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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Adult Tonsillectomy Story

Post Surgery as soon as I arrived home.

For anyone who really knows me, I have always been completely terrified of surgery.  So when I went to an ENT and he said I needed a tonsillectomy I was not very happy.  I found out in either January or February and I couldn't make my appointment till the end of June because that's when my husband could get off work to help out.  I wrote this so I could hopefully help someone going through the same thing.  Without further ado, here goes.

Week Before Surgery:
This is when I started purchasing everything I had seen online that might be helpful.  I also started setting up an area on the main floor where I could be inclined for sleeping and have everything at my finger tips.  At the bottom of this post I will have a list of items that I personally found helpful for my recovery.  I also have food allergies and tried to stay away from them as much as possible.  So my food options may seem different than many online.

Two Days Before Surgery:
I read online it would be a good idea to pre-fill any prescriptions needed for post operation.  So, I called the doctors office and asked them if I could do that.  They had me come in and pick up my prescription - Hycet (liquid Vicodin).  Little did I know it was almost impossible to get this anywhere without a 3-4 day wait.  Thankfully I remembered them saying most people get their prescription filled at the hospital.  So, I went to the hospital's pharmacy and got it filled there.

Day of Surgery:
I was and still am completely in awe of how God kept me calm not only the day of surgery but the weeks and months that led up to it.  I have truly experience "the peace that passes all understanding". My husband and daughter took me to the surgery center where my procedure would be done.  The wait was fairly short. They put in an iv port (tried once to no avail so they had to move up my arm) and not too longer after that administered some anti-anxiety meds - standard procedure.  I was shocked at how quickly they kicked in.  My friend Angela  was so right.  After they put that in I didn't care what was going on around me.  I vaguely remember getting wheeled into the operating room at that point and then a nurse adding something to my iv and I got incredibly tired.  Before I knew it I was in the recovery room with a nurse asking if I wanted my family in the room yet.  I told her no because I was having a hard time waking up.  Not too long after my husband and daughter came in.  I was in no pain what-so-ever, just very tired.  We arrived home and I immediately went to my recovery area, laid down and before too long was out like a light.  I slept several hours.  When I awoke, I took my meds.    At this point my writing is very to the point, not at all story like.  This is what I journaled during the actual recovery process.

Day 1:
Hard time waking up after I arrived home from the surgery center.  
Ate - scrambled eggs twice, mushy quinoa noodles with butter and coconut milk ice cream. 
Burning from liquid Vicodin.  Chase quickly with ice water.
Drank iced water, apple juice and bodyarmour almost every hour.
Tired a lot.
Uvula is huge and sides of tongue are numb.
Cried like a baby at one point for no reason.  I'm guessing it was my body ridding itself of anesthesia.  My body takes a long time to get thugs out of my system.
Humidifier on at night.

Day 2:
Throat started feeling scratchy so I'm doing 10ml every 5 hours instead of every 6.  Directions said 10-15ml every 4-6 hours.  I'm starting slow and going up as needed.  No pain really.  Uvula is still absolutely massive.  
Breakfast was scrambled eggs and oat bran with honey and butter.  The oat bran got stuck on the scabs, bad idea.  I had a few bits of burger and some mushy quinoa noodles with butter for lunch.  Later I made an icy with frozen Bodyarmour Popsicles microwaved for 30 seconds and blended it withaloe Vera juice.  Later I had some some coconut milk ice cream.  So far that tastes and feels the best on my throat.  Dinner was a homemade puréed potato soup cooled to room temp.  So good!
Very tired because I didn't sleep much last night from waking every hour to drink iced drinks.  I also iced my neck last night and this afternoon.
I feel like I'm sailing through it but I'm just waiting for these scabs to slough off and be in agony...
I walked around a few times today and hubby took me for a ride to Starbucks and I got an ice water.  He thought id need to get out for a bit.

Day 3:
Ear pressure today.  Not bad just noticeable.
Fatigue is off the charts.
I have had the same foods with the addition of a cheese sandwich, microwaved, then cooled.  I also have added a banana, raw honey, avocado, protein powder and ice water smoothie.  
The throat pain is slowly but steadily increasing.  I'm still keeping my meds at 10ml every 5 hours.  I notice as the scabs grow more and more, my ears hurt more.  Not awful, just noticeable.  
I took a shower today and it felt good but wore me out quick.  
Brushing my teeth and tongue 2-3 times per day.
Finally realized apple juice gave me awful gas.
My son got home from camp today and is determined to not leave my side in the evenings.  

Day 4:
I slept in 4 hour increments last night which was nice.  
Ears hurt more this morning as does my throat but it's not unbearable.  
Again, crazy fatigue!  I find after I take Hycet I'm terribly tired until I get about 45 minutes from taking my next dose.  Then I'm awake for a bit as well as coherent.  Tv watching the last few days along with reading has been few and far between because I just fall asleep.
Still pushing fluids, but not as much as before.  I'm trying to up it today.
Tried white grape juice today and it burned.
I added French toast and tuna with just mayo on white.
Pain meds run out an hour before

Day 5:
Woke up just before 4:00am in pain that brought me to tears, some scabs fell off.  Also, awful nausea From my period - worse period day.  Went upstairs crying to Matt.  If this is what's to come the next 5-8 days I might lose it.
Meds wear out 1 1/2 hours before my next 5 hour stretch but I don't want to up them.  
I added a bit of very moist chicken and well mashed sweet potatoes to my food list.
My ears are hurting consecutively worse daily and today headaches started as well.
When the meds kick in it helps a lot but doesn't take away all the pain anymore.

