Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The answer is writing....cafe reviews?

I've been a little absent from The Answer Is Writing lately, in this case no news does mean good news. I've been feeling a bit better and getting out and about more. I have also been trying my hand at writing coffee reviews on wherespresso.com. Friends of mine have joked that I'd make a good food reviewer, because I am quite fussy about where I go for my food and coffee. I'm less fussy about dinner, dinner is dinner, essential but a bit boring. But coffee,breakfast, morning and afternoon tea and lunch, well they are important to me. I love having lunch out, even better, brunch. It's something I haven't been able to do for over two months for two reasons. A) I was too tired and unwell. B) I was in my hometown where the options are bakery....or bakery, for breakfast and lunch. I never eat at bakeries by choice when I'm in Melbourne, because until I was 18 that was the only choice I had and I've had bakery food up to here. My folks have a coffee machine at home and we sourced my favourite rye bread from the supermarket in the next biggest town, stocking the freezer full of it so as not to run out between trips to Coles.

Eating out in the hometown is a bit disappointing, there isn't a bakery in town that can compare with Mum and Dad's food. Therefore I happily ate breakfast, brunch and snacks at home, when I wasn't drinking coffee I had a delicious chai sourced by Mum at a market. It's called Chai Rocks and can be found at teasetea.com.au; it was so good I went through the first bag in a week and then re-ordered via the net. It's so real that it has whole pieces of star anise and you can see the spices in it, just like chai ought to be.

So I have my favourite cafes around the bayside 'burbs and I decided to write some reviews on them from the couch in the country. The next best thing to being there is reminiscing and feeling like you're there as you mentally scan the cafe, taste the coffee and peruse the menu so as to come up with the words to describe it well.

I've been back in Melbourne for 5 days now and have been to a few cafes, two that I'm new to and one old favourite. The old favourite being Las Chicas on Carslisle St- they do the most amazing chai! With the chai you get one of those special honey sticks in a full cup of honey, it feels truly decadent as you pour the delicious milk from the teapot through the strainer (because it's made with real tea!) and add as much honey as you like to this creamy delight. There's enough tea in the pot to re-fill your cup a few times. I always have it with soy, which gives it a full creamy flavour, but seeing as the Endocrinologist has warned me not have any soy products I am drinking skinny milk :-(. Though it was good it just wasn't the same!

Ok, that's all I have to say, just wanted to let you know that the answer is still writing, I've just been elsewhere. If you're interested to check out some of my reviews here are some links:




P.S I got great news on Friday at the specialist, my thyroid levels are down to nearly within the normal range, so while I'm still hyperthyroid I am heading in the right direction. On the down side the endocrinologist wasn't good at listening to me about my belief that Bonsoy has played a role in the onset of my illness, in fact he was really stubborn even though he conceded it was a very real possibility that it was the cause. I found him to be very rude, every time I went to say something he would interupt me abruptly, making it very clear he would not open his mind, nor did he care to hear what I said. I was really frustrated afterwards, so this is the last I'll speak of it here because I just want to be positive, look forwards and let that go. He just doesn't fit with my expectations of a health professional and is now my ex-endo, I am seeing someone else next month who I have been told is empathetic and knows how to listen. I will update here after I have seen my new endocrinologist.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spring Lovin'

You can find a little bit of Spring Love right here at Inner Beam; where I've posted some spring pics and a few words on the wonders of this beautiful Season and the Sun's offering of healing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I've been told many times that doodling or drawing would be helpful for me; to tap into my creativity and be able to express it. Apart from writing it could be considered my only other creative pursuit. I have never been good at art, infact my drawings look like an 8 year old did them. I think my drawing development may have been stunted around then? By that age I had definitely discovered my love of words. In fact I remember being in prep and writing a story about a butterfly. My teacher said it was so good that she wanted me to make it into a book, with book binding and all! She sent me to the Grade 6 room where they had a computer to type out my story, illustrate and bind it. Obviously I felt very proud, because that experience is so memorable. Interestingly I have noticed that when I am doodling I prefer to write words rather than just drawing.

As far as art goes though; I think the following story says it all. I was in Year 8 and my teacher, Ms Cody, had taught me since Year 7. I tried very hard to make something decent in art because I wanted to be good at it and I wanted good grades. I had been working hard on a particular piece for a week or so and upon completion took it to the teacher for marking, I wasn't satisfied with it but it was my best work. She looked at it, sighed and said 'Ah well, at least you are a nice girl'. I think she gave me a good mark on it for effort and the fact that I wasn't one of the terrors of the class who painted their faces with the paint and put pin tacks on class mates seats. I was one of the ones who fell prey to sitting on pin tacks thanks to the boys in the class.

So anyway, I have been doodling, and I'm being brave and sharing it here. I'm enjoying it and that's all that counts! I get and A for Artistically Challenging Myself :-) I dare you to try it!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A quick update

Today I've been further researching holistic GP's in Melbourne, so I called my top pick, a woman who specialises in thyroid disorders as the very first. Her receptionist informed me that the Initial consultation would be $500, and $350 thereafter- yikes!

So I ruled that one out, the next two I contacted were half price, around the $250 mark. How do I know who to choose? Do I choose based on location, whoever is more convenient, on their areas of interest, a gut feeling or whose photo I like the look of better?

I'm not exactly sure how I'll choose, the other thing is that neither of the my next two preferences can see me until late November. While it's not surprising it's a little disappointing.

