Having a day off from putting out the garbage.

I took the day off yesterday: I didn’t take my pills.

Did take the hydrocortison ofcourse. And vit. D. And lots of bio-identical progesteron. (I’ll be having my period any day now and my breasts were killing me. Also quite a bit of PMS symptoms so progesteron I took a lot of.  NPC creme on the breasts and Utrogestan pills orally. It helps.)

But I did not take Methyl B12 and no Folinic Acid nor Zinc.

Amazingly I felt better and better during the day and by the end of the day I caught myself singing while doing some house work. Yes, insert googly eyes here too!

At night I was so well that I made the conscious decision not to be bothered by some heavy trucks that were parked nearby, rumbling stationary throughout the night. I just turned 180 degrees in my bed so my feet were facing the noise, let out a sigh and thought of nice things:

I slept through the night!  As customary I did wake up after five hours of deep sleep but contrary to other nights I just turned on my other side and went back to sleep. No two hours of waking.

My conclusions from this day:

  1. I took one day off from detoxifying.
  2. I am detoxing on a physiological pace: one day at a time. Just like the hormones I take: no more than what the body can process in one day.
  3. underneath the detoxing I am quite healthy! I’m so glad to note how well I felt during the day. That is my baseline, my point of reference. The detox-symptoms have clouded it for months now but I feel really assured to have it resurface so soon.
  4. this MTR/MTRR detoxification uses a lot of progesteron. In the whole Methylation cycle progesteron is needed. Other people with these mutations should know this, especially women.


in other news: I have elaborated my theories on human cell biology.

I think each cell has the habit of storing garbage in the outer tips of its cell. In this fantastic little video of a white bloodcell chasing a bacterium amongst red blood cells you see how it drags along a black kind of tail behind itself. I believe this to be the cellular rubbish bin, stored in a place where it interferes the least.


link to video of white blood cell chasing and engulfing a bacteria. Yay body defense system!

When the cell divides the two daughter cells each get one tip of rubbish. This garbage gets handed down to the next generation with each cell division. It progresses down the line and builds up a little with each cell life. Eventually it’s the outer cells that inherit the most rubbish from previous generations. The cells between them inherit less rubbish from their parents.


tidbits: it takes cells 20 minutes to divide. Unless it’s a special cell, then it can take hours. Red blood cells live up to 140 days. (I am quoting from memory…)

In ‘normal humans’ each cell clears out a lot of its garbage via the Methylation Cycle.

In ‘freaky interesting humans’ with mutations in the Methylation Cycle this day-to-day rubbish isn’t getting cleared away and remains in the cells. Stored in the tips. Eventually it gets passed down to next generations as shown by my ‘interesting’ sketch above.

In the end the cell cannot divide anymore, it dies and spills all its contents in the extracellular space where other cells try and clean it up. Store it in rubbish bags of their own.

In my 30+ years me and my cells have gathered a lot of garbage. All the broccoli I ate that I couldn’t process. Any alcohol (including the ones in beauty products), any exhaust fumes, anestetic. Garlic. Cell debris from x-rays.

My cells stored so much garbage, I believe, that their overall functionality eventually got hindered. Putting my body under stress, causing system wide symptoms of illness. In my case: hormonal imbalance, stress illnesses, adrenal misfunction, malnutrition, sugar addiction etc. And lets not forget behaviour and sensitivities that remind my doctor of people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

It could as easy have been a late onset auto-immune disease or diabetes, I feel. Or a ‘vague’ illness we mainly associate with women. (such as ME, CFS, Irritated Bowel Syndrome, etc).

Well. Today leisure is over, it’s back to cleaning up garbage for me.

I wonder how long it takes, how long it will be before the rubbish is cleared and I can get my mind back… Yesterday I even thought about art and design and working! But as long as there’s rubbish I cannot. I do have to amend that legal/technical document this week however, to prevent the shit-fermenting-plant they are planning to build in the field next over. That will be quite enough to keep my rubbish mind busy.
And there’s my period, today or tomorrow. I am prepared: there is food in the house, warm blankets and lots of earplugs. No visitors. I will have a blissfull two days to myself. Just drinking tea, holding my tummy and writing that paper.



