Where are the bananas when you need them?

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Bananas in Pajamas

This is so obvious, it’s painful.  Lately I’ve been experiencing a series of leg cramps in the middle of the night.  Severe spasms occurring mostly in the Achilles area, shins and arches.  During the wee hours of the morning when pain is mysteriously magnified I ask myself “Are you thinking what I’m thinking B1?”  “I think I am, B2”.  I typically don’t have muscle spasms and have always taken calcium/magnesium with additional electrolyte replacements to help manage chronic inflammation and Crohn’s symptoms.

Following a characteristically long winter, the weather permits me to dig in the dirt, further releasing harmful contaminants.  Just as early spring pollinators take flight, I find myself coated with similar resurrected earthly particulates, redistributing boundlessly throughout the atmosphere and infiltrating my mind.  Bzzzzzz… Somewhere between deep REM sleep and sudden painful interruptions, my mind goes conspiratorial.  Convinced I am poisoned by neurotoxins from both myths and facts about chemtrails, glyphosate and mold spores, circulating in the air and various social media.

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‘What makes bananas so amazing?’

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“Banana Bike”

For years I have eaten a banana every day.  The potassium content is just enough to rebalance electrolytes, plus moderate the cardiovascular system. Considered a “mood food”, the tryptophan in bananas synthesizes vitamin B6 and serotonin upregulation.  The natural combination of sugars maintains a healthy glucose balance between meals. It is one of the few whole foods that travels well.

As evident as the oxygen we all breathe, it occurs to me that I have NOT been eating bananas. How did this happen?  WHY did I allow it to happen?  Known as the “Banana Lady” (a distinguished title with which I proudly identify), I was dependable, sharing my bananas with Patients’ children and dogs alike!  Yes, Shala LOVED bananas as much as I and I wondered if she craved them for similar reasons.  Our ritual involved a piece for the child, one for the dog and one for me – until it was all gone.

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Congratulations banana!

The children have grown and Shala has since passed.  Perhaps this is why I have gotten out of my banana habit.  Without the daily prompts I was forgetting to take my “medicine”.  I guess not all habits are bad.  What is your “Achilles heel”?

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If a health condition were an animal…

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‘Bailey’ photo by Bethane M. Evans

Animals, like people, are sentient beings.  Crohn’s disease is insidious; I cannot liken it to any living being, “imagined” or otherwise.  I have wondered if animals contract Crohn’s, knowing domesticated animals are more and more often diagnosed with illnesses common to humans.  Manufactured diet, behaviors, stresses and environmental factors lend to degenerative health conditions often shared with their guardians’ lifestyles.

“Bailey” was my other child, a Border collie.  She and my daughter grew-up together.  At age ten, Bailey was whisked off to emergency where she remained on an IV for a week, undergoing daily lab tests.  The Veterinarian diagnosed her with Cushing’s disease, a biofeedback system malfunction indicative of an hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis imbalance.  My Uncle, a retired medical doctor, said that he never treated a patient with Cushing’s disease in his 40 yrs. of practice!  Bailey’s personality/behavior combined with our active lifestyle, may have imposed stresses on her biological being that we continued to nurse along for another five years.  Bailey was a compassionate, empathetic soul who in turn, offered therapy during my own critical state of health at that time.

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‘Bailey’ climbing stairway

As an animal rights activist, I cannot blame nor assign any animal to a disease.  The very definition of “dis-ease” is:  “1. medical condition:  a condition in humans, plants, or animals that results in pathological symptoms and is not the direct result of physical injury”, implies an abnormal state of being.  I have often remarked that I would not wish Crohn’s disease on my worst enemy.  Conversely, I am learning to accept it and embrace it, for there must be good reason I coexist with this condition.  Whether the physiological manifestations of Crohn’s disease protects my biochemistry from other ills, or is an incarnation to teach me virtues; this challenging condition is an added dimension to my current life, and all those with whom I share.