I am not writing to you as a student of Le Cordon Bleu, a culinary school for those of you that may not know that. After being a flight attendant for 15 years and not taking very good care of myself, I decided that enough was enough. I have done enough research over the years to understand what it going on and how it’s not going to get any better. And now this? Read the rest of this entry »
Wow, I didn’t realize how long it had been since I last wrote on here. Forgive me? I promise that it will be worth the wait. Some BIG plans are on the way and are the most delicious ones yet. How would you feel if you could have your (cup)cakes, actually eat them and be better off for it? Hang tight and that’s just what you’ll get. You can give in to your sweet tooth and your body’s well being at the same time.
I realize that when I eat better, even so far as to eat gluten-free, that I feel a lot better. What I didn’t know is that I could be causing some of the pain by the way that I have been eating over the last year. I had been trying to commute for my job and take care of a home and my family and it was taking a toll on me. My feet began to hurt so badly that I would have a hard time walking especially first thing in the morning and little by little my arms began to stay numb most of the time. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a spot on my big toe that often itches and yet I can never seem to itch it. Last month, I was sitting with my feet in the hot tub when it happened. I began to rub my toe on the steps but didn’t feel any relief so I rubbed harder and nothing. I rubbed the big toe on my other foot against the step and shrieked in pain. The steps were rough concrete! Further examination and I realized that there is no feeling on the side of the big toe on that one foot.
Even though I have suffered with Lupus since 1991, I still have to go back and remind myself of the symptoms
and problems caused by the disease. First of all, let’s break down Lupus for those that don’t know what it is. Lupus is the general term for it. Systemic Lupus Erythamatosus is the full clinical name. This disease is called systemic because it can affect many parts of the body. It is characterized by inflammation and damage to different tissues and organs with many symptoms including fatigue and fever, swollen or painfully inflamed joints, and skin rashes. Lupus may affect the kidneys, heart, lungs, blood and blood vessels, central nervous system and peripheral nerves. It may suddenly flare up and then retreat into remission.
With that said, let’s skip ahead to the peripheral nerves and damage that can be caused to them. Peripheral Neuropathy describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, the vast communications network that transmits information from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to every other part of the body. When this happens, pain, numbness and tingling are just a few of the side effects that can occur. Some people may experience everything from problems with blood pressure, breathing, sexual functions and even organ failure.
Of course, systemic diseases and autoimmune disease often lead to peripheral neuropathy so there you go. Systemic Lupus is both so I am pretty sure that I was guaranteed to have problems with my feet. Now, I would like to know what I can do to make them feel better? Since I refuse to let the problem stop me from enjoying life, there are different pharmaceutical options that can be tried as well as a well balanced diet, avoiding toxins such as smoking and too much alcohol, caffeine and stress. Keeping inflammation at bay with OTC’s such as Aleve and Ibuprofen can also help avoid further nerve damage. Cymbalta is an antidepressant that is used for depression and also pain and sleeplessness. I have tried others such as prednisone and gabapentin are just two of the others but I no longer take them.
I am convinced that Chinese reflexology and acupuncture, massage and good shoes also help. I am also researching foods that can help with the symptoms and to avoid further damage so please check back later and comment with treatments that you have found helpful!
There are usually at least two ways that I can tell you that we have begun our descent. Either the sound of a water bottle crunching on the galley shelf or an almost instant stabbing pain right above my brows that sometimes radiates into my jaw.
The fact that my spouse informed me that my snoring was keeping him up was a big clue of what was coming since I don’t usually snore, unless my sinuses are swollen and an infection is close behind. The headache that accompanied the ill attempts at sleep for two nights straight, the pain on either side of my nose and the final stab right above my eyes informed me that I would not be a happy camper soon.
As many people know, we breath the best at around sea level. The higher up that you go, the thinner the air and therefor less oxygen in the air. The mountains that most people actually live in are around 8,000 feet. An aircraft generally flies up to 42,000 feet, which is not possible for natural breathing. The cabin of an aircraft is pressurized to combat this problem and make flight at higher altitudes possible. I’ll spare you the details of how the pressurization works however, I can tell you that it keeps the cabin at around that 8,000 ft mark.
As you are ascending into the air, the pressurization works as if you are climbing the mountain. Most people do not even notice it actually but of course you are not actually hiking a mountain and it’s gradual. It’s when you are descending that it can become a problem if you are suffering with any type of congestion or even with passengers with ear canal differences (e.g.. small canals, angled canals, ect.). Old aircraft can also cause a problem but not always.
Air within the sinuses expands on ascent and contracts on descent. Normally the sinuses vent to the back of the nose easily and little more than a tickling sensation is felt. If, however, the linings of the sinuses are swollen and blocked the air will not be easily able to move in and out to equalise pressure. This can be caused by inflammation of the sinus’ membranes during a cold or sinusitis. When pressure builds up in the sinuses is when you can feel pain in the forehead, the cheek, or deep within the head.
