heartsongs

Weaving my way around Rheumatoid Arthritis.

A new dance begins

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On June 1st my son made pasta, there was a little extra, and I ate a cup for my lunch. My tummy immediately started to bloat, and finally got rock hard & I looked 9 months pregnant.

Now this used to happen all the time; since going gluten-free it only happens occasionally. I still haven’t be able to link it to accidentally getting gluten zapped, or figure out the timeline of what I ate, or when I ate it.

When this does happen,  I don’t eat any more food that day and by the next morning the bloat is gone.

This time was different.

I woke the next day still visibly bloated. And the dance has continued for 10 weeks.

If I eat anything besides protein and fat, I bloat. But not every time, just most of the time. Usually after dinner, but sometimes in the middle of the day, and sometimes first thing after I eat in the morning.

I haven’t been able to find a pattern or blame it on a specific food or food group.The most suspicious thing is that I planted a big garden this year, so am eating even more vegetables than usual. But no new ones, and I’ve always eaten a lot of veggies. I’m eating less fruit and more veggies, as I haven’t mastered the art of growing fruit.

I’ve gained 8 inches around my waist, and my body is visibly showing systemic edema. I’ve gained another 5 pounds, so now I’m 15 pounds heavier than this time last year.

My wonderful lymph therapist has moved to Holland, and I had gone 6 months without a lymph massage. Thinking that massage might help turn the tide, I scheduled three in one week with new therapists. They felt wonderful, but the bloating continued, as did the weight gain.

I’m exploring with a new doctor. Still waiting for the blood work to come back. She is Chinese, training there in acupuncture and Chinese medicine before coming to the us to get her MD at Duke. She has done research in the past and now sees patients and specializes in difficult diagnosis.

In the mean time, I started an elimination diet. Yesterday I had coffee, cream & sugar, melon (the last two from my garden are ripe and I hate to miss them), boiled chick, broth and salt. No bloat, but no weight loss, no change in edema.

I worked in my garden in the morning, and my hands were too swollen to fit in my gloves. This is a whole new level of swelling.

My hands continue to blister and itch and crack when gluten zaps, but they have been fairly consistent for the past year. Always  new sore places and healing places and places where they are healed. They have never again gotten as bad as August 2012.

After gardening, I read and made a puzzle and took a nap. It was a slow easy day. Had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend and went right to sleep.

I slept well for about 4 hours, then woke with aches and swollen and stiff joints. The weather was changing and I was feeling it. All the normal places were aching, and a few new ones – upper back, between shoulder blades, neck, and shoulders. Hands and feet were swollen and stiff.

My nose was stuffy in the night – which was a surprise. That only happens occasionally; if the food I ate yesterday caused the stuffy nose, it should happen all the time, as chicken and coffee are in my diet multiple times each week. So, maybe the window on that is longer than what I ate the day before, or maybe it isn’t related to food at all.

I finally went back to sleep and woke feeling fine. I can only assume the night-time aches were due to the pressure changes and now that the sun is out and the storm is past, the aches are gone.

I eliminated one cup of coffee yesterday, so I’m down to two cups. I’m aiming for only one today, if I can manage without getting a rebound headache.

So, for now, it’s chicken broth, chicken, salt, coffee, cream, sugar and melon. And see where I find myself this time tomorrow.

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Written by wovensongs

August 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

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