March 26, 2004 I posted my first blog on the dadamo.com website.
Dr. D'Adamo had asked for volunteers to blog about their Blood Type Diet experiences several months earlier. I was intrigued by this new thing called blogging, but I had only been on the diet for a few months. I wasn't sure I had anything valuable to contribute. However, as I read the other blog posts, I began to see a niche that I could fill. When one of the original bloggers dropped out, I emailed Dr. D and volunteered.
My husband's father was on hospice for pancreatic cancer at the time. I got Dr. D's approval and received my password the day after the funeral. My first blog was about the importance of family, about eating wisely during stressful times, and about finding the best BTD choices in someone else's home.
In 2004 I had a son who was a freshman in college and a daughter in middle school. Today my son is a doctor of physical therapy, and my daughter is a new mother.
In these 10 years we have moved to the country, I have started a business, I have walked through the last illnesses of both of my parents, and we have been on lots of vacations. You have been along for the adventure.
I've tried to be open about our successes and failures; our illnesses and our health; our likes and our dislikes; our joys and our sorrows. The way I see it, a blog isn't going to do you any good if it isn't honest.
I've also been open about my faith in God. Part of that is because I believe that God specifically directed me to the BTD in answer to prayer. The other part is that my faith in Jesus Christ is integral to who I am. I couldn't write about my life without that topic coming up from time to time.
I have no idea how long Dr. D will want bloggers on his website. For my part, I'm still learning and still thinking of blog ideas, so I'll keep going as long as he wants me to. Here we go with year eleven!
I still find myself fuming at the MD who was on call the day DD and SIL left the hospital with BC, and I am very thankful for the PA they saw the next day.
DD didn't think she would find hospital food to here liking, so she had packed beneficial foods in her suitcase. She was glad when there was salad on her tray, which she ate with EVOO from home. She made herself peanut butter sandwiches. She brought fresh fruit, nuts, and oatmeal. So she ate like an A for herself and her little A baby.
In addition to all of the amenities I mentioned before, each bathroom in the maternity ward has its own whirlpool tub. A couple of times a day she got to sit in warm swirling water, which helped her to heal rapidly. Granted she had a fast labor, but her soreness disappeared quickly.
Day two was busy. The nursing staff was constantly teaching them something - like how to bathe the baby until the cord fell off. There were diapers to change and feedings and paperwork and more feedings.
The second night BC was more active and not quite as content, so DD and SIL started the day a little sleep deprived. That's when they encountered the pediatrician on call from the clinic. She was rushed. She had several babies to release that morning. She seemed to be more interested in protecting herself from any possibility of a lawsuit, than in making this a joyful moment for the parents.
BC's bilirubin was 8. She told them that the limit was 10, and he was too close. She would release him, but they would have to take him to the doctor first thing the next morning and have him retested. She did not encourage breast feeding. She wanted lots of fluid and lots of protein in his system. Colostrum, God's plan for a baby's nourishment for the first 2-4 days, was not satisfactory for this pediatrician. She wanted them to start supplementing formula. By the time they had finished the checkout process they were worried and feeling inadequate.
We had a wonderful afternoon at home together, taking pictures and getting settled. But BC was not a happy baby his first night at home. He wanted to nurse often. He woke up whenever they put him down in the bassinet. He cried a lot.
They left for the doctor's office sleep deprived and scared. Why wasn't her milk in? Was he dehydrated? Would he have to go back to the hospital? Was his umbilical cord ok? Was his circumcision infected? BC looked like a normal, healthy newborn to me, but the doubts planted by that pediatrician dominated the thoughts of these two new parents.
At the doctor's office, BC was examined by a PA. The PA explained that all babies have an oversupply of red blood cells when they are born, and as those cells break down the bilirubin level goes up. No need to worry unless it gets really high. No need to supplement formula. Milk for first time mothers comes in at 3 - 5 days. Until then colostrum is just what a baby needs. Everything looked great, and he told them they were doing a good job as parents.
