Update on health–”Nightshades”

Sawadee Khrap

I mentioned when I got back from the Burma trip that I felt a lot better. Fox TV aired a clip about a lady who teaches Ayurvedic medicine and she made a statement that eating “Nightshades” can cause an allergic reaction in some people causing joint pain.    (i.e.   egg plant, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes) 

So for the past 2 weeks I have eliminated all of them from my diet , and gone to just rice and vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, onion, and carrots) and at every other meal a small portion of chicken.  Almost all the joint pain has gone or going away – amazing.    Knee joints, what I thought was ligament stiffing and pain, are all subsiding.  I wake up in the morning having had a better sleep and more energy.   Amazing, I would never have guessed it and I am sure “modern” medicine would never had suggested either.  When I mentioned my pain to the doctors they just shrugged it off to poor exercise and old age.  The only thing I’ve done is eliminate them from my diet – and for sure have not exercised more.

I’ll post my progress,  but I thought it best to get out there a.s.a.p. as many others may be suffering and not even have the slightest idea why –  its worth a try if you do have joint pain.


Benefits of the Burma Trip

Sawadee Khrap

Back almost a week from my trip to Burma and I am realizing some beneficial side effects.

  1. The extremely bumpy roads on the trip – the constant rocking back and forth, which I thought would hurt my lower back – in fact actually helped it – like getting a great massage – when I got back i had little or no lower back pain and it did not start coming back until several days later.   So I am trying to make sure I do not sit for long periods of time and always do some movement and stretching.
  2. Before I went on the trip I was experiencing constant joint pain  especially in my knees. But on the trip, because almost all the dishes served for lunch and dinner were spicy, I opted only for rice and mixed vegetables – which was mostly cauliflower.    When I got back I noticed almost all joint pain was gone.    At home I was eating a lot of potatoes, tomato, egg plant and bell peppers – NIGHTSHADES – and some researching of the Internet showed studies that indicated nightshades can product allergic reactions in many people similar to arthritis. – which is apparently my case – after the trip I had no joint pain but after coming back and going on my normal diet  – the aching joints came back.  Now I will stop eating nightshades and see if the joint pain goes away again.     I had thought it was from mostly old age.
  3. And thirdly, since I began taking a daily dose of Cialis for prostate, blood pressure and ED control, I have had relativity strong edema in my feet, very noticeable and commented on by several of my friends.   So,  since I didn’t imagine that this trip would produce any amorous situations, I stopped taking the Cialis.  Sure enough almost all the swelling in my feet subsided.  For obvious purposes I don’t want to eliminate the Cialis from my daily meds now that I’m back – unless I can find a substitute that is – a natural method if possible.  I am still working on that, but for the near future I will just put up with the slight edema so I can gain all the other benefits. LoL.  At least now I am sure what’s causing my edema.

The trip also has re-ignited my travel interest and so I am planning a future trip to Laung Prabang, Laos – hopefully next month, maybe for Songkran.   They celebrate it there and I understand it is a wonderful experience, similar but not the same as Thailand.   I am now checking Planet Romeo for possibility of contacting new friends in Luang Prabang, who could serve as my guide and companion for a visit there.  Having someone who is familiar with the area would be quite a blessing.

One can only speculate what benefits another trip might reveal.


Ironic – Good health but alone

Sawadee Khrap

Just got back from the kidney doctor and received a good report.  BP about 124/60, kidney function levels stabilized – pain in legs almost gone – good walking now – feeling great BUT !!!.     Of all the times to be single, but thank God I did have someone with me as I went through the crap of getting this BP-Kidney problem taken care of – too bad it fucked up my temperament making it so they couldn’t have stuck around enough to enjoy the final outcome.

Present meds –

  • 10mg       Madiplot
  • 20mg       Olmersartan
  • 5mg         Folic Acid
  • 81mg       Aspirin
  • 2000mg   Fish Oil – Blackmores Omega high DHA
  • 2000mg   Turmeric – with Blackpepper corns
  • 10mg        Cialis

After all the trials – this is the final formula that seems to work – everything working – I am testing taking every evening 1 TPS of Apple Cider Vinegar for stomach health and reducing acid reflex and also taking 3 squares of 99% Cocoa powder chockalott daily for additional antioxidants.

Trying to keep the Pharmaceutical meds to a minimum.


Check up’s

Sawadee Khrap

Just back from the eye doctor – Glaucoma seems to be under control – pressure down and test show only a little damage – will test again in March to make sure.    Azopt drops are working and do not upset the BP.

