Saturday, December 13, 2014

Diagnosis confirmed, time with friends and random snowmen

Yesterday, my blood tests confirmed I have the markers of an autoimmune disease. I have now had blood tests that are more sensitively pinpointing what that might be.

I also purchased some essential oils to mix with a coconut base, to use as a hair tonic/rub
You can find the recipe I used here:

and other recipes and Alopecia related pins on the board I created to collect what I find on pinterest here:

I very much wanted to spend the day at home after getting the results. Then I started to feel hungry for spinach. Which evolved to Eggs Bennedict with smoked salmon instead of my beloved bacon. I went home from the doctors via the local supermarket and stocked up on ingredients, then via the fruit & veg shop for much fresher fruit and vegies (lots of coloured fruit and greens after watching my new heros ted talk about minding your mitochondria)

I made my man and myself a delicious brunch of GF bread, hollandaise sauce instead of butter (baby steps) smoked salmon, a pile of spinach and rocket greens topped with a poached egg for myself and 3 poached eggs for him. OMG yum.

This kept me going until mid afternoon when I munched on a cacao and hazelnut GF, Lactose free and sugar free fruit bar (Ive started keeping a few in my handbag so Im not tempted to by crappy food when Im out)

I also now have small bags of walnuts, dried cranberries and cacao nibs near my computer desk for munching on between meals.

I think the thing to note here is I am preparing ahead to avoid my known weak points in regards to diet. Replacing fast food and pre-packaged foods with healthy options I have conveniently prepared ahead of time for myself, is a way of avoiding bad choices when I'm short on time.

And just for fun, I messaged my friend out of the blue and asked her what her plans were for the afternoon. We ended up and a beauty salon doing nails and having a lovely time together laughing and regressing to our teenage years (we've known each other since I was 13)

and here is the end result!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Food wins, test results and reminders from friends

Last night I made my own meal in my 'chalet' (I'm still on the road in regional WA) and in light of the changes that I'm trying to make to my diet to slow the fall-out rate of my hair, I feel like I'm starting to crave what I need, rather than what I want.

The result was that Im also getting better at hunting and gathering. lols. I ended up with an yummy salad of green leafy spinach and lettuce with avocado, tomato, mushroom and cucumber, with a squeeze of fresh lemon. That salad took up 3/4's of my plate, balanced out with a tin of kippered herring.
For so long my meals have been balanced with less vegies and more meat and carbs. Its great to see I'm starting to win some mental wars. Once we all get over bad foods as a reward to ourselves and start on a real path of good foods being the reward instead, we can make better choices and ultimately feel happier and healthier.

Today I will find out the results of my blood tests. I'm not anxious - I just want to know what I'm dealing with and start to confront it head on.

I online shopped yesterday for three books to read over my summer break from work:

  • If Your Hair Falls Out, Keep Dancing!: How to Cope with Alopecia Areata in a Hair-Obsessed World by Leslieanne Butler
  • Alopecia and Wellness: Healthy recipes for everyday BY MOLLY VAZQUEZ
  • Regrowing Hair Naturally: Effective Remedies and Naturally Treatments for Men and Women with Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Androgenetica, Telogen Effluvium and Other Hair Loss Problems by Vera Peiffer
After an early morning text with a friend, I was reminded that my hair loss may be temporary. For all the emotions and turmoil, uncertainty and changes I will now face, I still have my life and for that I am eternally grateful.

One of my favourite things to do when I travel for work, is do a bit of rummaging in the remote op shops for unearthed treasures that belong in my online vintage shop Vintage Twists. Sadly there was no such place to be found in quiet 'lil Onslow. 

Thankfully, the beach (which I can see from my chalet) is FULL of shells.

I spent time collecting enough for a mobile, which will provide a focal point for remembering my contemplative time in town. The crafting of said mobile will provide meditative opportunities for reflection and pretty sounds outside my kitchen window to add to my wooden chimes from Bali.

I like collecting shells, like a bloomin' child, because it forces me to slow down and appreciate nature, to notice the teeny tiny perfectly formed baby shells and the time weathered ones. Onslow's beach is litterred with super old coral, the colours of sand and sea are different, stained by the mineral rich Pilbara red earth. I'm looking forward to coming back next year and sharing the arts with the community.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Food war in my head

Dilemma's seem to be around every corner for me at the moment. They are all me, me, me and to be completed honest I feel self indulgent and full of myself.

So I'm travelling for work at the moment, in a North west coastal town, with a small population of under 1000. I'm here for three days so I figure ill treat myself to a nice meal out tonight and made a stop at the small supermarket to grab some snacks and lunch. I'm trying, you see, to halt the extent of my hair-fall-out by drastically changing my diet. From the small amount of research I've done so far I have found overwhelming links to gluten, meat and dairy intolerances and alopecia. The alopecia friendly diets also suggest the abstaining from processed and fried foods and also sugar.

So, there was very little fresh food on offer at the grocery store as they were waiting on their weekly delivery (the things you take for granted in the city huh!) and I left with a tin of tuna, herring slices, rice crackers (processed but ffs I needed something to have with my bloody tuna in the absence if any green leafy salad) an avocado, an apple and a banana. Far from my usual work travel fair of bread, a hot chook and lumps of cheese!!!

