Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

A Perfect 10…Not

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Well here I am at Day 10 of the 37 day challenge. I want to thank everyone who sent words of encouragement to my post on Monday (Day 8). I appreciate your support. And here on Day 10 I can say that my commitment so far has been less than perfect; however, I’m not getting discouraged. I’ve made it this far and have upheld my end of the challenge on most days.

I should explain more about why I chose chocolate in particular because it does sometimes feel like deprivation. And there is a reason for this.

A year ago in March, 2008, I was diagnosed with silent reflux. That meant I was having problems with gastroesophageal reflux and was not showing the typical symptom of heartburn.  In my case my throat was sore.  It felt like I had a lump in my throat. Swallowing was sometimes uncomfortable. What baffled me was that these symptoms fluctuated.

They actually began in the fall of 2006 and “disappeared” in the winter of 2007. Come fall of 2007 the symptoms appeared again. However, they did not “disappear” by the winter of 2008. I remember my dentist, during an annual check-up, commenting on how red my throat looked and the hygenist telling me it looked like I had a canker sore in my throat.  I couldn’t see anything myself but could feel something.

I’ve always had an odd digestive system. In the past, certain smells have triggered nausea. I haven’t always eaten a healthy diet. I’m not a big eater of fruit though I love vegetables. And I’ve always loved chocolate.

And chocolate is a trigger for reflux.

Back to March, 2008. The diagnosis came after a visit to an ENT who confirmed my symptoms on visual examination. He promptly prescribed Prilosec, Tums at night, elevating the head of the bed, and not eating 3 hours before bedtime. And all these recommendations appeared to do the trick. I felt better. I slept better.

And then the ringing in my ears started.  Did you know a little known side-effect of Prilosec is tinnitus; ringing in the ears? About 1% of people taking prescription Prilosec develop tinnitus. Lucky me; I was one of the 1%.

This happened 8 months after starting the Prilosec which I promptly stopped taking. Fortunately the major symptoms of the reflux had mostly diminished by the time the ear ringing became annoying. Zantac was recommended in place of the Prilosec. The ringing in my ears has slowly diminished as well though it hasn’t cleared completely.

I tried to monitor particular foods for triggers of heartburn symptoms throughout this period. And I can say that chocolate, if taken in moderate quantities, seemed to have a negative effect. Hence my decision to focus on sugary food, especially chocolate during this 37 day challenge.

I know that completely eliminating sugar  is not a realistic goal for me. Sugar permeates too many food products.  Sugar subsitutes give me a headache so that isn’t an option at this time. Moderation and increased awareness are key.

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