April: When the Breeze Blows Just Right…

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In April, I have two more appointments. Both are about the same — retests show that I’m continuing to make progress. Doc says I’m even showing less sensitivity to gluten (but I won’t go down that road, not now, maybe not ever, and I did have a minor glutening setback, which I’ll talk about a few posts from now).

I gave up gluten a year ago but in reality, I think the problems that I had with it began in college, 30 years ago. I won’t get into the gory details here but suffice it to say that I lived far too long with some really gross and often painful bodily issues that I thought were just the things that our bodies do that we don’t talk about because they’re too gross, because no doctor ever gave me reason to think otherwise. (Actually, that’s not quite true. In college when these issues started, I saw two doctors — one said I ate too many nightshades and I should avoid everything with tomatoes, and the other said I either ate too much fiber or not enough, he wasn’t sure. Then I was put on laxatives that I became addicted to for the next three years.)

Eventually, my gluten issue manifested as a terrible rash, like poison ivy but more painful and less itchy, and I accidentally made the connection when I went without bread for a week (and the rash went away for the first time in a year-and-a-half) and then ate bread again (and it came back within hours). I experimented by cutting out gluten for two weeks and have never gone back because the changes throughout my body were so pronounced. I was so stupefied that I made a list of about 20 things that were better since giving up gluten (I’ve since lost the list but, in addition to the rash going away, it includes not having a continuously runny nose, far less joint pain, no boils, better-though-still-not-great digestion, and more that, again, is just gross and uncomfortable and embarrassing but if you think you may have issues like these and feel we should discuss them, let me know in the comments).

During the second of the two April appointments, I also tell Doc two important things: first, that I didn’t tell him when it happened in early March, but I lost a bunch of hair (‘bunch’ being a relative term when you have very little to lose). I lost it in several spots on my head where I’d harbored little bits of white hair, and my eyebrows and eyelashes had thinned (one eyebrow, my left, is thin-ish but almost normal most of the time but my right eyebrow has been consistently funky for about five years, when the middle-third fell out overnight). I tell him that I didn’t want him to be discouraged because I’d been expecting this — when I had the back spasms around Christmas, I was taking up to 10 Advil daily to help with the pain. I did this over the course of about six days, then slowly cut the dosage. I knew there had to be some sort of alopecia-based impact because whenever I get very stressed or sick, about four weeks later my nails get weird (very ridgy and soft), then those get better but about a month after they get better, I lose whatever bits of hair I have. That’s been the cycle for years, so I’d expected it.

The good news is that now there is the tiniest, tiniest bit of regrowth on my forearms and knuckles (I never thought I’d be excited about either of those things, but life does funny things to us). It’s barely visible, but when the breeze blows just right, I can feel it.

Doc tells me that at this point, I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing — eating well, taking care of myself, keeping up with the supplements. (Happy to do so, Doc).

He’ll see me again in a month. Now, it’s just continuing to heal, and time.

{Photo credit: MADE WITH LOVE BY RYAN MCGUIRE, http://www.gratisography}

{Note: These are my own experiences with applied kinesiology, which clearly aren’t meant as medical advice for anyone else. But I know a lot of friends and family members are grappling with a huge variety of autoimmune issues and other ailments, so I’m happy to share my experiences. And if this is your first visit and you’d like to follow chronologically, click here. Otherwise, enjoy!}



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