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Are You There, Brain? It's Me, Body

Last week was my birthday week. I have been feeling so much better health-wise since I got my old amalgam fillings out that I decided to try a piece of a yummy Costco birthday cake. I did not experience ANY pain. Woohoo!

Friends invited us to dinner this past Sunday at an excellent Italian restaurant. I decided to push my dietary limits further and order cheese ravioli and meatballs. I purposely did not tell the server I was gluten, dairy, soy, or nightshade-free. I wanted to enjoy this meal! Towards the end of the meal, I began feeling a little joint pain, but it was 25-30% of the pain I felt when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's in April of 2022. A huge improvement!

The next day (Monday), Doug and I had planned a lovely Orlando getaway with some dear friends. We rented a huge house, and each attendee took turns cooking for the group. Still a little cautious about overdoing it, I brought some food. I'm glad I did because I have some spicy-food lovin' friends and can't do spicy.

Tuesday, the second day of the trip, we ordered pizzas, and I was excited to try my first slice of pepperoni pizza in over a year and a half. I ate my one piece slowly to savor the flavor. I definitely noticed while eating the pizza that I wasn't "emotionally connected" to pizza like I used to be. I enjoyed this little indulgence until an hour later when my bones started screaming at me. All was not right in my world. The rest of the week, I experienced digestive issues and was forced to return to my bland, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nightshade-free diet. My pizza slice was taking its good old time touring my intestinal tract, and the journey was not going well.

I relayed my food experiences to a hypnotist friend when I got home on Friday. He noted that I had ravioli with minimal issues on Saturday and was experiencing severe pains after eating a pizza on Tuesday. He questioned if I had anything else that might have triggered such a drastic response over 3 days.

After I thought about it, I had a lot of things going on.

One of our friends couldn't join us after she experienced complications from a botched surgical procedure. We were getting reports on her recovery, but there were a good 12 hours that appeared like she wasn't going to make it (thankfully, she did and is now recovering!). I was worried about her health.

Two weeks before, the wife of one of the other couples supposed to join us had gotten a nasty case of COVID-19 and was briefly hospitalized for it. She is one of my dearest friends, and I wasn't going to be able to see her. (She is also on the mend.)

I booked this trip in March and paid the deposit, only to discover several of the other couples who "were in" canceled a few days after I paid the non-refundable deposit, and then paid the balance of the trip 2 months prior so I wouldn't lose the deposit. I was covering 70% of the trip cost for 4 months. Fortunately, I found other people to go, but they only committed 3 days before the trip.

3 hours before we were supposed to leave on the day of the trip, Doug discovered one of our short-term renters had trashed one of our beautiful units. Curtain rods were ripped off the walls, mirrors were broken, carpeting was ruined, and they stole many of our furnishings. They did about $1500-$2000 in damage.

Within minutes of that discovery, our long-term tenant, home from a work trip, reported the hot water heater wasn't working. Another potentially expensive repair and another expense to be dealt with.

If that wasn't enough, I had an issue with something Doug did the first night of the trip. I didn't say anything about it because it because we still have 4 more days to go, and I didn't want to ruin the trip with what was likely a big misunderstanding. He probably didn't mean to do what he did, yet I saw what I saw. We were all having a good time, and I did not want to ruin the weekend with drama. We could talk about it when we got home.

My brain was working overtime trying to push all of these things down and out because I didn't want to deal with any of them. I just wanted to enjoy my week with my friends. On Tuesday, I had a slice of pizza, and my body screamed, "ENOUGH!"

For five days, my brain believed a slice of pizza caused all of my tummy issues because it's much easier to blame food than your brain for your issues. That was until my hypnotist friend noticed ravioli and pizza BOTH contain gluten, dairy, and nightshades. I had 30% pain with ravioli and 100% pain with a slice of pizza. My body was letting me know something was wrong, but my brain wasn't ready to process it, placing the blame elsewhere.

Do I still have legitimate physical issues with gluten, dairy, soy, and nightshades? Probably.

Do I need to work on myself to process my stressors more productively? Definitely.

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