Settling Dust.

I’ve settled down a bit.

10 days ago was the first day that I found peace with -once again- being able to only do one thing per day. I was “a good little patient” once again. Resigned to spend my day keeping my priorities in check:

  1. safety (check gas, check locks, check where you walk, no multi-tasking)
  2. food (enough, healthy, easily digestable)
  3. hormonal balance (progesteron, cortisol, no stress, managing weird brain chemistry)
  4. everything else

I was plenty busy keeping the first three in check. Anything else (a hobby, a blog post, social meeting, working, keeping the house tidy, being presentable to the rest of the world) only came about if there was time and energy left. There were not many days with either.

But 10 days ago things changed. I had settled. My body had grown accustumed to the new regime and had -hopefully- shed some of the worst heavy metals. Especially the Zinc that brought about Copper detoxification (which looks remarkably like ME or Chronical Fatigue with a big side of PMS)was doing its job.

Which was when I decided to up my dosage of Zinc to speed up the Copper shedding….  The day I did that was awful! I was ridiculously tired, ridiculously wired and totally hormonal. To which no progesteron cream helped. Which is a sign that this was pure brain chemistry running wild. I cried and cried about stupid things and silly things. I was desperate. All the while knowing it must be Copper excess. But knowing something doesn’t make you feel different. Not with chemicals doing pinball in the brain.

In the end all I could do was cry on my husbands shoulder, drink lots of water and go to bed early to leave this day behind me.
Saturday I was still a bit shaky. Sunday I was at peace again.

It is a very tricky process. But I feel lucky that each time it is confirmed: as soon as my body manages to get rid of the waste, I feel good again. I feel very fortunate that my recuperation time has sped up too. One, two days. No longer weeks or months like it was the last few years.

This Methyl-B12, Folinic Acid, Zinc, vit D, Lithium etc. are really working.

Then last week a little miracle happened. I was back in the cabin after a few tiresome days in the city. I drove myself (and the cat) to and from the city which was a victory all by itself. The plan was to rest hard because there was a birthday party I was looking forward too and after that another busy week in the city with a wedding party as its finale.

But something was bugging me: in the fields near me they are planning to build a manure-factory. A big installation that converts all kinds of manure into some usable gas. It’s one of the biggest plants in Europe that they are planning. 50 trucks of manure will come by my house every day, the stuff has to be transferred into the plant, has to be treated. It’s A Big Thing. With lots of noise and odour emission.

The process is in the planning stages. The first stage has been concluded: the permission has already been granted. Now is the final stage where people can object in court and that stage is nearly finished. The last day to file any claim was Wednesday.

I didn’t know they were planning this thing as I don’t follow the news because it stresses my system too much. And none of the neighbours had thought to inform me. It’s a strange dynamic when something like this happened. Everybody feels alone, on their own. And inadequate to battle something this big.

I only found out about the plant the week before. Of course I was stressed by this but I too had resigned to fate, I had chosen to be a supportive neighbour. Farmers would be able to get rid of their manure. It’s a piece of technologie. I could learn to appreciate it. Especially when given no choice.

pic by Nino Satria

That Wednesday I woke up with a dilemma. Today was the last day for an objection to be filed. I have a background in both planning and engineering and I could study the technical and policy reports and see if there was something there to object to. Even though I had never done such it thing. But it would mean a busy day, without the rest. I could get ill. Jeopardy the birthday, the week in the city, the wedding. There was no garantee for succes.

My husband advised me to stay out of it. “Choose your health.” This was the responsible thing to do and my inclination. Although I find it very difficult to let a chance pass I have learned to do so. It only stings until you say the word. Once you’ve made the decision there’s disappointment to deal with but no longer the strain of coulda-shoulda-woulda.

Just to get a little extra confirmation I posted the situation on Ravelry.com where my fellow knitters reside. They know me. They have seen me crawl my way back to better health, they know how fragile it still is.

