The stars of the new Netflix series, Afflicted, are up in arms about how their conditions were misrepresented. The documentary series follows six people living with chronic illnesses.
A Los Angeles-based documentary company, Doc Shop, which works with National Geographic, CNN, Discovery, A&E, AMC, and Travel channel, produced the series.
According to all of the people portrayed in the documentary, the producers promised them a compassionate look at chronic illness. Every participant in the series had to have a diagnosis from a physician and be determined mentally healthy by a behavioral health specialist before filming started.
The participants collectively responded in an article posted on Medium. Individually, others wrote blogs about their experience or posted a live YouTube video.
We were all told that we would be participating in a project that would show our lives and our struggles with illness through a “compassionate lens.” We participated because our diagnoses are misunderstood and stigmatized. We thought that revealing some of the most intimate moments of our lives would lead to greater public understanding. We hoped that with it might come investment in research to find biomarkers and better treatments. We never fathomed that we were participating in a project that would instead expose us and our communities to further ridicule and disbelief.
Medium, The Truth Behind Netflix’s ‘Afflicted’
I stopped watching the series after the first episode because it was so clear that the producers went for sensationalism over realism. They consistently showed the people suffering from severe conditions as mentally ill and having psychosomatic illnesses.
Jamison Hill, a writer with ME, wrote a blog post about his experience.
One such episode was devoted to “Identity,” suggesting that those of us with chronic illnesses spend so much time in poor health we become consumed by the lifestyle and don’t know how to live any other way, which is a completely asinine point to make. It’s unfair to categorize people like this because they “become” their illness. If giving all of your surplus energy to try to make yourself better is “becoming” an illness, then sure we “become” it, but if we’re talking about finding some sort of clandestine enjoyment or comfort in living as a sick person because we don’t know how to live any other way, well, that’s one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever heard; that’s not us.
Jake Sidwell, who has chronic Lyme disease, posted an hour-long YouTube video about the making of the show and how unfortunate the experience has been. In it, he discusses questions posed by people who saw the documentary.
Scientists with deep knowledge of the research literature — including several from the Open Medicine Foundation’s “Community Symposium on the Molecular Basis of ME/CFS” at Stanford, which the film crew did shoot — were either not interviewed or their interviews ended up on the cutting room floor. Instead, Afflicted frequently relies heavily on the skeptical voices of “experts” who have no relevant professional or academic expertise in our diseases.
Medium, The Truth Behind Netflix’s ‘Afflicted’
“Acknowledging” skepticism doesn’t make people take us more seriously, especially when the evidence of their biological basis – both my abnormal lab results and the broader research – is purposefully excluded. There’s a big difference between acknowledging the skeptical perspective and, say, devoting three entire hour-long episodes to psychobabble sound bites about it, which is precisely what the producers did.
Gary from https://plantcaretoday.com/ contacted me a while ago to ask if I’d be open to publishing this article on AsWellAsICanBe. After looking at his website and the great information contained there, I was happy to do so.
I should add that I am aware of and use food-grade DE that I purchased and use years before Gary got in touch with me. I sprinkle it in my garden and occasionally mix some in my pets’ kibble. Since I no longer live in the South, the many issues with Palmetto bugs (aka flying cockroaches) and other endemic pests are not an ever-present problem in the frozen tundra of northwestern WI. Therefore, I don’t use as much DE as I would if still lived in Charleston, SC. (Although hubby and I plan to become snowbirds this winter. Anyone reading this south of the Mason-Dixon Line or bordering on Mexico who wants to trade houses to experience winter is free to contact me.) 😉
Here’s Gary’s guest post on DE
Diatomaceous earth(DE) is a very common product with a wide variety of uses in industry, around the house and yard. Even though you may never have heard of Diatomaceous earth, you probably have used DE and consumed it a standard ingredient in quite a few personal care products and food items. DE has value as a supplement, a drying agent, a soil additive and an effective home and garden pest control agent. In this article, we will focus on using DE to control insect pests around your house and garden. We will also provide important information on the dangers of chemical pesticide use. Read on to learn more.
Why Not Use Chemical Pesticides?
Chemical pesticides (poisons) are the only substances purposely released into the atmosphere for the purpose of killing things. The suffix, “cide” is Latin for “kill“, and pesticides are used to kill rodents, fungus, insects, and weeds in a wide variety of settings. For this reason, they can be found almost everywhere. According to the website, toxicactions.org, over 5 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States annually. They can be found in every aspect of life including our food, water, air, and soil. This is very bad news as pesticides have been found to cause problems such as:
* Reproductive Difficulties
* Endocrine Disruption
* Developmental Delay
* Kidney Problems
* Liver Damage
Children Are Especially At Risk
Pesticide contamination is problematic for adults and especially problematic for children. Children are exposed to pesticides from the moment of conception and continue to be exposed at home, at school, and at play. The chemicals found in pesticides cause developmental delay and can cause problems as serious as brain damage.