Day 6:
Accidentally slept through taking my meds this morning by 1 1/2 hours and felt pretty bad when I woke up.  It's 11:53 and still not great.
The rice sock helps a lot for ear pain.  Ear pain is not good.  I look pretty funny when I use the sock for ears and ice packs on my throat at the same time.
Still resting a lot and shocking haven't gotten through the Gilmore Girls yet.  Caution, crying makes my throat feel awful!  Thanks Lorelei and Luke.
I've cried several times today from pain and emotions.  Only I should be half way through by now.

Day 7:
Last night I couldn't breathe because of phlegm build up and stuff stuck in my throat.  Bad idea eating cheese and eating two bites of soft serve ice cream.
Tried to eat oatmeal...too painful.
I've had a few scrambled eggs and am now eating coconut milk ice cream at 12:30.
Pushing more water again.
Little bit of blood tinged mucous today.  Matt was so kind knowing I can be paranoid.  He talked me down from a freak out.  
Worse head/ear pain.  Eating 1/2 hour after meds helps.

Day 8:
Woke up at 2:45am, 15 minutes away from taking my next 5 hour stretch of Hycet to be met with so much pain I almost passed out.  It was after I had spit out what was in my throat.  Whether it was phlegm build up for scab I don't know.  I downed the Hycet as fast as I could chased by some ice water and stood there shaking/jaw trembling for minutes till the pain meds kicked in.  Sick to my stomach and still in shock at the amount of pain now 45 minutes later while holding an ice pack to my throat.  I really hope this eases up by day 10-12.  Now, to make sure to adequately hydrate.  
Today I went back to a more soft and liquid diet.  Pain is def from scabs falling off.  It's a burning kind of pain and even cold water hurts.  A huge scab came off this afternoon and this evening I noticed a tiny blood clot and a bit of bleeding where it was.  I called the doctor and he said as long as it quits bleeding after applying ice water it should be okay.  Much more rest, no drama and more hydrating tomorrow.  My brother was mean which led to me sobbing hard for 15 minutes, kids were difficult and I did some light housework today.  I need to avoid all that tomorrow.

Day 9:
The pain is to the point where while I'm still doing 10ml of Hycet, I've now bumped it between 4&5 hours depending on how I feel.  The pain for me now can be described as burning.  Anywhere the scab has come off burns when the pain meds wear off or when anything touches it.  I find myself holding my saliva in and swallowing less.  It's takes a conscious effort to swallow.
I wasn't able to eat anything till about 7pm.  Everything else was a liquid or soup with protein powder.   I haven't really talked much today from pain and not wanting to encourage another blood clot. I tried to drink 12 ounces of water every 1 1/2 hours.  I fell short 12 ounces overall.
I need to make sure to open the blinds tomorrow because it feels like days a blurring together since I'm not getting outside or opening curtains.  Very bad for my emotional health.
I have my appointment Wednesday - 5 days from now.  Lord willing I'll be able to eat more normally by then.

Day 10: 
Not much different from day 9. 
Had a bit of blood in mucus again several times today but I've been keeping up with cold pureed lentil soup, ice water and coconut milk ice cream.  Oh, for breakfast I had a pancake and scrambled eggs.
I got up for 15 minutes to help the kids and was dizzy, nauseous and exhausted.  I think building up my energy may take awhile.  
I'm finding my tongue is constantly tingly and has been since surgery.  I also have headaches now which I didn't before.  I also feel like and saw something that to me looked like a mini tonsil on my left side in my mouth just under my tongue.  It's weird but I figure the doctor I go and see Wednesday will tell me what it is.  
This evening I got to 6 hours and no major pain, just a bit.  I'm going with the low dosage of 10ml I've stayed with and setting my alarm for 6 hours and see how that goes.  If I'm not in any pain at all I'll wait longer between.  
Still spitting out lots of mucous.  It's actually good to have a foam cup to spit saliva into.  Nasty, but I go through a lot less Kleenex this way.

Day 11 and 12:
I've turned the corner, although I do have bloody saliva on and off.  Just a bit here and there from different spots.  When that happens I immediately drink ice water and hold it in the area that's bleeding.  So far the bleeding has always stopped.
My uvula swelling is finally starting to ease up some and the tingling in my tongue while still there isn't as severe.
I'm still very fatigued but am able to do small tasks a few times per day.
I have my voice back but am using it sparingly.  I find when I talk to much I'm in pain.

