Diet? What diet??

I am broken.

My holiday is finished and my HS is having the time of its life. For those of you who are using diet to control your HS – well done. Stick with it – it really does work. I have eaten potatoes, crisps, sugary desserts; I have drunk many different types of alcohol – one too many cocktails. I have eaten bread, had gravy and just thrown caution to the wind. I’m paying for it now.

I was definitely allowed the mackerel, rocket and the flowers. Don’t ask about the rest…

Whilst away, I didn’t get my usual 8 hours sleep as Nina woke up every morning between 6:00 and 7:00. I didn’t stick to my diet. I lived on painkillers. I spent lots of time with friends and family. I had an amazing time.

Strawberries are Paleo, right?

I must admit that I’m feeling pretty rough right now, though. Not only are there post-holiday blues to contend with, but I am almost back to where I started diet-wise. I have a lot of admiration for those who can stick to the diet whilst away.

I definitely wasn’t the one laughing last….

Perhaps if I hadn’t had so many different things planned and so many dinners out, I could have made more of a concerted effort to eat better. Perhaps not. Perhaps I’m just not ready to admit that I can control this disease, by limiting the foods I eat. Although it is apparent, now more than ever, that my HS is definitely affected by my food intake. I did learn that it seemed to be at its worst when I had a combination of gluten and sugar. The occasional glass of good wine didn’t affect me too badly before, but a combination of apple crumble and rum cocktails induced a major flare.

It’s probably a good time to mention that I have been on the homeopathic treatment, Serocytol, for three months. I have been taking a combination of four different drops: SRE, Neuro-vasculaire, Malphigien and Emonctoires. I started taking them the week after I started the AI protocol diet, so when my symptoms improved, I was not sure if the Serocytol had had an effect. However, after the last couple of weeks of free-eating, and the return of the bad-boy flares, I am 100% sure that they haven’t worked for me. I should go back to the homeopath and try something new. I really should. Soon. Not now, but soon.

So, its back to reality. Now, if I could just find where I left my motivation before I went on holiday…..


A trip away from my comfort zone.

I’m a little unnerved this week for two reasons.

Firstly: there are two bank holidays – tomorrow and the next day.

For those who live in the UK, you’ll know this normally means epic panic buying by most of the nation, who are compelled to stock up like there is going to be a war/food drought. I went shopping the day before yesterday and there was hardly anyone in the store. Maybe I was a day early or maybe in France, as they are used to the supermarkets being shut on a Sunday, they just buy their normal shopping, safe in the knowledge that unless we really piss North Korea off, we will all be able to go and buy our usual food on Friday. In any case, I set about my shop like a true panicked Brit, wondering what someone who only eats fresh food does when all the shops are shut?? Cue, a little more panic and then huge stockpiling of salad making ingredients….rocket, iceburg lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, apples, lemons, limes, oranges, olive oil. My trolley looks like I am about to open a restaurant for rodents, but my panic is subsiding. I’ve bought the lemons, limes and oranges to make a three citrus fruit vinaigrette after my reaction to vinegar (or was it the artichokes? Who knows?!) I plan on making a whole jar of it, so whenever I fancy some more salad, I’m good to go.  This time of year and with a little vinaigrette, I can eat piles and piles of salad. I also buy plenty of tinned mackerel, veggies and soya stuff for the wee one. I know soya products are no good, but I feel my hands are a bit tied as she’s lactose intolerant and I can’t find any other substitutes here. The reason I’ve bought yoghurts leads me to reason number deux….

We’re going on holiday.

I don’t mean an all-inclusive fortnight in the sun with no kids, but a lovely coastal, family holiday just an hour’s drive from here, in a self-catering apartment. We are going with 2 other couples, their baby and a dog. They are a lovely combo of French, Brazilian and Ecuadorian and are bound to bring plenty of milk products like yoghurt, that I’ll need to substitute when the little bubba spies them. I am happy to get away, but a little bit apprehensive. Not only will I be away from my (tiny) kitchen, but I will be sharing meals with four other people. I don’t think my diet is too restrictive – I can make delicious huge main meals that everyone can enjoy. However, I am worried about the little things that others may notice, like turning down cheese, bread and wine or eating a cooked plate of courgettes and mushrooms for breakfast, when everyone else is eating cereal. The worst fear is having to say no to a dish because it has an ingredient that I can’t have. We have all agreed to bring food for two main meals, but we’ve also said not to worry too much about my dinners as I will bring extra food just in case. It’s just annoying to be different though or make others feel like they’re excluding you, right?