Although some proponents of chemical pesticides say that when used properly and in the right amounts these substances present little or no threat, the fact is they build up. They are everywhere, and they are unavoidable. We are exposed to them every day through inhalation; in the food we eat; in the water we drink; through skin contact and even through our eyes. People who work in farm settings and those who live near industrial farms are at tremendous risk for illnesses and other problems caused by contact with chemical pesticides.
Wildlife and the environment, in general, are under great threat due to contamination caused by chemical pesticides. Neonicotinoids are especially harmful to important pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths and other insects. This category of pesticide is also extremely dangerous to small mammals such as bats and also to reptiles such as lizards.
Why Keep Using Chemicals?
There’s lots of money in pesticides. As the companies making these poisons continue to put more lobbying pressure on the government to reduce regulations and increase the use of pesticides, we can expect the problems they cause to increase exponentially if we continue to buy them and use them. Luckily, we can vote with our pocketbooks and simply choose to learn about and use natural alternatives to benefit our own health and the health of our planet.
It’s easy to see that using pesticides has an extremely negative effect on people, wildlife, and the environment, but are pesticides necessary? The simple and accurate answer to that question is “No!” The fact is, it is not possible, necessary or even desirable to kill off all pests. All things in nature have some use and reason for being. It is entirely possible to control pests using natural means and a mindset that is aimed at coexistence–with rather than extermination–of the animals we term pests.
There are a number of ways to replace common household pesticides with all-natural alternatives that work just as well or better. When you adopt this way of thinking and choose to stop using pesticides in your own home, yard, and garden you can become part of the solution rather than remaining part of the problem. When you make this positive, proactive choice you will also save money while protecting the health and well-being of the environment, your loved ones and yourself.
Why Is Organic Pest Control Better?
When you choose organic pest control methods you are making use of time-honored, natural ingredients that strive to integrate cultural wisdom, available natural resources, biological and mechanical solutions to address problems with pests. These methods safeguard your health while helping to conserve biodiversity and support ecological balance.
There are lots of different ways to control pests in the home, yard, and garden with a combination of products such as essential oils, boric acid, vinegar, insecticidal soap and more. These ingredients are far safer and far more affordable than any commercially prepared chemical pest control. When dealing with insect pests outdoors, predatory insects are often engaged as a natural means of control. Indoors, essential oils such as rosemary, sweet basil, eucalyptus, catnip, and cedar are often added to carriers such as water, vinegar and/or oils to create sprays and other natural insect killing or repelling products.
The focus of this article is diatomaceous earth, an affordable, versatile, natural pest control product that is very popular, useful and extremely safe to use. Diatomaceous earth can be applied lightly indoors or outdoors on an as-needed basis and will continue to work as long as the weather stays dry. One popular type of DE that is specifically made for the purpose of combating insects both indoors and out is Perma-Guard Diatomaceous Earth. While this product does provide some excellent information on its packaging, it should be noted that its price per pound of product is a bit higher than other offerings of 100% DE.
Why Food Grade DE Pest Control
Food Grade DE is an all-natural product classified under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act as being safe for use in the home.
This all-natural, dry powder is made of diatoms. These are the fossilized remains of single-celled algae. This very fine, white or light tan silica powder presents insects such as:
* Dust Mites
* Clothes Moths
* … and more
… with razor sharp edges that cause damage to their exoskeletons. The substance also absorbs the protective oil from the surface of the exoskeleton.
How Does DE Work?
The cell walls of diatomaceous earth are made of silica (the main component of glass). This makes the individual particles sharp, abrasive and damaging to insect bodies. It is also effective against soft-bodied gastropods, such as slugs and snails if distributed in a thick line that forms a physical barrier. DE will not kill these creatures, but it will prevent them from entering “off-limits” areas.
For insects, the combination of exoskeleton damage and the drying effect causes the pests to dehydrate and die. This is not a speedy process, but if you keep DE distributed consistently in areas where pests are a problem you will see a steady decline in your pest population. Because DE’s deadly powers are physical rather than chemical, insects cannot build up immunity or resistance to it. No matter how long you use diatomaceous earth, it will continue to be effective against insect pests of all kinds. This is a definite benefit when compared with chemical pesticides.
