Reaching

UPDATE: Or I had a 24 hour virus. I came home from work and slept for about 15 hours. The cleanse is still on, but I am feeling slightly less desperate than I was yesterday.

I’m reaching now, stretching the bounds of being reasonable, searching for a reason my body feels this way. As I mentioned in a comment string earlier, I fell off the health food wagon hard this weekend. I was ok through the chips and dip, insisted on hummus instead of cheese with my crackers. But soon enough I dove in. Bread and butter. Zucchini with gorgonzola cheese on top. Even thinking about it, I feel nauseated.

I know I have some other issues at work here – comfort eating, unconscious eating – but I have never felt so physically awful as a result. And I’m searching for a reason. Is it simply the amount of food, the dairy, the gluten? I’m online looking and looking for help.

My dad has had stomach problems for most of his adult life. After a big night out, we’d tease him about looking three-months pregnant. But our jokes ignored his suffering. Eventually, after being diagnosed with Chrones/Colitis, he went on a strict (and restrictive) diet. Cutting out all processed foods, he recovered almost completely. And now he is mostly well. But every now and then, food becomes an enemy once again.

When I talked to him this morning, it was almost with tears in my eyes. I felt so awful, and I needed help. He promised me he would. We’d start making better dinners. Be more focused on putting the right fuel in our bodies. Support one another when that midnight snack looks so appealing.

I’m not sure what it is that is triggering this feeling of dis-ease in me. Some combination of stress, poor eating habits, and maybe a little bit of hypochondria (good to know that, too, runs in the family). But today, I read this from Shauna James Ahern, the Gluten-Free Girl, and nearly started crying. Whether or not gluten is the culprit for me, I don’t know, but her words struck a deep chord.

She describes going off gluten in this way:

Gone is the exhaustion, the nausea, the brain fog, the heartburn, the skin flares, the sore throats, the stuffed nose, the bone-tiredness, the lassitude, the easy bruising, and the confusion of feeling that I would never be well again.

Shauna, as she describes on her blog, had been dealing with the effects of Celiac for years. And I’ve had the gift of being mostly healthy my whole life. A fact I’m even more grateful for now, feeling how I feel in this moment.

As I said, I’m reaching now for a solution, for a reason, for something beyond “Maybe you’re just stressed out.” I’m aware of the lure of hypochondria, or the pit that can be self-diagnosis. And I’m trying not to go there.

No matter what it is that is making me feel this way, a good do-over is in order for my system. Maybe then I’ll be more clear as to what the causes are.

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One thought on “Reaching

  1. I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with your diet. The good news is, nothing is permanent. You will find a way out.

    Whenever anyone tells me they don’t know if something they’re eating is affecting them, I always suggest a journal. You don’t need to track amounts, just jot down what you ate and how you felt. I would suggest you come up with a scale 1 to 10 and make note of what several of the numbers mean, like 10 is “I think I’m going to die,” whatever makes sense, so you can have a concise and consistent record.

    I did this a couple times and discovered an oat allergy and linked M&Ms to feeling down about myself. My Dad discovered grapefruit juice was affecting his atrial fibrillation and fresh apple cider was causing Meniere’s attacks. I used it to diagnose my daughter’s lactose intolerance.

    Maybe hold off for a day on something you suspect is making you sick, maybe gluten or dairy, and then see what happens when you bring it back. My daughter is lactose intolerant and she would feel stomach pain within an hour (except she’s vegan now). Don’t know how long it takes with gluten.

    I think once you find out what is making you sick, you will not want it any more.

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