Cheating and moving on?

I’ve been on the edge for a while…. and I cracked a tiny bit Friday and in a big way last night.  Sigh – this much stringency, I suppose making it for over 50 days was an achievement.  Still, last night, I hit the french chocolate truffles…. hard.  Unsurprisingly, this was a mistake.

The fallout was not as bad as it could have been – which I think says that despite feeling crappy often, I AM improved from the past.  So, score.  Ultimately, somewhat upset stomach, sudden feeling of having a UTI/stress incontinence, no reflux (a blessing) but definitely pissed the tum off.  Mostly the sugar/caffeine didn’t allow me to get a good enough sleep at all.  Really, I do not need that.

What IS interesting is that me, a rabid chocoholic for many years, eating my favorite French truffles, didn’t really dig it.  They tasted a bit too sweet, a bit too heavy, etc.  The flavor was nice but I didn’t really need it.  It’s like the idea of chocolate tasted better than the chocolate itself.   My mind wanted the food; my body didn’t.  Can I teach  myself to listen to my body here?  Work in progress.

As for Friday, the cheat was much more minor.  At my former boss’ retirement party they had tiny fruit tarts.  I’m a sucker for a fruit tart.  So I ate one of them – grains, dairy and some berries I don’t normally eat – everything in that tart is likely a no-go.  Thankfully, the thing was maybe 1.5″ in diameter so not horrible. And unlike the truffles, this tasted amazing.

Fallout from that… I’m not quite sure.  My skin was crazy itchy that night for the first time in a while, but I was also sleeping in a very warm/dry room so….  Still, nothing much other than some gunk the next day from the dairy.  I could live with this in my life – the ability to eat a bite or two, have minimal fallout and go on in my life.  Who couldn’t?  We’ll see.

In terms of moving on diet-wise, I’m experimenting with a few more things.  A review of my symptoms now that I’m off antibiotics has me thinking I may need to go in a different direction.

When I started all this I had chronic constipation, bloating, cramping, heartburn symptoms including regurgitation, pain in my stomach, burning in my stomach, chronic dehydration, a morbiliform rash (probably from medication/supplements I’ve taken this past year), stress incontinence and felt extremely crappy after I ate for 3 hours which basically means from breakfast until bed.  Ugh.

Now I have only the following: a smaller rash (perhaps even none), pain in my stomach, chronic dehydration, some burning in my stomach and feeling crappy after I eat – always – but now it varies in intensity.  The biggest distinction is that I feel crappier when I eat anything high fat.  Everything else has resolved or 90% mostly resolved.  I’ll take it.

I feel like the new diet and antibiotics/probiotics regimen I’ve been on has largely resolved (or is continuing to resolve) the IBS.  Which is fantastic.  Additionally, the rash is greatly reduced, may even be gone – what I may be experiencing is just dry skin.  It’s hard to tell (I could barely see it in the first place; my main symptom was itching which is gone most of the time these days).  Mostly the proof will be in my T-cell count.  I’m trying not to get my hopes up but think good thoughts.  I’d love for that to even out – not healthy!  I plan on going back to the Dermo in January for that – I want to give the rash a bit more time to resolve itself as much as possible.

That leaves chronic dehydration and other GI symptoms all of which are occurring in my upper GI/stomach area, not my intestines.  In a move to resolve THIS, for the past few days I experimented with eating lower fat (although retaining salmon as I think it helps both my skin and dehydration).  So I’m still on AIP but eating only fish and chicken along with my low-FODMAP veggies.  I also started taking DGL again and added Slippery Elm which is for coating your stomach and reducing inflammation for ulcer patients.  I don’t have an ulcer but I did have the polyps and do have inflammation – seems worth a shot.

The two new supplements have been a huge help.  I originally took mastic gum to coat my stomach which worked great but I had to stop as it was during the ‘getting a rash’ period.  Everything I was taking at that time – supplements/prescriptions – has been removed to rule it out as a rash antagonist. Slippery Elm is new to me and seems to do the same job – coats the stomach – and I definitely notice a difference when I take it. I’m taking it between meals and noticing a change in my indigestion symptoms.  They don’t miraculously disappear but they do calm moments after taking it for at least an hour plus.  So I’m going to stick with this for a bit.

As for diet, as I start day 5 of the lower fat version, I’m seeing a difference.  Even adding in enzymes and taking a ton of them, the fat was really pissing my stomach off and since fat is actually a GERD trigger and I do seem to react to them, forcing myself to continue to do high-fat AIP at this time in my life seems futile.  When I was originally diagnosed with GERD years ago, I bought 2 low-acid diet cookbooks so I’m going to give some of the Koufman recipes a shot, modifying them to stay within the low-FODMAP and AIP protocols.  But I suppose an AIPer would consider this Fail-eo as I’m cutting out high-fat meat/offal which is one of the Paleo cornerstones (that said I’m keeping the other limitations going).  It is what it is.  Ultimately I think the diet I end up with will be unique to me anyway so this is a part of figuring that out.  Hopefully using all these tools I can get some peace with my body.

I’ll keep you all posted.

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