Category Archives: Healing 2021

This Time Last Year

At this point last year I had no idea how bad things were going to get. Run down by stress, overworked and overwhelmed, low on sleep and bad on nutrition, I thought I’d just conquered one viral infection and then one bacterial infection only to be hit with a mild case of food poisoning. I thought I ate something that disagreed with me, and it would pass as these things are wont to do. I had no idea that I’d been inadvertently exposed to a potentially deadly infectious bacterial disease. I had no idea that I would suffer for more than a week before getting a telehealth appointment (thanks, COVID) where my doctor would tell me it’s “probably salmonella. There’s an outbreak in your area. But you’re young and healthy, so it will probably pass in a few more days.” I believed that was true. It wasn’t. I had no idea how bad it would get. I didn’t know anything about c-diff (color me a lay expert now!). It would be weeks more before I’d get the right tests, a diagnosis, and a[n inappropriate and outdated] first treatment. In the meantime, I’d be treated for salmonella, get tested for it and a variety of other infections, parasites, bacteria…and discover an allergy to Cipro. I would lose 40 pounds, quickly, within a month. I would find myself unable to do the most basic tasks. I’d be unable to eat and retain nutrients. I’d be dehydrated. I would finally get that MyChart message and the subsequent phone call: “immediately stop taking all medication. It’s making it worse. You have c-diff.” I had Googled it by that point and knew enough to cry. I could barely walk to the bedroom to tell Trent. He knew enough to call in to work for me and say I couldn’t be there. And so that journey began. But that’s weeks from this date last year when I had no idea how bad it would get.

On this day this year, I struggled. In ways I’d never have imagined a year ago. But I’m going to bed #grateful for progress; a new year; better health (still 🤞🤞🤞). Also, I’m kind of grateful I didn’t know then what I know now… I might not have had the strength to keep pushing on. #ThisIs41 #Healing2021

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Filed under C-Diff, Healing 2021

Two successes: Tomatoes and Gruyere

Two things: 1) I added some (not too many!) cherry tomatoes when I was cooking my vegetable khichdi for the week. I ate it for lunch 4 times. I also put a tiny tomatoe slice on a sandwich earlier this week. And…nothing bad happened! 🥳 2) I’m so exhausted. Work is crazy. I slept for 9 hours the other night! I am so tired of having to prepare 3 meals a day for every day from scratch in my own kitchen. So I gave takeout another go. Last time did not end well. So we again scoured a menu for something we thought I could try and then I made some custom requests: whole grain bread instead of brioche; no butter for grilling; no sauce with milk. It’s a Ham & Gruyere Melt. I researched gruyere, and apparently it’s lactose free. So I had this sandwich (well, not the whole thing because it’s huge) for lunch today. Fingers crossed it goes well! So far, so good, but tomorrow will be the real tell. It will be such a relief to find at least one takeout thing I can eat! I’m almost 10 months post-treatment. Tuesday will be the anniversary of my first bacterial infection diagnosis and treatment (Flagyl) which started this whole roller coaster. That’s getting in my head obviously. Focusing on my gratitude though! And the tomato success is on the list!

Vegetable Khichdi with a few tomatoes
Ham and gruyere sandwich from First Watch

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, Practicing Gratitude

New food! Peach jam.

I can eat this peach jam! 🍑 Pretty excited since it’s something I don’t have to make from scratch myself. 🙌 Also, it’s delicious (like most everything from Hampton Acres ). 💯 recommend.

I’ve been having it on sourdough toast with a big ole over-easy duck egg (they have the best yolks!) from Bethel Trails Farm). One of the great things about shopping the Simpsonville Farmer’s Market is that when you #buylocal you know exactly what’s in your food. Simple ingredients, nothing extra…which means no hidden dangers to your health (or still recovering GI system, as the case may be).

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Filed under Healing 2021

This article was in my morning reading feed. I have worked really hard on chewing properly! It’s amazing what a difference that makes. It’s helped with acid reflux and with general digestion. I take much more time to eat now than before. Such a small thing but big difference. I’ve also been careful about the times of day I eat, and I’m a big fan of the benefits of fiber (as many of you have heard me say over and over). There’s some good points here about sleep and stress (and general mental health and we’ll being).

The one thing I haven’t heard of or tried is Panta Bhat (fermented rice). Obviously, I know fermented foods are good for digestion and for a healthy gut, but I had never heard of fermented rice. Super simple to make, so I might give it a try.

On a different note, I’m over 9.5 months post-treatment. This time of year is when I first started getting sick. My first antibiotic was prescribed August 31. It was all downhill from there! Stress is real right now with my work life, so I’m trying to remember to manage that because it’s important for my gut. I’ve been using Banatrol as a preventative pretty regularly lately just because I don’t think my mental health can handle any PI-IBS flares right now. Anyway…onward!

https://www.freepressjournal.in/lifestyle/8-best-ways-to-improve-your-digestion

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021

Stress, c-diff, PI-IBS

Can stress cause a PI-IBS flare? Absolutely! Could it even make you more susceptible to bad bacteria (like c-diff)? Yup. Can it make active c-diff symptoms worse? Also yes. I’ve know all that to be true based on my own experience and other reading. It’s why I’ve focused so much on not just diet but also lifestyle changes. I know I had high stress when I first contracted c-diff. I know it played a role in my illness. I believe had I not been so stressed, I might never have even gotten sick…or at least it wouldn’t have been so bad.

