Ooof you guys know full and well the last two weeks have been super tough on me. It truly and completely felt like my body was giving out and this was the end of me. I look and feel/felt like I got hit by a truck. I was doing so well on all fruit and juice. Even Alex was like, “You were even speaking faster. You could see the energy in you!” I was feeling good and better. But I don’t want to live on juice, naturally. So I decided to have a bit of cooked food. No big deal. I noticed I felt better eating just fruit, but I didn’t feel bad eating something cooked.
Then the next day we went to Miami for a family day. We had a great time. And I ate all the things. We went to two restaurants. I had two meals and a desert. I ate things that most would consider beyond healthy– gluten free pizza, a bun-less veggie burger, fries (okay, fries aren’t healthy, but whatever), and a coconut pudding dessert. You know, I wanted to go out and feel like a *normal* person. Fair enough, right?
I woke up the next day feeling like I had a hangover. It’s funny (or not) that I haven’t had alcohol in over a year (IMU tequila), but I wake up with hangover like feelings still. I’m not completely sure– but I may or may not have nuts on our Miami day. I didn’t ask. Because I didn’t want to ask. I didn’t want to be a pain. I thought, “It’s fine. My body is healing, I can handle small things in moderation. I don’t want to obsess. I want to just be.” Well, I didn’t obsess. I just was… and the next day I felt hung over.
That evening, Marlowe asked to make brownies. And so we did. We’ve made a low-fat, gluten free vegan recipe we found off the internet. Well, a modified version of this brownie recipe. We enjoy it. It’s not exactly the same as a real, fatty brownie, but its good and certainly does the trick. And that night I decided: I should go back to all raw. Or mostly raw. And maybe I shouldn’t eat all the things.
But first: a brownie. Or ten. Really, the entire (small) tray, except for three. Was can I say, I’m an all or nothing kind of person. (Don’t give me a bag of chips and expect some). And you know what happened each day after eating these brownies? Major bathroom visits. (TMI? Sorry. My life is TMI after c. diff). And I thought, *hmm that’s weird. Maybe my body is just acting up from the possible nuts I ate in Miami. These brownies have never been a problem. Will detox again soon*.
Expect my stomach flared. My colon swelled up as large as it can go again. My “fibromyalgia” symptoms all returned. Sharp shooting pains throughout my body. And even shingle pains too. Blinding headaches. Sensitivity to light. I feel like my body is giving out. Just breaking. I’ve had the shingles stuff on and off and for the last two years. And the bloating that I sometimes just can’t pinpoint. But these seemed to come basically out of no where. I was in pain and devastated. (I’m still in pain. Still devastated).
And then one night Marlowe requested mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. I had made it earlier in the week with oat flour instead of AP flour. 1. because it’s what we had. and 2. because I could eat a bit too. But as I was making gravy for the second time this week, I looked down at the oat flour bag. And you know what I noticed? We bought the bag because it was organic. But no where on the bag did it say gluten free.
Now this would have never been a big deal before. But apparently now, it is. It really is. I looked at the bag and realized why my stomach flared after each day (multiple days) of eating supposedly gluten free brownies. We’ve made them before with no problem, but we’re never consistent on what brand /type of oats we buy. It depends on if we can find them in bulk, what country we’re in/ etc. But now, because of c. diff. I am now that person who cannot tolerate and bit of gluten. Not a drop.
Now, if you’ve read my blog since before I got c. diff, you know that this is an intense shift. I live with a baker. Well, he hasn’t baked in a long time. And hopefully that’s not because of me, but it probably is. I used to eat sourdough daily. And tell me if I’m wrong, but I think most of you guys can agree, I started “things on toast” long before the toast craze took stage in the social media world. I would honestly be impressed if someone shows me a things on toast post or even an avocado toast post that took place before my first one.
A quarter of my cookbook involves gluten. A quarter of my life involved gluten. And now here I am. I’ve been gluten free since c. diff. I took out or lessened anything and everything that could cause inflammation. And I knew gluten was unfortunately a big one. So I took it out. But I thought maybe I didn’t have to be obsessive with it. I thought maybe avoiding obvious gluten foods would be enough. But no.
This whole incident was an awakening to different moments that I thought were possible triggers. They were confirmed. In Mexico? I did pretty well. Until right before our road trip. What happened in Mexico? We went to a restaurant that we ate at often. They had “oat waffles” on the menu. We asked, “are they gluten free?” and the waitress said, “no, they’re made with oats” and I thought, well, it should be fine. It’s just oats. Right? Wrong. My stomach flared. And I was in denial. I thought, there’s no way. Maybe something else I ate. But now, it makes sense. Oats. No matter how little, oats have gluten.
I mean, unless they’re certified gluten-free oats, they have gluten. And as much as I want to be in denial about it, it’s enough gluten to severely trigger me. I have been down and out for TWO weeks because of an accidental gluten incident. I gluten-ed myself — and not just once. But multiple times that week. Gosh, how stupid.
But I guess the good news is, now I know for certain. And every pain in my ribs, feet, hands, and stomach is a reminder, that while I don’t want to obsess or be an inconvenience to other people I’m eating with (or to people serving me at restaurants)– I need to be aware, read for myself, and ask. If I don’t, I’m self sabotaging. And that’s not okay.
Alex feels bad. This is the second time he has bought something that I’ve eaten it and got sick by. He didn’t check the label. But I remind him, neither did I. While I obviously would prefer that he is on alert from when he shops, I need to be on alert too. I can’t depend on him or anyone else to be the food guard of what goes in or stays out of my stomach. I need to do it.
I thought maybe one day I could work bits of gluten into my life if I wanted too– which to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to, but I would have liked the choice. Now I’m not sure that’ll happen at all. Which at this point, I guess I’m fine with. I gave up so many things. And gluten is just one of them. (I really miss you tequila).
Every bone in my body aches, honestly, as I sit here typing, I’m asking myself, “shouldn’t you be in bed? You’re falling over.” I should be in bed. My body literally feels like it’s breaking into itself. And my colon is pressing against both my ribs and my lungs– so much so that I feel like I’m running out of air… again. Every time my body crashes I’m reminded that my life has been forever shortened due to illness. And I can choose to make choices that’ll worsen my future or better it. And so, while I’m completely and totally devastated that my body has crashed, I keep pushing forward. I don’t really have another option. Give up or move forward. And so still, everyday, I’m doing my best.
So a warning to people in my life: I will now be one of those super anal “is this gluten free?” people– but hey, I’m doing my best, right? Cool.
ps. it’s tuesday night as I finish this post up and schedule in my system. We’re heading off to Key West for a few days. I still feel like death, but it’s been two weeks of feeling like crap and I can’t be contained any longer. Hoping some sunshine and relaxation away will do the trick. Stay tuned for part two of my “how do you make money blogging?” post coming up next! I hope you’re well friends! Take care of yourself! You only got one body over there!