I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

27 June 2009

Senior Fun - Wild West BBQ

Another fun day with the seniors of Billerica.

I picked up Uncle Al from the home at 9am and brought him to my house. He was so excited about this outing that he didn't sleep the night before his big day out.

Fortunately, Uncle Al took a little nap before we left. Then we met Eleanor and Judy, what awesome people. Uncle Al had fun dancing with Eleanor. My mom had fun and even danced with me. I wasn't very good. It made my mother laugh out loud.

For your watching enjoyment, here's a 5 minute recap of the Wild West BBQ for the Seniors of Billerica, put on by the town Fire Department.

26 June 2009

Day 3 with Cordyceps

We're on day 3 with the addition of Cordyceps as supplements for both my mom and me.

My blood pressure readings are wicked good these days. 98/67 is the average so far. Without the Cordyceps, my blood pressure averaged 117/80. It also stopped ALL MY HOT FLASHES AND NIGHT SWEATS!

My mom's blood sugar with the combination of Fenugreek Seed powder/extract and 2 Cordycep capsules with each meal is keeping her range between 86 and 127 (even after meals!)

Her memory is much better. She appears to be happier and smiling a lot more. She feels great. I can see that she has more energy. Yesterday she even vacuumed the carpeting in her room!

Next, I will teach my mom how to cook the new healthy way so that I can go out and get a job. Jo will take on the cooking tasks, something that I find myself doing all day long, cooking and cleaning up the kitchen. If my mom can do this, I'll be freed up to earn money so that we can do more additions and repairs around the house.

Dong Chong

Product Search

Cordyceps Sinensis

NIH Disease Links


NIH Research Links

In VitroIn VivoClinical Trials

Cordyceps Sinensis

Cordyceps has a long history of therapeutic application and is well documented in western literature as immunologically modulating. The below compiled literature describes clinically significant benefits for a wide range of disease conditions related to immune competency.

Cordyceps Sinensis is a very cool mushroom; it eats insects and other fungi. This picture shows a cordyceps that has consumed a grub worm.

Cordyceps Sinensis contains a wide range of bio-theraputic agents, but the majority of benefits are associated with large molecule polysaccharides which exhibit clinically verified therapeutic actions. Myco-saccharides often have molecular weights exceeding 7000. Recent research correlates therapeutic benefit with size of the polysaccharide molecules.

See links below for research details. Here is a great pdf article on Cordyceps Sinensis. Did you know that 1 kilogram of wild-harvested Cordyceps costs about $250,000? Did you know that Cordyceps Sinensis harvest accounts for over half of Tibet's economy?

Issued US Patents

Patent Link


Research Indications


Process to modulate disease risk with doses of a nutraceutical

Cancer Risk


Natural, non-allergenic, immune system stimulant

Immune System Enhancement


Method and composition for treating ulcers and secretion of gastric acid

Performance Enhancement
Ulcer Treatment


Healthful composition obtained from the hot water extract of Coryceps sinensis mycelia

Endurance, Heart Strength


Herbal composition and method of treating viral infection of the liver



Pharmaceutical composition for treatment of diabetes



Active fractions of Cordyceps Sinensis and method of isolation thereof

Kidney Disease

Study Link

Clinical Study Conclusions

Pero 2005

Combining nutritional supplements to achieve synergistic benefit is a common practice in the nutraceutical industry. However, establishing added health benefit from a combination of natural ingredients is often assumed, untested and without regard to the principle of metabolic competition between the active components. Here, we report on the combination of a cat's claw water extract (C-Med-100, carboxy alkyl esters = active ingredients) + medicinal mushroom extracts (Cordyceps sinensis, Grifola blazei, Grifolafrondosa, Trametes versicolor and Ganoderma lucidum, polysaccharides = active ingredients) + nicotinamide + zinc into a formulation designed to optimize different modes of immunostimulatory action, and yet that would avoid metabolic antioxidant competition yielding less than expected efficacious effects. Isobole curve analyses of these two active classes of ingredients determined by growth inhibition of HL-60 human leukemic cells in vitro confirmed they were indeed synergistic when in combination, and not metabolically competitive. Furthermore, an in vivo study showed significant health benefit for 14 subjects treated for 4 weeks with the unique C-Med-100/mushroom extract formulation in that they had reduced pain, reduced fatigue, weight loss and a reduced presence of DNA damage in peripheral blood assessed by (8-OH) guanine DNA adducts and elevation in serum protein thiols. Because this broad-based panel of clinical parameters indicating clinical efficacy has never been demonstrated before for either of the active ingredients evaluated alone in humans, these data were taken as strong evidence that the combination of C-Med-100 + mushroom extracts + nicotinamide + zinc gave additive or synergistic effects to health benefit, and thus supported no efficacious limits from metabolic competition regarding this particular formulation.

Lu 2002

OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of Cordyceps sinensis and artemisinin in preventing recurrence of lupus nephritis (LN). METHODS: Sixty-one LN patients, who had no activities by corticosterone and cyclophosphamide (CTX) impacting therapy were randomly divided into two groups. The 31 cases in the treated group were given Cordyceps powder 2-4 g/d before meal and artemisinin 0.6 g/d after meal in three portions orally taken for 3 years. The 30 patients in the control group were treated with tripterygiitotorum and/or Baoshenkang tablet. The consecutive observation lasted for 5 years to monitor the clinical manifestations of lupus and laboratory indexes including blood creatinine, creatinine clearance rate (CCr) and antinuclear antibodies (ANA). RESULTS: The therapeutic effect showed markedly effective in 26 cases (83.9%), effective in 4 (12.9%) and ineffective in 1 (3.2%) in the treated group, while in the control group, the corresponding numbers were 15 (50.0%), 8 (26.7%) and 7 (23.3%), the difference between the two groups in markedly effective rate was significant (P < class="style1" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153); font-weight: bold; ">CONCLUSION: Cordyceps and artemisinin could prevent the recurrence of LN and protect kidney function.

