Monthly Archives: September 2015

Thoughts

My kid ate carrot-ginger soup, raw smoked goat cheese, grain-free bread, and apple for dinner. I hope he knows how lucky he is.

The soup was made with our carrots and homemade bone broth. The cheese is local, the bread is homemade, and the apple was organic.

I wish every baby could eat such nourishing food. We are so blessed. Sometimes I feel guilty of the bounty we enjoy when so many people go hungry or eat crap food because it’s all they have access to.

Everybody used to eat this way, not so long ago. What a mess things are now.

Maybe It Was, Maybe It Wasn’t

I think I had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

(Sorry not sorry for any TMI in advance. My blog, my rules)

All the signs were there – bloating, maldigestion of fruit, FODMAPS, coconut, fermented foods, weird smelling burps, slow “transit.” But I never got the breath test or anything, so I really can’t be sure.

My symptoms are gone now, and that’s really all I care about. I expect that some of you reading this may want to know what I did to cure my maybe-SIBO, though, so I’ll tell you what happened.

In a few words: I chilled the hell out about my health issues.

In more words, I relaxed and used logic to solve my problems. For many months I had browsed the alternative health forums, websites, studies, and more to try and get to the bottom of what plagued me. Everything seemed to point towards small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and I felt almost triumphant and relieved to have located the origin of my problems. Finally, the root cause of my health issues! But I never got the special test to determine if I had SIBO; I just sat and worried and marinated in my own self-obsession. The difficulty in obtaining the test and potential expense plus a good dose of avoidant personality left me grinding my teeth and imagining a gunked-up small intestine slowly ruining my life.

Something I’ve realized is that in a lot of cases, no doctor can fix your problem. It doesn’t matter if they’re the wisest physician in the world – nobody knows and cares about your body like you do. If you aren’t that acquainted with yourself, the illness may be your body’s cry to be acknowledged. Of course, in some cases illness absolutely requires a doctor’s care, but in my experience many sufferers of chronic disease simply need to turn their attention inward to heal themselves. In application to my maybe-SIBO, I’d read online countless people who had tried the conventional and alternative treatments for the illness and failed to eradicate the pesky bacteria. The drugs didn’t work, the herbs didn’t work, nor did the incredibly restrictive diet. I figured that if doctors couldn’t help so many of these people, then it certainly was not unreasonable to think I could fix my maybe-SIBO myself.

I decided that my diet was already restrictive enough, especially given my history of eating disorder and tendencies to overly control my diet. At the time, I wasn’t eating grains (except white rice), dairy, legumes, eggs, or nightshades – I certainly did not need to eliminate another class of foods that included most of the vegetables I ate. So I decided to simply reduce my consumption of FODMAPs (I’m not going to explain the science here, Google does a better job) for a month and then slowly increase. I adhered to a mandatory 4-hour minimum between meals to allow the intestines to do their job in moving things through. SIBO is very much tied to disorded digestive waves, and by creating strict mealtimes I allowed my body to process food in waves as it should. I strengthened my brain-gut connection by only eating when hungry, stopping when full, and paying close attention to what my body was wanting at the moment. I stopped reading and rushing at meals and took my sweet time eating.

And guess what? My symptoms improved and continue to do so. I didn’t see a doctor once. Of course, I didn’t have diagnosed SIBO, so some of you reading this may scoff or think I’m silly. For me, the proof is in the pudding. Illness is about so much more than a label – it is about the PERSON! In fact, the name of the disease is usually the least relevant fact. I plan to delve more into my philosophy on illness in a future post. But for now, if you are reading this, consider turning your gaze inward and realizing your innate healing potential.

You may just be the medicine you need.

Staying Up

In the evening, after Edward has gone to work and we’ve finished eating dinner, I kill time until Blaise goes to bed. Sometimes we play, or clean up, or mill around outside, but I’m always counting down the minutes until he’s asleep. I feel bad saying it, but by the end of the day I am ready for him to be down for the count until morning (let’s pretend he doesn’t wake 3x a night). In those few hours before bed I waver back and forth between deciding to stay up after B sleeps or to zonk out myself. Usually the temptation to stay up in some form is irresistible and I find myself scrolling Facebook on my phone, cautiously reading a book in the dim light, washing dishes, or doing stuff on the computer.

This first year of being a mom has been horrible and wonderful. The toughest part has been having almost zero time to myself! I never realized how much I cherished doing whatever I wanted until I had to care for a tiny drunk fat man 24/7. So usually at night I am putting some pennies into the “me time” piggy bank… only to have the pig smashed in the morning when I’m exhausted as all hell because I stayed up too late. It seems like I will never learn.