In terrible pain this morning. Woke up with my face more swollen, my respiratory system more congested than in a long time. And so very f*cking tired, and sick, and discouraged. Even though I had the foresight last night, when the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction started coming on, to load myself up on every single thing I could think of that would help whatever substance I'd ingested make its way out of me quickly, as well as help my poor body with the fallout. Over the course of the three hours before I went to bed I took:
- A double dose of my western med medication - a small pill that's a derivative of the deadly nightshade plant (also known as devil's cherries or devil's herb, fitting, no?)- which is the only thing that can get my digestive tract to relax, and pain to ease. It also has sucky side effects - extreme thirst and extreme exhaustion, so I only take it infrequently now.
- A whole dropperful of pure peppermint oil, which also helps soothe stomach pain.
- A big dose of swiss kriss, an herbal colon cleanser.
- 2 probiotic capsules
- A glass of water mixed with powdered green superfood, contains digestive enzymes, herbs, etc.
- A butter lettuce and mango smoothie.
And I realized this morning that this is why I don't post much about the thing that is the most impactful movement in my living right now: the actual practical steps of what I'm doing to deal with this health issue. Because it's failure after failure after failure. I try something, research it, invest money and time and effort, and then, plop. I'm down on the ground again, writhing in the dust as I clutch my belly and sob piteous tears of pain, both real and egoic.
It's insane. But it's what an inordinate amount of my days are filled with.
So as I woke up this morning I remembered what an amazing day I'd had the day before, amazing until around 7pm and the sh*t (allergen) began to hit the fan (my small intestine).
Money is tight, but I'm committed to eating clean, organic food grown as locally as possible. And now that I'm drinking three or four green smoothies a day, I buy a lot of produce. I dropped over a $100, but it was all totally clean, totally nutritious food, and the name of the game these days is get healthy, so I felt dang good about that c note.
I visited a new produce store, Oleander Produce, and although small, it's promising as their whole deal is to purchase from local "transitional organic farms", which means that they haven't been through the five (seven?) year process it takes to be certified yet, but are feeding the soil and tending to the plants much as they always have - with very little pesticides, etc. I left the store loaded up with veggies, and then went to the coop to round out my produce with things Oleander didn't carry or were out of - greens, greens, and greens.
And while at the coop I decided to finally take the plunge and bake something gluten free. I'm not a baker, and the stove in the apartment I rent is horrible, one of its many failings being the oven part is a small convection oven that habitually burns the outside of whatever I cook, leaving the inside undercooked. But I had a recipe for quinoa choc chip cookies from Karina's blog, and I decided I would make the cookies in small batches, to try different things with the oven. And so I spent the cash to get started:
- $4.50 bag of gluten free baking flour (flour made from sorghum, fava bean, etc.)
- $4.75 bag of GF, soy free, dairy free chocolate chips
- $2.69 baking powder - aluminum free
- $2.99 baking soda - natural or organic or processed through the orifaces of angels or something like that
- $12.75 xanthan gum - totally expensive, but without it, GF baking goods won't stick together & crumble like dust ie dust cookies: not so tasty
- $6.00 quinoa flakes - to mix with baking flour
- $1.25 demerara sugar
To make a batch of cookies, I invested $35. Insane yes, which is why I've been putting it off for so long, buying a piece of GF cake from the coop for $4.79 a piece, even though they use soy pan spray and I get sick from it, because the store bought packaged GF stuff SUX SUX SUX, every single $9 for four muffins, $7 for three big cookies one of them. But yesterday I'm on a focused, intense, joyful roll: take care of your sh*t girlfriend, and if you want something sweet, make it yourself so that you know that's it's clean. I vetted every single item, for wheat, for gluten, for soy, and even for dairy.
I got back to the house, snuggled kitties, then made a healthy late lunch. Quinoa with stir fried veg, GF soy free fish sauce, a shaving of asiago cheese from the coop. Then: the cookies. First batch, burnt but still edible. Second batch, less burnt, more edible. Third batch slightly burnt, but cooked in the center: downright tasty!
But two hours later, hell began make itself known. Whether it was the cookies or the asiago or the fish sauce or who the heck knows, the good time slammed shut. My belly swelled up to a third trimester, pain ripping my back with steely sharp claws. My sinuses flooded with funk, my head pounded. Emotions roiled with No. Yep. Party over.
Which brings me to this morning, laying there in a haze of snot and self-pity, kitties all up and in my stuffs, including Jacinta who'd had a number two malfunction (which if you've got kitties in your home, you know exactly what I'm saying here). And as I lay there for the ten thousandth day in a row, a puddle of sorrow masquerading as a human, I remembered a dream I'd had. It rushed back with vivid intensity:
I'm talking on the phone with the Pioneer Woman (ie famous blogger with best seller cookbook, a memoir coming out soon and destined to be another bestseller, good looking cowboy husband, adoring children, legion of fans). We're chatting and I glance up at something that takes my breath away. It's a full moon so huge, so detailed it fills the sky. Think of the largest full moon you've ever seen. Now quadruple it. And place it squarely in front of you. I reach out to touch it and a flock of birds goes by, a dozen white and grey birds passing over the enormous brilliantly lighted moon. A single bird stops mid-flight, turns and looks at me. He's suspended in the air, right in front of my face, and he's huge, his fierce gaze boring into my eyes, down my brain stem. His snowy white head, the grey stippled body so beautiful, unlike any bird I've ever seen. And then a single cry, so loud, piercing, my hairs stand on end.
Then he's gone. And I remember that Pioneer Woman is still on the phone. I apologize for the dead air, tell her what happened, and she goes silent, totally weirded out. And I remember that this is what the world of the masses is like, it talks about how much it likes weird, how weird it is itself, how nerdy and geeky and strange it is, really, it says, it is, so odd and different and weird. But how it really isn't. And how it fears and judges anything that isn't flatlander, of the norm, though it says over and over how not normal it is, how it likes the unique. How it says: don't be like everyone else. But how it smacks down anyone who dares to be different. And how it hates magic. How it fears and is horrified by a message, a transmission, from the moon and a gyrfalcon.
The allergic reaction. The dream. The digestive pain. Falcon, food, moon. Pain, tears, No.
I know that dream is a message, that the moon, the falcon were telling me something. I've spent the entire day researching it, for a clear action to take, a clear picture of it. But really, who knows?
I can't make this blog anything other than what I feel to write about, whatever the passion du jour is, the pics I happened to snap, the thing I need to tell you about.
I don't know how else to deal with the health issue other than what I'm doing, even though I fail and fail and fail and pay for the failures with decreasing vitality and increasing pain.
I know I'm at a crossroads. I know that I can disrobe out of the remnants of this old me, the me of alcoholism and abuse, of drugs and a blood family of deranged wolves, of rape and fists and abandonment, of trying and fearing and failure, of lost and gone and flee, of guilt and embarrassment and shame, of poverty of purse and heart, of sickness in body and mind, of saying yes when no is what I need, of saying No when Yes is right there shining in front of me.
I'm at a crossroads with no discernible signposts. Just three ways to go, three directions, three paths. And no idea which one to take.
So I wait, much like I have been for so long now, and do my best to interpret the signs, figure out what to eat to stay alive. Alone, just me and four weasels, all of us wounded and a little f*cked up, but still snuggling and finding joy in naps in the sun. Grateful that the crossroads come with wifi, so that I can keep posting. And tomorrow, Monday morning, Hiveworld, whatever comes next . . .