Sunday, January 31, 2010

Magic ginger and hot foot bath

GingerImage by FotoosVanRobin via Flickr

My health has been stable for a while. Not at all at my best, but I got some energy to handle my daily life.
What's new in my diet? Ginger! Based on Chinese medicine and my own experience, "coldness" in your body does lots of bad things, and ginger, as a herb also a veg, can magically make your body to generate heat, thus increases blood circulation and improve metabolism. So I put lots of ginger in my food, stir fry or soup.
Here is how I make my soup, very easy: put sliced ginger in pot, add water, little veg oil if you like, salt, then boil it. Sometime I would add sliced tofu too. After water boiled, put some green vegs you like, such as spinach, cabbage or whatever. Less than 30 seconds after that the soup should be done.

And of course, I am continuing my hot foot bath, every night. It does help my sleep!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My health update

I have been taking some Chinese herbal medicine for about one week. Feels a little better.
I knew this doctor from a Chinese health forum. He gave me free advices and diagnosed me based on my detailed message through internet. What he said convinced me so I got herbal from New York China Town and cook it everyday carefully.
One thing dismays me: I cannot do almost any exercise (however the fact is I could not exercise for very long time)! Based on this doctor, I don't have enough stored energy to use, so I should not sweat! This is very tough to me because I hate to gain weight! I have already gain weight during these months and now it looks like I have to just let it go! But again, I believe what this doctor said, because during these couple of years almost every major relapses were due to my over-exercise!
So, I will watch myself gaining some extra pounds!

Be my own desperate housewife!

Marcia Cross - Bree Van de Kamp/HodgeImage by bitchymode via Flickr

"Housewife" certainly is not my type, at least during this life time. However, not only recently I fell in love with TV show "Desperate Housewives", I started staying in kitchen like Bree Van De Kamp!
During most years of my single life, I "spoiled" myself by not staying kitchen as often as most "normal" people. And this "hobby" no doubt contributed big deal to my chronic health problems. So, having been realized that life style is one of primary causes of CFS, I started cooking crazily, if not passionately. I made oath that I would take kitchen as my studio, make each meal like a piece of art!
So, if being a housewife of someone else is the last role I want to play in my life, being my own housewife is certainly not so bad.
So Bree, let me share your passion!
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Muscle and joint pain, a possible easy solution

Unmade BedImage by bluman via Flickr

I know many CFS patients suffer muscle and joint pain, especially after they wake up in the morning. I used to suffer the same symptom many times in my life but each time the pain did NOT last very long, because I found the reason: my bed was too "thin".
As seasons change I change my bed set. Almost inevitably every time when I got body and joint pain I would find that my bed was not thick enough to resist something bad for my body: cold air in winter, humidity in spring or summer. And soon after putting extra pads on the top of my bed, the symptom went away.
In China, it was a common sense that during winter, people need to put extra pads (or blankets or quilts) on the top of bed. Here is the reason (I am not a doctor nor a scientist so forgive me for not explaining this like an expert, but I try my best to make sense based on my own experience): when our body gets weak, out immune system would be too shaky to resist coldness, humidity, virus, etc., especially when our body is in rest. So when we sleep, we must protect our body in a nice and warm environment. Putting blankets on top of our body is just one side protection, the bottom side (top of mattress) should be also protected. If not, you may still feel "fine" but your body would struggle on fighting with those cold air or humidity, and exhausted when you wake up in the morning.
Of course, there are many other causes for body pain but, if your bed is thin (just a mattress and sheet), please just do an simple experiment by putting extra blankets (or pads or whatever other thing you have), and see what happen in next morning.
For back pain, soft mattress usually is the cause, but I guess this is already a common sense in this country.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

My doomed 2009 -- A lesson was learned

Representation of the Chinese five elements (w...Image via Wikipedia

In 2009, I met the toughest challenge in my life: jobless paired with terrible health condition. While I poorly "conquered" the first one during the first half of the year, the later one remains problematic.

CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) is really a monster. It doesn't kill you like some cancers, but it makes you to be only half of yourself, or even less than half. You may suffer symptoms of heart diseases, or of diabetes, or of many other diseases but as matter of fact, you have none of those diseases. The causes for CFS are still unknown, or too complicated to be detected. For sufferers, this means there is no cure for you. Or, as many doctors claimed, "you are fine".
The worst part of CFS is that it is the most misunderstood thus the most commonly misdiagnosed and mistreated illness ever. Usually it starts with normal tiredness, gradually gets severe until it's too late. During the course, patients inevitably and frequently feel inadequate, which is exactly how people with depression would feel. Thus CFS are often diagnosed as depression and given anti-depressants. However there is no study shows the effectiveness of these treatments. On the contrary, there were plenty cases showed the opposite (A young lady Sophia Mirza was one of the victims who DIED under mental treatments: To clear this confusion, people (esp. doctors ) should know that it is chronic physical illness cause depression, not the other way around. However I don't mean that depression doesn't cause ANY physical problems at all, it only means that it is not most CFS sufferers' cases.

As a longterm sufferer, I personally diagnose my CFS as "energy overdrawn". By Chinese medicine, our energy is like a bank: we make withdraw everyday also we make deposit everyday. When we make withdraw but not make deposit, we bring ourselves troubles.
How do we make deposit for our energy?
Answer is: Foods, sleep and exercises. These 3 things are the most important "deposit" we make for our energy bank. They together make a concept called: "positive life style". If we keep these things on going everyday, we should have no problems at all.
So my personal conclusion on the cause of CFS is " bad lifestyle", which mean failed on these 3 things. For CFS patients (not real depression sufferers), making effort on changing your physical life style would do much better job on recovering than focusing on what's wrong with your mind (like doctors said).

As a person who never cared about my physical being, this is the biggest lesson I learn in very hard way during my struggling in 2009. I had to shift my whole interest from "spirit" to "physical matters", such as cooking, sleep, exercises, etc. (the first one --- cooking --- is very hard for me to do because my stomach doesn't like American food so I have to work very hard to please such a patriotic organ!)

Of course, there is one thing I did not mention on my good life style menu:
good spirit. I used to think this one is the most important thing and it is above all physical issues, but after physically problematic for so long, I had to doubt my former belief. All I can tell now, is that we must take care of every aspect of ourselves: body and mind. Being balanced is the key.

May I have a blessed 2010! And you too!