216 – Mental Health Day

Nana Betty remains at rest. She is sleeping mostly – waking briefly to look to the right – her eyes seem fixed – but mostly sleeping. I took today off work to visit her, going out this morning to be there while Dad and Dianne couldn’t and it was nice just sitting with her.

After that I headed back in to town to see the (slightly less useless than my usual doctor) doctor about my recent blood tests and results. Evidently he seems to think that – weirdly enough – me falling off the food wagon is the immediate and most obvious cause of my iron levels and everything else going to shite. Seriously. I paid him money to tell me that.

The good (not great but at least it’s an explanation) news is that my face and hand skin stuff is most likely a form of psoriasis (that sounds gross eh? Mostly I don’t look SO bad ha ha) that can be treated (probably) with a cream that I today got on prescription for only ten buckaroos. Fingers crossed. Where I avoid most anything that goes on your skin for fear of making it worse – this has no petroleum in it – guess what it’s main ingredient is?

Urea. That’s right – it’s tickling your memory/word association bone – Ureaaaaa…….Urine!

‘Urea, also called carbamide, is an organic chemical compound, and is essentially the waste produced by the body after metabolizing protein. Naturally, the compound is produced when the liver breaks down protein or amino acids, and ammonia; the kidneys then transfer the urea from the blood to the urine. Extra nitrogen is expelled from the body through urea, and because it is extremely soluble, it is a very efficient process. The average person excretes about 30 grams of urea a day, mostly through urine, but a small amount is also secreted in perspiration. Synthetic versions of the chemical compound can be created in liquid or solid form, and is often an ingredient found in fertilizers, animal feed, and diuretics, just to name a few.’ From WiseGeek.com

Anyhoo – apparently it’s really gentle, french (he kept stressing that it was french and oooh la la fancy) and commonly given to folks with sensitive skin like me and waaaaaaaay better than topical steroids! Feeling hopeful. Wish I’d thought of washing my face in wee before now. Ha ha no.

Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Probiotics – you name it – he reckons I should take it all. We’ll see – I am terrible at remembering to take pills after about 3 weeks but if I go back to sugar free-ness, dairy free-ness, COFFEE free-ness, raw food free-ness etc I reckon I’ll start to absorb the stuff again.

As the GD thinks that most supplements just give you expensive piss, and that my track record is NOT absorbing anything from supplements anyway because of my damaged gut, I am going to shop around and try to find the best form of iron to take that will be absorbed the easiest and not, ahem, slow anything down.

Or I could always just eat lots and LOTS of prunes.

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202

Remember that I said we were going to get the lads tested for Coeliacs in the holidays? We took them in to the lab in the first week and I went too, I was getting a general WOF and the lads were being checked to see if they had the raised levels indicative of Coeliacs disease.

All week I had been talking my eldest through the blood test, the reason for it and what would happen if A. he gave a positive result and B. if it came back negative. He has been the one of the two lads who we suspect – if either of them would have Coeliacs disease – it would be him. It is something that runs in families – you either have the gene or not and he seems to take after my side of the family with other physical characteristics – also he never seems quite right after a pizza or heavy carby wheaty food. But I could be reading in to it too because I’m hyper sensitive. Whatever – this is why we want them tested – to be sure.

Long story short – our youngest submitted to the blood test – albeit reluctantly – but he still did it. My poor eldest couldn’t make himself be brave enough – and he really tried poor kid. He tried to go first and set a good example but couldn’t, then he watched as his brother did it and tried again but couldn’t let the nurse put the needle in. Fair enough. It is scary when you are only young and as a rule he tends to make stuff like this massive in his head. We soothed him and cuddled him and said ‘no big deal, we’ll try again another time’ and eventually he stopped feeling shamed and was ok. We still have the form and he knows we need to do it so I remind him occasionally. Oops – that turned in to the long version. Sorry!

So, results thus far? Well our 4.5 yr old does NOT have Coeliacs! yay.

And it turns out, that after a term of not being very kind to myself and eating whatever the bloody hell I could get my hands on – not only am I carrying a little sugar belly around with me (I’m not even looking at my thighs these days tbh) but also all of my iron levels and vitamin B and all the rest have gone to shite again. Which makes sense as I am dragging myself round like an old lady at the moment.

As if I didn’t need any more motivation to get back on track. It’s a good reminder that I was doing what I was doing for a purpose – not just to torture myself – and that eating this way does actually have a physical effect. Not just the invisible gut healing stuff that seemed negligible in terms of how I felt.

So – Good news about the littlest lad and good motivation for me. Things I am grateful for.

120 – Mindfulness tonight

Did you know that I have been awake from 5am until now (and it’s currently 10.30pm). I know this is not a big deal for ‘normals’ but jebus it’s a big deal for me. 4 months ago I would have been asleep at 9 tonight and I would have been exhausted. I would never have been contemplating getting up at 5.30 tomorrow morning to go for a run (only thinking about it mind you). I would never have signed up for a course that started at 7 fucking 30 at night! That’s way late au!

But I’m doing it. And I feel good motherfuckers. This is the thing that I can say when people say ‘SO do you feel any better? Like, it is even WORTH it to not eat food all the time?’ Instead of punching them in the face. Because you know, I’m not violent. Use your words Kathleen. I was talking to a friend over coffee (and, ahem, our TAI’s) this morning. She is currently severely low in iron due to a couple of things and is working on turning it around – but she, like me previously, has always had low iron. I don’t anymore. This is weird for me because I have ALWAYS had low iron. Like, under 10 low. Like ‘How are you even getting out of bed in the morning?!’ low. And the only thing I can attribute my energy levels and new ability to stay up past 5 in the evening is my iron levels – they MUST be up! Yay!

I was told, when I got my Coeliacs diagnosis, that going gluten-free would mean all that stuff that was bothering me (or not in my case because remember I am a ‘silent coeliac’ meaning I have little to no outward symptoms) would disappear. In fact, of course this turned out to be the opposite and I had two years of discomfort, weight gain, really scarily low iron levels and general disappointment in my ‘recovery’. Going gluten-free wasn’t enough for my system to start healing and allowing my ‘villi’ to do their job and absorb all the iron and other shit from my food. But guess what bitches? It seems to be working now!

SO, in some ways it sucks because it backs up the theory that I should keep all the yummy delicious stuff out of my diet for a while – because it’s clearly working BUT it is cool because it reminds me that the suffering (ha ha can you hear the tiny violin?) is worth it. And that maybe I am on the up.

Tres motivating.

And you know what else? The mindfulness course is really interesting too! It is right up my alley. I feel like a lot of what we talk about is what I would be trying to do instinctively in my every day life but the course is giving me much more elegant and articulate ways to do so. I am a big fan. Mindfulness is very rock and roll.

And on that note, I’m off to practice my power poses.

Northern Mockingbird