Sometimes I have so much to write that I’m paralyzed by what to say first. The past couple of weeks have been filled to the brim with blessings and disappointments. More sweet things than sour ones. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and my parents would ask me, “Would you like to hear the good or bad news first?” There is probably some kind of psychological truth revealed by your preference.
I can’t remember which one I liked to hear first as a child, but as an adult I would rather hear the bad news first. Rip it off like a band-aid. Praying to God the whole time that the good news softens the depressing blow.
If I have anything crummy to report, you should know by now it probably has to do with my health. In my last blog entry I excitedly talked about adding potatoes, apples, and olive oil to my diet. Unfortunately, my body hasn’t been a fan of all three. Baked and fried potatoes gave me some of the worst EoE episodes I’ve had in a while. I don’t know if my body wasn’t ready for the thicker texture, if Aunt Flo messed me up (Sorry, but not sorry. Periods are a real part of life. Get over it.), if I should have bought organic (apparently, potatoes are the #1 vegetable you are supposed to buy organic…didn’t know that until after the fact…of course…) or if my non-organic extra virgin olive oil contained corn oil (Olive oil sometimes contains soybean, corn, or other vegetable oils. They don’t have to claim it on the bottle. Awesome, right?).
I have kept organic apple juice for the most part (Uncle Matt’s products have worked well for me for both orange and apple juice.), and am still testing out if that is safe. Also, I tried Lay’s Simply Potato Chips, which only has 3 ingredients: potatoes, expeller-pressed sunflower seed oil, and salt. Irony of ironies, I had no EoE episodes with these chips, but I think because it’s a simple carbohydrate (I am still not eating refined sugar or any other simple carbohydrates.) I experienced an intense food coma 15 minutes to a half hour after eating them. I think my body just isn’t ready for them, so as much as I would love a “cheat food” it just isn’t worth it.
Now for some news on the positive side, I have lost more weight, and am now in the high 160’s. As glad as I am that I’m losing weight, there is no way I can sustain this diet long-term. Basically, I’m medically anorexic. I’m not getting enough calories everyday to function at a normal energy level. However, I will say the limited diet definitely feels like it is helping my throat and stomach to heal. The only way to know for sure that this intense elimination diet is working is to get a follow-up endoscopy. I made an appointment last week, and my gastroenterologist was really supportive and impressed with everything I have been doing. She understands and agrees I can’t maintain this current diet long-term. She scheduled me for an endoscopy on July 25th. By then, I will have been off all common allergens and caffeine for over 12 weeks as well as corn and refined sugar for 8 weeks.
This diet has been both physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing. It’s not for the faint of heart. If you have EoE or another dietary related illness, and are starting an elimination diet, don’t give up! Keep fighting. You will not always feel great on this diet, especially at first. I’m not going to sugarcoat it because most likely you can’t have sugar. Sorry bad dad joke.
I have both good and bad days. At the beginning it was a string of bad days taunting me. Now the good days are more victorious. My diet may be limited, but my spirit has started to be unleashed from the chains of the past 5 years. As my throat and stomach recover, my unshakeable anxiety and depression have been slashed and cut down in size.
I can sing again. Joy is awakening from her long slumber.