Feeling under the weather–for four months now

Ominous clouds before storm

Darked skies, church steeple

I don’t usually write about health issues or personal challenges.  Mostly those are shared with close friends and family.  Sometimes I keep quiet about aches or pains or situations for weeks or months or years.

However, have recently felt a nudging to reveal what’s happening here.  Just because, like with most things, there are silver linings in sharing, both for the sharer and listener.  Because it suddenly feels more honest to reveal some personal struggles.

It started in March with digestive issues.  Have experienced some ongoing digestive problems during recent years, but this felt like something more urgent.  It felt like low-level discomfort that kept on keepin’ on.

When a fern dries up...

When a fern dries up…

First order of business:  colonoscopy.  I have a family history of colon cancer, so hop to it. The prep procedure proved more challenging than a previous scope.  I won’t beleaguer the details, but it felt harrowing.

Fortunately, the colonoscopy came out clean.  Unfortunately, the digestive issues intensified.

A couple of months passed with various doctor visits.  No one could ascertain anything specific, darn it.  Lab tests uncovered extremely high cholesterol and pre-diabetes blood sugar numbers.  I fumed in anger for about a week.  Many of you know that we’ve eaten a healthy mostly vegetarian diet low in sugar for years.  It seemed totally unfair!  It felt like the blood work lied.  I was crushed and angry.

Sharp angles of slate

Sharp angles of slate

The nurse practitioner prescribed statin drugs to lower the cholesterol without blinking her eyes.

As a holistically oriented person opposed to statins except as a last resort I tried to figure out another option.  It felt like taking statins without discovering the root cause would be pointless.  What interested me more was the question:  what the heck was causing the dis-ease in the body?  What could be holistically done to address the whole situation?

A friend recommended a functional medicine doctor in the local area.  What is functional medicine, you ask?  Here is a random link which describes it fairly accurately.  Functional medicine physicians attempt to address the larger picture, looking for cause and seeking to heal the whole body.

Tree body

Tree body

It took until early June to secure an appointment with this MD.  The most amazing thing happened during the visit–she actually sat down and listened intensely for about 20 minutes before saying anything.  The patient is allowed to share the fullness of his or her story.  Unlike many traditional office visits where the patient talks really fast for ten minutes, followed by a physician diagnosis in the next ten minutes before being ushered out the door.

She immediately zeroed in on my gall bladder removal in 2010.  She had seen others with similar digestive issues and suggested that the body was not producing enough bile to digest even the natural healthy fats in foods.   She prescribed probiotics, gall bladder digestive enzymes and other medicines.  Because my gut has been compromised for many years, other secondary issues have developed. She also suggested help for these.

Leaf challenges

Leaf challenges

Because she prescribed medicine that day, I was able to travel out to the West Coast to visit my daughter.  It was nip and tuck whether it would happen.  Fortunately, the meds alleviated the discomfort enough to make for an enjoyable trip. (For those of you still reading–this is what I meant about how social media and blogging doesn’t tell the whole story.  A person looking at our lovely photos of the trip would never see the entire truth which included daily health challenges.)

The doctor also recommended following a Paleo-based Whole 30 diet for the first month.  “But grains…” I said weakly, “But beans…but what about being a near-vegan?”  She said she’s seen the most progress and healing take place on this diet, and totally recommends it to someone in my situation.  She said the digestive enzymes will work to process the fats, and the diet will assist in lowering the cholesterol and blood sugar.  It will also begin to heal the secondary issues which have developed.

Chickens and their eggs

Chickens and their eggs

Lab tests later confirmed her initial diagnosis.  Fats have poured through the system without proper digestion.  The gut bacteria is all cattywampus.   In short, the system ain’t working quite properly.

Today is Day 21 of the Whole 30 diet.  It took some getting used to eating so much meat.  In the first week or two my mind rebelled before most meals.  However, when the lovely chicken, fish, eggs, lamb or pork reached the lips, the body said, “Hey, yum, good!”

Even though the symptoms still remain and can be very challenging and sometimes painful on a day-to-day basis, some positive changes have occurred.  I feel more energy than in the past 15 years.  I had not even realized the low-level exhaustion which permeated and insisted upon naps and early bedtime.  The blood sugar feels even and lower.  The food is being digested easier.  The knees have quit aching, rashes disappeared, heartburn gone.

