Fixing The Diet


I have just had a shitty last few days (in so many ways), and it’s still going!  The fever has broken, the delirium has lifted, the fever-induced aches have gone, leaving me exhausted and still sore, and with a very upset gastrointestinal tract.

I have always had a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.  Right from when I was a bub, the rule of thumb was if you picked me up the wrong way I would upchuck.  Well it hasn’t gotten much better over time!  When I am disrespecting my stomach with foods I know it can’t quite cope with, it reminds me by waking me up at 2am to bring it right back up again.

I went on a gluten free keto-style diet years ago, and while it worked really well for bloating, the amount of fats I was required to consume made me physically ill.  I eventually found a balance point, but that all fell to bits when I moved countries and had to get reacquainted with a new array of foodstuffs.  I’ve been more-or-less okay until now, other than occasional instances of gastro that clear after a day or two in reaction to something or other.  I’ve even been able to eat small amounts of lamb and pork without bringing it back up (at 2am)!

This weekend I ate takeaways.  I shouldn’t have, the impact of this particular takeaway on my body has been slowly but surely increasing in a negative way over the past couple of months, and I suspect it finally hit peak ‘nope’ when it coincided with the first day of my period (which is always a time of gastrointestinal upset anyway).  The result?  PAIN AND POO.  Yes, that nasty ‘p’ word.  Except what was (and still is) coming out could barely be classified as that.

Which brings me to the actual topic of this particular post.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I can no longer eat whatever I want and just expect my body to be fine with it.  I wish I could, I really want to just be able to have a pain au chocolat and not feel like my insides are turning over, or have that piece of cake and not feel awful for the rest of the day.  I’d love to be able to eat takeaways because they’re so much easier than cooking.  But that is not my lot in life, apparently, so I’m going to have to suck it up.

My biggest problem is I am energy poor and, yes, lazy.  I’m not sure which came first, but the end result is I just don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes on making dinner, and that’s not even to talk about lunches.  Breakfasts are easy enough – I can swap my toast out for a big shake, I’ve done that before and I’ve felt a lot better for it.  But the rest – lunches and dinners – it’s just so much work.

So I have to keep telling myself:  suck it up.

I’ll be able to enact my master plan of changing up my diet this week.  I’ll get everything I need for my shakes, typically:

  • frozen fruit of some kind (mixed berry or straight mango is amazing)
  • banana
  • inoffensive (and cheap) protein powder with the largest difference in sugar and protein
  • milk
  • oats
  • LSA (if I remember)
  • coconut oil
  • sometimes plain unsweetened yoghurt.

Chuck it all in the blender in whatever proportions you like (I tend to go heavy on the fruit and oats and end up with something that more has to be eaten with a spoon than with a straw) and blend it.

Lunches … for now I’ll go with oats and milk and bananas until I can sort something a little more appealing, and dinners I’m going to wing it for now.  I’ve found a lovely recipe for hoki that I am so keen to try, as well as my old favourite orange salmon (the recipe of which escapes me).

It is a real challenge to change your diet when you’re exhausted and under the weather, but it’s times like these when you need that good diet the most.  (I still don’t want to, but I’m going to do it.)

The Possibility of Fibromyalgia


It’s been a rollercoaster couple of weeks.  I mentioned to a friend – in passing – that I’d hurt my arm again (same site as an old injury) and of course now everything else hurt and she stopped me and said “that’s not normal”.

It was like a full set of black-out blinds had been lifted.  My body’s reactions to injury was not normal.  Nor was feeling achy all the time, or having stiff joints, or feeling like you’re constantly coming down with the flu.

I mentioned this to my GP when I saw him for more fluoxetine.  He mentioned that I may have fibromyalgia, and we talked it over, what the diagnostics was, what kinds of treatments there were, what it involved.

A lot of things suddenly make a lot of sense.

My muscles ache, despite them having no reason to ache.  My joints hurt.  Old injuries flare up.

I have no energy, despite how much rest I’m getting.  I sleep badly.  I feel utterly burnt out by the end of the week, and need to relax for the entire weekend to have enough energy for the following week, and even then sometimes it’s not enough.

I almost constantly feel like I’m coming down with the flu.

Noise is sometimes painful.  Some clothing is painful.  I can’t wear rings because some days they are too heavy to wear and physically hurt.  I dislike things around my wrist or my neck for the same reason.

I have issues with my memory.  Not that that’s exactly new, and I’ve worked around it by either doing a thing immediately or writing it down.  My rule at work is if it’s not written down I’m not going to do it.  I forget things I’ve recently done.  I forget names.  I forget nouns, or say completely different ones (which is more an aspie thing than anything else, and makes for amusing conversations).

I have heart palpitations, I have rush-of-blood-away-from-the-head on standing, I have large HR ranges from 100 when I stand to 64 when I’m sitting down.  I have IBS.

I’m sensitive to medication, I’m sensitive to food, I’m hypersensitive to needles (seriously, it’s painful).  Regardless of how much I relax I can never remove tension or pain from my shoulders and neck.  I have issues with thermoregulation.

I could go on for hours.  But the stupid thing is:  I thought this was all normal.

Because whenever I got ill frequently I was told to harden up and go to school or work anyway.  Whenever I ached I was told it was growing pains, or I hadn’t exercised enough, or I was sleeping too much.

So I just … stopped complaining.  And with that, I stopped thinking about the pain, because if I thought about it, it got worse, so clearly I’m just imagining it (isn’t it wonderful what backflips the brain does?).

Some days I couldn’t ignore the pain.  Some days I sat at my desk and thought ‘I can’t do that right now’ because doing that would involve standing up and moving around and right now, with my hips and legs in as much pain as they were in, that was just too much.  And I wondered and I marveled at all the other assistants who could hop up and run around and how on earth did they have that much energy, how could they keep going?

It never occurred to me that it was not normal.

I’m still adjusting to actually listening to what my body is saying.  It’s going to take me a long time to realise that when my body says ‘whoa’ I actually need to whoa, and not just ‘harden the fuck up’ and keep going.  I still want to tell myself to harden up and keep going even though I am exhausted to the bone.

I go in for diagnostics in a couple of weeks.  Just history taking and pressure points test and bloods to rule out anything else.  Once I get a diagnosis I’ll be able to start making progress, but for now I’ll sit in this mildly terrifying limbo.  Maybe I do.  Maybe I don’t.  The alternatives aren’t really much better.