Days 13 and 14:

I slowly have more and more energy.  On day 13 I was able to prepare very simple meals for my children for breakfast and lunch as well as make a simple blueberry crumble bar for my husband.  We missed celebrating our anniversary because of my recovery and I wanted to do something special for him.  I didn't care much before about not getting out of the house but now that I'm taking less Hycet and I'm more aware as well as feeling better (slowly) I'm itching to go do some grocery shopping to get out of the house.  I realized yesterday that I'm getting some feeling back in my tongue but the edges are still tingly.   I don't have much taste at all.  My diet is still very bland and easy.  For breakfast today I had steel cut oatmeal with some whey protein powder added, chopped banana and a bit of maple syrup.  I still have this place on the left side of my throat that feels swollen on and off almost like a mini tonsil - that's what it feels like at least.  I'm curious to see what the ENT says today.  I'm still trying to drink plenty of water and liquids.  I haven't strayed from white grape juice, water or BodyArmour drinks.  For me, I've wanted cold food and liquids the entire time.  In total I believe I lost 8 pounds.  I still ice my neck on and off if I've talked to much, or I feel swelling.  I had my follow up appointment today and the doctor said I'm healing well but I still need to be down and rest a lot for at least another week and eat soft foods until I don't see anymore white (scabs) in the back of my throat.  It could be 1-2 more weeks.  I'll be honest, once I got home and let that sink in I started getting depressed.  The possibility of one full month taken away from my summer and from my kids because I can't do anything is pretty much a bummer.  But in all reality, my energy levels are so low anyway that I know I need to rest.  I also started having a metallic taste in my mouth the last several days.  Very gross!  I pray it goes away eventually.  I'm very, very slowly getting some taste back.  The other thing I've found is that I think I may even have a more sensitive nose after this which is crazy because it was already sensitive before.  I stopped taking my pain meds on day 14 and am using tylenol instead.  The pain is pretty much not noticeable.
  • Get help!  The first two weeks you will probably be on pain meds.  Even after you no longer need them, you will find you are incredibly weak.  Plan on the pain lasting about two weeks and building yourself back up at least another week.  See if people can bring you evening meals for two weeks, have someone else clean, do your laundry, run errands, etc... and do as little as possible.  You want to heal as quickly as possible without hemorrhaging.
  • Have a long tv series to watch.  I started Gilmore Girls and it lasted pretty much my whole recovery time.  I found I couldn't read much while on pain meds so watching something light hearted was perfect.
  • Have lots of kleenex or something to spit in.  There will be a lot of mucous.  Very gently get it out.
  • Drink every hour the first couple days.  After that I drank every hour during the daytime and every few hours at night so I could get much needed sleep.  Having iced beverages helps the pain tremendously.  
  • Eat!!!  Whether that is smoothie form or real food, your body needs very nutritious food to be on the mend.  
  • Eat 1/2 hour after taking pain meds.  That's when you'll feel your best.
  • Make sure to set a timer to take your pain meds on time.  
  • Try to keep up with hygiene.  Shower and brush teeth daily if possible.  The teeth I tried to do at least 3 times per day.  There's a lot collecting back in your throat so staying clean helps.  Just be very careful when brushing your teeth and do not gargle. Just gently let the water move around while tilting your head and let it fall out of your mouth.  This is to prevent scabs from coming off earlier than they should and causing excessive bleeding.
  • Your uvula may be very swollen for 2 weeks.  Mine was huge and didn't start getting smaller till the end of the two weeks.  It's still swollen but not act bad.  Sleep inclined.  My life saver was my recliner.  I just had it go down a bit so I was still very propped up.  I tried to lie down once and I couldn't breathe out.  That's kind of nerve wracking.
  • Ear pain for some set in right away but for me it was days later and it was probably just as bad as the throat pain if not worse.  Thankfully pain meds helped me a lot with that.  There were a couple days I iced them.
  • If you think you'll run out of pain meds over a weekend, call your doctor and ask for more.  You don't want to be stuck running out of pain meds and not able to get them because it's a weekend.
  • Have a mirror and flashlight on hand for those times you think you may taste blood.  It's good to see if it's blood or mucus and see where it's coming from.  You can also see how your throat is progressing. You can find pictures of throats post tonsillectomy and what it's supposed to look like - it's not pretty.
  • Keep a positive attitude and realize while it may stink now, it doesn't last forever.  
  • Don't over do it physically.  For the first week or more I was strictly in bed and going to the bathroom to urinate or shower.  When you do start feeling better start out really slow.  Walk around for a bit, sit up outside for fresh air, etc.. When you feel fatigued, go lie back down.  
  • Use a sharpie marker to label bottles of water for the times they should be drank.  That way it's easier to make sure to keep hydrated.
  • Inflatable Travel Pillow - this helps hold on two ice packs at once which is very helpful.
  • Cool Air Humidifier -  to help keep your scabs moist while sleeping.
  • Hand Bell - this helps notify others that you need help when you're not able to speak.
  • Ice Packs - to help with pain and swelling.
  • Foam Cups - they don't sweat and they keep ice colder much longer.
  • Large Stuffed Animal - not only does it help to have something to hug while you're in pain, it helps keep your head propped up to sleep.
  • Hard Plastic Basket - to keep your meds, flashlight, remotes, pens, etc.. in.  This material is best because with it being by the humidifier, it won't get moldy.
  • Aloe Vera Juice - this will help with the pain and healing.
  • Lots of bottled water and a sharpie to label what times you need to start another bottle.  8 ounces every hour is what you want to shoot for.  Make sure to have it iced.  It helps a lot with pain when you stay hydrated.
  • Chicken Broth - This can be used in place of milk when making mashed potatoes, used as a base for soups that you can puree, etc... It adds nutrients to the small amount of food you'll be eating.
  • Frozen Bananas - I used these in smoothies, as "ice cream' and more.  Peel bananas and break in half, then put into a freezer bag and freeze.
  • Hydration Drinks - I purchased BodyArmour because I'm not allergic to the ingredients in it.  In addition to drinking it, I also made several into popsicles.  I'd take 2 popsicles out, microwave them for 30 seconds.  I'd then put them in a blender with some aloe juice and make a homemade slushy.
  • Eggs have been a staple.  I've had them scrambled and hard boiled made into an egg salad with only Just Mayo.  It's so important to get good sources of protein while recovering.
  • Applesauce - I found at first it was easier to eat the baby food applesauce then graduate up to regular.
  • Whey Protein Powder - This can be added to soups, oatmeal, smoothies, give it that protein you will need.
  • Avocado - I used these in smoothies.  It's important to have good fat while recovering as well.
  • Sonic Ice (or other pebble ice) - I can't stress this enough.  This ice was the best for recovery because it's easy to chew.  I went through several bags.
  • Sweet Potatoes - I made mine in the crockpot with a bit of water then skinned and refrigerated them.  They are great to eat plain, make into a soup or make into 2-Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes.  They are highly nutritious.
  • Quinoa and Rice Noodles from Trader Joes - It takes a bit longer to make these super mushy but my husband got it down to a science.  Add a bit of butter.
  • So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - Dairy is a huge no-no.  It causes even more mucous build up and that in turn caused me to not be able to breathe well at one point when I had just two bites of soft serve ice cream.  

