Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Bits and Pieces of Our Days: A Good Rainy Morning


This isn't my actual window (I'm a mediocre photographer so I'm thankful for Pexels) but it could be. This is the drizzle of our day. 

It will be punctuated by the sunshine of hot coffee and breakfast-out somewhere, to kick off the school year for Ramona and me. Anne-with-an-e and Betsy are free from work/school today and can join us, which is a delight. 


Work, as always, is keeping me busy. I'll be teaching two six-week sessions of The Writer's Jungle Online for Brave Writer this fall. (There are still spaces open in the Oct. 29-Dec. 7 class, but the Sept. 10th class is full.) I've also been getting to tinker with just a wee bit of behind-the-scenes writing for Brave Writer, and that's a lot of fun. 

I might have a new book in the works; I'll keep you posted as things develop.


I've mentioned our swallows before and wrote here about our resignation to their stubborn beauty.
And of course, you've heard of swallows returning every year to San Juan Capistrano?
What I may not have mentioned recently is our fear that the Edmisten home is turning into Edmistrano.

I give you Exhibit A:


One night in mid-August, about 11 pm I think, at the height of the Perseid meteor showers, we drove out into the country to get a better look. It was worth the drive, but we actually ended up seeing the most spectacular shooting star after we got home. We were lying on blankets in the backyard when we saw one that looked like an amazing special effect. 

Again, not my photo. Again, thanks, Pexels.com

It was a needed bit of beauty in a rather hard month. 

There are a number of health things happening at Edmistrano, but one that's currently front and center is Betsy's autoimmune disease. 

In December, I shared that she'd been diagnosed with a chronic illness, but I don't think I ever shared the details. Betsy has Crohn's disease (I have her permission to talk about it -- oh, for the days of thinking only about cute kid quotes!) We thought it was being well controlled with a biologic that she's received every 8 weeks, since December, through an IV infusion. Although she'd had to leave school in the fall semester of 2017, she was back at it last semester, and went into the summer feeling good. She was in clinical remission, but testing in early August showed that she's not in endoscopic remission and symptoms were beginning to flare. So, after too much waiting and some stressful phone calls with the insurance company, she started a new biologic, which we hope will work. The girl who a year ago was deathly afraid of needles not only learned to deal with regular IVs, but now will learn to give herself injections. 

My daughters repeatedly teach me what real bravery looks like. 

Which brings me to the kitchen. 

I'm helping Betsy investigate an autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet, and these ladies are fast becoming my new best friends: Mickey and Angie, at Autoimmune Wellness, are a wealth of information and recipes. (Many thanks to my dear friend who steered me their way.) I've been listening to their podcast, too, which is super-helpful. I've been talking about Mickey and Angie so much that Atticus suggested I just refer to them as McAngie. 

For a vegetarian who was leaning toward veganism, learning to cook with high-quality proteins is a challenge, so wish us luck. And if you have any AIP diet stories to share, hit me up. 

In short, if I've been really quiet on the blog, it's at least in part because I've been so busy in the kitchen. 😮


Liz said...

My kids'college nutrition professor (a former vegetarian himself) warned their classes of veganism, especially for going women. So this move may be a healthy one, even if a real change.High quality proteins are more pricey than some things (I pay over 3x as much for local eggs from pastured chickens), and sourcing is sometimes a challenge, but get to know your local farmers. They sometimes have recipe ideas as well. We have friends who did the GAPS diet and kept chicken broth going on their crockpot nearly all the time. They used so much chicken they went into the business of raising them. Good luck, and I hope the new medication works well.

tanita✿davis said...

Ooh, I cannot WAIT for the wet window photograph opportunities. This has been the most terribly smoky, windy, dry summer - beautiful in its way, and lovely sunsets/sunrises, but I am ready for the rain.

Oh, yes -- you think you canNOT EVER deal with needles, and then you find yourself injecting three a day and it's nearly nothing. Not entirely nothing, but nearly so. GO, BETSY. May she be proud of herself.

We are more resilient than we know, and stronger than we believed.

Thanks for the McAngie links - diet plays such a huge role, but it can be so, so challenging to figure it all out... and sometimes you just want a cookie. Courage, friends.

Danae said...

McAngie. Edmistrano. Great post! Betsy is really brave but more so because she has such a supportive family and mother!

Amy said...