By the way, BP now running about 125-130 – switched back to Olmersartan for 3 days now and the pain in the hips, knees and legs has really gone down.  Apparently it was the Valsartan that was causing it – that is what the literature says Valsartan can do but the doctor thought not, but I was sure that it was  -however,  cannot really tell in just 3 days  – it takes at least 2 weeks for the BP to stabilize with the Sartans so have to wait to really make sure it is working.   Hoping it is working as the pain I was having before changing made it so I couldn’t walk for any distance let alone exercise – so now I think I just have to build up muscles again – their sore but the pain is gone.

Everything else seems OK —  or at least stable and without the high anxiety I had before – I can drive without getting overly excited  – that’s a good indicator.  I can enjoy my trips and life again.


Glaucoma under control ?? !

Sawadee Khrap

Well, today’s eye doctor report says that my eye pressuers have stabilized – apparently the eye drops I have been using lately have done the trick.  But next month we will do another peripheral vision test to see if there has been more damage since the last one I had done last month.   That’s a relief.    Don’t want to add blindness to my possible future problem.  I’ve only got about 12-14 years left and I would like to enjoy them in somewhat good health.

I’ve increased my weekly massages to 3 now with extra emphases on stretching.  Seems to be making my walking much easier and having the massage boy incorporate it into each massage ensures that I do it on a regular basis – I keep forgetting to stretch each morning when its left up to me, and God knows I need it.   Goes to show how badly I need someone to take care of me and the need will only increase as I get older.

Haven’t done anything else lately – just not in the mood.  I think I will return to Monk Chat, at least a couple times a week to fill in the hours – helping someone is always the best medicine for boredom and feeling lonely.   This last break-up has affected me more than I wanted to let on.  But we all have to do what we have to do – I also seriously think it will be very hard to find a young man with the same qualities.  We will see.   Not really looking forward to the hunt, so to say.   It’s  true you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you can find Prince Charming.


Things may be looking up

Sawadee Khrap

Just got back from Sriphat Hospital visiting 3 doctors, Cardio, Kidney, and Physical Health and all gave me good grades.  BP  120/50 and appears stable so far,  kidney function stabilized, muscle spasms in lower back eliminated by stretching exercises, ED appears under control, Plavix stopped and hip pain gone, acid reflux much lower since using coconut oil for cooking. and the glaucoma problem seems to be getting better using the latest drops Azopt – side-effects almost all gone – vision becoming much clearer – next month will actually tell when I go see the ophthalmologist again. 

One problem is still there but greatly reduce and that’s the mild aching in my legs especially in the evening that can sometimes wake me up.  For that I have been told to start drinking more milk to raise the calcium levels and do more stretching exercises along with increased walking.  I am using the elliptical machine again and can do more walking since eliminating the pain in my hips from the Plavix.       Soooo   milk it is.

It was quite a trip to get here and I feel sorry for many that suffer with similar medical problems and just stick to the first or same medicine prescribed without carefully questioning everything, doing their own research (internet is excellent) and developing a mutually agreed plan with their doctors concerning their health.   I had to work with my doctors, giving them the best feedback I could about any and all side-effects and not just accept the first results to get where I am now.  And believe me we tested several combinations –  I thought the doctors were going to give up before I did, but they worked with me all along.

The doctors at Sriphat Hospital, Chiang Mai and Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok are excellent – and I don’t think you can find better hospitals anywhere – and considering the cost I am sure you can’t.  Today’s visits with all three specialists, totals 1200 Baht   $35


Coconut Oil

Sawadee Khrap

My latest discovery – cooking with coconut oil – 2 weeks ago I started cooking everything , eggs, stir-fried dishes, black bean with pork, pork chops, etc. using coconut oil instead of my normal olive oil.   What a difference so far, my acid-reflux problem that has plagued me for several years has all but disappeared.  The food tastes great, so even if this is just a passing fad there is no reason to change back.  I never liked palm or corn oils, which is so commonly used here, and I have read many articles that olive oil should not be heated but only used on things like salads – cold.

I’m never the first one to try anything, I’d rather wait and see if good results from others are there before I venture in.  And although for years I have been using only coconut oil for my massages, cooking with it was not considered – I really thought the taste would be too much.  It’s not  – the food is delicious.   I had switched to olive from the normal corn or palm cooking oils when I started having my BP problems – blocked arteries.

