My break was a bit longer than I expected when last I wrote, and involved spending a glorious week introducing my nieces to Hawaii. We had a wonderful time, and it was fun being pretty much totally on vacation, something that I rarely allow myself to do -- most of the time, even if I'm not actively doing responsible things, I'm worrying about not doing them! And one of the additional benefits of that recreational time was that I realized I may be entering a new phase, particularly with respect to eating and gut health. And that got me thinking about what that might mean and what I need to do to move ahead towards my goal of getting healthy.
As we traveled around the island, we ate out at restaurants more than I have since I began the LEAP protocol last July, and I did fine. I was fairly careful in my choices and definitely felt the limitations caused by the still fairly long list of foods on my reactive list, or those that were not yet tested. But in fact, the only thing I needed to ask about was soy, which made the whole process feel kind of normal. It felt really good to be able to be fairly spontaneous (though I did check menus online for places I did not know well), and clearly no one suffered because of my limitations (including me!). I also learned that I can tolerate small amounts of challenging foods (wheat, asparagus, corn) pretty well, while still needing to avoid them in quantity.
Apart from that realization, I've also been feeling, these past few weeks, as though my intestinal tract has become healthier. Call it a gut feeling (backed by physiologic details I REALLY don't need to go into here), but I'm getting a sense that the huge imbalances that plagued me may be resolving. I also have become aware of feeling much stronger in my core -- it no longer kills my back if I stand while cooking a meal or looking at a museum exhibit. My ankle still limits my mobility, big time, but at least I'm back to where I was before I got H1N1 and lost the ability to stand upright.
On the down side, I don't feel as though I'm sleeping as well as I was a couple of months ago, and that's significantly affecting my ability to be active and feel energetic and good. Could be that my CPAP needs adjusting, or possibly my thyroid dose; fortunately, I have appointments to have both of those things checked right after I get back to Massachusetts. Having experienced the return of energy, I'm not willing to stand its absence again.
So, what next? We have entered our final two weeks here, and I'm a little overwhelmed by all that needs to happen before we leave, as usual, and by all the things I didn't manage to do while we were here -- also as usual. This is perhaps not the best time to spend my energy trying to reestablish a routine that will almost immediately be broken.
The key is mindfulness. I've gotten away from intentional meditation, which was the main tool that got me started on this journey, and I need to take it up again. I need to give myself the time to be focused and grounded, the time to be quiet, and the time to notice where I am, not where I ought to be or where I was. I want to let go of worrying and fretting in favor of appreciating. If I can do all of that, I hope I'll be able to take joy in a little movement and get the most enjoyment I can of these last days (for now) in my beautiful home here.
Excuse me while I go out to sit on the lanai and listen, mindfully, to the ocean and feel the cool breeze on my face.
A hui hou.