To my utter surprise they said: “Go for it.” Unanimously. “Don’t hold back, go do your research and file a claim. You are the one that can do this.”

I didn’t do as they said per se but their views did open up the possibility in my head to spend one or two hours on the material. See if something’s there. If there is, proceed. If there is not, rest. (strangely enough I had not thought of this approach before. I was all GO/NO GO)

Anyway, that’s what I did. I ploughed through the county policies. Devoured the technical noise reports. Chewed on the technical odour testings. And nearly choked. There was something verrrrry weird there!

I checked and checked and could not believe it but it was 100% true: the technical research that had facilitated the county to stretch the legal odour limits which was necessary for the plant to be allowed to operate and douche 1km2 with its stench was solely based on ….. four people….. sniffing three odour samples. Resulting in one number (10,9) that was used in all the legal documents and policies as prove that the plant would not smell that bad at all. Research had proven it!


Research had indeed proven it.

10,9 was the mean in a range from 2,2 to 22,5. Anything under 5 means people cannot stand the smell and no one should be subjected to it. Let alone to use this number in areas where people live. By taking the mean all those values under 5 had been conveniently disregarded.

4 people. One of them must have had a stuffed nose because there were some weird results in the spread of their findings.

They each sniffed 3 samples. Two smelled terrible, as all four people seemed to agree, even the one person with the stuffed nose. Numbers ran from 2,2 to 8,6. The third sample was odourless so it seemed because it got much higher numbers and that one person even gave it 22,5.

This was the sample that dragged the mean from below 5 up to 10,9 and gave the council and the county a political stick to force this plant upon us with. This was not a sound use of either math or the sniffing results.

I was thrilled! And exhausted. By now it was midday. I had not rested. I still had hours of work to mold this knowledge into a legal document. I took a little lie down. After that I called one of the neighbours whose number I found on a document from the previous stage. He was so friendly! He encouraged me and I found a second wind.

I wrote the paper. It’s not 100% clear, it has spelling mistakes, it has some internet-generation language in it. Frivolity even. I lost valuable time and health trying to find my way through the administrative process (where do I file, how do I file).

In the end I had a few minutes left, no time to proofread anymore, I pressed SEND. I was exhilarated!

I called more neighbours. I emailed the action committee of whose existence I had just learned. I wrote my knitter friends. Called my husband. Everybody was cheering. It was such a rush! I had found a gem, deeply hidden in the technical reports, and now there’s a serious change the judge will revoke the planning permission. Who would have thought that in that little patch of woodland, there was a little engineer that could?

pic Mateusz Stachowski

It took another two hours for my heart to stop pounding and me settling for the night.

The next day I drove myself to the birthdayparty and had a lovely day. I had my priorities for the day all checked: safety, food, balance. One hour into the party I did discover I was wearing my dress inside out but that’s a thing that is firmly placed in priority bullet number four: everything else. My friends didn’t mind. Neither should I. (of course I do! I felt stupid. And well on my way to becoming that weird little old lady…)

pic by Alan Eno

All in all this has given me an appetite. I really had fun, studying those reports. Writing their conclusions in my own words. I never told you, did I? That my Master thesis was a design with a Philosophical treaty about how planning engineers should approach the different parties ethically. And which language they should use (the language the other party understands, not the jargon one is used to use oneself)

It was a bad thesis anyway, filled with young cockiness. But it does illustrate my love for understanding something technical and rewording it in a language the reader understands.

I’m sure this experience and the joy I got from it will lead me somewhere and you will recognize it in my future and can say: “I knew it!”  :)

All in all I did a full days work. And I LOVED it.

Now I’ve even started dreaming about having a real job for real. One of the first warnings that comes to mind is that I should do what I want, not what I can. So making cat illustrations should be a more likely choice of direction than consulting for people who want to take on planning permissions. Please try and remember, Anna.

Well, isn’t that a miracle week?

pic by C. Graat

here now a few tidbits I’ve been meaning to share:

– I’ve bought a car. For me. It has brought me out of my isolation. I’m no longer trapped in that piece of woodland. I’m no longer dependent on the weekly trips to and from the city my husband makes. I can go when I want to. driving itself it still very tiresome but the idea that I can really lifts my spirits. I put an emergency knitting project into the glove box.

