Well it's been more than a month since I wrote about my current diet and physical therapy journey. I left you near the end of my elimination diet when I was actually feeling quite healthy. No stomachaches or headaches, and knee feeling much better. At that point I was feeling like the worst was behind me, all of this was working, and I would soon enough be back to eating mostly normal and running in no time. While that may all be true, the challenge is not over yet.
I reached the end of my 6 week elimination diet happy and eager to try reintroducing foods. But when you have as long of a list as I do, reintroducing takes quite awhile. For the lower reaction foods, I only have to wait 3 days in between trying each, for the rest, a full week. This is if you don't have a reaction. If you do, you have to take the food back out of your diet until the symptoms go away, and then move onto the next. I have 6 foods on the lower end, and 8 higher ones. That means if I had no reactions it would still take 10 and half weeks to get through everything.
First I chose wine, because, well, hello.. wine! Unfortunately, I did not have much success. I woke up the morning after the first glass to my knee throbbing. Denial of course set in that it could have anything to do with the wine. I waited a few days and tried again. The next couple of tries my knee did not hurt, but instead I had a raging headache each time. Sigh. Very sad indeed. So I took wine back out... for a few weeks (after all, if at first you don't succeed, try again!). Next I tried mushrooms and had a horrible stomachache afterwards. The next day, I came down with a lovely flu, so I'm still not sure if mushrooms were the problem or if it was the bug. After feeling well for a few days, I tried some almonds, which seemed harmless enough. Later that same day I experienced a horrific headache, the kind you have when you're either getting an awesome migraine, or a nasty cold. Again I was left with the confusion of, did the almonds have anything to do with that? But it turned into a nasty cold, so I decided probably not from the almonds, and have tried them several more times without any side affects. So it took me 4 weeks to get one food (and the occasional glass of wine) successfully back in my diet. I'm hoping now that spring is here, and hopefully less colds and flues with it, the rest will go a bit faster.
Physical therapy in that time period has also still been a challenge. Each time I change routines I'm still experiencing several days of pain and discomfort in my back and sometimes my legs as well. Thankfully the only real knee pain I experience is when I stand on my feet for too long, mostly doing housework or cooking on our hardwood floors. If I remember to make myself wear shoes and take regular breaks and sit down for a minute, I can reduce the pain significantly. More regular massage is helping with the pain as well (thank you Brian!). Some days I feel great, like I'm making a lot of progress and will be better soon. Other days I'm so uncomfortable that I find myself incredibly frustrated and wanting to give up on all of it. But I know that postural adjustments can take a very long time. After all, I've had scoliosis since I was 11, so undoing 20 years of bad posture is not something there is an easy fix for. The good news on the therapy front is I received the okay to start trying to run, painfully slow and short distances, but at least it's something. I was waiting for a day were I felt 100% to try this, but decided I was close enough and gave it a shot today. It was difficult to make myself run slowly, but it actually felt really great. :)
Another piece of good news in all of this, is sticking to this diet while fighting this last cold led me to significantly increased my intake of vegetables and fruit (green smoothies, salads, whole meals of just vegetables) and decrease my meat consumption even more. I could feel quite a difference in how quickly my body was able to fight this cold, versus how long it normally takes me to feel better. So while this has all been quite a challenge, I've learned so much about my body and how to let it heal naturally.
And here's your dose of adorable for the evening: