Healthy Obsessions The Adventures of a Mild Obsessive Compulsive

Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie

I will admit, I cheat. I haven’t actually made a pie crust since I went gluten free. Whole Paycheck has a great gluten free pie crust in their refrigerated section. I use that. You get two bottom crusts in one package. You can make a bottom crust into a top by letting it warm up, forming it into a ball again, and then rolling out on parchment or wax paper.

The filling, though. That I do make myself. I wish I could remember where I snagged this one from. I know it’s a combination of two different recipes, but I can’t recall the source for either. You can also make this into cream of chicken soup by adding broth or water to thin it. Read more →

The Morality of Weight Loss Drugs

A diabetic friend was recently told he needed to lose weight for the sake of managing his diabetes. It’s standard advice, for good reason. Weight loss does help with diabetes and several other conditions (PCOS, sleep apnea, high blood pressure…). But he was clearly having a lot of trouble doing it on his own. As he pointed out, “I wouldn’t have gained the weight in the first place if I’d been able to avoid it.”

His insurance, however, will not cover weight loss medications. They are considered cosmetic. Never mind that in some cases, they actually aren’t cosmetic at all. Aside from insurance companies trying to pay for as little as possible, I suspect some of it has to do with cultural prejudice. Read more →

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

I intended to make blueberry muffins. Really, truly did. But I was hanging out with a friend who, I learned, didn’t like muffins. So I made cinnamon rolls. Gluten free. But definitely not fat free or sugar free…

The finished product.

Read more →

If you have celiac disease…

This is your intestine.

This is your intestine on gluten.

Any questions?

Since I'm stuck eating gluten…

I’m going to try to sample, in the three weeks I have left of the gluten challenge, as many gluteny foods as I can. If I have to feel sick, I might as well enjoy the process of getting there (I wonder if people say this about pregnancy, too….)

To that end I’m asking for suggestions of what to try.

Suggestions thus far are:

  • Pizza
  • Cookies
  • Baguettes
  • Cake
  • Brownies
  • Retch’s famous chocolate chip cookies
  • Zeppoli (I don’t even know what this is)
  • Guava pastries
  • Sourdough bread
  • Pasta
  • Sandwiches
  • Macaroni Grill food
  • Beignets
  • Mac and Cheese w/breadcrumbs on top
  • Cheesecake
  • Beer
  • Donuts (pref. hot)
  • Baked pasta
  • Churros
  • Luigi’s (local rest. I believe)

Some of these suggestions, I’ve already tried (or tried today). I have had:

  • Homemade chocolate chip cookies
  • Dutch chocolate cookies
  • Buttermilk spice cupcakes (also homemade)
  • Chocolate rum cake
  • Brownies
  • Mac and cheese (both of the Kraft and other varieties)
  • Carbonara
  • Italian bread & French bread & Sourdough
  • Crackers
  • Granola bars
  • Subway sandwiches (I know they’re awful, but I like them)
  • Bagels
  • Old Fashioned Glazed Donuts
  • Tyropita & Spanikopita
  • Braided lemon loaf (courtesy of a co-worker’s wife)
  • Pizza
  • Ravioli
  • A hamburger with a bun
  • Calamari (it was pretty meh, though)
  • Mozarella sticks
  • Fried chicken
  • Chicken pot pie

I’m going to have to keep my samples small, or else go on a massive diet after this is all over. Strangely (ha) I find that I don’t have much appetite these days. Possibly because of the constant queasy feeling…

Sometimes Grace is Too Hard to Manage

Today was a tough day. Healthwise.

I’ve been on a gluten challenge for two weeks now, at the insistence of the celiac specialist I’m seeing. And… she’s not wrong. I need an intestinal biopsy for an official diagnosis, which will make insurance a hell of a lot easier to deal with. And that requires me eating enough gluten to damage my intestines. But…

There are about a billion symptoms that go along with celiac disease (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration), and I’ve got half a dozen of them at the moment. Most distressing was the realization that I’m not actually absorbing the vast majority of my medications. And yeah, it’s pretty obvious. And no, I’m not going into detail on this one. Rare though discretion is on my part.

Read more →

Don't Trust Anything That Bleeds for Five Days and Doesn't Die

Was it Heinlein who said that? For some reason, I want to attribute it to him.

Any rate. If you couldn’t tell from the title of this post (and really, it’s a dead giveaway) I’m talking about menstruation. Here’s my menstrual calendar for the last year.

June 2009 – May 2010

I am apparently deeply untrustworthy.