The only purpose of the sinuses that I can find is that the thin layer of mucus that lines the inside of the sinuses humidify the air that we breathe. The air in an aircraft is extremely drying and strips the sinuses of their natural protecting properties. The air in an aircraft cabin is also recirculated. This means that if someone else onboard has a cold or other virus, then it is most likely being passed around to everyone else. It’s also why you cannot polish your nails on the plane! Viruses you cannot see but even the flight crew can smell strong smells up in the flight deck. The inflammation just like anywhere else in the body does not make a body happy, the sinuses will rebel by making even more mucus that will fill the sinus cavities, causing pain and irritation. And, allowing the bacteria and virus to multiply.
So, what can you do to avoid this situation if you have to fly with any hint of congestion?
First of all, avoid too much salt, caffeine and carbonated beverages while on board. A little tomato juice for the salt is fine in my opinion because it helps the body to trap some fluid that you are losing but caffeine dehydrates you ever faster. I like to try to drink a small bottle of water (8oz) before and after each flight and then one for each hour during flight. If you find that the cabin’s air bothers you, then rinsing with a salt solution (Neti Pot Sinus Rinse / Nasal Irrigation Travel Kit – 4 ounce bottle – 2 Pack before and possibly during the flight if it’s a long one, will absolutely help. Some people find that adding something like Airborne to your water or taking a vitamin and extra vitamin C to boost your immune system can help too to help your body’s immune system fight off the extra germs. Wash your hands and even the tray tables anytime that you can also.
I still remain adamant about the fact that people take the privacy issue too far about whether the scanners can see one naked or not. This is especially true about the new software. Now, when an area alarms, a red X is lit up over the area on a cartoon figure noting an area of concern.
There are however, new concerns over the true amount of actual radiation being possibly administered during just one scan at TSA. let’s take a look at the numbers.
One DEXAScan (bone scan) emits .001 mSv
One regular x-ray (extrimity) emits. .01 mSv
One three hour flight emits .0162 mSv
One pass through a Backscatter emits .0001 mSv
These numbers are based on facts that I located online, using medical sites, an interesting find on Quora and the Smithsonian’s Air&Space site. Please check them out for yourself. A woman that I was flying with last week was adamant about the fact that the reports are wrong and that people “like us” that fly all the time, should avoid any extra exposure to radiation by going through those machines. She has a relative that works in the hospital and feels that it’s very concerning technology.
A little more recent research shows that the medical community at UCLA fears that there is also inconclusive research and that the facts are based on whole body scanning versus the skin as it really is. These scanners are not trying to see your insides, which is why my knee replacement doesn’t show a big X. They are concentrated on your skin and just underneath, which causes a greater concentration in exposure. But, how much is enough to cause further chance of cancer? Until the government does the appropriate testing, we’ll never know.
For those of us that fly up to 30 or more hours a week plus regular medical testing , perhaps getting the pat down versus the more convenient machine is the way to go until we do know?
- Security Specialist Exposes TSA Body Scanners as “Giant Fraud” (mountainrepublic.net)
Ropinirole is a pharmaceutical medication that is prescribed for Parkinson’s Disease and Eknom Syndrome (Restless Leg Syndrome) as a means of controlling nervous system problems that cause symptoms such as shaking and an uncontrollable urge to move one’s legs.
This is a medicine that had been the only thing so far that has allowed me to be able to sit or sleep at night after years of pacing the floors for hours on end. In the past month or so though, the same medication that I was taking up to three times a day began to make me violently ill. Severe nausea and vomiting became a guarantee within 30 minutes of taking my saving grace. But, why? I am now down to approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of one pill to avoid upset. Read the rest of this entry »
I have a few personal encounters that make me really sad and wonder how a mother could not know that something is wrong.
I met a woman today who told me that her daughter used to hit her head on the sidewalk when she was little. She thought that it would hurt and the little girl would learn not to do that anymore. She suffered for 11 years before receiving any help. Another woman was in the grocery store when her son was screaming and literally out of control, grabbing bags of apples and throwing them on the floor. Finally, a woman on an aircraft was traveling with a little boy still in diapers that literally screamed the entire flight from New York to Florida. He wasn’t a brat, he appeared to be genuinely distraught. So what’s going on? Read the rest of this entry »
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a system-wide disease.
It is an inflammatory disease where the patient’s own immune system attacks and destroys cartilage.
It is known that RA can cause swelling also called edema, which in my world I have first hand knowledge of. What I would like to know is if it’s the edema or the RA that is causing the intense arch pain and all over foot pain or is it simply the RA itself. Perhaps they are one and the same?
I was told by a massage therapist that it’s possible that due to the sudden weight gain (edema) that Plantar Facitits has developed. The plantar facia is the thick band of skin that connects the heel to the toes and