Category Archives: gluten

Debby Downer’s Digestion

It’s going to be one of those posts.  You know the type I am talking about. The type that I sound very ungrateful and whiny. So before the whining begins, let me first say that I am very grateful for my life. In fact, I am very, very grateful I am alive at all.  With that said, I must say the last couple weeks have been more than a little difficult. My health “issues” are the reason I consider myself a resistant hermit. But I do enjoy some good weeks, even an occasional great week, then eventually the rough, bad, painful days come back.

Even at the best of times, I need to plan everything. What I am doing for the day, when I am doing it, where I am going…..then I plan my eating accordingly.  And because what goes in, must come out….I will have an hour or two of problems.  Again, that is on my best days.

I won’t describe my last couple weeks in detail. Really, I will spare you. But I will say I have a choice of eating one large meal and having humdinger of “issues” for a few hours, or I can eat small meals throughout my day and have moderate “issues” all day long.  Yep, those are my two choices.  Doesn’t matter what I eat.  Well maybe a little.  If I have too much gluten, too much meat, wine, soda, etc…..Well, I might as well not move for the rest of the day.  Doctors say this is probably as good as it will ever get for me.  What I eat, when I eat, medications, etc. will only made a small difference.

I could go back to an ostomy, but as Doctor L said, because of my very damaged intestines, and my skin sensitivities, there is no guarantee that I will enjoy more freedom.  And once I get an ostomy, there is no going back.  I do not have enough intestines to have a reversal.

I do apologize for this post. Really sounds depressing and I sound like a Debby Downer.  I really try not to write about my colorectal syndrome issues very often.  And I will try not to post another for as long as I can.  It’s just that my “issues” the last couple weeks have been overwhelming and it does affect how much I can and can not do, where I go, etc.  And as I don’t see any relief anytime soon, thought I should just put it all out there.

Today, I am planning on visiting my sister Kathy, picking up dog food for my mom’s dog, and dropping some things off at my mom’s house.  I have been up since 3:00 this morning, so I will be dragging by this afternoon. But by then I should be home, unless “issues” prevent me from going at all.

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Brazilian Cheese “Puffs”

Pretty much stayed within my dietary guidelines for the last eight days.  Very limited but I am feeling much better.  I say pretty much because I did eat something that had a few ingredients.  My niece Nicole McCoy sent me an idea.  Brazilian Cheese Bread.  It is not a bread that substitutes gluten free flours as a replacement.  Those never taste very good.  Always grainy and weird aftertaste.  This recipe has always been gluten free.  Kind of like Monster Cookies and the old fashion peanut butter cookies.  There are dozens of choices for this recipe on the internet.  Some with just parmesan cheese, olive oil, more tapioca flour.  The one I chose uses a combo of parmesan and cheddar, canola oil, and less tapioca flour.  So it is much more economical.  http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/02/quick-brazilian-cheese-rolls-pao-de-queijo-2/  I am thinking it should be renamed simply to Brazilian Cheese Puffs because they are not dense like a roll or bread.  They are very airy and puff up like a popover.

brazillian cheese rolls 015Here is what mine looked like.  They were fabulous.  I made it exactly like the recipe said.  Now that I have, I will try to make variations of if.  Maybe grate a tiny bit of garlic into the batter.  Perhaps put some herbs like parsley or thyme in it.  These puffs tasted so good, I will make them to replace gluten filled rolls or bread when making soups, etc.

But the best part I am happy to say is that I had no bad reaction to these little bundles of goodness. 🙂

Real Food

Not happy with myself. 😦  Certainly not happy with my body.  I did not make my aunt’s funeral today.  I think the only other close family member’s funeral I have missed was my Uncle Val’s years ago when I was in California.  But I have hope.

Hope that things will get better.  I went to my primary physician yesterday and she is on board and is helping me with a strategy to improve my digestion which will improve my life.  I am starting on a couple meds. that although are not normally used for the purpose I will be using them for, one in particular might contribute to some improvements.   We have a strategy for my diet and hopefully solving some mysteries on what causes ongoing “issues”.

For now, things will be very very restrictive.  No processed foods.  No meats except turkey and fresh water fish.  No eggs.  No soda, alcohol, sugary juices.  No gluten (of course).  No nuts, seeds.  No refined carbs and sugars.  No spices and herbs.  No dairy including *gulp* CHEESE. 😦  Sobbing still about that one.  So you might be wondering what I can eat.

