I have been feeling so refreshed that last night I spent time cleaning out all of the wheat products from my pantry. There were tears and mixed emotions. On one hand, I am happy to have finally found something that gives me some relief from the pain and fatigue of Fibromyalgia. On the other hand, I am sad that I will never again eat Coco Wheats, Wheat Thins or Pringles. So I spent some time grieving the loss of some of my favorite foods. I think that these are normal feelings for those of us launching ourselves into the unknown territory of the gluten-free world.
Today we traveled to see some relatives to celebrate a family birthday. Normally the hour drive would have left me stiff, tired and suffering from muscle spasms. Upon arriving at our destination, I felt none of these things. I felt relaxed and had energy to participate in family activities. This is something new.
I shared the food items I pulled from the pantry with the family and mourned the loss of some of my favorite foods. I was also able to share the joy I feel about finally finding something that gives me some relief. I spent time explaining what gluten is and what new foods I am starting to eat. Then the family ordered Pizza Hut and I made my own pizza using Kinnikinnick’s Pizza crust. It was yummy, but I still had to hear my son talking about how yummy his cheese pizza was and hear comments about the quality of the bread sticks. Oh how do I miss bread.
When it came time for the birthday cake I could tell my sister-in-law, Tracey, felt bad that I wouldn’t be able to share. I did bring some gluten-free cookies to eat while everyone else was having cake. Tracey pulled out the ice cream and I exclaimed, “I might be able to eat that!” Then on closer inspection, it contained Maltodextrin, an ingredient that might contain gluten. So I ate my cookies and enjoyed the company anyway. It is always fun to get together with family.
While I am sad about the things I can’t eat, I know that these things are making me sick. They are like a poison and I will never go back and consume. I am finding new foods that have interesting flavors and textures to add to my pantry. Soon I will have new favorites that I hope to share with all my fellow fibromates that are considering going gluten-free.
Since beginning to avoid foods that contain gluten, I have felt better everyday than the day before. I pray that my body continues to heal as I follow this new way of living.
For the first time in about three years I woke up and got out of bed before my husband on a Saturday. Normally he lets me rest on the weekends, because I am always complain of how tired I am. He is such a sweetheart to get up with our son every weekend. While they are eating breakfast and watching cartoons, I am normally snoozing. I will lay in bed on the weekend until close to noon. Today, on Day three of being Gluten-Free, I woke up at 8 AM feeling rested! I haven’t felt rested in years!!!! Not only was I able to get out of bed early, I considered starting laundry early because I felt so energized. My son had other plans. We spent time reading on the couch eating strawberries.
While I definitely feel more energized, I am still no where even close to feeling like I did before I become pregnant with my son. My fibromyalgia was diagnosed after a difficult pregnancy that involved pre-eclampsia. I am also still having joint pain, but I am not as stiff in my muscles. My fear is that my body will probably never be the same again. The past year I have resented my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia as I have thought that my life has been taken from me! The emotions I feel are very intense today as I hope that going gluten-free is the treatment that I need to return to feeling well again.
Unfortunately as I made my way to the grocery store for the third time this week, the reality of going completely gluten-free is starting to sink in slowly. I began sobbing in front of the butter. Thinking butter was safe yesterday, I picked up a generic butter on sale without looking at the ingredients. I picked up some butter today at the store thinking I could use some more because I was going to be baking for my son’s birthday. I glanced at the ingredients, butter, salt, NATURAL FLAVORS. I started crying, thinking “What does that mean? Is gluten even lurking in my butter?” For Pete’s sake.
Then sticker shock hit me smack in the face as I checked out with my small number of items. I actually exclaimed “Oh My Gosh” as the cashier told me my total. I spent three times what I would normally. But is it worth it for my health? I think so.
I’ve also started thinking how much easier it is to just take all the medicine these doctors I have been going to have been throwing at my symptoms because they don’t understand what is causing my problems. Now my health is in my own hands. This is about truly taking care of myself.
I also spent the day mourning the fact that tomorrow my family will be ordering Pizza Hut to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday. I will be making my own pizza using Kinnikinnick’s pizza crust. While this is very tasty, I’m sure I will feel like I am missing out.
On day 2 of going gluten-free I woke up with the same burning pain I’ve been experiencing recently, but I was able to get out of bed. This is no small accomplishment for those of us that struggle so hard with Fibromyalgia.
What I noticed this morning in the mirror was that my face didn’t seem as puffy as usual. After getting ready, I jumped in my car to begin my 40 minute commute to work. Driving every morning has been a very scary venture for me because I have felt so tired lately that I worry about falling asleep at the wheel. There were a couple of incidents earlier this winter when I did seem to come very close to this. After repeatedly complaining to my doctors about my medications increasing my fatigue and making it cumbersome to drive, I was about ready to consider alternative transportation. The last thing I want to do is hurt myself or kill someone else while driving.
Of course I have been blaming the extreme fatigue on the medication Lyrica that I have been on for Fibro, but this morning I got a bit misty-eyed because the tiredness wasn’t there. I can’t believe how much more energy I feel I have now and this is only my second day avoiding gluten. I haven’t felt this good since this past summer and I even took fewer pain meds yesterday!
After exhausting myself at the store last night searching for gluten-free foods, I started a fresh day with a new hope. Maybe this time I would find the solution to my constant pain, muscle stiffness, fatigue, and brain fog.
I’m not sure if it was the change in weather or the change in diet, but I felt different today. I had more energy, felt less bloated, and was able to think somewhat clearly today. Sure the stiffness and pain was still present, but I didn’t come home and lie on the couch tonight. I actually took my three year old son and dog for a walk to the park in the cold weather! This is a major accomplishment. I can’t wait to see how I feel tomorrow.