Anyhow, I have bought enough food to see me through – pretty much for the whole 5 days. I am thoroughly prepared and pretty organised, if I do say so myself. I have made my vinaigrette, we’ve packed the drill and hammer to open the coconuts and there is enough stuff to see that we live comfortably for the duration of our stay. I’ve been packing and repacking, making sure I have all my dressings and medicines, cleaning the house, tackling the ever-growing pile of washing and organising the girls.

I’m exhausted. Holiday, anyone??

Autoimmune and Paleo eating. The family approach.

My oldest daughter, Ty, asked me what it is like to be a parent. I said that it is the best job in the world, but it can also be the worst. I know she understands that statement, even though it sounds harsh. One minute she makes my heart feel like it’s fit to burst with pride and love and the next, I am tearing my hair out trying to deal with a stubborn ‘teenager’, who refuses to do as she’s told. Lately it’s been more of the former and part of it has manifested from her approach to how we eat now. We have become more united and she has shown me strength of character – beautiful independent thoughts exude from her. To explain though, I guess I’ll have to go over a little of how our eating habits have changed in our home.

When I set out to eat a Paleo diet, I spent hours doing my usual research and my mind floated dreams of us all eating pile of vegetables and fruit, good protein; dreams of eliminating bread, pasta and all the ‘bad’ foods from our household. I had no idea how I would implement it, nor how it would pan out. I read about several different approaches to applying ‘the changeover’ at home; from the extreme, who ban everything and take a blanket approach within their household to those who made the changes for themselves and left the family to eat as they were before. There was not a great deal of in between, but maybe people think others don’t want to read about people, who (like me), go through waves of eating styles in their home based on the ethos of eating Paleo and more sustainably.

So I introduced Paleo to the family and let them decide. Mr B backed me and from day on. Our main meals were strictly non-processed and free from grains, rice, white potatoes and pasta. There was no more take-away pizza, no more beautiful mushroom risotto, with white wine and parmesan (Ty’s favourite) and no more spaghetti bolognese. Ty understood the changes and although she was a little reluctant, she soon became a massive fan of vegetable tagine and sweet potato with prawn Thai style soup. I carried on buying her any cereal she liked; I also bought bread, butter, milk and cheese. When Ty started school over here in September, she ate school meals – carb-laden and although sometimes reliably sourced and organic, for the most part just a lot of processed food.

At Christmas, family and friends sent tons of chocolates, sweets and biscuits from the UK – a lovely idea, but not great for a family who were trying to develop a new way of eating. I encouraged home baking, as I always have, and emphasised to Ty how great it was that we could see what ingredients she was putting in her sweets. I gave her constant and well-deserved praise for the beautiful cakes and cookies she made.

When my HS got worse, I decided to take the autoimmune approach and eliminated everything I needed to –  no cheating at all. The family was subjected to more meal changes; no tomatoes, spices, chilli and eggs. Cooking got a whole lot harder and we had to get more creative. There were a lot of roasted vegetables, roasted chicken, pork. More sweet potato chips, stir fry broccoli, onion and a constant struggle to try to get leafy greens into our diet. A trip to Ed’s family went really well – everybody accommodated my changes and even though there was the usual chocolate, milk and pancakes for everyone else, together we had amazing main meals – simple but delicious fish and chicken dishes and organic vegetables. We encouraged Ty to eat how she wanted and explained that being at Nanny’s on holiday was a good time to indulge, if she wanted to – and she did. As the diet continued I found I had a reaction to red meat and so homemade burgers, BBQ steak and ground beef were off the menu. More changes, restrictions and struggles, but we kept looking for more recipes.

One day when I was writing a shopping list, Ty said to me that she didn’t want any more sugary/chocolate breakfast cereal.  She told me that she wished to be healthier and have more protein for breakfast. It helped that the paediatrician in New Orleans had told her that protein was an important part of her breakfast – funny the things kids remember. She said she was going to start eating omelettes instead. She decided that to do this she would shower the night before to allow herself time to cook breakfast. And she did. She cooked mackerel omelettes everyday for a longtime. As she became more confident in using the hob, she took a bigger interest in cooking. She started reading my recipe books and writing lists of ingredients for me to buy. She then started baking alone. From the weighing of ingredients, peeling and cutting fruit to using the oven.

