Healing What Ails Thee

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I haven’t written in a while.

I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The primary complication associated with this disease is that having it increases the risk of developing other autoimmune disorders. It’s a drag on the spirit, because the ways my disease might blossom into other autoimmune dysfunctions is unpredictable, and different from the ways Hashimoto’s will progress in other people.

I’ve been on hypothyroid drugs for about 20 years, but the Hashimoto’s component (which, looking back, I’ve had for most of my adult life) was just diagnosed last summer, when I was experiencing so much muscular/joint pain that I couldn’t walk well or far. And, over the years, I’ve had many “mysterious” health problems that I now understand stemmed from this and not from my “imagination,” as so many physicians like to suggest when they haven’t a clue.

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There’s an extremely restrictive diet, initially followed for a month or two, that can help reset the immune system. The disease isn’t cured, but it can help it be better-managed. So, I’ve been following this for a few weeks and keeping up with my regular exercise. I miss my coffee and glass of wine; I miss boiled eggs and popcorn. The diet eliminates dairy, gluten, nuts, beans, a lot of fruits, coffee, cocoa, and any foods from the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers). But families are running for their lives all over the globe. Terrorism, disease, and warfare are daily companions to many; I think I can stick with salmon and an organic salad and do just fine.

The learning curve regarding this has been steep and deep, and it’s tiring in itself, just to educate myself without becoming either tedious to others or overwhelmed by the research. Stress, of course, exacerbates any autoimmune issues, so it’s important not to feel overwhelmed.

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Things were going along fairly well, and then, a couple weeks ago, we learned a dairy conglomerate hopes to build an almost-CAFO (concentrated animal feed operation) in our community, near our home, the bike trail, and the river. The owner wants 9000 goats on this farm; a cozy home for 7000 does and 2000 kids. Legally, there would have to be 10k goats to qualify as a CAFO and meet stricter regulations than a mere 9000 goats will demand, although with the loosening of the environmental laws in our state under our current and disastrous state government, it’s all a bit of a sad, hollow laugh.

The farm will send goat milk to a distant Wisconsin town’s cheese factory to create goat cheese for a company owned and managed in California. But our community will deal with the air pollution, groundwater poisoning, road repairs, smells, and the fertilizer production, sending who-knows-what chemicals spewing into our endocrine systems. We have dairy and chicken CAFOs in operation here already.

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Unfortunately, the Enbridge Pipeline also runs through our state, and also close to our home. It’s the largest tar sands pipeline in the world; every day 1.2 million barrels of toxic tar sands oil flows through our county, and Enbridge hopes to increase that, with another line, to 2 million barrels a day.

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I don’t usually write about these kinds of things; if you’ve read The Daily Round, you know how dearly I love our home, our gardens, the land, and environment. I love the river, and birds, the foxes, and raccoons, and yes, even the mice and squirrels who are also part of our community, as are the trees, wildflowers, and the fish who manage to survive the poison already in the river. We’ve been enjoying eagles flying up and down the river this winter, and have been looking forward to fox kits in April… I worry about having to leave Full Moon Cottage and abandoning all of these companions so I can stay as healthy as I can. I worry about those 9000 goats. No one will know them or love them. They’ll be “production units” and “discontinued” when they’re no longer capable of lactation. I worry about the world we are becoming.

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No one needs to cram 9000 goats onto a bit of acreage. The universe doesn’t need that much overpriced goat cheese. I don’t understand how anyone can continue to willfully destroy the earth so rapaciously, when we’re told, over and over and over what this is doing to our atmosphere, air, resources, and quality of life. It doesn’t matter to me how “green” the technology will be; the earth is better off without it altogether. Small farms, sustainable living (within our means), community welfare, and an environment that doesn’t destroy our immune systems make so much more sense.

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Greed alone is driving the frightening, rapid increase of factory farms. And in our state, as in the greater world, greed is always connected to wealth and power. How to respond?

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Well, a merry little band of activists is creating itself and working, researching, learning, and planning to mount an opposition. Full Moon Cottage will be welcoming some of them here tomorrow…it’s not the usual way one celebrates Valentine’s Day, but if we are to heal ourselves and our world, it’s a grand way to start.

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Blessings on your Valentine’s Day. I hope that when you list your loves, your name is on the list. May you be gifted with any healing you are seeking, and may you be the healer you’ve come to be.