My 10 year old had to try more than one biologic for his rheumatoid arthritis - I heard that's pretty common before you find your "sweet spot" (He is on Humira now). I pray that this new one is IT for her! I feel your pain about the diets, too. We have several dietary constraints that all seem to contradict each other and I typically feel like my head will explode when I shop or menu plan, or eat, LOL. Praying you have some great insight and that you find delicious ways of making what you all can eat. :)

Karen Edmisten said...

Liz, my girls were never on the vegan train, but I sure feel better when I eat that way. Although they were still eating meat, lots of the new things I've been learning to cook/bake are now off the table for Betsy. Right now, the huge challenge is the number of things she cannot eat: no gluten, corn, oats, rice, quinoa, beans, legumes, peanut butter, no soy or soy products (soy is in everything, it seems!), no canola, no eggs, nuts, or nightshades, including potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. Whew! :) Yes, good ideas about the local farmers. The friend who sent me to McAngie also recommended a local store that sells grass-fed beef and other clean meat products. Maybe when we next talk I'll be raising chickens, lol!

Tanita, I hope you get some much-needed rain SOON! Thanks for your support of and sisterhood with Betsy. :) And, oh, ouch, three times a day? May you be proud of yourself, too. xo

Danae (my dear McAngie/grass-fed beef source), ditto back to you because you are one of the bravest people/moms I know. xo

Amy, I hope the Humira is the sweet spot for your son! I feel for him, too. Let him know we're thinking of/praying for him! Yes to the head exploding. :) I used to read posts from others about things like going gluten-free+, and I blithely thought, "Oh, I'm so glad I don't have to face that!" Silly me! :)

penelope said...

Prayers for you and your daughter, Karen! GI autoimmune diseases are just wretched ... with mine, I cannot do AIP, I am on the FODMAP food restructuring list ... and within that, there are very very few items i can safely eat ... only eggs and quinoa; strawberries, blueberries, kiwi navel oranges; tomatoes, yellow zucchini, carrots, baby spinach, kale. Black coffee and plain green tea. Water. That's it. (And even then, my symptoms — I'll spare you the details! — while they are lessened are never absent).

Anyhow. I am so sorry. This is a tough road to be sure.

Liz said...

I actually can relate to the difficulty of eliminating some of those. My niece is allergic to the nightshade and my granddaughter to eggs and nuts. So when they are both here it feels like a juggling routine, and they can both have the grains. Some, but not all (because of the egg thing) of the GAPS recipes would work. My friends made pancakes out of squash, but those might have had egg in them. I just know that they are a ton of chicken and turkey, an awful lot of it in the form of broth or soup.

Tabatha said...

Hi Karen! Your daughter sounds beautifully stouthearted. I am hoping this new protocol brings the desired results.
Wishing you luck with your cooking, too. Ariana is on a no-gluten, no dairy, low histamine diet (no citrus, tomato, strawberry, chocolate, beef, fish, vinegar, cinnamon, etc.). I have gotten proficient enough at it that when she's visiting, my husband doesn't notice that we've only eaten the same twenty ingredients for three weeks, but my daughter misses chocolate, and there's no getting around that.

Liz said...

We've actually done the no soy thing twice around here, once when Gabe was diagnosed with a dot allergy at 6 (eliminating it for a couple years was sufficient) and then again when Luci had to be off it at one (again a couple years without it eliminates the problem). I was amazed at how much more stuff had soy the second go round. It felt like we eliminated very few things with Gabe (mostly Chinese food and Roman Meal bread), with Luci it was a real pain, that's when Abby started really doing her own baking. They have deemed to put either that or corn in nearly everything. I read this week that Slim Jims have soy in them, and that some other "meat" products are partly soy.Prayers for you and Betsy. I'm envisioning lots of chicken soup with zucchini noodles in her future.

Karen Edmisten said...

Penelope, thank you so much! You are always so generous, even in the midst of dealing with so much in your own life. Oh, my goodness, your food list is indeed so limited. Though I'm grateful that diet can make a big difference, it's such a hard adjustment, isn't it? So much of life is centered around our food. Prayers for you, too, dear Penelope!

Liz, yes, I foresee lots of bone broth in her future. :) She hasn't tried zucchini noodles yet, but that's on the list. :) And I also hope that after a time of elimination, some things can be reintroduced.

Tabatha, thank you! Wow, that's a lot of restrictions for Ariana, too! Love the picture of your husband being oblivious to the rotation of the same ingredients. :) We're all more resilient than we think we'll be when it comes to food, aren't we? Betsy definitely misses chocolate, too, but she *can* have carob, so we're experimenting with some substitutions there. I feel for your daughter, too -- chocolate is a huge comfort food. That's a hard one to give up. xo