Turkey, trout, tuna.  Most fresh vegetables.  Fresh fruit (but no citrus).  Whole grains, brown and white rice (white rice is the one refined food I can have).  White and sweet potatoes.  Maybe a little beans. Herb teas, water, fresh juice.  And after a few days I can add oats as long as it is gluten free.  No seasoning except sea salt.  I know.  This all seems so sad and bland.  But it is healthy.  Basically it is the elimination diet I was already going to start, but my doctor cut out a few more foods.  Everything very simply prepared.  Broiling, boiling, steaming.

I was thinking I would eat like this for a week and then start slowly introducing certain foods back in.  But I have been told that I need to keep things very restrictive much longer than that.  Because my intestines are so inflamed and things have become very serious.  I hate to admit something, LL has been saying this to me but yesterday my doctor said the exact same thing.  (thinking LL called her….just kidding).  What they both said is that they are worried that every time my intestines become inflamed, it is adding to the permanent damage the radiation is already causing.  In other words, if I don’t want to lose more small and large intestines, I need to get serious and very strict about what I put in my body.

I have always known this of course, but I can’t get sloppy anymore.  Which is so very hard for a person who loves food.  Please pray and wish me luck that I can do much better than I have in the past.

Splish Splash…..Mish Mash

Mish Mash?…….Because this is likely to be a post about nothing and anything.  It is 3:30 Sunday morning.  This last week, I have enjoyed much relief from my “issues”.  Which coming off of a week of vacation eating, I was surprised and relieved.  But last evening and through the night, it has been brutal.  I haven’t over eaten, because I put on a few pounds from Oktoberfest and vacation.  So I am back on counting my points for Weight Watchers.  But what I have eaten might be another story.  Friday, I made my spaghetti because I had a jar left over from canning that I did not process.  It was delicious.  I guess I did eat a large serving because I had not eaten since lunch the day before, and I had a sliver of garlic bread.  So I glutened myself.  But usually “issues” show up right away when it is gluten, and I had no problem that night or yesterday during the day.  I then went almost all day without eating again.  But I made a crock pot full of sweet and sour pork ribs, acorn squash, baked potato and green salad.  Sounds yummy doesn’t it?  It was!  I made sure I did not over eat and there was definitely no gluten in the meal.  But YIKES!  What a horrible evening and night. 😦  So bad, I had to take the pain medicine that starts with a P.  Remember, I don’t write the actual P. word down because it brings on spam comments, and nasty comments from people who seem to think if a person occasionally takes a strong pain medicine,……they must have a problem.

Speaking of P. word.  Here’s another for you.  You know the P. word that refers to a male part.  Well I may be adopting another animal next week that has a head that looks like an eight year old boy’s P. word.  😀  Rett’s brother and sister-in-law are looking for a home for Yoda, their tortoise.  I have met Yoda and as far as tortoises go, he is a handsome little fellow.  I am sure adding this guy to our household will bring on many more blog posts because this truly is a nut house.  Which brings me to……

Splish Splash?…….Yesterday, after I blogged, I went out and cleaned the chicken coop.  While out there, Bailey was on her lunch for work and was talking to me in the back yard.  LL came out and asked me to help him cover the pool for winter.  Now Reggie was out there with us.  He had walked around the pool probably a dozen times this first day that we’ve had him.  But not 2 minutes after we covered the pool with the blue tarp,…..yep, he stepped right on top of the tarp and went in the pool.  I started freaking out, and Bailey quickly grabbed him, but his surgical incision got wet with the green pool water so I quickly cleaned him and put antibiotic spray on his incision.  Not 15 minutes later, while LL is gone to the store, Bailey yells.  I come running.  I had let the girls out to free range while cleaning their coop, and Harriet stepped right onto the tarp and into the pool.  Now you might remember that I lost Alice by drowning in the pool, but Harriet and the others have lived here for 3 years, walking around the pool, tarp on and off.  Never a problem.  So while Bailey is trying to grab Harriet and Harriet is freaking out and not cooperating, I get the pool skimmer and get under her butt and literally throw her out of the pool.  What the @#$% is going on at this crazy house.  Drowning Dogs and Hens!

