Sunday, March 1, 2015
As the day draws to a close, I'm taking inventory of the week (plus one day) since I've been at Truth North Health Center. I would have done this yesterday, but today is the final day of my three day juice fast and the true test starts tomorrow when I begin my 30 day water fast! So, I wanted to give a general update on how I'm feeling after five days of super clean eating and three days of juice and how I'm feeling about the upcoming water fast.
Truth: I feel mostly fantastic! I have my moments where I miss my family and friends. I had a full-blown melt down last night as I said good bye to my daughter and husband and after having talked to my other three younger children as well. They'd been telling me all about their day: one had lost a tooth; one had an archery tournament; and yet another showed me an art project that had been completed. I began thinking of all that I am missing while I am not physically there with them and it became too much for a moment. My mental health otherwise, outside of the expected homesickness, has been really good. Since I've long been a sufferer of depression, I'm pleased that depression hasn't already overcome me.
Physically I am feeling pretty well overall, too. I've had some pain in my hips and some minor lower back pain. I anticipated this might well happen as I've been weening off the Cell-Cept and the last of the steroids. However, I'm overwhelming surprised that I'm feeling as little pain as I am and it makes me hopeful. I'm very hopeful that through the course of this, I will feel the little bit of pain that I currently have continue to diminish. That is an unbelievably exciting prospect. The idea that I could potentially wake up pain free AND do so without being on any meds... Well, that's the bulk of the reason I am here. No pain means little/no progression of disease. No progression of disease means a much brighter future for me and my family. If it were just the pain, if that were the only problem with these diseases, I could continue to suck it up as I have for years. It's all of the other things this disease contributes to in my body that I just can't suck up and pretend aren't there. They'll continue to take my quality of life, but ultimately, they'll steal my quantity of life as well.
Overall, I've done pretty well on the juice. I've felt occasional hunger pangs. While doing juice, they bring you four a day. Despite the tastiness of the juices, I have struggled to consume all four juices each day. I've averaged more like three to three a half a day. I am of course also drinking water with the juice as well. Honestly, I'm looking forward to just drinking the water because I feel less stressed about my ability to consume the water I need to consume than I do about consuming the juice AND the water! Strange, I know. I've never claimed to be normal!
I've been monitored twice daily since I've been here in addition to my two personal appointments with my personally assigned physician. My initial urine showed protein and my blood labs showed high cholesterol and triglycerides although neither was extremely high. I'm very excited to see what my first results show after being on just water. There were no other abnormalities really with my blood. My meds tend to keep most of those things under control. However, it will be cool to see how "normal" everything is after being off meds for a bit. My very first blood pressure reading after arriving here was 196/102. Not exactly great. I admit that likely was elevated from the norm due to the stress of my arrival day. However, my most recent blood pressure reading was about 150/90. So, between the calm of my surroundings, better eating, etc., I'm making great strides on my blood pressure. I should probably mention that my first reading was while I was still on my blood pressure medication. The 150/90 reading is after being here almost a week and being off my BP meds for four days. So, I'm feeling pretty good about that, too. Oh, I've also lost about ten pounds. That's a nice bonus. I won't lie.
There's a lot to do here even though it wouldn't seem like there would be. There are lectures twice daily you can attend. I went to both lectures today and really enjoyed them. I've only been to a couple of other lectures simply because I had some migraine and sinus issues when I first arrived that prevented me from getting out much the first few days. I've taken numerous walks around the area. That's been a lot of fun. I've enjoyed the exploring aspect. I imagine as my water fast goes on, my energy will come down some and I may not attend as many lectures until re-feeding starts. Once fasting begins, you're no longer allowed to leave the property. I've been reading as well and that's nice. It's not something I have a lot of time to do at home. I'm going to have to carve out a way to make that happen once I get back.
That's the more boring "numbers" end of things in regards to my experience thus far. I'm hoping tomorrow I will have something a little more exciting to talk about. I might even talk some about my awesome Canadian roomie! I really just love her. I confess my immaturity takes hold every time she says "ay" or "aboot" and I struggle not to giggle. She's really nice though, and I imagine she might not smack me, but I'm trying to play it cool. Haha.