Day 16:
I have awful chills, cold sweats last night, nausea (I think I might vomit), low grade fever,  headache, diarrhea...I just feel awful.  I called my ENT to see if it was from the meds and he said pain meds can cause "stomach distress" but I probably had a virus.  I called the pharmacy to see what they thought and they said it absolutely could be from stopping my pain meds cold turkey.  She suggested I take 5ml of my pain medication and if I feel better, that's what was causing the symptoms.  Sure enough the pharmacist was right.  After looking online, this is the schedule I'm using to wean myself off of my pain meds from where they were before.  Here's to hoping my body adjusts ok.

Hycet Withdrawal Tapering Guide.
Days 17 and 18:
Take 5ml every 7 hours.

Day 19 and 20:
Take 5ml every 9 hours.

Day 21 and 22:
Take 2.5 ml every 9 hours

Day 23 and 24:
take 2.5 ml every 11 hours.

Day 25 and 26:
Take once per day.

Day 22:
I woke up at 1:00am this morning with awful diarrhea.  It's happened 5 times in the last 8 hours.   I'm not sure if it's food poisoning from eating out yesterday, from the ice cream I had last night since I haven't had dairy since the surgery, or if it's from weaning off the pain meds.  Either way it stinks - no pun intended.  lol.  Other than this, the weaning has been going pretty well.  I only had a slight headache and sweats one other night.  I'm so thankful. Here's to hoping the rest is cake from here.  As far as my throat, it still feels full and if I talk a lot my throat swells and my jaw hurts.  My family says my voice is sounding more normal, just like I have a full throat.  There is still a little bit of white scab on my throat but it's almost gone.  I'm still eating soft foods for the most part and drinking as much cold water as I can. I think it helps with the swelling.  I have yet to have a hot cup of tea, hot food or exercise.  However I have gotten out with all 4 kids doing some grocery shopping and taking 3 of them to the park.  My energy up until the diarrhea early this morning has been coming back slowly but steadily.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention, my uvula is almost back to it's normal size.  I still have a very slight tingling in my tongue that I don't notice unless I think of it.  The metallic taste is gone and almost all my taste is back.  I also don't have to spit phlegm in a cup more than 3 or 4 times per day.  Before I had to several times an hour.

Day 32:
I'm still having swelling issues making it hard to swallow and difficult to say certain words.  The sore throat is on and off.  I am off my pain meds which makes me so happy!  I'm still trying to build up energy.  Sure enough my doctor cut off the soft palette on my left side.  That is something I plan on talking to him about when I go in Tuesday to figure out why I still have swelling and a hard time breathing on and off.

Day 34:
I went to another ENT appointment today because I still have lots of swelling and pain on and off. He said the surgical area looks good and will continue to tighten over time (still a few more months). He used a fun little scope to go through my nose and look at my throat and said my "secondary tonsils" looked swollen. They are in the throat under the tongue. I am now on an antibiotic, and steroid which will be followed up by an antiungal. 

Here are some tips you may find helpful.

Here is the list of things I purchased that helped me.  You can also visit my Surviving  an Adult Tonsillectomy board on pinterest.

