Thursday, January 01, 2015

looking back in order to move ahead

2015. Dave read me something he found on the internet yesterday (which someone else probably read on the internet somewhere else) that has been running through my head ever since: we are now as close to 2030 as we are to 2000. Fifteen years ago I had a newborn and almost 2year old. I spent my days with 4 babies, from newborn to age 3. Dave's dad came by randomly to read to the kids so I could shower. We still lived in the village; we didn't have Kitty. Dave was working at Region 9-- and I didn't know that Alternative Ed existed. I was on the school board for Peru School District... airplane security was a breeze and Katrina was just a name. I can't even imagine what our lives will look like in fifteen years: the kids will most likely be married, and I could be GrammaNanny! I'll be approaching my 60th birthday... will I still be teaching? Did we build the dream home out back, or did we have to move because my body couldn't take the winters any longer? I can't wrap my head around it, especially while also looking back.

I don't worry, though, that we won't be happy. We'll have solid friends around us, helping us get through whatever international tragedy becomes reality. We'll have our kids, who will be doing amazing things.... whatever those things may be. Life will be complete, because whatever path we take to get to 2030, it will be the right one. I do take comfort in that.

But today... today I can understand. And there are things I can do now to make the next 15+ years easier and better. I was told this week I probably have a food allergy: I actually hadn't considered that, so it was a bit shocking, but it also makes a lot of sense: my digestive system (and my reproductive, but that's another post for another day) has never really worked quite right; I wasn't a sickly child, but I was never totally healthy, either. I get strep throat, a lot. I catch colds which become bronchitis and sinusitis fairly easily. Sometimes food just doesn't sit right-- and sometimes I needed hospitalizations for rapid dehydration or extreme pain. I haven't ever really worried about it-- it is normal for me, and I just cope with whatever I've got and move on.

Since my my second foot surgery in 2012, I've had issues with my throat. We're pretty sure the antibiotic I was on to prevent a bone infection is the trigger-- but it has caused me a lot of issues. I ended up with a c. diff infection-- I'll spare you the details but it's not something anyone wants. As 2013 progressed, I kept feeling like food got stuck in my throat. We tried heartburn meds, which helped some, but turns out my intestines didn't like that as a long term solution. My throat was annoying, but so were my intestines (and my ovaries, but again, another story) so I just kept on living.

Monday I had my third EGD in 2 years... and again, I didn't think this was typical, but turns out it's really not. I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis after the second EGD, but the doctor I had this time looked at my chart with a lot of questions, so I'm wondering if it's truly in my throat, or if it's really in my intestines and has moved around. I was 6 when I had my first GI testing done (diagnosed with a 'nervous belly'-- I hated PE so much I'd get sick thinking about going to school on gym days); in third grade I had a case of gastroenteritis that had me hospitalized for a week, and then again in fifth grade. No one could find the cause-- again, we all just chalked it up to Rachel being Rachel.

Which brings me back to today: having a significant food intolerance (quick internet research says an allergy would be life threatening) would actually make a lot of sense. I don't like the idea, but again, you don't get to choose these things: you have what you have, and you cope and move on. 

All of this is the long way 'round to getting to my resolutions for this year. I have a feeling my diet is going to dramatically change. I don't know what they'll find in February when we start the allergy testing, but I would not be surprised to find wheat or dairy a major culprit. (I also have to remember to ask about hornet stings-- I'm noticing those are getting worse the more the bastards attack me.) To that end, I really need to start eating more vegetables. I'll never become a full vegetarian (by choice, anyway), because I do enjoy the taste of meat, and like what a nice stock can do to most of my recipes. But I really need to significantly increase the veggie intake. My goal is to have 2 veggies at each dinner, which then leaves me options for lunch leftovers. For the short term, I probably should buy more convenience items while trying to establish the habit-- especially on the weeks that I don't have time to prep a week's worth of snacks.

I also need to move more regularly. I really need to take at least a 15 minute walk, daily. It doesn't have to be crazy-- but it does have to happen. I'm not ready to commit to strength training or anything like that, but walking some every day... that I can do. I know it will help my digestion and my circulation, and probably my blood pressure and stress levels, too. 

And while I'm cleaning house, I really am working on having us debt free by this time next year. Well, not totally free-- I will not pay off the house loan anytime soon-- but pretty darned close. If we can enter the college tuition years without crushing debt, we'll all be better off.

So there it is: increase veggies, walk daily, and pay off bills. Sounds manageable. The delayed payoff is appealing too-- work hard now, and reap the benefits in the years to come. 

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