Saturday, April 26, 2014

Garden, or Not

We didn't do a garden last year.  I was fed up from previous years of no help weeding, planting, weeding, picking things out to order, weeding, seeding, weeding, harvesting, and weeding. 

Did I mention weeding?

I did plant garlic in the one herb bed we have, and it was a sorry crop.  Small.  Tasty, but small.  I didn't even plant garlic this fall, since technically I'm not allowed to really eat it anymore (but I do).

The garden was in rough shape.  We had a lot of work to do to bring it up to speed.  There was an overgrown butterfly bush in there, the tomato cages are still in place from 2 years ago, and removed an awful excuse for deer/rabbit fencing which was made more difficult due to the wild morning glory vines that were growing through it.

So.  We also are working on doing some layered cardboard-and-hay beds for this year a la Ecologia.  I'm hoping that will work out.  We've gone to a couple of their tours, they are AWESOME and we hope to do more with the techniques they have taught us.

I am planning on using up seed I have from previous years, and I think the only thing I need to order this year is onion seedlings.  Maybe some fruit plants/trees/bushes. 

Two of the four raised beds are cleaned out now.  Onions, spinach, and peas are planted in one with a couple artichokes thrown in for kicks and giggles to see what they do.  The other bed also has peas and a mess of beets.  So far, the peas and spinach are sprouting, but I think I only saw one beet.

We started tomato plants inside.  The are tiny right now, but will be big strapping seedlings before too long.

I'm looking forward to having fresh veggies again.  My health issues forced me to take a good, hard look at my diet and I can tell you, it hasn't been great.  It used to be, but then I cut out a bunch of stuff because of the gastroparesis...things like raw bell peppers for lunch and strawberries and asparagus and salad.  I'm inserting them back into my diet.  I like them.  I need them.  They are back.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The (Inevitable) False Start

I officially pushed the Gluten-Free button on Monday, April 14.  I went in to work and made a cup of my coffee alternative, Dandy Blend, only to realize sometime later that day that it has roasted barley and rye in it. 
I threw the Dandy Blend out that night.  Switching to tea and the occasional decaf coffee when I can’t stand it anymore.
On Tuesday night, I realized the melatonin supplement I take before bed has wheat in it.  That also got thrown away; I still haven’t replaced it but I have something earmarked on Amazon.
Tuesday and Wednesday were totally gluten-free.
Thursday I had a doctor’s appointment.  She sent me for bloodwork that needed to be taken while I’m eating a gluten diet, so I’ve been glutening the hell out of myself for the past few days, eating things I’m guessing I won’t be able to again.  Ever.  I will have a Kit Kat before it is all said and done. 
I’m going to re-push the Gluten-Free button after we go out for our anniversary dinner this weekend, so either Sunday or Monday.  Then, that will be it….unless the bloodwork comes back with questions.  I’m also getting tested for milk, corn, and soy allergies since the villi atrophy can be caused by those, too.  We’ll see.
After reading some of the things some people have to deal with, and some things that have been said to Celiac people, I am thanking my lucky stars that I know food as well as I do, that I can cook raw veggies, that I can cook from scratch at all.  Some people think white and wheat bread are….made from different things!  Like there is a grain called “white” and one called “wheat.”  Seriously!  WTF, people. 
I already got rid of some cereal that only I eat, the two bags of whole wheat flour, and the graham flour went out to the chickens.  I kept the all-purpose flour and the regular pasta for the Hooband because he asked me to.  I guess he plans on using them sometime when I’m not eating or not around.  I still need to delve deeply into the cabinets, see what has been lurking there for a long time, and purge it as well.   You know, those things you forget are back there for years?  Those things.
I’m collecting recipes (Oh, that reminds me: Must. Weed. Recipes), and planning meals for the week so there is no last minute what-do-we-want-to-eat-tonight baloney. This is also going to make this year's garden that much more important....but that's a post for a later date!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gut Feelings, Part....Whatever

So.  Switched docs, scheduled another EGD, and had that a couple weeks ago.  This was my third EGD, but my first with biopsies.  If you remember, the doc had told me you can't diagnose Barrett's Esophagus without a biopsy, so he wanted to do one of those.  I was all for it and was just sure it was going to come back positive.

I've been doing gut research a lot and as you may know you can't get away from the gluten issue when you do gut and food research.  The more I read, the more I wondered if that may be part of my problem.  So, as I was laying on the bed with a tube in my arm, chatting with the doc, I asked him if he could do a Celiac test, too.  They biopsy your duodenum.  He hedged at first, saying I didn't have a history, but then said he could do it because I have Gastroparesis. I was sure this test would come back negative.

I'm glad I didn't bet money on it.

The Barrett's test came back negative, which is great news!
The Celiac test came back positive.  I need to go on a gluten-free diet.

So.  They said I have mild Celiac, which just means my damage in my intestine is minor...for now.  Who knows how long I've been symptomatic?  Also, I don't know what my overt symptoms are.  I don't have gut pain, cramping, or diarrhea.  I'm curious what my symptoms will turn out to be, and I'll really only know as they disappear.  I'm hoping it will turn out to be the cause of my sleep problems, irritability, depression, and fatigue.  I'd love to lose all those.

I pushed the Gluten Free Diet button yesterday.  I did some grocery shopping to pick up thing on Sunday.  My god, gluten free bread is expensive!!  $5-7 for a small loaf.  I bought a mix for $4 instead and made my own.  As I get better at this, I'll lose the mix and just do it from scratch, but right now I'm happy to rely on the ready-made stuff as much as I can while I learn.  

The boards say you can see results in as little as a week.  I'll check back in on this next week!