– driving the car in the Summer makes me think of my mother’s mother a lot. I admire her.

– I still mourn my grandmother very much. I am annoyed by how this surprises me. And how familiar these feelings are. And so unfamiliar too. I am deeply sad by losing this connection to the women who make up my family.

– each day is a struggle healthwise. But it’s no longer an uphill battle.

– my GP was delighted by the results and course I presented to him. I got warm handshakes and a request for help for one of his other patients. I was so relieved he understood everything I said. To him, biochemical talk is normal.

– Only last week I thought about the french numbers for 7,8,9 and 10: sept, huit, neuve, dice. They align with the months: Septembre, Ottobre, Novembre and Decembre. Too much similarity to be a co-incidence! Which would mean they are meant to be month nr. 7,8,9 and 10. Not 9,10,11 and 12.

A little googlygoogly affirms this. Roman years started with March. There you go. I thought I had an interesting thought but it was nowhere unique.

– Should I tell you about my thought about penstrokes and numbers or would that be too obvious too? See, Japanese numbers 1,2 and 3 are made out of one, two, three penstrokes. I think our Western numbers are too. One is a vertical stroke. Two is two horizontal strokes but someone forgot to lift their pen/stift from the paper/clay. Three is three horizontal strokes, again dragging your pen/stift.

I could go on, I’ve thought it through for quite a lot of numbers. Four is supposed to be a little square box. It’s botched.  Five could be a box too (or two vertical strokes). Six is a circle. Zeven is a long vertical stroke with a strike through. And on.

– I’ve found a way to write and not get stuck: do it in blog form. Perhaps I shall start a blog about the bacteria. I have all the information and the fascination. Weirdly enough I might have to wait until Novembre again. It seems my interests follow the seasons too. Just like my preference of colours.

– I am sewing couture dresses for myself. I’m teaching myself and have now finished two (practise) dresses. They are acceptable. And their fit is amazing. Having a nice dress, handmade and customfit, is a very pleasant luxury! I wear it with glee in the city. I wear it in the house, sitting up straight and feeling good.

– I’m really bored with how long everything takes and how little I can do. In my mind I have sewn five dresses already, in reality I have to wait for the day that I can sit up one hour at a time and have my first priority-ducks in a row before I can get anything fun done.

Marbles in a Row: Cake or Death?

Say you’re an engineer. You see the world through the eyes of an engineer: you like theories but you live by results, tangible results. When results do not support a theory there’s a fascinating puzzle to solve and you can get obsessed by it.

The puzzle doesn’t have to do with gears or bridges to get you going, I know of an engineer that solved the puzzle of his own Diabetes I. He wrote his solution down in a book and became a doctor to help others.

say cheese-spikes-bloodsugar-too-but-not-as-much, dr. Bernstein!

To be honest: he initially became a doctor because doctors can order certain tests that engineers cannot. Becoming a doctor was a smart solution, one typically chosen by an engineer. Thinking out of the box, getting things done.

To me dr.Bernstein is an inspiration. He took control of his own illness. Thought along with his physicians. Proposed theories, did experiments and solved the puzzle. With Diabetes I -making no insuline of any importance- he manages his daily life so he does not need insuline besides the base line dosis that keeps him from keeling over. He does not need any insuline to cover his food intake. Now that’s clever. He solved the puzzle and lives to enjoy that every day of his life.

He’s also honest about the mental implications of having found a solution. The pangs of everyday.

Whenever he passes a bakery with all its delicious smells and sights his body and mind react. They want cake! This hurts. He can’t have cake. His health is too precious to him to risk it. No cheating. But still, this hurts. On a core level because carbohydrates are the treats of life and we are programmed to covet them. But no, he’ll be sensible and grown up and do the right thing. Still hurts a bit though.

