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Of Medication and Fatigue - Reclaiming Health by viking-ventures

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· @viking-ventures ·
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Of Medication and Fatigue - Reclaiming Health
Last week (Tuesday), the doctor put me on Ranitidine (Zantac) - supposedly as an antihistamine, but I was concerned by the fact that the main reason for prescribing this drug is for reducing stomach acid. (I used to be a pharmacy technician back in the 90s.) The pharmacist also warned me that to begin with, the drug might cause drowsiness. Red flag.

While I do occasionally have reflux issues, it is rare - like once every few months. It is easily managed by not eating too much too close to bedtime. (Reminds self of this - last night, I ate *way* too much watermelon *way* too close to bedtime!!!) In any case, I do not consider stomach acid issues to be a very important issue in my health right now - it is likely to be fixed by getting my other issues under control.

Yet, my doctor seemed to think that was the primary reason for my cough.

Trust me, I know the difference between a reflux cough and a nagging, phlegmy cough!!!

I think it might be time to fire this doctor.

Anyway, drowsiness??? Talk about major fatigue episode!!!

Productivity-wise, I lost Wednesday through Friday of writing - *Barely* got myself back into the swing with a Dark Romance fun write... but didn't really get back to my current "work-in-progress" until yesterday! (Some of that is my fault, admittedly, as I'm weaving in a couple of characters who - according to my records - were on scene at the time... but it goes way beyond that.) 

Other symptoms of my fatigue - general feeling of malaise and forgetting about things that I bought (or got at the food bank) on Friday - and are bad now that I'm "back" from fatigue-land.

So, the ranitidine got stopped after two days. I don't even want to try it again.

Back to square one...

### Enter Hypochondriac Husband
I hope my lovely husband doesn't take this to heart too much, but the truth is if you cough, he's worried about tuberculosis or cancer

Since we married (2 years ago next month), he has talked about my nighttime breathing - he thinks it's sleep apnea. I have looked into Obstructive Sleep Apnea which is a common problem in obese people - and it even runs in the family. Yet, the symptoms have never quite matched my problem - which seems to be more allergy/sinus related than anything else. (Plus, I already sleep on my side, with my head raised a bit, and my snores aren't house-rattling like my brother's was before he was put on CPAP.)

(Of course, the doctor has already threatened with a sleep study and CPAP. Sorry, I'm *not* going to sleep with a mask on my face!)

Anyway, not sure which night it was when my husband was, once again, describing my at-sleep breathing with excruciating detail. To the point that now I cannot even *think* about going back to sleep! So, I get up and sit at the computer, determined to solve the problem that the doctor isn't interested in solving.

### Fourth Kind of Sleep Apnea
My search was "kinds of sleep apnea" - I was aware of the two main kinds "Obstructive Sleep Apnea" (the kind where your tongue settles back into your throat and the snore is the result of pushing it out of the way) and then "Central Sleep Apnea" (where the brain sort of  "forgets" to breath - a much more serious issue, in my book.) Then, there is a "Mixed" version of the first two. But it was the fourth kind that [Dr. Mercola mentions](https://articles.mercola.com/sleep-apnea/types.aspx) that really caught my attention, because suddenly, I was recognizing myself in what is called [Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome](https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/sleep/upper-airway-resistance-syndrome/symptoms.html) in which the airways are inflamed to become restricted - it's more like "breathing through a straw" - which my husband said sounded *very* much like how I sound at night.

Furthermore, when I read about how UARS presents itself in different age groups (see [this article from LHOA](http://lucohybridosa.com/about/upper-airway-resistance-syndrome-uars/) - who sell various apnea supplies), I not only recognized many of my long-term symptoms (including tooth grinding, underactive thyroid and allergic rhinitis - aka hay fever), but also some of those of my siblings! It runs strongly in the family!

So, what to do about it... Typical antihistamines have been of only moderate success - plus with the worries about Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and its possible connection to my aunt's recent death - I wanted to find something else. It would seem that some sort of anti-inflammatory needed to be added to my regimen. Ibuprofen is a part of my life anyway due to various joint/muscle issues - injury/structure related.

