Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spice Remedies Part 1: Cardamom Cures and Recipes

Most of us are well aware of the benefits of ginger for GP and nausea but how many know about one of my favorite spices, cardamom?
I was first introduced to this exotic aromatic spice when my dear friend Alan would serve a small cup of coffee with a pinch of cardamom after a delicious GP friendly lunch of well cooked local vegetables and soft melt in your mouth white fish drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil.  Only if I could hire him to be my personal chef, everyday I would be swimming in waves of tasty adventures!
When I was in acupuncture school this past year I picked up a little bit of an addiction to coffee (hey, it's Seattle, whats a girl gonna do?!).  I know, absolutely NOT a friend to a sensitive stomach but between living in denial and the hours of studying it was my weak spot.  My favorite day of the week was Thursday when my friend Marlee and I would head down to our favorite coffee shop in Freemont.  We would find the largest table available, spread out our piles of books and note cards then anxiously order our hot java (aka liquid crack).  However, with me and my secret spice stash it was never just a normal cup of coffee.  Oh no, this was special coffee because hidden in my purse was a magical bag of ground cardamom.  Before diving into the hours of quizzing (and distracting) each other we eagerly scooped the spice into our coffee, took the first sip and for a moment melted into cardamom coffee heaven before the marathon began.
Now, a few months and fewer coffee's later, this spice is nothing but nice in so many countless ways.

A soothing and comforting food, cardamom is the perfect tummy tamer and should be at the top of the list of pantry staples for anyone with GP.  Known as the queen of spices, it has been around and used medicinally for 5,000 years.   Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, it helps to control digestion and saliva production. It is an anti-spasmodic and is recommended for nausea, chronic indigestion with bloating, belching, flatulence and hiccups. It is also an effective remedy for heartburn as it relieves pressure in the chest caused by swollen stomach pressing on the diaphragm.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thank You Mom...AKA "Angel"

Today, after 2 extended flight changes, it finally came.  Tears slowly rolled down my cheeks as I watched the Airporter take my mom south to Seattle for her flight home to Kansas.
She flew in the night before my tube placement and stayed for 2 weeks as I struggled through the pain and complications that endeavered the necessary procedure to get me back on track.  There is nothing more comforting than a mother taking care of all of your needs during a time like this.  Her love and intuition is priceless.  I drew this picture of her and made a little art piece as a thank you gift.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Taping the Tube and Deep Breathing Continues

Great News:  The doctors called on Monday morning and decided that it would be better and obviously less invasive to continue to tape the tiniest of tiny hole in my tube instead of going back in and having it replaced.  Apparently, they had to remove the latex part of the tube due to an allergy that could have caused the hole, which inevetibly could happen again.  So, the journey continues, slowly and one day at a time.
I went to have acupuncture today and it did wonders for my anxiety.  The idea of this tube is a little overwhelming at times, as well as accepting my body not being able to do much for myself right now while I recover.  Luckily, I'm surrounded by support (husband and mother ESPECIALLY!) and don't know what I would do without everyone.  It can be hard to accept the help but learning to receive can be as great of a gift as giving, good for both the heart and soul.
That said, a technique I often turn to to reduce anxiety and bring myself to the present moment is called pranayama breathing (click for instructions).  According to Yoga Journal it has a  "mysterious power to soothe and revitalize a tired body, a flagging spirit, or a wild mind."  

Please share any techniques you have for dealing with anxiety during trying times!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Feeding "me magical and nourishing liquid sunshine" Tube

Well, after 2 months of trying everything I could to gain weight including medications, a botox treatment and multiple ways of taking in enough calories, I finally gave in and accepted that the feeding tube (G-J Tube) was the necessary next step.  I met with 3 doctors including my primary and GI in town as well as the GI at UW in Seattle.  All seemed to agree this was essential to at least get me back into a safe place with my weight.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Soothe Nausea with Ginger People!

As most of you probably know, ginger is a proven home remedy for nausea, vomiting and inflammation and a good friend to anyone with GP.  However, it can be so much more than just a cup of ginger tea, especially when there is a company like The Ginger People (GP!) that provide unlimited possibilities.  My favorite products include the ginger chews, crystallized ginger candy and chips, as well as the jarred organic minced and grated ginger, all conveniently ready for use.