I wrote a difficult post a year and a half ago in which I accepted that I was actually for real disabled, not just the unlucky victim of a series of unrelated injuries for 7 years straight. (This was probably around the time I bought a second cane in case one cane wasn’t enough to get me the 15 feet from the couch to the bathroom during one of my bad times.) Well, I’ve been waiting to write this post until I was sure, but I’m sure: I am now mostly abled again!
What happened? I stopped eating wheat. Yeah, the whole gluten-free thing? Is trendy because it works for many people. I hesitate to use the term “gluten-free” for myself because I honestly don’t know which part of the wheat I’m sensitive to, but since there’s basically only one wheat product that doesn’t have gluten (purified wheat dextrin, a laxative) it doesn’t matter at a practical level. I’ve had the celiac test and I don’t have the gene for that specific gluten allergy (there are several kinds of gluten and other wheat parts that can cause allergic reactions, celiac is an allergy to a specific one).
I have a lot more details in my Dreamwidth journal about the various weird health problems that cleared up when I stopped eating wheat, but the major one is that my whole body no longer hurts. It was weird when the first major pain center cleared up – it felt like there was an empty hole in my body where the pain had been. I had gotten used to using pain to tell where my body parts were and how they were moving, instead of proprioception. I’m slowy redeveloping that sense, but I still catch myself being surprised when I make a movement and it doesn’t hurt in the way I expect.
I’m not entirely sure what the future holds, other than change. I still have hypermobility problems and I’m working with a sports massage therapist to uncramp the muscles that got injured during this time. While I’m not depressed right now, I fully expect that to change again in the future. My family has a lot of genetically-linked health problems and I already know I have two of them. So I’m not taking my current relatively good health for granted but I plan to take advantage of it while it lasts.
I would love love love to get back to serious hiking but I still feel afraid after years of being unable to even sit up for 2 hours at a time. Today I walked 4 miles like it ain’t no thing, and a couple of weeks ago I went 16 hours straight without lying down. I’m definitely never hiking Mount Whitney again, but the Grand Canyon with an overnight at the lodge at the bottom? Maybe in a year or two.