### No Cats were Harmed
Uncaria tomentosa - otherwise known as Cat's Claw has become one of my go-to herbs ever since discovering its ability to significantly reduce my dependence on ibuprofen. So, would it be useful in my sleep issues?

After reading a bit more (it's after midnight now), courtesy of [Dr. Axe](https://draxe.com/nutrition/herbs/cats-claw/), I am reminded of the facts that Cat's Claw is also good for allergies, asthma and chronic fatigue syndrome (I *will* do an article in the future about Cat's Claw - it's such an amazing herb.) It can also dilate blood vessels and relax smooth muscles (like the intestines) - which made me think that it might just be perfect for treating UARS.

Additionally, cat's claw is so effective on blood pressure that people are told not to take it if they're on blood pressure medication! (Probably due to the relaxing of muscles and dilation of blood vessels.)

Fortunately, I still had some tincture, so I took a dropper-full and went to bed, hoping for the best.

### Results are In...
Adding Cat's Claw to my regimen has been life-changing. There's no two ways about it!
My breathing is much more regular at night now. I am more awake in the daytime (now that the affects of the ranitidine have worn off) which means I have more energy to use with my family. (Good thing as my husband brought home half a box of peaches today - which meant that I spent the *rest* of the day canning them.)

### Other Changes
I have been focusing a lot on eating more fruit instead of grains. I love a bowl of peach slices covered in a little cinnamon, sugar (or maple syrup) and cream. I've also been working on consuming plenty of potassium to help my blood pressure come down. Watermelon is a surprisingly good source of potassium - just don't eat too much of it too close to bedtime!!! 

I've not been perfect, but I do try to make sure my little "cheats" are good for me in other ways - i.e. justifiable, lol. Still, I think I've adhered at least 80% to a primal diet - which is Mark Sisson's target... so I'm doing okay.

### Notes on Organic Food
I've had several lovely, well-meaning people talk to me about what I should be doing - primarily about buying organic.

I would dearly love to buy organic, but I tell you the truth, that this is not an option for us right now.
My husband is out of work, we were already low-income. We even go to a food bank regularly because produce is so expensive and I can often get the less-than-perfect produce there (and often some things that are exotic to me - I learned to like papaya last year due to this place.)

So, this isn't the case of giving up Starbucks to afford it - this is the case of whether it's better to have non-organic apples or no apples at all. To hear some people talk, you would have to conclude that it was better to have no apples at all... But for me, it is more important that my family have food, even if it's not organic. We do the best we can - that's all anyone can do.

### What's Next?
I'm still debating on whether to try to get a new doctor before my scheduled appointment this next week, but I am also tempted to go just to say "I fixed it by myself..." Then, I will see if there's another doctor I can see from now on. I feel that she prescribed an inappropriate medication given what I told her my symptoms were. 

She was busier plugging info onto a screen to work out which med to prescribe than she was listening to what I actually had to say - and the fact that my breathing was perfectly fine for her didn't mean that I wasn't getting upper respiratory symptoms at other times... I AM A PERSON!!! Not a list of symptoms!!!

Question: Do you know what they call the med. student who graduates at the bottom of his/her class?

Answer: Doctor.

Until next week...

***
At the beginning of this journey...
![Lori_at_fair_600.jpg](https://files.steempeak.com/file/steempeak/viking-ventures/qOwOdXMb-Lori_at_fair_600.jpg)
(_Image taken by my brother Chris, at the Clatsop County Fair in Oregon - August 2019._)

**Health Stats**
| Date |  Weight | BMI | Blood Pressure | Pulse |
---|---|---|---|---
| Sep 10, 2019	| 251.38 lbs | 47.67 | 167/101 (retaken 1/2 hour later) 158/94 | 81| 


**Health Stats on Sep 10, 2019.**
Weight: 251.38 lbs
BMI: 47.67
Blood Pressure: 167/101 - retaken half an hour later 158/94
Pulse rate: 81
*Very* unhealthy!

***

## Record of my journey...
[WAY Too Unhealthy - Time to Change](https://steempeak.com/health/@viking-ventures/way-too-unhealthy-time-to-change-reclaiming-health) - September 11, 2019


Crossposted at Steem, Whaleshares, WeKu, Hyperspace.