I've also been looking into the role of sugar and it's impact on the immune system. It's not pretty! As of yesterday I'm getting serious about minimising....or removing sugar from my diet. I have done it before, it's not easy but after a while you do adapt. Yesterday I had testing on a biofeedback machine, it found that sugar is a big no no for me, I have some kind of intolerance to it, it's not surprising really. My blood sugars can go all over the shop if I don't eat proper meals or if I eat a sweet treat and nothing else I find myself feeling awful 2-3 hours later.

So I  have been busy since last night trying to put together all of the clues I've got so far from the research I have done and information shared with me by practitioners to try and properly understand what's going on with me. I have now decided that it's time to let go and relax, experience some inner peace and leave the busy mind work. Because I know that while it's important, that alone will not make me well, I need to give my body mind and spirit the space and environment it needs to heal.

So that's all for now, I'm trying to strike a balance today and chill out, relax, trust, accept and allow what will be to be. It is easy to think that I haven't done enough yet, that maybe I'm missing something, but that's the kind of thinking that can make one sick in the first place. So I choose to trust that I am on the right track and healing is happening, and so for now I let go.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Navigating health systems....trusting your gut.

As I have written about recently, I've been meditating, in order to help myself feel better and to give my body the space and tranquility it needs for healing. However, there's other things apart from meditation that I am doing for my Self as a part of my journey to feel well. I find that discussing what's going on for me with someone who can understand helps alot. It might be a psychologist, doctor, reiki practitioner, naturopath or chinese doctor. As I've written about recently, I have decided not to simply leave my health in the hands of a specialist, but to be pro-active in learning more about hyperthyroidism and the possible causes and cures.

I am trying to support my healing in a really holistic way. Fortunately my alternative health practitioners are open to working with conventional western medicine and employ an open mind and allow their intuition to offer me guidance. I appreciate this hugely, because I know just how powerful intuition can be. I know that science has it's place and is incredibly important; which is why I wouldn't deny it. But I certainly do question why some doctors and specialists are choosy about which science they listen to, I also think critically about the ways in which they come to learn their particular science; who taught them? Who decided what was to be a part of the curriculum and what wasn't? Which pharmaceutical companies are involved in doctor's ongoing education?

I know it's controversial to talk in this way, but I don't expect anyone reading this to share my views, I don't propose to know it all. But I do want to talk about my wonderings about the whole western medicine deal. This has come up for me this week because I called my GP to discuss with her about my belief that my condition has come about as a result of drinking the soy product Bonsoy. For those who don't know, Bonsoy was recalled just before Christmas last year after 10+ people became ill after drinking the product over an extended period of time. The people who consumed the product all had thyroid conditions as a result of the excess iodine. Just one eighth of a cup of Bonsoy contained more than the safe levels of iodine that we should consume in one day. I drank an average of 2-3 cups of Bonsoy a day for about 2 years. She was very dismissive of what I had to say; debating the science of it and telling me that the most common cause of overactive thyroids in young women is Grave's disease.

Ok, Doctor, I may not have a degree in Medicine, but I am thinking that if it is now known that 25+ people know for sure that their thyroids made them sick after drinking Bonsoy, and I don't have a family history of thyroid disease, and I was drinking 24+ times the amount of iodine that I should have in a day for about 2 years, and the medication for Grave's disease didn't work as expected in my first month of treatment...is it not just as likely that excess iodine consumption has called my illness?

My final suggestion to the Dr was that my naturopath believed it likely that I had an excess of iodine in my system. The Dr then completely undermined the field of Naturopathy by telling me that they don't go to University and don't study bio-chemistry. And finally, warned me not to take any herbs from the Naturopath. She said I could see the Naturopath if it made me feel better to talk to her, but other than that, not to take on any advice from anyone other than my specialist. Uh, Dr, I can see a psychologist to talk, I see a Naturopath for a natural and holistic approach to healing and to learn from their wisdom. Just in case anyone is wondering, Naturopath's study for their degree, full time it takes four years.

So you can imagine how I felt after the conversation with the Dr, incredibly disappointed. She was afraid I was going to give up on the western medicine approach and 'go off with the pixies' or something. No, I am an intelligent young woman, trying to learn as much as I can about my condition so as I can make informed choices, because I want to get to the bottom of this and I want to be well! This means I'm going to explore various avenues for my own healing. I also listen to my own intuition and to people I trust around me. Two health professionals suggested I see the Naturopath that I did because they told me she has helped people with thryoid issues before; she is also personally experienced because she works with a western medicine Dr to help with her own thyroid issue.

I don't claim to have all of the answers, but I am definitely asking questions. Yes, I can get conflicting answers and it is sad when someone you like and wish to trust gives you advice that goes against what your believe in and what your gut is telling you. I am choosing to trust myself, while playing it as safe as I can and keeping the people with the knowledge close to me.

For now I don't have lots of answers, but I think all the questions are helping me to get closer. I also feel a sense of calm about things and trust that I am headed in the right direction with the right people. I also trust in myself and ability to listen to my own intution. Intuition might not be in the dictionary for GP's, but I am sure keeping it in mine!

If you've got a thought on this topic, please share them with me, I'd love to hear from you.

P.S Here's a link to find Doctors in your state who have studied at the Australian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine. I'm going to find one in Melbourne and see what they can offer, I shall let you know here!

Like The Answer Is Writing? You might also like my other blog, Inner Beam.
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