Tuesday, December 6


Life is really good. I've never felt this blessed, fortunate, or alive. It's been an amazing year of ups and downs, tears and laughs, happiness and well, happiness. I almost wrote sadness, but I don't feel sad anymore.

I'll save the details for my 2011 in review post. Today I'm having a physical down. The nice thing is I don't feel mentally, spiritually, or emotionally down at the same time. It's not the superfecta of pain I experienced earlier this year.

My diet is basically back to what it used to be, sans gluten. Hold the wheat, barley, and rye, please! I'm still not drinking beer, eating bread, pasta, pizza, or many processed foods. All is not lost, though. There are plenty of tacos, nachos (hold the chili), burgers (hold the bun), fries, etc. to hold me over. My sensitivity to gluten hasn't stopped me from eating out or having a few drinks. In fact, going without glutenous foods has been amazingly easy and educational. I've learned that clean eating is clean living. I also learned Dr. Atkins was right; you want to keep weight off, limit your carbs! I'm still only 160 pounds even after bringing my calories up to about 2,000 a day.

On Saturday I went to my friend Brauny's housewarming party. I always eat a big meal beforehand or bring snacks to people's apartments just in case I can't eat what they are serving. Luckily I have very thoughtful friends who go out of their way to pick up gluten free things, ie chips, hummus, veggies. You know who you are - THANK YOU!

I pretty much stuck to what I could drink and eat without a problem. And boy did I drink. I must have had at least six or seven VOKA drinks (I apparently say "vodka" without the "d") and had sips of eggnog and delicious whiskey. In my drunken stupor I decided the cannolis were too good to pass up. RUH-ROH, SHAGGY.

Sorry folks, the only way I can describe how I ate the cannoli is to say I sucked and fingered it to ensure I was only eating the cream and not the cookie part. FA! Unfortunately, I ended up eating some big crumbs anyways. Dumb 2am decision.

The next morning I was pretty hungover, naturally. I haven't drank that much in a while. I was able to power through and get a lot of shit done. I went food shopping at my usual three stores - Associated for boxed things, Organics for All for gluten free cereal (so good!), and Y & Y Green Market for produce. I went through all of my books and have near a hundred to donate to the library. I decorated my apartment for Christmas, finally putting white lights and snow around my living room like I've always wanted. All of this while watching the Jets and Giants games. It was a FANTASTIC Sunday.

Then I ate sushi. Sushi hasn't been a problem for me to date. It's gluten free as long as you steer clear of fried ingredients and not use too much soy sauce. Some brands have gluten in the caramel coloring. I don't know why.

Two hours later I was in horrible pain and extremely nauseous. I took a good dump, then doubled over in the fetal position and cried. Crying always makes me feel better. Fortunately my parents were already on their way up. They were in Staten Island all day and wanted to go to the Bronx for cheesecake on Monday, so they asked to crash last minute. They were still about thirty minutes away when I was glutened, so I called MDLL.

MDLL was watching football all day and was still at the bar when I called. I told him what was happening and said he didn't have to come over, that I just wanted someone to talk to until my parents got there. In true knight in shining armor fashion he sternly said, "Thighs. Stop it. I'll be there in ten minutes." hopped into a cab and came over. He walked in, pulled me into his lap, and rocked me while I sobbed. It was the sweetest thing.

When my parents arrived, it was a disgusting lovefest. I was so happy to have everyone there. I felt very loved and cared for, that is until the three of them starting making fun of me, then ate sandwiches and brownies while I'm lying on the floor. Ah, family! We aim to tease.

Yesterday I felt okay. I was still hunching over, but I felt well enough to get to work and therapy. I ate very plainly to help my tummy heal. Today didn't go so well, though. I woke up feeling fine, then didn't have much energy. I shuffled my way to the subway, stood on the train, and then the shit hit the fan again. It was the same thing that happened back in January when I went to the ER. Sweat was pouring out of me. No joke - my hair was soaked, my clothes were damp, I could feel the sweat down my legs and in my socks. I wiped my brow and had a puddle in my hand. I got super dizzy and almost yelled timber when a seat freed up. I sat down to stop from passing out.

I zombie walked out of 5th Avenue station, hailed a cab and went right to my doctor's office. Ironically I was there last week for a check-up. We were both ecstatic over how well I feel now. I cannot recommend Dr. Amy Bleyer from Murray Hill Medical enough. Bacon, thank you so much for sending me to her!!

Dr. Bleyer saw me right away. She thinks it was the sushi rather than the cannoli because of the timeline. Or it could be a combination of the cannoli, the soy sauce and whatever is in the tuna roll hit the max amount of gluten my body can handle. She gave me a prescription for Prilosec to lower the acidity in my stomach, a muscle relaxer to help ease the pain in my core, said I shouldn't have gone to work yesterday, and need to rest. I love that Dr. Bleyer takes me and my non-diagnosed celiac seriously. I obviously have SOMETHING wrong with me and not eating gluten makes me feel better. Dr. Bleyer supports and encourages me to listen to my gut, literally.

I might lose some of you with this part...in therapy I asked Cee if we could sit with my pain and understand it. Have I mentioned focusing? It's a wonderful way to become in tune with yourself and others. I'll write more about it another day. Last night I focused on my pain and two words immediately came to me: "empty existence."

After some thought, I've come to believe my gluten intolerance is a blessing. Prior to this year, my body, soul, and mind was malnourished. I fed myself empty calories, made empty decisions, and had empty thoughts. It makes me wonder if digestive problems are only related to food. Is it possible the body reacts to other things we are unable to digest, like life struggles and negativity? A lot of people eat and drink their feelings. Wouldn't it make sense that eventually our bodies find a way to do what we aren't capable to do mentally and emotionally, ie stop drinking, smoking, or overeating?

I need to sit with the "existence" part of the phrase. Maybe if I am malnourished, I exist, but not to my fullest potential...

See? How can I be upset with being glutened when it gives me food for thought?

1 comment:

Jennifer Juniper said...

Your optimism makes me sick! ;-P