Uses For Diatomaceous Earth
It primarily works like a pest control powder which “eats through” the exoskeleton of insects and dries them out. Moreover, since the DE works on a mechanical level more than a chemical one, the insects do not develop any resistance to diatomaceous earth. This becomes an eco-friendly alternative for killing insects as you can avoid using toxic sprays and insecticides. In general, DE can be used for many purposes, but for a garden, it is primarily used as a pesticide or insecticide. They also denote it as natural bug control. Insects like:
* Snails & Slugs
* Cockroaches… and others can be treated with food grade DE in our gardens.
ONLY USE Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth as a pesticide for vegetable production. This method is very popular among folks who are a fan of natural remedies. When we talk about the environment, the basic component is silicon which makes up most of the rocks, sand, and land of our Earth. It is also a component of fish bodies or marine animals naturally.
Moreover, since DE does not work on a chemical level, there is no question of it degrading or dissolving in water or vaporize to pollute the air, causing damage to the environment. It’s environmentally friendly.
How To Apply DE In The Garden
1. Dry Method
Fill a container (like a parmesan cheese container) to use as a shaker for the powder. Garden duster applicators are available as well. Avoid creating dust, it can harm your respiratory system. Wearing gloves and masks is a must, especially if you have allergies and breathing issues.
Dust the dry powder on the plants. Experts suggest the best time is morning and evening when the plants have a little dew on them. The moisture helps retain the powdered DE. The powder is not effective when wet but when it dries up, insects begin to “experience” its effect. Applying a thick layer of DE at the base of plants helps keep slugs, snails or squash bugs away. Be sure to apply DE on the upper, as well as the underside, of all plants for best effects. Reapply powder after it rains because it will get washed away.
2. Wet Method
Dissolve 4 tablespoons of Diatomaceous Earth powder into 1- gallon water jug. Seal the jug tightly and shake until the powder is dissolved. Fill a spray bottle or garden sprayer with the DE mixture.
Spray plants with the solution but NOT until they are dripping wet. Be sure to cover the undersides of leaves for maximum benefits. Once the plants dry the residue left behind looks like a thick layer of powder coating the leaves. The “wet” method is best suited where windy conditions are present.
Masks and gloves are essential here too. Some people also prefer wearing goggles while spraying the powder.
How To Use DE Around The House
Using DE is simplicity itself. Apply a light dusting. Look for areas that are frequented by insect pests and simply sprinkle DE lightly in these areas.
Indoors, apply it to the back of cabinets, and your baseboards, behind wall sockets and other nooks, crannies, cracks, and crevices where insects hide.
Outdoors, sprinkle it around sensitive plants or dust plant leaves lightly to impact all manner of insect pests. When insects come in contact with the substance, it sticks to them and effectively kills them.
DE will not attract insects, so in some instances, you may want to combine it with a substance that will attract pests to it. If you are trying to draw insects, you can mix it with dry bait, such as sugar. This can be an effective treatment on ant hills. Apply a thick line when dealing with slugs and snails.
Keep your powder dry!
It’s important to remember that DE is not effective unless it is dry. If you sprinkle it outdoors, you must remember to replenish it after rainfall. And do not use in damp areas.
Before reapplying DE indoors, you should clean up your previous application. Depending on where you have applied the substance and how much is present, you can sweep it up with a whisk broom and dustpan, use a damp towel to wipe it up, or use a shop vac to vacuum it up. Do not use your regular household vacuum cleaner as the coarse substance can be very damaging to the motor.
Even though DE is non-toxic, you may want to wear a dust mask, eye protection, and gloves when applying it or cleaning it up. Remember that it is a dusty and very drying substance, so it could cause some itching and discomfort if you are in contact with it for an extended period of time.
Make DE & EO Insect Repellents
There is one instance in which you would use DE damp. You can use it as a base to make essential oil insect repellent stations. When you do this, you are not using the DE to kill insects. You are just using it as a medium or carrier to deliver the scent of the oil. Some people use cotton balls for this purpose, but DE holds the essential oil scent longer and can be reused indefinitely, so it is a better choice.
Begin by making a paste of DE and water. Add a strong smelling essential oil such as lemon or cedar oil or oil of lavender. Mix the essential oil in at a rate of about a dozen drops per ounce of DE and water paste. Put this mixture into small jar lids. Place these in out-of-the-way corners and under furniture where insects might hide. Replenish your stations monthly with a few drops of water and essential oil.
