Monday, July 19, 2010

Food Sensitivities & Feeling Lost

Red Harvester Ant photo by jurvetson
used with Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
As an advocate of making a difference, I'm stymied. For myself.

What action can you take when you feel you can't make a difference?

Most folks place their utmost faith in the medical system (since I'm a westerner, know that my meaning is the United States medical system). A system I am at odds with.

Here's a flow of some of my supposedly way-out-there beliefs that most of my acquaintances don't understand: We are inextricably effected by what we ingest. The food we eat and the liquids we drink heavily effect what we feel; sense; and the health and balance of our bodily systems. What we eat and drink on a daily basis effects the clarity of our senses, the clarity of our mind and thoughts, and many of the symptoms we find in our bodies.

Let me state from the gitgo, that I also believe your body functions in the same way mine does, perhaps to a greater or lesser degree. We are inculcated to eat pre-packaged foods and to eat fast-foods partially because we've created so much going on in our lives we think we have no time to focus on our nourishment

For instance, for two weeks (until the 16th) I had been ingesting:
  • fresh juices (juiced myself),
  • fresh fruits -- food processed so I could ingest them (chewing for me has been a huge difficulty),
  • raw flax meal (that I grind thanks to a handy-dandy little machine I picked up ages ago),
  • cooked rice,
  • cooked potatoes,
  • soy protein,
  • and other mildly steamed or baked vegetables.
  • No packaged foods, no canned foods, no salt, no refined sugar, no gluten and no dairy.
  • No meat, chicken, fish
  • Increased use of olive oil and coconut oil

In that time I had:
  • picked up nearly twice the physical energy I've had in many, many years,
  • realized less congestion and physical symptoms of congestion in my ears, nose, lungs,
  • lessened the crusting of material around my eyes,
  • lessening of the nearly constant mild periorbital edema below my left eye (edema, dropsy, hydropsy), which has been so severe at points in my life that it spread to both eyes and for 7 years in a row required courses of prednisone
  • lessening of tightness in my lungs and the ability to take deep breaths easily and with comfort,

Now 3 days later and having resorted to one fast food restaurant purchase (one day); 2 cans of cannellini beans (that had 7% salt listed in their portions) one day (a second day); and 2 frozen food items yesterday from Trader Joe's (each that had 10% salt listed -- along with other ingredients that I kept track of) --
  • my periorbital edema has returned,
  • my mental clarity had dimmed,
  • waking up with morning headaches has returned,
  • nasal catarrh has returned
  • tight lungs and slightly more labored breathing has returned,
  • the feeling of congestion in my ears and between them has returned,
  • and a serious decrease of energy has returned.

That's a very slight usage of packaged and fast foods, yet it's a very significant increase of illness symptoms in my body. And it was unexpected, I thought I would have more time before the symptoms -- came back, so to speak.

I took in those foods, for psychological reasons. I needed some comfort foods, my stress levels are quite high and I truly didn't believe I would get these symptoms back so quickly.

The medical system of my society has, when I was young, used so much penicillin on me that now I react allergically to it (along with a host of other drugs whose names I cannot now remember).

I have been unable to convince normal medical practitioners the issues within my body -- and that's when I was working and had insurance to cover their fees.

I did have results with a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, and a physical therapist -- whose fees I was able to cover with my flexible spending plan (again when I was able to work).

And now, being on GR which leads to the heavy use of free clinics, it's nearly impossible to have a conversation with the medical personnel I do manage to see. Much less manage to get their attention to focus on something that doesn't fit within their paradigm.

Much less trying to convince GR and other agencies to assist me with some kind of housing rather than requiring I give up all my belongings other than what I can carry in a bag so I can begin using their emergency one-night shelters to get in a long line for transitional housing. (Try lugging a Champion Juicer all over creation with one good hand --  they're heavy buggers.  ::grin::)

I have what people call food sensitivities, not defined by our medical system as allergies. I don't fit the western medical paradigm. I apparently believe weird things.

And at the moment there seems to be nothing I can do to alter things.

So there you have it ... a description of a situation I face where I lapse into feelings of "I can't make a difference". For each of us the situation may vary. It could be the death of a love, a work situation, a health situation, a small situation, a large situation, a mental situation, an emotional situation, or a situation of spirit.

As an advocate of making a difference, I'm stymied. For myself. What action can I take when I feel I can't make a difference?

I still don't know in this particular situation.

One of the actions I'm taking is writing this. It's an action. It's something I've focused on.

An action I'm taking is to stop for a minute and deepen my breathing and ask myself the question "How can I use this to achieve my goals?"

Don't have the answer yet ... sometimes that happens.

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