The internet is a safe haven for people to act nasty, but it is also representative of cultural opinion at large. Based on this knowledge, I am extraordinarily dismayed that with all the PSA’s for Lyme Disease and new info circulating around it, it still doesn’t “count” as a serious illness to many people.
Of course all the details about my late stage neurological Lyme, like how I had fibromyalgia so bad I couldn’t move my limbs for a spell, were cut from Chopped, and the CO poisoning was played up because it made me look insane that a stove tried to kill me. The reactions from people, though, were still shocking: I didn’t have cancer, how could I call myself a survivor? My illnesses didn’t compare to cancer. The other two contestants had cancer, and I need to GET OVER MYSELF. Never mind that my CO poisoning– which I have very real blood work and medical records from, just like my Lyme– involved a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s by a Cedars Sinai neurologist, and the gas killed my ex’s cat, it was considered “trite” compared to cancer.
Lyme disease has a tendency to keep people laid up for years, and many simply never get well. There is no “cure,” only methods of treatment that very thankfully work for some, like me. My family and I did intensive research to find holistic treatments for both my illnesses when they each occurred, and thankfully, I successfully moved past both. My mom had cancer, and was mortified when I told her yesterday about people’s statements of my illnesses being “nothing” compared. Pain and suffering are pain and suffering, and one thing that can kill you is no less bad than another thing that can kill you.
There is simply no need, ever, to compare illnesses and minimize the suffering of others. People used the hashtag “#killerstoves” to mock my experience as minimal compared to cancer. Some even said there is no way it happened, because I’d be dead, which is clearly untrue: the ventilation problem was real, and was fixed by real HVAC people. The exposure was slow and low and not detectable on an alarm designed to only detect life threatening levels. It left me with a huge array of brain damage related troubles, all of which I have recovered from fully via holistic methods. (And most definitely NOT only with avocados, that was some fun editing.)
Our culture is rife with judgment, and social media fuels our ability to depersonalize others. We are all critics from our couches. I write this not to say I feel I was perceived unfairly (that’s a whole different blog!), but to ask people to realize that being laid up for years is a nightmare, whether or not one is sick with cancer. Period.
Besides, you know, affecting people’s lives positively and stuff, my recent speech for the Lyme Angeles Lyme disease group has gotten me to finally remember how to spell the word e-x-c-e-r-p-t. It’s one of my only spelling nemeses, and I’ve had to use it repeatedly when posting clips (aka excerpts) from my speech. Now I’m confident that I can spell it in my sleep. I’m equally confident that you will learn something from at least one of these three video clips from my speech! =)
My mother often jokes that she and my father don’t travel simply because they would need too many suitcases for all of my father’s supplements. Traveling while maintaining one’s health, and trying to be eco-friendly on top of that, is no small task. My recent trip to S.F. inspired me to compile a list of what I do to be as health and planet conscious as possible while away.
1. Avoid the x-ray machines at the airport. Natural news sites report that there is thousands of times more radiation in these machines than the TSA discloses, and conventional news acknowledges that the amount is at least a good bit higher than claimed. Why radiate yourself more than you already are by flying? Opt for a pat down instead… they usually aren’t too bad. Once, the guard spent WAY the hell too long prodding around my vagina, but beyond that, it’s been pretty painless.
And a clip from an article about this on Huffington Post:
“Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) sent a letter to the White House Office of Science and Technology echoing the concern that radiation from the scanners could damage skin and underlying tissue, potentially leading to skin cancer. The White House Office responded that the technology had been tested extensively for safety, but the scientists noted numerous flaws in the response and are currently preparing a rebuttal. Because the radiation beam from the scanners concentrates on your skin, researchers believe the dose may be up to 20 times higher than is being estimated.”
2. Reduce your radiation exposure by flying as soon away from noon as possible, when radiation is at its highest. Never heard that you’re exposed to about 65 times the normal amount of radiation when flying? You can read the Science Daily News article about it, or google “radiation flying” for more info.
3. Protect yourself from both radiation and getting sick by taking anti-oxidants, specifically astaxanthin. Mercola discusses that here. Lots of foods have great anti-oxidative powers too!
4. Pack produce. Of all the food items you’re likely to have a difficult time finding on your trip, simple raw vegetables rank amongst the highest. Before leaving, pack your purse or extra bag with green veggies that keep well for days in a mini-fridge, such as baby (Persian) cucumbers and sugar snap peas. This way even if you end up eating worse/more processed food than planned, you can still supplement throughout the days by snacking on fresh, preferably organic, healthy snacks.
5. Be an eco-conscious hotel guest. Opt out of housekeeping at least every other day by keeping the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door for the day, because unless you’re a big family, three small, medium, and large towels each is probably enough for two days. You don’t change the hand towels in your bathroom at home every time you wash your hands, so there’s no reason to do so at a hotel; it’s not as if any less heat and water are consumed just because you’re not getting the bill. In most hotels nowadays, there is a card you can use to let housekeeping know whether or not you want fresh linens. Again, you’d never change your bedsheets daily, so unless you’re staying somewhere for weeks on end, opt to have the bed remade with the same linens each day you utilize housekeeping.
6. Buy water in one or 2.5 gallon containers, rather than tiny bottles, and keep them in your room. If you are walking around a lot and need small bottles, get a couple- or better yet, bring your own re-useable empties from home- and fill them up at your hotel daily. While plastic is still involved from the gallon jugs, it’s a LOT less, and every little bit helps. Alternately, if you are somewhere rural that actually has quality tap water, fill empty bottles straight from the sink.
7. Find the farmers. Farmers markets are everywhere now, and usually just by googling the term along with the city you’re staying in, you can get a guide for when local markets occur. You get a great outside morning or afternoon activity out of it, will find out what’s in season where you’re staying vs. your home, get to try new foods, and can restock your supply of healthy snacks to keep at the hotel.
8. Keep a morning routine. When you plan too many activities for every day, you’ll lose track entirely of your normal healthy habits. Start your day in a homey fashion in your room with a morning beverage (like organic tea you’ve brought from home) with enough time to remember to take your vitamins (you brought them with you, right?), drink plenty of water, work out if that’s part of your normal morning at home, and gather your thoughts. This is a photo from my hotel room in SF this past weekend- it was very easy to bring travel-sized stevia and a package of cococeps to drink each morning for a healthy start.
9. Allow occasional indulgences. Unless you’re off visiting a farm, temptations will abound. Do your best to eat as many quality, organic, whole foods based meals as possible, but allow yourself a meal here and there comprised of comfort foods. If you eat like crap the whole time, you’ll go home feeling sluggish, heavy, and off in the head, but if you eat mostly healthy and indulge for a meal or snack every couple days, you’ll return both satiated and proud. Help negate the fact that you’re likely to eat heavier food than at home no matter how cautious you are by walking wherever possible in the place you’re visiting.
10. Don’t waste any days hungover. If you know you’re going to be drinking, as is very normal when on vacation, pack a few supplements that will help your body combat the effects of alcohol. Specifically, bring milk thistle, charcoal, vitamin B, liquid oxygen with trace minerals (like Cell Power or Cell Food), and get some coconut water for your room. These supplements will drastically reduce your risk of feeling lousy the next day after an afternoon or evening of too much fun.