Is DE Safe To Leave Out All the Time?
For mammals, food grade diatomaceous earth is not only safe it is also desirable. It is commonly added to grains, pet food, and other dry food products as an anti-caking agent and to help prevent insect infestation. Food grade diatomaceous earth imparts a number of health benefits, and it is often added to natural personal care products such as toothpaste. Many people use it as a dietary supplement, and the silicon it contains is said to be helpful for strengthening bones and improving the quality of skin, hair, and nails.
When used as a supplement for poultry, DE helps control intestinal parasites and results in hens laying larger and more nourishing eggs with stronger shells. Additionally, when used as a dust bath for poultry DE helps control and even eliminate bird mite infestation. It also makes a nice dust bath for pet birds and chinchillas.
Food grade DE is safe to eat and can even be used as a deworming product for your pets. Talk with your veterinarian about the amount to use. Generally speaking, DE is safe when used as a flea powder on cats and dogs. Some farmers hang burlap bags of it from barn rafters so that livestock can bump against them to dust themselves as protection against flies. As long as you are sure to get food grade diatomaceous earth, it will pose no threat to you, your pets or non-insect life.
Be aware that food grade DE does not discriminate between beneficial insects and non-beneficial insects. Be careful where you put the product. Avoid areas frequented by beneficial insects. You don’t want to damage your populations of bees, ladybugs, butterflies and other desirable insects.
Use Only Food Grade DE
Remember to only use food grade DE. There is pool grade diatomaceous earth available, but this is not the same thing.
This substance is intended only for swimming pool filtration. It contains a lot of crystalline silica and is not safe to come in contact with or to consume. The difference lies in the production methods used to create the two types of DE. Pool grade DE is prepared using a process known as calcination that incorporates very high heat levels. This process transforms the silicon dioxide content into crystalline silica, which is extremely dangerous to the health of both animals and humans. For this reason, this type of DE must only be used for swimming pool filtration. It has no other purpose.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is also known as Food Chemical Codex Grade DE. In order to be considered safe for consumption, DE must comply with specifications regarding its heavy metal (e.g. lead and arsenic) content. Food grade DE is not calcined and is made up mostly of amorphous silica. It should contain no more than 1% crystalline silica. The mineral content of the product affects its coloring. Most DE is very pure white, but the presence of naturally occurring minerals can cause the product to vary in shade from light brownish-gray to white.
Do Natural Pest Control Methods Really Work?
Yes, non-toxic pest control does work; however, it doesn’t work in the same way as chemical pesticides. It’s important to understand that when you use natural pest repelling and controlling ingredients you must take a holistic approach. This means combining natural methods and being very consistent and persistent. Unlike chemical pesticides, natural products don’t kill off vast swathes of insects and other pests all at once. Furthermore, organic products don’t usually have a residual effect. For this reason, most organic pest control products need to be applied frequently for best results. It is also smart to use them in a rotation and/or in combination with each other to prevent having your pests build up a resistance to them.
When you spray an insect with a chemical pesticide, it dies on the spot. Conversely, you may observe insect pests walking right through DE seemingly unfazed. Don’t despair! It takes a while for the DE to damage the insect exoskeleton and decimate the critter!
As a matter of fact, a number of factors affect the speed with which DE works to kill off insects. The size and type of insect is one very important factor.
Additionally, the ambient humidity levels and the particle size of the DE may affect the speed with which it works. Temperature also plays a role, as does the level of infestation. It naturally takes quite a bit longer to deal with more insects. Generally speaking, you may see significant results within 24 hours of proper application of DE. This is especially true with very small fairly soft-bodied insects such as bedbugs, dust mites, bird mites, termites, black ants, and red ants. Leaving the DE in place and replenishing it as-needed will reap greater results within a week’s time.
Large, tough insects, such as merchant grain beetles can take as long as three weeks to deal with. Likewise, it can take a couple of weeks to deal with heavy silverfish infestation. I found that it also takes several weeks to eradicate a palmetto bug infestation, too.
It is important to remove any clutter, manure, leaves or other items that may be sheltering insects such as silverfish and beetles. This will help ensure that the insects make good contact with the DE. When dealing with especially pervasive pests, such as bedbugs, you must clean thoroughly and use a combination of methods of natural pest control, such as DE, essential oil sprays, heat and sheer diligence to ensure you have eliminated all eggs, larvae, and adults.
No matter what kind of pest you are dealing with, keep a close eye on the infestation. If you feel that the insects have been completely eradicated, you may wish to clean up the DE completely and not reapply it. However, keeping a light application out at all times will not hurt anything and can certainly help prevent a re-infestation. This is especially true of very persistent insects such as bedbugs, fleas, and ants.