Now I'm sitting I a stunning find of a steakhouse, an amazing view, and after a gut wrenching appraisal of the menu I FORCE myself to get the lamb salad, minus the bloody lamb! Post ordering, I realised there is friggin quinoa and fetta in it too.

I so shoulda got a steak and chips. Would have been heaps happier. Bloody quinoa. Ugggh there's just no tarting that shit up. Looked delicious but over-bearing flavours in the dressing that made me give up halfway through.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Alopecia Areata

I've been recently diagnosed with AA and have decided to start blogging about my experience from the very early stages.

I've been trying to get my hands on information, which is frustratingly difficult, even in this age of the internet. Here I can share what I find, or at least, my journey. Today is Monday. Last Tuesday I think it was, I had my hand in my hair as usual, when I felt a weird bit of bare skin at the base of my skull.


I promptly forgot about it.

On Thursday I felt it again and asked my friend Nattie to take a look at it. She went one step further, took a photo, and made me call my doctor to make an appointment.

I was able to get in fairly quickly that afternoon and left work quiet distressed with what I'd just seen.

My doctor promptly pulled a few hairs out and studied them, diagnosing AA straight away.  He looked in his medical dictionary, told me it was an autoimmune disease,  nodded to himself, turned to his computer and started printing out referrals to dermatologists.

When I asked what I could do to prevent the disease, he said "buy a wig". Hopeless! I said, "Well I guess I'll go home and google then!"

I asked to look at his medical dictionary so I could perhaps learn something he hadn't told me. Nope, he had pretty much summed up all there was to say.

So I came home and googled. I learnt that there were connections to diet, depression and stress. Looking back on 2014 and I know I had issues with all three of those.

I have made instant changes to my diet, some will take me longer.
I've only had one small slice of Turkish bread since last Thursday. A small sprinkle of cheese on my vegie ish lasagna (I used half the amount of bolognese sauce and swapped the lasagna sheets for slices of eggplant and zucchini) One egg.
I've increase my fruit intake (need the antioxidents) upped the veggie intake, reduced to almost none the dairy, meat and eggs. Increased the oily fish, nuts and beans.
Ive swapped milk in coffee for coconut milk.
I've had chocolate every single night. Fuck it right!

I had blood tests this morning. Will see what they say before freaking out too much. I asked to be tested for all sorts of things and he's added a few of his own in for good measure.
Here is a picture of my hair loss so far:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Follow up: Gifted Vintage

All those who have read my previous post are most likely frothing at the mouth in anticipation of seeing the gift of vintage goodness I was given by a lovely fellow vintage lover in Western Australia. The package arrived while I was away on business in Brisbane, but I did remember to take some photos as I hastily ripped open the packaging on my return.

Inside my suprise package was 3 baby dresses (I gave the two white ones to my work friend Channerrrrrrrrrrrrrrsssssssssssss as she is expecting a baby girl) I've kept the blue and purple dress for myself and the three on the right have just been photographed for my shop VintageTwists

Fans of my facebook page VintageTwists will have already seen them in my sneaky peaks folder uploaded on Sunday, but see the below pics for a better view of these beautiful dresses. Proof that good people do exist.

Best of all..... my shop is on sale at the moment with a whopping 49% off the entire shop. Grab a bargain before they are all snapped up!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Proof nice people do still exist!

A while ago, I got this suprise message in my Etsy inbox:

"Hi there,
I was just wondering if you would like a couple of dresses for your shop? I collected them to wear but decided to cull a few things. I was going to take them back to the op shop but thought you might like them for your shop.
If so I can post them to you."

So of course I replied back with "send me pics and what you want for them and Ill let you know"

Today I received this response.
"No I don't want any money for them. I will just post them to you. If you like them, you can put them in your shop. If you don't you can pass them on to the op shop. No worries.
Just email me your address and I'll post in the next week."

I am gobsmacked - there ARE still nice people in the world. Unbeleivable!
I will be sure to post some pictures of what arrives. Until then, go forth with the knowledge that nice people do still exist in this world. That lovely woman is Karmas poster girl. She deserves good things to happen to her because she has given me something so unexpected - faith in random acts of kindness!
I often thrift gift. I have an unwritten rule with myself that when I aqquire new or thrifted items for my own wardrobe I do a clean out. What can't go into my own shop goes into a bag of "for my mates", what doesnt make it into that bag goes in a special box to go back to the op shop. I have many a time picked up items from my local that Ive sent there myself (yes I snicker that the price tag is the same as what I payed for it - amazing when you think about how much a single item can have cost if it has cycled through various new and second hand shops!)
Today I look forward to time with my sister and neices with my youngest Zac as well. We are heading to the Hyde Park Fair - to share childhood memories of when our mother would take us to this very same fair 30 years ago - I reckon she will be there in spirit - tousling her grandchildrens hair and filling our hearts with love!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Autism support in Australia, but only if you are under 7. What the?

Food for thought! But what about those kids diagnosed after the age of 7? and those who receive support until the age of 7? Is 7 a magic number? Do kids suddennly become cured of Autism at age 7? Hmmmm.