Sunday, February 24, 2013

I Almost Lost It

Hey folks, this will be a personal one tonight. Please understand it might sound emotional and not completely organized. I went to the ER this weekend and am still very sore and tired.

This weekend was pretty scary. I have been in mounting pain for about two months now, and I reached a breaking point this weekend where I could not even walk. I have been trying to get into a pain management clinic, but I am in an area where no one really seems to recognize the serious pain that endometriosis causes. I am in a smaller town and, unlike Portland (where I was constantly referred to pain clinics), no one here seems to understand why I am even calling them. I have been bounced from doctor to doctor, with some not even examining me before passing me on. Rather than dealing with my pain, I was forced to shove it in a box and pretend it was not so bad. And then that box exploded.

And something really bad happened. In meandering manner, I need to get this across. Because this is serious and needs to change. Because in the weeks I spent searching for a doctor to actually help me, I was driven into a corner. I was in so much pain that I literally did not care if I dropped down dead. I lost my will to keep fighting. I was not sad or depressed. My physical pain simply overwhelmed me so completely that I wished that I was dead. An otherwise completely happy and content, bright, and loved 24 year old, was wishing that. I was wishing that my disease would do me the courtesy of just killing me. And the reality that my doctors were okay with letting that sort of mindset happen, terrified me.

I made the level-headed decision--I got help when I knew I was out of my depth. But I also had the money and insurance (and support) to do so. How many people do not have that? What if I had listened to my first doctor and believed that I was not going to get the help I needed? I believe that I am strong, but a never ending battle can really weaken you at times; especially without the medical care and support you need. I was fortunate. My pain was managed when I got to the ER. When the pain settled, I felt terrible for thinking what I had. And I was balling, confessing what I had felt and was asking my significant other for forgiveness for ever thinking such a terrible thing. With my pain subdued, I could hardly believe I felt that way. But I did. And it was a completely unnecessary complication induced by unconcerned doctors.

The doctor I saw in the ER was disgusted when I told her how difficult getting treated had been. I told her everything, including what had lead up to me coming in that night. She gave me enough medicine to get me through at least a week and said to come back if I needed to. Not only that, but she was willing to give me both the stronger stuff for horrible days and the milder/safer stuff that I usually prefer to take. Many doctors do not trust me when I tell them that I want both because I try to minimize how much I take the stronger medications. They treat me like a drug addict looking for a larger haul. I am so relieved and thankful that this doctor was concerned enough to try and help me. I said goodbye to her in tears, and I expressed overwhelming gratitude for having a doctor who actually cared.

The point I'm trying to make is this: I've read stories where women with endometriosis have taken their lives and/or tried to take their lives, because they could no longer handle the physical pain. Chronic pain patients are, by an large, more willing to attempt or commit suicide. And yet many doctors continue to tell patients to 'tough it out'? I had one doctor tell me to just learn to live with my 'woman troubles'. The lack of interest or compassion for the pain I felt was beyond discouraging. And I could not believe the lack of recognition for the intolerable hell this disease can bring on a person.

I am not advocating an un-involved distribution of pain medications. Far from it. I try to avoid narcotics as much as humanly possible. They can be addicting, damage your liver, and cause all sorts of side-effects. But if a patient loses the will to live, stops taking care of themselves or their needs, or commits suicide because s/he can no longer tolerate her or his suffering, you have a problem much worse than drug addiction.

I'm seeing an acupuncturist as soon as possible and am continuing to take my natural pain supplements (i.e., bromelain, curcumin). I try to avoid the heavy stuff as much as possible. But when you are in enough pain to wish you were dead, you have to take care of that pain first and then regroup. I'm regrouping tomorrow and will continue to pursue healthy/safe pain management.

I'm sorry if this post sounds gargled and unprofessional. Like I said--not feeling so well. But I hope the message is clear--doctors need to recognize the kind of pain this disease causes and be more proactive about helping their patients manage it. No one should have to suffer like this.

Note: In case this needs to be made clear--I did not, at any point this weekend, consider taking my life. What happened still scared me; I honestly lost my will to live for a short time. I take something like that very seriously and am ashamed I felt that way. But I would prefer that how I felt be shared and acknowledged, rather than hidden. Because I am sure many of my readers have been in enough pain to lose sight of what's possible. Thank you very much for your support and empathy. Please do not worry over me. I took care of myself and am good (relatively speaking) now.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Spice Cornbread

                                                                   Pumpkin Pie Spice Cornbread


2 and a half cups of yellow corn meal

2 cups of whole milk

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 egg, beaten

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of ground allspice


1. Preheat oven to 400°F and spray a 9-inch baking dish with your favorite non-stick cooking spray. Make sure you spray the sides, too!

