Some people may wonder what I do all day now that I am home. So now I give you,
A Day in the Life with Chronic Illness:
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)
6:00AM – Say goodbye to Jason as he leaves for work.
7:00AM – Take June for a walk. If I’m feeling ok I will stay up but more often than not I have to lay back down after the walk. Mornings are difficult.
9:00AM – Prepare breakfast. Today I had homemade sausage (sausage you buy is not AIP-compliant because it’s full of sugar and nightshades) and a grapefruit. It usually takes me a good 10 minutes to prepare all of my supplements for the day but that time is getting shorter because I am trying to slowly get off of supplements. I’m taking a ridiculous amount of pills per day and we cannot afford them.
9:30AM – Eat breakfast. Feel nauseous.
10:00AM – Prepare bone broth in the crock pot because it is supposed to help heal your gut.
10:30AM – Prepare kefir water. Kefir is also supposed to help your tummy and my parents sent me some grains to try last week. They are cool because, if you take care of them, they will last forever. More info at www.culturesforhealth.com.
10:45AM – Do dishes. Keeping up with this is essential because we cook absolutely everything.
11:00AM – Wonder if yoga will help me feel less like throwing up so get out the Wii Fit. Wii Fit tells me I’ve lost yet another pound. Internally freak out for a couple seconds and move on to some zen exercises and stretching.
11:20AM – Wonder what I will make with the ground beef for dinner but no energy to figure it out so sit on the porch for my daily Vitamin D therapy, reading the Bible and drinking my kefir water. At the beginning of this journey I decided it was a good time to start reading through the whole Bible again. Today I finished II Chronicles. Even though people with chronic diseases especially need more Vitamin D, I have to be careful with how much sun I get because, ironically, the sun often makes people with Sjogren’s Syndrome feel very bad.
11:40AM – Shower, for which I have hand-made all my hygiene products due to my reactions to all chemicals. Try on every pair of shorts and realize that, although almost every pair was too small last year, every pair is now too big so throw them in my ever-growing yard sale pile, saddened that they were pretty much never worn. Try to wear the only pair of shorts that fit but realize that, even though I have hung them out on the porch for hours, washed them FIVE TIMES and soaked them in vinegar, they STILL smell like “new clothes” and I know that if I wear them, I will react to the smell/chemicals. Throw them in the wash for the SIXTH time, this time on soak cycle with tons of vinegar and soap.
12:30PM – Realize it’s already time for me to think about food again. Prepare a chicken caesar salad with homemade dressing for which we had to order fish sauce online because every other kind of fish sauce has additives and sugar. STOP PUTTING CRAP IN MY FOOD, PEOPLE!!
1:00PM – Know that if I finally sit down, June will ask to go out. Think I can make it to the mailbox without throwing up, so take June on another walk.
1:15PM – Sit down to start this blog.
2:00PM – Since the rest of the day hasn’t happened yet, I will tell you about yesterday. Went to Fresh Market for their Tuesday grass-fed beef and free-range chicken sale.
2:30PM – Went to Walmart (I know, gross) because I thought they might have the specific kind of strainer I needed for my kefir grains.
3:00PM – I am fading fast but know that if I don’t go today, I will have to force myself to go tomorrow and who knows how I will feel tomorrow so I went to Ingles to do the rest of our grocery shopping.
3:30PM – Put groceries away. Walk June.
4:00PM – Start preparing dinner. Yesterday’s dinner was herbed chicken with mayo-less coleslaw.
5:00PM – Eat dinner. Feel nauseous for the entire rest of the evening.
6:00PM – Figure out what meat we will have tomorrow and get it out of the freezer. Make sausage for tomorrow’s breakfast. Make caesar dressing for tomorrow’s lunch.
7:30PM – Finally have a moment to spend with my husband.
8:00PM – Walk June.
9:00PM – Take all my bedtime supplements, prepare my pre-breakfast supplements for tomorrow, fill up my water for the billionth time and head to bed.
As you can see, my life revolves around food and doing things for myself that hopefully make me feel less nauseous. Taking care of yourself is truly a full-time job, though unpaid, of course. ** I honestly hate it. ** When I went into Social Work, I dedicated my life to the care of others, and now I am completely wrapped up in what it takes to keep myself alive for another day. I forgot to mention that at least 500 times a day I have thoughts like, “I can’t believe how good I’m feeling” to 5 minutes later, “I feel so sick and am apparently never going to get better. Ever“. Irrational? Maybe, but that’s what chronic illness does to your mind.
So how are we doing with the Autoimmune Protocol lifestyle?
This is our 21st day on the diet. If I really think hard, I can usually see some improvements in my overall well-being. My mom reminded me the other day that the simple fact that I have been able to attend church lately is proof that I am feeling a little better. I am truly grateful. But then there are other times, such as the other night when I was crying in migraine pain, or most of the time since then, wondering if my liver is just going to explode out of me because of the pain. I just have to take a moment to say how ironic it is that someone who can count the number of alcoholic drinks she has had in her life on one hand should have such a problem with her liver. It’s really not fair, and I should have just partied it up! Ha! Life’s insanity can be so much fun.
New favorite things:
Kale, fried with olive oil and mineral salt.
Grapefruits – I seriously cannot get enough of these things right now.
Homemade mineral salt and vinegar sweet potato chips.
Spiralizer – My parents sent us an incredibly cool gadget that makes veggies into spaghetti or chips and we think it’s the greatest thing ever!
Do I miss the eliminated food? Not really. It’s actually pretty amazing. Occasionally, if we see something on TV like pizza or ice cream we will say something like, “that looks good”, but the only thing that I still crave like none other is coffee. Honestly, I’ve either been too sick to crave or I just don’t care about all the other stuff anymore.
Gratitude. I am truly grateful for the support I have in my husband, who is willing to try new things with me. I am grateful to my family and friends for their support and occasional ear when I need to just explode all over someone. *Shout out to the Roommie and Jason, who let me be honest, upset, and sometimes downright mean!* I am grateful that God continues to take care of our terrifying financial situation. I am grateful each day for further insight into my body. Most people don’t get to be so connected to their bodies and I am becoming its leading expert moment by moment.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
Here’s to tomorrow’s blessings!
Love from my pooch and me,