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Year Four, Day 43: The TMJ Diet

Today has been a good day, so far.

I had a lovely breakfast with my mom - scrambled eggs, applesauce, sausage and tea.  I am trying to adhere to a TMJ diet. More about that later!

I had a nice afternoon of piano students. I had more energy. I've noticed that pain tends to wipe out fatigue.

My head still hurts. Like it's in a vice.  But someone was kind enough to loosen the vice. A bit.

My right TMJ joint is still stiff and sore. But not throbbing.  My sinuses are still sore, and I am still congested. But a little less than yesterday.

A little progress, is still progress.

I have been researching TMJ syndrome, and I came to the horrifying conclusion that what I suspected was true. I caused this whole thing with my eating disorder.

My 1-2 month of comfort/reward eating this summer most definitely caused my jaw inflammation.  My diet was highly acidic. And it included gluten, which I had all but eliminated over the past 2-3 years.  Gluten is know to be pro-inflammatory. I do not …
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Year Four, Day 42: Congee ala Z! And Hopped Grapefruit Kombucha

I am just now beginning to feel human again.

I was beginning to wonder if the antibiotics were working at all.  I was beginning to let my mind go to dark places.  
The land of the "what if's"
"What if I have an abscessed tooth?"
"What if I have bone cancer?"
"What if I never recover?"
I decided to just put an end to the what if's. And focus on recovery. One moment at a time.  
I have started resorting to home remedies.
It began yesterday. I decided to make the trip to Portland to teach.  Apparently I am not contagious.  I was told this is a bacterial infection. Hence the antibiotics.  Viral infections do not require antibiotics.
I thought I could handle it. I did. I started out feeling pretty good in the morning.  I had oatmeal for breakfast and black tea.  The hot tea soothed my throat and seemed to open my sinuses.  I'm trying not to move my jaw much. My right TMJ joint is severely out of wack.  I placed a hot, wet washcloth on my …

Year Four, Day 41: The ER

This morning about 4 a.m. I woke up with severe stabbing pains in my jaw.  My whole head, face and neck felt like someone had it in a vice. And was turning the lever.

I had already taken a dose of Thera-Flu before bed. Since Wednesday morning is my time with Gracie, I wanted to make sure I was well rested.  I didn't want to be groggy on Gracie duty.
But with the pain I was experiencing, I was questioning how effective I would be at all. 
I was wide awake, holding my jaw as everything throbbed.  I made a decision to take another dose of Thera-Flu.  The package said I could take one dose every 4 hours.  
So I boiled some water and sat hunched over the kitchen table.  I poured the hot water over the powder. As I waited for it to cool, I put my face close to the cup. The hot steam gave my poor face a bit of relief. 
I was wondering if I had a sinus infection. My throat was sore and raw.  I was congested. Had a bit of a cough. The jaw pain was troubling. Last week when my allergies we…

Year Four, Day 40: Sleep Study Verdict

Well, this is embarrassing. I am at the library, finally in the right frame of mind to blog. I opened up my blogger site, and realize that I had not published my last post.

Which was almost one entire week ago!  Here is the link, if you are interested:  Year Four, Day 39

I have been out of it for at least 5 days.  Four of which I have been sicker than a dog.

Who comes up with these sayings anyway? Are dogs really that sick?

The good news is I had my sleep study followup and asthma test at the Oregon Clinic yesterday. 
They have ordered me a CPAP.


And I most definitely have asthma. In fact, after I met with my Pulmonary FNP, a wonderful, wise woman, she called in the MD.  She was concerned about the results of my asthma study, which showed a high level of inflammation. She was also most concerned about the fact that I have had no sense of smell for at least 6 months.

Thank you, Jesus!

My primary NP brushed it off.  "It's common with allergies", she said.

Common to h…

Year Four, Day 39: A Day at Home

I did not leave my home Wednesday, after I returned from breakfast with my mother.  I've been wanting to try "Sugar and Salt" downtown Vancouver since the Vine operator mentioned they had "the best cinnamon rolls in town!"

I tend to stay away from baked goods. But I looked them up online and I liked what I saw.  Cute little bakery, with breakfast and lunch items. They even have gluten free options!

My mother and I went early, as to avoid the heat. It was lovely!

I had planned to go to the gym later, but it was a scorcher.  I stayed in with Honey Dog all day, except to take her out for a few walks.

I was on a cleaning frenzy!  Something about a clean home makes the heat more tolerable.  At least it feels that way.

Not only did I clean, but I made a wonderful mujadera in my crockpot and a gluten free tabbouli (using quinoa instead of bulgar wheat).

I felt so good after my day of cleaning and clean eating!

I had the apartment to myself, with the sweet companionshi…

Year Four, Day 38: The Healing Power of Trees

I have a book on hold at the county library. It is called The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing by Yoshifum Miazaki.

I believe I have blogged about forest bathing before.

"Forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, is the Japanese practice of connecting deeply with nature. It is a practice that involves all the senses and has ... effects on health and happiness ... Nature meets modern science in [this] illustrated book about the healing power of trees"
I am looking forward to reading this book. It is not yet available.  But I thought about forest bathing this morning. As I walked through the park toward the Vine bus stop.  I was half way through the park when it hit me.  I actually stopped dead in my tracks. I breathed deeply. Into the clear morning stillness. I heard birds singing. I felt a gentle wind. I heard the sounds of the lawn mowers. I saw a young man swinging slowly to and fro on the swing set. I wondered about him. His head was down to his chest. 
As …

Year Four, Day 37: The Voice of God

"Within these walls and within our community, we have the God given capacity to find ourselves lovable because God loves us.  We have the God given capacity to do good unto others not to earn our salvation, but to respond to it.   And that is how love works."
Benediction by Pastor David Jewel.
Kenilworth Presbyterian Church, 8/5/2018
At the end of the service I played the piano for, the pastor gave the above benediction.   It so moved me that I wanted to jot it down. But, alas, it was my cue to play the postlude.  
By the time I had said my good-byes, and headed out to the bus stop, it had disappeared like a mist in my brain.  I have such poor memory these days. I find I need to write things down.  For instance this blog! It has come in handy many times when I am struggling to remember an event on a certain day.
Anyway, at the bus stop I emailed the pastor and asked if he could text me his benediction. The above is what he remembered of it.  Which is very close.  What really…