Working Through A Quandary…

What’s a person to do when her current book project benefits from the regular consumption of beer, for research and inspiration, and her health condition is greatly improved by avoiding alcohol altogether? Hmmm…

I’ve had Rosacea for years and have learned to just accept my bright red face as an unavoidable side effect of my enjoyment of beer and wine. For those of you unfamiliar with Rosacea, the red face is not related to the amount of alcohol consumed. Some red wines will turn my face red after ONE SIP.

In December, however, my Rosacea developed into Blepharitis (a form of Ocular Rosacea) where the constant inflammation of the facial skin starts to affect the eyes. The dry-eye symptoms became difficult to just shrug off. It was clearly time to take my Rosacea more seriously and work towards improving my condition, rather than just managing my symptoms.

I have a great  appreciation for my eyesight and would prefer to not have it deteriorate… at least no more than age is already doing. I decided it was time to see a doctor to get a professional diagnosis and opinion. The ophthalmologist confirmed my Rosacea/Blepharitis diagnosis and offered me an ongoing prescription for tetracycline to help manage my eye symptoms.

Enduring the side effects of life-long antibiotic use for the sake of symptom relief just didn’t sit right with me, so I thanked him for the diagnosis and declined his prescription offer. I then went home and dove deeper into my research for alternative treatments to reduce my symptoms, rather than just mask them.

I’m now working at this issue from several angles including diet changes, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbal supplements, digestive aids, healing skin-care products, organ cleansing, and…  alcohol avoidance! Argh!!

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on my mood at the time), the alcohol avoidance is helping to improve my condition. I’ve limited my beer consumption to Beer & Knitting Classes (once a month) and Beer & Knitting Nights (approx every six weeks). It is my hope that as my Rosacea improves, I’ll eventually be able to enjoy a beer more frequently than once or twice a month.

On the plus side, the one beer that seems to aggravate my Rosacea the least is my current favorite… Firestone’s Union Jack. I’m not sure why this is, but since Union Jack has a massive hop content and hops aid digestion and Rosacea is related to digestive problems, then maybe that connection has something to do with it. Whatever the reason, I send thanks to Matt Brynildson for creating such an awesome beer!

My health is very important to me, but so is this book project. I will continue to work towards making progress in both areas.

-Jenne Hiigel

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One thought on “Working Through A Quandary…

  1. Thanks for the info – I have very mild rosacea, but I was unaware of its connection to eye health. Best of luck to you getting yours to back down.

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