Changing the way I eat to change the way I feel

This isn’t something new for me, eating better to feel better. And I can’t say I’m a junk food addict or anything; the last “fast food” burger I had, or beef burger of any kind, was 3 years ago. I used to think that just eating the chicken pieces, all white meat!, or French fries no salt, was somehow saving me from unhealthy eating but… I was terribly wrong, and all of that went by the wayside even before that burger.

I’m once again shifting to a semi-radical diet change tomorrow, though it’s for rather different reasons than it used to be.
Shifting to a Paleo/SCD diet is not the hardest step for me to make, although no more grains of any kind is difficult in my head – the reality is that I feel horrible after a bowl of GF organic Oatmeal, or having 2 cups of rice instead of a small 1/2, and the two rice cakes as a snack actually seem to cause some serious discomfort (rice cakes?!). It’s not just wheat that bothers me, unfortunately. (It’s wheat, oats, rice, quinoa {ugh that stuff is the worst, I don’t care what everyone else says about it, inflamed for DAYS! No matter how it’s rinsed/prepared}, dairy, red meat, pork, sugar, syrups, honey, most fruits, legumes, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and recently, an increasing number of raw vegetables)

Fortunately though, it seems that others have similar issues and so after weeks of collecting some wonderful recipe books and a refrigerator full of appropriate foods I’m ready to dive in. And cut out the grains.

I don’t have any sense that this will stop my IBS or Crohns – both of which I had tentative dx of 10+ years ago, though they couldn’t find many signs of either internally, because I don’t think I have something that fits so easily(sorry, I know if you have it, it’s not “easy”) into one diagnosis -as I’ve had two doctors remind me of this week alone. Which is hard enough in day to day life, it’s actually taken me out of the loop so to speak, rather efficiently.

But when I read these books most folks start with a phase 1, 2 and/or 3 for good measure, because they are trying to stop uncontrollable bathroom trips, diarrhea and stomach cramps – all of which I used to have. None of which I really have now. I get the stomach cramps, but nothing happens afterwards – which you might think is a relief, but it’s not, because whatever it is that is so upsetting my body? Won’t leave…

Now I have nothing at all. I actually, quite literally, have very minimal sensation or ability to even pass what my body is or isn’t able to process well. But that’s a different post I think (it’s not hirschprung’s, but it is familial; 4th generation here).

Now I’m just hoping to stop inflaming what little sense I have left in my digestive tract, and avoid a 2 week hospital stay with removal of any of my remaining internal organs. If my body isn’t so inflamed from the inside out, it can’t hurt, right?

Goals, anyone???

Here’s to better health, and a happier body.


Holding on and Letting Go

As I’m heading in to my 5th colonoscopy (and 3rd upper endoscopy) tomorrow morning, with all of the fun prep involved (ahahahahahahaha… oh fark it, it sucks), I’ve been pondering the energetic reasons for finding myself here.

I’m not able to move things through my digestive system (so what am I not letting flow in my life?), except for an episode every 4-6 weeks of violent, uncontrolled, purging from both ends. If I don’t take laxatives, or large portions of enzymes and avoid a HUGE and growing list of foods, and an enema now and then.. I can go weeks without, well.. going.

At my last ER visit they discovered something in my lower left abdomen..

I’ve had digestive issues since I was at least 6 or 7 years old. When after a trip to that bastion of great cuisine, KFC, I ended up with what is still to this day the worst case of purging I’ve had, the toilet bowl was such a deep red, it was terrifying – I remember it nearly 30 years later, that and the intense pain and discomfort.

For whatever reasons my mother had at the time (fear of discovery of a home issues, my stepfather being so drunk she couldn’t leave, ?) I didn’t see the doctor right away, much less visit an ER.

When I was about 11 I noticed that I often had to “help” things along – I won’t go in to the details because it’s just not needed.

I’ve read about others who’ve had to do this as well, and recently my aunt told me that not only did my great-grandmother have serious issues (ending in colon cancer) but that my grandfather, and my aunt have had nearly the same exact troubles. So, hey, I’m not alone! Hmm.

However about 2 or 3 years ago I noticed it wasn’t just slow or sluggish or.. a sense that I needed to help my body move the waste out and on, but that I wasn’t feel ANYTHING at all at a certain point. In my lower left abdominal area to be precise.

