Thanks so much for your patience while I’ve been struggling with health issues.
So here’s the scoop. I went home on Good Friday to visit for Easter, and woke up Saturday morning in such excruciating pain I could hardly stand upright. It scared me and I came back to the squat later that afternoon because I have herbs and stuff that usually help. But they didn’t help this time and the pain continued to get worse. Last Thursday I had a severe attack that lasted about 10 hours, and I very seriously considered going to the ER for fear that I had a liver infection.
It did subside however, and the next day I borrowed the money and ordered an herbal remedy which, in combination with a specific, strict diet, will break down the gall stones in about two weeks. It took about three days to really kick in but it did finally. I’m about a week into it now and the pain is pretty well gone, though I can still feel a stone in there. It feels exactly like having a stone in your shoe only it’s just inside my right shoulder blade. It will occasionally start to hurt a bit but Advil takes care of that. I’m also getting tired more easily.
I’ll do the herbs for another week and after that I need to drink olive oil mixed with lemon juice for three days — nasty! — and stick close to the bathroom. There’s a pretty reasonable explanation of the actual flushing process here — skip down to Step 3.
So my plan of doing a spring detox fast came up a lot sooner than I expected. This gallbladder flush is essentially a targeted semi-fast that will break down the stones and sludge and what-have-you throughout my entire digestive system, including my pancreas and liver. And it occurred to me yesterday that if I really want to clean out my body — after more than 12 years since my last detox — the best thing I could do is target my digestive system first and then do a more general detox. My body is smarter than I am!
Getting my health under control has been at the top of my list ever since I came to Pittsburgh. Financial stabilization was the most urgent order of business, but now that’s done and I’ve been making small excursions into healthier lifestyle things — eating better & more organic, less coffee, stuff like that. Ran’s visit was inspiring toward that end, but on the whole, getting healthy is just not something I’ve been looking forward to. For me, all that healthy stuff feels like deprivation and in the case of some types of physical exercise, just straight up painful. I love coffee. I dislike smoking but cigarettes do, in fact, function very well as a coping mechanism. Walking for very long on a daily basis gives me shin splints. And there’s no way in hell I’m doing the gym thing again, with 20-yr-old girls prancing around in lime green thongs and me there in my sweats, overweight and actually sweating.
Everyone says: do cardio first; eat whole grains; quit your meds; avoid red meat; quit coffee. All of these things suck and make me feel shitty. The very last thing I need is to feel even worse. So taking care of my health is forever procrastinated, because getting healthy feels worse than continuing to be unhealthy. Health is something I should do in order to avoid negative outcomes and ultimately death, even though it will basically suck forever until I actually do die. It’s the same coercive logic that compels people to have jobs. Getting healthy is all stick — the only carrot on offer is that more men will find me attractive. Really? I’m in violation of serial dating rules as it is.
I don’t want to do all that. What I do want is to feel better. And it occurs to me that this was a lesson I learned a very long time ago, back in my 20s when I got really sick for like a year. Maybe for other people getting healthy is a matter of sucking it up and suffering through. For me, getting healthy is the same thing as feeling better. A targeted digestive detox was nowhere on my “getting healthy” radar, even though I’ve had problems with my stomach since I was in high school. But this is not part of the prescribed “getting healthy” regimen, so I never paid attention. The things that do actually make me feel better have always been luxurious self-indulgences: massage, good shoes, great sex, acupuncture, the occasional cannabis-induced super lazy Saturday, sleeping until I’m done sleeping.
I remember now that my body really is smarter than I am. It doesn’t listen to conventional wisdom, nor is it swayed by studies and experts. It lets me know when there’s a problem — even when thyroid tests come back negative, dental x-rays show nothing, and the most common type of gall stone doesn’t show up on medical imaging equipment. It lets me know that a grain-based, low-fat diet does not provide the nutrition I need, that cardio isn’t where I should start.
In light of this lesson relearned, thanks to my debilitating gall stone issues, I’m changing my “get healthy” plans to “feel better” plans. I’ll let my body tell me the order in which I need to take care of myself — things that hurt or feel bad require attention; things that make me feel better require prioritization. And this is actually very much in line with efforts to address my personal energy distribution, because when anyone feels better they automatically have more energy.
I’ll write more about this as the process continues. In the meantime I do have a half-finished continuation of Disentangling the Deities, which I hope to complete in the next couple of days.