Sunday, November 15, 2009

Results of My Relativity Experiment

In my last post, I said that if all things really are relative, then the truths I learned about emotional health during my years in therapy should at least have some application to healing my physical state, which is one of chronic pain.

So I decided to do a five-day diet of all healthy stuff, along with removing caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and sugar (which I've learned is actually the hypoglycemic diet; weird that I discovered that on my own).

Here are the results:

Came home from my early-morning colonoscopy and had yogurt and granola. Later made a shake of yogurt, soy milk, bananas, raw almonds, protein powder and a touch of real maple syrup. For dinner had edamame and hummus with that Indian pan bread (I forget the name). For dessert had the rest of the shake I'd made earlier.

Cheats: Had a little wine (less than half a glass) before dinner with about three drags of a cigarette.

Observations: None, other than I think I picked up a cold at the hospital. I feel one coming on.

Made the same protein shake as above for breakfast. For lunch had apple slices smeared with peanut butter. For dinner, had a Sunshine Burger (made primarily from sunflower seeds) on a whole wheat roll and red leaf lettuce (dipped in Paul Newman's Low Fat Sesame Ginger salad dressing--that stuff is SO DELICIOUS. What's the catch?). On the side had a soup of chicken broth with freshly-shopped celery and onions.

Cheats: At 2 p.m. made myself some coffee to remove the meat cleaver wedged into my skull. Just a few sips got rid of the headache. After dinner had a few sips of wine (then dumped the glass) and had a cigarette. That was dumb. It made me feel sick after that great dinner, and actually piqued my pain a bit.

Observations: Without the "schedule" of my usual vices, I felt a bit lost this morning, especially since I had a lot more energy than usual, only didn't know what to do with it. So I did laundry, vacuumed the apartment, and started a painting. Ordinarily, these things would take a lot of effort to set into motion, but they felt relatively easy to do. This surprised me.

This cold is getting worse.

Had the same protein shake for breakfast, and the same lunch of half an apple and peanut butter for lunch. For dinner had a salad, sunshine burger (sans roll) and an ear of sweet corn. For dessert, had decaf tea and small cup of chocolate chip ice cream. Snacks during day included sunflower seeds, granola and dried banana chips.

Cheats: Had a few sips of coffee in late morning with a cigarette; had an aperitif glass of wine and cig before dinner. The less these things are in my diet, the more poisonous they feel when I take them into my body, especially the coffee. Interesting.

Observations: Hard to tell what's happening as this cold is pretty bad. Just my luck to get sick when I'm' doing a health diet. Interesting visit to hematologist this morning, though. My platelets, which had been way over a million last week came down by half. WTF? My platelet counts can be wacky, though, so I'll consider this a coincidence for now.

Smoothie for breakfast; yogurt with granola, along with egg salad on Triscuits for lunch; soup, salad and ear of corn for dinner; decaf tea and cup of ice cream for dessert. Same snacks as yesterday.

Cheats: Same as yesterday.

Observations: Even with the cold, had considerably more energy today. Went to the gym, then to the avenue with the granny shopping cart to buy box of clementines and bag of apples, along with some other sundries. Stopped at copy shop to make fliers for a volunteer group I work for. Then came home and began sorting out all of the art stuff I've brought home from my studio, finding room for everything. Was nice to talk to so many people today. I'm in a great mood!

That's today. It's 11:30 a.m., and I'm completely exhausted. Had a smoothie for breakfast, but I feel like someone's pulled the plug on my life force. Had a few sips of coffee and half a cigarette to wake me up, but I'm still tired. Just made a cup of tea. I'll be heading out this afternoon to do an overnight babysit of my nieces, ages two and four, so I better find some energy from somewhere! They always expect a good show. Diet will go out the window once I get there, as we're ordering pizza for dinner.

Pain has been fairly steady, and I'm still on pain medication, but there were moments these past few days where the boost of energy made the pain more bearable. I may have overdid the activities yesterday, though, as this morning I'm completely slammed.

I'm going to continue with the diet, as it really hasn't been that hard. What's been the most difficult is what to do with the time and emotions I have when I'm not drinking coffee all morning and smoking.

It's clear that my vices are my escapes not just from the pain, but from the fear and loneliness this condition has brought on. It's hard to face just how let down I feel, still, by the pain, after having devoted my entire adult life to healing my emotional state. There's a cruel irony to it, but I suspect that if I can feel a streak of sustained energy, I'll start to have some confidence in getting my life back.

This energy crash today is a bit of a blow, but I'm not done with the experiment yet. I'll do another five days and report back.


No comments: