As you may recall, I took a break from blogging because I was blogging for the Arthritis Foundation Indianapolis chapter as a representative for the Indianapolis Arthritis Walk. I am truly dedicated to the event and the cause–and now chair of the event.
A Lot of Trials and Errors…Is GF/DF the Answer? July 25, 2011
But, of course, the fibro journey has continued with new trials and errors…I’m going on Year 5 of the hip pain drama. Physical therapy, yoga, and the drugs weren’t working. I tried lidocaine patches, all sorts of pain killers, the TENS unit, and on and on. While some of the drugs helped with the pain, they left me unable to concentrate, with more fog than I ever had. My rheumy, unfortunately, kept pushing new medications, more shots (that have never worked), more Biofreeze, more rest, and on and on. Nothing helped. I really started to get into a fibro funk: is this the best quality of life I’m aloud to have?
I keep a spread sheet of medical history, medications, doctors, and treatments that I’ve used. In the midst of my funk, I realized that I had over 15 current perscriptions. None of them were really helping, only taking the edge of the symptoms, but each one adding not-so-pleasant side effects. Something had to give.
During one of our early meetings planning for the next Arthritis Walk, I complained about the frustration. One of the staff members of the Arthritis Foundation suggested that I visit a chiropractor who is a huge supporter of our event (in fact, he’s our medical honoree this year). She had great success with him and I found out that our Vice Chair of the Walk was also seeing him. I’ve been very skeptical about chiropractors, especially after a bad couple of sessions two years ago, so I had marked that option off my list.
But, the more I thought about it, the more I considered. Traditional medicine was just not working. After researching his website and finding he’s also a nutritionist, I decided to give it a go. What did I have to loose (besides gas–he’s on the complete opposite side of town!)? This was an act of desperation, before I entered into complete meltdown mode.
I have to say, the first appointment was really good. This wasn’t about just my spine needing to be cracked every once in awhile. This was about a whole new approach to well being, one that seemed to have the potential of changing my life. It wouldn’t be easy, but it just might be what I need. In the upcoming posts, I’ll take more about my options. But I do want to share one with you now: he asked that I go gluten free and dairy free. Why? Because both have high intolerance rates and both raise inflammation in the body. I didn’t think it would be a big deal and quickly told him that I could do it.
Then came reality and a trip to the grocery store. I left pretty much in tears. There’s nothing ‘good’ left to eat….and the bill was twice as high as it usually is for a week of food. Eating out is painful and I’m ‘that’ customer. A birthday party over the weekend left me grumpy when all I could eat were a few veggies and everyone else was eating delicious cake and ice cream. It’s been seven days and I seem to have a bad attitude about it more often than a good one.
I honestly don’t want this treatment to work. I don’t want to give up coffee creamer and all of the amazing recipes for baked goods I have. I want to eat what I want when I want it. At a weekend cook out, I wanted a hamburger bun instead of a lump of beef on a plate. I watch Brian eat cheese and bread more intently than the dogs hoping for a scrap.
But, I can’t deny that I’m already starting to feel better. The fog is lifting, the pain diminishing, and my colon is working again. And it’s only been seven days. Is this my new life? Is my body just in constant rebellion from the years of doughnuts, Little Debbies, and frozen lunches?
My 16 year old sister started this same lifestyle voluntarily a few years ago to cope with fibro. When I saw her over the weekend, she was giving me all sorts of tips. But I’m not there yet. I’m with my Vice Chair who’s a few weeks ahead of me on the same plan: This sucks.
I’m not going to dedicate this blog to a GF/DF lifestyle–there’s plenty of those blogs out there. But, in future posts, I’ll let you know how it’s going and some of the tips I learn along the way. Everyone keeps telling me that it gets easier, you get use to is, and I know it will. It’s just such an adjustment that takes a lot of thought, a lot of time, and a lot of patience.
I know it’s time for me to do something more drastic than just going to a new doctor. It’s time for me to reclaim a clearer mind and pain free body. I’ve got a lot to do in the upcoming years, and I don’t want my body to stop me from any of it. I’m trying to remember that getting married, finishing a PhD, building a family, volunteering with the Arthritis Foundation, and being able to do anything I want is ten times better than cake and ice cream.
Wishing you a nutritious and delicious week ahead!