DE Is In Many Household and Personal Products
Diatomaceous earth is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). For this reason, it is included in hundreds (if not thousands) of products for household and personal use. Among these are more than one-hundred and fifty products intended for pest control. In addition to its pest control value, food grade DE is also useful as a dietary supplement to help:
Deal with parasite infestation in humans and pets
Improve bone, joint and ligament health
Detoxify and remove heavy metals
Enhance colon and liver function
Benefit skin, hair and nail health
Improve immune function
Increase energy levels
Food grade DE is easy to find at your local animal feed store or online, and it is amazingly affordable. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a couple of dollars a pound. This amount will last you ages, even if you use it to dust your house and yard and supplement your pet’s food and your morning smoothie. A little bit of this safe, all-natural product goes a long way and can do you, your family and your household a world of good.
Equations were never my strength. Even before ME/CFS I couldn’t remember the common ones, like how to find an area of something. If someone looked at me funny because of it, I reminded them that Albert Einstein never memorized his phone number. He didn’t want to crowd his brain with information that could easily be found. That usually shut them up. 😉
Anyhow, here’s an equation that even I can remember.
Saving Money=Sustainable Nutrition=Healthier Body
It’s not news that we are living in a nation of quick and easy meals from a box, freezer or the bag handed through a drive-up.
It isn’t easy to eat healthily and sustainably, especially on a budget. Here’s how I manage it.
Starting with produce, I check organic prices and if there is a good conventional produce sale. Most of the time the loss-leaders are on the Dirty Dozen list, so I don’t buy them. Once in while I can snap up a great bargain–like a couple of months ago when organic avocados were selling 2/$1 because they were all ripening too fast.
You don’t know about the Dirty Dozen list (not the Steve McQueen movie)? Each year the Environmental Working Group looks at all the pesticides applied to all the crops grown for sale in the US and assigns each fruit or vegetable a rank in comparison to each other. The top 12 “winners” are called the Dirty Dozen.
Summer fruit and veggies I don’t grow myself are bought at one or more of the local Farmers Markets. Here I can talk directly with the grower and be certain no pesticides were used–especially glyphosate (RoundUp®).
While I’m at the Market, I also buy pastured pork products from a family farm where the pigs roam about and don’t receive antibiotics to grow faster. My beef is grass-fed and raised on a friend’s farm where the cattle receive excellent care.
I used to do public relations for the top crop seed breeder in the US. As part of this, we spent time in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska where a whole lot of feedlots hold a whole lot of cattle. These steers spend the final months of their lives, sometimes up to their knees in manure, in a crowded feedlot with cattle they never met before. No wonder grass-fed tastes better. Just think of the stress those feedlot animals are under!
If you want to eat better for less, these are good ways to cut your food budget:
EAT LESS MEAT
Even when bought in bulk, meat from animals that have the freedom to wander pastures is expensive. Organic is not as necessary to purchase as beef that is 100% grass fed. Why is this important? First, grass-fed cattle are on pastures all spring, summer, and fall here in Wisconsin. They can remain outdoors even during winter in many other areas of the country so you know they are as close to having a good life as it’s possible for cattle to have.
Second, grass-fed beef has a very good nutritional profile compared to conventionally raised steers. This meat has less total fat, more omega-3 fatty acids, more conjugated linoleic acid and more antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E (Source).
Although my freezer is still full of freezer paper wrapped roasts, steaks, hamburger, we don’t have meat at every meal. You could try observing a Meatless Monday for a few weeks. Then look at the difference in your grocery budget. There are lots of vegetarian main dishes you can find online
If you are interested in some of my recipes, let me know in the comments. I was a good cook when I was working. However, I didn’t really have time for something that couldn’t go in the crockpot or on the table in less than an hour.
When I started getting better I began to change my eating habits. This inevitably leads to learning how to cook all over again. I love that I now know the most nutritious ways to prepare meals and snacks, but I know I would find it more difficult if I were still working. Soaking beans and grains, making sourdough bread, and accounting for the time my Instant Pot needs to naturally release before opening all take more planning than I was up to when working.
The obvious solution is a multi-generational home. Grandparents would be the traditional cooks and childcare providers for their children’s families. Sadly, I don’t see that happening much around me or with me. Sometimes I dream about what it would be like living with my daughter and her family (husband, 2 girls, dog) and it’s all good. Until I remember they live in the Washington DC/Baltimore Metroplex.