Gao 2000

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of cordyceps sinensis (CS) on the Th1/Th 2 cytokines and recurrence in patients with Condyloma Acuminatum (CA). METHOD: Double-antibody sandwich ELISA was used to study the serum level of IL-2 and IL-10 in 34 patients treated with CS(CS group) and 29 patients in control group. The recurrence rate of CA was observed. RESULT: After treated with CS, the serum levels of IL-2 and IL-10 significantly increased and decreased respectively (P < class="style2" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255); font-weight: bold; "> The recurrence times of CA in patients of CS group after electrocauterization were significantly lower than control group (P <>

Gong 2000

In order to find an effective drug to cure patients with chronic hepatitis B, cordyceps sinensis had been used to treat 25 patients with chronic hepatitis B. The comprehensive index, including T lymphocyte subsets (CD4, CD8), hyaluronic acid(HC) and precollagen type III(PC III), were observed before and after treatment. After 3 months of treatment, CD4 and CD4/CD8 ratio increased significantly(P < class="style3" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-weight: bold; ">The results suggest that the beneficial effects might be obtained by using cordyceps sinensis to adjust the T lymphocyte subsets level and to treat hepatic fibrosis on patients with chronic hepatitis B.

Bao 1994

The protective effect on aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity by Cordyceps sinensis in the old patient was observed. 21 old patients were randomly divided into two groups. Each group received amikacin sulfate for 6 days. In addition, group A was administered Cordyceps sinensis for 7 days and group B was given placebo. The results revealed that group A developed less prominent nephrotoxicity compared with group B as evidenced by less urinary nephro-aminoglycosidase (NAGase) and beta-microglobulin in group A than those in Group B. These results suggested that Cordyceps sinensis exerted a protective effect on aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity in the old patients.

Zhou 1995

Jinshuibao Capsule (JSBC), produced by Jiangxi Jinshuibao pharmaceutical Company Limited, possesses the similar active principles and pharmacological activity with those of Cordyceps sinensis. The effect of JSBC on the immunological function of 36 patients with advanced cancer showed that it could restore cellular immunological function, improve quality of life, but had no significant effect on humoral immunological function. The results suggested that JSBC could be used as adjuvant drug in advanced cancer.

24 June 2009

Cordyceps, what are they good for?

Today my Cordyceps Capsules arrived. I was pretty excited when I opened the door and found the package waiting for me.

Before I took 2, I read up on it a bit more. It doesn't have any side effects, except on the rare occasion people get temporary GI issues, nausea or vomiting.

I took the 2 pills 2 hours ago and so far it's setting in well.

I told my mom about the supplement and read her some of the abstracts that I had found. One of the benefits to it is to help elderly boost their immune system and it even lowers blood sugar.

My mom wanted to take one, so she did. Her blood sugar was 152 after lunch.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Thursday - June 25, 2009

So, the Cordyceps work for both hot flashes and to lower blood sugar and blood pressure.

After my mom took the Cordycep (1 capsule) her blood sugar had dropped to 121 within 40 minutes.

She took a Cordycep with dinner, which consisted of a grilled caesar salad and grilled tuna steaks, lightly brushed with some of the oil and garlic mixture from the salad recipe (very delicious.) 2 hours after dinner, her blood sugar read was 98.

This morning her blood sugar reading was 120. I asked her, "Did you brush your teeth last night?" She said, "No." So... tonight she'll brush and we'll see how her readings are tomorrow morning.

As for myself, very mild hot flashes for me last night after taking only 2 capsules. I'm ready to take more. I'll write about the results.

Cordyceps Sinensis, a plant of the ergot family, is a traditional and precious dried Chineses medicinal herb belonging to the fungus category. It was highly recommended by ancient medical practitioners as the most effective cure for all illness. Owing to the herb's high efficacy and potency in curing various diseases, it is well-known as an important nourishing tonic. However, as the sourcing and gathering of the herb is rare and difficult, so its supply often falls short of demand.

It regulates and ensures the normal functioning of various parts of the body, strengthens the immune system and promotes overall vitality and longevity. This product provides tremenduous health benefits as listed below:

1. It is very effective in tonifying arrhythmia with an efficacy up to 94%. When the product was applied to 200 different ailments, no toxic side effect was detected.

2. It can be used as a substitute to natural Cordyceps Sinensis in the treatment of Chronic Nephropathy, Chronic Nephritis. Moreoer, it has a diuretic effect and is good for the prevention of Nephralgia.

3. It helps strengthen the immune system of tumour patients who have received radiotherapy, Chemotherapy or operation. It is remarkable for stabilizing the hemogram, increasing the blood cells and protein for producing blood plasma, and for eliminating the ill effects after various therapies. Furthermore, the product is a synergist for reinforcing the efficacy of radiotherapy.

4. It provides remarkable benefits for various Climatic Age Illness, Impotence, Emission, Neurasthenia, Rheumatoid arthritis, Cirrhosis, flabby waist and knee.

5. It is also effective in lowering the lipoproteinemia level, and in preventing Arterio-Sclerosis, Coronary heart disease as well as certain other diseases related to blood vessels of the brain.

6. It helps stimulate the immune system of the elderly and strengthen their resistance to illness. Frequent dosage can prevent senile disorders.

7. One of the reasons for aging is due to the insufficient secretion of sexual hormones. Cordyceps Sinensis is, in this regard, a hormone stimulator. Morever, the aging effect is to a large extent attributed to the rise of active monoamine oxidize enzyme inside the body and Cordyceps Sinensis can effectively inhibit the rising of such enzyme. Thus, it is an anti-aging medicine which helps regenerate the organic functioning of humans.

After a three-week dose, patients with the aforesaid symptoms would feel promising improvement. In general, this product is a tonic good for bodily nourishment and for stimulating brain activity.

Long-term administration can reinforce the body against foreign attacks, improve the organic functioning, strengthen the immune system and in turn help bring longevity.