Why I Love the Stanford Medical Clinics

Advanced Technology

Guess how I started my day today? With a spontaneous endometrial biopsy. Which is awesome. Aside from the pain part.

It actually is awesome. I’ve now seen three different gynecologists, two of whom are at Stanford (and I would have gladly seen the same doc both times, but she didn’t have any appointments available). One appointment was at PAMF, and that doc was quite nice, but also quite rushed.

I like PAMF. I get, for the most part, excellent care there. But one of the things that the Stanford docs have over PAMF is simply time. Stanford is an educational institution. Which means, sure, you may get a resident instead of a practicing physician, but it also means they have more time. And they’re more up to date on the newest tests and treatments. And they ask more questions. And they’re willing to run more tests. And they like exploring strange symptoms and conditions.

My first appt. at Stanford Gyn. took an hour, and in that time they did a thorough family history, did a pelvic exam, did a urine test, and gave me a sonogram. Right then and there. They wheeled the machine in and proceeded to show me my ovaries and point out my cysts. They also appreciated that I wanted to see those things.

Poly Cystic Ovary (not mine)

At PAMF, the doc prescribes the sonogram for me and then I have to schedule with Radiology. Which usually means the actual sonogram will happen in another two weeks. And the sonogram tech can’t show me my ovaries or point out where my cysts are, because only doctors are allowed to do that (which makes plenty of sense). But the doctors don’t have time, there, to do these tests themselves.

Today was a follow up to talk about my irregular menses, most likely caused by PCOS.  (I find the term “irregular” ironic in this case, since I bleed quite regularly —  every two weeks). The treatment I’d tried (which actually was prescribed by my endo at PAMF) hadn’t worked. It helped, a bit. Gave me a few more days between periods. But still.

The gynecologist who saw me today went over my options: birth control pills (this is always the first option, but one I don’t want to take), a hormonal IUD instead of the copper, Nuvaring, or a stronger dose of the prior treatment (progesterone pills, taken to provoke a full shed of the uterine lining). But, she said, I want to do an endometrial biopsy and we can discuss options after we get the results.

And she did it right then, right there.

This is the first time anyone has biopsied my endometrium. Considering my history of excessive/irregular bleeding, you’d think that would already have happened.

It wasn’t fun. In fact, it hurt quite a bit. Somewhat akin to the uterine sounding during IUD insertion. Except, in that case, I was already doped out on painkillers and other medications, so that probably actually hurts a lot more in reality.

But. I’m really glad my doctor did it.

(Also – I get that a lot of guys get squeamish talking about female biology, and some of my guy friends will complain about me talking so publically about it. But really, deal. Female  biology, and medicine, needs to be more openly addressed. Making it a taboo subject promotes ignorance, misunderstanding, and poor medical care.)

Follow Up Rant, Having Met the New Doc

I’m hesitant to be publically critical of doctors. They don’t like that, you see.  And getting decent medical care can be dependent on how much your doctor likes you. In a perfect world, it shouldn’t be. But. It often is. So, as I said, I don’t like publically criticizing doctors. However (you could totally tell there was a however coming, couldn’t you?)…

The doc I wrote about meeting  several weeks ago is… well… either he’s a flake or an idiot. I think I’d prefer thinking he was just a flake.

He was nice enough. Pleasant and friendly. Sat down with me to talk about the Celiac screening test I’d had done. And here, in bulleted list, were the things that bugged me:

Read more →

I'm Not the Only One (Five Links)

Currently feeling overwhelmed with some family medical news, which I’m not able to discuss publicly yet. In a week or two. Instead, some links I’ve found interesting.

The Data Driven Life: An article from Time Magazine that’s about me. Or people very like me. It’s about the obsession with tracking, the usefulness and the pitfalls. A friend mentioned the meet-ups sponsored by QS to me some time back, and I’d been meaning to check one out right around when my kidney infection hit in January.

A history of BMI : Great links. Lovely research. Makes me happy. This says pretty much everything I’d want to say. BMI is not an accurate indicator of health, or actual overweight. Body measurement, skin calipers, and hydrostatic weighing are far more accurate. I’ve been tracking body measurements for a while, and will no doubt post that spreadsheet in the future.

I found this via Jim Hines’ blog, where he posts about BMI and weight issues using himself, and his BMI. He also links to the Illustrated BMI from a few years back, which I loved then and still love now. I have a few friends in the accompanying Flickr photo set.

Utility Belt! A friend recently gave me this as a gift, after learning I’d been lusting after it for a year. I got mine in black. If I am very clever, I will eventually manage to get a picture of me wearing it.