Feeling so good I think it’s time for a new About Me page!
So… I had a hideously tough year in 2018. I spent about two months thinking I had muscular dystrophy and was dying, but it turned out I only had the super-rare autoimmune disorder dermatomyositis, which still sucked a lot. Basically my immune system was attacking my muscles and eating them up; I got so weak I could barely get dressed or lift a cup or turn over in bed, and stairs and everyday-carrying-of-stuff were out of the question. Also my skin got really red and flushed a lot, especially in the sun.
Sixty milligrams of prednisone a day for months and months knocked my immune system back, allowing my muscles to sloooowly build themselves up again until now I can finally pick myself up off the floor, pick up the cat, drive, do nearly anything I used to do! As of the new year I’ve started working out at the gym and seeing friends after months of being super shut-in and introverted. This blog was to help give me something to do during that time and share my progress and activities (such as they were).
During the five months (August-December) in which I basically didn’t leave the house or see anyone I did a lot of writing, a LOT of cooking, and, after getting shingles from the high prednisone dose, a lot of mindlessly playing The Sims. I’ve been on the paleo autoimmune protocol diet the whole time, which involved a huge dietary adjustment for me, mainly in the department of getting used to constant cooking from scratch, and also in the quantity of meat I was eating. I followed the AIP exactly for months, eating hella meat, drinking fermented drinks, making sauerkraut, even eating organ meat. I kept a list of all the paleo foods I ate and challenged myself to reach 200, which I’ve now passed!
And for my birthday in December I woke up excited to make a pot roast, so maybe I’m actually beginning to like cooking?! I think it helped to start listening to podcasts while doing so much cooking and dish washing, especially picking My Dad Wrote a Porno to binge all four seasons of and laugh out loud at.
Ultimately I’m not sure if this diet is helping with my autoimmune disorder or not, the way it’s helped other people; obviously concurrent with massive steroid doses is not really the most scientifically accurate time to test something like that. However I did feel like all the fresh, organic, high-protein meals were good for getting healthy and growing muscles back, and it was definitely nice to have a project like that to think about. Also now instead of feeling pretty much chronically full I frequently get hungry, and my body feels more energized, both of which are nice. So for the moment, (after taking a brief hiatus to eat half a red velvet birthday cake on my own), I’m continuing with a paleo diet in 2019.
Basically I’m really starting to feel like myself, which is something I thought would never happen again five or six months ago. I still have weirdly inflexible fingers, but that isn’t really an issue and apparently physical therapy can help. I still have little specks of red flush which I really hope go away forever soon so that I know for sure the disorder isn’t active in me anymore. I still have really skinny shoulders, but most of the rest of me looks more or less like I expect it to. I’m also still taking a lot of prednisone; after two months reducing I’m down to forty mgs a day and it will take four more months to be all the way clear of it, at which point another immune suppressant drug I’m taken alongside it will have become active. Not sure how long I’ll have to take that one before coming off of everything and, fingers crossed, being good to go. At least this other drug shouldn’t have the same side effects as prednisone: I’m definitely over the grumpy mood swings, inability to drink caffeine, random bouts of exhaustion, and all the fat in my body being stored in my cheeks like a squirrel (awesome side effect, prednisone).
And now 2019 is here and I feel ready to look forward to some new adventures and maybe getting back to my old nomadic lifestyle. I don’t think I’ll be bartending again anytime soon, but hopefully I’ll get back into working from my computer and traveling the world! Current possible goal is moving back to Australia.
So hopefully now this blog will be less about how hard it is to do anything and more about the new adventures I’m having. And probably also still about cooking, as I seem to sort of enjoy that now. Probably also still about cats, and books, and writing, and things I think are interesting, and taking steroids, and hanging out in my dragon onesie.