When I’m Sick

when I'm sick

I hate when I’m sick.  I realize not many people like it but some definitely cope better than others, more content (the advantage of being introverted, I guess) to lounge around day after day.  Not me, it’s driving me crazy!

A Cold or RSV but not Covid?

These past two weeks I have been feeling miserable, with a hacking cough and sinus infection.  Hubby caught whatever it is a few days after me.  His coughing is worse (chestier) than mine as his lungs are weakened by allergies. He typically suffers much longer than I do too.

It hit me the day we were scheduled to host Christmas dinner, a mere week after we arrived home from Florida. I woke up with a scratchy throat, assuming it was from a poor sleep. I performed a rapid antigen test, the kind we have available at our local grocers, just to be sure it was not Covid related, so I could warn family members (before they arrived) if it was.

I have repeatedly tested myself for Covid since then with negative results.  Who knows though, if rapid tests are capable of detecting the current variants.

Immune Systems

My immune system used to be much stronger, in fact, at one point in my life its over-reaction was the final verdict (after thousands of tests) in the saga of my stillbirths.  

Within the past (almost) three years that hasn’t been the case.  Instead, I seem to catch everything that goes around. I know I’m (aren’t we all?) getting older but this seems drastic to me, considering otherwise I’m in good shape and health. I guess that’s why they have an over 60 category in vaccination availability, I just keep forgetting that this category refers to me.

My immune system has definitely been significantly weaker since I was sick with a brutal cold in February of 2020, the worse one I’ve ever experienced.   I now believe that the virus that struck me down back then was Covid-19, before Covid was a household name here.  At least here in Canada. Suspicious theories have it lurking long before we reacted to it (shut down) in mid-March, 2020.

Due to our weakened immune systems, and the desire to travel and spend time with our six rapidly-growing, active grandchildren, we obligingly rolled up our sleeves for four rounds of Covid vaccinations over the past two and a half years, and one flu shot most recently. I hate to think how sick we would be without all those shots; it sure does make you wonder about their efficacy. But that’s a whole other story, one I’m quite happy to let the scientists rule on.

Limited Accomplishments When I’m Sick

I’ve been getting lots of rest, in fact wake up in the mornings thinking I’m better, only to be frustrated with a return of coughing fits and green-filled (gross) sinuses around 2 pm. I did the same that other time I was so sick, thought I had recuperated when I had in fact not. Passing out in the shower was the rude awakening then, so this time I am trying to be more patient. Pun intended.

I’ve managed little things around the house, like (lovingly) banishing Christmas decorations to the garage for another year.  And sprouting and potting up new plant babies that were meant to be birthday gifts for my two late-December-celebrating daughters-in-law.  I figured with no human babies due this year (that I know of) some plant babies would be appropriate.  If you two are reading this, your (plant) babies are still here waiting for me to be healthy enough to drop them off.  And, I cannot wait to spend time with your real babies!  And you and your husbands of course. That is the worst part when I’m sick. Hands down, this extrovert misses her family.

Spending time chatting with my youngest son has also been a bonus as he’s been home from Victoria for a month over the holidays.  Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go out much; lunches at new (to us) spots are our favourite. We did go check out the outdoor Christmas lights in our neighborhood and downtown one evening though. And cheered on the Canadian hockey team as it competed in the World Juniors tournament, emerging as the champions in the final game. Some of the games, including the final, were a little too nail-bitingly exciting, with the winning goal delayed until 3-on-3 overtime. Despite my cold, I was able to hold my breath (both in fear and anticipation) as well as yell and cheer loudly, joining many other hockey fans across this hockey-loving country.

That’s about the extent of my excitement though, so far this year…Cheers to a happy and healthy 2023!

photo credit

Ten Signs you are Gluten Intolerant

ten signs you are gluten intolerant
photo credit:  pexels-photo-265216
 
 
This article from MINDBODYGREEN.COM,  was one of the first I read on the subject years ago when I first suspected I was wheat intolerant.  I thought then that it had some good information, worth passing on.  It now bears repeating as much of it still applies…
 
 
More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.
 
 
It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?
 
 
If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance:
 
1.  Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and even constipation, with constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.
 
2.  Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends to be a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.
 
3.  Fatigue, brain fog, or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
 
4.  Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis.
 
5.  Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off-balance.
 
6.  Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS, or unexplained infertility.
 
7.  Migraine headaches.
 
8.  Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pinpoint the cause of your fatigue or pain.
 
9.  Inflammation, swelling, or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees, or hips.
 
       10.  Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, and ADD.
 

 

How to test for gluten intolerance

The single best way to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to perform an elimination diet where you would take it out of your diet for at least 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.
 
The best advice is that if you feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when you reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for you.  In order to get accurate results from this testing method, you must elimination 100% of the gluten from your diet.
 

How to treat gluten intolerance

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross-contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.  The 80/20 rule or “we don’t eat it in our house, just when we eat out” is a complete misconception. Research has shown that for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eating gluten just once a month increased the relative risk of death by 600%.
 
 
Many of these facts remain relevant today, almost twenty years later.  I myself have been eating gluten-free for almost ten years.  I say gluten-free although I was diagnosed with an intolerance to wheat, not gluten.  Gluten-free is wheat-free, but not vice versa, so I say gluten-free when eating outside of my home. 
 
Occasionally I “cheat” and consume something with a bit of wheat in it, but usually regret it later with stomach cramps and diarrhea, depending on just how much wheat I consumed.  I know I probably should not do that, but it does keep me eating healthy.  This cheating is not recommended for someone with celiac disease or a sensitivity stronger than mine. 
 
Ten signs you are gluten intolerant
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com