Wednesday, September 21, 2011

water fast day five: what is the point of all this again?

one of the lookouts in the Wissahickon today
Today after I got back from the colonoscopy I was so nauseous and dehydrated I had to take an hour nap so I could get up and take the dogs to the park for a hike.  I felt weak from the diarrhea and dehydration, but since then I've been drinking and resting and I feel a bit better.  I think the reason for my weakness today is probably my poor judgment in scheduling the test during a fast, so I'm hopeful that tomorrow when I return to work I will feel as good as I did late yesterday.  One thing I noted about being hooked up to all of those machines in a hospital: my blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation were all stable.  And I refused sedation, because I did not want any IV solution or drugs in my body during my fast.  Actually if you've know anything about me you would realize I would refused sedation anyway.  The anesthesiologist, who afterwards was abruptly dismissed by my attending nurse, told me I "was missing out on a fantastic drug with absolutely no side effects."  I laughed, and thanked him for his candor.

I generally try to wear as much metal as possible
One thing somewhat incredible, I have been off all allergy and asthma meds since last Friday.  Since I am highly allergic to trees, plants, mold, dogs and cats, I take Allegra year-round to be able to be as active outside as well as to be able to own two dogs.  If I forget Allegra for a day I generally get very itchy; as a matter of fact in the past two months my itching has gotten so bad that I have been up for hours at night itching my arms and neck to the point where I wake up in the morning with broken skin and severe bruising from all the scratching.  I can't wear metal jewelry anymore around my neck for more than a few hours; sterling silver or gold even, which is really frustrating for me because I sure do love my accessories.  In fact all of this allergic activity was one of the reasons I decided to fast in the first place; because autoimmune illnesses like asthma, allergies, and leaky gut syndrome all supposedly respond well to fasting.  I've stopped taking my daily Pulmacort inhaler as well; although the manifestations of that won't be evident until I start strenuous exercise again, since my asthma only presented as exercise-induced.

today's catch
So I've been reading and relaxing and doing only a few chores like watering the garden and picking some odds and ends from my garden which I will give away since I won't be eating for another week.  It broke my heart to hand my Dad, who drove me to the procedure today, a huge bag of freshly-picked lima beans from my garden because there is nothing quite like fresh limas, and I have an incredible recipe for them, but the vines are still producing so I should get to try them before the frost destroys all.  My lettuce is looking quite tasty as well about now, but I will give some of that away to Colin tomorrow when he stops by to pick up his raw milk and cheddar from the farm.  Nothing goes to waste.  That cheese is going to look yummy.  Ah cheese, the reason I'm not a vegan.  I only eat goat and sheep milk cheese for the most part though.

I wonder how the re-feeding is going to go, because apparently breaking the fast can be just as challenging as the fast itself.  Joel Fuhrman states that the faster's stomach stops the production of digestive enzymes, in addition to the fact that the mucosal lining of it thins out during a long period of dormancy, so you have to be extra careful of what, how much, and how often you consume post-fast.  Celes had tremendous difficulty with breaking her fast, although hers was 21 days, which will be twice as long as mine.  They say fasts longer than 10 days can be very difficult to break.  Well, I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  I have to get through 2 more days of work, then a beautiful rideless fall weekend punctuated by a few social engagements I can't excuse myself from, then 1 more day of work before I can have that 2 ounce piece of watermelon next Tuesday September 27th.  And Boss #1 will be back from Ireland on Monday and popping into my office every 15 minutes with one problem or another, so I'm hoping I will have achieved some  non-characteristic Zen-like patience by then or I might have to lock my door.

I guess it would not hurt to state that my primary goals of this fast are:

  1. to heal my intestines.  By doing so I hope to heal my hypothyroid issues too, as thyroid issue go hand in hand with leaky gut syndrome.  20% of T4 is converted to T3 in the intestines, but only in the presence of healthy gut flora, according to Datis Kharrazian.
  2. to greatly diminish my asthma and allergies and get off those medications, especially the inhaled corticosteroid.
  3. to give my body some much needed rest.  I've been pushing it to it's limits for years and never getting enough rest.
  4. to lose the excess weight I've put on through these medical issues the past year which I can't seem to lose as long as my body refuses to burn fat because of my out-of-whack hormones and hypothyroid issues.
  5. to have time to write and read while I rest my body. I'm really loving all this learning which I don't have time to do often as I would like.
  6. to research and prepare my body and mind to incorporate even more raw food into my diet. 
  7. to enjoy relaxing, resting and healing; that is to say to calm my mind to the point where I'm not thinking about what I could be doing, but instead savoring the present moment.  

its not unusual for me to have 3 helpings of raw vegs on
my plate at one meal: here is raw celeriac, raw sunchokes,
and raw thai papaya salad.  Lots of slicing!
A note about #6:  It's quite a challenge to move to a raw diet from a cooked one, although I have been incorporating about 25-50% raw foods in my diet already, which is not insignificant.  Due to my inflamed IBS over the past year, I have not been able to eat more raw than that because my intestines have not been able to process it.

And as for #7, well that is a big challenge for me, but I'm pleased to report as I get through Day 5 of consuming only water that it is happening much more easily than I had imagined.  There really is something to this fasting thing!  My biggest fear now that I've clearly entered ketosis and clearly don't have a MCAD deficiency is how long it will take me to regain my strength after I've started eating again so I can resume cycling, weight training, running, and swimming.  My other fear is of course that my IBS will still be an issue after this is all over but I suspect that will not be the case, in light of the changes I have already seen.  But I won't know for sure until I resume eating.  Even the juice fasts I have done suppress the IBS greatly for a month or so, but each time it has returned with a vengeance.  It never completely goes away, but for the past 17 years it has been quite tolerable the way I have adapted my diet, and I would like to push it back into "remission" so I can resume a normal life.  Normal for me that is.

That's about it for today; I'm looking forward to reading some more of Ted Kerasote's beautifully written epic, Merle's Door, as well as working on a half-written poem that has been languishing on my computer since the snowstorms of January.  More tomorrow, I'm sure I will be feeling a bit less depleted then.

stats: weight in am = 121.2  saliva PH = 6.5 urine PH = 6.25

No comments: