Thursday, April 1, 2010

Doctor's Orders Are Teaching Me About Personal Autonomy

Well, it's been a while since I posted here. I've been avoiding it, I think.

I posted about going to the doctor to get to the bottom of my intestinal struggles, yes? Well, the skinny on the visit is this: She ordered so many blood tests that I had to spread the blood drawing out over 2 visits. They also collected the yucky kind of sample (:p) to test for parasites, etc. I was tested for vitamin D & B deficiency, blood-clotting problems (remember the terrible bruising?), Celiac, parasites, heart disease, colon cancer, liver/pancreatic trouble, etc, etc, etc.

Sooooooo, when I went in last Wednesday, I was really hoping to hear, "You have Celiac Disease" That's why you've been tired, uncomfortable, and depressed for years...No dice. Everything was 'inconclusive'. Everything. I had REALLY thought that I'd finally get some answers. I like eating raw, but I don't like wondering, "Maybe I just have a gluten intolerance, and I really could eat steamed veggies w/ rice if I wanted to..." I just wanted to know SOMETHING for sure. I usually go the naturopathic route for treatment, but I at least wanted a rigorous round of tests, and a 21st-Century diagnosis!

The good news: There's no obvious signs of horrible internal bleeding, anemia, cancer, or anything else really scary. The bad news: We both (me and the doctor) think it's likely Celiac, BUT since I've been eating raw or nearly raw for so long, any signs of it will not be in my blood now.

Doctor's orders: Eat a HIGH gluten diet for at least 2 weeks, and repeat the test.

So much for raw - FOR THE MOMENT - I want to stress that. I have to eat breads, cereal, etc in fairly high quantities for two weeks. I'm 1 week in now, and I honestly cannot fit into my clothes. I hate it. I feel crappy, I have muffin tops like I had 2 years ago, and my energy level is non-existent! Oh, and I don't want to mention what's going on in the bathroom....blech.

The funny thing is that when I was trying to reach this all-raw-until-my-birthday goal, all I wanted was flaky pastries and cheese, right? Well, now that I'm SUPPOSED to eat the stuff that makes me sick, I just want salad and avocado and fruit! I'm having to force myself to eat poorly.

What am I learning? I think there's a lesson here for me about choices. I thrive when I am choosing my life moment-by-moment. Part of it is probably being in my thirties. I feel I'm coming into my own, and the most wonderful part of that is truly being the authority in my own life. I may make good decisions or terrible ones, but there is a feeling of peaceful strength that I experience when I make choices that are from my center.

My center doesn't really change quickly. I have been evolving slowly over time. My center isn't volatile or indecisive. My center wants to be vibrant and alive, and that means making choices that are nurturing to my mind, body and spirit. At the same time, my center needs freedom. Which is more destructive: a lack of vitamins, or a lack of autonomy? My spirit and my body are out of synch with each other! So long as they are in disharmony, I will make choices that serve one, at the cost of the other. Clearly, my spirit's need for freedom and autonomy is shouting louder than my body's need for health. So, how to bring them back in tune with each other? That's the big question!

This is a big discovery for me. I can see that I'm making choices I don't like, but I'm doing them to serve another, very real and important need within me - my need for autonomy. I spent almost a decade in a very controlling environment. I did not choose my daily activities or my roommates, or my thoughts, for the most part. Now, after 4 years, I am still dismantling and finding my own feet.

I'm learning to trust my own mind, to trust my heart, and to make choices. I think that giving myself a strict regimen is destructive to my spirit at this point! So, what CAN I do?
I want to be physically healthy, and I want to be mentally and emotionally healthy, too...I think the answer for me right now is so sit and think about this for a day or two. I have to continue to eat high-gluten at least until next week, then, I can eat what I want. I'm thinking, though, that I need to trust myself more here. I need to trust that my center doesn't need a lot of external motivation in order to make good choices! I am going to live in the moment - no rules. The one thing I want to do right now is go deeper. I want to reach that place inside that feels most alive, and live from there. If I do that in each moment, as much as I can, I believe the choices I make in the moment will be beneficial ones.


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