***

<center>
**Lori Svensen**
author/designer at **[A'mara Books](https://www.facebook.com/AmaraBooks/)**
photographer/graphic artist for **[Viking Visual](https://www.facebook.com/vikingvisual/)**
verified author on [Goodreads](https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8349742.Lori_Svensen)
find me on [Twitter](https://twitter.com/LSvensen)
blogging on:  [Steem](https://steemit.com/@viking-ventures), [Whaleshares](https://whaleshares.io/@viking-ventures), [WeKu](https://deals.weku.io/pick_account?referral=viking-ventures), [Hyperspace](https://hyperspace.app/u/5ccc6181520b440007630794)

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*** 

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@drotto ·
<p>This post has received a 3.13 % upvote from @drotto thanks to: @sbi-booster.</p>
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@goldenoakfarm ·
I felt I had to reply to your comment about eating organic. This is my story. I have chronic Lyme disease, have had from childhood, untreated. In 1999, my husband had to stop working due to chronic illness, and I was a homeschooling mom and we had a small boarding stable. That year I got really sick in September. I'd had odd symptoms for decades, but things got drastically worse then.

We were on a single disability income. I had always been frugal, as we'd been on his single income for 10 years. 

I've written a post about the rest of the story here:

https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@goldenoakfarm/a-2nd-intro-or-how-i-got-started-growing-my-own-food

But the take away is, for decades I said, we couldn't afford organic, but somehow we managed to start raising our own, and my life was forever changed. All thanks to a persistent person who cared.

Something to think about....Your story resonated with me...
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@viking-ventures ·
Fabulous story - and I'm big on Weston A Price Foundation work. (Though I *wish* they'd update the text book/cookbook soon - with newer studies, etc. Everything they stand for is currently based on 20+ year-old studies.)

Until recently, I didn't even have wheels to get away from our apartment complex where we have only a small porch to have any plants on (which is currently occupied by two bikes.) But now, I have wheels, I should be able to do more. I will tap into the community and see if there are any community gardens that don't cost an outrageous amount to rent a vegetable plot from.

In any case, we should be at the top of the Section 8 waiting list any time now - we already know where we can live - a local trailer court, where we can, at least, have some raised beds. I will grow as much as we can then - especially green leafy vegetables which cost so much in the stores, yet I hate buying because we never seem to get through them before they go bad... so doubly expensive! If I'm growing them, I know I will eat more of them - and they will actually taste!

Of course, Wyoming soil isn't lovely like many parts of the country. Where we are was part of an ancient sea and the salts go deep into the soil. I think raised beds will be the only possibility.

Next spring/summer (spring here is late), I'll definitely be doing *something* in the dirt, but for now, I can only do what we can do. Sigh, I can't even have a fish tank here - so, aquaponics is out - even if I could spare the space in front of one of the windows (maybe 700-800 square feet for 4 people...) - which I simply can't yet.
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@goldenoakfarm ·
They say where there's a will, there's a way. You will find the way, when the time is right!
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@adalger ·
Thats sounds a bit not coclusive .. I am not sure  but if I were you I would take in a second opinion from another doctor in your case .. I wish you the best !
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@viking-ventures ·
Yeah, I will see if I can make my next appointment with a different doctor - shop around a bit... though low income and without insurance, we are a bit spoilt for choice. (sarcasm) - but the place we go (sliding scale fees), there are other doctors - so maybe one of them will work better for me.
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@brittandjosie ·
Food changed so much over the years I love your honesty in the blog weight is such a topic these last years
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@viking-ventures ·
Thank you! I hope that some people will find companionship, hope and maybe even solutions within my journey.
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@c-squared ·
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<div class="pull-left">https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmaSUWYsJ3AMUEMRqCSaoKJVNvtsbKm4fNAtmTidr8Uggc/C%20Squared%20Logo%20Transparency%20200px.png</div><br>This post was shared in the <a href="https://discord.gg/B8JFmJ4">Curation Collective Discord community</a> for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.<br/>@c-squared runs a <a href="https://steemit.com/witness/@c-cubed/announcing-the-launch-of-the-new-c-squared-witness">community witness</a>. Please consider using one of your witness votes on us <a href ="https://steemconnect.com/sign/account-witness-vote?witness=c-squared&approve=true">here</a>
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