More changes.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m growing ever more impatient with my lack of progress toward feeling better.  So I’m taking another step: I’m giving up lactose until further notice.  Today was my first day lactose free and I’m hoping to start seeing a difference within a week or so.

I didn’t eat breakfast this morning (bad, I know), but I ate a bowl of homemade black bean soup (dry black beans, chicken stock, bay leaves, cumin and salt, simmered together for 8-10 hours in ye olde crock pot) and a small fresh side salad.  For snack, I ate some dried cranberries.  After work, I hit up the local grocery store, and recommitted to eating fresh, healthy food.

Dinner was the last of the dolmades I cooked up on Friday (so. good.) and a delightful mixed green salad with carrots and cucumber. 

I also found these effing amazing almond “ice cream” bites.  So yeah, totally got those.  I also picked up lots of fruit, veggies and some soy yogurt.

Tomorrow’s breakfast will be gluten-free oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans, and possibly a banana or an apple. Lunch will be black bean soup and a side salad. Snacks will be soy yogurt and some raw almonds.  Dinner is yet to be determined, but it will definitely involve fresh veggies.  I’m aiming for one-third to one-half of my diet to be raw.

I’ve been really down and frustrated the last week or so.  I know I’ve been cranky, because my body hasn’t been feeling good.  I’ve been letting this get on top of me instead of just freaking handling it.  So tonight, I’m pulling myself back up by the bootstraps and committing to beating this damn thing. 

I will eat the way that my body needs me to eat.  I will be healthy and strong.  I will not dwell on minor setbacks.  Most of all, I will listen to my body and respond to it when it tells me something, instead of trying to dictate to my body and make it do what I think it should do, when I think it should do it. 

And tomorrow, we’re looking at five more houses.  Let’s do this.

24 days and counting

I’ve been gluten-free for 24 days now. I think I expected to be feeling 100% better by now, so not feeling 100% better has been a bit of a disappointment to me. I now realize that expectation was likely unrealistic, but so many people start feeling better immediately! Not me. Lame.

Last week was utterly brutal. I wound up working from home much of last week, as my GI issues were out of control. The weekend brought more of the same, but I am very glad that this week has been much better. I’m still exhausted, but I expect a great deal of the fatigue is actually due to my annoying inability to fall asleep/stay asleep this week. I’m not sure what’s causing it, but it sure is sucky.

Another odd thing is happening. I had read on the interwebz (and was excited) that many Celiacs lose weight upon stopping gluten. Since I’ve gained about 45 pounds in the last decade, I was thrilled to experience this particular side effect. Of course, I also wasn’t a skinny Celiac, so again, my expectations may have been unfair. I’ve actually somehow GAINED weight, which I personally think is a total load of malarkey. I’m eating cleaner and healthier than before, with no fried foods, very little in the way of processed food or sweets and I’m gaining weight. It’s bullshit, and I have no idea how it’s physically possible.

I want to believe all this weight will start to disappear as my intestines heal, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

On the flipside, I’ve been poisoning my body for who-knows-how-many years by feeding it gluten, so I guess it’s asking too much to expect my body to repair itself in a matter of days or weeks. [sigh] I just hate this whole process and wish I could skip to the whole “look how healthy and awesome I am now” part.

I was relieved to get the diagnosis, but I’ve been really bummed out about this for the last several days. I try my best to stay positive and know that things will get better, but some days are harder than others, and maybe I don’t want to be strong all the time. Celiac sucks.

Agony, misery, woe

Oh it’s different for each.

I fell in love with a 1928 brick Tudor. She was a grand dame and I wanted to bring her back to her full glory. The moment I set foot inside that house, I knew I was home. I was unabashedly in love. I could see the myriad problems, the dollar signs piling up, but I easily looked past all of those things and vowed in my heart to love this house forever and restore her beautifully.

After the husband and I talked it over, we called our Realtor and said, “We want it. Let’s write an offer.” He told us he’d call the listing agent.

An hour later, we got the call: she was under contract. Even as we walked through “our” house that morning, someone else was writing an offer. How could she do this to us?! I was so depressed I couldn’t even look at other houses. None could stack up. Finally, on Tuesday, I was able to lift my eyes to browse other listings. I found one close to our current rental. Not in love, but it’s cute and the price is great, plus we know we love the neighborhood. So I sent it to our Realtor.