Post Tonsillectomy Recovery List:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Working Out and Christian Workout Music/Playlist

If you have read past posts, I had very bad health for several years.  That followed a bout of difficulties and depression as well as hormonal imbalances.  At this current time in my life, my body is doing okay :)  I started working out because I knew it was good for my hormones and depression.  Turns out I love it!  However, I still need to be careful not to overdo it and cause more hormonal problems.

Starting out I simply walked or rebounded.  Rebounding was great for my joints since I was diagnosed with osteopenia several years ago.  I would do 5 minutes of walking or rebounding before I knew it was time to stop.

Moving forward I realized weight bearing exercises would be good for my osteopenia.  Taking it very slowly I got a weight bench and put it in my basement.  However, that was short lived because it's difficult trying to workout with a crawling baby in a basement full of things that could potentially hurt him.  I was constantly stopping my routine to help him.

Next, I decided to purchase dumbbells and a rack (off of craigslist).  I can have it on the main floor where I can watch the baby and things are baby proofed.  Now my trampoline and weight rack with several sized dumbbells are ready for me to do my 4 day a week routine.  I was also able to purchase a gently used punching bag.  That will come in hand for the winter depression issues - something new and fun along with being good for my health.

Why am I blogging now when I haven't for so long?  Well, first I wanted to get my Christian playlist up.  It seems no one has a good Christian music playlist up for working out on Pinterest, so I thought I'd add one.  Second, to give hope to those who have health issues who cannot work out a lot but can do a bit.  Below is where I started and where I am now.

Initial Workouts:
Walking or rebounding for 5 minutes.  This led to longer workout times.

2nd Phase:
5 barbell exercises in the basement with dancing as my warm up 5 minutes before.

3rd phase:
Warming up by dancing or on my trampoline.
Monday, and Thursday - Wall pushups, dumbbell shrug, barbell curl, tricep kickback and wrist curls.
Wed. - Friday - Reverse crunch, pelvic tilt, squats, leg lifts, calve raises and toe lifts.

4th phase (Just started and haven't figured out yet if it's too much. Time will tell.):
Warming up by dancing/jumping on trampoline and doing jumping jacks.
Monday - Thursday - Modified pushups, dumbbell shrugs, upright row, seated tricep dips, barbell curls, overhead shoulder press, tricep kick back and wrist curls.
Wednesday - Friday - Plank, dumbbell side bender, reverse crunch, pelvic tilt, squats, leg lifts, lateral leg lifts, calve raises, toe lifts.

I'm so thankful my body is keeping up.  I don't know how long this will last but I'm so thankful while it's here.  I also received results from my bone density scan and instead of my body getting worse like it has the past times, I have seen improvement!  I'm so super excited!

Below is a list of the songs I use on random play for my workout.
My True Love - Plumb
Everybody Get Up - Rapture Ruckus
Boomerang - Rapture Ruckus
Mr. Roboto - Rapture Ruckus
Anthem - Superchick
Let the Sparks Fly - Thousand Foot Crutch
Monster - Skillet
Tonight - TobyMac
Gold - Beckah Shae
#putyourloveglasseson - Beckah Shae
Funky Jesus Music - TobyMac
Momentum - TobyMac
Y.W.N.T.M.D. - Beacon Light
Overload - Beacon Light
Make Some Noise - Krystal Meyers
Rock the Party - P.O.D.
Get Up - Blanca

Monday, March 30, 2015

Healthy Food After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

I'm having my very first wisdom tooth extracted Wednesday.  I have a lot of food allergies (corn, soy, wheat, chocolate, lettuce and coffee) and I've been trying to figure out what I can have that will mostly (mostly) stick to my diet.  Most people I talk to eat jello, ice cream and broth.  I wanted a bit more than that so here goes :)

Jello is good one but did you know you can make it out of 100% fruit juice and gelatin?  That keeps it corn free of for me ;)  Martha Stewart has a good recipe that works very well.  Homemade Fruit Juice Gelatin.

Stonyfield Whole Milk French Vanilla Yogurt is def. on this girls list.  You can eat it by itself or make a very yummy smoothie with orange juice, frozen banana and this yogurt.  That way you're also getting a good source of vitamin c.  

Mashed Potatoes - enough said right ;)  If you aren't allergic to corn or wheat, make some homemade chicken gravy up ahead of time too.

Tribe Classic Hummus!  Since I'm allergic to soy there are a lot of brands of hummus I can't have.  Fortunately, I can have this one.

Unsweetened Applesauce cups.  Yep, this one is a given like jello isn't it?  Going unsweetened doesn't mean it's not sweet.  It just means there's no high fructose corn syrup in it.

Broth!  This is probably the most popular I've read about.  But instead of purchasing it at the store and getting barely any nutrients out of it, make it at home a day or two before.  It's super simple to make and very nourishing no matter what state your body is in.  Learn how to make this lovely broth here.

Naked Protein Mango Smoothie.  This is the one thing I'm cheating on when it comes to my allergy diet.  There is soy in this for the protein factor.  But, it's easy to pick up and have ready. There are lots of fruits in this as well.  Having 4 kids and a husband who works a lot, it's important for me to have a couple of these for my sanity ;)

Last but not least Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.  I freeze very ripe bananas ahead of time.  Throw a frozen banana, some milk and peanut butter in the blender and you're good to go.  Alternatives are alternative milks or water, yogurt, vanilla, etc...  The basic recipe offers vitamins and protein.  You can find the simple version of this here.

