I Have Ringworm …

ringworm

I swear that horse gave me ringworm out of spite. I developed a rash on my forearm soon after my adventures horseback riding. I know the last thing you want to hear about it my rash, but too bad.

It was a patch of itchy skin about the size of a quarter just above my right wrist. I tried ignoring it for a few weeks, but suddenly I started to wonder if it was more serious than just a small rash. After doing some online sleuthing and intense worrying, I decided that I must have ringworm.

Those horses will act like everything is cool. “Hey there Missy, hop on my back and I’ll give you a ride around my stables for an hour. Come on. It’ll be fun,” they say. In reality it’s all just a scheme to give you ringworm. I’m hip to their game and they’ll never get me again, that’s for sure.

Once I knew the ailment I could easily figure out a treatment. Ringworm is a fungal infection on the skin. So I broke out my favorite anti-fungal tasty treat–extra virgin coconut oil. I put it on the rash three times a day. After doing this for only a day I decided to add some tea tree oil, another anti-fungal, to the mix. I’ve been alternating coconut oil and tea tree oil on the rash for the past three days and it’s practically gone away already.

Note: I wonder why they call it ringworm when it doesn’t involve a worm at all. It would be so much more terrible if it were a big earthworm under you skin.

Another Note: There is some controversy amongst my family because they seem to think I just had a rash of some sort and not ringworm, but what do they know? I’m the one that spent an entire day reading about ringworm when I should’ve been working. None of them have shown such commitment to learning about any fungi.

Photo by Ephemeral Scrap

The Average Temperature of Worry

I know there are a lot of women in this world who obsess over their weight. They weigh themselves all the time and carefully track weight loss or gain. We have a scale in our bathroom. It’s a fancy one too, but it doesn’t interest me nearly as much as the thermometer.

Every time I go into the bathroom I secretly take my temperature. It’s one of those electronic thermometers so it beeps when it’s ready. I don’t even think they make the mercury ones anymore. Anyway, if I think someone is anywhere near the bathroom door, I’ll run water in the sink so they won’t hear it beep.

Sometimes my temperature is a bit too low and sometimes it’s too high, but sometimes it’s like Baby Bear’s porridge was to Goldie Locks–just right. On those occasions I’ll walk out of the bathroom and make an announcement. “My temperature is bang on 98.6,” I’ll say excepting some sort of positive response possibly even a high five.

Nothing o_0

How is it that no one else seems to realize how important my temperature is? Don’t they know that body temperature is serious business? If your body temperature is consistently too low you could have low thyroid function. If it is consistently too high you could have a tiny alien blacksmith in your head pounding out horseshoes. Either way it’s not good.

If I feel like my temperature is running a wee bit high, I trick the thermometer by taking it out of my mouth as soon as it hits 98.6. Yes, I know that wasn’t my real temperature, but there’s something deeply satisfying about those numbers on the little gray screen.

When I decided to write this post this morning I decided to take my temperature and then take a picture of the thermometer to post. The only problem was my temperature was a troubling 97.9 which is not the magic number I’m looking for. After fretting about it for a while I realized that it probably has something to do with the ice cold cucumber salad I ate only minutes before sticking the thermometer in my mouth.

SONY DSC

Oiling Up

I used to think that I hated the beach until I actually started going and realized I like it a lot. Besides the sand getting sand in my bathing suit and the possibility of getting eaten alive by sharks, the beach is a rip roaring good time. That’s why when my husband asked what I wanted to do this weekend I told him that we should go to the beach.

“We can’t do that,” he said, “I need at least three days to prepare.”

My husband is English. I mean really, really English. The lack of sunshine on the British Isles means that the people have to be quite pale in order to absorb enough vitamin D from the sun’s rays. My husband has nicknames like Powder and Casper because of his pasty complexion. Exposing his sensitive English skin to the powerful Florida sunshine could have disastrous results.

But what about sunscreen? Here’s the thing. You know those annoying people who read the ingredients of everything and refuse to use things that are full of tons of chemicals? Yeah, that’s us.

