It’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what my next moves are – in life and for this blog. And this is what I’ve worked out so far:
For some time now I’ve enjoyed a certain level of predictability in my life. My symptoms, while always with me, are relatively stable. My sleep has been typically good, without any further need for anything stronger than a nightly epsom salt bath. My exercise level has been as good and varied as it has ever been. Winters are harder on my symptoms; their increases still remain predictable. I have learned to control my daily life in many major and minor ways in order to get the most out of what I’ve been given. That is, in most areas except one glaring one…diet.
I haven’t been able to fully research the ways in which various food might negatively affect my life for two reasons 1) Most of the last two+ years has been too variable to be able to pinpoint cause and effect relationships with food and 2) It is really, really hard; the couple of times I tried an elimination diet, I failed miserably.
The Autoimmune Protocol Elimination Diet seems to be about the strictest one out there for this purpose. It is like a paleo diet and then you take about 20 additional things off the menu. I’m not a great cook when I have every ingredient available to me, so I’m especially terrible when it is restricted more than one can imagine without studying the list. So when I realized that it might just be the perfect timing to try to really complete one — and once and for all identify any food items that could help rid my body of pain, fatigue and who knows what else— I knew, at the very least, I had to see if I could find someone out there that could help me succeed for a reasonable price.
I made a plea post on my local mom’s Facebook group. I explained why I’ve always failed and what I would need in terms of help from another. Amazingly, a wonderful woman accepted the call. She has researched my needs, shopped for my groceries, prepped for my meals and left a list of suggestions on my fridge. She did all this for a price that I couldn’t refuse and basically eliminated all barriers to making this happen. Shit! I really had to do this! Sometimes it is hard to come to grips when you run out of excuses. The only thing between me and this research project, was me.
I am currently on day three of what will be at least 30 days of the complete elimination diet before I start reintroducing each eliminated item or category to determine if it makes a difference to my health. I can say, with the help of a woman that has so graciously bestowed her time, energy and willingness to come to my side with support, this has already been more successful than any of my solo efforts. It still isn’t easy, but having help makes it possible.
About the blog. I will continue to chronicle my personal updates here as I’ve done. However, I’d like to see if I’m able to write and reach more people that are struggling with chronic illness. Perhaps there is something I’ve learned and experienced that I can impart on another to make their life easier…or at the very least, less alone. There will be some forthcoming posts that I will continue to share, but are directed towards a wider audience of sufferers. Please feel free to share any of my posts with those that might benefit from their content.