Friday, July 07, 2006
a post wherein i talk about headaches....again.

hi friends -- this could be a long one. first let me say that i WILL show you all the finished product whenever it's done. i don't know when that'll be. i get the rest of the squares next week, though, so technically i could begin working on it after that. let's get real, though, shall we? i'm gonna be needing a little quilting break. mm-kay?

soooooo you know me, always looking for ways to get rid of this everliving headache; it doesn't want to go away. a year and a half i've had this headache. last night, at dinner with the aunts and cousins, one of the aunts and i had a conversation about what i eat, what i don't eat, etc. and b/c my neurologist didn't feel it would be helpful (that is, he believed food triggers aren't the issue w/my chronic migraines), i haven't done a total elimination diet. but having thought more and more about it lately, i just feel like i need to! of course, most all my favorite foods need to be eliminated, like ice cream (how will i live without thee?), peanut butter (*gasp!), and cheese. whew. that makes me sound disgusting. i do EAT other things, those are just my favorites. in any case, the list is long. let me show you:


: Beans (lima, Italian, pole, broad, fava, string, navy, pinto, garbanzo, lentils, snow peas), pickles, chili peppers, olives.
: All other fresh, frozen, dried, and canned vegetables and vegetable juices.

Limit tomatoes to 1/2 cup per day; limit onions to 1/2 cup per day.

: Dried fruits that contain preservatives (such as raisins, dates, figs, apricots), avocados, papayas, passion fruit, red plums, banana-peel extract.
Allowed: All other fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and juices. Limit citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, limes) and pineapple to 1/2 cup per day. Limit bananas to 1/2 banana per day. (Technically, a tomato is a fruit, so remember to limit tomatoes to 1/2 cup per day.) Organic dried fruits without preservatives (particularly sulfites).

Breads and Cereals
: Any fresh yeast product straight out of the oven; for example, yeast breads, crackers, pizza dough, doughnuts, soft pretzels.
: Store-bought and homemade breads (white, whole wheat, French, Italian, bagels, etc.) are fine as long as they are not straight out of the oven and have been allowed to cool (it's OK to reheat them). Just be careful that they don't contain other prohibited ingredients, such as raisins, nuts, chocolate, or cheeses. Likewise, you can eat all hot and cold cereals unless they contain specifically prohibited items, such as dried fruit or artificial sweeteners.

Dairy Products and Eggs
: Most cheeses. Sour cream, whole milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, cream.
: Skim milk or 1% homogenized milk. Cheeses: American, ricotta, cream cheese, Velveeta, pot, farmer, cottage. Skim milkbased yogurt (limit it to 1/2 cup per day). Eggs.

: Alcoholic beverages, especially red wine; beverages containing chocolate or cocoa; diet beverages containing artificial sweeteners.
Allowed: Fruit and vegetable juices, noncaffeinated drinks (if they don't contain artificial sweeteners). Limit caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea, or soda, to 2 cups (approximately 16 ounces) per day. For soda, that's a little more than one can a day.

: Most canned soups and bouillon cubes (they usually contain MSG, preservatives, or other prohibited ingredients).
: Homemade soups and stocks, unless they contain other specifically prohibited foods, such as beans, cheese, or large amounts of onion or tomato.

: Chocolate, carob, and licorice; ice cream; desserts containing other prohibited foods, such as nuts or dried fruit, or those made with liqueurs; whipped cream.
: Cakes, cookies, candies, and pies, unless they contain prohibited ingredients; gelatin, sherbet, and sorbet.

: Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and tenderizers containing MSG; soy sauce; vinegar, except for white and cider vinegars; salad dressings containing wine or vinegar, unless it is white or cider vinegar; cooking sherry; olive oil; seeds, nuts, peanuts, and peanut butter; all artificial sweeteners; preservatives, such as nitrates and sulfites; coconuts; capers. Most mustards, ketchups, and mayonnaises.
Allowed: Anything else not specifically prohibited, all herbs and spices, white vinegar, cider vinegar, honey, jams, jellies, dry mustard.

Meat and Seafood
: Bacon, hot dogs, pepperoni, sausage, salami, bologna, ham; organs (liver and other organ meats) ; all aged, canned, cured, or processed meat products; caviar.
: All fresh beef, poultry, fish, or pork products, unless specifically prohibited; tuna and other canned seafood that is packed in water.


and that's the list. soooooo my plan is to follow this TO THE LETTER. for how long? i haven't decided yet. i'm going to consult at least one doctor, and see what they think. i'm guessing it'll be 2 to 3 months. so tonight for a farewell, i had a rather large bowl of ice cream (combination peanut butter and baby ruth). wow. that was fabulous. but tomorrow; it starts. i'm feeling resolute, but also nervous. i just don't know. i know i need to do it to at least rule it out; i need to know that i've tried everything within my power. and i really am willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of this, don't get me wrong. it just goes against my nature to LIMIT what i eat, to consult a list (cringe) of foods that are ALLOWED and NOT allowed. the passive aggresive in me wants to rebel!!!! lol. but tomorrow it begins! eating what is allowed on the list. not eating what is NOT allowed on the list!

