Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, cooking, Laurenaissance, The Other Side

The End is Near

I am nearing the end of a 4 week elimination diet.  And for the most part, I have done not too badly with it.  I had one day where I ate just about every carbohydrate I could find – luckily I had a total of 1/4 cup of rice and a can of kidney beans at home, and about $5 dollars in my pocket which was enough to buy a latte and a croissant at the cafe down the street.  And other than going out for dinner one time in the last 4 weeks, and had 3 bites of a very chocolatey dessert which resulted in the most wicked headache ever, I have pretty much toed the line when it comes to this diet (holy long sentence – and breathe!). And I can now pronounce that sugar is evil.

I feel FANTASTIC.  Here is the list of changes that have happened:

  • My anxiety has been greatly reduced
  • I have loads of energy
  • My jeans fit better
  • I have lost an entire shoe size (figure that one out – because I cant)
  • The only real noticeable weight that I have lost is in my chest, because I no longer have any bras that fit (figures I would lose there first). But yay for shopping days!
  • My hair is healthier, and doesn’t fall out nearly as much
  • My skin is much less dry – and dare I say, almost glowy
  • I feel terrible when I sneak in a carbohydrate
  • Berries now taste like mold.  They don’t have mold – I checked, its my taste buds that are wrecked.
  • I am managing to save a few extra $$$ a month – probably because I have to stay home now.
  • I am happier.  Like way happier.  Like super happy.

And this is what I look like after almost an entire month on this diet.

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For those of you who don’t remember what I looked like when I started this journey – I looked like this 4 weeks ago.

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Go ahead and tell me I look much better now – I love hearing that. Check out the fact that I no longer have humongous black circles under my eyes. I can only speculate of course, but I think they may be gone for good.

And here is the best news – because Im feeling so much better (the lack of anxiety especially), I am going to continue on this journey – with a slightly altered diet. I simply must have oranges. And tomatoes on second thought I don’t need tomatoes.. But chilies – my chamomile tea really misses those things. I’ll try it out, anyway.

 

 

 

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, cooking, Laurenaissance

When A Diagnosis Gives You Back Your Life

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Five days ago I started an elimination diet for thyroid dysfunction after I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease.  The photo on the left (where I look like a serial killer) was taken on Sunday (day 1). The photo on the right was taken this afternoon (day 5).  Neither photo has a filter, and the only makeup I am wearing in today’s photo is lipstick.  Even I can tell that the difference is fairly amazing.

So what causes the difference?  A diet that has no sugar, no dairy, no grain, no fruit, a considerable less amount of vegetables that I am used to eating, way more protein than I want to eat – which forces me to drink twice the amount of water than normal.

This is what has happened to me in the last 5 days:

  • I had a really rough start – I woke up having a panic attack in the middle of the night, and ended up in the emergency room.  I can’t 100% be sure that it is diet related (considering it happened on the first day), but eating animals is not natural for me – so it might be related. A little valium and some rest, and I am fine.
  • My skin is a lot clearer, and brighter.
  • My eyes are clear.
  • I am hungry all the time. I am obsessed with food now. If I am not eating or cooking, then I am counting down the minutes until I can be eating or cooking. I hope this passes soon – I am so tired of looking at photos of food on pinterest and instagram.
  • I have lost 7lbs in 5 days (without trying).
  • I walk faster
  • For the very first time since I have been living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I don’t have huge dark circles under my eyes.
  • I don’t crave salt! Seriously for 20 years I have basically wanted to have a salt lick installed in every room in my apartment. NO MORE!
  • I am still exhausted but its a different kind. Its the kind that is caused by over scheduling ones self.  I understand its early days still – but I am hopeful.
  • Today, I feel pretty.  And I can’t tell you the last time I was able to say that.
  • I smile

I feel a little like I am getting my life back.  I have a long way to go, but I am definitely healing. And a healing journey makes me happy.

One final lesson that I learned  – a single cinnamon red heart is enough to cause a headache for an entire night. So now we know, sugar really is detrimental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, travel

Jetlag: A Variant of Depression

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I have been home for 4 days now, and I feel awful. Each day is worse than the last. What I am experiencing is not so much jet lag per se, but more like some combination of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome + Depression.  I sleep at weird hours, and when I am awake I am basically a zombie. I can’t stand sunlight right now, so I have been wearing sunglasses inside, for the entire 40 minutes of sunshine we have had since I got back.  My lessons yesterday were unfocused and scattered. Could it be that I am just missing Europe?  Yes, that is definitely part of it.  But I am not even interested in doing things that I missed when I was over there. Walking the trails – no interest. Reading books – no interest.  Talking to my friends – can barely stay awake. Seeing friends for tonight’s Super Bowl – no thank you. What do I want to do?  Sleep, eat artichoke hearts right out of the jar, drink lemonade, and watch back to back episodes of Doctor Who and Rita on netflix.

I have never really suffered from jet lag before – and so this is my first real experience with it. Usually I don’t give myself time to recover. And this trip, I gave myself 4 days of rest before heading back to work. This could very well be my problem. I feel like a loser complaining – such a privileged white girl going on and on about her recovery time after a trip to Europe. But there you have it. I’m a mess right now – and I don’t see it improving anytime soon. Despite the fact that I am totally inspired and ready to embrace some change. I just can’t seem to get out of bed, or dressed, or ready to face the day.

For now, I am just going to let the pile of bricks that have fallen on top of me win this round.

 

 

 

 

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

How to Get Well – By a Doctor Mom

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If you have ever read any of my writings about living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or are currently a friend of mine living with CFS)- you will know that my mother doles out wellness advice. She is not a Doctor -but she has that kind of diagnostic confidence that doctors have when she is dealing with her children. She is often wrong -especially when broken bones are involved. But when dealing with CFS and me/ME (pun!) she is right on the money.

There are 3 things that she does really well:

  1. She makes a magic soup that will make just about any sick person feel human again.
  2.  She makes a mean cup of tea
  3. She has created some rules for wellness that actually work – and she doesn’t exactly give you a timeline to do them, though they should probably all be done close to each other.

These wellness rules are simple – and created for a person who has zero energy – and isn’t capable of doing complicated tasks because the exhaustion has made life unbearable for the moment.

The rules for wellness by my Doctor Mom are:

  1. Drink water – a lot of it. 2 glasses immediately (as in right now).
  2. Eat an egg.
  3. Go walk around the block -I don’t care if it takes you 5 minutes or 3 hours.

I’ve been having a rough time of it. This not sleeping thing has screwed me up hugely. In fact, I am quite impressed with myself that I can type this out – because I have been having a hard time understanding english these days.  But today, I couldn’t take it any more.  I was in bed until noon – hurting and exhausted. I had to force myself to get up – get dressed, and go for breakfast. I walked to a diner – 2 blocks away – ordered eggs and bacon (I gave my bacon away to strangers), and then managed to walk about 2 miles. Yay!  There was a time, that I couldn’t even do that. So lets take that as a win.

So now its almost 4pm, and I am laying in bed, fully dressed – with the covers on. Hoping that I have tired myself out enough that I will sleep tonight.  But knowing that I shouldn’t  be here (in this bed) just in case I accidentally fall asleep, and do more harm to myself.

So I’m getting up now.

Thanks mom for your rules. I feel like I accomplished something, even if that was only eating a proper breakfast.

*photo source Daniel Novta via flickr

 

 

 

 

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