Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait

Well, I survived Operation: Barium Butt Blaster. And I don't even have any P.T.S. symptoms that I'm aware of. Well, except for that one time I woke up in a cold sweat screaming, "WRONG DOOR!!" But other than that, I'm cool.
I suddenly have a great tattoo idea...

I'd also like to thank everyone for their kind words- -I didn't realize how many people read my blahg. It's always a surprise when I'm in the grocery store, and someone comes up to me and says, "How are you? I laughed until I cried at your story. Oh and sorry about your colon." And a fine day to you too, Mrs. Peterson....

How do you milk an almond??
Unfortunately, I won't get the results of my probe back until the beginning week of May. Which might as well be an eternity. I was told by my doc to absolutely NOT change my diet until then, just in case they need to do another round of tests. (If that was the PRELUDE to another test, I'll take a roofie-colada as my prep.) But here's my arguement: When you drink your favorite Matcha Latte and have to spend a few hours in a location near a toilet 'just in case', and you fear going in public after eating anything with wheat in it... it pretty much puts a halt to your social life. So I made my first Matcha Latte using Almond Milk. Honestly, I don't even really taste the difference. It's a little less sweet, but that's probably because I chose the unsweetened almond milk. I figure I can always add a few drops of agave nectar to it if I want it to be sweeter. I hope my tests come back as lactose intolerance, cuz this shit's easy.

I also downloaded an app for my tablet called 'Doc's Diet Diary'. You can write down what you ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and beverage and then also add 'symptoms' if you have any adverse reaction to anything. I figure that if the tests don't come back with any conclusive results (how optimistic!), I can at least have a week or two already tracked to try to narrow down what I might be having an adverse reaction to. Because I can imagine that's what the next suggestion will be from the doc.

I've been reading up on this whole gluten thing too. What a pain in the ass that'll be, if it comes back as such. It's not just as simple as staying away from wheats, barleys and whatever.... everything from the glue used to fuse teabags, to lip balms can contain traces of gluten. So you have to read every little label on everything you put near your mouth. What kind of bullshit is that!?

In some ways, I'm all, "Hey, it'll just come back as IBS, which I sum up as Chronic Upset Tummy, and I'll just have to live with it." On the other hand, after having my insides being blown out like an underground sprinkler system, I want there to be some fucked up parasite that I contracted from some foreign country that has a name that is made up with numbers and letters like HRG6DE89 Strain of the Colonflorenza Shittisalotus. And then I can be all, "Yeah. That's right. Good thing I did test. GET SCREENED, YO."
Sigourney Weaver has been a spokesperson for Irritable Bowel Syndrome for years.
Cute little fella, ain't he?

Time will tell. In the mean time, I had a great run yesterday which helped clear my head. I've been slack on this whole running program thing. My little ticker and lungs always give out far before my legs and body tire. So after feeling like I was gonna have a goddamn heart attack after running the stairs by my house, I walked for about 15 minutes, and then ran the rest of the way and did the stairs again. It's about time this body started doing what I want it to do.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Proceed With Caution!

Well, this post may be uncomfortable to read. But likely not near as uncomfortable as it is to write, and not even close to as uncomfortable as the procedure itself. But I think that it's important to talk about stuff like this, because it IS important. It's about a medical procedure, that many people have to go though, but no one really likes to talk about. I have always been an advocate of talking about uncomfortable health matters, because we SHOULDN'T be ashamed of tests, health and early prevention. We SHOULDN'T be embarassed to talk about the health of body parts that we all have been born with.

So here's your warning. If you don't want to read about it, stop here. If you do, then by all means.

So, I've been feeling very ill for the last few months. My stomach isn't right. I eat clean, I feel great otherwise, but every once in a while when I eat breakfast/lunch/dinner, I immediately have to run to the washroom. And it's out of nowhere, not a lot of warning. It's come to the point where I am hesitant to eat out, because I have to be aware of the fact that I might feel crampy and bloated, and alarmingly have to run to the facilities afterward. So when I'm out, I stick mostly to simple salads and fish, as I've found they don't give me much problems. After a recent trip out of town, a 3 hour drive through the prairies, and being uncomfortable for an hour of that from only drinking a latte, I decided enough was enough, and I needed to go to the doc.

I suspected a lactose intolerance issue. My doc suspects anything from a gluten allergy, to Crohns. SO. She ordered bloodwork, and a barium enema.
YES. You read that right. Barium. Enema.

Zombiegyrl: "Sooo... does that entail what I think it does? Like, a Barium Swallow but... reversed?"
Doc: "Yes. Basically."
Zombiegyrl: "You want to shoot white chalky stuff up my cornhole."
Doc: "Yes."
Zombiegyrl: "Sweet mother of God."

