Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wheat Free

After receiving my endometriosis diagnosis, I started doing some research on the Internet. One site I came across mentioned the "endo diet". It's basically eliminating pretty much all food aside from fruits and veggies.
My mom and family are quite into natural healing, and healthy eating. Granola, is the term some would use, I think. Radical, is probably the term my DH thinks in his head. Being the Libran that I am, I try to find a happy balance. I'm easily convinced of new theories, which is probably why I get walked all over a lot in life. And DH always takes the opposing viewpoint of ANY issue I bring up (read: non-supportive) so he is on the other side of the fence. So....somewhere there's a happy balance.
But that's neither here nor there.
I do believe that much of what we eat greatly affects us. Look around you at all the health problems people have, all the obesity, even mental health problems. We eat more processed food, more genetically modified food, more chemical and hormone saturated food than we did fifty years ago. How can anyone ignore the fact that it's probably related?
And it's hard to go back to a more "natural" lifestyle, although more and more are realizing it, that we need to. It's not only hard to give up the easy food lifestyle we're accustomed to, it's also expensive! I wish I could afford to only buy organic foods. But a bag of organic milk for $8? A few chicken drumsticks for $10? Sorry, but no. It's just not within my means.
So here is what I read, as far as this diet goes (which is meant to reduce, if not, rid one of endo):
  • no wheat (gluten)
  • no dairy
  • no soy (products)
  • no red meat
  • limited  organic chicken and fish
  • no sugars (aside from organic maple syrup or agave)
  • no caffeine (that one will be very difficult)
  • no alcohol (not so difficult, I barely drink three drinks a year) 
  • no eggs (I LOVE eggs!)
I'm sure there was more, but I can't think of it. There's no way I'm going to be able to do all that. I'd starve on nothing but veggies, fruits and nuts. And I would miss cheese.
So much.
But I thought I would try. I would start with one step (or two) and go from there. I will gradually wean myself of some of these things, gradually get them out of my life.
I started with wheat, as this made the most sense to me. First, because my mom has a problem with wheat, my sister has a problem with wheat, and so does my niece, to some extent. It seems to be in the family, although I'm thinking that if you picked ten people out of a crowd at random, and made them eliminate wheat from their diet, I'm betting at least five of them would notice a difference (in their health, I mean, not their palate!) so maybe it's not exactly in the genes...
I've always been somewhat, ahem, gassy. And that seems to run in the family too... I have known since high school that lactose is a huge contributor to that problem, and so I avoid it as much as I can. But I never really thought about other foods giving me that problem. Well, I sort of did, but didn't really care. After all, I do work from home, LOL. No need to worry about it too much.
I also chose to start eliminating wheat because a friend did and lost weight. I'm not deluding myself into thinking that I'll magically drop ten pounds, but I was thinking that if I'm not eating wheat, I'm also not eating cookies, muffins, cakes, buttery crackers, fattening pizzas and starchy pastas. It's like being forced to go on a diet.
So I've been wheat-free (as much as I can, but not 100%, I'll explain later) for 9 days now. Today would be the tenth day. Is the tenth day! I'm not giving up! And what have I noticed so far?
  1. I'm less bloated.
  2. I'm less gassy (although not like, 90% less, so I'm thinking something else is a culprit here...corn maybe? It's in EVERYTHING!)
  3. Aside from today, as I think I may have a cold coming on, I haven't had one headache in nine days. That's unusual for me. 
  4. I can almost move my belt in a notch (it's a little too tight if I do)
One of the less pleasant side effects from this "experiment" has been the discovery that I need to up my fibre intake some other way now. I always relied on whole grain breads, and high fibre cereals in the morning. Since I've replaced the bread with a much less fibrous gluten-free bread, and the cereal with mainly oatmeal, I'm kind of missing out. I won't go into details, don't worry. But I'm going to buy some steel-cut oats this weekend, and experiment with making oatmeal that way, and I'm also going to buy some flax seed or ground flax to add in. That should help.
I hope.
So while I thought I was wheat-free, after researching some more on gluten-free diets, I learned that there are so many products with hidden wheat in them. Like, soy sauce! And, stock (for soups, etc). And malt vinegar. Things you don't really think of. Things I was eating.
Oh well. Now I know.
I haven't baked yet. For the kids, for my family. I've lost the want and will to do that completely. I should though, because they enjoy it, and because DH was complaining about having no treats to eat after I yelled at him for going after my gluten-free ginger cookies I bought. Maybe today.
I hope I can stand the smell of freshly baked cookies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Best Valentine's Gift Ever

