I have no idea what to title this post, not even sure where it is going – kinda like the past 2 weeks.  I usually write on Sundays but lately I have had a harder time than usual.  I had a cold in December and of course the usual cough arrived with it.  However, it wouldn’t leave and so it has been hanging on and on.  Now I have to take responsibility for not doing something sooner, I kept thinking it would go away by itself.  Well, guess what?  It didn’t this time and I have been coughing so much my chest hurts.  I went to see my acupuncturist almost 3 weeks ago for treatment and she also gave me Chinese herbs to take.  Cindy is Chinese and has studied acupuncture in China with some masters, so she really knows her stuff.  Se  got rid of a cough about 3 years ago – I hadn’t waited so long to see her that time.  I hardly feel the needles and I am not a fan of being on the business end of a needle.  She also wanted me to drink hot water to flush it out of my system and avoid sugar, so I have been drinking tea for the three weeks until I think I am floating and have  had a little sugar.  The first treatment she put the needles in places I have had before, but last week for the second treatment, she went to some other spots I hadn’t had before.  This fascinates me and I want to ask her questions – trouble is, when I talk, I start coughing.  Now, for  a motor mouth like me, not talking is very difficult; but I want to be well and if drinking hot walking and keeping my mouth shut is what is needed, I will do my utmost to comply.  I am going again Tuesday afternoon, I’m curious to see where she places the needles next.

I chose to go see Cindy rather than my regular doc because I didn’t want to get into the possibility of antibiotics and drugs, I take too many as it is and I prefer to do more natural and non-pharmaceutical treatments.  I am doing better, though I have not been very good at not talking or limiting how much I talk.  It is taking time and one thing she told me last week, this cough is depleting the nutrients in my body and I am not replenishing them.  She has a multivitamin she recommends because it has whole food foundation.  It isn’t cheap but I am willing to give it a go and see what happens because I don’t like feeling so tired and dragged out all the time.  Instead of short periods of energy and enthusiasm, I want longer and longer ones so I can feel human again.  It feels so good to be energetic and things are easier to do – I want to be that way all the time.  I am also hoping this gluten free diet will help too, though there are times when I wonder what is happening.  I have 2 or 3 good days,then a couple of days like the last two when I felt so tired, stiff and sore.  I wonder if there is still some withdrawal going on; after all, that 64 years of accumulated stuff to flush out.  Next Tuesday will be 6 weeks, will that be the turning point?

So what have I learned the past 2 weeks?  First, don’t wait so long to take care of illness or condition because it is much harder and more uncomfortable the longer I wait.  Second, sleep does a body good.   I noticed that last weekend.  I had two long naps on Saturday and sunday, slept for a bit on Tuesday and also on Friday, wished I had yesterday.  I was feeling too tired to sleep and that first nap Saturday afternoon last weekend seemed to break whatever was making it hard for me to sleep and I am doing a lot better.  I am sleeping a lot better at night now, what a difference from the months of not sleeping because my legs hurt all night.  Third, I am finding it is not very hard to eat gluten free, plus I don’t really miss bread and sweets much.  I have to thank all those other gluten intolerant people who came before and created food they could eat – now it is much easier to find gluten free in places.  There were a couple of times this week I could eat the food at an event or having coffee at Barnes & Noble – though they do have a packet of Dr. Lucy’s gluten free cookies.  I will admit to a small fear – if I decide “Oh well, this once won’t hurt if I eat normally”, I am concerned I will keep doing it rather than be as gluten free as I can be.  It is usually that first bite that worries me.  The old “Bet you can’t eat just one potato chip” quote.  Fourth, when I hurt and am feeling miserable, I remember Eckhart Tolle’s  question “There is nothing you can do about the fact at this moment this is what you feel.  Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept this is what you feel right now?”.  Sometimes it is very hard to not want it to be different, but I have had times when I have used this and it actually works.  I realize it is ego mind that is ranting and raving about the pain and all the stuff that is happening, she certainly doesn’t want to have me be willing to look at this way.  She wants all the power and pain and whingeing are part of it.  There have been other times when it has not really worked and I realize ego is more in charge than I realize.  Not a happy thought.

I’m sure there are other things I have learned, I just thought of asking that question as I was writing and I usually let things simmer on the back burner for awhile before things make sense.  I still haven’t thought of a title, the only one that comes to mind is update.  As I have written this, I keep wondering, “Am I whingeing and I promised I wouldn’t?”.  I could have chronicled all my pains and crappy days, but no one with a chronic illness needs to hear that because they have stories of their own.  It is a time of ups and downs and pretty much how things are for anyone with a chronic illness.  I just prefer the ups but I know I learn from the downs and appreciate the ups because of them..

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