So, here's to hoping my recovery is quick.  I don't like the thought of any kind of surgery minor or not.  But I am very thankful for all the posts and information online that helped me put this list together.  

I have some more information posted on my pinterest account under health.  Feel free to visit me there.

Wish me luck ;)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Elimination Diet and Rotation Diet for Allergies

Crazy Elimination and Rotation Diets 

FYI - I will be updating this post as I try new recipes and come up with more ideas.  

I have had several doctor/specialists visits lately.  One of which addressed food allergies and the elimination and rotation diet I am supposed to go through.    Some of the information I got in a pamphlet from my allergist - Dr. Natzke - cited Sally Rockwell and the route she uses to help with the elimination and rotation diet.  I was not too excited with her examples of meals to have during this time so I made up my own.  I hope this helps someone through this time.  

I set up my meals on a 4 day rotation.  I am for the most part making up big batches of the same kinds of foods and freezing them so it will make things easier in the long run.  I will be doing my rotation diet for 1 month while eliminating all my allergens, then reintroducing them after the 1 month mark.

Below is the meal plan I have made based on Sally Rockwell's listing of foods you can have every 4 days while on the rotation diet.  It's possible I may have made a mistake or two.  Also, I'm allergic to soy, corn, wheat, chocolate, coffee, and lettuce (romaine and iceberg).  While the foods you can have in any given day is incredibly restrictive for this foodie, I did what I could to try to help make things still be tasty   I got several of my recipes online and had to tweak them to fit in with what I'm supposed to have on certain days.  For instance, in almost every soup I make I put in onion, garlic and celery.  However, in this rotation diet I cannot do that so I will simply omit those items.  Or, if I can have shallots one day, I'll replace the onion in recipes for that.  Ground turkey seems to be the most economical and easy way to have turkey so I will be using that.  Sally Rockwell has a Basic Dressing Recipe in her books.   

I have the below list on my refrigerator.  Under each day I put the days of that month I have to eat those foods.  So for instance, Day 1 dates are 1, 5, 7, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, and 29.  The more food I have prepped and ready to go, the easier it is to look at that specific day and see, then grab what I have to eat for that day.

Day 1 
Oils or fats that I will use are butter, and olive oil.
Sweeteners I will use are honey, raisins and beet sugar.

Buckwheat pancakes - use baking soda and cream of tartar in place of baking powder, and use beat sugar.  Serve with berries and honey.
Herbal tea.

Lunch Options:
Chicken Kale soup - use onion in place of leeks, leave out carrots, and celery.  Serve with apple or grapes.

Kale, chicken, apples, onion, walnuts and homemade dressing.

Roasted Chicken served with sauteed greens and onions as well as lima beans.

Burger and cow cheese with squash and/or beets.

Dinner Options:
Burger and cow cheese with squash and/or beets.

Beef stir fry with sesame oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, peas, broccoli.

Roasted chicken served with spaghetti squash and homemade alfredo sauce.

Beef meatballs (made with egg, garlic, onion, salt and pepper) served with spaghetti squash, butter and parmesan cheese.

Walnuts/hazelnuts and raisins/dried papaya
Cow Cheese
Hard boiled eggs

Day 2
Oils or fats that I will use are olive oil.
Sweeteners I will use are stevia and dates.

Turkey sausage - do not use the garlic and use turkey not chicken.  I also used extra sage, and basil.  
Hashbrowns - I cook potatoes in microwave or oven till almost done then refrigerate.  In the morning I put oil in the pan and shred the potatoes in it.  Use  sunflower seed or apricot oil for this ... or just a non-stick pan.
Herbal tea

Lunch Options:
Turkey soup - carrots, potatoes/yams, parsley, turkey broth and seasonings (thyme, basil, oregano, etc...)

Turkey burgers (from breakfast) served with oven roasted sweet potato fries (leave out the garlic).

Turkey rice stir fry with ground turkey, sesame oil, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, ginger and crushed red pepper.

Turkey hash made with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, thyme, sage, crushed red pepper and salt.

Almond butter with rice cakes.
Almonds with dates.
Bell peppers and/or carrots with almonds or almond butter.

Day 3
Oils or fats that I will use are canola oil or olive oil.
Sweeteners I will use are Maple syrup and figs.

Goat milk yogurt pops (at Whole Foods) with raspberries or pineapple and maple syrup.  Here's a recipe for pineapple pops.
Herbal tea

Lunch Options:
Buffalo burgers served with sautéed summer squash and shallots or summer squash noodles made with a Veggetti made with olive oil, shallots, salt and pepper.

Mjaddra (minus the rice and made with shallots instead of onions) with spinach salad (spinach, radish, shallots, and goat cheese) with simple dressing.

Dinner Options:
Simple Hummus (recipe at the bottom)
Spinach salad with radish, shallots, asparagus, and basic dressing
Roasted cauliflower, Brussel sprouts 

Taco salad with buffalo taco meat (homemade taco seasoning), black beans, goat cheese and basic dressing.