Now, where was I?
Ah, yes. Here it is.
BUY IN BULK
Grocery stores are offering more and more healthy choices. Frequently, they will have a bulk foods department that may or may not contain organics. Conventional granola, trail mix and sesame sticks bought in bulk are an environmentally responsible choice even if they aren’t all that healthy. If you want to be super PC, buy from the local health food cooperative, natural foods store or buyers club.
I buy in bulk whenever possible because of things like steel cut oats at half the price of the imported can. For example, splitting a quarter of a cow. I have a small chest freezer, but my friend who split the purchase with me got everything from her half of a quarter into her side-by-side freezer.
Out-of-season fruits and vegetables are more expensive, not to mention less sustainable, because of the fuel and other resources used in transport from other areas with different growing seasons. Buying local is, by definition, buying seasonally. It’s good for you in several areas. Traditional medicine, like Ayurveda from India and Chinese Medicine, stresses eating seasonally because of the way our bodies have evolved. When we are in tune with the environment, we can heal and then maintain our wellbeing. Most importantly, eating locally grown food in season is much less expensive at both ends of the marketplace transaction.
For example, my friend, Mary, who milks cows and raises grass-fed beef and pork, has few to no marketing expenses. I see her at the Farmers Market where I and many others buy individual cuts and put in orders for bulk beef. Before selling directly to the consumer, Mary had to settle for what cattle futures were the day she shipped steers to the feedlot. Now she can sell at a price that keeps her profitable. Would you believe Mary sold bulk beef for the same per pound price this fall as in the autumn of 2015? (No special favors. The price was the same for everyone buying her beef.) What other food has remained the same price over the same period?
Fruits and vegetables reach their nutritional peak at the same time they are harvested. This, conveniently, is also when they taste best. According to the University of California-Davis, as a bell pepper progresses from green to red it gains 11 times more beta-carotene and one and a half times more vitamin C.
Once a fruit or vegetable is harvested it begins to lose nutrients and taste within the first hour. The USDA’s Table of Nutrient Retention Factors shows frozen fruit, in most cases, is more nutritious than fresh fruit that was picked before ripening and transported from who knows how far away.
If you’re not familiar with Farmers Markets, call the local reference librarian and ask. If your community has 211 phone service you can use them, too. Most often, you’ll find something if you ask around. Local Harvest is a clearinghouse for small farms raising healthy plants and animals. You pop in your zip code and nearby farmers who register with them pop back at you.
With all the new things in the produce department these days it can be hard to tell if a certain fruit or vegetable is in season. You can find a produce person at the store and ask them. And don’t forget to make room in your budget to purchase organic produce on the Dirty Dozen list. I’ve read you can break down some pesticide residue with a brief (10 min) soaking in a sink full of cold water and about a quarter cup of white vinegar.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Recipe requests? Let me know below.
Doesn’t matter if you are a back sleeper, a side sleeper or a toss and turner, something from this pillow roundup will fit your needs.
#1 Shoulder Pad Pillow from Shujian
$$$$ Very Expensive ~~http://amzn.to/2mDtAgi
This carefully crafted pillow protectively fits cervical vertebra to resolve pressure and significantly eliminate head, neck, shoulder, and back pain. It is made with hydrophilic cotton, a new molecular structure combining the advantages of latex and memory cotton that disperses weight and automatically adjusts for the best support.
Remains a Constant Temperature
Breathable Heat Dissipation
11 x 11 x 3.9 inches
#2 Siberian Goose Down from Between The Sheets
$$$ Expensive ~~http://amzn.to/2DfL10H
Manufactured by the same Danish company producing down comforters in a 90% white Siberian goose down & 10% feather blend. A unique feature of these pillows and comforters is a no-mite protective fabric which keeps dust mites from penetrating the pillow. This provides a hypo-allergenic environment. Each pillow comes in a variety of sizes and fills to give gentle, medium, or firm support.
Standard Gentle 20″ x 26″ 16 oz
Standard Medium 20″ x 26″ 20.5 oz
Standard Full 20″ x 26″ 26 oz
Queen Gentle 20″ x 30″ 18.5 oz
Queen Medium 20″ x 30″ 23.6 oz
Queen Full 20″ x 30″ 30 oz
King Gentle 20″ x 36″ 21.5 oz
King Medium 20″ x 36″ 28.2 oz
King Full 20″ x 36″ 37 oz
#3 ZEEQ Smart Pillow from REM-Fit
$$ Expensive ~~ http://amzn.to/2B4lKRV
This tech-heavy memory foam pillow has an adjustable foam fill and a high-quality pillow cover made with moisture-wicking Tencel botanic fiber. It will gently vibrate to alert you to change position if it detects snoring. Multiple sensors send sleep data, such as movement and snoring, to the ZEEQ app so you can catalog sleep cycles and analyze sleeping habits. Built-in motors centralize a vibrating alarm to the user’s head and neck when the analysis determines it is the optimal time in your sleep cycle to awaken.