This is actually only a short synopsis of what’s been happening personally in the past four months.  Hoping that healing is happening.  Thanks for reading,  Kathy






About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in July 2018 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Feeling under the weather–for four months now

  1. Barb says:

    I am going to e-mail you later, Kathy. I’m sorry you’re going through these issues. I went to a functional/integrative medicine DR for years after my heart attack. I still sometimes e-mail him – he’s in Denver. I’m interested in your Dr’s recommendation to eat more meat. I’ve been semi vegan (some seafood) for 2 years and have seen my #’s regulate well on blood work. Though I had the heart issue 8 years ago, I’m not on any meds at present and try to stay healthy through lifestyle choices. I was on many meds after the heart attack (including stains) but did not do well on them. My body seems to react badly to drugs. We are all different and at times in our lives must reevaluate what our bodies need. Be well!

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, I am interested in hearing more about your experience, too, and will look forward to your email. I would love to still be eating a semi vegan diet, sigh. But can’t deny that this one seems to be “working” right now. You are so right about the difference in our bodies–even at different times in our lives. I will also share more about the meat. Maybe even on another blog. There was just too much to talk about in one post!

  2. Kathy — I loved reading “I feel more energy than in the past 15 years.” I’m so happy you’re feeling better.

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, I am feeling way better in many key areas. The energy feels amazing! However, in other areas it’s still pretty challenging, just getting through each day. Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. For someone who had to start getting colonoscopies at too young of age, I totally understand the challenge of the preparation for the procedure. Glad you took the time to find alternatives to your issues. Sounds like it you found the right foods to intake to right your digestive ship. Hope it continues!

    • Kathy says:

      Scott, we could sure write a funny blog post if we told the details of some of our colonoscopy preps–I am sure! However, even thinking about the “night before” is enough to give me willies! Yes, the digestive ship seems to be staying upright. But it’s still pretty challenging in many ways.

  4. Carol says:

    Oh my, Kathy – obviously social media and blog posts do not tell the whole story because I would never have guessed you were having health issues from any of your posts, most especially those when you were with Kia. I am so glad you found a doctor who listened, and who did not jump to prescribe chemicals – and so glad that you are feeling better.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, isn’t that true, Carol? A person would never know what’s going on behind-the-scenes. I always try to remind myself of that when I see laughing happy vacation photos. To say–it’s only half the story. But am so happy to have discovered this doctor. Just having someone listen and want to get to the root causes instead of treat symptoms–that feels like a huge gift. Thank you so much.

  5. Who knew? I think you have helped a lot of people today. I know you helped me. Sounds like you are well on your way to recovery and I am so glad–I do not want one of my favorite people in the world to be in distress.

    • Kathy says:

      LouAnn, thank you for your kind words. I am glad if it helped you or anyone else. That’s interesting to think it might. I am hopefully on my way to recovery, but the doctor thinks it may take some time. Any moment without distress is a good moment. 🙂

  6. debyemm says:

    My husband has had one (colonoscopy) twice now. I have some sense of the horrendous prep which is also the worst as far as he is concerned. Next year, I’ll finally have insurance (after 3 decades with none due to discriminatory practices and financial hardship) – Medicare. They will pay 100% for one and so – it will be my turn then.

    I haven’t seen my internist now since Dec 2017. I do have necessary prescriptions and so just today, they finally said – you have to come in for an appt first. I don’t mind. I’ve just not felt motivated and pretty stable. Do want to keep a doctor at arm’s length available though.

    I know about the blood sugar issues – been fighting them since having late life pregnancies (and both parents were diabetic – though neither of my sisters has been similarly cursed !!). So far – diet and Metformin (the most benign of medication potentials) have been enough but lately, more upward pressure on the morning readings (though not all that bad – yet). It feels at times like a losing battle and I am not totally motivated to deprive myself but do not throw all caution to the wind. Just because I am genetically pre-disposed doesn’t equate to an excuse with me.

    I have refused cholesterol and blood pressure medications. Since I’m positive for hepC, I simply will NOT do anything that affects my liver. Also read up on both and have decided to hold the line at thyroid replacement (which I can’t help since mine was mostly removed at age 19) and the Metformin. But that’s just me and I would never advise any one else to follow my lead.

    I LOVE your holistically oriented perspective. We are much the same in that regard !!