Since then she has cooked apple crumble, cakes, upside-down apple and walnut pie. She made an amazing BBQ sauce from a Paleo cookbook and I often find her with her head in a recipe book, plotting her next bake-off. She tries hard to eat like me. She asks how much protein is in her food. She eats large helpings of salad with her dinner, without even being asked. She still eats sweets if she wants to, but they are never bought by me. My Mum asked if Ty would like some sweets and I suggested she buy Ty some silicone cupcake moulds. Ty loves them!

She’s back on cereal now, but it’s organic muesli, instead of Coco Pops. She has tried soya milk instead of cow’s milk. She talks about how different foods make her feel. She has an awareness of her diet, that last year even I didn’t have.

So this is how we do it in our house. We don’t all eat the same, but there are no special allowances when it comes to our main meals together. We try new foods and recipes often and we encourage baking – even if it is nowhere near Paleo. We cook together and eat together and this is one of the parts of our lives that has made us closer. Ty still drives me insane and is as stubborn as a mule, but she is educated, objective and very considerate. I am proud of my daughter and her approach to eating, even if it is not the same as mine.

Good food, good wine, good cheese. Hangover.

Hangover Day.

I had a fabulous evening with friends last night. It was a perfect end to a not so perfect week. Last night I ate most everything I am not supposed to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a conscious choice and almost certainly swayed by the fact I was having a flare up anyway – what’s a couple more days pain once you’re in it?

I have three suspects on my flare list. Number one – gluten. Straight forward, right? You’d think so. But it was an accident. I was making pasta for the kids – they don’t always eat everything I do – and I cooked the carrots in with the pasta. When I dished up, I absent-mindedly ate a few of the carrots. Oh. There’s gluten in the water and probably soaked all the way into my otherwise innocent carrots. What an idiot. So, instead of having a lovely piece of homemade flatbread with garlic infused olive oil and parsley, the olive oil dripping down my chin, whilst I savour the moist, hot, doughy piece of heaven….I got carrots. Idiot.

Number two: Lady’s time of the month. Boo. ‘Nuff said.

Number three: Walnuts. A conscious decision to have walnuts, as I had already started to flare from either Suspect One or Suspect Two. Ed made an amazing dinner of organic chicken breast, filled with pesto, with a side of sautéed cabbage and paris mushrooms. The pesto recipe came from my Well Fed cookbook and it happened to include walnuts. It was delicious. Walnuts may not have been the culprit, but as I was on a downward spiral already, who knows?

So there we go. By last night, I had already flared up pretty bad. My decision to slowly reintroduce foods was thwarted again, by an accidental ingestion of gluten, damn hormones and well, a slippery slope from there. So, last night we had this:

An appetiser of julienne cut raw carrots and radishes, with a creme fraiche and chive dip (I didn’t have dip). Then I made the aforementioned flatbread, dripping with roasted garlic infused olive oil and parsley, cooked on a pizza stone ( I had a bit of this – first time I’ve had flour in three months).

For main we had marinated a huge rump steak in olive oil, salt and pepper in the morning and left it all day. The same with two duck breasts, skin on. We also had pork strips, just ‘nature’. Just an hour or so before dinner, we squeezed the juice of a Sanguinello orange (blood orange) into the duck marinade.

These were cooked on our BBQ and seared with a salad of rocket, iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced fennel, sliced radish and diced cucumber, with a Sanguinello, lemon and oil dressing. The combination of all the meats and the salad, especially with the citrus dressing was amazing! I probably enjoyed this food the most, despite the other food indulgences. There’s nothing quite like grilled meat with an amazing salad.

My other downfall. Wine and pudding. Ty had made an amazing apple crumble and once I started tucking into this, I helped myself to quite a bit! It was probably nothing compared to the portions I would have had before, but I guess there is no such thing as a ‘good’ sized portion of flour, butter and sugar! We drank 3 bottles of quality red wine and finished off with some organic Brie and Tommes cheese. Heaven.

