|Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 - 7:29 pm: || |
The past 18 months Iíve been through a pretty rough patch of life battling against nerve pain from an injury. This was always my worst fear- getting a health condition that prevented me from shopping and cooking for me and my family and needing to take a variety of medications. Through some amazing doctors, a lot of inspiration and help from above weíve gotten through the worst of the pain and our lives are settling back into a steady routine. Here are a few things I have learned while going through this that may help others with MSG reactions and chronic pain.
1. There are several formula options to try within the same medication. Every generic brand is formulated with different binders and fillers. If you react to one generic brand, you can try a different brand at a different pharmacy. Also, the same medication is often available in a capsule and tablet but at different mg. For example Gabapentin is available in a capsule at 100mg and 300mg, then switches to a white chalky pill at 600mg. If you react the tablet, you can have your insurance approve for you to take (2) 300mg capsules instead of (1) 600mg tablet. I would react to some brands of medications but do fine with others so it was worth it for me to keep trying until I found a brand that would work. Even though the capsules of medications taste terrible, they were the easiest on my stomach (less binders).
Overall I did much better with prescription medication compared to vitamins or supplements. I donít tolerate over the counter vitamins or supplements- I have reacted to everything I have tried in the past. I also react to many over the counter medications like cold medication or Ibuprofen. I donít know if it was the Lord's mercy or if prescriptions have different binders, but I handled most of the 30+ different prescriptions very well. Patches and creams I handled better then oral medications as my MSG reaction is in my stomach so it was helpful to use a cream or patch.
2. When going in for tests like a CT scan with a dye or a surgery with an IV and sedation medication that I couldnít do without- I would keep my diet as ďsafeĒ as possible in the days leading up to the procedure to make my body more able to tolerate the additives added to my IV.
3. Before my accident we had a large stockpile of food stored up that became a life saver for us. Iím sure you are all like me, you shop from several stores. Ketchup and crackers from one store, nuts from other store downtown, chicken, cheese and orange juice from Costco, beef from Harmons, etc. It takes all month running around to different stores to stock our fridge for the month. It was so beneficial to have our msg free products well stocked in our home when I couldnít go shopping and my husband was overwhelmed taking care of me and our home. We had neighbors that would run to the store for us but it was even overwhelming to put together a list for them. We ended up having a neighbor pick up produce, milk and eggs for us each week- then we lived off everything we had stored in our pantry and freezer. It made it so the shopping trips were easier for our neighbors and ensured the products were all safe. We did this for almost a year. I am so grateful that we had all of the unusual items we eat stocked in our basement.
4. Helping neighbors in the kitchen. For close to a year I was unable to cook but I could get out of bed for short amounts of time. We had several neighbors offering to make meals for us but we all know thatís just not an option. Instead we had someone come over twice a week and prep food while I was out of the house at the doctors. They would cut up fresh fruits and vegetables. Other days I would leave out a recipe with the ingredients and they would prepare it. This worked out so my husband could come home and steam the vegetables that were already washed and chopped.
5. Recipes. It was such a blessing that I have been compiling all of my recipes (even the ones I have memorized) for awhile now. When my Mom or a neighbor would come over, I could leave a printed recipe on the counter and they could put together a safe meal in our kitchen. It was also helpful having an already compiled list of brands that are safe for us to eat. When Iím shopping, I visually see the brand of cheese or meat and know what to buy. But Iím grateful I kept a list of brands we buy so I could write down a specific brand for someone else to pick up for me (without me being at the store to double check the label).
6. Weighing pros and cons. Sometimes I needed to weigh the pros and cons of how critical it was to take the medication vs. the reaction I may have and the damage to my stomach that may occur. When I have a cold, itís easy for me to decide to skip a cold medication and use natural methods to feel more comfortable. But when doctors are worried about a brain bleed and you need to inject a dye into your body for the MRI, you just need to run with it and hope for the best. This was hard for me at first as Iím so used to staying away from any kind of medication but I quickly realized that sometimes it is necessary.
7. Natural options. It seems with many things there are more natural options available. Some doctors are great about explaining these options and others arenít as experienced with them. I was lucky to have a Neurologist and Pain Management doctor who directed me to several options. I had a physical therapist who did more good than any medication and injection for my headaches. Even though it was very time consuming and expensive, it was well worth it to see the relief that came from acupuncture, and the healing that took place through a chiropractor was also very beneficial.
As my body handles medication so poorly, I was blessed to find an amazing pain management doctor who found the root causes of my pain and was able to surgerically block the pain signals making it so I wouldnít need to continue trying different medications. I think itís important to read, study, ask questions, and look for less invasive options to help treat and cure.
These are a few things that come to mind that were helpful in working around the diet I have and my sensitivity to medications. I hope no one else goes through any major health setbacks, but if so I hope these suggestions are helpful.
|Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 - 7:30 pm: || |
Deb A. asked that I post the blog where I keep our favorite recipes.
For anyone interested, here is the link:
|Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 7:35 am: || |
THANK YOU, Emily! Wow, what great advice. May I add it to my book some day, giving you full credit? If so, I will need your name...just email it.
We all dread hospitals and medications. I have had people call me from the hospital for advice. As you have said, it is always wise to have a stash of safe foods in your home...and NEVER be intimidated by doctors of pharmacists...ask questions until you get the right information. Keeping a list of the names of products you use is so important..and where you bought it..great advice, as is writing down your favorite recipes.
Thank you, thank you! I sure wish I could have been close enough to help with meals, Emily. What a struggle you have had.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 5:55 pm: || |
Emily, I had missed your posts. This post has so much good information. I'm just sorry that you had to go through so much but the information is appreciated. I am so glad that you are doing so well.
|Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 6:55 am: || |
Hi Emily, sorry to hear what a rough time you've been having. Hope you are feeling well now. I've passed your link on several times recently. I find the info very helpful. Again, I was like you, and now Margaret - some of us just stop functioning until we figured out the problem, purged glutamate (and soy and sulfites for me!) from our diets. Wish you all the best!
|Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 8:17 pm: || |
I hope you feel better very soon Emily. I hate the fact that meds are a catch 22 and sometimes necessary but so glad to hear your pain doc is on board... which is a very rare... Hope your are 100% real soon.