A few people have asked me this past week how I'm doing, so I thought it would be good for me to write up a quick update for the record. This past week, in particular, has been wonderful in that for most of it, I've actually felt close to normal. It's amazing how easy it is to take feeling normal for granted! But for me, for now, feeling close to normal and feeling relatively healthy again is simply spectacular and something I am cognitively extremely grateful for.
My days still revolve around that funky chicken stock (a new batch is simmering as I type), super-incubated homemade yogurt (made using local, cream-top milk from grass-fed cows), as-raw-as-possible honey (I even found some that is an actual slice of the honeycomb itself - beautiful!), hot green tea, and mega doses of probiotics. I continue to focus on using as many organic, local, and/or fresh foods as possible. Every day, I add a different food or two to the mix, and so far, it's gone very well. I haven't had a negative reaction to anything I've added back in, not even that giant dark chocolate peanut butter cup I couldn't resist getting on Friday! It's been over two weeks, probably close to three, since I've had any of that severe abdominal pain, tissue loss, or bloody mucus. And while I can still feel the inflammation flare up from time to time and while that can be quite uncomfortable, I've found ways to alleviate it. Pretty regularly now, I'm eating cottage cheese, vegetable quiche, bananas, and applesauce. I've also had some cherry tomatoes, cooked snow peas and asparagus, pizza (yay!), raw milk cheese with crackers, naan, and a turkey sandwich (on a soft kaiser roll). I've snuck in a few cheez-its, chocolate squares, and pita chips. And last night, I had a whole vegetable samosa! I'd really like to try a tuna or carrot slaw sandwich on 12-grain toast, nuts, or an apple, but I'm still a little nervous that too much fiber will be hard on my system right now. And I haven't even started considering yet chia seeds, ground flaxseed, or beans. Hopefully I'll get there though.
When I write it down, it sounds like my diet has been pretty limited, and I suppose it has been. But it hasn't really felt that way at all, especially compared to not being able to eat anything! Even if I were to stay like I am (knock on wood, I really hope I don't get worse again), I think I'd be able to accept and be fine with it - in large part because I feel absolutely nourished again. I swear that broth has been nothing short of a miracle. I feel as if it literally feeds life and energy into me. Made with the chicken feet, it contains a ridiculous amount of collagen and gelatin. When it cools, it becomes almost solid and you could cut it with a knife if you wanted to. I don't keep any chicken or veggies in it anymore; I strain them out and drink the hot broth from a mug. My nails have become so thick and strong that I had trouble getting the big nail clipper through them the other day!
When this first started happening, I was terribly dismayed and couldn't even comprehend it. I could have been a poster child for what to do to have a healthy colon. How could mine be diseased?! The thought of my having to see a digestive disease specialist seemed pretty ridiculous. After a while, though, I realized that if seemingly wacky foods and diet can help you get through it, I'm your girl. I already had enough experience in the kitchen to tackle anything that needed to be tackled in that regard. Sometimes I feel happy and guilty about that at the same time. Happy that I I'm in a position to do as much help for myself as I can but guilty realizing that not everyone, for whatever reason, can do the same. I fully understand how some people could be too overwhelmed to even try (make my own yogurt - what? who does that?! what's wrong with the yogurt in the store?!; chicken feet - seriously? where in the world does one go out and get chicken feet?! and then I have to boil them and cut their toes off?!; prepare this soup/broth every week - do you know how incredibly long that takes? that would take an entire day!; hot green tea - I don't want hot green tea, I want my coffee!). I truly believe they would find the effort SO beneficial though.
I have not yet rescheduled my tests, and I'm not sure when I'm going to do so. I have to admit I'm in no hurry as I am still very, very worried they'll end up throwing my system back out of whack, and I'm terrified of going back to being as sick as I was. Not sure what to do about this one.
So I don't know who all reads this blog of mine besides my small circle of safeties (as I like to call them!) , but my hope is that someday, someone experiencing similar GI issues as I have will stumble upon it and perhaps benefit from some of the same things I have benefited from. These are the two books I'm using as my primary guides. Restoring Your Digestive Health is the one that has the broth recipe. Oh yeah, and yesterday I made a batch of peanut butter cookies using a recipe from the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book - peanut butter, butter, honey, almond flour, baking soda, and vanilla. They are so good!
Heading upstairs now to take a long, hot bath with epsom salts and lavendar, start reading a new novel, and enjoy a nice hot cup of green tea with honey. :)