Friday, September 30, 2011

My Name is Nicole Vacca, and I Endorse These Products

Within the past year of my life, I've been through some pretty tough things--ulcers, IBS, panic disorder, and the wonderful side effects that come with taking meds. Throughout these minor hardships, however, I developed an appreciation for products I would have otherwise never used.

1. G2 Gatorade--There are 2 types of IBS. I happen to have the one that does NOT cause constipation, if you get my drift. So, in the fall of my sophomore year, I started drinking gatorade. Quite frequently, I might add. I had a fear of dehydration. I also felt thirsty all the time because ulcers apparently cause thirst. In the spring of my sophomore year, my body started getting better but my mind snapped, and I got panic disorder. It was a long time coming, you could say. There are 2 types of panic attacks--high blood pressure, when you feel really hot; and low blood pressure, when you feel cold and you feel like passing out. I usually get low blood pressure panic attacks, so nothing was more comforting during a panic attack than guzzling gatorade like a pickup truck guzzles gas. Once I started taking meds, I found out that one of the medications caused the side effect of slightly lower blood pressure. So again, gatorade came in handy. I recommend G2 as the artificial sweeteners are easier on the stomach--and for some odd reason, the G2 flavors just taste better.

2. Biotene gum--one of the joys of being on meds is the side effect of DRY MOUTH. Dry mouth can make eating plain tortilla chips feel like pouring hot coals into your mouth. Sure, drinking water helps. But another issue that comes with dry mouth is that it makes you more susceptible to cavities. So I chew Biotene gum, which is made specifically for people with dry mouth and it won't burn your mouth when you chew it--unlike other sugarless gums like Dentyne Ice. Also, Biotene is made with Xylitol, which is often found in some other sugarless gums, like Trident and Orbit.

3. Corn pops--When the IBS was bad, I had to really watch what I ate. Eating more than one forbidden food in a day could trigger a flare-up--and I didn't bounce back quickly from flare-ups. Of course, I craved the foods I shouldn't eat, such as cheese puffs and sweets. One day, i decided on a whim to try corn pops, as a nutritionist recommended I try snacking on dry cereal. I actually really liked them! It helped take the edge off the cravings, and I kept a box of them in my room next to my bed.

4. Essential Elements Lavendar and Cedarwood candle--in my family I was notorious for hating scented candles. There always seemed to be an abundance of them, and my mom frequently received them as gifts. I would always say, "Nothing says 'I didn't know what to get you' like a scented candle!" I ended up eating my own words, though, because I decided to buy this candle during a shopping spree at CVS. (Yeah, I like to shop at CVS.) When I would get an IBS flare-up, it would stress me out emotionally (getting sick a lot takes a toll on you after awhile, you know). So sometimes I would retreat to my room, turn on my Dr. Scholls electric foot massager, light this candle, and read Seventeen magazine. (Yep, I'm a real woman now, haha). I love the scent of this candle--the cedarwood adds a nice edge to the lavender.

5. Acidophilus--I saved this one for last. I have not had an IBS flare-up since last August (praise God). The last time I saw the GI (gastrointerologist, not GI Joe), one of his assistants recommended I start taking Acidophilus to help combat the flare-ups. I remember I had taken Acidophilus last year before I knew I had the ulcers, so it didn't help much during that time. However, I was willing to give it a second chance. I'm glad I did, because it really helped. Acidophilus is a natural probiotic that can be bought in your local drugstore. Plenty of brands manufacture it but I recommend the PharmAssure brand. I take it once a day after breakfast, as that is enough for me (although the instructions indicate that you can take it more than once a day).

*bonus recommendations:
Gentle Iron by Solgar--the ulcers led to me becoming anemic, so I had to start taking iron. Gentle Iron is non-constipating. Yay.

InTouch Magazine (the Dr. Charles Stanley one, not the tabloid)--you can subscribe to this and have it mailed to you for free here.
Anyway, when I was sick (both physically and mentally) I had a lot of ups and downs in my relationship with God--I felt hopeless, angry, confused, and despaired. Yet I cannot tell you how many times my mom would read InTouch, and she'd find a devotion in there that related to what I was going through at that time. It really encouraged me to keep pressing forward and not give up.

God bless and goodnight. <3 br="">-Nicole-

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