We use extra virgin coconut oil as our sunscreen. Using oil as sunscreen probably sounds like a bunch of crazy talk to you, but it works. My husband has only gotten sunburned once since we’ve come back to Florida and that was because he went out without any oil on.

He feels that his current farmer’s tan situation is not appropriate for the beach, and he’s not convinced that coconut oil will have enough staying power for the beach. He wants to get a bit of color on his torso first.

After laying out for twenty minutes on each side covered with coconut oil, he still had no visible tan lines. I guess that coconut oil really does work.

If you want another good natural solution for sunscreen try using a St. John’s Wort oil infusion. Here’s a video that talks all about it.

If you’re interested in learning how to make your own herbal remedies, you should check out Learning Herbs. Yes, that is an affilitate link. Their herbal medicine making starter’s kit rocks the house. I got it for my mother for her birthday.

Fast, Faster, Fastest

Wasserglas

I’ve decided that the giant fibroid hanging off the back of my uterus probably has something to do with why I haven’t gotten pregnant even after a year of trying. I’m no doctor, so this is just a guess. I went to the doctor about it and already she is talking about the possibility of surgery. Surgery!! I hate surgery.

The Worst Things About Getting an Operation

  • Being wheeled to the operation room
  • Being put under with anesthesia
  • A doctor cutting into your body
  • Waking up after the operation
  • Recovering

If it wasn’t for those bits I’d love operations.

With the possibility of surgery looming over my head I had to get my brain into action to figure out how to get rid of a fibroid quickly in the comfort of my own home. That’s when I found some articles about fasting. Some people claim that if you fast for an extended period of time your fibroid will shrink. So I decided to try it.

My husband was not thrilled about this whole fasting idea so I waited until he was spending a few days away on a tour to start. The goal was to go on a 10 day water fast. I had no reason for choosing 10 days. It just seemed like a good number.

“I can fast for 10 days, no problem,” I thought. The articles I read about fasting for fibroids all recommended fasting for 20 or more days, but that seemed a bit ridiculous to me.

The first 24 hours of my fast were a breeze. I do 24 hour fasts monthly, so I’m used to it. On the second day, I was so hungry that I could’ve chewed off my own arm and I had a headache. So I sat on the couch for a while thinking about my headache and wondering if I was having a brain aneurysm. Then I thought, I don’t want to die from a brain aneurysm while I’m hungry, so I ate a banana. Then I ate another banana and let’s just say that my 10 fast was a little less than successful.

Picture by 96dpi.

Getting More Exercise

I like to exercise. What I should say is that I exercise because I should, not because I like to. I like to eat curry while watching crime dramas on the sofa. If that counts as exercise then I like to exercise. Unfortunately, I’m all too aware that that doesn’t count as exercise.

I do yoga most mornings. That counts as exercise and I like that, but I always feel like I should be doing something else too. When it’s nice outside I sprint, but this is England and it’s not nice outside very often. I do my apartment running on a pretty regular basis, but my running has been pretty slack. It’s more like apartment walking in place and then stopping and sitting down because its hard to read the subtitles on the Danish crime drama I’ve been watching whilst moving all around.

The other day I decided to start doing some more intense exercise. I make this decision every couple of months and usually end up exercising so hard that I ache for a week afterwards and then never repeat the workout again. This time I decided I needed some guidance for my workout so I searched for home strength training online and eventually found this site. I’ve been following their workout schedule and its hard fun.

Beating Jet Lag Mooch Style

I’m in Florida visiting family and friends now. My least favorite thing about flying is jet lag. Let me tell you, jet lag can really put something on you. When I was working in Korea I remember my jet lag being crazy whenever I flew back and forth between Korea and the States. I’d take deep dark confusing naps in the middle of the day and wake up not knowing where I was.

Now that I’m older and wiser I’ve gotten this whole jet lag thing under control. I’m going to let you in on the secret. Don’t eat during your trip. That’s it. Easy, right? Fasting isn’t that hard when you’re traveling because airplane food is a complete nightmare. Every time the flight attendants come down the aisle with the food cart I feel like I’m going to retch from the smell anyway.