Testimonials from users of Cordyceps Sinensis will be included in future updates.

This Web page and all linked pages are designed and developed by Dr. Gilbert Ng. Email: gng@hk.super.net

Copyright © 1996. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced by any means or in any form without permission from the author.

22 June 2009

Low Glycemic Index Eating Keeps "The Man" Away!

For the last 5 days I've been helping my mom (and me) stick to a LGI diet (low glycemic index = LGI)

Her blood sugar readings have been fabulous and she hasn't had any visitors in 5 days! No night terrors either. More and more I'm beginning to believe that what we eat effects every part of our being, mind, body and soul.

Yet, I know this seems like a huge claim, but really it isn't. I'm beginning to realize that we don't need to take all the damn drugs that the pharmaceuticals are manipulating our doctors into believing that we NEED them to get well.

I don't know about you but I've seen the results of the pharma's medicines, they nearly killed my mother and me in the process. How?

My mom was given so many drugs to treat ailments that the doctors found. She is from the old school where you trusted the doctor and believed he was a "god." My mom took the meds that she was given. Her health declined, slowly at first and then it started to pick up speed once she was on about 10 pharma meds.

Mom's lived with me through her drug years and eventually her illness began to effect me. I wrote in previous posts how she'd run through the house screaming about a baby and how we needed to save "the baby." At 2am, out of sound sleep, you find yourself jumping out of bed to save "the baby."

Well, once I woke up I realized that there is no baby in our house, just the cat so I would spend about an hour talking mom out of her craziness. How I travelled and did my job is still amazing to me, but I did it. Many times my job was my escape... boy do I miss having a real job. Caregiving is the hardest job I've ever had to do but on the flip side, at times it's been very rewarding.

Fast forward to today and mom is off all her pharma meds including all synthetic insulin, down to just 2 high blood pressure medicines and lots of supplements, CoQ10, Red Krill Oil (omega 3), Vitamin D, 81mg aspirin and Apple Polyphenol. She uses fenugreek with every meal to help her body absorb the carbs slowly and keep her blood sugar from spiking.

I've learned with the help of my mom that what we eat matters. I have also learned that saying NO you can't have this or that or that makes you want it all the more. With this I figured out the secret ingredient to add to comfort foods like bread and pasta... yup, you guessed it, FENUGREEK. I use the powder form in baking and it works awesome.

Mom can now have pasta that I make from scratch using my bread machine to mix the dough. Fenugreek powder (1 gram = 1/4 tsp)

Calculating glycemic index in foods is time consuming. Here's a really good article that I found which describes how to calculate Glycemic Index of food.

Mom's blood sugar has not gone above 130 (even after meals) for several days. She's exercising every day again (I am too) and sticking to her health plan. She's not waking up in the night confused and wondering who's going to take her home or trying to keep "the man" locked up in her bathroom.

Anything that you can buy that is labeled "fast" and "easy" will help you to get on the pharmaceutical subscription plan and eventually take your life or your fortune (because you'll end up in a nursing home prison.)

It's your choice. The body can rejuvenate itself if you give it the love and attention that it needs. I have seen how the body can miraculously heal itself by eating right, exercising and keeping a positive mental attitude.

Staying healthy does take work but the result of your hard work brings you many days of feeling GREAT!

19 June 2009

Low Glycemic Index Eating... is it the secret to longevity?

Yesterday my mom said to me, "Susie, how long do I have to eat lettuce? I don't know if I can take it every day."

I told her that I will do everything that I can to make the food interesting. Every day I create new recipes and try them out on my family. So far, everyone is still alive, no casualties!

I continued on to tell her that I am also studying about Low Glycemic Indexed foods and I had created a recipe to make a low glycemic egg noodle with fenugreek seed powder.

What is Low Glycemic Index?

"GI is a ranking assigned to carbohydrates according to their effect on the body's blood sugar levels. A low GI meal takes longer to digest and releases sugar into the bloodstream more slowly than a high GI meal. High GI foods include white bread, croissants and cornflakes, whereas granary bread, milk and most fruit and vegetables are all classed as low GI foods. " Excerpt taken from the following article - Scientists Discover Why A Low GI Meal Makes You Feel Full

Now that we know what Low and High GI foods are it will be easier to avoid those foods that are considered HIGH GI - "no bread, no pasta, no preservatives."

Let's face it, this diet is really hard to follow even when you have someone making all of your meals for you. I also know that when someone tells any of us "NO" our inner self says, "screw you!" and we say "YES!"

This rebel is the crazy inner voice that talks to us and convinces us that it's OK to eat those tiny little oyster crackers because they are so small. Rat turd is small too and you don't go for that now, do you? See the crazy logic with something being small and OK to eat? Both the processed crackers and the rat turd will both make you sick.

For years I've fought with my weight. I would do great for long stretches and then something would happen, like Christmas parties with lots of sweet treats and next thing I know all my cloths have shrunk at the same time and I'm 35 pounds heavier. How did this happen?

I'll tell you how... I got bored with lettuce. I told myself NO and my rebel inner voice who is afraid of change and just wants life to stay the way it is, got me to eat the tiny little gingerbread cookies. Once I started, it was like a starving animal ravaging food out of a dumpster, I couldn't stop. I lost my self control. This was my cycle my entire life, up and down on a roller coaster.

It was always a bummer to not feel comfortable in my own skin, I'd often say to myself, "Here we go again, back to the drawing bored." With a renewed attitude based on my belief that I will never fail as long as I don't quit, I put on my work out cloths, tied on my running shoes and got to work.

My mom suffers from the same cycle. Only now she's got lots of health issues because of her poor eating habits for the last 70 years. This is my mom's big fear and why she asked me about the lettuce and why I have been trying to figure out a way to still say YES to ourselves with healthy choices.

I find when I am more permissive with myself, I have more control. It is my conscious self making the decision to eat something or not to eat something. I also tend to exercise more when I'm eating low GI foods, I feel healthier and lighter.