    Personally, I have done best with high protein. A couple of years ago, my husband and oldest son swore off red meat (beef and pork) and eggs and cheese as well. It makes no sense for me to cook it for myself. I do indulge occasionally when alone LOL. But at least chicken and fish are healthy protein choices. I also do Greek yogurt. I’ve had a “no grain” diet recommended to me as well and encountered some suggestions about legumes not being so good – however, I have a family to feed right now and whole grain or high protein pastas and a variety of beans are kind of necessary with my guys (they don’t have trouble with carbs !!).

    If I lived alone – I’d eat differently. HUGS. Wishing you ease and well-being sooner than soon (and it does sound as though healing is progressing nicely for you). My daughter (who I’ve discussed with you before) has had a life of similar digestive issues – mostly due to Primary Immune Deficiency but she did have the gall bladder issues recently. I’ll get her to read your blog, if she’s inclined to take a Mom’s suggestion today.

    PS I would LOVE for my knees to quit aching !! Currently doing expensive hiking boots (they do help !!), copper laced knee sleeves (doesn’t really make sense but want to wear them daily) and seeing a sport chiropractor (who is giving me exercises and hopefully soon, some orthotics for my shoes). Just doing my best to avoid a knee replacement if I’m able to and won’t quit hiking until I can’t take another step !!

    • Kathy says:

      Deb, thank you for sharing more about the medical issues/challenges in your life. It seems that many of us have health concerns. It disturbs me tremendously to think that we don’t all have health insurance. May someday the entire population of this country be able to have medical needs met. I also know how difficult it can be to eat the way you need/want when there’s a family to feed. As for the aching knees–that was the biggest surprise of this. I was shocked to learn that joint pain is a symptom of gut health. Who knew? Wishing you can avoid that knee replacement. Know how much you love to hike. xoxoxo

      • debyemm says:

        I’ve at least been able to stop (for the time being) the steep decline in my knees that alarmed me. Yep, can’t imagine hiking Big Bend or the Grand Canyon at the moment but it is at least in a bearable holding pattern. Still there is pain.

        I am tempted by the diet idea but haven’t yet figured out how to make it work within the current food program with this family. Pasta (though high protein legume or whole wheat) and beans figure prominently as we are currently in a skillet dinner mode (making the pasta means the youngest, pickiest eater – eats a hot dinner – he is a purest LOL flax oil and salt on Bow Ties (high protein Barilla Plus) or Penne (simple Barilla Whole Wheat) and whole grain Orzo.

        One doesn’t really want to be making 3 different dinners every night . . . this too will pass . . . I am certain for our eating behaviors have constantly changed as better nutritional understandings move in.

        Here’s a funny story for you – I received a demand for Kale at every meal – I am surprised at how many ways I have found to incorporate it. All because Panera had this Power mode for a salad (and for oatmeal). My husband was a bit deflated to learn it was the Quinoa and not the Kale that caused the “Power” label. Chalk one up for the masculine perspective LOL. This is what I have to deal with. We must also have an Avocado at every meal (which I don’t mind at all for it has long been a personal favorite) but lately, even though I am quite good at managing them for best qualities, I am experiencing difficulties. Wondering if I can blame the Trade War for that ?

        • Kathy says:

          Sounds like you are doing that family meal juggling, trying to keep all the balls (meals?) in the air and working at the same time. It would be hard to even make two different meals in one night. And we all do keep adjusting as our nutritional understandings broaden. Blessings!

  7. You got my attention right away with your blog post title. I read this with distress – I’m so sorry you haven’t been feeling 100% for so long! On the positive side, you found an integrative doctor (for some reason, that’s the title that seems right for this doc – she integrates ALL of your issues and ALL of you to find the source of your discomfort) who really listens and has found ways to get your body on track. So glad you were able to make the CA mother-daughter trip, but it must have been difficult, having the issues along the way. Please know I’m sending you healing caring loving vibes. Be well. xoxo

    • Kathy says:

      Apparently I got the attention of quite a few people with this title, Pam! Can’t believe how much the ole blog is buzzing today. It actually feels good to share this more publicly with others. It didn’t feel right until a couple of days ago. Interesting how that works. Between the two of us we’ll have to get ourselves back on track, won’t we? And, gosh, it would have been so disappointing to cancel that out-west trip. It came so close. I lay on the couch in pain the weekend before and said, “Barry, I think I’m going to have to cancel.” But it didn’t happen, thank all the lucky stars!

