Turn Turn Turn Again
I'm stoked the endless Indian summertime vibes are cooling off finally, and it's starting to feel more like a proper October. It rained buckets yesterday, the kind where it seems like your car might fall into a highway sink hole. Huge pools of water collecting like the sea on the sides of the road. After we got home from appointments and errands, we all immediately napped to the sound of the the rain like lemons falling on the roof.
When I had Evie, I learned quickly that "sleep when the baby sleeps" is actually kind of great advice (albeit sometimes annoying, because if you don't want to/can't sleep when the baby is sleeping, then you don't have to — read or watch TV or take a bath or text or do work or do chores or whateves).
But I like the deep hush of the afternoon around here while she's asleep, and having an excuse to nap is pretty rad. Even if napping just means lying in bed daydreaming, or listening to music, or writing. Sometimes I do feel guilty for not "getting anything done" (because it seems like guilt likes to hang out a lot when you're a mom) but mostly I relish and cherish that time, especially on days like yesterday when the rain is coming down.
So today and yesterday are good. In fact, the last couple weeks have been good. I've felt a lot stronger. I don't want to jinx it because I know my body has a way to go in this healing process. I learned a few weeks ago that although I don't have a full blown auto-immune disorder per se, I do have a lot of intense markers of auto-immunity going on in my body, that have been wreaking havoc and causing inflammation in a myriad of way. As my functional doctor said, my immune system is confused, and probably has been for awhile. (By the way, I didn't even know what a functional doctor was until like 2 months ago, and I'm learning as I go, but I do think for anyone that's struggled with chronic illness/auto-immunity or had health issues they've never gotten resolved by traditional MD's, a well-trained and knowledgeable functional doctor is definitely worth looking into.)
I think traditional MD's certainly are wonderful people and smart, and have their place. I got exceptional medical care when I was pregnant with traditional OB/GYN's. However, I went to multiple doctors this summer looking for answers, and was pretty much told they had no idea what was going on or what to do. Basically told me I was on my own. Yes, of course, they were happy to prescribe a few things that took the edge off, but I didn't see anyone with any real insight into the root cause, or how to heal. I don't know whether if I kept looking I would have eventually found someone, or if the place I live just doesn't have the kind of traditional doctors that know enough about auto-immunity, but I came up pretty cold there.
So, I had to go digging for "alternative" practioners. I say that in quotes because I don't think of Chinese Medicine as alternative, I think of it as medicine, and my new functional doctor has years of treating people with auto immune conditions when the Western Docs have failed them, even though he's not considered a "real doctor" by insurance panels. I'm fortunate that I can get the help I need, though I'm pretty upset at how are healthcare system is designed in so many ways to keep people sick.
I feel really humbled though as well, because going through this process I've talked to a number of people who've dealt with complicated health issues, and basically have had to forge their own path to get better, and it's a pretty difficult journey. Any of us can have a health crisis or at any time. It's a big undertaking emotionally, financially, and physically to get well. I'm also someone who relies heavily on my body for insight and intuition (I'm a bit of an empath, and I "feel" my way through things often, and often feel what others are feeling.) It was terrifying to be so sick for a few months that I couldn't understand what signals by body was giving me except I knew it was screaming at me.
So, this has all been a lot of trial and error, wait and see, and peeling back the layers to find out what's going on. And it's also been empowering to take agency of my health and body again, and dig deep with it, listen to it, and start to know myself and it again. The transformation your body goes when having a baby and making a whole, human person can not be understated. I feel like I'm just now landing with myself again, 3 years after I got pregnant.
I've also been cooking like crazy, and possibly eating better than I ever had. I used to literally sometimes roll my eyes at people who were gluten-free (I'm sorry about that!) and pride myself on having a really strong digestive system and that I had no food sensitivities. So, it's kind of ironic I'm basically throwing myself fully into Paleo to help with this healing process. I was actually on a super strict version of Paleo called auto-immune Paleo(AIP) this summer to try and bring down the inflammatory response in my body. Right now I'm somewhere in the middle of those diets. I'm including tons of FAT in my diet, meat, oils, avocados, coconut milk, veggies, some fruits, while holding off on grains, dairy, refined sugar, and limiting eggs and nuts for now.
I hated eating this way for awhile, but as my body has gotten better, it seems like it's starting to soak in and enjoy such a highly dense nutrient rich diet. I've been discovering so many different kinds of grain-free flours (banana flour, coconut flour), using dates as sweetners for "milkshakes", full fat coconut milk to make soups and drinks and treats, plantain pancakes, oatmeal made from cauliflower rice, squash as the base for pretty much any meal, and it's pretty satisfying.
These have been some of my favorite things:
Salted Caramel Date shake
Pumpkin Coconut Soup
Pumpkin Chocolate shake
I've also been thinking a lot about how I was to use this blog, because I feel like I have SO MUCH I want to write about — being sick is hell, but it also is deeply clarifying. I know now more than ever that I'm a writer, perhaps first and foremost. I don't want to put that on hold any longer. I want to write about what's fiery and present and hungry inside of myself. I want to write about becoming a mom. I want to write about my relationship and marriage with Ben, which has so many layers. I want to write about the people I've met that have tapped into things inside of myself, and made me feel alive and awake. I want to write about loss, and regret, and building my house (which was and is still a barn.)
I want to write about all the jobs I've had, and all the ways I've tried (and sometimes failed!) to make money. I want to write about going on some pretty wild shamanic experiences. I want to write about being twenty and sitting on rooftops at all hours of the night, and driving to New York City overnight just because, and the way the fireflies look when they start to appear in June. I want to write about my daughter. I want to write about my friends.
So that's a lot of things to write about! I think I'll just keep writing about what is present. I do know writing about motherhood is very important to me, not just because I am a mom, but because there is just not enough out there about motherhood that really goes into the meat of what the experience of it is. Without sentimentalizing it, without judging it, without making it out to be something impossible either, but also honoring that it is a completely massive undertaking of our life force that is fraught with love, and grief, and change. I also tried for a long time to get pregnant, so I have some understanding of infertility and the psycho-emotional place that that encompasses as well.
And I also think there's many ways to mother that don't have to include having children even, and so on another scale I want this to be about finding our way and into ourselves through whatever means our life takes. Becoming a mom, or not. Creative work. Sexuality. Relationships. Our bodies. Work, in whatever way that is, whether that is work you're paid for, or your passions, or the work you just have to do to be alive right now, which obviously is a huge undertaking for a lot of people.
So you know, just some light topics to cover! The everything, you know? Yeah. You know.