Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kefir and Flax

Although enjoying the benefits of modern medicine's achievements with symptom control, we've reached the limit of what can be done to cure Pads through that route. So we're in new territory of trying a couple of things that, for the lack of a randomised controlled trial, would be branded 'alternative'. Neil's kindly been doing quite a bit of research on the Internet and there is a lot of information out there pointing to the benefits of flax oil mixed with kefir. Ironically, next Monday I have a lecture to give entitled 'Health on the Web'! My 'fit note' allows me to be on sick leave but still keep the lecturing commitments I made before the summer. I popped into work today to update them on our situation: everyone is so sympathetic. I felt encouraged that going back on the 26th will be as easy as it could be in the circumstances. Naturally I'm reserving the right to go back 'on the sick' if Pads deteriorates significantly and this impacts on what I can take on, but work have been very understanding.
Kefir (photo is by A. Kniesel) is actually the name given to the 'grains' or the liquid which results from their fermentation in milk. This wikipedia article is useful to get an overview. It is simply a very nutritious yogurt drink that's consumed in various ways across the world. Flax seed oil mixes well with kefir to deliver oxygen to the cancer, which it is apparently much averse to. Pads was worried initially that 'bolusing' it (pushing it in with a syringe instead of using the electric pump) would make him feel ill, but the amounts we're dealing in he hardly notices. 40ml of kefir will support 15ml of flax oil when whisked, and this is easy to squirt in through Pads feeding tube. We hope it has a beneficial effect and it's worth a try, at least his gut should benefit, which will be handy if his cough will not clear up without antibiotics.
Still no substantive word from the medical team on clomipramine. It feels rather slow. The last we heard they were trying to get the dosage right, but this is a well known drug...

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