  8. Oh, Kathy, I’m so sorry you’re going through this! Insight into someone else’s struggle can be helpful in many ways, so I’m thankful you shared it.
    When I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol, I had just come away from an emotionally wearing relationship. I’d been limiting my choices to “his” choices, which included a meat-heavy diet and a lot of TV. I assured the doctor that, given six months back in my own home, with my own nearly vegetarian diet and my walking regimen, that would all take care of itself. It didn’t. After six months, my cholesterol was even higher…dangerously so. So I understand your feelings of betrayal when your healthy lifestyle doesn’t result in the expected outcomes. I finally opted for traditional medicines and – though I’ve tried other options over the last twenty-five years, for me, it seems the easiest solution. I am excited to hear about functional medicine, though, and am going to forward that information to my sister right away. She struggles to handle her issues without drugs, and has a difficult time getting doctors to listen. I’m so glad you shared this information, Kathy! Thank you, and my good thoughts are directed to relief in your struggle.

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, thanks for sharing your health story. It seems that so many of us have these kind of struggles. It’s interesting that sharing our struggles can be helpful to others. I have to be in a certain space of mind and a place of acceptance before sharing too much intimacy like this in an online forum. Of course with friends and family–another matter. The poor things have probably been bored to tears in recent months. Ha ha! You hit the nail on the head with that feeling of betrayal. It was like: how could this be? It sounds like you’ve found your solution to the cholesterol, which is good. It’s funny how we’re all different and we instinctively feel what’s right and not right for us. And how that can change! Thank you for your good thoughts.

  9. Francine Brady says:

    For me lactose free dairy and lots of probiotics has helped with my gut problems

    • Kathy says:

      Francine, it seems that dairy triggers a lot of people. I haven’t eaten dairy, legumes, grains, alcohol, or sugar for 21 days now, and am feeling the energy. Just not feeling the disappearance of some other symptoms. I am glad you have found some help with your health issues.

  10. Val says:

    I knew something was wrong, Kathy – even though I didn’t know what. And I assumed it was a health issue. I’m glad you’ve found someone who can listen and who is treating you, I hope the symptoms start to ease very soon and that you get your old joy of life back. x

    • Kathy says:

      Val, I do kinda remember hinting to you that something was off. It has been so helpful to have an open listening ear, and good medical advice. Yes–if those symptoms would ease a little more I would be a happy camper. But am also enjoying the other victories of more energy, better blood sugar, etc. Thank you so much for listening as well!

      • Val says:

        Kathy – I’ve been thinking about your remaining symptoms. Could you have some food intolerances? A couple of years ago I cut potatoes (white potatoes, not sweet potatoes) out of my diet completely as I’d been getting body pains and exhaustion on and off for a couple of years. Cutting out potatoes stopped both. I have an intolerance to the whole of the edible nightshade family of which white potatoes are just one plant (the others are aubergine/eggplant, tomato and chilli. I can eat aubergine and tomato in moderation providing they are very well cooked, but not chilli.) And I also discovered an intolerance to – of all things – chocolate, which I’ve stopped eating completely too. It gave me migraines with vertigo. Have a think about whether there’s something you’re still eating or drinking that could be causing it. x

        • Kathy says:

          Val, how very sweet of you to be thinking of me about a month later. So glad that you were able to discover which foods you tolerate and don’t. I have been working on this for a long time. Unfortunately, because of the secondary symptoms (which I have not shared publicly) it’s been hard to figure out what is a food intolerance and what is a result of the symptoms. It’s been impossible to accurately assess, although it will be great to do this–hopefully in the near future. Have had a few good days, digestively speaking, since completing the last round of meds. Am *almost* dreaming of what it will feel like to be healthy again. Thank you again for your dear concern.

  11. Stacy says:

    I have been following a functional medicine doctor for years in order to find the root of disease rather than treatment of symptoms. Like you, I see pharmaceuticals as a last resort. I hope you are feeling better! Bon courage! XO

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, I am excited to hear that you have a functional medicine doctor as well! It sounds like we come from a very similar perspective. I hope that the herbs and medicinals that she’s prescribed end up working, and that the symptoms fade away. Even if they don’t and I need to move onto another specialist, I would still continue to see her annually. I like those words: Bon courage! xoxoxo

  12. Brenda says:

    Oh Kathy! I am so glad you found a doctor who took the time to listen to you and to offer a whole body treatment. It’s amazing how our gut health affects our entire bodies. Hearing that you are feeling better has made my day!! I will continue to keep you in my prayers, honey. ❤ xoxo

    • Kathy says:

      You know what was funny, Brenda? The hospital put on a gut workshop back in the winter and I thought, “No need to go there. I don’t have any gut issues.” Ha ha, the Universe must have been snickering like crazy! The many ways we deceive ourselves… I am feeling better is some ways, but in other ways it’s really difficult. Thank you so much for caring.

