A graduation of sorts

Yesterday was my last physical therapy session.

I’m not better, but things have drastically improved. I can sneeze and cough without wanting to cry. I can bend over and pick up Legos without (much) cursing. I can pick up my son without help from people or furniture. My lower back moves now. Not without pain, but the pain’s bearable. I can work through the rest.

Now it’s on me. If I want to keep being able to do those things, I need to carve out some time each day for my exercises. That’s been hard, especially this week. I logged close to 80 hours of work this week, and Monday was a holiday. But as I heard my therapist say to another patient yesterday, “Work is important, but so are you. And if your body doesn’t work, you can’t.” Too right. So on today’s agenda is setting up an exercise schedule.

The second part’s harder. Most of my pain now comes from dietary flares. They’re not as bad as they were, but I’m still swelling enough that I have to wear R’s pajama pants to bed. R outweighs me by about 50 lbs. I should not be swelling that much. So clearly I have more work to do on my diet. I need to be a bit more scientific in my food trials, and I need to start menu planning again. For all of us — our eating habits went out the window when I stopped planning dinner menus.

Also on my radar is intermittent fasting. (My preferred eating schedule when I was younger — back before it had a name, and influencers.) If the only sure-fire way for me to feel better is to not eat, maybe I should try to plan not-eating times into my day. I made a half-hearted attempt at IF earlier this year, before the house blew a hole in my routines, and it helped a bit. Perhaps it will help more if I don’t eat trigger foods during my eating window.

Today, though, I’m taking it easy on myself; I’m sore and swollen from yesterday. So I think I’ll do some stretches. Plan some menus. Set up an exercise schedule so maybe I don’t have to go back to PT.

I love my physical therapist, but I’d rather spend that money on furniture.

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There go my weekend plans

I just broke the cardinal rule of tummy bugs: I consumed food I would miss were I never able to eat it again.

Yep, my daughter barfed last night. A lot. My husband, upon picking up the bucket to empty it, said “Wow — that’s heavy.” (Sorry. TMI?) I sleep right next to her, so I’m now on watch for the next few days. And because I tend not to be able to eat anything I’ve ever vomited, the foods I eat this weekend are on the endangered list. But when you’re on a diet as limited as this elimination diet, what can you do?

Here’s hoping we get to stay friends, strawberry smoothie.

Speaking of the elimination diet, I’m entering the reintroduction phase now, on the advice of my nutritionist.

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You read that right — I finally have a nutritionist. And soon, hopefully, some answers. I sent 4 vials of blood off for testing yesterday, and will go in for a fasting blood test (4 more vials) next week. My wallet is much lighter now.

I’ll have to wait for the test results for answers to my big question (What can I eat?), but she did give me some pointers in the meantime. I figured I’d be chided for the absolute lack of variety in my diet, but she understood that part. Where I’m falling short is (drumroll) I’m not eating enough fat. So I get to do fun things like put oil in my smoothies. Hey, if it means I can stop thinking about food 24/7 and that this headache will finally go away, I will happily goop up my fruit.

In the meantime, I am testing out foods. I tried chickpeas last night. Since I am already in a flare, I can’t say if they set me off or not — but at least they didn’t make me immediately, noticeably worse. I’m thinking I might try some homemade hummus this weekend. Next week: Avocados. I hope I get to reclaim avocados. I miss them so.

sohungry

In other news, the print head on my printer died. Whether I killed it or it died of natural causes is unknown; I’m thinking these things simply have a specified life span to keep you buying new models. (I’ve had it nearly 7 years. That’s ancient in electronics years.) The new printer plus ink cost less than a new print head would have, and the new printer’s ink is less expensive than my current model’s, so I’ll take the hit. But damn, this was an expensive week.

As if I needed anything else to keep me inside this weekend, a) I had a quick freelance project come in and b) it’s freezing out there today. So I will stay home, sip hot beverages, earn a few Benjamins to throw at my newly burdened plastic (I just paid those off, damn it!), and hope I don’t puke.

Cross your fingers for me.