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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Headaches and Wheat Belly

Well, I disappeared again.

The last few weeks have been all about headaches.  They have gotten so constant, and sometimes severe, that I have had great difficulty functioning.  I was getting to the point where I was worried about being able to do my job.  I mentioned it on Facebook (I know some people don't like those kinds of posts, but I needed some feedback and encouragement).  Someone recommended I read Wheat Belly.  I was skeptical -- after all, I have tension headaches, or so I was telling myself.  When I got into the book, however, it all sounded very familiar.  There was even more about it in a book called Grain Brain, which I have started reading (and specifically went straight to the passages about headaches to start with).

I stayed home Friday.  I just couldn't cope another day with the headaches and trying to work all day.  All the while, I was reading Wheat Belly.  I cut back on the wheat (had some once each day of the weekend, but that was all).  By Sunday, I had some headaches, but not all day long with no relief.  I feel like I am on the right track.  Yesterday I was back at work and it was the first day to attempt being "wheat free."  I have to admit, it was a very tough day.  My head was pounding all day.  Somebody had brought bagels, which didn't really tempt me, but at one point in the afternoon, I tore off just a bite of one to taper it a little.  Maybe it helped a little, I don't know.  I was reading to expect withdrawal and that headaches would be part of that (if headaches are a possible symptom, I am going to get them).  So I made it through as best I could.  I even popped home at lunch and took a half a valium, which helped only a little.  (The doctor prescribed them on my last visit for muscle spasms, but they knock me for a loop if I take a whole one.)

Anyway, I will know in a few days if this is what is causing the headaches (and overall pain).  The thing is, I am less than a week away from my vacation and there will be some wheat-eating then, I am sure.  However, I am going to try to make good choices as often as I can that do not include wheat and gluten.  There are a lot of good things you can eat that don't have wheat.  Fats are not restricted at all, except transfats and hydrogenated oils and fried foods.  I can have cheese.  So I will still be able to enjoy a lot of things, and there will be some wheat eating here and there.  When I get back, I will finish out the withdrawal as well as withdrawal from sugar.  Cutting out wheat automatically limits sugar intake, but not entirely.  There is still ice cream, etc.  :)

Just wanted to check in.  I am still here.  But the last few weeks have been rough.  I will give more detail about Wheat Belly as I learn more and see how it is working for me.  I recommend the book.  It affects you in so many ways besides headaches.  It is a big reason for the explosion of obesity in our society in the last 25 years or so.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

On Again/Off Again

I keep starting posts and not getting them posted.  I have been kind of on and off the last week, but more on than off.  We are having another snow and ice day here (probably will go in to work around Noon), which usually presents its challenges.  So far I feel strong.  I have been having enough pain lately that it is motivating.  I have not dropped below my lowest point from a few weeks ago, so that motivates me.  Vacation is only about 30 days away.  I need to feel better by then.

So, this morning I have started with a MF pancake.  I don't have my MF snack bars at home right now (they were delivered yesterday to my office), so I will either have an Atkins shake for morning snack or I still have a couple of MF salty snacks I could have one of.  I had Atkins shakes a couple of times yesterday and not only did they taste better, I did not get as hungry with them.  So, even though I don't look forward to them, I don't dread them so much like the MF shakes.

As for physical issues, the headaches had gotten pretty bad during the last week.  I finally got it into my head how much muscle relaxants help.  I had gotten out of the habit of taking them when I was on the stronger pain med because I was so sleepy all the time.  When I am on the current pain med, I can take a half one in the morning and a half one in the afternoon and get by okay.  I still get sleepy, at times, but I can get through it.  Beginning yesterday, my headache was not quite so constant.  Hopefully that will continue today.  I have a slight one right now, so need to take my medicine and hopefully it will settle down.

The sciatica has been flaring up the last couple of weeks.  It is quite painful, and when thinking about doing a lot of walking around NYC, it seems a little far-fetched.  That is motivating me.  I do plan to get some knee injections before I go (even though the pain is from sciatica, I am feeling the worst pain in my knees -- radiating pain; knee injections even help that, although it won't take it away completely).  I also plan to ask my pain doctor to put me on a round of steroids right as my vacation is beginning, and that will help.  Other than that, because tis is a trip of a lifetime for me, I know my adrenaline will carry me some and I will be a lot more willing to do things, even when they hurt.  I am trying to plan our activities so I have opportunities to sit down around the times I will be doing more walking.  I found out I can get a scooter for $40 for our day at the zoo, if I feel like I need it.  I might should take advantage of it to save strength for the rest of the week when I won't have that help.  I have thought about getting one of those walkers that has a little seat you can sit down on for times when we might have to stand in line.  I don't want to have to do that, but standing in line can be pretty painful.  Maybe there is a lightweight stool I could carry with me.  But it would have to be able to bear my weight, so I don't know.  I can check into it anyway.  One of the things we are doing is going to a taping of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  We have tickets, but they issue more tickets than there are seats, so we will have to get there early to make sure we get seats.  They may require that I stand in line, with Stephanie and Jordan, in order to get a seat (instead of them holding a place in line for me).

That's all for now.  I want o make sure I get something posted today.