So, I shall now provide you with my experience with:

Operation: Barium Butt Blaster


Morning of prep: I can only drink clear liquids, such as coffee, tea, clear juices, broths, etc. Now, I sometimes skip breakfast because I'm in a hurry, with no problem at all. Why is it that, when you're instructed that you can't eat solids, you suddenly crave a giant block of cheese and half a cow for breakfast? Gah. Coffee it is.

I'm also getting nervous about this whole thing. I dunno if this was such a good idea. I question the sanity of my doctor, and wonder what I did to make her hate me so much?

12:00pm: Now, I'm home from work to begin my process. So, start with the 300mL bottle of Citro-mag. Staring at a huge bottle labled "LAXATIVE-PURGATIVE... with lemon/lime flavor" reminds me of that horrid syrupy medicine that our parents fed to us by the spoonful, with the promise that it tasted just like a grape popsicle. And of course, it tasted nothing like delicious grape popsicle. Instead, it tasted like liquid purple death. So since then, I think we have all been conditioned into realizing that anything medical-related tastes like goat-spit. And I was faced with a whole bottle to chug. So when it didn't taste like licking the underside of lemon/lime testicles, I was quite pleased, and chugged away. They then instruct you to drink 6 glasses of water. After glass number 2, I start questioning the actual size of my stomach, and whether or not 8 glasses of water will fit in there. Halfway through glass 3, I suddenly felt the immediate urge to check my voicemails. And turn the TV on. And change my clothes... Anything to procrastinate drinking more water. But that bolded and capitalized statement in my instruction pamphlet, "IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DRINK THE STATED AMOUNT OF WATER." kept playing through my head. If Facebook and Twitter have taught me anything, it's that when I read bold, capital letters, I read it in my mind as if that person is shouting at me. So, I plow forth with my water.

12:30pm: I feel and look like I'm pregnant. Pregnant with a gigantic 48oz H2O baby. It's kind of entertaining, but making me feel nauseous at the same time. I'm not gonna poke it, as I feel it would result in something quite unpleasant.

12:55pm: Evacuation commences. That didn't take long.

1:06pm: Have you ever watched a dam being time-released? I am pissing out of my asshole. Everything I know about anatomy has been thrown down the toilet along with everything I've eaten my whole life.
Like this, but with less tourists.

2:00pm: MMM!!! Chicken broth for lunch! My favorite!! (Said no one ever.)

2:44pm: I want to have a nap, but my soon-to-be-violated sphincter has made that impossible. To top it off, every time I get up, my bird laughs hysterically at me. (any other day, I'd interpret the loud giggle-like chirping as happiness that I'm home. But I swear she thinks this is funny) And I'm starting to feel lethargic and light-headed. This cannot be good for you, and the people that invented this cleansing process likely have never had to experience it. Why would anyone do this voluntarily? Trying to distract myself with TV, I am grateful that I have a day job, because daytime TV is the worst form of garbage I've ever seen in my life. But no good movies on either. 'Contact'? Yeah. I'd rather get a barium enem.... oh wait.

(Too Much Information? Well for shit's sake, stop reading. Otherwise, onward ho!)


3:30pm: The 5 minute interval eruptions have subsided. Which is great, because I'm hungry and getting grumpy because I can't eat anything. Just went to grab a Perrier from the fridge, and noticed the time. This means in half an hour, is round two of the meds I was given. I hope it's a food-pill like we thought would exist by now when were wearing snap-bracelets, Jordache Jeans and cheering on a winning hockey team in Edmonton. I have subsequently put the bottle of Perrier back, because I'm going to have to haul through 6 more glasses of water in a half an hour. FML.

4:05pm: No such food pill exists in this regimen. It is instead, a small, unassuming, 45mL bottle of Phosphates Solution. Mix with 1/2 glass of cool water, and drink. Easy squeezy. I take a big gulp...

I can't describe it. But it is vile. It has natural ginger-lemon flavor. Nothing in that tiny bottle tasted lemony or gingery, it just tasted like a full glass of ass. I added more water to see if it would dilute it. BAD IDEA, because now I don't only have 3/4 of a glass of ass left to drink, I now, again, have a full glass of ass to drink.  So I gulp that motherfucker down as fast as possible, and then quickly follow up with the 6 glasses of water. Earlier, I had decided that the glasses I was using were far too large, so I switched to smaller glasses (they say A Glass Of Water, not specific measurements. HAHA! Eat it, semantics!). After consuming the glass of ass, the 6 glasses of water were relatively easy to consume in an attempt to push that shit as far away from my tastebuds as I could.

