We're back!!!

Hello all!

It has been such a long time since my last post! We have had the most crazy and amazing time over the past month so I apologise for the lack of contact! having just got back onto the blog and noticing the many posts that are still in draft mode ... I have a lot to say ...

I'll start today with the specialist ...
On Friday last week I made the trip to the Neurologist and got the results of the EEG I had done. Thankfully all came back clear and he missed the joke about there being a brain in there! I have spent the last few weeks, since the test was completed, stressing about the results. What would happen if there was something wrong? What would we do to fix it? But at the end of the day I was eased by the thought that if there was something wrong, we could fix it and hopefully it would rectify the issues I have been having. But the results came back clear and therefore as the wave of relief subsided the stress of what to do now settled in.
As medication is not an option at the moment, we cannot trial the them until we get it right, instead it is a matter of maintaining the problem and hoping the dizziness and fainting doesn't increase! I went home and cried, all I could think was I don't want to live my life like this. Every minute worrying if something will happen and my family jumping at every noise they hear. Not completing tasks that either I need to do like food shopping or things I love like exercise and being with my children. This is the toll it is taking on me. I struggle to get out of bed some mornings, I know when I can and can't do things. I know on a bad day if I push myself just a little too far then I will end up horizontal! But the Doctor seemed confident and that is reassuring enough to me solider on!

So the plan of attack! 

Step One: Salt tablets ... these little suckers help maintain my blood pressure so that the quick and dramatic drop in pressure (which causes my issues) is settled and less of an issue. My issue ... they make me vomit! I cannot stomach them and the thought of them brings the most disgusting taste to my mouth! Ewe! But we will solider on!

Step Two: Diet ... I have had to make a HUGE change to my diet. Not just this or that I mean a complete overhaul! I have a list of good foods and bad foods, foods that set off migraines and also fall into the triggers of NeuroCardioGenic Syncope. Well, I thought I ate well, until I read this!! It's not that I don't eat well, I just eat all the wrong foods. So I have had to say goodbye to chocolate, carbonated drinks, soft cheeses, products that are yeast based (not bread) like Vegemite & soy sauce, nuts including peanut butter (my fav) processed meat like ham, salami, avocado's. Also I have had to lower my intake of tea, citrus fruits and bananas.
When the words were muttered by the good doc, telling me that chocolate is no longer a food group I nearly died! So basically it is a fresh diet, a change for the better so I'm believing!
But have to admit that after only a week in this new lifestyle I do feel better. I've enjoyed my week away with the family and now returning to the real world, I wonder how long it will be before I slip up. I see McDonalds on every corner, there are trigger foods in almost everything, MSG and nasty's lurking behind every corner! I have always wondered what it would be like for the contestants on The Biggest Loser once they leave the house ... this is how I think they would feel, except I'm not trying to lose the weight!! Our world is becoming a big, fat-saturated place to live and I don't like it !!
To give you an idea this is what my new diet revolves around ...

Food Group Allowed Use With Caution Avoid If on MAOI
Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs or Meat Substitutes Freshly purchased and prepared meats, fish, and poultry Eggs Any allowed items that are canned or frozen   Any with nitrates or nitrites added     Fermented sausages: pepperoni, salami, mortadella, summer sausage, etc.   Non-fresh or improperly stored meat, fish, poultry or pickled herring Limit processed meats to 4 ounces per meal ** Limit tofu or tempeh  to 10 ounces per day 
Dairy Milk: whole, 2% or skim  Fresh cheese: American, cottage, farmer, ricotta, cream cheese, mozzarella, Velveeta or other processed cheese, etc Soy milk, soy cheese Aged cheeses  Cheddar cheese Limit other aged cheeses to 4 ounces per meal  e.g. Blue, Brick, Brie, Cheddar, Swiss, Roquefort, Stilton, Parmesan, Provolone, Emmentaler, etc **Limit any combination of aged cheese and processed meats to TOTAL of 4 ounces per meal. 
Breads, Cereals, Pasta All breads, biscuits, pancakes, coffee cakes, etc All cooked and dry cereals All pasta: spaghetti, rotini, ravioli, (with allowed ingredients), macaroni, and egg noodles       
Vegetables All  except on caution section(including all dried beans except fava or broad beans) Raw onion Fava or broad beans, sauerkraut  Limit fermented soy products like miso, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce to 1 ounce per day  
Fruits All except on caution section Limit intake to ½ cup per day from citrus types: orange, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon and lime  
Soups  Soups made from allowed ingredients, homemade broths    
Beverages Decaffeinated coffee or tea, club soda, caffeine-free carbonated beverages Limited caffeinated beverages to no more than 2 servings per day (less than 200mg total) *Consult with your physician & pharmacist regarding alcoholic beverages   Alcoholic beverages: No more than 2 domestic bottled or canned beers or nonalcoholic beer or 4 ounce wine per day.   No tap beers
Desserts & Sweets Any made with allowed foods and ingredients: sugar, jelly, jam, honey, hard candies, cakes, cookies Chocolate based products: ice cream (1 cup), pudding (1 cup), cookies (1 average size), cakes (3” cube), and chocolate candies (½oz).  (All count as one serving of caffeinated beverage)    
Ingredients Listed on Food Labels Any not listed in the caution section Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Nitrates/nitritesSulfitesAspartame 
Fats, Oils, and Miscellaneous All cooking oils and fats Commercial salad dressings with allowed ingredients, vinegars All fresh nuts and seeds All spices and extracts not listed in restricted ingredients       Concentrated yeast extract  i.e. Marmite or Vegemite
 This is just an example, my doctor said that the middle column is a no go zone for now and after a few weeks slowly introduce one item at a time and see the effects it has, but avoid the product if you are able to!

So now I am on a mission to find a way of living healthier in this world and trying to keep myself upright! As a family this will be a good thing, a healthier lifestyle is a better way of living then the crap the occasionally get. Like I said, we don't eat bad, but our choices will have to change and thus making our eating habits better. Fresh cooking rather than packet sauces, attempts to make our own bread, fresh muffins and cakes rather than store bought. All these little things make such a difference in the final result of what triggers these episodes! A few months ago I stumbled across a blog called the Gourmet Girlfriend - she is a mother of 5 living in Melbourne and I have come to love her recipes! Now that this is becoming a huge part in my life I will have to try her No Knead Bread, I have seen that several people have tried and succeeded and I think why can't I? So wish me luck with that one!

I would love to hear if you have had a similar experience or a great idea that I could play with, I'm always keen for new information!

Thanks ... MCM xxx


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