I don't really care for Valentine's Day. It's no secret. I think it's an excuse to sell stupid cheap stuffed toys, or chocolate, or over-priced cards and half-dead flowers. It's for the young, the teen-aged and early twenties set. The kids like it because they get to bug their parents to buy more crap and eat crap for really no reason other than Hallmark says it's ok.
I really should one day research the actual meaning and origin of Valentine's Day. I'm curious to know who started it.
I don't hate it. It does provide a much needed break and splash of colour in an otherwise dreary and long winter haul. It also gives me a theme to work crafts around for the kids. The sugar-high part, I could do without.
But as far as my own love life, I don't need Hallmark and mass marketing to tell me I need to tell my DH I love him. I tell him that anyway. And cards have never been much of big thing around here. My DH believes in only funny cards, for any occasion, and has never been one to express any sentiment whatsoever via the written word, unlike my sis's sweet hubby. (Perhaps he should give lessons)
To me, actions speak louder than words, written or spoken. And this morning, my DH gave me a most fabulous gift:
He did the dishes from last night.
Without being asked to, or hinted at.
I told him I loved him, and thank you. And that he really couldn't have given me a better gift.
L objected, saying that he's sure lots of things would have been better. But I don't think so. Flowers are pretty, but a waste of money. Chocolates are yummy but fattening and they generally don't agree with me anyway. Even a maid service would be great, but I would have been annoyed at the money spent to get it.
Nope. Doing the dishes was truly the best Valentine's gift I've ever received.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

So Now What?

On Tuesday, I went in for my laparoscopic surgery to remove my dermoid cyst, look for endometriosis, and tubal ligation. The surgery itself went fine, I guess. I mean, I'm still alive, no lasting damage done.
The day was very long. I had to be at the hospital for 11:00 a.m., which meant no food after midnight, and no liquids after 8:00 a.m. (and only clear ones before that.) it was a long time to wait to be without fluids. That really sucked. I was so thirsty. I have no problem going without food, not that I could have eaten with my nerves anyway, but I hate being unable to drink. My head was pounding by the time surgery came around 2 in the afternoon!
My mom came with me, and I felt bad for her. It was a lot of waiting around for her. At least I was unconscious for part of it.
So this was my first experience with anesthetic and surgery. I was very worried about the coming around part, but it wasn't that bad. They didn't rush me, or tell me to stay awake, so that was good. They did, however shove pills into my mouth when I was half conscious. I thought that was weird. I think I was coming to, and losing consciousness a fair bit, although it didn't see like it at the time. I remember coming to, coughing, and then feeling like I didn't want to open my eyes, so I didn't. In my half-lucid state, I was thinking rather childishly that if I pretended to be asleep, they'd leave me alone. HA HA! The next thing I remember is someone calling my name and shoving a straw between my lips, then telling me to open and shoving pills in my mouth! Lucky for them I take pills easily, unlike some people I know that can't take pills at all.
The next thing I remember is them moving me to the next recovery room. I did manage to look at a clock and was shocked to see it was around four. I was in a fair amount of pain, like really bad cramps. They were asking me how bad the pain was, on a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst pain I ever felt. Well, I've felt some really bad pain in my life. I've had two children without any drugs, so I know pain! But telling them that this pain compared to that was merely a three wasn't going to get me any more pain meds. I'm learning that the hard way. Thankfully they took pity on me when they couldn't take watching me lie there grimacing and writhing anymore. They shot me up with something, and then I was better.
But I was so sleepy. My mom came into the room,we talked for a bit, then I went to sleep on her. So she just played solitaire on my ipad When I woke up, I felt a bit nauseous, so even though the nurse was hoping to get rid of me, she shot me up with gravol, which meant that I had to stay another half hour. I was ok with that. I promptly passed out again.
The next time I woke, I realized the whole place was pretty much vacant. But I still felt sick. Mom helped me dress, then got my drunken self into a wheelchair and wheeled me out. That was the worst ride I've ever had. By the time mom got to the doors, I was opening the barf bag and holding it up to my face. When she went to get the car, I asked her to leave me outside, despite the negative temperatures. Actually, that's the only thing that helped; the cold, cold fresh air.
When I got home, I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. I was shocked by how grey I looked. Horrible.
I basically slept on and off since two o'clock that day until seven the next morning. That's a lot of sleep, even if some of it was drug-induced!
Since then, I've been ok. The incisions aren't too sore, it's more the air that's stuck inside of me that's killing me. They pump air into you so they can see what they're doing, but don't remove it. So it's stuck in my abdominal cavity, bubbling around and driving me crazy. It's painful, as gas can be. Only I can't burp or fart it out (forgive the crudeness!), I can just hope for it to somehow dissipate.
The weird part of this experience is that the doc never came to talk to me afterwards. I had to call his office the next day to find out what happened. I also had to make a follow up appt for six weeks away.
So as it turned out, I never actually had a dermoid cyst. What I do have, is stage four endometriosis, which is severe, and a lot of scarring on my uterus and ovary. Apparently, my ovary is stuck to my bowel, so he couldn't remove it without fear of putting a hole in my bowel.
So basically, he said my option is to have a hysterectomy. Which I guess doesn't really make it an option. Unless I choose to not have one, but then what? I'll continue to have these painful episodes. And likely they'll get worse. But even a hysterectomy doesn't guarantee the endometriosis will go away.
So that's my story. I don't know what to do,but I'm guessing the next time the endo flares up, I'll be making a solid vow then to end the pain by any means possible.

