From Tears to Joy

A while back I wrote about how upsetting it has been to be losing weight to the point of looking like a contestant on Survivor at the end of the contest. I’m getting used to being skinny. I seem to have leveled out at just a hair or two above 100 pounds. I guess that will be fine. Like I said, I’m getting used to it.

The other things that are happening are fantabulous. (I had to use my special made up word that I use for the very best things.) My hair is growing back. For years it had been getting thinner, especially last year. The lady who was cutting it even told me I sure was “losing a lot of hair.” I now have new hair that is about this long!

My eyebrows have also gotten thicker. I was talking to my nurse practitioner about these things today after I showed her my thumbnail. For the past few years my right thumbnail has had weird squiggly lines on it. They looked like wrinkles and covered half the nail. It was growing out from the nail bed like that. I knew it was something medical when I first noticed it, but I didn’t know what and I never said anything to anybody about it. Last week I noticed that it’s beginning to look like a normal nail. There is a small area with fewer squiggles and then it gets smooth. My nurse practitioner said it was squiggly because I had a deficiency of something when I was eating gluten and didn’t know I shouldn’t be. That’s also why my hair was falling out and my eyebrows had thinned out.

She said our bodies take the nutrients to our important (to keep us alive important) body organs and the skin, hair and nails get what’s left. They are also the fastest to recover, so it doesn’t hurt them to do without like it would other parts of us. Other things can recover, too. It just takes longer.

Another cool thing, and this is the one that put me over the top here and has me writing when I would normally be asleep because it’s after midnight, is this. I’ve had trouble keeping up with my flower beds and garden the past few years. I wondered why that was, because when we home schooled our sons it all looked much better, and I was a lot busier then than I am now. When I thought about it I remembered that I worked in the yard in the evening back then. I haven’t been able to do that the past few years because I couldn’t bend at all after I ate. A doctor told me years and years ago that I probably had a hiatal hernia and so I just thought that was why I got to where I couldn’t bend. I figured it bothered me more as I was getting older.

Well, yesterday evening after supper, I picked up my clippers and went outside to just walk around and piddle a bit with clipping small things and maybe dead-heading a few flowers. I noticed I could bend and it didn’t cause any problems. Now, I wouldn’t go outside after supper and stand on my head in the flower beds, but I can do a little bit of yard work. So, today I went out and cut some small branches that were broken during a thunderstorm this afternoon. I also dug out part of the ditch that needed it and took the dirt to the side yard and filled in holes that an armadillo dug.

It’s so much more comfortable outside in the evening. Mornings are more humid, and by the time the dew is dry and you can do something out there, it’s getting plumb hot. So, as long as I don’t stand on my head in a flower bed, I can now work in my yard at the end of the day. And that, dear readers, is a great time to do something that is so pleasant and relaxing.

ADDENDUM (June 8, 2012): I was so excited that I didn’t make it clear the reason I can work in the yard after supper is that I’m not having stomach problems caused from gluten any more! I’m still excited.

SECOND ADDENDUM (January 13, 2014): Sorry to keep adding to this post, but things just aren’t totally resolved, I don’t think. I still weigh barely over 100 pounds and I eat more than my husband. In years past, it I’d eaten like I am now I’d put on some weight. The hair on my legs went away again, then came back, then went away. The hair on my arms turned a funny color and some of it broke off last year. Reflux became a problem again. Osteopenia¬†is now¬†osteoporosis and it’s worsened over the past year. I’ve done all I can to take good care of myself. I’m active and my nutrition is great. I’m wondering if there is a problem with my endocrine system and plan to ask the doctor that I’ll see for the bone situation soon. I may have more than a gluten problem, which wouldn’t be unusual. None of what I post on here is medical advice for anyone in any way, other than to say that if you are having problems that seem strange to you, try to find a doctor who can deal with it. Don’t try to fix it on your own and don’t give up. Friends tell me there is an answer. We just have to keep looking.

It’s Monday and My Head is All Over the Place

I’m like this a lot on Mondays. Only this time besides just wanting to do a gazillion different things at once, I’m also thinking about things like the two lawyers that I had doing damage control last week when I was in a jury pool for a murder case.

