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!
DD and SIL chose not to find out whether they were having a boy or a girl. When they had their sonogram, the technician knew that they didn’t want to know. At one point she got a good look, smiled, and said, “Your baby has gender!” But she blocked that part of the video, and deleted reference to it in her report.
Everyone is now trying to guess whether BC is a boy or a girl. Speculation is running about 80% for a boy. DD put a picture on facebook last night and asked her friends to post their guess. Boy is winning on facebook as well.
I don’t have a gut feel about gender. Perhaps I lean a little toward girl, but I think that’s mostly because I’m such a contrarian.
I have a son and a daughter. Both were fun babies. Both are delightful adults. I am content with whatever God has given.
However, I do find myself increasingly curious about whether we have a Type A or a Type O.
Are we going to have a carnivore or an herbivore? Will I be taking BC out for barbeque or salad bars? Am I going to be fixing hamburgers or peanut butter sandwiches?
Either way will be fine with me. We will bake cookies with neutral flour. We can roll power balls before we walk to the mailbox.
A few years ago at a Tupperware party I bought a set of forms to make my own popsicles. They have been waiting in the back of the cabinet for the first grandbaby to arrive. I’m going to eat my share of pineapple and grape juice popsicles on the back porch.
Have you ever really wanted a product to work, and eventually had to admit that it just made you feel bad? I am that way about a mayonnaise substitute.
I love chicken salad, tuna salad, and carrot salad. I have been using a canola mayonnaise that doesn't have any avoids except a little white vinegar way down at the bottom of the ingredient list. I chose canola because it is neutral for me, and it has a lot of Omega 3. The only problem is that the one Tablespoon serving size isn't nearly enough to make salads as creamy as I like them, so I always use too much.
One day I saw an ad for a mayonnaise substitute, and I got excited. It wasn't a chemical concoction. It was made with real ingredients that I could pronounce. The ad said it was creamy, just like mayonnaise, but it had zero fat and zero calories. Though the ingredients were real food, there were several avoids, but I chose to ignore them. I know better than to ignore that many avoids! But this was a new product, and I really wanted it to work. I bought a jar.
It was creamy, though not creamy in the same way real mayonnaise is creamy. The taste was acceptable, but again not quite like real mayonnaise. It had more vinegar tang than I like. However, by the time I mixed in the celery, apple, and walnuts, it made a good chicken salad.
In spite of my high expectations, it didn't settle well in my stomach. It reminded me of the way I felt before the BTD when my digestive system was always inflamed. I wanted this product to work. I tried it again. In fact I tried it several times, but the results were always the same.
People sometimes ask me how I can stay on the BTD and forego eating wheat and most dairy. I tell them that pain is an excellent motivator. When I eat wheat and dairy, my stomach hurts, and I don't like pain.
As enticing as the idea of low calorie, low fat chicken and tuna salad is to me, the pain is just not worth it. I'm going to discard the mayonnaise substitute.
Before I close, I will give you a quick baby update. DD is now three weeks from her due date. BC has turned and is head down. DD is 1 cm dilated, and is feeling a few Braxton Hicks contractions. While we are all very eager for this baby's birth, we also hope BC will stay in the womb for another two weeks.
We are waiting and praying and smiling.
BC - my precious grandbaby - is at 34 weeks. Six more weeks in the womb, and BC will get to see us! It’s interesting that we have seen that cute little face, with nose pressed up against the wall of DD’s uterus, in sonogram pictures, but though eyes are now fully functioning, BC can’t see us. However, BC hears us responds to familiar voices, but we won’t hear BC until “birth day.”
DD sent a text that BC is now the size of a butternut squash. I picked up a butternut squash in the grocery and held it. The curves did make me think of a little head and a bottom. I like the way this app points expectant mothers to think of fresh fruits and vegetables every week. Just a subtle reminder to forego chips or cookies and eat right for your baby
DD says she feels wonderful. She has lots of energy. She worries sometimes that she is not as hungry as her friends say that they were. But her doctor is pleased with both her weight gain and the baby’s size. I think that the reason she is not famished is because everything she eats is thought out for maximum health for herself and the baby. There is no junk food in her diet. No wasted calories.
The doctor’s assistant warned her that the baby would become less active in these last few weeks. DD laughs and says that BC is more active than ever. Last weekend they took the youth from their church to an event that included a several popular Christian bands. BC was very active during the loud music. When DD bends over a counter to cook or the edge of the bathtub to clean, BC pushes against the hard surface.
Most delightful to me is that twice when DD has had her phone in her pocket, BC has kicked the phone, dialing my number. My precious pre-born grandbaby has called Gram Graham. I just love it!
A new gym opened in their town, and was running some enticing introductory specials. DD and SIL signed up. Even now, on cold days, it gives them a place to safely exercise indoors. But I think they were mainly looking ahead to after the baby is born and DD is cleared to exercise. She has been diligent to put the baby first for all of these weeks, disciplining herself not to obsess about things she used to obsess about. Having a place to exercise will give her a structured way to lose baby weight in a healthy manner without cutting calories which would interfere with her ability to nurse.
Their hospital offers several free classes to expectant parents. It amazes me. The hospital where I gave birth was considered cutting edge because it offered a Lamaze class. DD has already been to a lactation class and a newborn care class. She sends me her notes, which is really great, because I need a refresher course. I haven’t diapered or bathed a newborn in 24 years!
I read back over this blog, and realize I have become a stereotypical gushing grandmother. I can’t help it, and I don’t apologize!