Posted in ... a bit of that, @SirNoid / Marriage / Spouse, Chronic Illness, Thoughts

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I have readers, loyal and long suffering readers that have been around 20 years next year (party?), and when I don’t blog, they text, email or whatsapp me messages to ask “Everything ok?” “You ok?”You gotta love it, right?

Thank you for knowing me well enough not to phone me. No idea however why I have not received flowers, cupcakes or chocolate…. although to be perfectly honest, if you can deliver low carb meals, snacks or general groceries to my house I will be forever grateful. #Smile

Everything is OK. I am permanently completely exhausted. Not tired, not need a break, not take the day off… It’s a much more intense level of EXHAUSTION. Although in all honesty, I do believe @SirNoid and I are in need of a serious holiday.

It is on an I can’t deal, I can’t think, I can’t remember,  I can’t reason, I’m too sore, it’s too much, please help me, without me asking, kinda tired.

Naturally having very close to no iron in my body, does contribute towards my levels of exhaustion.

It is VERY unpleasant and I’ve really fallen very much out of love with having no energy. None. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Medically. Every level I may have skipped, please include it, and tick that box.

December and some of January, I was in severe pain, not coming downstairs, just staying in bed, “wish me luck as you wave me goodbye” kinda pain. Christmas, New Year is all a blur really.

I felt very aware of how scary or helpless this must have been for @SirNoid, but also for our 15 year old son Douglas. I think it was one of the first times Doug saw me mid pain attack, crying, asking @SirNoid to help with small things. Pour water, help me down the stairs, covering my legs like I’m 104 years old because the heat and the little pressure helps the pain,  while other times having any fabric touch my skin0 is hell. It is very confusing for all of us!

@SirNoid like many, expresses his helplessness and wanting to make it better, in getting angry, … but I’ve come to realise I don’t know who to direct my anger at. This acceptance bit is a bitch. I’m nowhere near accepting any of this.

I feel excessively exposed and vulnerable… Chronic illness has stolen from me, my husband and children which leaves me with more pent up anger.  Yes, it has been suggested a bit of counselling may go a long way.

I saw a new Rheumatologist &  Specialist Physician this past week.  For someone with “ailments”, I actually do not enjoy going to the doctor.

She was very proper and I liked that she saw ME, and spoke to ME as a person and not a number. The consultation was all consuming and as she predicted by the time I was done,  I felt a small tractor may have driven over me.

She has requested previous documents from other doctors and off course, ran more tests. She wants to compile a time line and see which of the illnesses is doing what, and seriously attack the anemia and find out why my body doesn’t hold onto iron.

The Fibromyalgia and Ankolysing Spondylitis can put on quite a show I tell you!

Looking at my anemic self, she took me off certain meds and gave me more pain meds to take until we have a plan of action.

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. –  Le Petit Prince (1943)

I don’t know the answers, only to try every day . Sometimes successfully and others not.

I wonder if anyone truly knows how much goes into pretending I’m feeling well?
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I wish you enough,
Wenchy

Posted in #banting, ... a bit of that

To all the carbs I loved before…

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

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One backstreet boy lost, one more to go… 🙂 18 months…. longer than I have ever kept to any way of eating.

When it reaches seven years I can say it lasted longer than any of my marriages… #justsaying I’m living in hope however #SirNoidForTheWin !

I review restaurants, travel destinations, movies, theater productions, products and books. By it’s very social nature, I attend a fair amount of events with flare and extravagance! Beautifully decorated settings, decadent food, exquisite drinks and exclusive venues.

It is exciting, fun and one can easily get distracted by all that glitter, that is not gold. It can be a total passion killer to my low carb, high fat (LCHF or banting) way of eating. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

(Strawberry Daiquiri being my down fall! Champagne don’t hurt... )

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I have guidelines which I try to stick to, without being a pain to my hosts. I’m not dead. Life is for the living! If I was more disciplined, I probably could have dropped that back street boy by now, but I prefer to think that the longer it takes, to better chance I have of those boys never finding me again!

