Nuts and Twigs – 10 Day Detox

Have started a 10 day detox to deal with my prednisone fueled rises in sugar and A1C levels.  It is a tough road….but I am down 6 pounds during my 4 day modified version and three day full-on version.  Works out to be a half pound a day on the modified version and about a pound a day with the full-on version.  Lots of folks have been asking questions about the detox. Here are some tips from someone in the trenches.

The diet is good for most people, not just diabetics or pre-diabetics.  We ALL get too much sugar – one of the biggest offenders being packaged convenience foods and fast foods.  It is doing a number on our health. It can cause inflammation throughout the body that can bring on or worsen all kinds of problems.  Good luck if you decide to give it a try!

1. You can find info online by searching Dr. Mark Hyman 10 day detox. He has some books that you can purchase or borrow from a library in print or ebook format. Two of his books are “Blood Sugar Solution” and “Blood sugar Solution Cookbook”.

2. I would recommend taking a week before starting full-on to ease out of grains, sugar and dairy. Cut it back a little each day. It is tough! Remember – it is NO grains, not even oats or gluten-free.

3. NO PACKAGED FOODS. Most have added sugar.

4. Make large batches of soup to keep in the fridge and the freezer. It is HARD to eat enough to keep you going on this diet. I have not been able to physically get down more than 700 calories per day. Soup has been my salvation. We cooked up a bunch of clams for dinner and made a clear broth with veggies. I then made a hearty vegetable soup, and combined the left over clams and broth with it – as well as keeping some plain. That gets me through the evenings when I am hungry. Chicken soup is up next.

5. Here is a very weird tip. Peanut butter is not allowed on the diet because peanuts are not nuts – they are legumes. Cashew butter and almond butter ARE allowed. But what do you spread it on? No crackers or bread. In desperation, I discovered that it tastes very good on slices of zucchini or yellow summer squash. Really!

6. Also having trouble with no coffee or tea. I tried herbal tea. Not for me. Water is so boring. Solution? I cut up a strawberry and put it in with my water.

7. Stock up on blueberries and raspberries. And kiwi fruit is good.

My Facebook Resolution

I am loving Facebook since I got really into it for the past year. It is a great way to connect with folks when you are housebound with an illness. I also find a lot of fuel for thought. What I have ultimately decided is that I DON’T like the facebook pictures which express political and social ideas. I find many that I agree with and many that I don’t. Some have led me to articles that have helped me understand a side of the issue that I find incomprehensible. They don‘t necessarily change my mind…but I understand better. However….I wonder how many actually read the more in depth opinion articles that go with them? And many have no accompanying article at all. They are just there to make the other side angry and make the same side feel smug. 

So…I am not going to share them anymore. Instead, I will write about them on my blog. That way I can express my thoughts more thoroughly than I do in the FB forum. I have pretty much abandoned my poor blog since I retired. This will be a way of bringing it back to life. And…when a FB opinion picture makes me happy or angry…I can deal with it on my own page….saving FB for keeping up with friends!

DISCLAIMER: I reserve the right to post as many cute kitty pictures as I want!!

Sleepless in Seattle…..NOT

More like Sleepless in the Gulag. How sad is this? My library blog has turned into “General Hospital for Geriatrics” instead. Oh well. We blog about what is going on in our lives at the moment I guess.

We managed to get through a VERY FUN weekend with out family and extended family. 8 month old Lila was the star attraction of course.

The breathing “progressed” from somewhat breathless to full-on Darth Vader. Never mind. I have my regular doctor appointment on Tuesday. She will fix it. And she did. I showed up at her office in Darth Vader mode, and she immediately called an ambulance. Off for some fun in the sun…whoops…fun in The Strong (hospital that is…not the Museum of Play).

Strong Emergency Department is definitely NOT the “Toy Hall of Fame”!! Although, 165 mg of prednisone could be considered a form of entertainment I suppose. But really…more like the above-mentioned Gulag, with constant noise, torture with sharp objects inserted in various veins,  and sleep deprivation.

Officially admitted at around 4 pm Tuesday. No sleep since 9am Monday. Out of the ER at this point? Silly you. No room in the inn….so two real hospital beds are wheeled in to replace the ER version of the medieval racks  that my roommate and I have been enduring.  Voila! We are now in a real hospital room….just one the size of a medical closet. Magic!

