Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I have a self concept of someone who is healthy, strong and flexible. I've always been someone who adjusts to life and goes with the flow. Or at least, I was.

I've been dealing with some health issues for months that are making it clear that my concept of self is changing. And I have a strong notion that my concept of self may be changing forever.

I am sick.

First of all, I have Celiac Disease. I got diagnosed three years ago. It was a huge bummer and a huge relief. I went off gluten and never looked back.

Secondly, something else is wrong. It may be one thing or multiple things, but there is no denying that too many symptoms have overwhelmed me and made it impossible to ignore. I'm fatigued, I've put on 25 pounds or more, I've got chronic lower intestinal distress, and I'm achy all the time. Backaches, hip problems, and headaches. Then there's the anxiety and depression, chronic and cyclical. Fun.

I finally saw the GI again, and we are pursuing answers. In the mean time, I'm off all sorts of foods. No gluten, no dairy, no alcohol, no caffeine, no legumes, and no gaseous veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. I am seriously considering going on a complete elimination diet to see if I can figure out how diet is playing into all of my health problems. I have a feeling it has a lot to do with it.

But it makes me want to scream! I don't want to be THAT person. I want to drink beer and eat cheese and just be a normal person. I don't want to have a life-altering diet and not be able to eat out or eat spicy foods (nightshades) or have to be a fucking paleo weirdo. I want to cook Mexican food and sip Whiskey and make amazing homemade ice cream. I want butter on my lobster.

Oh god. Seriously, I just wrote that. Talk about first world problems! Ugh. You see? I am sick.

I don't want to be a complainer or a difficult guest. I don't want people to have to go out of their way for my "special" needs. I want to be easy.

Ha! The truth of that is hitting hard. I care so much about what people think of me! AND, I'm apparently completely judging others who have serious special needs and require help all the time. Ugh. I just hate myself for this.

I spent last Saturday with my friend Bobbi who has been eradicating cancer from her body for the last two years. I went over to help care for her post-reconstruction. And boy does she need help. Food and showers and dressing and getting every little thing. She is forced into relying on others and inconveniencing them in so many ways. Yet, she does it with grace, without apology, without shame or any of the negative associations we have with not being independent and being vulnerable. And we're talking about a fiercely independent woman. As I helped her to shower, I felt all my own conceptions melt away. I too want to be able to accept help and be a "bother" with as much grace and dignity and calm as she has.

This is just the beginning of my journey. I am just beginning to learn. Who I am is just beginning to change. Am I ready to let the party girl die? Am I ready to make my health the center of my life? Am I ready to accept help with grace? Am I ready to admit when I can't do more work? Am I ready to stop judging myself? Am I ready to let all that love from all the amazing people in my life begin to flow in?

Am I ready to change?

Am I ready to change?

Am I ready to change?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Oh, yes. I know. Me, too, Heather... Thanks, as always, for articulating these things so well. I am still thinking about the schwag bag post multiple times a week. xo

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