Unless I am at a cocktail party where servers walk around with trays, most restaurants are very willing to adapt their serving to what my needs are, or I go with the flow. I’m not always a Diva… #surprise!

In my own time, I enjoy visiting Fresh Earth (Wins hands down on banting friendly ice cream!!) and Grain and Wood  (THE best banting brownies EVER!!!).  Two restaurants that are banting friendly as well as offering gluten free and vegetarian dishes.

Generally home is a “fun free” zone (in the kitchen) with little to lead one astray.  I’ve been more relaxed this past December with grown up kids visiting like a bus terminal.

At my advanced age of 42 you do want to encourage your children to visit, even using bribery.

* Sugar and carbs definitely increases Fibromyalgia flair ups.

* I refuse to make anyone toast as the smell itself makes me high. I. Can’t. Deal.

* I have not bought one potato or a packet of rice in the past 18 months. I do buy sugar for visitors and there is bread in the freezer, should my assistant feel she must have a slice. I know I would personally not settle for a slice of freezer bread. If I was going to eat bread, it would have to be awesome!

* I buy full fat everything. Yoghurt, milk, cheese etc.

* The most difficult item for me to give up on a daily basis is a Caffè Latte.

* Because I’m rather large, it took a long time for anyone to notice that I am smaller. Don’t let that put you off. You didn’t get fat overnight, you are not going to be Cindy Crawford by noon.

* I have less Fibromyalgia and Ankolysing Spondylitis pain banting . Losing weight is a wonderful side effect.

* This way of eating has had zero effect on my Bi-polar and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Yes, I have been asked this question.

* I don’t see anything I eat as cheating, but more as personal sabotage. If I eat a restaurant portion carbs, I can guarantee, I will be in pain with stomach cramps later. So, do you want to eat this, or be in pain?

Sometimes I still eat the cake and suffer the pain.

* I have decided not to weigh myself this year. I’m already battling with this!!

* After three months of banting, my sugar was normal, my cholesterol and blood pressure too. I use to take meds for all of those conditions. 18 months later, it is all still normal. That’s probably where my normality ends.

* I’ve remained anemic (pre and post banting) and even after iron drips, my body does not seem to hold onto iron. Doctors have not been able to figure out WHY.

* I eat plenty spinach, cauliflower, eggs, chicken, pork, cheese, cream, bacon and mushrooms. Strawberries with whipped cream when in season, is fabulous! From time to time I will bake some egg muffins or banting bread, but not very often.

* I detest bullet proof coffee.

* I’m often asked if I take any special supplements. I take Moringa as the packaging promises I will receive all the nutrients I’m suppose to have. I’ve read it is suppose to part the Dead Sea or something, it is that powerful, but I can’t say I’m walking on water, but one never knows. I also take Magnesium tablets, more to help with Fibromyalgia side effects than anything else. Brain fog is a bastard.

* I’m a huge fan of The Real Meal Revolution, I love Raising Superheroes (!!) and the Lose It magazine… and no, I have no affiliation besides admiration for Prof Tim Noakes and Jonno Proudfoot. Oh I also have the 2016 planner. Very brand loyal I am.

* I use Xylitol as a sugar substitute. I don’t use much, so it lasts a long time.

* At present I have no exercise program and am quite happy when I’m able to walk downstairs without assistance. December was a difficult month health wise and on many other levels.

* I have no set meal plan. My own self could never deal with that. It reminds me of my first marriage and I need zero reminders of that nonsense.

* I do drink plenty of water because that is what I have always done. My Mammie Yvonne says I am a camel. I do not do it as a dietary requirement. Many banting sites will tell you to only drink water when you are thirsty. I’d say still drink the six to eight glasses at least.

* Yes, the drinks on a banting lifestyle is boring. I agree.

More FAQ about Banting:  http://realmealrevolution.com/faq

Whatever you do, learn, read and keep your mind thinking. You can work out for yourself that eating a bowl of grapes, a fruit with a high fructose level, is probably not low in sugar. Trust yourself and when you don’t, ask a friend. Not a fat one. 

