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Friday, January 17, 2014

Dysplasia Schmasia

When I realized yesterday that I hadn't gone for a single hike for the entire month of January I decided something had to be done about that.  With the temps in the low 30's I decided to make a break for it, even if the wind was still howling and snow was still falling.  I needed to meet my mother in Kenosha for an appointment with her cardiologist so I left a little early and stopped at Bristol Woods for a short walk.

sculpted snow
 I've never hiked there before, the trail system is not very extensive.  But, I was able to hike about 2 miles in under an hour.  Normally that wouldn't be a workout, but  the trail was snow over bumpy ice, and in some spots I crunched right on through a couple of inches of unbroken snow.

I wasn't the only one leaving footprints, but this guy didn't get down through the snow as far as I did.

There wasn't much to see, but it was nice to get some fresh air.

Things have been a little hectic and stressful around my home this past two weeks, it seems like everyone I know is having health problems.  So it was good to get out for a little bit and do something relaxing.

Yesterday I went chocolate-free.  Doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice until you realize I eat dark chocolate in small amounts all day long every day.  I finally decided it was probably a contributing factor in my digestive woes.  Chocolate (and coffee) relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and I've been suffering from heartburn symptoms even while faithfully taking my Omeprazole.  I noticed coffee made it worse and cut out that completely about a month ago, which was much easier since I only have a couple of cups of decaf a week.  I'm on the hunt for carob treats, but all I found at the store today was a bag of carob chips for baking that cost $6. I bought it in case I have a hard to ignore craving.

I hope Whole Foods has low sugar, no chocolate treats - how much can a girl give up, after all?  No dairy, low (I mean LOW) sugar, low gluten, and fruits and vegetables in small no dark chocolate too.  I'm giving corn and tomatoes a rest as well but I'll try adding them in again later.  My latest upper GI indicated my Barrett's Esophagus has progressed and I'll be going in for a series of ablation treatments in February.  My pre-cancer cells (dysplasia) need destroying, and I need to make sure I've got a plan in place to keep my improved esophagus clean and healthy.  In case you're interested in what the treatment's all about, I found a link to a great video of the surgery here.  Just click on the picture under the "media in this article" section in the middle of the page.  It has a 90% success rate, gotta like those odds!


  1. Glad to see you were able to get outside! That always makes me feel better. Bummer you have to give up chocolate - that would be hard for me too.

  2. I miss chocolate, too. When I had a heart arrhythmia, chocolate was one of the triggers that set it off. Even though I've been cryo (freezing) and RF ablated in the heart and now have no recurrence of the problems, eating chocolate seems like tempting fate. Good luck with your procedure, and here's hoping all the bad cells are fried.

  3. Try Clif Bars - they come in a variety of flavors and I find them helpful when I'm looking for something sweet and yet healthy.

  4. Hope you come through all this ok as your certainly making sacrifices with things you enjoy. Looks like you had a great walk through the snow and your selfie looks really good

  5. Yah on getting rid of the chocolate.... try to avoid any tomato sauces too! I too have Barette's and went in for the horrid surgery (nissen fundoplication) where they cut apart your stomach, wrap it around your esophagus like a collar and stitch it tight.... not fun! I have been cut from stem to stern to do it. my two sections of dysplasia grew from two chemical inhalation burns from a workplace accident, and any stomach acids coming up made it worse and made the cellular structure change from good cells to bad cells. Now I am unable to burp, vomit or digest foods normally the rest of my life. Just getting a flu is hell! If they had this ablation process 10 years ago, I would have done it! My surgery has slipped a bit and now my stomach is half above and half below the nissen wrap like an hourglass. But the good news it helped, My two sections of high grade dysplasia have diminished to mid grade and now to low grade and close to resolved... Mother Nature is healing me slowly... also I take Aciphex daily (proton pump inhibitor) and do not suffer from heartburn any more. Sigh. It's been a long long road....

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  6. What is all that white stuff?!? I'm not familiar with that. It's 70 here.