I’ll start this with a bit of an explanation: I refer to health enthusiasts as “crunchy people.” I don’t know why. Probably heard it somewhere. This is not a derogatory term, but simply a descriptor.
And now I’m one of them. A little. Cautiously.
It’s not that I’ve never cared about things like eating right and exercising. Fruit and vegetables are yummy. I like to take walks and do stretching routines when I’ve got the energy. Since finding out about my liver issues, however, I have to force myself to be interested in things like green smoothie recipes and good sources of Vitamin A. (The liver likes Vitamin A). And now that I can’t take synthetic pain relievers, I’m about to get a frequent visitor punch-card at the chiropractor. There’s a bottle of St. John’s Wort (to help with anxiety and depression) sitting in my cabinet, though I’m trying to put off taking it until the Cymbalta has worked its way completely out of my body.
I’ve learned that the stomach upsets that have been my companion for the last couple of years are due not only to having my gallbladder removed, but also because the type of liver problems I have cause high blood pressure within the digestive system. This is why I’m either completely uninterested in eating or absolutely starving. No “yeah, I’m kinda hungry.” A way of addressing this is to eat 6-8 small meals throughout the day, thereby keeping the blood pressure constant.
This is not something I want to do. Food and I have a mutual dislike of each other at the moment. It sends me to the porcelain throne more often than I’d like to admit.
Becoming a health nut is overwhelming. I freely admit to possessing a hearty dislike for the arrogance and focus on money so often found in Western medicine, but I also dislike the uncorroborated anecdotes that so much of alternative medicine rests upon. Give me the scientific method and and open mind, darn it. I’m not going to start popping pills to eliminate the excess fat in my liver, but I’m also not going to eat the bark of a sugar maple because someone in some town who’s related to this guy’s friend found it helpful. Sorting through all the options and all the information is a time-consuming and often frustrating task.
In this moment I’m thankful that I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have to have a 10-year health-improvement plan, complete with charts and graphs. (I do love a good chart and a good graph). I don’t have to follow any kind of fad diet. I don’t have to exercise for five hours a day. (Lord, have mercy…). What I get to do is take this one day at a time. When I feel overwhelmed, I can step away from the research and play with my dogs. If I want to eat half a cantaloupe for dinner, I can do that. If I want pizza, I can do that, too. I can go for a walk. If I’m not feeling up to that, I can do 10 minutes of stretching.
What I’m saying is that I get to make choices. There’s a lot of power in that.
Even in those choices, however, I think it’s important to remember that my life is not my own. I don’t know when my last breath will be anymore than I knew when my first would be. I don’t know when or how the Lord will bring me Home. I get to make choices and I should take care of myself, but I’m a stranger here. A pilgrim. When my sojourn on this broken earth ceases, I will be ushered into life eternal. Life with no more pain, no more disease and no more debating whether or not to eat that tree bark.
Life with God.
To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.