Tears for Toast

30 Jun 2010, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in wellness

Today started off as one of those days. I got into a flow working on my new site last night, and before I knew it the sun was up. Designing all night can leave a person feeling…vulnerable…so when it was time for breakfast, I was hit with a sledgehammer-level craving for coffee with half ‘n half, and a nice plate of toast with unsalted butter.

Then I burst into tears. The Italian kind.

Though each day seems to get a bit easier, there are times when my new lifestyle catches me off guard, and if I’m not 100% on my game, a wave of misery can knock me right on my ass.  So I must channel Mad-Eye Moody and have CONSTANT VIGILANCE! I realize to some people this might seem ridiculous, but when your life has revolved around food for this long, hey, it’s tough. This would be hard for anyone, never mind an intensely intense food person.

At least my doctor and I seem to be on the right track. I’ll tell you more about him tomorrow. In the interim, in the words of my favorite Spanish philosopher Inigo Montoya, lemme ‘splain:

My blood tests came back last week, and everything looked great except for one big thing, as we expected: My adrenal system is exhausted, and has gone on strike. Given that I’ve been perpetually stressed out from about the age of 5, my body has come to consider it quite normal to be fighting a saber-toothed tiger — even if the translation is “Jennifer is reading a book.” Unfortunately, the body can only hold that kind of baseline for so long, and frankly I’m surprised my system lasted this long under such conditions.

Since going gluten-free, and beginning the healing process, a few interesting things have happened. The good news is that I’ve lost about 10 lbs this month, and now only look like a puffer fish occasionally. The not-so-good news is that while my stomach is healing from the gluten fiesta, it is hypersensitive, so to avoid excruciating fibromyalgia pain of all sorts, I’ve also needed to eliminate caffeine, dairy, eggs and peanuts. Wine is also a definite no, discovered via a moment of rebellion earlier this week. So we’re hoping that after a solid 6 months of detox, my body can heal to the point where I can introduce some of those things back into my life.

C’mon, Christmas!

As my body repairs itself, there are physical ups and downs, some quite painful, but thankfully those moments seem to be short-lived. The other day I worked from my bed, as the humidity in NYC this week was epic, and that makes my body very unhappy. I’m now looking at what else I might need to do in order to live at my fullest, whether that means moving to a drier, cooler climate or at least spending summers in a more friendly one. (Anybody want to trade an NYC apartment for July & August?)

I’m also hard at work pulling together the pieces for my new site, and I can’t wait to tell you about it! I hope that a year from now I’ll be well on my way to making chronic illness a well-behaved, leashed bitch. And not just my illness, but the ones out there. Like maybe yours.

Once I’m feeling a bit more spry I will get back to the food itself. I’ve been subsisting on whatever I can figure out, and haven’t felt like cooking much, so there haven’t been too many fun discoveries yet. But they will come. Oh yes, they will come.