So, with this thought in mind I have been working to create low gi treats for my mom and me.

Mom's 100% Italian and loves her pasta. It's probably the thing that made her health so bad over all those years. We didn't have much money. She never cooked fresh vegetables. I thought canned corn was awesome, so did my siblings. She made pasta a lot, it was cheap.

I did make a good egg noodle pasta last night. It was fabulous. My mom had some of my home made chicken soup with my home made egg noodles.

Here are the results:

Ma's blood sugar was 96 at 6p (before dinner), an hour after dinner it was 97, 2 hours after dinner it was 134, this morning it was 114.

What do these numbers mean?

The glucose test 2 hours after a meal - 139 and below is a normal reading, Ma was 134 (a high normal!) after eating the cup of egg noodles.

Morning fasting glucose test was 114 - normal is 99 and below.

I think I've figured out how to make mom foods that she loves so that I can keep her meals interesting and help her to control her blood sugar.

18 June 2009

Does Selflessness Lead to Happiness?

On Sunday morning I watched the Sunday Morning Show on one of the local network channels. This weeks human interest story was about Astor Brooke. She was a true philanthropist, giving of herself to help others less fortunate.

The story told about her life with images and interviews. She always appeared happy. Not the plastic sort of happy look that some people masquerade through life wearing, but a happiness that was born in the core of her being.

I began to think of other philanthropists and each of them appeared genuinely happy. Some had money, some didn't. It wasn't the money that made the wealthy happy. It was the opportunity to give of themselves to another human who needed assistance.

This got me thinking about my own happiness quotient. How happy am I? When am I happiest? The answer was easy for me, when I'm helping someone who needs help. Then again, I'm happy most of the time, why not?

Internal happiness is definitely self made. What I've come to understand through personal experience is that helping others is definitely empowering and it is like the desert of life... very sweet tasting and sticks with you for a long long time.

How I Met My Husband

Caregiving for a parent (or loved one) with dementia is the hardest job I've ever taken on. I really don't know how it happened, where I became the caregiver for mom. Maybe it was because I had no life for so long. All I did was work, make a good salary and watch after mom.

I never believed I'd meet someone to share my life with, all the good guys seemed to have been taken. After all, I was in my 40's, the odds of meeting someone who didn't have any "baggage" (exwife and children) was pretty slim.

7 years ago from today I had the bright idea to see if I could find a friend on Match.com. I registered for one month, giving myself 30 days to find my new male companion. I was looking for someone to enjoy life with and who made me laugh.

I looked at every picture of the non-smokers. I read their profiles. None jumped out at me and said, "pick me!" Looked like slim pickings in the non-smoker category, so I looked at the "light" smokers. It was there that I saw Brian's smiling face. His was the first one that came up on my computer monitor. His profile was funny as hell, I laughed and laughed. He was a "light" smoker.

Throwing caution to the wind I contacted him, see if he really was as funny as I think he is. He wrote me back!

Brian and I were "email pals" for awhile, a few weeks anyway. I wanted to get to know him through his writing. One thing that I found very attractive in Brian is his command of the English language. Yay, someone who knows how to communicate and has a sense of humor to make me laugh through life.

By the time Brian and I had scheduled our first meeting, face to face, we felt like we had known each other for eons. I told Brian that I had wanted to learn how to play Golf. He is a golfer or at least attempts to be a golfer. Brian took me to a local golf course and I had my first golf lesson. I was hooked on Golf and on Brian. The golf instructor even called me Brian's wife on our first date!

Oh... I will never forget the instructor saying, "look at your wife! she knows how to swing a club" I didn't say anything to correct her, I didn't want to embarrass my new friend. Maybe I knew deep inside that our instructor was just seeing into our future.

The years where Brian and I dated, we both owned our own homes and each of us had our mom's living with us. I saw Brian only on weekends because my job required me to travel. I was out of town during the week and Brian lived about 40 minute drive from where I lived with my mom and Savita the Cat.

Now, we've been married for a year and a few months. Both moms live with us and every one is settling in to our new living arrangement. One day we will get to have a honeymoon but for now it seems our vacationing is on hold until the moms leave their Earth suits.

In the meantime, we are making our home into Camp Sue 2 because I believe that life is what we make it. My advice to women who are looking for a male companion... don't be so strict with your "rules" to finding a man. By excluding someone who has a habit (which by the way can be broken) that you don't care for is limiting. Besides, maybe this person needs you to help them to quit smoking by giving encouragement?

Brian? He quit smoking 4 years ago. We golf when we can and he makes me laugh every day. I can't imagine him not being in my life. If I stuck by my rule of only dating "non-smokers", I wouldn't have met the man of my dreams, my husband Brian.

Rip up your rules, relax and let the Universe take care of the rest.

16 June 2009

CORDYCEPS - Can this fungus help elders with dementia and middle aged women with hot flashes?

I'm not really sure how I came across CORDYCEPS. I know I read about it on the internet when I was researching dementia and diabetes.

The totally cool thing about CORDYCEPS is it's a mushroom... oh, I love mushrooms. I could tell stories of when I was a little kid and walking through Harold Parker State Forest with my dad looking for wild mushrooms.

Ok... I'm telling the story. I'm feeling nostalgic. Must be the bottle of wine that I just consumed.

Back in the 1960s and 1970's my dad was alive. He was big on family and sticking together. He preached this to my siblings and me constantly. I can remember like it was yesterday, him saying to all of us, "your family are your only friends. stick together." I was an impressionable kid who thought my father was freaking God... I took his words literally.

Hey siblings and cousins, aren't you glad I took him literally? I love you guys. Ok, the wine is definitely kicked in at this point. Can you feel my big hug going out to every one reading this post? Thank you! Here's a blast of love.

Let's go back to 1968... little Susie is walking through the woods with Ed, my dad. Wicked awesome guy. I carried the paper bag and he carried the little paring knife.