They were still sleep deprived when they got back to the house, but they were happy and confident again. What a difference bedside manner makes. Both the MD and the PA saw the same baby and the same lab reports. One focused on all the things that might go wrong. The other encouraged and informed.
I want my medical advisors to be knowledgeable. I want them to tell the truth and not hide things from me. I need to know when something is wrong. I need to know what danger signs to look for.
At the same time, I want them to tell me how I can be proactive. I need a reminder that worst case scenarios don't usually happen, and that I am competent to take care of my body.
The phone rang at 4:50 Tuesday morning. HH and I were instantly awake. DD said, "I think you are going to be grandparents today."
She wasn't having painful contractions yet, but other signs indicated that active labor had started. HH and I began packing our bags and preparing to close up the house. We were on the road before 7:30. I texted DD that we were on the way. SIL texted back two words - 9 cm. Oh my! Labor was progressing fast! As we drove we were praying for a safe delivery for both our daughter and her baby.
We were not even half way there when we got another text. BC is a Boy! We have a grandson. He is healthy and our daughter is fine. HH was laughing, I was crying, and we were both praising God.
I loved the hospital where she delivered. They want baby and mother to have skin to skin contact immediately. They barely wiped BC off before they put him on her chest and covered them both with a blanket. Nurses put his first diaper on him, but after that DD and SIL changed him as needed. There is a nursery, but the nursing staff urges mothers to keep their babies in the room with them all the time. There was even a fold out bed in the room for SIL. The hospital strongly encourages breastfeeding, and BC had already had his first meal by the time we arrived.
Those things may sound routine to young people, but when I had my first child - less than 30 years ago - none of that was normal. My son was already wrapped in a blanket when he was put in my arms. I never changed a diaper, and I didn't even see his toes until I got him home. I made the nurses unhappy when I insisted that they not give him any formula. I think I was viewed as a radical.
I knew in my heart that DD's easy labor and healthy baby were a result of the care she took throughout her pregnancy to eat right and exercise wisely. It's one thing for her mother to feel that way, but even members of the hospital staff affirmed that her muscle tone made her labor go so smoothly.
I do not have words to describe what it was like to hold BC for the first time. All babies are little miracles - but holding the next generation of my family in my arms is….just GRAND!
We asked the nurse about his blood type. He is an A. DD is delighted.
I must be cautious about projecting what is happening in my limited sphere to the world at large, but what is going on with feet?
Since this time last year I have known three people who have had melanomas on the bottoms of their feet. Two have had surgery; the third has surgery next week. Of the two that have had surgery; one is not doing well, the other is now improving after a number of post op complications. The one who has surgery next week got good PET and MRI scans, so he is projected to recover completely - except for wearing compression garments the rest of his life.
We are bombarded with statistics about sun exposure and sunburn causing skin cancer - particularly melanoma. But who gets sun exposure on the bottom of their feet?
We are told that you identify melanoma when you have a changeable black spot on your skin. I have a changeable black spot that my dermatologists assures me is a seborrheic keratosis. The melanoma’s on these friend’s feet were neither black nor changeable. One of them started as a blister that didn’t heal up.
There are even worse foot complications in my corner of the world. A high school friend requested prayer for his wife. She had a blister on the bottom of her foot that didn’t heal. She went to the doctor when it started oozing blood, and she had a flesh eating bacteria. When she woke up after surgery, he held her hand and said, “I’m sorry. I had to choose between losing your leg or losing your life. I chose your leg.” Her leg was amputated above the knee.
He went home that night and as he got into bed, he felt something different on his own foot. He looked and saw a little blister. It was still there the next morning, so he asked the doctor about it when he went to visit at the hospital. They admitted him, and he also had the flesh eating bacteria. Because his was caught so early, he only lost three toes. They are both stable and doing rehab - her as inpatient, him as outpatient.
I have so many questions?
Where do you pick up a flesh eating bacteria in February? I could understand if it was summer and they were walking around barefoot, or wading in stagnant rivers or lakes - but it’s cold outside. Neither was doing anything remotely connected with the conventional way people get flesh eating bacteria.