I tried to cover the questions I am asked most often, if I didn’t answer yours, leave me a comment on my blog and I’ll answer it for you with pleasure, privately if you prefer. x

I do share recipes, tips etc of my Facebook page:  Nocturnal Wenchy  I encourage you to LIKE my page. That would make me happy.

I wish you enough,

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Posted in #Wenchytude, ... a bit of that, @SirNoid / Marriage / Spouse, @SterKinekor, Picket fence of many colours

10 Things Me @LIEFLINGx @RoleneStrauss @connellcruise @sa_artists @sterkinekor @mnetmovies @TheatreOnSquare @NCT_Parktown

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

1. I collect mugs.  Places I’ve been.  Things I want to remember. Gifts from places and things other have seen.  So, if you travel or see something fab, I would appreciate a mug!

@LIEFLINGx is an amazing Afrikaans stage production.  Take it from a mug addict. You can charge more! I would have paid it.

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2. I’m a little smaller. @SirNoid bought me a new costume while visiting the North West Province this week. I loved my other (purple) one but it is simply to big. I am no @RoleneStrauss and I never will be, but eating the #LCHF way has enabled me to loose a Backstreet Boy or two. I have no goal weight,  let’s just see where we go. I suspect a year from now,  I will have hit a natural plateau. If you want to keep up with recipes etc like my Facebook page www.facebook.com/wenchybanting

3. The ’empty nest syndrome’ hit me hard and proper.  While I enjoy the freedom,  time alone with @SirNoid… I do miss the laughter of a large family and knowing my kids are safe. I never thought I was a helicopter mom,  but it seems aviation isn’t far off. I miss all my kids,  not just those that gave me stretchmarks.

4. I don’t do actions.  In Sunday School (my grandfather is a pastor) when you would do matching actions to a song, I was like NO! In Primary School during war cries and people would clap and all do the same actions,  it was a NO! Now at concerts when the band is all ‘put your hands in the air!’,  I’m like…. It’s a NO! If I felt moved by your performance I would already have my hands in the air.  Don’t give me instructions.

5. I am not Sporty Spice. I hate going under water,  I am petrified of heights and being put in situations where I can’t control physical injury.  @SirNoid gets very frustrated with me. I was not an overweight child. I was very active. Who knew?  Also stupid. When nobody was around I would jump off the grandstand into the sandpit to purely because it scared me.

I understand my unwillingness to participate in situations like theme parks is annoying, however besides my fears, I do have Ankolysing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia and I really am truly afraid of injury to my body. I felt like I lost precious time while the Dr’s were figuring it all out for MONTHS,  trying different medication. I can’t go back to that.  It’s a NO!

@SirNoid and I have been invited to do the Cape Canopy Tour next week,  I am petrified of heights but am assured I am in good hands and hopefully, like after doing the Whale Trail, I will have a sense of accomplishment! I admit,  losing weight has helped me feel I can attempt new physical experiences. Hopefully @SirNoid won’t trade me in for Sporty Spice.

6. I like urban living. After @SirNoid and I gave up Estate living for the urban jungle, there are two things I miss.  My spa bath (I love to bath) and the huge amount of space for entertaining (I love entertaining).

@SirNoid does not miss two hours in the traffic vs six minutes to sitting at his desk now! The younger kids miss the freedom of the Estate and the pool, but we couldn’t justify the cost,  vs the actual time they were with us.. especially since I was diagnosed, we were one salary down.

Being only two people in a massive house made me think of kids going hungry in townships….  I know. The smaller space did not feed the hungry kids!

7. I am involved in the world around me.  #OurDorothy  at National Children’s Theatre was a tremendous success. I hope you will continue to support @Theatre_Culture as we raise funds to take kids to the theatre who has never been. It is a R70 donation that may just spark an interest in tomorrow’s performers or various employment options within theatres!