After such a weird day yesterday with the animals and my trying to keep Max down so his hand can heal, I am hoping for a more “normal” day.  What ever the heck that means in Konnie’s world.  There is only one plan for the day today.  Bailey wants to take LL and I out for breakfast.  Our Anniversary is coming up and she wants to treat us.  Max will probably go to.  She wants to take us to Leona’s, or is it Lenora’s.  Oh I can never remember.  It is a restaurant in Mt. Angel.  The owner is a friend of Bailey and Rett.  I have eaten there before, but LL has not and Bailey wants her dad to try the food there.  The owner is a wonderful baker (has gluten-free choices)  and she makes great cinnamon rolls, so I think Max will enjoy it too.

Well I did say this post would be rambling about nothing and everything.  Between the pain pill that I took hours ago and only a couple of hours sleep, I am pretty nauseous.  I sure wish I could go back to sleep, but as you already know about me, once I am up, I am up for the day.  Oh well, have a blessed Sunday and try not to make your day as “interesting” as my days seem to turn out lately. 🙂

Still a Hermit and Still Resistant

What a beautiful morning outside my window.  The clouds are supposed to arrive and it will not really warm up.  But I will take the few hours of sun right now.

I am starting to give up on controlling my “issues” with any food restriction.  Even gluten.  Oh I know I can’t eat much gluten, but there are times I just think *what the hell* and eat a regular bun, and have no “issues”.  Then there are times like yesterday, where I had a small amt. of dinner, with foods I know never bothered me before, and yet again, a miserable evening.  Starting to think that my system just goes in waves.  I will have a good week, and then all hell breaks loose and will have a bad week.  Like this week.

I am happy that my issues were finished by bed time and I got a decent amount of sleep.  But with the week I have had, I have open sores and my inside yet again feels like someone took a brillo pad to my colon.  Last Thursday, I went all day on just juices to give my body some relief.  It did help, but it is hard on my system to do that very often.  So I will not eat for the most part today, but at some point have a small salad with chicken on top.

What these bad weeks do to my emotions are the most difficult part.  My memory is short.  When I have a good week or two run of feeling good, energy, and freedom, I start to think *I am getting this all figured out.  I might start to have a life, get a part-time job, be more dependable for my family.*  Then when the bad week or so comes along, my emotions take a dive as my reality comes crashing down.

I guess the name of my blog still really fits me.  Resistant Hermit.  Being an involuntary hermit is not the worse thing in the world.  I have a pretty good life here at home.  It’s the unpredictability that gets me down. 😦

OOPS, I did it again

I think LL had a good day for Father’s day.  I know I had a good time.  Mom and my brother David came over for dinner.  Kane grilled steaks and hamburgers, I made a couple of salads, baked potatoes, mom brought fresh green beans, and I made strawberry shortcake for dessert.  I also made a pitcher of strawberry lemon sangria that turned out yummy, but if I make it again, I will use less lemons or remove them earlier.

Now maybe, just maybe the sangria did not agree with me.  But likely it was the fact that for the first time in two years, I ate some shortcake.  I KNOW!  Well it all started (remember when ever I start a sentence with “well it all started” I never come out looking too good in the story. 😦  Well it all started when LL went out in the morning and picked our small strawberry patch.  A huge bowl of red lovely berries.  I had to try them.  I could have just ate a few berries…..yes that would have been smart, but I sliced them and sweetened them up.  I could have had a bowl of the sweetened berries and called it good….yes that would have been smart, but no, I had a bowl, small bowl, but still a bowl of gluten, disguised as shortcake.  I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW!  Right now I know what you are thinking….*when is this girl ever going to learn?*  and normally I would make fun of you thinking such a thing, but this time I am siding with you.  I love strawberry shortcake.  Two years are a long time going without even a taste, but I can now tell you fully and whole heartedly……)))IT WAS NOT WORTH IT(((.  So no walking for me today. 😦  I called Kris to let her know.  I was up all night running to the bathroom, and am sitting very still this morning but still having to race my rebelling bowels to the bathroom.

Still, it was a really nice day yesterday.  After dinner, LL tried out his new portable hammock that will make its home at Miller’s Crossing.

Today, for the most part will be a wash out.  I will need to sit for quite a while and hope “issues” stop and the ointments do their job.  Because my weight watchers meeting is this evening.  Oh I wouldn’t mind missing it because the scale may not be my friend this week.  But I know myself.  If I avoid going for fear of having the scale go up a bit, well I will often find an excuse not to face the consequences of my choices.  I can not be the only one out there like this……Anyone?  Anyone? 🙂

Some days are diamonds…some made of stones

Hmmmm……. Oh I had plans for today that are not likely to happen.  Not really complaining because I haven’t had “issues” for quite a few days.  In fact, the last three days I have been so active that I go to sleep pretty tired.  I like that.  I like being dog tired at the end of the day because I have accomplished something rather than be exhausted from dealing with my digestion.