I woke up at 4.30 am in a bit of stomach distress and with a headache. I had one (usually prohibited) ibuprofen, lots of water and went back to bed.

So, here it is. Hangover Day. But this morning I feel good. I had a great night. I didn’t beat myself up about what I ate and today all I am craving is salad. I am not in hideous pain (yet!) I hope I stay on course and that my flares go as quickly as they came. Roll on beautiful Sunday!


They don’t call me Sporty Spice.

I have never been what I class a sporty person. As far back as I can remember, I admired those with a lean physique. No ‘bulging hips’ or pot belly, the ability to run and run for ever, to push themselves no matter what. As a kid, I quit ballet at age 5. My reason was that I thought I couldn’t point my toes properly. Everybody else’s feet looked beautifully arched, whilst my flat-footed ‘point’ just didn’t look the same. I never told my Mum why I didn’t want to go anymore – I didn’t want to admit that I was a failure. Later in life, she told me the ballet teacher was sad to see me go, because I had been one of the best in the class. It turns out, like most things in life, being ‘sporty’ is about perception as well as how well you perform.

Since then I’ve been a rower, I’ve attended boxing training, I’ve been a gym member and even took a GCSE in PE. I still never truly felt sporty. Then in 2007, I started running. It was a revelation to start running at my own pace and find that I could run and run for many miles. So long as I kept a reasonable pace and did not compare myself to others, running gave me freedom and a new-found confidence in myself. Later, when I worked in a prison, we would work out and run up to 4 days a week in our lunch hour – perfect! No need to get up super early, nor go to the gym after work. Plus, it was a good break from our desks in the middle of the day. The prisoners were locked up and the Gym instructors were free to show us how to use the different weight machines and teach us the rules to sports like badminton, tennis and volleyball. They had folders and folders of exercises we could do on the gym mats, using weights and the fit ball.  They take us through gruelling circuit training – challenging us to keep up with them. It was fantastic and the only downer for me was I was unable to take the spinning classes, because of my “ingrown hair abscesses”. I kept up the training and running until I was 24 weeks pregnant – not all of it, just the occasional run by the end. Two years on and a stay-at-home-mum, my activity levels have plummeted. I am not free to exercise whenever I want, but if I really wanted to, I mean, if I was really dedicated, I would do something to get started. Anything.

So, I finally went for a run. Today I am feeling good pain. Not the usual soreness of open wounds or swollen skin; not kick-your-butt-back-to-bed pain. No, this is good, healthy, it-hurts-my-hamstrings-to-get-on-and-off-the-toilet kind of pain. My legs ache, as does my torso and I am physically worn out. It feels great!

I ran a fairly short distance – about 4 km/2.6 miles – but it felt good to finally get out there again. My average time was about as quick as it used to be when I was fit – I was pretty shocked. However, it’s not because I am miraculously athletic after such a long time out of the saddle. It is because I am the lightest I have been since I was around, I don’t know, probably 9 years old. Since following the autoimmune protocol diet, I am carrying an average of about 35 pounds/15.8 kgs less than before. I shouldn’t be surprised by this basic science, but I am easily awed by so many things in life.

My HS didn’t flare up, nor did it cause me any pain during the run. The area was a little more swollen in the evening, but no more than when I have been walking a lot.

I may not be Sporty Spice, but I have spent a good part of my life doing sports and enjoying them. I don’t think I’ll ever have a lean physique, or a six-pack, but my body can do sports just as well as the next person. If I don’t run again for a while, or my time drops, I am not a failure. I am somebody who cares enough to take care of their body, when time (and HS) allows. I just need to remember the quote: No matter how slow you run, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.

Organic does not mean wild. Lesson learnt.

I’m five days back into my diet and seem to have made another little faux pas. Today I have swelling and pain again – boo! I think it’s either the apple cider vinegar, or the organic smoked salmon.

Organic, but from my research, still toxic??

Before I made a dressing for my beautiful, pressure-cooker steamed artichoke, I need to find a substitute for balsamic vinegar after my last experience left me a little inflamed. I had read quite a few different sites yesterday on the effects of apple cider vinegar and they all seemed very pro this type of vinegar on the autoimmune protocol (now I’m wondering if I had been reading ‘Doc’ sites or just blogs…hmmm?). Now I am having another little look, there appears to be a huge debate over the quality of apple cider vinegar and what effect it can have on you.