But it’s always nice to have a little medical expert back-up, right? So…from this article in my morning reading feed:

➡️ “Stress very directly impacts gut health because it impacts the trillions of microbes that live within our digestive tracts, collectively known as the gut microbiome.”

➡️ “…stress changes the way the gut functions, which affects the bacteria balance. Your gut microbiome can also impact your mental health through the gut-brain axis.”

➡️ “…stress can actually enhance bad bacteria — meaning that the bacteria could cause even more harm to the gut than if you weren’t experiencing stress.”

➡️ “Stress can wreak havoc on your stomach, often at the most inconvenient times like before a big meeting or when you’re working overtime. This happens because stress changes the way your digestive tract functions.”

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, Just For The Health of It

Milestone: first meal out

ETA: Update: I SO wanted this to be a success. But at around the 24 hour mark, it became clear it was not. On the upside, unlike with previous attempts, there wasn’t the terrible, painful abdominal pain. So I guess that’s still a win(ish). 🤷🏼‍♀️😭

First meal out in over a year and a half. We walked around downtown and passed on 4-5 restaurants after checking the menus. Settled on Shortfields. I had a turkey burger with feta cheese and sauteed spinach and mushrooms with a plain baked potato. I kept the lettuce and tomato off. It was so good. And so nice not to have to make a meal! Fingers crossed it’s still good tonight and tomorrow, but so far this is a success, and I am grateful for that!

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Filed under C-Diff, Healing 2021, Practicing Gratitude

I’ve said a number of times that the practice of gratitude has been key in my healing and recovery. It especially helped with the post-infection anxiety/PTSD. Even during this latest PI-IBS flare, it helped me. Every night, I list at least three things I’m grateful for. I spend my day looking for those things. It makes a big difference in my emotional and mental well-being.

From this article (courtesy of the gratitude app this AM): “Simply being grateful can give your mood a big boost, among other benefits. For example, a recent two-part study found that practicing gratitude can have a significant impact on feelings of hope and happiness.”

The gut-brain connection is real. Research and my own experience has taught me one can impact the other: a lot! I really believe this healing journey is mental, emotional, and physical. So if you need a reminder this morning to take care of yourself, here ya go! Mind, body, spirit: you got this! 💜

I’m grateful my zinnias are blooming!

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Filed under C-Diff, Healing 2021, Just For The Health of It, Practicing Gratitude

Back to Basics: Kitchari

I’m having a rough week. My gut is too. Or my gut is having a rough week and therefore so am I. Tomato-tomato.

So tonight I made a pot of kitchari to try to reset my gut, resolve some lingering pain and discomfort, and feel better.

As I’ve mentioned before kitchari was one of the first real meals I could eat after treatment. In addition to being gentle on the gut and easy to digest, kitchari has a number of nutritional benefits to promote healing.

For example, Moong or mung beans are incredibly beneficial. Read about 10 major health benefits here. Most notably for c-diff recovery: “Mung beans contain soluble fiber and resistant starch, which can promote digestive health. The carbs in mung beans are also less likely to cause flatulence than those of other legumes.”

Here’s hoping a quick kitchari cleanse gives my body the break it needs to get back to normal (or what counts as normal these days anyway).

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Filed under Ayurveda, C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021

This article was in my morning news feed. Sharing because I know it’s something many of us struggle with post-infection as we try to heal the gut and recover our health. Some good advice here that would also apply during PI-IBS flare ups.

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021

This article was in my morning feed. Sharing because I know people have asked about the difference between the types of fibers and how they affects us during healing and in rebuilding the gut.

👉 “Soluble fiber binds to water in your digestive tract, forming a thick, gel-like consistency as it moves through your body.”

👉 “This type of fiber is also fermented by the beneficial bacteria in your gut, resulting in the production of short-chain fatty acids.”

👉 “Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is a type of fiber that doesn’t absorb water and passes through your digestive tract mostly intact. Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fiber isn’t easily fermented by the bacteria in your gut.”

➡️ “Incorporating more foods that contain a higher amount of soluble fiber into your diet is a great way to promote regularity, reduce diarrhea, and improve your digestive health.”

➡️ Some of the top sources of soluble fiber include:

🍌 Fruits: bananas, oranges, pears, grapefruit, blueberries, figs
🥦 Vegetables: broccoli, avocado, carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts
🌱 Legumes: kidney beans, lima beans, Great Northern beans, chickpeas
🍞 Whole grains: oats, barley, quinoa
🌱 Seeds: chia seeds, flaxseeds, psyllium seeds

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, Just For The Health of It