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17 thoughts on “Healing What Ails Thee

  1. I am so very sorry to hear you speak about the Goat disaster and near the bike trail? No way!!! That is so horrible. Perhaps you were curious about Vermont at one time for a reason? When destructive things move into your neighborhood get out quick while the getting is good as such things drag down the value! Bummer 😦
    As for your Hashimotos, I’ve been living with it for years and years. I being very into natural medicine was lucky to find a doctor who was willing for me to be his guinea pig for trying to heal it.I discovered Low Dose Naltrexone and began taking it. Many people have been cured. While I am not cured, I do manage to keep my numbers in a safe range so I don’t worry anymore about my body attacking itself. Here is a link to what I am talking about. https://www.hashimotoshealing.com/low-dose-naltrexone-ldn-and-hashimotos/ My doctor who also has discovered he has it as well, after watching me, now has 3/4 of his patients on it with good results. It was a win win situation. Best thing I ever did. When I learned how taking thyroid meds actually take over the work of your thyroid for you and you can’t go back really so you get stuck on meds. Not for me. I want all my body parts working by ME! This medication allows your body to keep on doing the work while trying to reverse the problem… You may be interested in trying it.
    Hope you are doing okay. I finally got used to living with it but when I got Lyme disease everything seemed to kick into high gear. I think the best thing I ever learned was to stop seeing myself as my illnesses. If we allow them to define us they will. We get illnesses as creators way of drawing our attention to issues we need to fix by masking them with disease. There are good things that come along with the bad. I guess it is up to us to find the good side of having this disease.
    Take care, feel better and listen to your gut Kitty. We get messages all the time but so often we miss them. There is something behind all of this for you that will aid in moving you forward yet again…Happy hunting….Hugs…VK ❤

    • Thanks for your time and empathy, Hollis; they are both very much appreciated. I’ve read about Naltrexone and will certainly discuss it with mu endocrinologist. Meanwhile, yeah, the goat farm. And yes, still looking at homes in VT and MN. 🙂 Blessings on your Valentine’s Day and sweet heart.

  2. I hope the diagnosis and new plan provide some relief and benefit. As to the goats…many California consumers – and consumers of California products – appreciate knowing the source and circumstances of where and how their food was raised/grown. I would think/hope that calling attention to the CA company and asking their consumers to petition against this might be effective.

    • Thanks, Ogee! I’m open to every suggestion and will share this with the group this afternoon. We’ll see what develops, and soon, and that will determine quite a bit of our personal future as well. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words. 🙂

  3. Dear Kitty, just came by to one of my favourite spots. I wish you strength (though you seem to have massive doses of that!) even as you start on this new chapter. I know you will discover treasures unknown… Your light shines from this post. Thank you for being a fierce guardian of our beautiful earth and creatures big and small. Blessings and wholesomeness to you dear one. And big hugs. Sharon p.s. Who is that little cutie pie on a leash above?

  4. Oh, Sharon, How wonderful to hear from you; I hope all is well with you and your beloveds. 🙂 Thank you; I’m making progress with both endeavors and that’s in large part due to partners and supporters. The photo is of Malarky, our new puppy. He came to us in October, and we are besotted with his wonderfulness. Well, Finny the cat, not so much, but it’ll settle. Malarky just entered his 7th month of life on earth, so it’s been fun experiencing everything anew, as the miracle it is. 🙂 Love you and send wishes for your gentle peace, Kitty

  5. Wishing you good health, my dear Kitty. Life is so precious, and I am happy with you that you’ve been able to focus on the uplifting, the beautiful, and the inspiring in your environment for as long as you’ve been blogging. It is so good to join you in meeting animals and plants with love. And as good as it is, that medicine, philosophy, and science in general is able to improve our lot at times, what is most important for us, is to realize that this is a temporary journey through life, marvelous and rewarding. And yes, there are those who go searching for the irrelevant… for the unimportant. It truly doesn’t matter who has the biggest collection of pine cones, even if Guinness records it. What matters is those wonderful moments, of which you’ve shared a few. May you continue your journey with love.

  6. Kitty,
    I came to your blog last year through reading Dina’s Gardens and Wildlife blog.
    I can empathise with you on the autoimmune disease as I have had ME for around 4 years until last year, when I fortunately started to make a recovery. Having a chronic illness can drag you down, as i well know. It is important to focus on what one can do rather than what one can’t and rest as much as your body tells you it needs to.
    I am interested that your doc has suggested a dietary change. I certainly made great strides when I adopted a vegan diet and removed all animal products from it. I started to read about the animal farming industry and was horrified not only for those poor creatures, who lead short, miserable lives, but also to discover all the hormones and antibiotics that are pumped into them. These substances find their way into our own bodies and cause all sorts of havoc. Last, but not least, as I am sure you know, animal agriculture is responsible for more environmental damage than all the forms of transport put together worldwide (cars, planes, trains,buses etc). Yet Governments find it easier to ask us to use different light bulbs, drive greener cars and get solar panels rather than address our diets.

    So I am really sad to hear that one of these mega dairies is planned for your area. Perhaps your group could get some facts and figures from the Vegan Society website and other online sources about the environmental pollution aspect and show that to the local authorities who would be responsible for the decision making. I do hope you will be able to influence them with some hard facts. If you need any help on sourcing information please do let me know.

    You are right that stress is the worst thing when dealing with illness and I found that during the worst of my own illness I had to deal with various local planning matters like yourself (noise from delivery vehicles to a large superstore across the street from where I live).
    Today’s world is so much easier in many ways, but the growth of big business has created more worries of a different kind for people within their own environment.
    Wishing you success in keeping your local area peaceful and natural and also wishing you a recovery from your health challenges.
    Caroline xxx

    • Thank you for all your suggestions and empathy, Caroline. I’m so glad you’re feeling better! Yes, this temporary diet (I hope) allows only wild/free range, grass-fed meat, nothing treated with anything. I’m actually eating mostly wild salmon.