4:16pm: Oh good. Phosphate Solution is just medical code word for "Nuclear Colon Explosion". I swear to God, by the end of this, I'm gonna have an intestinal tract that Mr. Clean would be goddamn proud of.

I'll spare you the rest of the details of the night, but I'll tell you it involved my Backside Vesuvius like clockwork most of the evening. Thankfully it subsided enough for me to get a good night's sleep.

Operation: Barium Butt-Blaster

Launch Day

To the hospital I went. I walked down the hallway to radiology like a prisoner to the electric chair, wondering if I would ever return. The procedure took the the longest 15 minutes on earth. Thankfully, the radiology assistant and radiologist were more than kind. But I'll tell you, when they try to make pleasantries with you, when you know what they're about to violate you with, you just don't feel like talking about what you do for a living or how the weather is. Because you know what they do for a living. They stick a probe up your arse and take pictures like a fucked-up soldier on leave in Bankok. You really can't concentrate on what they're saying anyways, BECAUSE THE PROBE IS HANGING IN FRONT OF YOU LIKE A VULTURE BROODING ON A DEAD TREE OVER A DYING ANIMAL IN THE DESERT.

This is the actual size of The Butt Probe

This is how large the Butt Probe looks. Only it looks like it's winking at you. 

Here's my favorite part:
So now that I have been violated (which wasn't as bad as I thought the Ares V rocket going into my coal mine would be), the Radiologist comes in the room. He asks me, "Hi, how are you?"
... Are you kidding me right now.
I managed to respond with, "Um, I've had better days."
What I meant to say was, "I have a plastic stick stuffed halfway in my back field, on an exam table, about to be filled like a water balloon pinata and jostled around on a gyroscope table, whilst someone takes pictures of me like I'm doing a photoshoot for Canada's Next Top Digestive Tract Model. How the fuck do you think I am?"

Anyways, it was unpleasant, it was uncomfortable, and I certainly wouldn't ask to go back for a second date. Not only do they squirt barium up your intestines, but they shoot air up there as well like a clown blowing up a balloon. You half expect them to turn the monitor around of your fluoroscopy and see that they've turned your intestine into a french poodle. And not only are you now full of air and barium, but they start making you roll around like a rotisserie chicken to xray different angles. You know when you've eaten a gigantic Mexican dinner, and you're bloated, gassy and it hurts to grab the remote to change the channel? Try doing the hokey pokey on an xray table.

This is not me, just in case you were wondering.
In the end (no pun intended), I'm glad I had it done, especially if it results in a diagnosis of something, or an elimination of something more serious. I would have rather had a colonoscopy though, where they just shove a camera up you and look around like a National Geographic documentary. So, my boys, you have no excuse. You neither, ladies. YES, it's unpleasant. YES, it's embarassing. But on a serious note, hey... it could actually save your life.

If I can do it, so can you. :-)

(oh, and if you're wondering what happens with all of that air and barium.... I think you know exactly how it comes out. One more day of running back and forth from the couch to the latrine. You don't dare fart without being over a toilet, because it will likely result in a 'situation'.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crunch time!

April is such a busy month. I've been rehearsing for a show, memorizing lines, working on an audition piece, celebrating many birthdays (including my own), going to theatre, spring cleaning... the list goes on and on. So my blahging sort of went by the wayside. But aside from the copious amount of celebrating I've been doing this month, I've been sticking to clean eating as much as possible, and have been continuing to work out. It's the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which means me, getting down on the ground, and working out at home in front of the tube. Can't help it. I'm Canadian, and a hockey nut. So considering that my house is a mess, I've got a pile of laundry to the roof... I'm taking a break from the housework for a few minutes to blahg.

I've got exciting news!

I'm doing something that's quite risque for me! I'm doing a nude body painting session with an incredibly talented face and body painter, and doing a photoshoot with one of my favorite photographers! We set the date to the end of May, and let me tell you.... knowing that I have a deadline for whipping this body into shape is incredible inspiration to step it up a notch!

I've already noticed a lot of changes in my body- -all of my push-up attempts are paying off, I can see the muscle starting to form in my arms and chest! And my abs are coming in as well!

So it's crunch time (literally!). Time to get more serious about my health. Not just because of the photoshoot, but for my own sake! So I'm saying goodbye to the partying. No more booze. I'm also going to find out what the hell is wrong with my belly - my stomach has been a pain in my ass for months now, and I'm getting sick of worrying about being close to a bathroom at all times just in case my stomach decides to erupt at any moment. Not sure what it could be- -my doctor is checking for a lot of things, and I have to go for a few tests. So here's to hoping they figure out what on earth is going on, so I can get on track!!!