      • Brenda says:

        Oh honey, I sure hope the troublesome issues will clear up soon! My prayers will continue going up for you everyday ❤

  13. tthomp75 says:

    I would never even begin to think you weren’t in the very best of health. With health all around you and the healthy things you eat. How would we know out gut isn’t healthy? You shared some great information! Since my bout with Cancer, I have changed what and how I eat things, take notice of my vitamin intake. My vegan friends are always telling me that it would be good for my health if I quit eating meat/fish/poultry. That even organic/grass fed doesn’t mean it is. yadda yadda. They don’t understand I grew up on a farm / I grew up on Meat/Chicken/ Dairy, then when the farm was sold, there was Chandler’s Market. I am not going to quit eating “Meat” Now I am more careful of the choices. Seriously I am happy you are enjoying meats/poultry. Best wishes on regaining your wellness! It takes time Kath, for your insides to feel good again. I try to think when I don’t heal fast enough – that it took a very long time for it to get unhealthy. Thanks again my friend for your wonderful Blog. Sorry I ranted on today.. It just all came out..

    • Kathy says:

      Tammy, see, we can’t believe everything we see in social media! *grin* I remember hearing stories about vegetarians who ran every day…and then dropped dead one day. So it’s not always about the healthy food we eat or the exercise we do. Had to smile ear-to-ear when you mentioned Chandler’s. That brought me right back to childhood and their back counter where my mom would order meat. Thanks for mentioning that! And for sharing that it takes time to regain wellness. That’s what the doctor has said. She actually wants me to continue eating a Paleo-based diet for the near future. No apologies for your comment. I like it when people share what they’re thinking and feeling here. 🙂

  14. I understand wanting to keep things like this private sometimes, but thank you for sharing your experience. Looking at all these comments, it seems like lots of us can relate! So nice to have people to listen and help out. I’m glad you’re feeling better!

    • Kathy says:

      My goodness, you are right! A LOT of people have stopped by today, and so many have a story that relates. I am feeling way better in some ways, but not-so-good yet in other ways. Hoping the better increases every day. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  15. A Michigan Thing Llc says:

    Nice post! I don’t normally care much about natural remedies but I’m glad this worked out.

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you enjoyed the post. As for the natural remedies, we will see over time how much they work. They seem to have worked in some ways already, but in other ways the jury is still out. Six months from now we’ll see…

  16. Heather says:

    I know this has been no fun. I’m excited to hear of your experience with the functional practitioner. The Whole 30 is where I aim dietarily, but ice cream in the summer makes it hard 😉 I hope you continue to convalesce!

    • Kathy says:

      So you are familiar with the Whole 30, Heather? Have you heard about it before today? I remember picking up the book at a bookstore a couple years ago, leafing through it, and then wrinkling this nose because of the meat. Ha ha, the Universe laughs! Yes, ice cream in the summertime would screw up a Whole 30 diet. I am not even tempted because of the discomfort. Guess that’s a good thing? So nice to see you hear again. 🙂

      • Heather says:

        I’ve been familiar with the Whole 30 for several years, but for some reason didn’t think I had any symptoms of “inflammation.” I still don’t think I have anything I consider a gut health issue, but after I came across some science about brain health and carbs (I can recommend a book, but didn’t think I’d get on here and have a dietary diatribe 😉 ), I thought I should take things more seriously. Hopefully finding ethically raised meats isn’t too much of a challenge. We try to stick to purchasing from farms where the animals only have “one bad day.” I understand the ease of bypassing ice cream due to the discomfort. I used to love funnel cakes, which was never a real concern because I get them only once a year. Last year I got one and ate about 1/4 of it before I felt sick. This year I thought longingly of the days when they didn’t make me ill, and then had no qualms about passing.

        • Kathy says:

          Heather, it may be your fault that I had a dream last night that Barry was eating ice cream and I reached over and ate a spoonful. We both stared at each other horrified when we realized what I had done! It’s so funny…part of this brain knew I had symptoms of inflammation, but all my explanations were totally askew. Sorry about your funnel cakes. Guess we just have to let some things in life go…

  17. Sabi Body says:

    In times like this, it’s always a boost to get someone to listen to how you really feel before diagnosis, kudos to the MD. Just a hitch here though, I know you may not be used to drinking medicinal juice squeezed from rare tree plants and leaves specially sort for in forests. But this may be the medication you need. Roots are the thing. Give it a try.
    Wish you a speedy healing. Godspeed.

