22 May 2012

Tender Mercies in an Overwhelming Day

Today completely overwhelmed me.

I've had unexplained health problems for the past four years, which have left me completely exhausted and sometimes dizzy for months at a time. I've gone to several doctors, tried different courses of action, and still I hadn't discovered the root issue. We'd only been merely treating the symptoms. Well a couple weeks ago I went to an angel of a doctor and he talked with me and he actually listened to me (miracle!) and he took six vials of my blood. Yes, six.

Today I went back and he went over the results with me, spending the necessary time to go over what every single line of the six page report meant and explaining the physiology when necessary. I finally got some answers:

I can't eat wheat, milk, or eggs anymore.

This is both good news and bad news. Good news is that this should put my body back in balance and resolve the weird problems I've been having and lead a normal life, feeling much better than I have in years.

The bad news is that I feel like I'm going to be hungry from now on. (I know I'm not actually going to be hungry. It just feels like it.) Milk and eggs I can deal with. Coconut or rice milk, check. I can still eat cheese and yogurt, so that saves me from instantly breaking down into sobs. Eggs I never really eat anyway and it's not a big deal if they're used in something. These two things I can handle. It's just the wheat. It's in everything it seems. For many people this wouldn't be a big issue at all. After the appointment, I went back to work and wasn't too worried about it. But then my brain actually started to register what this would mean for my life and I became completely overwhelmed. So much so that I left an hour early, came home, watched some HIMYM, worked on a puzzle, and tried to not think about it. Then I went to three different grocery stores for different reasons and I just became more downtrodden as the seemingly insurmountable task of feeding myself unfolded before me.

You see, I am not a planner. I can do big picture stuff. Ask me where I want to be in five years and I'll have an answer for you. Ask me what I'm going to be doing the rest of the week and that gets a little hazy. Planning was the worst part of every week on my mission. I hate hammering out details. I like understanding expectations and big picture issues. The rest just falls into place as you go along. But having such a strict diet now requires that I actually plan ahead and have a detailed plan of what I'm going to be eating. At least now as I'm trying to wrap my brain around it.

And that is what overwhelms me. I feel almost panicky when I think about what I'm actually going to be eating beyond tomorrow. Before I could just wing it (my favorite). Now I have to think about it. Food has turned from friend to foe. Thanks a lot, Food.

But as I was meandering through Sunflower Market, feeling completely out of my element surrounded by natural, organic, Oregonianesque foods, a beautiful thing happened: "Angel of Harlem" by U2 came on. U2 has a magical ability to heal me. I felt instantly better. And then CCR's "Proud Mary" came on. Another favorite. And then when I went to Smith's because I'd forgotten something (third grocery trip by then) "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi came on and I couldn't help but dance a little and sing along. That was exactly what I needed. It helped me realize that even though this overwhelms me, and will continue to overwhelm me for some time, God knows where I am and what I'm going through. Those songs were a hug from on high and I'm grateful to know that I am loved, even while grocery shopping.

And I know I can conquer this.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry about the food thing, but glad for the "hug from on high." :) Also, Food For Life (foodforlife.com) makes wheat-free bread and tortillas, and they sell their stuff in stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Good luck!