You Can Plan for Better Options to Hospital Food

I was in the hospital for about 2 weeks. And for the majority of my stay, I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything; I couldn’t keep anything in/down. I was being fed a “lovely” Gatorade-looking concoction called TPN (total parenteral nutrition) via my IV. I lost a bunch of weight, but I was recovering—slowly.  

Towards the end of my stay, as I was getting better, I was finally allowed to eat something. And boy, was I excited to be able to order hospital food! You know I had to be in bad shape to look forward to that.


My doctors started me off on a solid liquid diet—broths, juices, and flavored gelatin. What was weird is that Continue reading

6 Tips to Make the Most of Your Lab Visits

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As a lupus patient, you get your blood tested regularly. For me, regularly means once every four weeks. (That’s how often I see my rheumatologist as well.) A few months ago, my left arm (my draw arm) was really hurting. I couldn’t fully extend my arm even if I tried to do it through the pain. I blamed the frequent blood draws. I asked my rheumie about them. He said it was the lupus not the draws. The pain eventually went away, but the regular blood draws didn’t. He was right; it was the lupus.

Today, I am at the lab early along with a lobby full of other hungry people. We are all here early because we had to fast to do our lab work today. The sooner you get your lab work done the sooner you can eat. Mornings are usually a busy time for labs because of this reason. There are quite a few people here today, so there is a wait. However, I did make a 7:30 a.m. appointment. My fast was a 12-hour fast—water is allowed. But, it has now turned into a Continue reading

RepairVite Program: the craziness I said “yes” to

“This Program is not for the faint of heart or weak-willed. It’s definitely one of the hardest “diets” I’ve ever been on, but, in the end, it was the beginning of a transformation of my entire way of eating, how I look at food, and how I listen to and treat my body.”

I’ve been doing a bit of online research about this diet I am going to be on, and I ran across the above quote about the program I am about to start. The “hardest ‘diets’ I’ve ever been on” scared me a little bit.  But, you know what? The “not for the faint of heart or weak of willed” got me pumped. I may have an autoimmune disease that has the potential to attack any of my organs on any given day, but guess what? Continue reading

First Meeting with My Naturopathic Doctor & RepairVite

I asked my rheumie if diet could help my condition (i.e. lupus symptoms, quality of life, inflammation); I explained that I knew there wasn’t a cure for lupus. I was just wondering if diet could help. He said, no. He said no studies have been done to support this idea. I wasn’t surprised by his answer. He’s a very good doctor, a very good old-school doctor. However, my DH and I believe that what you put into your systems has a direct correlation to your health. We decided it was time to see a Naturopathic doctor–a state-licensed medical doctor who combines conventional medicine practices with an array of natural and holistic treatment approaches. Here is a recount of our first meeting.

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How to Plan for Smoother Trips to the Emergency Room

I just used a piece of cardstock and a twist tie for my "throw-ins" list--easy peezy.

I just used a piece of cardstock and a twist tie for my “throw-ins” list–easy peezy.

I have been admitted to the hospital twice in the last 6 months. I really don’t plan to make a habit of it, but I want to be prepared just in case. The second time I was admitted, I was home with my Aunt. My DH (dear husband) was at work. I was really sick; all the signs were there. I knew I needed to go to the hospital. I called my DH from the bathroom—“Please. Come home. I’m sick. Yes. Hospital.” I was so sick that I couldn’t leave the bathroom for quite some time. I wasn’t sure if I could make it to the hospital. My Aunt was there for me. She was calm. She prepared to take me to the hospital. That was the plan anyway. She started gathering my things for the hospital. I was doubled over in pain instructing her as she packed my overnight bag. My DH zoomed home. We hadn’t left the house yet. I wanted him there with me. I wanted him with me at the hospital. He knows how to take care of me. He got home, checked on me, and then immediately started packing his overnight bag for the hospital as he called my doctor. I was bad. We both knew I was going to be admitted. Our “adventures” at the hospital are a whole other affair, but all three of us knew that we had wasted precious time packing our overnight bags.

Again, I don’t plan to go to the hospital again anytime soon, but all three of us have packed overnight bags. My DH and I are ready with bags for the hospital, and my Aunt has hers for staying at our home to care for our pooch when we are in the hospital. We have also committed to keeping our cars’ gas tanks filled with at least a quarter of a tank or more.

Below is a list of items that I think would be helpful to have pre-packed for those rushes to the ER. Continue reading

Surviving My First Lupus Crisis

IV Pole Xmas Tree

The hospital staff called my IV pole my “Christmas tree” because it was so heavily “decorated.” I named it “Murphy”.

My abdomen was as tight as a drum. I had severe bloating. I was huge! My abdomen was as round as my skin would let it stretch. I was suffering from a lupus attack–a major one. My intestines were inflamed to the bursting point. I didn’t realize how bad my situation was until much later. I kept getting bigger. I had a ton of bags hooked up to my IV tree. The first few days none of my doctors knew what was happening to me nor did they know how to treat me. The word surgery got tossed around, but it was clear that the doctors did not really want to go down that route. Shoot, neither did I.

I remember friends and family visiting me. However, I don’t remember the details of all of our conversations—just snippets here and there. I think it was the drugs and the pain they were masking. I dreaded the long nights at the hospital. The first couple of nights I would fall asleep and then feel like I was being suffocated. I’d wake up in a panic—fighting for breath. From then on, I was nervous about falling asleep. I was uncomfortable in the hospital bed, but I was grateful that I could be propped up in it. I feel like I was less likely to fall into my suffocation bouts while sitting up. Continue reading