The first one was a prosecutor who asked if we were all familiar with DNA. Of course, everyone has heard of DNA. Then he said something that I thought was a leading question like you see on TV when the a lawyer objects and the judge sustains it. He said something like, “So you all know and agree that DNA is accurate?” Everyone agreed except me. He was stunned. I had to explain that labs make mistakes and it’s not 100% reliable, you don’t get 100% certainty. He kept asking for specific times that I could tell him about when it wasn’t. Good grief. I kept telling him labs make mistakes and I’ve read about it and I have the impression, although I couldn’t give him details, that DNA is not 100% reliable and with 100% certainty. So, he ended up talking in an encouraging and persuasive tone of voice to everyone else about how people are set free when DNA exonerates them. (Of course they are. You can say with 100% certainty that someone’s DNA does NOT match, but not 100% certainty that it DOES.)

The other lawyer whose head I seem to have messed with was the defense attorney. He asked who all had police officers in their families or were close friends with any cops. I raised my hand and told him I used to ride with them in the Ride-Along program, and I knew a few over the years from church or from being in the same organization.

Then he asked if we would believe the testimony of a police officer over the testimony of another person. I thought his tone of voice suggested that we should. As everyone else was nodding their heads “yes”, I raised my hand. He looked over at me and said, “You wouldn’t?” He didn’t sound thrilled. I told him, “No. People are people.” We had a bit of conversation and a bunch of other people started talking and it’s all gone fuzzy in my memory by now, but then he said, “Well, she rode with them.” I told him the ones I rode with were good cops. I liked the ones I rode with, but people are people and I watch the news.

I was #11 out of 40 in the seating order, but I wasn’t chosen for the jury. Whew. I was glad because I had a bit of a stomach ache. It was from being glutened (accidentally ate gluten and I shouldn’t ever eat that stuff) for the second time in eight days and it took a few days for it to wear off completely. Thankfully, I feel great now.

The week before last when I was glutened, I was writing checks and I made a deposit and I wasn’t recording any of this. Normally, I would record it, but I’ve learned to take it easy when I’ve been glutened and my head isn’t all with me, so I did that. Only I forgot. One afternoon last week I went to the doctor and when I got to the office, it dawned on me that I better look in the checkbook and see if I had the money to pay the doctor. (I think my head was more messed up than I realized, so it’s really a good thing I was not put on a jury.) So, in the parking lot and within 10 minutes of my appointment time, I looked in the checkbook and saw that the checks I had written were more than the last amount of money that I had showing. Uh, oh. For over an hour, until I could get back home and get online and see where I was at with all this, I thought I might be overdrawn. I have overdraft protection so I would be covered by money in my savings and I think they would charge me something to do that, but at least nothing would bounce. When I checked on it, that’s when I discovered the deposit I forgot about. Whew, again. Oh, I used my credit card at the doctor’s office.

One thing I want to do today is order a set of cookware and a few other things that I need to replace. Mine is mostly old so it needs to be replaced anyway, but I’m having to do this because of gluten cross-contamination. I’m more sensitive to gluten than I was when I first came off of it. Sometimes that happens. I’ve learned that it’s not only plastic mixing bowls that can harbor bits of gluten, but also a non-stick pot with a single scratch. So, my scratched ones need to go, as well as my pitted aluminum. I can’t use my rolling pin because wood absorbs gluten, and my wooden spoons are out, too. It’s aggravating, but it’s worth it. I’ve had a bit of a problem with stomach acid at night, not as bad as before I came off gluten, but I may be getting just a tiny bit of it from my cookware. OH…cast iron and cooking stones absorb gluten, too. I read that they can be run through an oven with a self-cleaning cycle that goes up to about 900 degrees and that will kill it. I’m looking for a friend with an oven that I can use that does that.

My kitchen is inside out because of me going through everything and I hope to make some visible progress on that today. Also, I want to try out my new bread pans on some Basic White Bread. This will be my first attempt at making gluten-free sandwich bread. Baking gluten-free bread is different from baking regular bread, which I was only so-so at baking, so I hope I’m better at this kind.

There are about 50 things I want to clean here today. (Not really that many, but you know how it feels when you just want to clean everything?) And this evening, I want to work in the yard. And I need to make some soap. I want to try using a different recipe this time. I’ve been using recipe #8 on this list, but I want to try #7 today, just out of curiosity. I see one or two others that I also want to try later. There are some things I want to pack up to send to my grand-daughters in Canada. And some other things I want to send to another son near Houston. And I want to take some time to read the next section in a textbook that I’m reading. It’s a college literature book and it’s interesting.

Well, hubby went in to work at about the middle of the morning and my writing itch was too great to ignore, so it’s now early afternoon and I better get started on this stuff. OH…I am going to call the courthouse and see if the jury is still hearing that case. I haven’t seen anything at all in the news about the outcome.