BTW..... the Banana Applesauce bread from the Eat-Clean Diet cookbook is SO GOOD. It's perfect, moist and tasty. I also made my own Breakfast Bars from a past edition of Clean Eating Magazine. Meals on-the-go just got more delicious!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Robert Kennedy 1938-2012

Just taking today for something that, as far away and impersonal as it is, gives me such a heavy heart.

Robert Kennedy, the founder of Robert Kennedy Publishing (who publishes my 2 favorite magazines, Oxygen and Clean Eating), who has inspired so many people through his personal advocacy of health and fitness, has passed away after battling lung cancer at 73. Mr. Kennedy was also the husband of the woman I repeatedly mention as my inspiration, Tosca Reno. My heart goes out to Tosca, and Bob's family and friends.

You can read his bio and send your condolances via this website.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flippin' for Kale Chips??

Whoops! It's been a while since I wrote my last post.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, I know that for me, Easter is Free Day. Which means, nothing contains any calories, sugar or fat. Because Zombie Jesus says so.

I'm not one to mess with tradition. My family got together this Easter, there were 18 of us in total. I'm not going to play the 'Clean Eating' card when there are 18 people who are ready to stuff their faces in a bowl full of stuffing. My job is usually to bring the marinated vegetable salad and Cranberry Sauce. I make my own, and YES, the cranberry sauce is from The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook! But on top of it, it was my Granny's birthday, so I made cupcakes. Yes. There was nothing about them that was good for you. If that makes me a hypocrite, so be it. They were cute, delicious, and they put smiles on everyone's faces.

Anyways, that's not what this entry is about.

Yes, I eat healthy. Some would call me a 'health nut'. And I'm okay with that. And I will try most anything once. Because you never know what you're missing if you don't try it. Some I like, some I don't.

I've always been intrigued to try Kale Chips. The reviews I've read say that they're an incredibly delicious alternative to potato chips. 'You can't even tell the difference!'. I'm not one that particularly craves potato chips, but I thought, hmm, sounds like a healthy little snack food!

So before trying my hand at making them, I saw them pre-packaged at Nutters. I figured that, before I put all that work into making them, I should sample them first.

My Official Review:
I'm pretty sure that I would have gotten the same amount of pleasure out of chewing on Texas BBQ flavored cardboard. They look like dried vomit, they get stuck in your teeth, and.... yeah.... how bout I just sum it up and say, NO THANKS. I realize that they may taste differently if you make them yourself, most things do. But that put a nail in the Kale Chip Coffin.

So to all of you who are fans of the Kale Chips, I commend you. Eat away, I will not be stealing any of yours. Because they taste like ass, and look like dried zombie skin. Blech.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool's Day... and Breakfast

When I have a day off, I make a point of making a wonderful special breakfast. Commonlaw Spouseoid and I are usually rushing out of the door in the morning, so we're both guilty of not eating a big breakfast in the morning. Trying to change this, I KNOW.

My breakfast usually is made up of toast, topped with peanut butter and sliced bananas, and a greek yogurt. Or a quick smoothie, with fresh and frozen fruit, plain yogurt, skim milk, ground flax seed, wheat germ, and coconut oil. Or Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal topped with greek yogurt and fresh berries.

But when weekend strikes, it's time for something AWESOME! Like this morning.

This is Breakfast Burritos from The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook.
It basically consists of eggwhites, cottage cheese, black beans, onion, tomato and red peppers. Wrapped up in an Ancient Grains tortilla. OM NOM NOM.

I literally just noticed when I added the picture, that if the apple wedges were closer to either end of the burrito, it would look like a wang. Unintentional. Because if I would have noticed that this morning, I TOTALLY WOULD HAVE MADE BREAKFAST BURRITO WANG. And I would have handed it to Commonlaw Spouseoid and said, "Gobble this." .. .. I suddenly have huge pangs of regret about my entire morning.

On a completely unrelated note, it was April Fool's Day today. I recycled my last year's prank, of changing my birthday on Facebook to that day. It is actually, in fact, on the 17th of April. The 'Fool Toll' is at 44. This includes 4 family members.

To be fair, a lot of people said that it was completely appropriate that my birthday was on April Fool's Day (I'm a bit of a prankster). And then they wished me a happy birthday.

To quote Bruce Campbell's character, Ash, in Army of Darkness:
"Hail to the king, baby."