The onboard personal sound system, evenly dispersed between 8 internal speakers encased in the memory foam core, ensures that only the user can hear. A music sleep timer automatically shuts the system off after a predetermined time. Naturally, there is a remote allowing you to power on, change volume and more if your phone is out of reach. And, finally, this smart pillow connects with Amazon Echo and has a two-week battery life.
What more could you possibly want in a pillow? 😉
#4 Pillow of Health from Pillow of Health
MizEllie’s Best Buy ~~ http://amzn.to/2B45v7p
The PILLOW of HEALTH is easily customizable to adjust to your comfort level…even if it is different each night. Medical-grade cluster fiber fill and foam do not to contain harmful chemicals and are approved by an independent laboratory.
The high-resilience foam is antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and free of harmful chemicals. Due to its high-density cell structure, it is naturally resistant to mildew, fungi, and dust mites. It can be washed and dried at high heat.
The outer layer is constructed from a moisture-wicking fabric that is 40X more breathable than other pillow fabrics. Users report they never have to wake up and flip the pillow over to get to the cool side.
#5 Bamboo Covered Memory Foam Pillow from Hotel Comfort
Affordable ~~ http://amzn.to/2D66ypk
This pillow is filled with 100% polyurethane shredded memory foam. The combination of this shredded memory foam and the bamboo cover allow the pillow to breathe and stay cool. It conforms and adjusts perfectly to your head and neck and is great for back, stomach or side sleepers.
I own two of these pillows. They are quite full but compress easily. They also remain cool, but as yet I haven’t had them for a summer. It is a good buy, but if I were in the market again, I’d get #4.
Paige is a staff member of The Mighty, a wonderful, caring digital health community created to empower and connect people facing health challenges, chronic illness and disabilities. This article was originally published on www.themighty.com last August and reprinted here with permission. So here’s Paige and the Mighty community. I hope you enjoy reading and identifying with it as much as I did.
Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it can be nearly impossible to understand what someone with a chronic, invisible illness goes through on a daily basis. Not only can the physical symptoms be painful and exhausting, but they can take a toll on your mental and emotional health as well. Guilt, anger, depression and isolation all too often accompany fighting a daily battle not many others can “see.”
In response to the physical and emotional aspects of living with an invisible illness, many people tend to develop certain “habits” or behaviors that help them manage their condition and its effects. We asked our Mighty community to share the “habits” they’ve developed – good or bad – from living with invisible illness. Maybe some of the following will sound familiar to you, too. Let us know how you cope with illness in the comments below.
Here’s what the community shared with us:
1. “I over-explain when asked about my health, and consequently my weight. I also avoid social situations, out of sheer exhaustion, preferring online socializing instead.”
2. “I always look for a chair when I’m out, as standing up for too long exhausts me. I carry water with me everywhere, as I get dehydrated easily.”
3. “Saying ‘no’ to almost everything. It’s much easier to change to a ‘yes’ later than having to backpedal to a ‘no’ later. This was a hard thing to learn because I want to do all sorts of things, but I recognize I am limited by my illnesses.”
4. “Not exercising – ever. Even though I know it would help me, I’m too busy ‘saving up my spoons‘ to consider throwing them away at the gym or even on a walk around the block.”
5. “I have a terrible habit of not finishing tasks. I get halfway done and I stop to take a break with the intention of going back and I just never do. It really annoys my husband.”
6. “I live with music constantly playing through an earphone. By keeping the music playing it helps me filter other sounds and feelings. It stops over-stimulation. It lets me feel calmer in situations that cause me stress above my pain level.”
7. “Each morning before I get out of bed, I lay there taking stock of my physical aches and pains. Reach for my topical pain relief and rub it in. A few stretches and then I get up (usually limping) and start my day.”
8. “I constantly apologize even if I haven’t done anything. I guess part of me hopes if I apologize enough, it will make up for my not being able to do as much as someone else my age.”
9. “I journal everything from what I ate at what time to when I started getting a headache then when it got unbearable and if I left the house and for how long so I can look back and see if there are patterns that caused flare-ups and keep track of what treatments have caused side effects and which ones have helped.”