    • Kathy says:

      Sabi, you are so right. It is good when someone from the medical field takes the time to listen deeply. Thank you for your suggestion. Right now lots of people have offered different suggestions and things to try. I am going to stick to what the doctor suggests for now. Perhaps later down the line I will branch out. Thank you for your kind words.

  18. dawnkinster says:

    I can’t push the ‘like’ button because this all sounds just horrible. I had not heard of a functional doctor before. I love my GP, he does listen, but I don’t think I tell him enough about what’s going on. I too, like so many others, have some digestive issues, but I don’t think they are as bad as what you’ve been struggling with. I can’t pin down just what causes my issues, so there’s always a fear when we’re far away from a bathroom and especially when we’re traveling and eating out.

    I’d be interested in hearing more. I think I should look into this 30 day thing too.

    I’m glad you’re feeling some better and hope you can figure out all the rest of it. Seems odd that it’s caused by the gall bladder being out. Lots of people get that out, you’d think if this was a wide spread problem it would have been part of the post operative instructions as to what to eat.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, I can feel your challenges about finding a bathroom when traveling and eating out. Yep, sure can relate. I had not heard of folks having lack-of-gallbladder digestive issues, either. If I had known…or related some of the problems with the lack of gall bladder…

      Some online research proved that between 10-40% of the population struggle with digestive issues after gall bladder removal. So between 60-90% of the general public have no issues.

      Thanks for your kind words.

  19. Crazy! Best of luck with your recovery xxx

  20. Happy to know this is working for you. Interesting account of a doctor visit. Exactly what happens.

    I shall investigate whether we have a functional doctor here.

    Loved how you illustrated with photos your health.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh thank you, Linda–about the photos. I tried to decide what kind of pictures might illustrate illness or sickness. These seemed to come together as possibilities. Let me know if you end up visiting a functional medicine doctor and what you think. Who knows if they are for everyone? But this one seemed to be a right pick for me right now.

      • Hopefully, there might be one around here. I was so stressed when I wrote the comment, I failed to state that being ill with digestive issues has been a lifetime challenge for me. Knowing that you are suffering is sad. You always looked the epitome of health.

        I have been lactose intolerant for years. I can only eat dark chocolate and drink maybe four ounces of red wine. Grease/ fried food make me ill. I eat a lot of broiled and backed chicken, fish and sometimes pork. It took years to figure out what I could and could not eat. I have forgotten how ice cream taste!
        Growing up on a farm we ate what we grew, however, back then we used DDT on our crops so we wonder how much that influenced our health.
        May the universe look after you as you traverse this slippery slop of what your body is crying out for to make it well.

        • Kathy says:

          Linda, I am sorry you have suffered from this kind of digestive distress for so many years. It must be so challenging. Bet it did take a long time to figure out what your body could eat and digest properly. You do have to wonder if chemicals have caused some of these illnesses that many people are experiencing. I like the blessing in your last sentence: May the universe look after you as you traverse this slippery slop of what your body is crying out for to make it well. May we all keep listening deeply. Thank you.

  21. Lori says:

    Oh my, this is wonderful that you found such a thorough “root-cause” functional doctor. I wonder where I can find one of those. I’ve had digestive problems for years. I’ve been on antacid pills for forever and can’t seem to get off of them. Once the body adjusts to them, the stomach will secrete way more acid than usual when trying to get off. I know, I tried.

    I’m so glad that you’re doing the diet suggested and that it’s helping. I’ve been on a similar diet. I’m not a big fan of meat myself. So I understand. Sending good thoughts for you to be completely healed soon.

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, thank you for your good words–and the sharing of some of your own challenges. It seems that there are quite a few of us with tummy troubles. I wonder if you can google and see what kind of functional medicine specialist comes up near you. Seems like there should be quite a few in the Chicago area. The endless meat is still challenging on this end, but we’ll persevere. To healing!

  22. Lori says:

    Oh, and it’s a weird coincidence that you posted this, because I posted today about not liking to talk about health issues publicly. 😉


    Oh Kathy I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this! Kudos on being persistent and finding what & who works for you. Sending you much love & many prayers for continued healing.

