There are days it seems as if the need to be gluten free has changed everything.  Days when the world seems harder and more complex than I have the stamina to tackle.  There are other days too.  Days filled with fresh foods, delightful pastas at serene little restaurants, or the joy of feeding friends foods they have never before consumed.  Those are the good days.   Those are the days I cling to when I struggle my way through the new aspects of my world.
This week that new world got more complicated.  I reacted, badly, to something but I was quite certain that there was no gluten in anything I had eaten.  I struggled to find the source.  I suspected Soy and began an internal panic at eliminating something so heavily infiltrated into our American diet.  It was a random conversation with my mother, an idle comment she made about how badly my brother reacts to MSG that led me down the path I’ve been on the last few days.  There were hours spent with Google.  Ah yes, that new pasta that tasted so heavenly – it has pea protein isolate, code for MSG.  That simple rice noodle bowl from Trader Joe’s I was so elated came gf, autolyzed yeast extract.  Yet another code for MSG.  My beloved coffee mate, who’s presence in my life has been significantly decreased because I knew it was doing “something”, it has MSG too.  Three days.  Three doses.  It took me under.  Three more days before I would know what it was that stole the life from my body.  One bowl of soy beans to make sure my assumption was not wrong.
Now the journey begins anew.  GF and MSG free.
Some days it seems as if I need a degree in chemistry, anatomy, and nutrition to make dinner at night.  I spent countless hours learning of lectins and proteins.  Pondering the importance of glutamate and learning which foods are naturally higher in this pesky substance.  I understand so little of it, yet I know I must understand more.  My body needs me to.
I struggle, knowing there are more pieces to this puzzle.  I fight the dizzy/nearly drunk feeling with the eyes that won’t quite focus right  for two hours after I eat and I still do not know why.  No gluten.  No MSG.  Still, something is getting me.  I made an appointment with an allergist only to learn the insurance won’t cover it and thousands of dollars of tests is not in the budget.  I am at a loss, doing the only thing I know to do.  Reading.  Tracking food intake, tracking weight, tracking sleep.  Watching the strange rash on my face come and go at seemingly random times, knowing there must be a dietary reason why.   Knowing that somewhere there are answers.  I just have to find them.
Some days, I’m just a little lost as to how to make my way through this journey.
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