Monday, I walked with Kris, up and around the Abbey.  Then went with Mom and Kris to buy flowers.  Came home and spent the afternoon potting and planting annuals.  Tuesday I walked on my own and then spent the day inside cleaning, laundry, running errands, etc.  Wednesday, Kris and I walked up the Abbey again, then I cleaned the pool area, mowed the lawn, so on and so on.  So in my mind, I was planning on going for a long walk around town here this morning, enjoy the sun 🙂  then weed and clean up quite a few flower beds.  Not going to happen.  I wasn’t glutened but I ate a small bag of low calorie gluten-free snack last night.  Looking at the ingredients, I should have been fine.  I guess it still comes down to my low tolerance for processed food.  Oh well, it was worth a shot.

So I think today I will skip the walk, wait for “issues” to stop and since I will still have left over pain and not walking well, I will take the opportunity to drive over to Mom’s and spend a little time with her.  Haven’t seen her much over the last week.  So I guess I will just sit “tight” 🙂 until Max’s staff arrives, then head on over.  I also have to go light on the eating today, because I really need to be able to make my mammogram appointment tomorrow morning.

I really don’t feel too bad about having a “down” day today.  It just makes me appreciate how blessed I have been over the last few days.  Feeling bad for a few hours really helps me not to take the good days for granted.  No matter what, I will be enjoying the beauty that the weather holds for the day.  Blue cloudless sky.  LOVELY!!

Rambling and wasting the time away

What to do today???  The only have to thing is Beau’s grooming appointment at 12:30.  Usually his appointments are first thing on a Monday morning, but last time he was groomed, I was having my scans, so Kris dropped him off and LL picked him up and no appointment was set.  So we are a bit off schedule this time.  Normally, although he gets a bit yucky between appointments, I don’t normally have to bathe him between.  Last week, I couldn’t stand the smell of him and bathed him.  So he is looking like a rag doll now and I will be happy getting him spift up today.  Thinking of forgoing the cute sheltie cut and getting him sheared off for the summer.  Maybe today or maybe next time.  He will look pretty strange but I am sure still cute.  So I will be walking him to the groomers then and hoping the rain has stopped so I can get my exercise walk in at that time.  I say exercise walk, because I have also been taking Beau for a walk every day because he is so fat, but it doesn’t get me much of a work out because every minute or so, he has to stop to bless a bush one way or another.

Yesterday I felt better than I thought I would.  I walked a 5K.  Sounds impressive but in reality, it is only 3.2 miles.  I then walked Beau for about 20 minutes.  Another mile.  I then got the house cleaned.  Vacuumed, swept, dusted, laundry, dishes done and cleaned my Jenn Air stove, which is a job I hate because it gets pretty greasy with its down draft fan.  I then needed to get a few things at the grocery store and decided to walk.  Another mile.  So after dinner and dishes, I was dog tired and my feet were feeling it.  Still, felt good to be back to normal.

So that means I got to wake up to a pretty clean house.  Last night I was thinking I would work in the yard and garden this morning.  Was looking forward to it but it is raining pretty hard still and I am not in the mood for mud.  Now with my huge home, there is always something that needs to be done.  But the reason these things need to be done is because I hate doing them and put these chores off.  Things like cleaning a closet or two.  Switching my winter/summer clothes, (really putting this off because I have gained a lot of weight and can’t fit into my summer clothes) 😦  I have wood work and dust boards that could be scrubbed, or there is my very least favorite chore, paper work, (filing, trashing, sending).

Now in the past, I would take a day like this and make it a baking day.  A couple batches of cookies, bake bread, maybe a cake.  But LL and I are not eating that stuff anymore.  And even if he was, I don’t have a speck of flour in my kitchen because flour dust contaminates my kitchen with gluten.  Normally I could go to Mt. Angel and spend a couple of hours with Mom, but she is gone all day.  I could go to Salem and get some items I can not find here in town, like gluten-free soy sauce, but it is Thursday and LL works late in Portland, leaving me with the pick-up.  Not wasting the gas.

So maybe I will waste the morning away debating how to spend my time.  OK, I have made a decision.  Cleaning a closet or two sounds like the least yucky choice.  You knew it wasn’t going to be paper work, didn’t ya?