(Dad in Harold Parker, he just found some lilacs and was bringing my mom a bouquet of flowers.)

Along our walks, he always encouraged dreaming. He'd tell me great stories about our family name. We were Catholic, I went to Catholic school... he told me that we were Jewish. The story my dad told me was pretty cool. It made me so proud to be a Jarmulowicz.

My dad told me that our family ancestors were Jewish. They were all in some persecution camp together, chained together with holes in their wrists. One day, the Jewish chain gain escaped and ran threw the Black Forest. Somehow they got the chains off their wrists... I never asked how, I just thought this was so darn cool that my ancestors escaped!

They all somehow ended up in Turkey. My father told me that they ended up in Jarmulo, which meant "the beginning of a new life." My entire life I believed this story. I believed that my family were Jewish and we escaped persecution. They all changed their name to Jarmulowicz as a solidarity toward eachother.

I remember telling my nephew Joe the story of our family. We even wrote the story together and he submitted it as a school project. Joe, if you are reading this, do you remember the story that I passed down as I remembered it from Grampy?

Let's fast forward to 1990 something.

My dad has been dead for awhile and I have my entire family up in my little apartment in Nahant for Thanksgiving. We cooked a 30 something pound turkey that Ann raised up in Maine. Oh, turkey's are nasty, didn't feel bad eating it. The turkey barely fit into my apartment sized oven.
Jay was there... my dad's only living sibling.

Jay, is super Catholic. Now, she makes up rules as she goes along. It's pretty funny.
Anyway, at this big family gathering I was talking about the story that my dad had told me over and over again when I was a kid. I loved the story.
Jay shattered my beautiful picture that my dad had so eloquantely painted for me over the decades.
She said, "That's not how it happened! The Russian soldiers knocked door to door and asked every one their names. Our name was Heklefsky (or something like that) The soldiers were checking doors for the Jews and making them go to war and fight."

So... my dad totally knew how to tell a story. Jay, she now denies everything about our Jewish heritage.

Who knows the truth. I love my dad's story so I'm going to keep on believing.

Ok... that's just one story my dad told me. Often he would tell me that I could do anything that I put my mind toward doing. He was a brilliant man. I'm fortunate that he went back to school to get his GED when I was 10. I loved studying with him.
He taught me how to see auras. I remember him lining us up along the white wall in our dining room and making us visualize our auras moving. He instructed all of us to watch for the aura and say where we saw it moving. I loved this "game."

Mushroom picking, it was a fun time for me. I got to know my dad. I was the perfect age... very fortunate. I learned the importance of family from my dad.

Dad died in 1979 from Pancreatic cancer (was in HFC?) I promised my mom that I'd take care of her when she was an old lady. I was 19. She never believed me.

Fast forward to today.

My mom has been living with me for 11 years. Her health sucked for so long. None of us ever expected her to live so long.

I studied all sorts of alternative healing and used it on myself and my mom.

Now... my mom has a problem with dementia episodes. Me... hot flashes at night.

I found this fungus, CORDYCEPS which is from China. I found a supplier in the US - Aloha Medicines (love the name) and ordered some. I'm going to see how it works with hot flashes and if it helps the people go away that my mom sees.

It does help lower blood sugar and cholesterol. More and more I'm beginning to understand that low Blood Glucose and Cholesterol are important to keep the "people" away.

As I was researching Cordyceps, I found this YouTube video. I thought it was so darn cool... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCOQ0VU24xw
What is Cordyceps Sinensis? You can read more about it here... looks like it's natures Viagra. Seriously, I am beginning to realize more and more that everything we need to heal our ailments is found in nature. Everything begins with food.
My dad and my Babci tried to teach me about mushrooms as a kid. I tried to learn but I was such a little kid. Every mushroom looked good to me. Babci used to peel the skins off the red mushrooms. Sponge mushrooms she loved to dry and then would cook them at Christmas time. Then their were these woody looking mushrooms in a golden color that were prized, she called the opienkeys (not sure how to spell the Polish word.) Marty always found the cluster in the woods, he walked with my mother and always "won" the quarter from Babci.
Mushrooms are awesome. I love how they are interconnected with the trees. I wonder if the trees are the antenae that attract whatever needs to be healed on the planet and brought forth into mushrooms?
I do remember a special mushroom my brother Ed (God rest his soul) shared with me and then we went to see "Ghost Busters." I never laughed so hard. My brother moved to the other side of the theatre because he didn't want anyone to know that I was with him. True sibling love.

Did you remember to brush your teeth?

A couple of years ago I had a thought about teeth and the plaque that can build on them. I also wondered why doctors, especially cardiologist, didn't push good dental hygiene.

Our gums can provide the weak points in our bodies to carry infection into our blood stream. It's been known to cause heart disease.

One day I read an article regarding our teeth and gums. It occurred to me that the plaque on teeth could be a huge culprit in raising blood sugar and making it difficult to manage.

I talked to my mom about my epiphany and asked her if I could set her up with a dentist. She had not been to the dentist in 30 years, she had a phobia (no wonder I had one too!) I found a dentist that did sedation dentistry. We had her teeth cleaned and repaired. Immediately we noticed her blood sugar had come down. This was noticeable in the morning when we took a fasting blood sugar test.

From that point on, my mom has her teeth cleaned ever 3 months, 4 times a year. She also uses an electric tooth brush to get her teeth as clean as possible.

Like most people, my mom got a little lazy and didn't brush her teeth before bed. Her blood sugar readings in the morning were higher than normal. I was puzzled.

Since I keep a food log for her, I reviewed what she had eaten and looked at her blood sugar readings before bed; it was 124. In the morning her sugar reading was 139. How could this happen? She didn't eat anything in the evening, she took a melatonin tablet and was out like a light.


Then it occurred to me... it had to be her teeth. I asked her, "Ma, did you remember to brush your teeth last night?" She said, "No." I then said, "I bet your teeth and whatever is on them is raising your blood sugar." She brushed her teeth and has been brushing them every night and morning. Her fasting blood sugar is back into the low 100's.

