Changing My Lifestyle

Written By: ingridricks - Feb• 13•13

I went to Dr. Yu’s office last Saturday to meet him and get started on his herbal tea prior to my first ten-day treatment that kicks off March 29th. My amazing friend, Nicole, offered to drive me from Seattle and kill some time at a downtown mall while I was at the clinic.

IMG_2510The Wellspring Clinic is situated amid a small cluster of professional offices located on one end of a strip mall. When I stepped through the door, I found myself in a modest waiting room that in some ways doubles as a treatment room. There were two other RP patients in the waiting room, and I’m guessing that there were at least three more RP patients behind the doors that I assume led to treatment rooms because I saw other patients later in the afternoon.

Dr. Yu stopped by briefly to say hello and then was busy whisking in and out of treatment rooms and even administering acupuncture to people who were sitting in the waiting room. When it was my turn, I followed him into his office. The first thing I noticed was that all four walls were lined with rows of shelves packed with powders and herbs.

Dr. Yu asked me about my RP background and my general health. He took my pulse and declared me “high stress”, something I’m well aware of and have been struggling with for years. Then, after stepping out for a few minutes to tend to other patients, he motioned for me to come back into the waiting room so he could  administer acuity and visual field tests to assess where my eyesight is now.

Dr. Yu and I spent some time talking about how he started working with RP patients (I’ll share that  in a later post). Then the conversation shifted to what I can do daily to promote healing and overall eye health. Some of his tips are going to be tough for me to follow. But since I’ve devoted this next year to doing everything I can to heal my eyesight, I’m determined to adhere to all of his advice.

 

Tips for Daily Living (Note: This is only what Dr. Yu recommended for me. I’m not suggesting that others follow this).

  • Eat blueberries and blackberries – they are rich in antioxidants
  • Eat carrots
  • Oily fish such as salmon and leafy greens should be eaten on a regular basis
  • Limit total daily computer time, reading time, and TV time to FOUR hours
  • Take steps to reduce my stress: exercise, do yoga, take walks, meditate
  • Make sure to do the acupressure and eye exercises daily
  • Limit coffee to one cup a day
  • Red wine is fine – but limit it to three glasses a week
  • Don’t eat spicy foods
  • Don’t drink cold beverages. Make sure that ALL LIQUIDS I drink are at least room temperature.
  •  Don’t get flu vaccinations.

My biggest challenge, by far, is the daily four hour limitation on reading, writing, computer and TV time. On a regular day, I’m on the computer, my Kindle or my iPhone twelve hours a day — and that’s not counting the couple of hours a day I tend to chill in front the TV. But I am doing it. I’ve already cut way back on checking emails and surfing the web. And I’ve discovered that if I close my eyes while listening to the news or another TV show, I can still enjoy the program. As far as pleasure reading goes, I’m going to start listening to audiobooks. My ten-year-old daughter, Hannah, has also offered to read to me.

I’m not crazy about drinking lukewarm water or breaking my Pino Gris habit. And given that I’m used to drinking at least three cups of coffee a day (including my daily double-short hemp mocha), I’ve already had to resort to some serous willpower. But I’ve been incorporating Dr. Yu’s daily living tips for four days now and so far, so good.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Looking so forward to following this journey with you.

  2. Beverly Fries says:

    I didn’t know coffee was bad for RP. I need to cut back anyways. I hope all goes well.

  3. Betsy Talbot says:

    Ingrid, lukewarm water is easy to get used to – and once you do, you’ll never go back to cold. I find it incredibly jarring to drink cold water now (and I only went room temperature because most places we travel to don’t have ice at the ready).

    Podcasts are fantastic for times when you want to learn/relax but can’t be online or watch movies. If you want suggestions, I have several favorites and can email them to you. They are lifesavers on long bus rides and when I’m done looking at the computer for the day but still want some mental stimulation, so I think they will work the same for you.

    I’m so excited for how this is going to work for you, Ingrid!

  4. Stephanie Purcell says:

    Blessings, Ingrid, on this journey and admiration for your commitment. We would all do well to follow these guidelines. Looking forward to following your progress…another book?

  5. Suzanne says:

    Your insight will bring so much light to RP patients and yourself. Travel on, Warrior. You’re fighting the good fight.

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