When last we left the riveting story of my ongoing adventures in functional medicine, it was August, and I'd just been to my first appointment...Read More
Here I Go Again
This song is stuck in my head, so now it must be stuck in yours. You might want to enjoy it while you read this blog post.
Yesterday was my first appointment with Dr. Amy Myers at Austin UltraHealth to try to find the answers to my on-going health-related challenges. I’m mostly healthy, I think, but still not feeling like a superhero (physically or mentally) and my blood pressure is high. So Dave and I are investigating further. In my imagination, it’s sexy and mysterious, like this:
In reality, it’s far less romantic. Read on…
I’d like to tell you all about my time with Dr. Myers in detail, but when I try to type sentences that make sense, they’re kind of like this in my head: Words words more words what? words. After almost a week of proofreading and last-minute changes to Well Fed 2, my brain is good and truly fried.
I won’t have any real news about what’s going on with my body until October – when lab results start to come back – but between now and then, Dave and I will be embarking on new food- and supplement-related adventures. I’d rather fly back to Prague, but sometimes, you gotta take adventure where you can find it. Here, in no particular order, are some of the highlights from yesterday.
1. Vampire Attack!
The nurse drew 14 (!) vials of blood from me and 11 from Dave. I’m having lots of thyroid numbers run, as well as a bunch of other stuff, including a food sensitivity panel that tests for 100 foods!
2. Number One AND Number Two.
I’m the lucky owner right now of two “kits” for collecting specimens. Ahem. The instructions for collection – and the gloves, vials, tubes, and jars, all labeled with my name, date of birth, and a big ‘F’ for female – made me feel a little queasy and vaguely faint. Picking up dog poop grosses me out, so… yeah.
3. Remember last October when I did the AIP for paleo along with a Whole30?
I remember it very vividly. Unfortunately, I totally blew my reintroduction protocol, so even though I followed all the rules for 30 days, I didn’t really learn anything from my elimination diet. The universe is giving me a second chance. Both Dave and I have been prescribed a customized elimination diet that means we’ll be eating our usual no grains (including corn), no dairy, no added sugar, no legumes (including soy), no booze – and also taking out vinegar (except apple cider vinegar), paprika, cayenne, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and eggs. We have to do that for 14 days, then we begin reintroduction. For that, we pick one food at a time (we’re starting with eggs), then eat it 3 times a day for 3 days – then we go back to the strict elimination diet again for 3 days to give our bodies time to react to the food. If it’s all OK, the food is in… and we rejoice. If it’s not all good, we do the elimination diet again until we feel better, then try adding another food. The whole shebang is going to take until, like, December.
I’m not even kidding! December!
4. Something new!
Full disclosure: I try not to be too mopey about my situation because, generally speaking, I’m a very fortunate girl. But I’m struggling a lot with the emotional impact of my weight gain and my high blood pressure. This is a stupid sentence to type, but I’ll do it anyway: It feels unfair that I eat clean, train wisely, sleep soundly, and still… STILL… my body rebels. That’s a stupid sentence because life is unfair – and it’s unfair IN MY FAVOR plenty of times. I’m mostly lucky, and I get to win at life a lot. I have much to be grateful for.
I might have started crying a little bit in the doctor’s office yesterday, and Dr. Myer’s said this: “We’re testing things that no one else has looked at yet. We’re going to have new information, and I think I can help you.” So I’m trying, you guys. I’m trying to look at these next few months as another opportunity to learn more about how my body works. It is clearly demonstrating right now that it is a special, special snowflake. I’m trying my damnedest to love it, just the way it is, while I work to find the answers to make it healthier. In the interim, I’m also trying to engage my mind in thinking about other things, like…
5. History and Creativity
I’ve signed up for two classes that will take me through the next few months. The first is A History of the World Since 1300 (taught at Princeton University, offered through Coursera); I have to write essays and everything! The second is almost the polar opposite: Yoga For Creativity, a 12-week course – taught by my favorite teacher Robin “Dharampal” – that’s half kundalini yoga, half book club with the book The Artist’s Way. I did The Artist’s Way about 5 years ago, when I was going through another transition time, so I think it will be both a challenging and rewarding experience again.
That’s all the news… my fridge is loaded with chicken, beef, lamb, and a farm’s worth of vegetables. The cabinets have been stripped of canned tomatoes and all the dark chocolate has been removed from the house (where “removed” means we’ve been eating the last bar all day). Just like when that first ponytail got snipped two weeks ago, there’s no turning back now!