So... something as simple as brushing your teeth can effect your blood sugar readings. It's true, "good dental hygiene is good for overall health."

Did you remember to brush your teeth today?

11 June 2009

Senior Centers: Key to Help Seniors Stay Involved in Life

Yay! Ma went to our awesome Senior Center (pictured to the left) today to play Bingo. Wooo Hoooo!!

Jo always loved playing Bingo. She wins a lot which is probably why she always liked to play the game. Her secret? She "wishes" the numbers to come out that she wants. If she's not distracted by a chatty neighbor, she sees her number and next thing she knows she's yelling Bingo!

The first time she went she won $22. The 2nd time she went she must have sat with mean people because she never wanted to go back again. Her excuse? She told me that they read the numbers too fast.

I've been to the Center with out my mom and met many of the staff and volunteers. The Director of the Billerica COA Outreach Program is fabulous. Have you ever met someone and said to yourself, "Now that woman is in a job that she loves." ? This is our Director, Marilyn Keating. A human angel if I have ever met one.

One thing that I didn't know before visiting the center, the COA staff like to know when first timers are visiting the center. Knowing provides them an opportunity to help make their experience enjoyable, enticing them to return at another time. Once I learned this little fact, I made sure to notify them that my mom was coming today.

I'm sure she will have a great experience and want to go back again and again.

I packed her a nice lunch and pulled out her Bingo seat cushion from a top shelf in the garage. One of her complaints is that the seats are too hard. Problem solved. She can't use that as an excuse not to go.

This morning I said to her, "Today is Bingo Day! I'll bring you over to the center about 11:30 so that you can get a good seat." She said, "Well, I don't know if I'm going to feel good." I said, "Sure you will feel great. It's good for you to get out with out me. Besides, you can help me by letting folks your age see how good you are doing on your healthy diet." That was all I had to say... next time I stopped in her room she was dressed and ready to go.

I watched her through the window at the center. She asked me not to drive away until I saw that she was in. I waited. She never turned around to wave at me, she was heading down the hall with one of the volunteers.

Today I'm praying to the Universe to allow my mom to see how much fun she can have at the center everyday. It would be super if she made some friends.

Tomorrow is line dancing class at the center at 2pm. I'm going to go with my mom to take the lessons so that I can help her learn the moves for the next dance in September.

10 June 2009

My Observations on the link between Blood Sugar and Dementia Episodes

For the last 6 months I've been paying close attention to everything that my mom ingests and making notes to help me to identify those foods that cause her to see "the man."

What I've learned is that if her blood sugar goes up to 140 or higher, she thinks she is seeing people in her room or that they are looking in through the windows. Her eyes get wider as her sugar level goes up, it's a look that I need to capture in a picture. It's a very distinct look.

I'm getting to the point where I can guess how high her sugar levels are based on how her eyes look and the intensity of her "visitors."

I've explained this to my mother during her low sugar reading times. I ask her if she is seeing anyone and she says "No." As soon as her readings go up even into the high 130's she begins to have mild hallucinations.

Here's today's number readings and how she was behaving before we checked.

She woke up this morning and her reading was 124. I didn't give her tea with fenugreek with dinner last night. I believe this is why she wasn't in the low 100's for her blood sugar.

For breakfast she had her Oatmeal with 5 drops of fenugreek, 1/4 of fresh blueberries and a little skim milk. She also had coffee with 1/2 and 1/2. I put in 3 drops of fenugreek to counteract the cream in her coffee.

About an hour later I went to her room to see how she was doing. She had the wild eye look going and was looking around in the big family room for someone. Not sure who it was this time.

I suggested that we check her sugar readings because their was no one in the house.

Her reading was 171! No wonder she was seeing people. I had her walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes.

We checked her readings again after exercising and she got 93 as her blood glucose reading. I asked her if she saw anyone, she said, "No. They're all gone."

She was hungry so she ate a nectarine.

About a half our later I went to check on her and she started to tell me about the sign the man hung on the door with a clown face on it. Again I told her that there was no sign on the door.

We checked her blood sugar. It was 141.

I made her a cup of tea with 2 drops of fenugreek extract. She's drinking it now.

What this tells us is that when she eats a nectarine it raises her sugar about 50 or 60 points. Each fenugreek drop lowers her sugar about 15 points. So that she is good until lunch time, we are lowering her sugar about 30 points to be in the low 100's (2 drops = 30 points.)

I am beginning to believe that dementia can be controlled through good blood sugar control. Fenugreek helps by regulating the glucose absorption into the blood stream. It keeps sugar from spiking. When my mom's sugar spikes, she has dementia episodes like the night she called the police and reported me missing and "a man in bed" with her.

My Personal Pursuit of Happiness

Yesterday I took Rachel for a 2 month check up with the eye doctor after her cataract surgery. Last Thursday morning I woke up and saw Rachel walking around the house with her "Stevie Wonder" style dark wrap around sunglasses on her face.

I said, "Rachel, are you OK?"

She proceeded to tell me that she can't see well out of her left eye. The 2nd eye that was operated on about 6 weeks ago. I believe it was a sudden loss of vision. The doctor kept asking her, "did this happen all of a sudden?" her reply, "well, No. I noticed it the other day when I closed one eye watching TV and I couldn't see the TV well."

With the elderly, especially my mother-in-law you can never be right until she decides that you are right, regardless of the actual facts which substantiate your claims.

The doctor was puzzled. He had pictures taken of her retina because he suspected she had a mini-TIA which could cause an obstruction in the blood vessels in around the optic nerve. He told us that the retina is brain tissue. Immediately I thought of the suspected aneurysm that Rachel was told to have checked out 3 years ago but chose not to. Her reasoning? She believes that if she has an aneurysm that at her age, 85, it's too late to do anything. She wants it to kill her in her sleep.