Is there any statistical proof that sunscreen reduces the rate of melanoma? Don’t get me wrong - I use sunscreen - it’s worth it just to prevent the misery of sunburn. But is it really effective at preventing any kind of skin cancer, particularly melanoma?
And for me the biggest question of all - how in the world do you know when to seek medical help? If I go to the doctor every time I have a cut or a blister, they will label me as a hopeless hypochondriac. I risk not being taken seriously when a real problem does arise. Yet there is clearly a time when you put away the vitamins, herbs, and OTC remedies to seek medical intervention.
If you are reading this blog, you are probably proactively involved in your own health, as I am. I will continue to live a healthy lifestyle, and provide optimum raw materials to my body through nutrition. I can be aware of changes in my body. I can call a doctor when self help remedies do not work in a reasonable amount of time. But ultimately, I live by faith. I cannot control a lot of what happens around me. I cannot even control what happens inside of me. I choose not to live with worry or fear. Ultimately I put myself in God’s hands, knowing that he is faithful to heal those who love and follow him - either in this life or the next.
Once in a while it is good to know you are on the right path. I got another affirmation about the BTD last week.
My first exposure to Dr. D’s books said that wheat and dairy were the two worst foods for Type Os. Since I quit them both at the same time, it took a while before I realized in my body, that dairy causes stomach pain and wheat causes weight gain. That was confirmed last week.
I have never bought Deflect, because I don’t eat many avoids. However I was taking three of the Deflect components separately.
I take bladderwrack supplement every day, because it is supposed to be bind lectins in Type Os. I hope that is not oversimplifying the matter. What Dr. D actually says is, “Since bladderwrack is such excellent food source of fucose and fucose containing sugar chains, it can actually bind many of the more problematic blood type O lectins, bacteria, and microorganisms.” That plus normalizing my metabolism was enough for me.
I put a spoonful of larch in my breakfast mix every morning for fiber.
I had been taking two glucosamine capsules every morning. I started them for joint pain which went away a long time ago. I continued when I had a flare up of an autoimmune problem. Glucosamine is the first thing on the Type O anti-inflammation protocol list. The autoimmune problem subsided last fall, so I stopped taking the glucosamine.
I’ve been getting along just fine following the BTD faithfully at home and as well as I can manage when I’m away. But last week was a “perfect storm” for cheese. I had lunch at a friend’s house and she had cheese in the main course. No problem. Because I eat so few avoids, I can handle a little cheese occasionally. I had two luncheons that week, and cheese was again on the menu. Still I was doing ok.
The end of my body’s tolerance came at a church fundraiser. The fundraisers are to support our youth choir summer mission trips. Most of the time they serve either pasta or Mexican food at the fundraisers, but this time the menu was chicken breast with steamed vegetables and salad. I said to HH, “Let’s go!” The chicken breast was covered in cheese sauce. I could have scraped it off, but I didn’t. After all, I rationalized; a little cheese doesn’t usually bother me.
But I had eaten more than a little cheese during the week, and my stomach became inflamed. The heartburn that had plagued me for 10 years roared back. I got serious...no avoids at all. Very few neutrals. I was eating almost all beneficials. Yet two days later my stomach was still hurting.
Back I went to the protocols. There was glucosamine at the top of the anti-inflammation list. Glucosamine that had not only helped my joints and my autoimmune problem but had obviously been fighting the occasional cheese that I thought I was getting away with. I started taking glucosamine again
Ginger was third on the list, and I had that in my refrigerator, so I made ginger juice and started drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of ginger juice.
The next day the stomach pain was gone.
I’ve been on the BTD for 11 years now. It’s become routine. Once in while I wonder, is the BTD really the reason I feel so good, have so much energy, and take no prescription medication? Last week was the affirmation I needed. Avoids do indeed effect the way I feel. BTD supplements do protect me when avoids are unavoidable. I am on the right path, and I’m staying with it!