I have read several articles that in the past coconut oil was the preferred oil for cooking – but in the wisdom of the food industry they shot it down for polyunsaturated vegetable oils claiming they were better for the fight against heart disease.  Coconut was way too expensive to compete against these cheap oils and lost out.  Actually the populous lost out – coconut, with its anti-inflammatory properties and healthy saturated fats is far better – heart disease from sugars and polyunsaturated oils is far more common. .  Butter is better than margarine.

So there, if your not using coconut oil and still using the common artery-choking cooking oils – stop and try coconut.


Keep your BP under control

Sawadee Khrap

Amazing, about Sept 7th I was told about having glaucoma and was prescribed eye drops to reduce the pressure in my eyes.  Did that ever start a chain of events that a month would finally lead me to being single again.  Prior to that my BP was stable about 110-122 and I felt very calm and happy – I think our relationship was too, I did have some apprehension about how close we were but I think that we were getting closer – I have to admit that I did rush into the affair, which I shouldn’t have have done and really taken it slower with him.  But that being said, as I look back now I think we were on a path to possibly making it work. Then came the eye drops!!

The first drops, when sleeping,  caused terrible pain in my legs and knees and real vivid bad paranoiac dreams. So we went to the next trial, the dreams became less but the pain continued and my BP started to climb. By the time we got to the third medicine, my BP was back to pre-stent time 160-200 and my composure and temperament had started to go through the roof.   I could notice it in my driving but didn’t think I was also projection it toward my relationship.  I had also started to develop paranoia about our relationship being true.  Little things would really had become large problems.  It’s always a task to make a multi-culture relationship work but with this added influence it would become impossible.

I had started lashing about about little things that I saw that I thought were undermining our relations, especially at night, trying to get to sleep,  I would see all the possible infractions that was leading to the conclusion that he didn’t love me.  Well the rest is history, we broke up after a big fight.   Can’t use hind sight here.

For the past several days I have stopped all eye drops and my BP is slowly dropping with my mood and temperament becoming more calm.  It’s really a remarkable change that I can feel, I don’t know what the glaucoma status is – too late for the relationship but possibly some help to others that are fighting high BP and glaucoma.

All I can say is be careful of what drugs you take – I am going back first to the Cardiologist tomorrow and go over the whole series of events and the BP drug interactions with the glaucoma medicine.  And then get the two doctors in concert before trying any new drugs again.  Hopefully there is a better way to control the eye pressure, short of Laser Surgery, that doesn’t effect my BP or personality.   As for the relationship, I really hope he finds the Bear he was always looking for.


Drug Interactions !!!

Sawadee Khrap

My God, do you have to watch out for drug interactions.  I have been fairly stable on my regime of drugs so far  – valsartan, Madiplot, aspirin, folic acid, Fish Oil, turmeric, black pepper, and Cialis.

Getting off the Plavix took most of the pain from my hips and I can finally walk again – but weak from no exercise  – I did increase the Turmeric to 1000mg daily to fight any inflammation – seems to be working.

but when I was told about having mild Glaucoma – they first prescribed some drops called Taflotan – a prostaglandin analog – one drop each eye in the evening.  I could put up with all the sided effects except the pain in my knees – yes, eye drops causing pain in my knees. amazing.  So now they switched to Alphagan – a Adrenergic agonists – knee pain gone and my vision seems clearer – but probably just from the drops moisture  – not the medicine itself..  This stuff supposedly can cause higher blood pressure so I just have to wait and see if it makes mine climb too high.   Both  lower the fluid in the eye reducing pressure but also can react with or against BP medicines – I.e. Valsartan – and one of the side effects (which I haven’t had before ) is pain in knees and joints.

I think that there was a reaction with the valsartan to cause the knee pain – anyway seems to be getting better so far on the new stuff – but I will be monitoring the BP more closely.  My home situation doesn’t help – stress is not a good thing to constantly have – need to clear this up fast and get back to a stress-free life or at lest the best I can do.


Off the Plavix – eye problems

Sawadee Khrap

Today I stopped taking the Plavix – I really think this is the culprit responsible for the pain I get in my hips and legs when walking – we will see.   Both my Cardiologist here and the Surgeon who put in the stents said it was ok to stop after 30 days  and it’s been 2 months so far.