Blogger LeighAnn had this to say:

I say just take some Advil. :-)

8:59 AM 

Anonymous Denise had this to say:

Yuck. You know, Emily....I'm really worried about this situtation. There HAS to be something going on. What kind of tests have been done? How many doctors have you seen? Do you have good insurance? Are there any big speciality hospitals near you?
Yes, I'm a buttinski....but I mean well.

10:26 AM 

Blogger Emily had this to say:

denise -- you're not a buttinski :) i'm worried about the situation, too. trust me. lol. tests i've had done are MRI w/ and w/o contrast, EEG, EKG, testing my eyes and my balance, testing for a hole in my heart, and testing my spinal fluid for the pressure and to be sure there was no infection. that about sums it up, i think. for the past 6 months i've been seeing a neurologist at the university of utah, which is the biggest hospital set nearby.

my insurance is crappy; it's the grad student insurance at the u of u, and we pay TONS for me to be on it. but it's no good at all. luckily, the u of u hospitals and clinics are pretty good, and well respected. i've seen 5 neurologists so far, and will be seeing #6 in sept.; she is a highly regarded migraine specialist, so i have high hopes for her. also at the end of this month, i'll be seeing a pain clinic; hopefully for some pain relief while we find a preventative regimine that works.

whew. what a mess. if you have any suggestions, denise, i'd love to hear them; seriously. i'm doing the best i can, but i am a young'n and know very little about navigating insurance and doctors and everything. i'm learning as i go! any ideas on what i should do, or what it could be?
thanks much

11:28 AM 

Blogger Edge had this to say:

Perhaps a post wherein you list all treatments, medications and their failures/successes would be in order, sis. I know I, for one, can't believe all the stuff you've tried. From the pills that made your hair fall out to the gluestick on the head, the aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, raindrop just keeps coming. :( I hope this diet is helpful.

2:05 PM 

Blogger Emily had this to say:

good thinking, edge. maybe i'll do that later on today. :)

2:09 PM 

Blogger Muum had this to say:

let me help you sort out the bills/ insurance stuff, I have a lot of experience with that, love you!

6:05 PM 

Blogger Krisco had this to say:

Wow, that sounds hard. Good luck! I hope you figure it all out!!

10:41 PM 

Blogger terri had this to say:

em, i did the diet and it was hard but i didn't find it at all hard to be devoted to it. it seemed to have a genuine purpose and i kind of became addicted to the diet. it was neat having such a regimen in my life, to have something i could control amidst the headache/life/work chaos. the biggest part, for me, was keeping the fridge adequately stocked and cooking regularly so that i always had snack food. it seemed like i was always standing in front of the fridge desparately looking for "quick" food and there never was any since the usual snacks (yogourt, trail mix, dried fruit) weren't available. so i kept lots of chopped up veggies and fresh fruit salads on-hand. i also started cooking on sundays (a day off since i work through the week)...usually two "hot" dishes that i could have on hand through the week. i also cooked a lot of rice and had it in the fridge so i could just nuke a bowl of rice to go with a stir-fry or something so i wasn't always having to cook these big meals! also, i don't know how much organic food you eat, but i found that my organic store often had lots of pre-made meals that i would buy every now and then so i didn't need to cook all the time. my diet didn't allow vinegar (fermented) but did allow distilled white vinegar, which isn't fermented, so i bought that to make salad dressings using good olive oil and some herbs and garlic and shallots. shallots were allowed and i used those in place of onions all the time. good luck to you. wish i could think of more tips. oh, and i kept lots of boiled eggs in the fridge (in a container so they don't absorb odors) so i could have a snack-egg. and i ate lots of organic microwaveable oatmeal with fresh fruit for snacks. : )

9:59 AM 

Blogger Valarie had this to say:

How is it going? I had to cut out dairy and chocolate (among other lesser loved foods) because my son has food allergies. The first few weeks of cutting were torture for me. It does get much easier after the first month. We're at 18 months and still mostly going strong. I hope you see some improvement.

12:40 PM 

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I'm 25 - married, and recently graduated from Brigham Young University, studying music; I play piano. My husband is just starting his PhD program at the University of Utah in computer architecture.



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