The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Down for the count


I never realized how much joy I got out of our homegrown produce...until I stopped being able to eat anything except scrambled eggs, yogurt, plain brown rice, and steamed green beans and okra.

Sumac fruit

I'll spare you the bowel-related details, but the short version is that I've been doing poorly for over a month now. In fact, I even went to the nurse practitioner twice and have an appointment with a gastroenterologist in a few weeks.

(Yes, I am aware that I pulled out the big guns the instant our darling doeling mentioned a tummy upset and waited 2.5 weeks to treat myself. There's nothing odd about that...really.)

Foggy morning

To people who know me in real life --- I'm sorry if I don't currently have the oomph to fulfill my usual roles! And to the rest of you --- I appreciate you bearing with my less interesting posts while I take it easy. Maybe some pretty pictures will make up for not having anything farm-related to report?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Dear Anna: You and your husband have become an important part of my daily ritual. Thank you for sharing your life, your blog, your interests, your selves. Please feel better, take care of yourself. You are loved.

Comment by hilary Thu Sep 1 08:06:44 2016
I hope you get down to the bottom of what is troubling your system and recover quickly. Restrictions on food choices is something I know very well, and I hope your experience with them is temporary.
Comment by Maggie Turner Thu Sep 1 08:15:07 2016
Take care, hope you feel better soon.
Comment by Anonymous Thu Sep 1 09:40:10 2016
Hope you feel better soon. I'm curious what the plant with small berries in your second photo is. I've seen it around my place but haven't been able to identify it.
Comment by Anonymous Thu Sep 1 10:03:51 2016

Anna, from someone who deals with stomach issues on a regular basis, have you tried raw apple cider vinegar with the mother? I take a large spoon with a spoon of raw honey in a glass of water with my meal when my stomach starts acting up. To me the taste resembles lemonade.

My mother has also been having stomach issues and the Dr’s couldn’t do anything for her. Through her research she found that in many cases our stomachs aren’t producing enough acid especially if we have been on nexium or similar medications designed to reduce the acid in our stomachs. These are symptom focused drugs and don’t treat the root causes. She has found a pill that helps restore your stomach and has gone from like you not being able to eat anything to being able to eat just about anything. She is working with her chiropractor who is also doing herbal medicine and homeopathy. I’ll find out what it is and post it here so you can do your own research. In the mean time try the vinegar. It helps me and it helped my mother some.

Comment by Ned Thu Sep 1 10:39:29 2016
The plant looks like it might be Sumac.
Comment by Ned Thu Sep 1 10:45:52 2016

p.s.- Another helpful read was "How and when to use doctors" by Isabelle Moser on the web as a free pdf.

Hi Anna and Mark,

I ran across as an AcresUSA interview. You helper probably knows about gut health. Suffice it to say I was VERY sickly most of my life which is how and why I got envolved in soil testing, tissue analysis, hair analysis, reading this site, etc.

Lifelong PAT turned out to be food allergies due to poor gut health in my mother and regular stress in my early life.

Allergies now gone :). PAT long gone. Never sick. I had several intense 'healing reactions' to get there. [Herksheimer reaction for the MDs in the crowd.] 

I hope your sickness is helping your body heal.

warm regards to both of you and all,
Comment by John Thu Sep 1 11:18:19 2016

Sorry you are still not up to par Anna- and sorry I had not further inquired... Bad of me to assume you sloughed it off in your usual fare.' I will mail you some Digize - you rub it on your stomach area?? Never hurts to try. I know several who swear by it. It is a mixture of several oils - tarragon, ginger, peppermint to name a few.

Comment by Jayne Thu Sep 1 16:51:10 2016
Glad your going to a doctor, hope they have answers for you, sending best wishes for a full recovery.
Comment by Helen Fri Sep 2 09:00:18 2016
Poor Anna!! Oh no!! So sorry you've been lacking your usual vigor. I know from years past that August is such a busy time for you and Mark. What a tough time to be sick. Hope your symptoms are better managed while you await the GI doc appointment.
Comment by Jennifer Fri Sep 2 09:24:03 2016
That totally sucks!! Hope you feel better sunshine.
Comment by Danvers Fri Sep 2 14:59:11 2016

There's nothing odd about that...really.

Well, I thick you should warrant at least the same amount of care as you give to your livestock. :-) To take care of the farm you should take care of yourself first!

I hope that the visit to the gastroenterologist yields a diagnosis.

Comment by Roland_Smith Fri Sep 2 16:50:22 2016

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