That’s ok. Things will hurt. There will be yearning and things you cannot have and plans that fall through and disappointments. We can cry a little. And then we sigh a little. And then we move on. To the things we do have and can enjoy. I find it very uplifting to know that dr. Bernstein’s solution is something he works on every day, also when he’s blue or sad or grumpy. Those are the times it really matters. Dr. Bernstein is honest about how he copes during those times and that is inspirational. Because he’s honest about being human.

Now then. I’m an engineer. I now have this black box called a body and recently I’ve been putting other things than usual in it an results are stunning. Albeit not 100% repeatable and not covered by theories very well.

I have some parts of the puzzle. Stakes are high. Part of the problem is that my mind is clouded by the supplements I take. Excitotoxins and heavy metals are floating in my brain. Sugar too. Messing up my thought processes and also messing up my self image. Tricky.

Today I am here as your engineer to present (to me) some sort of plan to handle this:

  1. I’ve gone back in time and once again have only one hour of coherent mental activity per day.
  2. this hour need to be accompagnied by physical activity because only this will help eliminate the excitotoxins from my system
  3. since the rest of the day knows brainfog more or less a checklist must be in place to remember to do/eat the right things at the right times (yeah, checklist!)
  4. low doses of supplements that will exit the body within a day means I should not have to worry about long term damage (liver! it hurts a little) and that this is not a regression in health. Symptoms should reside in a few days if I stop and the true base line of my illness will present. The one from March 2013 and its progress from then on.
  5. all other knowledge about my body is still correct and should be used (stomach works in marble sized morsels so eat small portions. This will aid the liver too.)
  6. two excellent tips from two dear knitter friends:

“Allow yourself to fret for 20 minutes. Then put aside your worries for another day.”

“You say you can feel in your gut if something is good for you. If you have doubts, they too will be felt in your gut.”

Now follows my daily checklist for this period in time:

  • eat one egg yoke, drink tea, have vit.D
  • ease into the day for a bit. End this period with some npc.
  • have your second breakfast (chicken soup) with supplements (m-B12, m-folate, lithium, multi-gland, vit D, vit C, zinc). Soup contains some foliage for brushing down the bowels.
  • do something vertical for about an hour (sewing, write a lettre, vacuum, put something away, laundry, weaving, cooking, take picture, block FO, something from the to-do list) and prepare project for resting (which knitting project of hand sewing?). This hour uses up the blood sugar and helps eliminating excitotoxins
  • wash face, brush teeth.
  • rest (one hour). Cover yourself with a blanket, you’ll get cold as your energy goes into your duodenum. Watch a movie, knit something simple.
  • the rest of the day is free for doing fun things and resting on the couch. Have a look outside once and awhile. Eat soup. Drink tea. Drink water with lemon juice. Feel free to be brainfogged. Allow and aid your body to take out the waste. Eat some carrots to provide extra roughage.
  • go to the toilet whenever you think about it
  • this will take a couple of months. Forget about work during this time. Don’t fret.

NB. I’ve making butter cakes lately: a glutenfree, sugarfree version of the famous Dutch Boterkoek. (It’s not really sugarfree, I put in one fig because I felt like it)

I use 250 grams of excellent full fat butter (I use Demeter, a non-homoginized organic butter); 250 grams of rice flour; some salt; quite a bit of pepper; a lot of chopped ginger (one or two fingers worth); lemon peeled skin of half a lemon and one chopped fig.

mix it all in a round baking form. No need to line the form with grease or wax paper. Put in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celcius. Let it cool, put it in the fridge. Delicious the next day!

Dear engineer,

remember the basics: the stomach only takes food one marble at the time. Blood sugar rises ridiculously, even with small bits of food, and this cake has both starches and fig sugar in it. So temper your intake of this delicious cake. Whenever you have had some and feel a physical yearn for another piece, you have taken too much. Do something else for 20 minutes to let the blood sugar levels calm down. Best thing to do is physical activity to get rid of the sugar without having to use insuline. Insuline is a poison. But a better poison than (blood) sugar.

best whishes,

your better half.

ok. Here’s Eddie Izzard on youtube with Cake or Death and a design by Defiant Damsel over on Etsy: