Friday, September 23, 2011

In and Out—Day 218


So the first thing that has jumped out at me in the last twenty-four hours is how much pain I've been in, and how much emotional pain I've been in.  One is clearly linked to the other.  And I'm starting to understand there are a lot of things linked together with this illness, more than I ever imagined.

Last night I received an email from a person I had known a few years ago, who apparently has struggled with the same symptoms as I have.  She went to the doctor and was given a similar medication cocktail.  She wasn't satisfied, and began to look at holistic ways to heal.  She gave me the names of a couple of books, and encouraged me to look for a solution that involved more than lessening symptoms.

I hadn't really thought of this illness in the context of healing before, mainly because I've been told that's just not possible.  Maybe it isn't.  But in my conversation with her, I realized that I already know things I didn't give myself credit for.  For instance, I do better when I eat greek yogurt, fruit, fiber, whole oats, olive oil, and whole, clean foods.  Fish and vegetarian foods are high on my list.  I need to rid my cabinets of nitrate-added foods.  My friend recommended that I avoid the whites, which I tend to do anyway, EXCEPT when I treat myself.  Yesterday I put together the worst possible combination I could.  I ran out of one medication, didn't take another one because it's running low, then ate cheese pizza for dinner.  Consequently I was ill all evening.  Beyond the emotional collapse I had in the afternoon and late evening, I was literally sick to my stomach.  I tend to have a lot of stomach problems without yogurt.  That was my first clue that food really REALLY affects how I feel.  Greek yogurt, for me, is a godsend.  The high protein makes me feel full for longer, and the active cultures help to control any other symptoms I have.

My friend recommended a lot of greens.  I probably don't eat enough of them.  I do eat salads occasionally—when I buy them from quick-food places, generally—but after our conversation I'm curious to add them daily in some way.  I have nearly completely stopped eating beef, and this past week discovered the joys of almond milk, particularly in cereal.  My friend also suggested watching out for sodium and msg.  I have had migraines from msg in the past, so I wasn't surprised by that, and I usually don't eat a lot of sodium, but it's still something to watch out for.

So I have some new dietary ideas.  Even more whole grains.  Less salt.  Reading for msg.  Adding greens to meals.  Continuing what I already know is right—fish, chicken, vegetarian meals, more veggies of all colors, olive oil, whole grains, and concentrated yogurt.  Oh, and fiber.  Bran flakes, all bran, whatever—mixed into the yogurt it's a great start to the day.

So today and yesterday i felt like crap. Today has been better than yesterday, and both days have been learning opportunities.  I'm figuring it out, slowly.  Tired today, but haven't cried, which makes me happy.  I want to do some work tomorrow for my job, hopefully.  Maybe get in a swim.  We'll see.

I titled today In and Out for a reason.  Often I feel like I'm weaving in and out of this maze of fibro.  The last few days have felt very much like that.  I'm in, then out, weaving information and medication to go with my body's signals.  Maybe it will make sense, sooner.  Or, less pleasantly, later.  But eventually I'll have weaved a complex tapestry that makes sense for me, for my body.  That allows me to function in a way that is useful and brings joy back into my life.  That's all I've wanted from the beginning, and all I'll be pursuing through the changes I make.

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