A fairy godmother finally arrived sometime around midnight to sweep me off  in my coach..whoops…my mobile hospital bed…to a REAL room. Yay!! I actually got three 20-minute  rounds of sleep. Oh..the joys of breathing and mood enhancing drugs!

Speaking of which…..mood enhancing drugs such as prednisone CAN enhance your mood. Euphoria would be lovely, but that can change on a dime. Wednesday was not too bad….until my meds got mixed up. Prednisone turned Cinderella very quickly into The Incredible Hulk. The nebulized medicine I should have got at bedtime was mysteriously dropped from the computer.  This meant 12 hours of wheezing like “The Little Engine that Couldn’t”.  Computer glitch discovered at 7 am.  Out comes “The Incredible Hulk” on steroids.  I informed them that they needed to “GET ME MY MEDS NOW or I was walking out of there and going HOME where I at least could get the meds I need to BREATHE!!! “. In spite of my best effort to be assertive (in a Prednisone/ Hulk kind of way), it took almost TWO HOURS to get me the inhaler I should be getting every 4 hours, minimally.  Grrrrr!!  Must….work….on….developing…..bulging….green….muscles!

Anyway, continuing with my literary and pop culture references, “all’s well that ends well”. I stayed for another day and a half, full of lovely meds, and was rescued by my handsome Prince Charming Bob at around 3 pm Saturday. Home again for Miss Dorothy….”There’ s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place like Home”!

The main win from this hospital stay was a new-to-me treatment…..inhaling saline solution before using my other asthma inhalation med. It seems to work.

In spite of it all…the staff at Strong is excellent, and so very hard working. It is just absolutely essential to be vigilant and make sure all is being done correctly. YOU are the expert on how you feel.

Still sleepless? Yes…but at least I am sleepless at home, and not in the Gulag!!




Is It or Isn’t It…Maybe my hairdresser knows!




Cutting to the BASICS – I wonder if anyone has experience with Wegener’s Granulomatosis and also suggestions for tasty alternatives to wheat bread?  And there really IS a library connection.  I promise.

OK.  It has been a long time since my last post.  Retirement has been busy – and mostly fun – but too much of the “busyness” has revolved around doctor appointments.  It would seem that we are finally closing in on a diagnosis of Wegener’s Granulomatosis.  Say that three times fast…I dare you!  Yuk.  Nasty, rare, immune disease.  Leave it to me to be different.

In addition to my GP, I have been to 2 pulmonologists, 1 ENT, 1 Allergist, and 1 Rheumatologist, and it has taken 18 months so far to get a diagnosis that makes some sense.  Maybe I should ask my hairdresser.  He is a smart guy and has about the same chance of a correct diagnosis as some of my specialists.

I have had a constant cough, have felt mildly ill and have had hoarseness, loss of smell and sinus infections, and periods where I was short of breath.  Asthma/COPD meds gave only very limited relief.  I was in the hospital for a week in August.  Lots of antibiotics and prednisone, x-rays and CT scans throughout the past 18 months. All the health professionals I have seen are convinced that the asthma/copd drugs they give me are going to give me instant relief and I am going to shout “Hallelujah!” Then they watch me take the medicine and are surprised when, indeed, there is very little improvement.  Well, duh!  That’s what I have been telling you!  But I guess they just have to see for themselves.

The allergist said testing showed only mild allergies to grass and trees. But she became concerned about an elevated ANCA level in my blood work and sent me to the rheumy who has diagnosed “mild wegener’s”.

From all I read, I am very skeptical of the diagnosis, because, with the exception of the hospital visit, I don’t seem anywhere near sick enough to have Wegeners. Right now I have no symptoms other than a constant cough and a wheeze on expiration that won’t go away. Still…I have plenty of energy, and have felt good most of the time since December. From my research, I did discover the difference between limited and systemic Wegener’s. But both seemed pretty serious to me – and way beyond the degree of sick I am right now.

After all, I can walk three miles. Granted, the first mile I sound like Darth Vader, but I am getting plenty of oxygen. After a mile, I can finally clear my throat and do the last two miles comfortably.

