A couple of times this year I’ve written that I feel like I’m dying, so now that I believe you’ll be stuck with me a while longer, I feel obliged to offer an explanation, if not an apology. If the last one to the grave writes the epitaphs, I’m still in the race. Looking at you, Christina.
I saw a neurologist, who told me that whatever is wrong, it’s not in my head. I really appreciated that because the first three doctors I saw seemed to think that it was – one even suggested I was just depressed. I said, “but I feel happy…” She said, “well, you can be depressed without having a low mood.” I was first diagnosed with depression at age 9, and in 30 years of contending with mood disorders that’s a new one on me. I was sleeping 18 hours a day, had chronic joint pain, and brain fog that made me feel drunk, but to be honest, I have rarely felt happier. I was too dumb with fatigue to worry or feel sad about anything.
Most importantly, he said, it’s not anything scary like multiple sclerosis or early onset Alzheimer’s. Overnight oxymetry even ruled out sleep apnea. So the good news is, I have none of those things. So, so, so much gratitude. The bad news is we still don’t know what I do have.
If anything (other than celiac, which is quite possibly VERY MUCH enough). 30 days ago I started an autoimmune diet and started trying to work out again. 30 days ago “trying to” were the key words in that sentence, because I could barely peel myself off the floor, I was so tired. Tonight I completed a 30 minute HIIT workout without thinking about it.
So, the other obligation I feel here is to do a little evangelizing. The good news is this: like your mama told you, eat your veggies, your fish, and your pastured meats, and you’ll be strong like Popeye. Or something. That’s basically the only change I made. Having a celiac diagnosis, I also dropped all grains, and to find out if I have other issues I temporarily eliminated dairy, eggs, legumes, and nightshade vegetables. I’m adding those back one at a time starting this week. Not grains, of course. Grains and I have finalized an acrimonious – apocalyptic, even – divorce. But the takeaway is this: I got kind of responsible about my nutrition (compared to my previous diet, which included days of living on coffee alone, at times – I have four kids under 6 – don’t judge), and I now feel better than I felt before I felt terminal.
Your mama knew what she was talking about. Eat your spinach.