Friday, February 3, 2012

So Frustrating

Not knowing what to do in a situation can be one of the most frustrating things ever. Especially when the situation has happened before, and you did what your instincts told you to do, and everything was ok. But every situation has variables. No two are the same. Especially when it comes to L.
L is eight years old now. Not a teen, not even a pre-teen really. So when he shuts me out, and refuses to talk to me like a teenager might do to their parents, it DRIVES. ME. CRAZY!
I'm so lost. I don't know what to do. I've never faced this problem before. And yeah, it's such a small problem in relation to other problems other kids have, but this is my dilemma, my blog.
Here's an example:
Yesterday, I picked him and other kids up from school. Outside the school there is a small hill, that's covered in ice. Not a safe situation, but a fun one for any kid not concerned with head injuries. The kids were playing on said hill, blowing off after-school steam. Everyone was fine. L was fine. L was happy.
I gave the "one more turn" warning, and after that, turned and left. Like the Pied Piper, children followed me.
As we approached home, I noticed the gloomy look on L's face. "Now, what?" I thought. I asked him what was wrong, and he ignored me. I tried to stop him walking and look in his eyes, but he wouldn't meet my gaze. I asked again, and again, he shrugged me off and pushed past to continue on home.
And again this morning. We were walking to school, everything was hunky-dory. L stopped to slide on some ice against my advice, and the other kids were still continuing on to school, so I did too. We were only next door to the school, and I left him behind. He was not crying, he wasn't shouting, "Wait!". He didn't seem to care. And he's 8, so he can manage to walk that short distance by himself.
When we arrived at the school, he had caught up, but had that disgruntled look on his face again. I asked what was wrong, and he wouldn't answer. Again.
This kind of thing just makes my blood boil. I can't even begin to describe the inner turmoil I feel, how ANGRY and FRUSTRATED it makes me feel! I want to take him, and shake him. I want to force him to tell me what is wrong, why he is behaving like this. I want to threaten him with punishments if he continues like this.
But I don't.
It takes EVERYTHING, every ounce of control I have to walk away and leave it be. Because there isn't anything I can do. It's out of my hands. It's out of my control.
But it's not right. He shouldn't be shutting me out. Not at his age. He is still young, I feel. Logically, your mother should be the one you turn to for comfort at his age. He should be looking to me to make it better. Why is he bottling up these feelings? Is it to punish me? To make me hurt too? Because that's what it feels like.
And the frustrating thing about it is that I can't see what the sudden mood swing is from. What happened between minutes 35 and 36 of that hour? He wasn't hurt, he wasn't shouted at, he wasn't ridiculed or poked fun of. What was it?
It angers me too, because he is ignoring me, and to ignore someone when they ask you a question is just the height of rudeness in my book. And you don't ignore your parents.
So what do I do? Do I continue to question him, to demand an answer because he should not be getting away with this behaviour? Is it just bad behaviour, another form of manipulation?
Or do I leave him alone, respect his wishes? Do I allow him his privacy to brood? Do I recognize that maybe he can't help this behaviour?
But bottling up your emotions isn't healthy, right? Doesn't that lead to more problems? Shouldn't he be forced to explain what he's feeling?
The dark looks directed at me during these times (and those two examples are MERELY the tip of the iceberg!) scream to me that his ire is focused on me. That I've done something wrong, or that he wants me to notice that he's upset at something. But if the goal is to get me to notice something is wrong, then bloody well tell me what it is!!
So if he has a problem, a real issue with feelings and sorting through them, then I need to help him. But I don't know how.
And if it's a behaviour thing, then the answer to me is obvious; I need to ignore the behaviour and show him that if he wants attention, he can get it by cooperating.