Sunday, January 1, 2012
A New Year
Happy New Year to all my friends and readers, which are probably completely overlapping sets.
Here's wishing everyone a healthy, happy, successful 2012, in which you conquer your Lizard Brain, achieve wonderful things, and the Maya calendar quietly rolls over.
For myself, I've just come out of a nasty colitis flareup, and I need to make sure I get it to quiet down. One of the major ways in which I kept it under wraps for the two years since my previous one (which just happened to coincide with a period of major stress, including my oldest son's Bar Mitzvah and two transatlantic flights) was by reasonably strict adherence to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). This is a 90s version of what we would call a low-carb diet - a complete reversal of the low-fat, high-carbohydrate paradigm we were all brainwashed with in the 70s, 80s and 90s. When it came out I thought it was completely crackpot and paid no attention to it. For some reason I seemed to think that low-dose chemotherapy (6-MP) would be better for me. Of course I spent most of the latter part of the 90s either pregnant or breastfeeding, which not only kept me partially immunosuppressed (and therefore mostly flareup-free), but also mercifully kept me off the 6-MP. Alas, it has been almost five years since I regretfully weaned my youngest child, so I really cannot claim any more benefits from that.
After my latest flareup, I really did not want to go back on the bad stuff. I'd been reading about how it increases your chance of leukemia, for example. I spoke with a friend whose ex-husband is now dying of liver failure brought on by many years of taking it. It just doesn't seem worth it. So, how to keep the colitis under control? It could kill me a lot more quickly if I just left it. Short-term prednisone was pretty reliable in the perpetual game of whack-a-mole, but doing it too often is not healthy, either.
A providential meeting with a friend at the gym was the turning point. She told me about her cousin, whose daughter had been desperately ill and who had found great benefit in the SCD. The cousin generously corresponded with me and encouraged me to take the plunge. I did it. I cut all grains and sugar from my diet, and that made a huge difference. For two years, I was completely symptom-free. I started running, and even ran a 5K.
Then I fell off the wagon. How do these things happen? Is it the Lizard Brain? Or just stupidity? Regardless, I suddenly found myself getting into the kids' cookies. Staying up too late at night and feeding my face with all the stuff that I KNEW was bad for me. How surprising is it that I flared up again? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
As of now, I have done my whack-a-mole again, and I need to keep things quiet. I have lots of things I want to do this year, including more 5Ks and maybe even a 10K. I want to teach and write and have energy to do things with my kids. I've got my second son's Bar Mitzvah coming up this year. I don't have time to mess around with stupid processed junk that causes my innards to explode. I don't want to keep myself immunosuppressed, with whatever chemical means. I want to be healthy.
So, I am going to use this blog to keep myself honest. Along with the other things I like to natter on about, I'm going to bore you to tears with my accountability. Sleep and diet are the main issues that I have identified. I hope you will stick with me on this journey ... and lend me your support when I find myself sliding again.
What are the issues you find yourself wrestling with in this brand-new year?