      I’ve been vegan most of my adulthood, so it’s hard to eat meat (and, truth be told, not a lot, but some, every day), but as I said, it’s temporary.

      I agree, the way these poor factory farm animals are treated is beyond reprehensible, and the food procured is nothing I’d want to eat. My hope is that more and more people will wake up to these realities instead of just shoving grocery store packets in their baskets and disconnecting from the food source. And, as you said, what it done to the environment is so destructive.

      I’m hopeful, as always, that the changes are coming, as more people wake up. 🙂 It was so kind of you to take the time to write, Caroline; thank you!

  7. I’m sorry to hear that you have been suffering from this disease for so long, and how frustrating to hear that it has not been diagnosed correctly. I really, really hope the new diet works and resets your immune system. I also feel for you having to eat meat but as you say it’s temporary and the results will be well worth it. I hope you are beginning to feel better. Take it easy! I’ll send positive, healing vibes your way!
    Oh lordy, how awful and sad to hear of the poor goats and the environmental effects of the proposed farm, why oh why does this have to happen over and over again across the world??? And dismal to hear of the river being poisoned, I do hope the second pipeline doesn’t go ahead, it all makes my blood boil.
    I raise my cap to you and your band of activists, here’s to your success, it’s good to be doing something. If you have a petition going please post me the details, I would be happy to post it on my twitter account, I have about 3k like-minded followers there who may re-tweet it.
    I loved the snowy river and it’s a joy to see Malarky shooting up, where on earth did that little puppy go. I hope things are calming down with the kitties now.xxx

  8. Thanks, dear one; the meat-eating has been the hardest for me, but I’m eating only humanely raised/grass fed, etc., and trying to make it a sacred ritual. I can’t eat the “organ meat” the diet really wants me to eat, but I do use everything and make broths that are healing. I do feel much better and will see what the endocrinologist says next Monday.

    The good news is that the goat farm won’t be destroying anything on the proposed land, but the owner is still looking (and being courted by area farmers trying to sell their land). The growth of these inhumane, destructive factory farms is disturbing, but many people are trying to inform/warn the public regarding their existence and potential for harming the environment, people, and other animals. Unfortunately, in our state, anyway, until the power in the capital changes, the increase of these “farms” is a given. I gotta say, the way things are going politically in our wretched state and sad country, we’re wondering if there’s anywhere on earth to escape the madness that seems to be overtaking the human population.

    But spring is coming and sweet animals, lovely gardens, good friends and great books keep me sane. 🙂

    Gentle peace to you, Dina!

  9. Kitty, I certainly empathize with you on the terrible things that are going on around you with the tar sands oil, the factory farming and now goats. I work in the humane field and am all too aware of the horrors of this kind of animal raising as well as environmental destruction. I have to try every day to not write something in that vein when I get to writing my own blog, but the temptation is great. And to have this all around you when your health is already struggling is even worse. I don’t know you, but I wish you every good thing in terms of defeating/overcoming/crushing your illness inasmuch as it is possible and feeling your best. Thanks for more beautiful photos – you have a gift. Jeanne

    • Thank you, Jeanne; I’m feeling wonderful, just great, so the autoimmune diet has been great, and the goat guy has found greener pastures. It came very close, twice, to locating in our county, but we raised a lot of issues and got people involved. Unsure of where the owner (I refuse to call him a “farmer,”) finally bought land, but we have a LOT of data to send to the interested people in that area.

      I appreciate your kind words so very much; bless you. Heading over to your blog to enjoy your gifts. 🙂 Gentle peace, Kitty

      • Kitty – Congratulations – that’s HUGE – that you got this person to go elsewhere through organized action! Unfortunately for the goats, they still may be suffering somewhere, but maybe not. That you can follow-up and get information to others where this guy might go – I’m very impressed! It is possible sometimes to wear people down enough so they finally give up – here’s hoping – you have a whole little herd somewhere hoping right along with you (and me.)
        🙂
        And I’m glad you’re feeling well.

        • We did feel successful, but yes, it’s tempered by the fact he’s not giving up. he already owns two huge dairy cow CAFO’s and you’re right, Jeanne, these are in no way humane. I don’t know how to form a bridge between the mentality that other animals are “production units” and the belief that we’re all in this together and need to lend respect, protection, appreciation, and love towards everything on the planet. But I’ll keep trying.

  10. I bet you already have formed that bridge, Kitty … the best way for me was giving up meat and pretty much everything that once had a face. I eat fish rarely but from time to time, and limit my dairy as much as I possibly can. (Unfortunately, dairy-free “milks” all taste wretched in coffee, and I buy good, organic coffee – so I limit myself to organic milk. I suspect you are of the same mind.) You’re right – I doubt this guy will give up – but you can keep trying, and we can continue to respect all life and help others know to the level they can hear.

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