    • Kathy says:

      Lindsey, thank YOU so much for taking the time to send this loving message. I love your caring spirit. Feeling bathed with all the prayers and healing energy and love the last couple of days.

  24. dawnkinster says:

    I meant to ask…is your husband eating the same way you are for this 30 days?

    • Kathy says:

      Now that’s the question of the day, Dawn. He is–half reluctantly, half enjoyably–eating the food I cook. But he’s not limiting any of the other foods, so he’s not doing the Whole 30. He was not pleased about the chili with meat last night. He loves vegetarian chili. I suggested he ramp up his cooking skills and make some himself! That didn’t go over very well. lol.

      • dawnkinster says:

        Oh man….I’ve suggested husband learn to cook too when he doesn’t like what I make that is vegan…..but after 28 (almost) years of marriage I should know better. He makes a good egg and that’s it. Not gonna learn anything else.

  25. Robin says:

    We’re on somewhat similar paths with the digestive issues, or at least the gut issues. I love that you’ve found a doctor who listens and is taking a holistic approach. My doctor (who is also a good listener and allows me to babble and cry when I visit her) wants me to try a diet that I think might be similar to the Whole 30, the idea being to help my microbiome fix itself. I’ve resisted for reasons you mentioned… “but the grains? but the beans? but the almost vegan diet?” I’ll be interested in seeing how this works for you, and my hope is that it works well and you continue down a healing path. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, it is utterly fascinating (and disconcerting) to realize how many people have gut issues. I am now beginning to think that many others have gut issues and don’t even realize it. Nodding in great sympathy at your dilemma. For those of us who love a veganish diet, it can be challenging to go off in a different direction. I realized that part of my personal identity was built around being a vegetarianish person. It was so disconcerting to drop playing that part. Last night we grilled turkey burgers. I still wrinkled my nose before eating one–but, truly, it was kind of good. It’s so interesting watching the mind do its thing. Thanks for your healing wishes. They are so appreciated. I send them your way as well.

  26. monicadevine says:

    Kathy, my heart goes out to you; it sounds like you are finally getting the help you need though. thank you for sharing your experiences; they truly do steer us onto other roads to travel, just to try new things. This whole issue of diets has become so complex. Fifteen years ago I was vegetarian, and yes, I too, assumed a certain identify with this choice, in alliance with my yoga family. But today my son is educating me on Paleo, because he thinks it’s best…and I’ve read the Gut/Grain/Brain Book, and so many others. I’m so confused! What I have decided to do is eat meat and cut out sweets (my downfall) just to see if my cholesterol & triglyceride numbers come down. I’m serving you up a dish of goodwill today, Kathy, with gratitude. Digest it well!

    • Kathy says:

      Monica, this dish of goodwill is so delightful (and nutritious!) Thank you for the vitamins and minerals in your words. I so often feel the largess of your spirit when you come around, and it makes this life richer. As for diets–they ARE so confusing! Sometimes, lately, it began to feel like a person can’t eat anything. Which feels quadruply dissatisfying because this soul wants to digest the entire world at times, all the difference and strangeness and oddities of the pulsating whole. We’ll just have to continue to follow our inner radar to the best of our abilities, always ready to shift directions when the wind changes. xoxoxo

  27. sybil says:

    I hope you realize how many people you help every time you post.


    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, it is weird how very many people came out of the woodwork (so to speak) with this post. How they wanted to share of their own trials & tribulations around health. How they thanked me for writing this. How they emailed and messaged and called. I don’t think I really realize this. Thinking of you now and sending a big invisible hug for your grieving heart as you miss your dear one…

  28. Oh dear, I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Kathy. (I’m still trying to catch up reading missed posts…) I’ve never heard of functional medicine before but it sounds ideal for getting to the bottom of things. I think we underestimate the lingering effects surgery can have on our bodies. Now that I am missing my ovaries I feel very different in general and am not getting migraines any more. But my digestive system seems more sensitive. I’ve been weaning myself off of various prescriptions, too. Getting off statins cured my leg pains and enabled me to play on the floor with my granddaughter.

    Over the years I’ve tried most of the diets from paleo to vegan and the one that made me feel the best was paleo. But, now I’ve decided that eliminating whole groups of foods is probably not ideal for omnivores like us humans. Sticking to whole foods (unprocessed foods), lots of veggies and grass-fed meats seems to be working for now.