Pop Corn is not my friend

It has been a rough few days here for me.  I expected to have a rough day on Saturday.  At the wedding, although I skipped the roll and cake, I knew I would be ingesting hidden gluten.  And I did.  I also took a couple of immodiums so I could make it through the reception and that always screws things up for a couple of days.  So Saturday was a day pretty much wasted.  But it was worth it.  I had fun at the wedding.

Sunday I was feeling better.  Got a long walk in.  Got a few things done.  But I did something very stupid.  I was hungry and this last week I started a diet so I ate a small bowl of popcorn.  Well, as you may know, popcorn for healthy colons can be a challenging thing to digest.  For someone with out a rectum, very little large intestine, and a scarred and shortened small intestine, digesting pop corn is like digesting glass.  Stupid is putting it mildly.

So yesterday, Monday, I had a miserable day.  I couldn’t go for a walk.  Tried to walk on the treadmill, but that did not work.  Decided to make myself at least pick up the house but got nothing else done.  I then needed to take Max to the doctor.  This was at 3:00.  I made it but was uncomfortable.  We needed to go to the store for dog food.  Saw mom and David there but I felt kind of rude, barely saying hi and waddling through the store and back home.  It hurt.  I made it to my weight watchers meeting.  After weighing in.  Lost 2 lbs.  Which was good but for the first week, I was hoping for a little more.  My metabolism since cancer treatments and forced menopause has slowed tremendously so I should be happy with two pounds.  Just not what I am use to.  I stayed for the meeting but sat very carefully and quietly.

This morning I am still getting rid of the pop corn.  Will it never end?  Well I think it is close to being done and then I have to let things heal with the help of my ointments.  This will take a couple of days.  Still, I am hoping before it starts raining hard today, I might get a walk in.  Or probably in order to stay close to the bathroom, I probably will use the treadmill.  I just always prefer to be outside.

Tomorrow morning I need to take Max to the Silverton Hospital to have his gull bladder scanned.  Getting him up early enough for this will be a challenge.  Wish me luck.

Relearning lessons

Good Morning!  Boy am I doing well on my elimination diet.  I went out to dinner on Tuesday and had a few foods all at once.  Besides a bit of bloating, I had no adverse affect from it.  But the trouble with having too many ingredients at one time is what I said before…..which ingredient is the problem.  Suspect it was the halibut.  But that was the only time over the last week that I didn’t adhere to the adding one food at a time rule.

I have had cheese a couple of times and so far so good. 🙂  I think the hardest one food for me to give up forever would be cheese.  I have tried my favorite gluten-free cracker.  I know, a lot of ingredients go into the cracker, but I tried it anyway since there is no preservatives and only three ingredients and it seems to have caused no problem.  I have not had any beef, pork, chicken, etc.  I know too much of any of these causes problems but I do want to test out eating a small portion at a time to see if I need to totally rule out meat.  Fish is another issue.  I will test out a small portion of fish and then shell-fish.  I hope I can eat salmon because it has a lot of cancer fighting compounds in it.

I am suspecting one thing.  If you have read my other blog.  Remember last year I did a Real Food challenge.  I felt really good while eating no processed, homemade food.  I have a feeling that when I start trying out things like salad dressings, premade gluten-free marinades, etc., my “issues” may start-up again.  If that is the case, and I truly have to eliminate all that from my diet, this requires tons more work in food preparation.  Making my own mayo, even not eating my Udi’s gluten-free bread, means getting more creative and building better skills in canning and cooking.

I do feel so much better this week.  When having issues on and off all week-long, it tuckers a person out.  I have had little energy over the winter.  But this week I feel back to my old self.  Monday I thoroughly swept, mopped and polished my hard wood floor.  This usually is a two-day undertaking, but I finished it by about 2:00 in the afternoon.  I try to do this 3 or 4 times a year but I went a bit too long this time around.   Tuesday had me running around a bit with errands and yesterday, Max was home with a stomach bug.  He is doing better today and will make it to work.  He still is dealing with temporary staff as the provider still hasn’t  found the right person to replace O.

Today, I have a few things to take care of around here.  My fridge is starting to look like a science experiment and I need  to take care of some calls and paper work.  On Tuesday, I bought a book that I have been wanting on gardening.  I hope when I get my work done, to sit and start reading it.  The book has lots of ideas about how to make the most of gardening in small spaces and has a section on chickens and coops.  My girls really need a new coop but I haven’t had the heart to push LL on this lately.  But this spring I am determined to butter him up enough to build a new nifty coop.  Well a girl can dream.