textiles · exploration · misadventure

Still On the Downlow


After being at the crossroads and needing to make some hard choices, my health seems to be making a very slow comeback.

That’s actually a positive statement. For me, although it’s slow, the key word is “comeback.”

It’s been a hard month. After the emergency room visit a few weeks back, I continued to have powerful esophageal spasms. They start at one end or the other, my upper stomach or the roof of my mouth. I can literally feel my soft palate contract, followed by behind my teeth, then under my tongue, the back of my throat, all the way down, past my breastbone, and into my stomach.

They go on and on, and sometimes I get a really strong one, right in the throat. They feel like when you get a cramp in your foot and your toes curl. It’s like that, but around my windpipe. It’s pretty bad, and really weird, and apparently a symptom of this gastro-esophageal reflux thing I’ve got going on.

I’ve been exercising like mad, trying to relax my body, and found an herbal anti-spasmodic. Those, or time, or the hot baths, or the new diet, or the acupuncture—something—is working, and day by day the spasms slow by oh, I don’t know, maybe five percent? Difficult to notice day by day, but noticeable over a week’s time.

I’m trying the Paleo diet, because I’ve read it’s good at clearing up the causes for this type of problem. It’s been ten days, and a rough transition. Suddenly all my time is taken up by trying to feed myself, and I can’t help but be concerned over how this will work out once I go back to work. And I was just starting to look for work again, when all this began to go down.

I’d really rather try to resolve underlying issues than medicate this. Anti-acid drugs tend to actually make this problem worse in the long run, and although they were not initially meant to be taken for a lifetime, that’s how they’re used nowadays. And I’d rather not be on a medication for a lifetime if I can help it. So I guess that means I’m doing this the slow, hard, but hopefully permanent way.

I’m kicking white flour, grains, and sugar. I’m depressed and anxious, thanks to withdrawals and just the overall physical difficulties I’m experiencing.

I’m on day 28, not smoking. That was WAY easier than the sugar, feels fantastic, and I can’t believe it took me so long. Most of the time.

I’ve lost 11 pounds in one month. Don’t worry. I’m still curvylouise. (:

I still feel like hell, but it’s a different hell than three weeks ago. I’m still on the downlow, but have hopes for an upswing soon.


12 thoughts on “Still On the Downlow

  1. Congratulations on being smoke free and all the good health changes you have made. Keep up the good work and good luck


  2. Happy to hear things are on the upswing, if ever so slightly. I know its difficult but its worth it in the long run. Have you tried increasing your probiotics? I have a GREAT one recommended to me after my surgery. It helps with transitioning to a low sugar diet. It’s called Perfect Biotics. 30 billion cfu’s with 15 strains of good bacteria and its room temp stable.


    • Yes, I have increased my probiotics, and my acupuncturist gave me some good tips to help with sugar cravings. If only they’d help with depression, too.


  3. It’s by Probiotics America. Maybe you can check it out and tell me if you think it’s a good one! If you know of a better one, please let me know!


    • Well, I don’t really know probiotic supplements—the paleo diet has me eating probiotic foods, like sauerkraut, pickles, water kefir, and kombucha. Luckily I’ve always had a very accepting palate, and I’m finding these new foods interesting and delicious, kombucha particularly. It’s like a fruit soft drink, really delicious.


      • That’s great! I tried kombucha and I liked it too but can’t have it now. It kinda weirds me out and its carbonated from fermentation.


  4. I’m so glad you’re feeling better. Since I gave up sugar and starches in late February, I feel much better. I had no idea the effect flour and grains and sugar was having. My diet isn’t Paleo, exactly. I’ve been eating full-fat dairy (no milk), so it probably doesn’t qualify. A more accurate label would be low-carb high-fat.

    And cigarettes at the same time? You are magnificent!


    • Full fat dairy is totally Paleo, at least in the version that I’m following, which is one of, if not *the*, earliest. Full fat dairy is considered something to definitely eat, if you can tolerate it, but you have to go through a very strict 30-day “reset” program where dairy isn’t allowed, first, so you have something to compare it to when it’s reintroduced. It’s interesting. I didn’t know all that stuff about grains and sugar either. For the first time in ten years my ankles are no longer puffed. And yeah, fags at the same time. I think the eating thing made the smoking thing easier. I had something else really important to focus on, namely, being fed.
      Thanks for your nice, long visit; It was nice to see your likes and comments!

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