try tea not drugs...

12.1.14

Are you a resolutions kind of person? I wouldn't say I am.

On an unrelated note, I recently decided to:

  • try to live more in the present, 
  • become a vegetarian and 
  • try to keep in better touch with my friends. 

They're not "resolutions," per se, they're more like a promise that I made to myself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year, y-know?

I want my first blog post of the year to be a positive one, sooooo instead of blogging about some of the tests I had and news about my lungs, I am going to tell you about my recent visit to see a Naturopathic Doctor (or my Voodoo Doctor as my wife and I like to call him).

A part of me has always wanted to see a Naturopath (ND) but a greater part of me has always been scared because it's my heart and lungs that are the issue, versus maybe more common ailments an ND might deal with. I also assumed (tsk tsk) that an ND wouldn't really be able to do much for me - lost cause kind of thing. But I decided to give it a shot, and I am very glad I did.

I went in with my presenting concerns being: sleep problems and lack of energy. I have never really been much of a sleeper, but that got a lot worse post heart diagnosis. Partially because I have to get up to go pee several times a night! And I mean 3-6 times a night, e-v-e-r-y--n-i-g-h-t, so yea, I typically don't get much sleep. It's actually called Nocturia and it's actually extremely annoying. So that's one reason. I am also an incredibly light sleeper so I try to run a fan for white noise and I usually wear earplugs. (Hey... it make sense to me... I guess the fan is my backup plan in case my ear plugs fall out...) And finally -as you all know my crazies - I have anxiety, although that is the least common reason as to why I don't sleep well.

I tried a few things to help me sleep over the years: the ear plugs and fan as mentioned, nothing to drink after 7pm, meditation, yoga, reading, not reading... without much success. My inability to sleep peaked this past fall, so for the first time I requested prescription medication from my family doctor to help. It did, but I never really felt rested the next day. It wasn't a strong dose, and I certainly didn't experience a 'hangover' effect as some people do; but even though I slept through the night - which was very exciting - I would still feel tired the following day.

My second presenting concern with the ND was my lack of energy - directly related to my sleep problems, anxiety and to my heart and lung problems.  Really, I'm quite the catch.

I was really impressed with my experience at the Naturopathic Doctor's office. He was very patient and kind. After the assessment he emailed me his prescriptions along with a few dietary recommendations. (More blueberries - yay! Oh, and more olive oil - do not try adding it to smoothies. Trust me.)

I now have some herbs that I drink as tea at night an hour before bed to help me sleep:

This tastes better than it looks.
 And I have a tincture that I mix with a little water and drink once a day to give me some energy.
This, unfortunately, tastes worse than it looks.
It's been over a month now and I can proudly say that I have a regular sleep cycle, for the first time EVER, and my daytime energy has improved significantly. I'm really happy and feeling pretty fine! Drinking tea is perfect for me because I love tea. And as it turns out, the word 'tincture' is really fun to say, so that's another bonus. My family doctor is also on board, and my blood work has been great.  And it's great to be able to get rid of one of my pharmacy prescriptions. I'll choose tea over pills any day!





2 comments:

  1. Yet another great post! Keep'em coming!

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  2. Congratulations on joining the ranks of the converted! Now that you're convinced of the health benefits of tea, I hope you'll accept a couple more recommendations as well.

    First, Boreal Forest Teas, a Thunder Bay company, makes a variety of organic/wild-picked tea called Canadian Shield which is excellent for the immune system. I take this tea whenever I feel a little off and -- yay! all better :) It's great for getting rid of tingling sore throats that threaten the approach of a cold.

    Second, kombucha tea is even better for the immune system, and especially the digestive system. I can't speak highly enough of this "miracle" natural health food. I've been using it for 2.5 years with incredible results, including higher energy levels, weight loss, regularity, better metabolism... It's also packed with B vitamins.

    Both kombucha tea and Boreal Forest Teas (there are other blends, too) are available at Eat Local Sudbury, or you can make your own kombucha tea by following the instructions in the link above -- feel free to get in touch with me via Green NiackeryGreen Niackery if you have any questions :)

    I've just found your blog and have enjoyed the few posts I've read so far... So I'm now following and am looking forward to reading more from you! Cheers!

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