2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs and the milk; stir until just combined. The batter should be thick, but you should still be able to pour it into the dish; add a little bit more milk if it looks to thick.

3. Pour the batter into your baking dish and place it in the preheated oven; bake for 15-20 minutes. The cornbread is done when it’s firm in the middle, and the sides of the cornbread start to get a little bit crispy.

4. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing.

5. Enjoy!

Credit Goes to Zachary Rowell, thank you for your submission! 

*note: my camera is non-functioning, so until I get her fixed, no pictures :(. Sorry! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gluten Free Recipes

[Note: This post was imported from the original blog this site is based on. It is a personal account of my experience and is not very relevant to the current website. I have kept it out of respect to the journey that led me here.]

So, remember how I wanted to do a new recipe every week? What happened to that? Well, partially I'm disorganized, partially I'm busy, and partially I've been working on some new recipes to post. Finalizing some, researching some, panicking over others. Sometimes I can be a bit protective of my recipes. Remember the old days, when people traded their secret family ingredients and saved their best recipes for themselves? Well, the internet makes that a pretty impractical practice. And yet I still have this fear that if I give up all my secrets, I'll somehow become less of a cook.

I started cooking at age eight. My mother went through a phase where she did not feel like cooking anymore. It ended sometime around... well. Food has always been a passion of mine and cooking was a way to get at all the foods I wanted. There was no 'homemade omelet' option at the grocery store, so I learned how to make them myself. When I went off to college, most my dorm mates were barely making cereal and I was baking cheese cakes, turning out stir-fries, and making from-scratch pasta. I'll never forget when I made my grandmother a pumpkin pie out of pumpkins. I was working at a virology lab and finishing a science degree. And yet all she could say was how lucky my future husband would be because of what a great cook I was--that I would be the perfect homemaker!

Well, BOOM comes endometriosis and IBD. They kicked down the door of my cooking fancies pretty violently. Suddenly not flour, no red meats, no eggs, no dairy--a life of baking was flashing before my eyes. I stopped cooking for months because I was so depressed. All the foods I wanted were now off limits. My cravings were without bounds and I would dream about eating a fresh baguette at least once a week.

Over the past couple years I've been rebuilding my kingdom of recipes and kitchen secrets according to the restrictions of my diet. I'll admit that I still eat dairy and eggs--I could not give them up for long. And the consequences of ingesting those foods were much less severe than my main opponent... that of gluten. Gluten has been a serious problem and, quite honestly, that's unfortunate for a passionate baker. But I've been managing, coping, and learning quite a bit.

So I want to pass on what I've learned. How a passionate cook has managed to revamp her methods to accommodate her restrictions. And, hopefully, by posting the recipes on here, my readers can also dive into cooking foods that they might have seen as off limits. Not to mention the main driving force behind my cooking: shopping for pre-made gluten free foods sucks. They often taste terrible, are overpriced, and come in way too small of portions.

Now, while I'm compiling these recipes and readying to add at least one a week (A new solemn vow I take--every Thursday. Keep an eye out.), I ask that you maybe make a few suggestions of your own. If you have any good gluten free recipes, please email me! I will of course credit you on the recipe page, and link to any sites you have. I'm starting to get a serious flow of visitors to this site every week. So I'm trying my best to make it a good resource. Any help you give me (or any readers) is appreciated. Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day!

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About The BedRiddenHead

I want to be happy. And this site is about that chance. How to strive to thrive in the body I've got and maybe turn my experiences into something worthwhile.

This site aims to help educate and reach out to people all over that struggle with pain or illness. To try and make something helpful. I work as a medical research writer, my background is in neuropsychology and biology, and I want to share what I learn in a way that is easy to understand. I am not a doctor. I'm definitely not your doctor. I am just some lady who wants to make someone's (anyone's) life a little bit better. Whether you have endometriosis, a chronic injury, a struggling friend, or just want to learn something new, I hope to make a place that has what you are looking for.

Thank you for stopping by, I wish you strength in your health and happiness.