Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Charge My Mitochondria, Stat!

Evidently those of us lucky enough to be raised with or around American Seventh Day Adventists are considered to be a part of the Blue Zone group or one of the groups of people around the world who have unlocked the secret to longevity and health in aging. For the Ted Talk on this please visit here. One of the things the presenter Dan Buettner suggests that makes the SDAs live healthier and longer is plain ‘ol grittiness.
Probably the only thing that really sets me a part from anyone is that I am proven to be gritty as hell. I never related it to the Seventh Day Adventists that I was immersed with as a child, but it had to come from somewhere I suppose. I’ve lived with cyclical vomiting syndrome my entire life and wasn’t diagnosed until recently–probably due in part to my fighter mentality that once the miserable episodes of emesis were stopped I went straight back to achieving my goals and put the puking behind me. Well, until the next episode that is.
Caring for an infant and spending three days puking six times per hour was not working. So I decided this thing I  had always had needed to be taken care of. So I stabbed CVS right through the face! Metaphorically that is. I finally got a diagnosis, and even though my gastroenterologist said  there was nothing he could do for me, a name for my pain was all I needed.
I was off! Since my diagnosis nearly three years ago I’ve had one episode. Not only did I research my disease, I changed my diet and added a bunch of exercises. I cut out wheat, legumes and lactose. People always ask me how I manage to have the will-power to not eat certain foods. The answer is simple: name a food and I’ve regurgitated it into a disgusting toilet. Not a foodie. Cutting foods out is not a big deal.
Although I’ve abated the symptoms of my disease, I still have a disease of the body. I’ve made peace with life and death. I’ve been that person on the gurney in the emergency room praying for death so I could be rid of the pain. Thankfully that prayer has not been answered, however. See, I’ve got a small child I should probably try and stay here for. Dying at this point seems kinda like abandonment. I’m still very mobile and no one can tell me if this thing is going to disable me. So, insert good ol’ American SDA grit here. I’ve begun a journey to advance my education towards medical so I can possibly save my body and stick around at least until my daughter is fully grown.
The most recent class I took was nutrition. I was amazed at how much nutrition relates to disease prevention. Because my CVS has been linked to mitochondria deficiency, anything that relates to mitochondria improvement very much peaks my interest. In my class I found out the hows and why creatine, carnitine, and Co-Q10 are so beneficial to the ATP energy system and the nucleus of all the cells besides the red blood cells, the mitochondria. The part that had me cheering was when I learned that the body and can make mitochondria and it can increase it’s performance level. What’s the magic ingredient that does this, you ask? The answer is so simple and so beautiful.
It’s simply aerobic exercise. Now I’m running. A lot. Am I good at it? Nope. Do I care? Not in the least. I thought my mitochondria just kinda sucked. I can try and fix my problem. Knowledge is power friends. Knowing I have a chance to change my diseased body, is itself a miracle.

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