I had had a bit of a flare last time I ate organic farmed salmon, but I had forgotten about it. So now I am trying to do a little bit of research, so that it stays in my brain. I must remember not to be lured in by the organic-ness and I remember why I should not be eating farmed fish.

It’s all about keeping the Omegas 3 and 6 in balance apparently. Now, there is so much sciencey stuff attached to this and I would love to spend my days immersed in the ever elusive search for the perfect balance of fatty acids in my system, however, I have ‘home’ stuff to do (and a life that doesn’t just revolve round me).

I did do a little research, and as with most things food related, I wish I had never opened the flood gates! I found so many articles on how farmed salmon is ridiculously dangerous for the ecosystem and how the labels for organic fish have much lower restrictions than those on farmed animals. There is quite a comprehensive article on the The World’s Healthiest Foods site, explaining all the science behind the imbalance of Omega 3 and 6.

This article about Canadian salmon is interesting, ‘Demystifying “organic” farmed salmon: Is there such a thing?‘ and obviously a little Googling it up produces a plethora of the ‘whys’, ‘whats’ and ‘wherefores’ of eating salmon. An article here gives a bit more background into what we should be eating and steers the topic away from the eco/ethical debate, focussing on the health issue more.

Back to my search for the ‘perfect salmon to meet my Omega ratio requirements’, I found another little article on Balancing Omega-3 and Omega-6. It doesn’t talk about farmed salmon, but does give an insight into how the imbalance affects people’s health.

After trying not to get too sucked in by the whole salmon debate online, as I do try to limi my exposure as to why eating anything that has a pulse makes me a bad person. Thus, I have managed to skim the surface of farmed vs wild salmon and the many reasons I shouldn’t eat it farmed.

I found a little fact sheet that summed it up with this:

Don’t eat wild Atlantic salmon and farmed salmon. The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California recommends wild Alaskan salmon as an alternative, while the UK-based Marine Conservation Society suggests organically farmed Atlantic salmon.”

With my apple cider vinegar debate still looming, I think a little more eating experimentation will have to occur before I can make any confirmed conclusions between the salmon and my HS flares. In the interests of health and general eco-equilibrium of world balance, my conclusion is that I should probably just eat wild Alaskan salmon once or twice a year (preferably when I’m near Alaska to minimise my carbon footprint). Perhaps this is my cue to start looking for a wild, line-caught fish oil supplement….

The autoimmune protocol diet in baby steps.

This time last year and hadn’t even considered giving up any of these foods. A couple of month’s down the line, I had started a “Paleo” diet, having read a little about how Hidradenitis Suppurativa could be an autoimmune disease and therefore influenced by diet. At that early stage, I knew then that I’d never be able to cut out eggs if I was hoping to get enough protein in my diet without bankrupting us. I definitely could never have envisaged living without tomatoes, spices and chilli – my staple foods for cooking up tagines, curries and most of my evening meals. Six month’s down the line, and many hours of research on the internet, my diet is almost virginal (slight exaggeration, but that’s how it feels sometimes!). I am a fully fledged autoimmune protocol diet fan!

What I should be drinking right now…..

As with any times of restrictions in life, I found that it helps to have some kind of boundary or end date in sight. Without this, my motivation to abstain wouldn’t have lasted past my initial pain-motivated, stubborn determination. I set my timeframe as 60 days of a complete elimination diet, before starting to reintroduce foods one at a time. Somedays, I would comfort myself with the fact that I may only need to do 30 days and other times, I would face the (sometimes depressing) reality that this diet may become my way of life. Forever. However, for the sake of sanity and positivity, it is good to keep in mind that there are definitely worse realities in life than this!

….what I’m actually drinking right now
(NOT recommended for AI elimination diet!)

Just snacking on a piece of fresh coconut with a lovely cup of freshly brewed cup of Fairtrade organic Ethiopian coffee (which should read ‘a lovely cup of organic mint, nettle and gunpowder green tea’, but no-one’s perfect!)  and thinking that I’d share a little of what I have read and researched in terms of things to avoid whilst on the autoimmune diet. Despite it being a little negative to start with what I can’t eat, it is a known fact that bad news is far more exciting/interesting than good news…so we’ll start with what we can’t eat….