And not long before this, I’d begun to have recurring dreams in which I’m shot in that area, usually leading to death. Or a fading of consciousness. They continued until last year, when I’d lost all sensation in that area.

It isn’t as though I feel I have to go, but I can’t. I don’t feel anything at all.

Which leads me to wondering what I’ve killed off inside myself, and what I’m holding on to, unable to let go of. Because I do believe it’s all tied in together.

And what is my family holding on to – what did I choose to take on and deal with? 4 generations having the same exact troubles.

Here I thought I was making such progress in letting go, in feeling worthy, yet it has become clear (or not so) that there’s still some deep work to open up to.

I was frightened of tomorrow for a while, terrified even, in part because of such uncertainty over what will be my 12th procedure/surgery where I fall asleep (are the odds still in my favor?). Also because I wonder what they will find, or won’t find. And what then?

Surgery would just be a temporary fix to what is obviously a hundred year problem (if not longer).

I want to heal the wound that has haunted my family. Free us from this bondage.

And someday? I’d love to be free to use the bathroom without delay, discomfort, or the nothing at all… I’d love to be well.


Clean dishes are a myth, Or, surviving chronic fatigue & pain one more day

I want to start out by saying a huge thank you to all the dishwashers that have ever been in my life. I miss you and appreciate all the dishes you’ve cleaned for me.

No, seriously. I miss having a dishwasher and I’m oh so thankful for them.

I wandered in to the kitchen today (this doesn’t take much, our tiny abode is, well, tiny) knowing that I had to do SOME of the dishes in the sink, today and no more ‘eventually’ about it.

When we moved from WA state we not only left behind our cute, cozy, but newer home, a lot of rain and some greenery; we left behind our own washer & dryer, and the dishwasher. Some days this bothers me far less than others.

Ok, most days it bothers me far less than others, but mostly because I just don’t do it that day and we end up waiting one more day.

And though I know to some people this would seem like one of those complaints about “1st world problems”, and perhaps it is in a way; however when just getting out of bed can be tiring, when sitting, walking, running, standing, and often all forms of laying down even are painful (and feel exhausting) – the idea of spending half an hour or more scrubbing dishes is less than ideal.


But this would be day 5 of not cleaning the dishes, and I’ve run out of any clean dishes so I can’t eek by any longer. This is a point at which the mental and physical fatigue I feel just have to be ignored. It isn’t to say that it no longer exists, but that at this moment, it is less important than clean dishes – if not for me, for the rest of the house.


I think that part of this block to clean the dishes stems from such a small space to do much of anything in the kitchen, cleaning, cooking, breathing (although the draft from the edges around the AC unit there help!) and I find myself standing there missing what was so much more than I .. well, than I want to.

I’m very thankful to have a fairly functioning kitchen, however I deeply miss have a kitchen more than 10 sq. ft. (including counter space and cupboards), and I long for a bit more space to stretch out in to, to cook, to bake, hey! Even.. to clean the dishes.

I’ve considered adding a second dish rack on the right side of the sink so that I can get all of the dishes at once, but there’s no where really to store it when I’m not using it so… that idea goes right out the proverbial window.

I suppose that really it will come down to doing every other day what I normally only dig up every few days, the desire for a clean sink overpowering the pain and fatigue.

And thankfully I have a spouse that has finally come to a point where they are ok with such housecleaning disasters – even suggesting that I get some outside help in to clean up this week. And I’m thankful that for one of the first times in my life I felt ok with this idea (there was a part of me that wasn’t but it was finally a small part), I felt OK asking for help and admitting I couldn’t really do it all without destroying my precariously balanced state of health.

I could finally, fully, admit that scrubbing the kitchen & bathroom floors, the toilet, the counters, the stove and then perhaps vacuuming would indeed be too much to take on (as it has been for many years) without too much guilt.

Guilt is such close companion to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and all manner of illness – that voice that says what I “should” be able to do, what I wish I was able to do, and how much better I might be if I did it and ignored the end results.
Which are usually pain, fatigue, bitchiness, sorrow, depression, and lots of sleeping. Somehow those things don’t pop up quite as strongly as guilt does though.

However, thankfully, gratefully, the past couple of years I’ve been slowly releasing the guilt and letting in the sunshine. Someone else out there is willing to do these things for me, and I’m ok letting them, mostly.

Of course… in our next place? Dishwasher, Washer & Dryer, my friends how I’ve missed thee.

Veronica Yem

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