Last week I had a lot of ups and downs as far as my health goes. Since going gluten-free, not only have I had more energy but my chronic pain has been greatly reduced. I have had a few pain free days which is a major improvement from chronic fatigue and constant pain. Last week I started weening off of Lyrica, but also had a few minor exposures to gluten that led to headaches, constipation, bloating, and muscle stiffness. I am grateful to have had the pain free days I have had.
Today was particularly beautiful outside in northwest Indiana. It was sunny and almost 70 degrees. I enjoyed having the sun kiss my skin as I took the dog for a walk and let the air blow across my face. It felt wonderful to be alive again. I jogged for a little bit with my dog Ginger and felt some pain in my knees. I have all this new-found energy with a desire to run. I use to look at people that were runners and mock them with the thought that you should only run when something is chasing you. I was most likely jealous because I never had the energy, strength or stamina to work my body in such a physical way. Now I can see joy in having the wind on my face.
I’ve been talking to my son a lot lately about how food is fuel for our bodies. It gives us the energy that we need in order to do fun things together. I have always been one to love food, and to overindulge. I could never get my fill and was always planning my next meal instead of enjoying what I was tasting at the time. I am shocked that I now am actually thinking of food as a way to give my body energy, and at this point, nutrients to heal all the cells that have been sadly deficient.
I think what is even more perplexing is that within a day of going gluten-free, I lost all of my food cravings. Before I could eat and eat and eat and never feel full. Now my portions are naturally smaller and I am able to sense when I have had enough to eat. I’ve lost six pound in three weeks and do not feel deprived at all. There is no diet about this. I haven’t been counting calories. I’ve been eating everything I want as long as it has been gluten-free. I’ve had cheesecake, coconut milk ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and lots of fresh vegetables and meat from a local butcher. I’ve had the best hamburger ever, and tried fennel thanks to gluten-free girl!
Although my grocery bill has quadrupled, my rheumatologist is letting me ween off of Lyrica and my family physician has said that I can most likely come off my SSRI and my medication for GERD! I think this is a pretty impressive recovery which will hopefully lead to less medical costs and ease the blow to my pocket book when I am buying organic foods.
I am struggling right now with feeling like I have an enormous amount of energy, but not enough strength to do everything I want to do. Tonight I took the dog for a walk for the first time in a couple of months and then worked in my flower beds for a half an hour. I know that I have overdone it, but maybe my body will recover more quickly than it has before. In the past I would be stiff for well over a week and a half for doing everything that I did tonight.
Yesterday we celebrated my son’s third birthday. Diagnosed with pre-eclampsia during the pregnancy, the chronic pain has persisted until now. Our lucky and charming little boy has been a joy, but I feel I have missed so much in the past three years. I haven’t been able to be the mom that I had envisioned. In that three years, I can remember many times when I couldn’t even stand a hug, let alone have a little matchbox car raced along my arm because of being in intense pain.
Walking into my doctor’s office and telling him that it hurts when my son barely touches me got me a diagnosis of postpartum depression and a recommendation to start Prozac. Thankfully I was wise enough to switch doctors and ended up getting a referral to a wonderful physical therapist that helped get me stretching enough to relieve some of the stiffness I felt. Lyrica did help me become desensitized enough that I could get hugs, but it has left me feeling sleepy, dizzy and nauseous. Hopefully I won’t have to take that medication any longer after a few weeks.
So even though I overexerted myself today, I enjoyed time with my son and I feel lucky to perhaps finally have found what has been causing my ailments. I may have missed out on interacting much with my son the past three years, but hopefully I will have the opportunity to make up for lost time. Thankfully I have had a wonderfully supportive husband through all of this and I know it has been especially hard for him to watch me suffering. I sometimes don’t know where he has found the energy to take care of everything around the house, work full time and take care of our son every night. I’ve barely been able to get out of bed and go to work for the past three years, and up until going gluten-free was beginning to research getting disability benefits for fibromyalgia.
Discovering this gluten sensitivity is truly life changing and I hope that I just continue to get healthy. I worry somewhat the the past three weeks is just a fluke, perhaps due to a change in the weather. For now I am feeling extremely lucky to have finally figured out what is causing my symptoms. I am glad that I did not suffer 20+ years, possibly doing permanent damage to my digestive system. I am finally getting my life back and that is a beautiful thing.