Foods to avoid

  • Eggs
  • Dairy, including all dairy (yes, even fermented dairy, goat’s milk and any thing else that comes from an animal’s udders)
  • Cereal grains (rice, oats, wheat etc)
  • Seeds of any variety.
  • Seed and vegetable oils (all except coconut oil and olive oil, which I have in abundance – see Foods to Eat’)
  • Spices derived from seeds (cumin, coriander, mustard – anything which I used to eat that made my food taste good)
  • All nuts, including nut butters.
  • Legumes, including all types of beans, chick peas (garbanzas), lentils, soy, peanuts etc.
  • Any soy derivatives (soy milk, yoghurt, tofu, soy sauce)
  • Refined sugar in any form.
  • Honey in any form.
  • Processed foods – bread, pasta, any gluten-free ‘health’ alternatives, cured meat, ham, bacon.
  • Alcohol (boooo)
  • Nightshades. This includes tomatoes, all types of peppers, including bell peppers, pimento, chilli pepper (excluding black peppercorns), egg-plant, tobacco (not many people still eat this, but you probably shouldn’t smoke it either!) and common old potatoes.
  • Coffee – especially if you are a caffeine addict! (I am not a coffee drinker per se, but I have started to have a cup here and there, in the name of rebellion and inner freedom. Also, I haven’t noticed a reaction from it….yet)
  • Fruit juices (too much concentrated sugar, not enough fibre).
  • Any food that contains an ingredient that you cannot pronounce, like stock cubes and sweeteners and anything containing sweeteners, like sugar-free gum.
  • Many vinegars  – I even avoid organic balsamic vinegar; I think the ‘concentrated grape must’ contains too much sugar.
So it’s not a long list, but the combinations of processed foods out there are endless. Dark chocolate, carrot cake, “Paleo” muffins, cereal bars, smoothies, V8, gluten-free crackers – so many things that look innocent (ooh, Innocent Smoothies – yum yum…No. Stop it. Illegal), but are now off limits. Melissa Joulwan, author of Well Fed, a beautiful Paleo recipe book, tried the autoimmune diet for 30 days and as she puts it, there is zero “food fun” during that period.
Anyway, enough of what can’t be had and onwards and upwards to what can and should be delightfully savoured in the name of self-healing….
Foods to Eat
  • Fresh vegetables – anything in season, although when your diet is so limited, I’ve found it’s better not to fully restrict yourself to keep some variety and sanity in your life.
  • Beautiful squash and versatile sweet potatoes (I know these are vegetables, but they become your “pasta/rice replacements”, so I think they deserve a line on their own)
  • Fresh fruit – I have read so much about limiting fruits, eating one piece per meal, eating them before dinner not after – oh so many pieces of advice, but I just tend to eat as much as I want. It may have a negative affect, but it’s got to be better than eating a handful of Haribo Tangfastic jelly sweets.
  • Fish – preferably wild and line caught. 
  • Grass fed beef and pastured meat of any variety and game.
  • Poultry, again organic and not battery farmed would be best.
  • Coconuts, coconut oil and coconut milk (preferably (homemade!) with no guar gum and BPA-free- although hard to find unless you have dedicated organic shops).
  • Olive oil and olives (organic as non-organic contain various preservatives).
  • Herbal teas (I’m bang into Jasmine green tea – amazing!)
  • Naturally dried fruit (although I’d avoid this as a staple ingredient as it’s too high in sugar).
Ok, so the ‘Foods to Eat’ list looks shorter, but when you consider all the amazing varieties of fruit and veg in the world, it is an endless list of variety and choice. I know that to back this all up I should include all the yummy recipes that we try every week, here at home. One day I will, but until then, I’ll leave it to the experts, like Michelle Tam from and Sarah Fragoso from Everyday Paleo.
Until then, I am back on my autoimmune ‘wagon’, and hoping to start reintroducing foods in the coming months. For all those who are embarking on this journey, it is baby steps all the way and a constant reminder to “be kind to yourself”. Bon courage!
I’d love to hear people’s experiences of how they have survived the elimination diet and things that have or haven’t worked…..

I am not a physician, licensed dietician, nor nutritional specialist. The dietary information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or to provide medical advice. it is advised that you make your health care decisions based on your own research and the advice of a qualified health care professional. Good luck!