I am so tired of food and health problems. And I know when other people ask what I’ve been up to, how I’ve been, etc, it’s mostly those subjects that I talk about since that is what I do with a large part of my time. I have no training, interest or skill in medicine or nutrition and yet that is what I do. It surely bores me so it must bore the listener.
I recently had my annual in-person appointment with my EI physician, Dr Grace Ziem. This time I brought my daughter Lelu along too, since she has been having similar food intolerance problems (though no chemical sensitivities, whew!) We spent a day talking symptoms, test results and possible treatment plans. You can read about those mis-adventures in my last post. Her recommendation, briefly summarized, is that we should go on a strict rotation diet (completely eliminating foods we are intolerant of and rotating the remaining ones) for 6 to 12 months while we do various enzymes, probiotics, etc in an attempt to heal the gut and re-train the immune system. I tried this myself for 9 months last year. It’s incredibly difficult with the huge range of foods I have to avoid; so I will admit to 80% compliance to the protocol. During those 9 months, the chemical sensitivities did get better and some acute problems like scalp sores and cornea damage improved. But the GI issues and food intolerances got worse.
Dilemma. Do I try Ziem’s approach for both my daughter and I with 100% compliance? I don’t actually know how or if I can do this, but let’s pretend. Do I go more practical and find a nutritionist who can help me moderate the strict rotation and avoidance diet to something manageable for Lelu and I? Do I just avoid the worst offending foods and go the opposite direction with the local gastroenterologist, urgent care doctor, and family physician who really want me to do an upper and lower endoscopy? I am at a crossroads and the fourth direction is…do nothing. Which is so very tempting thanks to the first statement of this post.
Here’s why I won’t. Because at 43 I have already settled for limited career, travel and social life. Just in the past year, I have also given up restaurant food (ok-there is one place with one salad I can trust), fine motor control, and visual competence. Those health issues have stumped me so badly that I have given up and settled. At 43, I do not work, eat out or see the world clearly. What kind of trajectory does that put me on? What will I settle for when I am 50 or 60 or 70?
That is why I keep seeing doctors and trying new things and pushing back. And I will do all that again…tomorrow.