I don’t want to take the Imuran the rheumy has prescribed. It seems a bit like swatting a fly with a baseball bat. On the other hand, the doctor tells me if I don’t take it, I might develop full-blown WG. The treatment for that is prednisone and a chemo drug called Cytoxan….which would be more like swatting a fly with an atom bomb!

Right now my plan is to insist on a biopsy, since that is the only way to know for sure.

My PCP, who is a wonderful doctor, feels that I should not take an imunosuppresant at this point. She is an integrated medicine doctor and likes to look for natural cures. She has prescribed me plenty of “traditional” meds – but wants me to try cutting out GM wheat, corn and soy from my diet before trying Imuran. I know the research connecting those foods with immune problems – but if it has lead to WG, it has taken about 63 years to do so. Dropping them now does not seem like a quick fix to me. I switched to about 80% organic two years ago, and now plan to purchase a heavy-duty mixer so I can make my own bread with organic flour. I think we would be healthier as a population if we eliminated GM products from our diet. However, as a cure of this ongoing illness I have? Not so much….

I have to wonder why it takes so long to get a diagnosis. When my sinus problems began to linger on for more than 2 month, I started doing research and Wegeners kept coming up as a possibility. I should have said something to my doctors – but reading the symptoms, especially from those who have the disease, I just decided I was not sick enough to have it. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say….

I just do not feel entirely comfortable about this diagnosis. I guess no one can satisfy me. I have been complaining about how long it has taken to make a diagnosis, and then when a new doctor makes a diagnosis after two visits and a few lab tests during a period of time when I feel almost normal…I complain that the diagnosis is too fast!


  1. I need to know if cutting out wheat, corn and soy are worth the agony.
  2. Will organic wheat be less inflamatory?  I REALLY do not want to give up bread.  I keep getting inconclusive answers – and I sure would love to kill all those “research articles” AKA ads for wheatgrass juice!!
  3. It all makes me hope that I have taught my students well –  to research deeply and think with an OPEN MIND.  None of us fits into a formula.

This is my brain…This is my brain on steroids

Ahh…Who would actually WANT to take drugs??

I’ve been on a bit of a downhill slide with my breathing for about two weeks. Finally, a week ago yesterday, I couldn’t say three or four words at the same time without becoming completely winded. So….I packed up my goodies for a stay at the “spa”….less fondly known as the hospital. Lots of fun meds without much improvement. After a few hours and an x- ray, the decision is made for an overnight stay. Lots more interesting drugs. I have inhaled so much, I feel like the creepy caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland.

Well…long story short…the spa weekend turned into a spa week. Just got home on Friday. Between the hospital routine and the prednisone I was on, I slept a total of 3.5 hours in the first three days. Understandably, I was not my usual charming self by mid-stay. Fortunately, it all has a good ending. They finally got around to doing a head and chest CT scan. Pneumonia in the left lung and it looks like all four sinuses are full of cysts, polyps, and other unmentionable nasty stuff clogging everything up. So…I probably have sinus surgery in the near future.

One good thing about steroids….They sure do kick up the energy level! I rearranged the furniture several times, took hourly jogs up and down the corridors, rearranged all the toiletries countless times, squirrelled away food at every opportunity (apparently not having immediate access to food is a hang-up of mine), wrote up ideas for blog posts based on my new classification scheme for medical professionals, did yoga, made a list of the sucky cable stations, and on and on.

Sleep is so important. But VERY difficult when one’s brain is twirling around like a whirligig in a wind storm.

Well, at least I can say that I spent a week at the “spa” and lost 4 pounds in spite of being hopped up on steroids which usually puts weight on.

Feeling much better … especially now that I can wake up on my own, instead of to the tune of the obnoxiously cheerful hospital technician barging in at 5 am, screaming at me as if I were both deaf and demented, as she throws on the glaring lights saying ” GOOD MORNING! I’m here to take your vitals!”

Oh…My newly developed categories for medical professionals?

CIP: Caring Interested Professionals (like my PCP, allergist, and the hospitalist I had)

AOB/B: Arrogant Old Bastards/Bitches (hospital pulmonologist)

AYB/B: Arrogant Young Bastard/Bitches (my personal pulmonologist. Perhaps there is a pattern here….?)

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