Salicylate Intolerance Update: 4 months in

asa-toxSo I have been on my low to no salicylate diet since about the middle of January. I’m feeling pretty good. I don’t miss the things I can’t eat too much. I do slip a lot. Sometimes I just forget. Oh, one of the kids left a bag of cheetos on the table, I’ll just snag one. Well, that was a mistake. Oh, it’s been so long since I had a carrots (I have a ridiculous love of carrots), a few won’t hurt, I’ll just have 3 or 4 little slices. Wrong again, totally hurt.

I have started eating wheat again, just to add a little variety to my diet. I am allergic to wheat but it is low in salicylates, so I just lay off when I start to get sniffly or the pollen seems high.

It is so strange to me to really know what my body feels like at “normal.” Without headaches, chest pains, body aches, heart palpitations, dizziness. Don’t get me wrong, on any given day, even if my food is really clean and I eat nothing but rice and meat and oatmeal, I can still be dizzy and fatigued and disoriented by other things, but it is probable that I won’t feel like I’m coming down with the flu at any point during the day or have the shakes. And the chances of my food being completely clean are slim to none, so, there’s that. But there have been whole days, at least a few, where I have gone the whole day without feeling like I am ill. Before January, I think it had been ten years since I had any days when I could say, “I feel great except for allergies. And they’re not bad today.”

In some ways, it’s almost worse. I mean, there’s something to be said for just floating around between 30% and 70%. My system was so flooded with allergens and salicylates that I always felt bad, so I had to really load up on something to feel noticeably worse. So how much I got done had more to do with how much I could force myself to do through fatigue and fog. And I kind of had myself convinced that the biggest factor was my own mental attitude and if I wasn’t functioning as well as I wanted, it was probably – mostly – my own fault.  Now, like I said, 4 slices of carrot put me on my back for three hours with a headache, dizziness, chest pains, chills. And no positive attitude was making me feel good enough to do anything or make me able to focus on more than three written words in a row. So I guess it’s good to have confirmation that I’m not just making it up.

But with that comes the realization that I have a “condition,” something about me that makes my life harder than it otherwise would be, not because of my choices or anything that I do, but just because of my health. I have always had to be more careful than a lot of people about what I eat (though not as careful as some), but I have never had to avoid quite so many things, nor have so many things made me feel SO bad. It never seemed like that big a deal. I certainly never thought of myself as “chronically ill.” And yet, here I am.

And it’s not that I consider being chronically ill or disabled as being less than or a fate worse than death or whatever. But it does mean you have to think about things that other people never think about. I have to read food labels. When we go out, I have to think about if there’s anything I can eat there. The autism makes it so I have to consider my energy levels and plan for crashing days and in home days so that I can manage my activities. And that’s just never something that I thought I would have to do. I don’t think of myself as someone who has to be accommodated, either by myself or others. But here we are. I can’t help but feel like this is another attack on my idol of competence.

I guess everyone needs accommodations of some kind. No man is an island as they say. Some people need more than others, but it’s not a contest. No one should be keeping score.

All that being said, it’s pretty cool having most of the system at “baseline,” excluding my sinuses, which are never right because even in the winter, there is still dust.

I guess, if the question at hand is how I’m feeling about the new diet four months in. The answer is: when I think about it too much and think about certain things I can’t eat, it kind of sucks. But, if I don’t think about that, it’s pretty cool. It’s really awesome to figure out what is causing your issues and be able to do something about it. Even if the workaround is kind of a pain in the butt. =)

Summer Plans

So I have two more class meetings of BSF and then I have, basically, 16 weeks of summer break. Last year, I wanted to get a bunch of stuff done, but just having extra people in our house was so stressful to me that I only managed to do, well, nothing, really. So I think I want to have a goal in each of the three major roles of my life: Christian, wife/mother, person.

I think the best thing we can do to improve our walk with Christ is studying God’s word to know him better. I am not saying that’s the only thing that helps but I like to get right to the foundation of a thing and start from there. And, though there are other things you can do, studying God’s word is never a mistake. So I have two goals in this area: read the Bible and pray for an hour each day and get through a certain number of online Bible study classes over the three months. I don’t know how many yet. I have to figure that out in the next couple weeks before the break starts.

In the area of being a wife and mother, I want to get a routine down for my housework. I already have a routine down for the basics (dishes, laundry and – many days – dinner). I think I can do what I do now and add a household task to it everyday. Or figure out some routine with my BSF where I can get more housework done than I did this year. I think I’m going to treat my online study and Bible reading like BSF over the summer and use that to figure out how to work a housework routine around my BSF schedule.

Finally, as a person, I think my major goal is to get some writing done. I really enjoyed doing NaBloPoMo last fall. So I think I’m going to do that again except for the whole summer. Olga’s Blog Posting Summer. OlBloPoSum.


I am going to post every day for the whole BSF break. A post a day. More than that, I’m going to write every day. (Edit: I am going to write/work on my blog every day. I’m going to post as often as possible, or is expedient.)

I have a new keyboard to help me with my writing and my house has only the people in it that I am comfortable being in my house. I have two weeks to get prepared and sort of make plans while I finish up the end of BSF. I guess we’ll see how it goes.