own spring water and three or four acres of land. Self-sufficiency and definitely off-grid.
Getting there for us continues to be an ever- evolving  path that has at times been blocked or littered with surprising and often annoying detours. Looking back at the "What-ifs" it's easy to say we should have got those jobs in the south of France or took that extended holiday in a Catskills community. Where would we be now and what kind of people would we have become? Well, we made our choices, some right and some wrong, but  we still want that same way of life we dreamed about all those years ago, but now we know how to get there. What got us lost on the path was certainly negativity. Negativity about all kinds of things...Where is the money going to come from to do this? How do we …

Work & Play

We love having our own business & the fact that we can choose when we work, it's so lovely after the hectic summer to be able to relax a bit more! We really appreciate lie-ins (something that we haven't really done for years), now our youngest is into sleeping in until lunch time, our mornings are much more chilled!

As our kids become independent, our elderly relatives are becoming more reliant on us - which is a slight problem as we live over 300 miles away from them! Our journeys upcountry are having to be more frequent & we are now dealing with dementia in our family for the second time. Dementia is just awful, but at the same time - we find it fascinating... Our 2 family members with it have followed the same path, both gone from being very independent, very sociable with lots of friends & keeping busy to gradually losing contact with their friends, then losing the confidence to go out, so just staying in & watching TV from morning until they go to bed, the…

Food

It's the time of year that we really enjoy cooking, as it gets colder - we like making nice, warming dishes... Nut roasts & stews are great for using seasonal veg. We also eat lots of garlic, which is probably why we remain in good health. We try to eat as much fresh food as possible & we always use up leftovers by transforming them into another dish - like using tofu & mushroom pasta sauce as the base for a walnut roast.



We make our own bread & at the moment, Doris Grant's "No Knead Loaf" is the recipe we've adapted, which means we can have a loaf on the table in just over an hour!
Here's a good, easy recipe:

http://www.woolfit.com/grantloaf.html

We used to have a bread machine, but for the last 5 years we've enjoyed making it by hand!
The book "Dough" is very easy to understand & the photographs just make you desperate to get started!




We try to buy most of our food locally (from mainly farms & friends) without lots of p…