Much to my surprise, he called me half an hour later and very seriously asked, “Can you talk right now?” I was a little concerned… were we about to be fired? But no. Our Tudor was under contract, but the listing agent was concerned his buyer might walk. So he called our Realtor and asked if we could put in a back-up offer. YES times a thousand! We took all of 15 minutes to make that decision. The listing agent disclosed a $4000 sewer repair found on inspection. Were we willing to lose our dream house for $4k? No.

Unfortunately, neither were the other buyers. They ultimately went through with the deal and we lost our beautiful Tudor a second time. The heartbreak of this house search better be worth it. I can’t imagine going through this multiple times.

Everything changes

Day four of living gluten-free.  I’m finding myself feeling utterly grateful every time I find something geared toward celiac.  I almost started to cry when I found the GF cooking classes at PCC.  I almost teared up at Trader Joe’s last night when I found their little guide to TJ’s gluten-free shopping in the store.  I assume this bizarro emotional stuff will start to subside eventually… I’m guessing it’s all part of the process of coming to terms with this diagnosis.

You may have figured out that we didn’t wind up offering on the house in Bainbridge.  We still love it; it just needed more work (read: money) than we wanted to throw at it.  And so the hunt continues.  I’m still madly in love with our realtor.  I’m so happy we found him.  I’ll give up his name once our search is over.  I don’t want to get dumped for someone else mid-way through our process.

The hubs is officially out of work now.  Yesterday was his last day, so I’m not sure what to expect from him in terms of his mood and everything else.  He was a bit down last night, but three Netflixed episodes of The League helped tremendously.  I seriously think that might be the funniest show on TV.

I should hopefully get some great news tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’m just holdin’ it down, looking forward to my celiac symptoms clearing up in a few weeks, and gettin’ er done.

Is this seriously happening?

So the husband and I took the ferry over to Bainbridge yesterday to poke around the island and look at a few homes. Since I work in SODO and the hubs will be working from home, the commute for us wouldn’t be a problem. We like the idea of the isolated, private life on the island. So we checked out a few places… and our crush on the island began.

The first place we looked at was pretty adorable. Hubs liked it, but I wasn’t super impressed. The floorplan didn’t really work for me. The kitchen was tiny, the living room was tiny, and putting a dining room table in the dining space would have completely disrupted the traffic pattern. Plus it was pretty much on top of the other neighbors, and on a busy street. Pass.

House number two was a total horror show. It smelled bad, it basically needed a gut reno, and the house owners seriously need to watch HGTV for a day. There was furniture and clutter crammed into every possible square inch of the house. And lots of books on Nazis. The whole place just had kind of a weird vibe. Plus, driving in to the house, we got to pass by an old ’70s Camaro on a flatbed truck. Fantastic.

House number three was cute, new construction. I don’t generally care for new construction, but we decided to give it a look-see anyway. The homes in the area are total cookie-cutter places and while adorable, not really my thing. Again, the hubs liked it, but I just felt like something was missing. The realtor and the spouse both asked what, but I honestly couldn’t articulate it. I just knew it wasn’t right.

The fourth place was damn-near perfect. It’s priced at the absolute top of our range, but it’s a foreclosure and the listing agent told our realtor they’re open to offers. It’s been on the market for quite some time. There’s a ton of land, a beautiful deck, and a completely renovated first floor. The second floor needs work, but nothing we can’t handle. We really kind of love the place, and can totally imagine living there.

Reality is, the place needs a new roof, a new decking eventually, new appliances and a fair amount of cosmetic work upstairs. So we’re realistically looking at probably $20k of work. But the house is totally livable.

So now we’re considering writing an offer, and we’re scheduling a second showing. Is this seriously happening? Are we really thinking about buying a house? I just can’t quite wrap my brain around this yet.

Also, the main selling point of Bainbridge? Mora ice cream. Hell yes.

Rough Week

I’m working from home today, which means I’m trying to work around two of my three cats. I’ve got one in my lap, and one on the back of my couch behind me, resting his paws and his head on my shoulder. It’s almost like they know how bad my tummy feels today.

I’m almost midway through my wait for my endoscopy and small intestine biopsy to look for celiac disease. In the meantime, I’m pretty much binging on wheat, to make sure that any intestinal damage is visible and obvious. Unfortunately, this makes me sick. 😦 Tuesday was a *really* bad day and I could tell last night that today was going to be a bad one too. Luckily my bosses are awesome, and they are totally supportive of me staying home to work on miserable days. So here I am, on my couch with my cats.

Regardless of the way the biopsy turns out, we know gluten is out for me… My blood tests showed high levels of gluten antibodies, and it’s pretty obvious how bad my body feels when I eat wheat. 😦

Just 11 more days to go.