8. I love to read.  My soul for a book.  I am in the process of collecting children’s books for children in our public health care section in association with the fabulous,  entertainer @connellcruise who is a resident.  Very Grey’s Anatomy!

Carel from @sa_artists has been incredible in his support and his hand of friendship is always open. A hand over of a portable library needs to be arranged as it currently adds to the decoration in our dining room. I would love to add more books before we do so however… You know I Like to go big or go home!

World Literacy Day is on 8 September 2015. It is still so far away….. but imagine how much bigger our outreach will be!!! Schools, other organisations, so many can still donate!  Please fill up my dining room!!! I beg REALLY well.

9. I am too busy to get the most out of every day. 2015 is all about the bass. Nahhhh it is about using the opportunity presented by a large Twitter following (almost at 23 000 followers!),  my 18 years of blogging and my Facebook transformation from personal account to a blog type page which allows a bigger following with a more focus. I would like to focus on more specific areas….

Naturally the performing arts and movies because I enjoy it hugely! I have had tremendous support from both industries for which I am most grateful. I would like to expand to more book reviews so if anyone can hook me up,  please do. I want and need to write more about the stage,  movies,  books…

A more general thought, I know I am a more effective marketing tool on Twitter but I need to cross that over to other social platforms. That said,  do LIKE my brand new page on Facebook www.facebook.com/thenocturnalwenchy –  Thank you!

10. I moved out!…. Into the blue bathroom. This bathroom use to be more bipolar than me.  It would shower and bath at the same time.

Eventually I called the plumbers and since water pressure is a huge issue in old buildings and we live in a duplex,  it was either gonna be a cold shower or a normal bath.  I chose bath as I love blue Shipmate. Now there is something few know about me! 🙂  @SirNoid thinks it’s ridiculous but he really should know after all this time that I am mere windswept and exotic!  So,  I have my own bathroom now which I quite enjoy.

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I wish you enough,
Wenchy 2015 signature

Posted in ... a bit of that, Chronic Illness

Having #Wenchytude & being the #JoziGem living with Chronic Illness

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

To say I am fed up is to say Elton John is camp.  He is not camp,  he is queen without borders. 

It has been a week now of chronic pain while experiencing a flair up of Fibromyalgia. Some days I have been able to cruise on painkillers, (unfortunately not mood altering,  asshole drugs, – very beige) and get through the day.  Other days I cry and feel huge anger towards my body. Why can’t you just be proper?

The overall feeling of stress encourage the idiotic pain and at some point bi polar kicks in and we have us a party. What stress could I possibly have? I invite you to strap on my boots and give it a bit of a walk. Just around the block will be fine.

Last Saturday morning when I was crying very loudly,  I considered it is time I be admitted,  hit the big guns for pain relief. Beem me up to the good stuff Skattie!!!

I imagined telling my kids I am in hospital and I know the fears,  anxiety and worry as my Mammie,  sister Rentia at the baseline have the same illness –  Ankolysing Spondylitis. I worry every time they in hospital.

I have Fibromyalgia as an added party trick,  Rentia added Lupus to outdo me, (your strength is beyond Brave heart) and my Mammie is on a run away morphine train of her own.

This week I had to cancel all my events. I detest doing that.  I feel I let down those that invited me.  I can’t get the messages across that I want to, but above all it makes me feel unreliable.

I hate that. I hate that this crap is stealing moments, days from this life. Seriously have I not added enough comic relief to the world already?

This morning as I turned my electric blanket up to aid the pain, I realised that once again,  as in the 18 years I have been blogging,  I can use this platform to give a face to chronic illness.  One where you are not missing a limb,  there is no flashing arrow above your head (Not just mental! ) but you actually are in very real pain.

I am very blessed that for the most part I function just dandy and my flair ups are scattered and I have to be patient and let it rage through my body and then I move back to managing the illness. Problem is I was NOT born with patience.

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I wish you enough,
Wenchy

Posted from the second cloud on your left.