    Some researchers are now saying that high cholesterol levels aren’t necessarily the problem with heart disease. If the blood vessels are healthy the cholesterol won’t stick to them and form blockages. I hope they’re right. My father and his sisters all lived into their 90s with high cholesterol and not one of them had a heart attack. They were all raised on a farm and continued to eat meat and bread and potatoes throughout their lives. Veggies from their gardens and hot dogs and beans (cooked from scratch in the oven bean pot) Saturday night.

    It’s hard to know what the “right” diet is. It shouldn’t be so hard to figure out what we “should” eat!!! I cannot tolerate beans or soy any more, along with wheat and dairy.

    I hope your treatments keep helping you feel better and that you are on the road to recovery, however slow the progress might seem. *hugs*

    • Kathy says:

      My goodness, Barbara, it IS hard to know what the “right” diet “should” be! I read an article once that said the “right” diet is different for every single person. Here is a link I just randomly googled: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/404465/your-genomic-diet/
      There is something about this that seems right, although it may be flawed too!

      You are right about how surgery can effect our bodies in a myriad of ways. Interesting about your discernment about your ovaries and the effects the surgery has had. Everything seems to have an up side and a down side. We both needed our surgeries, but we have to live with whatever has appeared afterward.

      Am so happy you read this post. I kept hoping you would–because I remembered when you said Tim had to eat a Paleo diet for his issues. Thought you might relate to this.

      It’s funny how much I loved, loved, loved grains. Perhaps I loved them too much. Loved the macrobiotic philosophy of balance between vegetables and grains. But now am learning to love–the key word is learning–the balance between vegetables and heavier proteins. It’s also interesting how the meats effect energy. I am finding this energy more even, balanced, grounded. It can be harder to connect with transcendental states. Yet it also seems somehow easier to bring “the All” into the embodied world, if this makes sense.

      So nice connecting with you. May we all continue to heal unto wholeness. Blessings!

      • I know what you mean about loving grains, and I suspect I love my brown rice and oatmeal a little too much as well. That’s interesting how you noticed that eating meat changes your awareness of energy patterns, perhaps balancing the down-to-earth with the transcendent. Like meditating while walking in the woods. It’s hard to find suitable words but I think I know what you mean.

        The article on nutritional genomics was fascinating. I wonder how the theory accounts for the changes in what our bodies need as they age. Last night I was up most of the night with a gut-churning stomach ache. I’m pretty sure it was the cannellini beans in my favorite gluten-free penne, feta cheese, asparagus and cherry tomato recipe. When will I ever learn? It seems like things that used to sit so well now make me miserable. Sigh…

        Tim stayed on the paleo diet for a couple of years but he missed his bread and pasta too much and now eats whatever he wants. At home we do stick to grass-fed and humanely raised meat, however. He has heart disease and now diabetes but he feels fine no matter what he eats. I’ve given up trying to improve his diet, telling myself I can lead a horse to water but I can’t make him drink. Besides, I have no idea what the heck I should be “making him drink” anymore!

        I’ve had a post brewing in my head for a few months now, concerning a genetic test I had and a new book I read, but it’s having trouble taking shape. Perhaps it will come soon. I’m so glad you brought this subject up because from reading your post and all the comments I don’t feel like I’m the only one trying to figure all this out now.

        Take care, my friend! Hugs and blessings to you, too.

        • Kathy says:

          Barbara, I hoped to respond to this sooner, because I enjoyed reading your email very much. I do know what you mean about balancing the down-to-earth with the transcendent. However, it seems this also keeps shifting in subtle ways. It’s as if one revelation feels utterly true, and six days later it’s all morphed into something else.

          Perhaps that’s true with the genome therapy as well. Everything is constantly morphing into something else. So what is true five years ago may not be true now. The body/mind always changing, shifting, needing different nutrients and requirements.

          I haven’t re-introduced legumes, but suspect this body would have a similar reaction. However, it might not react to miso or peanut butter. There’s so much to learn–but it’s hard to teach us how to eat responsibly when our cravings and desires step to the forefront.

          Thank you for sharing where Tim is these days, too. I know what you mean. It’s as if each person has to come to their own commitment for health–or they can’t or they don’t. Guess we just have to give up and concentrate on our rhythms and the way we say yes and no sometimes in incomprehensible ways.

          Will go over to your blog now and see if you’ve written anything lately. Hope you have a good day!

  29. Pingback: Yesterday’s woes | Lake Superior Spirit

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