10. “I avoid scheduling and going to regular self-maintenance appointments such as the dentist and the eye doctor because I’m so overwhelmed with all of my other health and medical stuff going on.”
11. “I smile a lot. I once got hit in the face with a soccer ball during practice, and I kept smiling with tears running down my face to let everyone know I was OK. I would rather [struggle] in silence than for someone to worry about me so I developed a great smile to distract and deceive them. My eyes give it away though. I can’t always hide the exhaustion in my eyes.”
12. “Stashing medicine (and usually snacks) everywhere I might need it. There’s even a bottle of ibuprofen stuffed between the cushions of my couch.”
13. “Multitasking – my chronic illness drains my energy, so when I have a flare-up or a bad day, I’ve learned to do as many things as I can to make my bad days a little easier.”
14. “I don’t eat dinner. If I eat too late in the day, then I don’t sleep well with the pain. I have battled severe Crohn’s disease most of my life. Every meal is carefully considered and every meal is a potential pain bomb.”
15. “I pop my neck, back, knees, elbows, fingers constantly, because it helps ease the pain.”
16. “I make excuses as to why I can’t stick with plans or go to functions when I’m not feeling well instead of just telling them the truth, that I’m having a bad day, because I don’t want to become ‘that’ conversation.”
17. “There are little things, like carrying my phone and water bottle literally everywhere with me. There are bigger things, like habitually secluding myself when my anxiety and self-disdain start to take over my mind, and often it will spiral and worsen because I feel too scared and ashamed of myself to reach out for help.”
18. “My first reaction to a vacation or upcoming trip is to think of every possible way my chronic illness could ruin it (sometimes it does), but I know the self-fulfilling prophecy doesn’t help.”
19. “Allowing my independence to become vulnerable and letting my husband care for me, like helping bathe me in the shower because my skin hurts just with the water, my body hurts to stand in the shower and I am so very fatigued, I do not have the energy to stand up. It is quite humbling, but he shows me every day he is there for me whatever the struggle may be.”
20. “I seclude myself. I keep a lot of my emotions to myself and don’t really partake in much [out of] the fear of causing a flare.”
21. “Due to brain fog or fatigue, I second-guess myself often. Was that right? Did I say that right? Did I say the right things? I used to be so quick on my feet when it came to a conversation and now I feel like I’m always two steps behind. Because of this, I try to be more aware and listen more before I speak. I try harder to be more thoughtful and less quick to judge something.”
22. “Having to overshare about my condition to have it taken seriously. I have endometriosis which causes debilitating abdominal pain and cysts, but unless I go in depth about my condition most people will just assume I have period cramps.”
23. “I apologize constantly, often for things I know aren’t my fault and I know I can’t control.”
24. “It’s becoming easier to say ‘no’ when I simply don’t have the energy to attend a dinner, do a task, etc. When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I thought I could just push through the pain and fatigue and not let anyone know how poorly I felt. This was dishonest not only to others but to myself. I’ve discovered how crucial self-care is, whether that means a nap if I need one, taking daily supplements and vitamins or politely declining an invitation to dinner. On the flip side, I take advantage of those days when I feel better but keep in mind not to overdo it or I will pay for it later.”
25. “Not cooking at the end of the day because I just hurt too bad, even though we can’t afford to eat out. I eat so much pizza it is ridiculous because that’s all that delivers.”
26. “When I’m out at a social gathering, I flit from person to person and group to group. This has given me a social butterfly persona. In truth, if I stop moving or sit, I may be unable to get back up or even have to go home. My muscles tighten up and I can’t move properly. Once I sit down, I’m finished.”
27. “Attitude checks. I will allow myself a pity party when it’s deserved, but only for a short time, then it’s time to check my attitude because it is only by way of ‘one step in front of the other’ will I get to where I want and need to be. I have to be as positive as I can not only for myself but also my family. A good outlook is how I make it through each day.”
28. “Defending everything I do. It’s a terrible thing to do. If I’m walking with my cane, I defend it. If I park in [disability] parking, I defend it. If I sleep during the day and stay up at night, I defend it. It’s a habit I want to break, but I’m too afraid to.”
29. “Seeing the value in every single day. Cherishing every opportunity that comes my way. Being motivated to do so much because I know I could lose more function anytime. Not seeing people as they appear… respecting that anybody could be going through a challenge, so showing respect and kindness to everyone, even if they aren’t kind to me. Recognizing it may just be a bad day or something unknown they are battling.”