Saturday, February 9, 2013

Crazy...or Not Crazy?

Hmmm...well the last 6 weeks have been a little bit of a rough start to the new year. Not really the way I would have planned for things to happen. As I said in my last post, I was having sinus issues, and was put on some different medication that I had never been on before. I ended up having some serious adverse reactions to these medicines that included insomnia, and in turn made me crazy. Seriously Crazy! In my whole life, I have probably had just a handful of restless nights. Usually I am a very good sleeper. Actually my friends are jealous that I can fall asleep in very uncomfortable positions on airplanes, or airport floors, or sitting up in a chair. So when I couldn't sleep for a few nights in a row (like not even a wink), I didn't know what was wrong with me. I would actually wake my husband up at 3 a.m. asking him what is wrong with me? Lucky for me, I have a very sweet husband that would tell me nothing was wrong with me and would give me a massage in the middle of the night to try to relax me. I actually got to the point where I went to see a therapist for the first time in my life. I really thought I was losing my mind. I found out that insomnia can make you feel like you are depressed and anxious and all kinds of crazy stuff. After a few more nights of this and experimentation with OTC sleeping aids, I ended up having convulsions that led me to the emergency room. I honestly have never experienced anything like this, but I did learn that my bout of insomnia was due to the medication that I had taken (which by the way did absolutely nothing to help with my sinus issues!) Anyways I finally did get my sleep cycle on track and started to have a few good workouts and thought I was in the clear until I caught the dreaded stomach bug that everyone I know seems to have. So that is what I am getting over now, and although I could be frustrated, I am thinking of it as getting my immune system all built up so that the rest of the year will be smooth sailing!

On a more exciting note, I have found out through experimenting with the elimination diet, that I have sensitivities to gluten, dairy, and nuts. Although the medication DID NOT clear up my sinus issues, cleaning up my diet did according to my most recent visit to my ENT. So basically, I had to eliminate all of these allergens from my diet for about a week at a time, and then when I introduced them back into my diet, I had to monitor my body's reaction to that food. I noticed immediately with the gluten and the dairy, that I would feel nasal congestion. This is the exact sort of thing that can lead to the polyp growths that I had experienced, and only disappeared after a few weeks of a super clean diet. When I reintroduced nuts into my diet, my belly felt wildly uncomfortable, leading me to believe that I don't process nuts very easily. I still have to experiment with eliminating soy and corn. I find that these are the most difficult to eliminate because they seem to be in lots of stuff. So now my diet is mostly free of dairy, gluten, and nuts, although I couldn't resist a few bites of chocolate covered almonds and a mini-muffin after a five hour workout day. I am mostly finding it difficult to maintain this diet after long workouts when I am used to eating whatever I see first. Other than that, we are very lucky to be living in an age where there are lots of options at the grocery store.

I am hoping that having a clean diet and getting good sleep will pay off and I can get back on track. Basically I am trying to control the things that I can control. I know that I cannot control that 700 little kids come into contact and hug me every week (which is something that I love about my job). Or I know that I can't control that my school seems to gather an obscene amount of dust that could agitate my sinuses. Learning to be OK with the fact that I can't control everything is a learning process and will hopefully prepare me for races, where the best mental preparation is to control the things that you can control and be prepared to adapt for the unknown. Is that crazy? I hope not!!