Sunday, October 30, 2011
Head cold, chin hairs, and wheat
However, on Thursday morning when I woke up to get ready for the hike, I wondered if it was my imagination or did I have just the slightest bit of a sore throat? I decided to ignore it and went anyway. While we were on the trail, I didn't feel sick at all, but in the car during the ride home (more than an hour), I began to sneeze. Fortunately I carry a hankie so the other people in the car didn't get sprayed. By the time I reached home, my head was stuffed up and I couldn't stop sneezing. Not to mention that I felt miserable. I went to bed around 7:00pm and continue to sneeze. I had some homeopathic Zicam in the closet and took it, along with some Nyquil and managed to get a halfway decent night's sleep, although I had to breathe most of the night through my mouth. I hate that. I was up and reading my blogs before 5:00am.
On Friday I noticed that my nasal voice and red nose were the least of my worries, as I felt like crap. So much for getting in one last day of skydiving on Saturday before the season ends. Nobody jumps with a head cold. I did once long ago and thought my eardrums were going to rupture when I opened my parachute after a minute of freefall. This didn't improve my mood one bit. As I looked in the bathroom mirror while I brushed my teeth, the sick grumpy visage that stared back at me was sprouting chin hairs! That did it, I got out the tweezers and went to work.
Years ago, I remembered watching my mother do the same thing and I laughed at her. This was in my hippie days when I dressed "naturally" and wore Birkenstocks. I told her that if the same thing happened to ME, I'd wear my chin hairs proudly. As I looked in the mirror at myself I couldn't help but smile, plucking out the hairs with the same tweezers she used all those years ago. Sometimes I am embarrassed when confronted with my own arrogance.
I am not a good patient. I don't know how to be sick and wonder how I would fare with a chronic illness. Some of my blogging friends give me plenty of inspiration as they deal with myriad trials and tribulations with humor and courage. My life has changed plenty because of my blogging. The friends who greet me every morning when I read their blogs have given me more than a new perspective; sometimes one of you will give me a new direction to follow.
Last week Technobabe suggested that I read a book called Wheat Belly to discover what she and her husband feel has changed their lives for the better. In fact, her husband James, a musician, wrote a wonderful song about it which is in that link to her blog. I did indeed read the book, and my dear Smart Guy and I have decided to do a month-long test to see how we fare without wheat. The author, William Davis, is a cardiologist who has discovered that today's wheat has been hybridized and changed to such an extent that it causes many illnesses in his patients that can be treated without drugs -- by removing wheat from their diets.
Dr. Davis goes on to suggest that anyone who is diabetic or prediabetic should get rid of all gluten and severely restrict carbohydrates, but we aren't going that far yet, keeping rye bread without added sugar, beans, and occasional brown rice in our vegetarian diets. Well, we are not actually vegetarians since we eat fish. I remember learning that vegetarians who eat fish are called "pescatarians." That's us. Who would move to the Pacific Northwest and not take advantage of the local fantastic salmon? We are less than a week into our quest and decided also to eliminate all added sugars such as honey. I don't eat a lot of wheat in the first place, but I am a fan of locally baked spelt bread. I found that it's got a pretty heavy glycemic load so I've replaced it with pumpernickel, which is actually really good too.
I went to bed Saturday night not feeling very well, but I was able to sleep for almost twelve hours and woke feeling like a new person. Usually on Saturdays I take an early morning walk of five or six brisk miles with the Fairhaven Walkers and then swim a half mile, but I decided not to push it and forego (forewent?) those activities. Instead I went to the Farmers' Market to pick up some collards and kale, two of my favorite vegetables, as well as some absolutely delicious delicata squash. I am fortunate to have organic veggies and fresh-caught wild salmon to enjoy. It would be hard living somewhere that doesn't offer the variety we have here and attempt to eliminate wheat. It's in so many processed foods!
The one big difference I've noticed already is that I am not hungry in between meals. I'm definitely eating less, but that could be a function of having a cold. I'll know more by next Sunday and will let you know how it's going. It does make me hopeful that perhaps I won't gain back my hard-won weight loss of the past nine months by going wheat-free. The winter months when I don't get out as often are hard for me to deal with; exercising in the rain isn't my favorite activity.
Sitting here in the dark before dawn drinking my tea, pouring out these words on my laptop, I realize that I'm over the hump and will now be getting better each day. One thing about feeling so awful for a few days is that when health begins to return, everything around me begins to look brighter.