I have heard some bad reports about Plavix and particularly when used in combination with aspirin.  Very bad for the heart – so I am glad to hear I can stop using it.  Having no heart problems just blockage in the renal arteries I guess I am not as susceptible to strokes or major blood clotting.

I was given 2 – Express SD Renal stents.  Stainless steel balloon expandable Non-drug-eluting peripheral stents.   In their literature they state 30 day for Plavix needed. In the past I had a reaction to “metals” and could not wear bracelets or rings for over 20 years with out mild allergic reactions.  However for the past 3-4 years this has not been a problem and it seems that the stents caused no problems either- at least not so far.  I wear 2 rings now with no side effects either.

So now I am down to taking:

Madiplot, Valsartan, baby aspirin, Folic acid – along with Cialis, Turmeric and black peppercorns.

BUT, lasts week I had a eye exam and they found I have started to develop Glaucoma in both eyes – so I am now started on “Taflotan”  – one drop each eye in the evening – hopefully this will control this problem. — getting to that age where everything is bucking up against the warranty and starting to fail.  Doctor tells me there could be side effects – could be he states ?  haha – red eyes and black around the area – we will see.   I do see a little bloodshot started but mild so far and haven’t noticed any darkling around the eyes – don’t want a clown appearance.

It never ends.


Physical Therapy – not disc problem

Sawadee Khrap

Just got back from Sriphat Physical Therapy Center for the second  ultra-sound and lumbar traction session.  Both shoulders and lower back received 7 minuets each of ultra-sound deep massage and then in for 20 min of lumbar traction = total cost  300 Baht    $9.    I was at Tao Gardens 2 weeks ago for just lower back ultra-sound and was charged 1700 Baht.    Quite a savings. 

What I thought was a flair up of the herniated disc, turned out to be a case of aggressive muscle spasm.  The doctor at Sriphat spotted this right away and set me up for physical therapy to cure the problem.   I’ve scheduled 2 sessions a week for the next 2 weeks to bring everything back to normal.  Along with stretching exercises at home I should be discomfort free soon. 

I also bought a pair of new shoes and this really helped too – I tend to wear them down in the lower outside area which causes me to walk off center and aggravates the back muscles and this in turn causes the vertebras in the back to pop out of position causing more muscle spasm.  I don’t usually notice it until the spasms get so bad that they start to affect the sciatic nerve and I get sever pain down both legs.   I’ll be more observant as to how the shoes are wearing down and make sure to get new ones when needed.  

However, at 300 Baht a session,  I definitely can afford a once week, or at least every other week, visit to the Therapy Center in addition to my normal weekly 2-hour Oil massages to keep my back in good shape.  That amounts to 4600 Baht/Mo or  $130/Mo.  And I tip well – you could do the same here for half the price.  Think about it – that’s 4 private (young men) massages in my condo + 2 therapy sessions.  Try that somewhere else.

Thailand retirement is affordable and pampers me like a baby.  Gay heaven with affordable health care and living expenses so that I can exist in style on my US retirement pension. 


Speaking of Turmeric

Sawadee Khrap

Thanks Kevin for this info – I haven’t tried it yet but I will try it later and see what I think – love to have some of the readers try it and leave their comments too.turmeric Latti          Turmeric Latte

I have definitely noticed that the Turmeric and Black Peppercorns  I take in the mornings is helping reduce the inflammation in my back and coupled with ice packs and minimal exercise,  most of the soreness, stiffness and pain has diminished.  


Tao Gardens–Team’s school –

Today is Team’s first full day at University for his Masters.  Left this morning at 7:30 and don’t expect him back till about 4:30.  Apparently there are only 5 students in the Toxicology class for Master Degree this year – one is a ladyboy and they have become friends and will be having lunch today  – I’ll show photos later.

Yesterday, I went to Tao Gardens Spa and got a Ultra Sound massage for my back – 1500 Baht – I felt the heat all the way home – 20 KM – and then put on the ice-pack again.   Getting better  – 113937today I walked to Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center and the exercise really helped  – I hope I will be somewhat back to normal in a week. 

Wednesday I will see the Cardiologist at Sriphat Hospital for a BP and stent check up and will ask about their Physical Rehabilitation Center – Ultra Sound treatments and therapy.   I think,  if I can, schedule a monthly session just for insurance to keep my back strong – of course I will have to develop a real daily plan of exercise for the back and using the Elliptical machine for Cardio..  Now that Team is in school I will take on most of the household duties and that will provide something to do and a start on a basic form of exercise.

Everything else seems to be going well –