Stay hydrated during the trip. Every time the flight attendants come down the aisle with that drink cart get some water. Ask for water even when you’re not offered it. Being dehydrated will make jet lag worst. If you’re traveling alone get an aisle seat. You don’t want to disturb the other passengers in your row. You’ll have to pee every a million times during the flight because you’re fasting and drinking tons of water.

On your flight keep the sleep wake schedule of your destination. If you’ll be arriving in the early morning sleep on the flight. If you’re arriving in the evening stay awake on the flight.

Once you get to your destination eat at the next meal time. When you do your brain will reset so you’ll be on the schedule of your destination. If you do get tired during the day, don’t nap any longer than 30 minutes. Spending lots of time out in the sunlight will also help. That’s easy for me do in Florida, but not so easy in the UK. That country is not exactly famous for its sunshine.

Follow this simple advice and your jet lag will be minimal next time you travel.

The Candida Post

My husband was told by the doctor not too long ago that he has a Candida problem. He keeps getting yeasty ear infections. Candida treatment isn’t covered under the NHS. He would need to see a private medical professional to take care of the problem. So in true Bettison fashion we’ve decided to take care of this problem ourselves.

We’ve been on a torturous anti-Candida cleansing diet for a week. Basically we couldn’t eat anything. Really, that’s a gross exaggeration. We didn’t eat any starches for a week. It was all veggies and protein and I hated it. We’ve also had to cut out two of my favorite cooking ingredients, soy sauce and fish sauce. Normally, we practically live on Thai curries. I’m also a huge fried rice fan. We’ve also had to stop eating sugars which isn’t a problem because we rarely eat anything sweet. I do tend to eat piles of raisins during the day though. Apparently, that counts as sweet.

About Candida

Candida albicans is the name of a yeast that lives in your gut. Your digestive tract is full of lovely micro-organisms having a big party. They all live peacefully together, but sometimes things horribly go wrong. The friendly bacteria in your gut gets killed off by illness, medication or maybe even injury. Without anyone to keep them in check the Candida get out of control like teenagers left alone by their vactioning parents.

The Candida start having a big keg party and inviting all their yeasty friends to completely trash your body. That’s when you start noticing symptoms like diahrrea, bloating, and gas. The systems aren’t limited to the digestive tract though. You may also experience headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain and cloudy thinking. My thinking has been cloudy ever since I can remember, maybe I have a permanent Candida infection. The Candida party will eventually start to spill out of you causing yeast infections, thrush, jock itch and rectal itching. (Isn’t that lovely)

You know the party is getting really wild when the Candida starts to do damage to your intestinal walls causing an illness known as leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the walls of your intestines become permeable allowing toxins and food partials to spill into your blood stream.

Because your gut and immune system are tightly linked Candida overgrowth has also been linked to some autoimmune diseases.

If you’re looking to start a Candida diet here are some foods you need to cut out.

Sugar

Yeast loves sugar. That means cutting out all the sweet yummy foods in your life, like cake. Her are some other foods to avoid.

  • sugar
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • agave nectar
  • high fructose corn syrup (you really shouldn’t be eating that anyway)
  • dried fruits
  • super sweet fruits (bananas, oranges…)

Simple Starches

Simple starches turn right to sugar once they hit your system. That’s not good. You don’t want to give those yeasties more of what they want. Avoid white rice, pasta, white bread and other pasteries.

Yeast

The last thing you want to do is invite any more yeast to this party. That’s why foods that contain yeast are not a good idea. So no store bought fermented foods. I really wish I knew how to make soy sauce at home. Here’s a list:

  • soy sauce
  • vinegar
  • most condiments
  • pickles
  • sauerkraut
  • olives
  • bread (again)
  • alcohol

Now that you’ve cut all the joy and pleasure out of life the Candida party will die down a bit. Once the party winds down and they start to tire out it’s time to hit them were it hurts.