I've tried to explain to her that if it kills her, she'll be lucky. The aneurysm could case her to become a vegetable and end up in a nursing home. Her reply, "I don't want any life support whatsoever. You just let me die." She says that now.

Then she said, "Everyone is afraid to die." I said, "Well, not everyone." Rachel said, "I was taught that we are all going to hell when we die. No wonder I'm afraid to die."

I said, "What I believe is that we are living in hell right now. It's our choice to either make the best of it or focus on the bad things that happened to us in our lives."

Rachel: "I had a bad childhood. It wasn't fair. Why do some people have everything and others like me, have nothing."

Me: "You have a choice, we all have a choice to either focus on the good or the bad. We create our own happiness through the thoughts that we have. I've come to understand that the thoughts that I have today, create my reality for tomorrow. I have learned to forgive people and just let it all go. The reason is because holding onto the negative doesn't serve me well. It doesn't contribute to my ultimate goal of personal happiness."

I went on to tell her that through forgiveness we gain personal power, it lifts up our souls and helps us to understand the Universal Laws that are provided in order to help us achieve our individual enlightenment.

Continuing, I explained to her my philosophy about why we are here and why some people seem to be clouded with misfortune and others seem to be wealthy in all ways.

I believe that before we even are born we pick our families and friends. It's all mapped out with lots of potentials. Each potential path that we chose brings us to different situations in life. We have free will which allows us to make choices. It's all about our choices in life. We chose to hate, we chose to love. It's pretty cut and dry.

Each action that we do brings us along a new path with more choices. Our families that we chose before we incarnated together have karmic ties of some type. It was up to each of us to see the awesomeness of the Universe in each other in order to help us with those choices that inevitably would come along in our lives.

People all have different perceptions about life and the interactions that they have. Those who seem unhappy never hold the mirror up to their own faces, instead they turn the mirror and look for someone or something to blame. It was never their personal choice of how they chose to perceive what was happening around them.

Rachel definitely didn't believe in my philosophy. Immediately she discredited it and told me again how mad she was with her parents for being so mean to her.

That's when I said, "You know, we all have choices in life. We can either chose to be happy or unhappy. For me, I chose happiness and do everything that I can to ensure my personal happiness because I know that when I'm happy, everyone around me is happy. Why not chose happiness? Forgive and forget. Heck, I forgive Maryann for all that she's done, who am I to judge? Everything in life happens for a very good reason, it's something that we created in order to help us create our personal heaven on Earth.

Who knows if Rachel heard me. I told her that forgiveness is the key to personal happiness.

07 June 2009

A Welcomed Day of Respite in the Garden

Thanks to Donna for taking Ma overnight last night and for the day today. Yay! I will get to have a day where I can work ALL DAY in the garden and not have to stop to check blood sugar, that there are no "visitors" in the house and to prepare meals.

I'm building raised beds for the back yard. I'm making them look like furniture. I am staging my back yard for peace and relaxation.

The pool will be put in soon. Thanks to Ann and Steve for their contribution to Camp Sue 2.

The Oasis that you are providing will be exactly what is needed to keep everyone moving in summer. The videos we will get from the fun in that pool will give us those memories we'll need when we are old people holding onto the last remnants or our minds.
Today is A GREAT DAY!

06 June 2009

A Bad Day on the Golf Course is...

... better than a good day with demented Seniors.

Golf rocks. Fun was had by everyone. I forgot the camera so all those golf stories will be how we remember them, not how they actually happened.


The Morning After

Last night about 2 hours after dinner I checked my mom's blood sugar and it was 101.

For dinner, she had a small tuna steak marinated in a marinade that I had made out of brown mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and some organic soy sauce (with NO corn syrup.) I also made a stir fry mixture of baby spinach, grape tomatoes, garlic, ginger and a little lemon juice. I topped it off in the serving dish with a little feta cheese.

Dinner was fabulous. Brian and my mom LOVED it... yay! However, my mother in law wasn't too thrilled with my concotions. Oh well, I suppose I can't please everyone all the time.

Seeing the 101 for a blood glucose reading I thought my mom needed something to bring it up just a little. She wanted an ice cream but I convinced her that eating something like that so close to bedtime might bring the people out. She agreed. Instead, I gave her a pear.

I didn't check her sugar last night when she told me that the kid was throwing the golden ball and running around her room. I am going to assume her blood glucose was 150 or over last night. I've found that if her sugar goes over 140, she starts to see things.

This morning her reading was 124. This tells me that we should have left her at 101 with out anything else to eat and she would have had a lower reading this morning.

All in all, keeping dementia at bay with someone who has dementia

05 June 2009

A Good Day Is NOW Defined as a Day without Carbohydrates

Today, Josie had a really good day. I have seen over and over again, the days where we limit her carbs and keep her blood sugar readings below 115, she's clear as a bell and not demented AT ALL!!

I've learned that giving my mom a cup of Fenugreek Tea (here's my first blog about this awesome tea) with 2-3 drops of Fenugreek Extract


So, my cat, Savita who has her own YOUTUBE site here, came up to my room after I had tucked in my mom. She did her "tricks" to get her 3 treats and then she wanted to get the heck back to Josie. She actually wanted to stop at 2 treats. She appeared to want out of my room and get to her Josie.

I coaxed her to stay for the 3rd treat. She's such a treat whore. Her favorites are WhiskerLickin's. Who knows if they're good for her but man are they good training treats!

I let her out after the 3rd treat.

Brian fell asleep.

Me, wide awake, finally some time to myself. Yay!

Then, I heard Brian's cellphone beeping that it's battery is running low. I thought... OH NO! Where's my cellphone?! I thought I left it downstairs so I gingerly walked down the squeeky stairs which were next to my mom's bedroom. Shit! I know I woke her.

I poked my head into her room and said, "It's me Ma, Sue... It's really me. Don't be scared."

I walked in and she said, "The kid is going to drop the golden ball. He's running all over the place."

