Friday, May 11, 2012

The Sickly Herbivore

Aah, spring.  For those of us in the Ohio Valley know that means lots of sneezing, coughing, and watery bloodshot eyes!  This year, however, I experienced worse than the usual annoying allergy symptoms...

A couple of weekends ago I felt the start of a sinus infection.  I was down most of the weekend, not completely, but enough to keep me at home and not able to do much of the cleaning and other various chores.  But it hit on Friday, so I figured I had the whole weekend to get better.  Unfortunately that was not the case.  I got to work Monday with a heavy feeling in my chest and short of breath.  I sounded like Darth Vader breathing!  One of our doctors listened to my lungs and said they sounded fine, that it was just the start of bronchitis.  I never had bronchitis before, so I had no idea how miserable it was.  And mine was a very mild case!  I went home at lunch and rested for the rest of the day.  I made myself a smoothie with lots of vitamin and nutrient packed fruits and vegetables:  banana and blueberries with some spinach and/or dandelion greens (don't remember exactly what I had on hand at the time), mixed with some cocoa powder.  Some may be saying "Ew, greens!", but you mix them with fruits and some chocolate and you can't taste them a bit!  And trust me, I can't stand the taste of raw greens, especially in a smoothie!

I was feeling much better the next day and was able to go back to work, although I was still not at full capacity by any means.  By Thursday I just had a little residual congestion left over, so I was ready to have a productive weekend again!  After lunch I started feeling a little nauseous.  I didn't think anything about it at first.  I figured I had eaten something that had dairy in it that I didn't realize.  But as the afternoon went on it got worse. By the end of the day I was stuck in the bathroom for 30 minutes, just knowing I was going to throw up at any moment.  I finally (somehow) made it to my desk and called my supervisor in her office, and told her I had to lay down in our bone density room. Thank goodness it was my day I get to leave early, and the doctors were done earlier than usual.  I was able to shut down the department, clock out, and somehow made the drive home.  Thank goodness I only live a few blocks away from work!  I took a phenergan (an anti nausea/vomiting medicine I keep on hand for when I have full blown migraines) the second I walked in the door.  Then I collapsed on the couch waiting for the pill to kick in, or to die.  It was so bad I didn't care which one came first!  About 3 hours later Tim got home and came to check on me.  I hadn't moved since I got home.  It was great fun!  He brought me some crackers and ginger ale per my request.  I finally started feeling a little better then, but the major body aches and fever had started up.  Later that night I made a smoothie with mango, banana, and some fresh ginger to help with the nausea.  By the next day I was still feeling rough, but with some meds I was able to eat some.

So, why am I discussing this on my blog about my journey to eating a plant based diet?  Because eating this healthy made it possible for me to recover from both of these bad illnesses much faster than I would have had this happened a year ago!  How many people do you know that recovers from bronchitis in just a day or two?  And, when I have a stomach virus it usually takes me almost a week to feel back to normal.  I was fully recovered in just a few days.  AND, this was with both illnesses hitting me almost at the same time. I'm sure that part of the reason I got the stomach virus was because my immune system was in overload from recovering from the bronchitis (plus i'm very susceptible to stomach bugs).   The good news is that since I follow a plant based diet I already had the foods you aren't supposed to eat with a stomach virus cut out of my diet!  By late Saturday/early Sunday I was almost back to normal. But, I figure that I have gotten all of my ailments out of the way at once, so hopefully I will be good at least until the fall allergy season!  ;-)

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