Bring in the Anti-Fungals

Now that they’re weak it’s time to hit them with some anti-fungals. You can get your doctor to prescribe you an anti-fungal medication, but if your cheap like me you might want to go for an all natural one. Here are a few:

  • grapefruit seed extract
  • oil of oregano
  • coconut oil
  • garlic
  • clove oil
  • olive leaf extract
  • aloe vera

We’re using grapefruit seed extract along with a bit of coconut oil. We use coconut oil all the time anyway.

Probiotics

Once you’ve killed off the yeast you need to repopulate the space with some healthy bacteria. Take a good quality probiotic supplement. If you leave that space unpopulate Candida riffraff might move right back in. Getting good bacteria in there as soon as possible is necessary to make sure your Candida problem doesn’t return.

We’re in week two of our Candida diet and I can say that even though I hate having a restricted diet it’s going okay. I mean I’m not alive and well enough to write this post.

I used to think Candida sounded kind of pretty. It could be my first child’s name…Candida Marie Bettison. I’ve changed my mind now. Our first child will definitely be named Lactobacillus Bettison instead.

My Aching Back

I’ve had a backache for the past week. It started on Saturday. Being the worrier that I am, by the time Thursday rolled around I’d convinced myself that I had a tumor and would be dead by Monday. I spent Thursday night planning my funeral and writing my eulogy. I think I’m a pretty good writer and could come up with a eulogy that would have even the most stoic person sobbing and falling out in the isle of the funeral home be-wroth with grief.

In the mist of this pity party my husband had a great idea. “If it hurts so bad, why don’t you go to the doctor?”

I’m so used to not being able to go to the doctor that I’d forgotten I could now. So I got up bright and early the next morning and made a doctor’s appointment.

The doctor was a nice stout man with a small voice. After having me do some stretches to rule out muscle strain and testing my pee to make sure it wasn’t a kidney infection, he palpated my abdomen and said, “It seems like you constipated.” He told me to get some laxatives and sent me on my way.

I couldn’t believe it. What? Constipated. You’ve got to be kidding me! I thought. No tumor. No exploding ovary. This is what I get from the NHS. Constipated! I was outraged.

After much ranting and complaining about the doctor obviously not knowing what he was talking about, I drank some prune juice and let’s just say that my back pain has gone away.

Faster, Fastest

Last week I wasn’t feeling well, so my husband went running in the morning without me. When he got home he said he ran so fast that he had to run further than we usually do to make the run last the full twenty minutes. He was so happy to tell me that.

Today just when I was about to give up—running is still very hard for me—I took off like a cheetah and ran very fast for five full minutes. “This is the normal speed I run,” he said, running after me. “You better slow down before you overdo it.”

I kept on running, leaping over puddles like a gazelle. I can run too. I can run fast. I didn’t pass out until we got home.

Health Insurance

During my entire working adult life, the only time I have had health insurance was when I was living outside of the country. As an English teacher in Korea, I was covered under the Korean national health plan. After being in the country for a few weeks I received a small blue booklet that was my health insurance card.

Overjoyed at the thought of having health insurance, I used it whenever I could. Things that I would normally ignore sent me rushing off to see the doctor. Swelling in my big toe, time to see the doctor. More acne than usual on my face, time to see the doctor. Food poisoning, congestion, a rash on my arm, time to see the doctor.

I also enjoyed whipping my health card out at the pharmacy. The pharmacist would take my card and jot down some information before giving me my very cheap medicine. I usually wouldn’t use the medicine for as long as directed. That cream for my acne made my face itch. The medicine for my congestion made me dizzy. I didn’t really know what I was taking and that also made me nervous. I had a toiletry case full of ointments, creams and little packets of pills.

Now, even though I work in the health care industry, I don’t have the luxury of health insurance. I find myself feeling envious of those who do. My mother recently fell off of her scooter and shattered her shoulder. She has gone to several doctors and will eventually need physical therapy. She has insurance.

If I had fallen and broken my shoulder, I would have to send my husband out to cut a good straight branch off one of the trees outside of our apartment. We would use tape and string to fashion it into a splint for my arm. My husband would research healing time and physical therapy exercises on the internet, and I would hope for the best.