I don't know what made the words come out of my mouth but I said, "Hey, stop that! You are coming upstairs with me. OK, ALL OF YOU. LEAVE MA ALONE! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, WILL YOU JUST LET HER SLEEP! You all don't want to make me mad, do you know who I am?"

My mom said, "Oh, thank you." with deep appreciation, I could hear it in her tone of voice.

I then told her, "You will have a great night sleep. I'm taking everyone upstairs with me. They don't dare bother you or they will have to answer to me." She got a big smile on her face and closed her eyes gently shut. I stroked her head and put her hair behind her ears like her mom used to do to her. I know how to do it, she used to do it to me. I gave her positive hypnotic suggestions and assured her that all the people were with me, they didn't dare bother her.

I do hope this method of playing along works.

I do know that people with dementia can feel the caregivers emotions. I was pretty darn calm. I had nearly finished an entire bottle of wine by myself. I'm definitely relaxed.

Tomorrow, I've got a tee time at 12 noon with Brian and my brother-in-law's sister, Mary. We're playing 9 holes in Middleton, a par three course. Perfect for not playing. I'd love to play Far Corners but don't want to annoy those golfers who've been playing every week for a couple of months.

I do love the Middleton Course. I'll bring my camera and capture the fun. Brian will get to play with 2 fine women, he'll be the envy of the course. Hey, maybe the Universe will make some single guy, Mary's age, go to Middelton to play golf at noon and he'll be teamed up with Brian, me and Mary? Oh... It's a long shot but boy, wouldn't it be magic if it did happen?

Back to the post that I thought I was going to write about Carbohydrates and how it seems to cause dementia episodes.

Well, it does make them worse, I can totally attest to this fact. I can also substantiate the claims that I've read on the internet where it says it can take days for the effects of bread, pasta and preservatives to bring someone back to a normal mental state.

My mom usually sleeps well once I give her a Melatonin tablet. Tonight, she was woken up. I think it is because the new neighbors were out bouncing a basketball. I am hoping that my positive talk and reassuring touch gave her the feeling that everything is going to be OK.

I do have my cellphone with me. Hopefully she'll call me instead of the police. I doubt she'll call the police because she was mortified all week knowing that she called them for one of her hallucinations.

Shell Shocked in my Own Home

It's been a few days since I have blogged. I haven't been able to sleep very well since the incident where the police woke me up in my bedroom shining a flash light in my eyes. I haven't been inspired to write either.

Usually I've got several post topics in my head, the past few days? I've got nothing.

Something about having my personal space violated at 2am is a bit unnerving. I love my mother, but not more than I love myself.

Dementia is a truly crazy illness on so many levels. It effects everyone in a family. The patient has good days and bad days. The good days are usually awesome. The bad days, well... she called the police and reported me missing as well as told them that there was a strange man in bed with her... need I say more about bad days?

My mother definitely has abandonment issues that go back to her childhood when her dad died at age 6 and her mom was committed to a mental institution at age 14. Her and her siblings lived with relatives and other strangers that were kind enough to take them in.

Now, in her final years the old wound is resurfacing. I know I need to help her with this and have been working out a hypnosis script to help her to overcome the fear of abandonment.

It would be fabulous if my mom would socialize more with people her own age. This would definitely help her to have a happier life. Currently, she depends on me for everything. She gets mad at me if I don't take her out shopping when she wants to go. Usually, it's when I'm in the middle of some messy job and cleaning up before I can drive her anywhere is not always easy.

We've got her signed up so that she can call the ride bus for Seniors in town. She needs to give them 2 days notice and they'll pick her up and drop her off at times that she designates for $1 dollar. She is resisting using the service, she keeps telling me "I don't feel good." "What if the day comes and I don't feel good?" I told her to cancel the ride, but to just get going using it now because I need to get a job.

Instead she tells me that she's happy staying home. It's not good for her to sit and watch TV all day long. Her only social interactions are with me. She locks herself up in her room because she claims the rest of the house downstairs is too cold. In summer, she uses the heater in her room. I tell her that I'll move her upstairs where it's warmer and she says, "No, I like this room where I am." My mom has no social skills... neither does my mother-in-law for that matter.

Elderly people with dementia are difficult to deal with because their illness is mental. Illusions and visions where they can't distinguish between fantasy and reality take over. There's no reasoning with the demented mind. One needs to be calm all the time, even when the demented person is verbally abusing the caregiver. This is very difficult to take, even more so when it's coming from your mom!

Dementia causes the person to become someone else that you don't recognize. The smallest annoyance to them can and does escalate into a huge problem. Logic is out the window and comes through the backdoor. It's twisted.

My feelings can be hurt every day if I let it happen. Some days, when I'm worn down from caregiving, my feelings do get hurt. The thing that seems to bother me the most is my mom's apparent lack of appreciation for what my husband and I are doing for her.

For example, one day she'll tell me that she loves the food that I'm bringing her. The next day, I could bring her the same thing and she tells me it "sucks" while the rest of my family is raving about how delicious the meal that I prepared tasted.

My mom likes to tear me down and often says mean things as a "joke" when others are around in order to build herself up. It's definitely a sign of insecurity. I'm not sure that she'll ever stop doing this to me, it's been going on for a very long time. My husband doesn't like it when she knocks me down. Obviously, I don't like it either.

So, what do I do?

I need to find options. Today I am meeting with the Director at the Outreach Program for Seniors in our town. We've got lots of elder housing facilities. I pray that we have enough money to put her in a nice place, not too far from home where I can visit her often and take her out like I do with Uncle Al.

My mom always told her kids that she doesn't want to be a burden. She is a burden right now for me but she doesn't see it as a burden. She believes she's fine. She believes that she can drive a car and wants a car to replace the one that she gave to my sister.

I've got a new personal goal in life, to keep myself as healthy as possible and eat only natural organic foods with no preservatives. There's hope for my siblings and me to avoid a demented mind if we make modifications to our eating habits and lifestyle.