Simple Hummus (recipe at the bottom) and asparagus.
Goat cheese and pears or figs.
Pecans and figs.
Figs, goat cheese and pecans drizzled with maple syrup.

Day 4
Oils or fats that I will use are avocado, coconut or olive oil.
Sweeteners I will use are cane sugar and coconut sugar.

Cashews or homemade cashew butter.
Oatmeal with cane sugar and banana.
Herbal tea

Lunch Options:
Tuna avocado salad - add ins allowed are celery, mustard, and olive oil.  Serve with Tomato Parsnip soup 

Cod served with Tomato Parsnip soup or roasted sweet potatoes and/or parsnips.

Dinner Options:
Same thing as lunch.  We can only have one type of fish per day.  So either cod for both lunch and dinner or tuna for both lunch and dinner.  Salmon is also on the approved list as are many others but I really don't like them very well.

Banana ice cream - Freeze peeled bananas, then take out and blend.  Banana ice cream :)
Cashews, pistachios

There you have it.  I hope this has been helpful.  There are other choices on each day as options but I either won't eat them or they are not very cost effective.  I have a family of 6 and have to make sure this is affordable for me to do.  Here goes!  Wish me luck as I get through this next month.  I have something else FUN I have to do in February.  I'll put the details up then ;)

In the meantime, going out can be fun.  I can go to a movie and order water.  I can also have herbal tea at Starbucks.  That's pretty much it but I'm counting my blessings.  Thanks for the Starbucks gift card mom, it will come in VERY handy!


Simple Hummus
You can't use ingredients you normally would for hummus because of this diet.  Also I do not have tahini on hand so I have made this simplified version.  I accidentally put too much salt in one time so I added a can of drained and rinsed black beans since I didn't have time to cook more garbanzo beans.  It turned out lovely!  Serve with asparagus or anything else on your day 3 list you're allowed to have.

garbanzo beans
olive oil

1. Cook garbanzo beans until tender (about 40 mins. to an hour) and run under cold water or open a can of cooked garbanzo beans.  De-skin so you get that wonderful, smooth texture.
2. Place in blender and blend till broken up.  Add in rest of ingredients - just a touch of each to taste.  
3. Thin with water till desired texture.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Long Time No See

I want to first profusely apologize for not blogging in such a long time.  Two of my biggest fears came to pass within the past 6 months and it's been all I can do at times to stay afloat.  Details....not now.  When there is victory I would love to post the story but for now things are still raw, hard and painful.  There are days I'll be honest I'm barely holding on.  It is by God's grace alone and prayers of the faithful that keep me sustained.  Just tonight entrenched in yet another bath of tears I was talking to God about how I just can't do this anymore.  How this is taking a bigger tole on me than I could ever have dreamed.  How my heart aches every single day but some days it literally feels like it's going to explode through my chest.  The pain sometimes seems unbearable.  As I'm telling this to God, a song ran through my head.

"In Christ alone
my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all, here in the love of Christ, I'll stand"

I went through this amazing devotional that I just finished last week.  I'm very sad to be done with it.  It's called Finding God's Path Through Your Trials.  The thing I keep picturing in my mind is where they said we can choose to go through our trials or turn back and try to run away from them.  But in these trials, should we choose to face them and push through them, the refining process at the end of the trial will be so amazing.  We will be more able to be used for God's glory because of what we gain from the trial itself.  The picture it used was a stream that we can choose to cross so we can get to the other side.  The only way to get to our destination is through the stream (our trial).  But we can choose to waste time trying to go around it or turn back.   Great, great devotional.  I won't say anymore in case you all want to read it.

So why the post?  Well, I realized today how much I've missed blogging and how it was something I really enjoyed in the past.    Things right now may not be all rosy but God has put many wonderful things in my life despite the things and heartache we're dealing with right now.  Your prayers are most definitely coveted.

Quick family update :)

The first crazy update is we are no longer going to be homeschooling this coming fall.  Our daughter is already in a private school and has been for a couple months now.  She's loving it and thriving.  Again, something I'd rather not delve into as to why.  It's not at all what I had planned for our family.  But this is where life is leading us for now.

Allysha is 13 (14 in June), Jon just turned 7, Joshua is 3 1/2 and baby Daniel is 5 1/2 months old.  They are each such a joy and little lights in my life.  Allysha is now taller than her daddy which is just plain crazy.  In fact she has been for quite some time.  We are currently redoing her bedroom.  Pictures to come soon!

The boys...well they are all just busy as ever.  We finished up our last year of homeschooling with Jon last week.  It's crazy!  He has turned into quite the crazy soccer champ.  For now, he wants to move onto something else, and that is totally fine with me.  I love that he wants to learn all kinds of new skills.  He is so loving and caring.  Definitely strong willed like I've never seen (believe it or not lol) but I know God has a great plan for his life.

Joshua is such a tiny little guy but he's convinced he's a very big boy.  He taunts Jon a lot which is hilarious because Jon is so much bigger and stronger but that doesn't stop Josh one bit.  He is quite feisty but yet definitely a little lover boy.  I love how my boys love their mama!

Daniel - aka Danny or Dan the Man is such a sweetie boy!  He's such a mild tempered baby.  You will see before he was born that I was afraid of the pregnancy.  Wow, God sure used this little guy to bring joy into this desert of my life.  He has put a smile on my face many times when I didn't think I could have one.  He has been the driving force in making sure I take care of myself so I can properly feed him.  He smiles SO much!  Gosh I love that little guy.  Speaking of...I have to cut this short because he's crying and needing to eat.

Thank you for all your prayers and support.  Pictures of the family to come soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baby Daniel Is Here!

Enjoy the pictures and birth story.  I have not had time to proof-read so I apologize for any mistake.  

My friend Angela took this picture along with the next 4 pictures.  She did such a great job!

 My daughter Allysha singing to her baby brother.

 Daddy with all his boys! 

 The first time the kids saw baby.

Daddy is in love.

Because of my elevated blood pressure, my induction date for our dear Daniel was on Thursday, November 8th.  I was so ready to have him and so excited we had a date that we would have him for sure.

Daniel…well, he decided he didn't want to wait till 6am the morning of his induction.  No way!  He decided he wanted to start the process at midnight.  This is when I started having intense contractions right away 5-7 minutes apart.  By 2pm I went to the bathroom, wiped and saw "boody show".  I knew then it was on.  Contractions at this point were closer yet.  I called hubby up to get things around for me.  With high bp…I had to stay down as much as possible and let me tell you, laboring on your left side alone stinks!  Yes I had my lovely back labor again.  

We got into the car ready to go - I sat out waiting while Matt went back in a couple times - for what I can't remember. I just remember the windows were frosted and I was shaking so bad; my whole body.  Not just from the cold but that's how my body was acting during labor.  As my husband drove me to the hospital, contractions were getting much harder and were 2-3 minutes apart.  When we arrived, I got into a wheel chair and was wheeled up to labor and delivery  while Matt parked the car.  I cried at the fact he wouldn't be going up with me initially but wiped my tears and tried to pull up my big girl panties.  Just as I sat down, my water broke.  Good thing I had a pad on as I was expecting this.

When I arrived at about 2:30pm, I was put in the midwife room - love it!  It's nice and large and even has a queen sized bed along with the regular hospital bed for laboring.  I was told to change into a gown which I felt I could barely do with how I was feeling.  I got on the toilet and contractions again were insane.  I got the gown on, their disposable socks and got into bed remembering I had to lay down to keep my bp down.  I'd do whatever it took to have this little guy vaginally.  It's funny how they say they have to check and make sure it's truly the water that broke.  When mine breaks it doesn't trickle, it's gushes.  But check they did.  lol  We went on for a few hours with labor definitely making progress.  My body got to 6-7 centimeters on it's own which has never happened before!  I'm so glad it worked so well.  At this point with not being able to move, sit on my ball, etc… because of bp, I ended up asking for an epideral.  My main reason other than pain was adrenal issues.  I had the same type of back pain with my last labor and really think the trauma of it all contributed to adrenal issues later.  The epideral was put in around 6:30am and my blood pressure dropped like a rock down to 74/44 and I felt pretty crappy kinda in and out of it.  I was given a couple things in my iv to help bring it back up.  The whole time I had my sweet hubby fan me as I thought I was either going to throw up, pass out or both.  Praise God things started to even out and my body came back to a much better place.  Things started going numb from the waist down and I finally got some much needed relief.  It was actually quite wonderful.  My body quit shaking like it had the entire time and not only was I able to relax, I was able to take short naps which was a HUGE blessing!  If you know anything about epiderals you know that they can slow labor and that it did.  They had to use a bit of pitocin to get my body to start back up again and it worked great.

It got to the point where I could start feeling contractions up high in my belly but not in my back…then I literally felt baby moving down the birth canal.  I'm guessing this was around 10:30am or so???  No pain, just feeling him move down.  It was honestly the coolest feeling because I had no pain but could feel what was happening.  He'd go down, then come up a bit.  After that went on for awhile, I felt him really moving low and asked them to check me because I felt like he was there ready to come out.  Sure enough, they say half a head!!!  My body was pushing him out on it's own.  I have pushed to get the rest of his head out and then one full push and the rest of him came out.  The crazy thing was my midwife wasn't expecting him to come that soon and she was just on her way up.  She missed the delivery and the nurses in there ended up delivery my sweet baby boy.  My midwife walked in just afterwards and apologized…I was just super happy my baby was here safe and sound - so thankful!  Daniel was born at 12:28pm which was just in time for mama to have her lunch she had ordered in.  lol!  See, he's a good boy to his mama already!  He was immediately put on my belly which I love!  I got more emotional this time than I ever have before.  My midwife looked at me and said "you look SO happy!"  I indeed was!  She said my placenta looked incredibly healthy which I was SO happy for!

And…he has hair!!!!!  My first son didn't have any and my second only had peach fuzz.  I really wanted a dark haired baby and God saw to even give me my want…not just a healthy baby but one with dark hair. 

Fast forward to today - he's 5 days old and is my little dream boy.  He's such a good, sweet baby.  He nurses so well and has since birth.  Yes…definitely baby mooning here.