“Well now you’re here, there’s no way back.” — Quiet Riot, “Bang Your Head”
“Oh, let’s get back to the cave, for a little while.” — Lita Ford, “Back To The Cave”
This is day one of me following the “The Paleo Approach” diet by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. I don’t believe in diets. I especially don’t believe in diets that forbid eggplant, tomatoes, eggs, and my very beloved dairy. So how in the hell did I end up here?
I have been having serious medical problems since contracting a very pernicious case of Lyme Disease and co-infections diagnosed in 2007 that left me with permanent nerve damage, weakness, and feeling very fatigued. A good day is one in which I don’t have to nap. At my sickest, I could not brush my own hair, and I could not drive a car for three years because I couldn’t hold my hands up on the steering wheel. I have seen amazing doctors (and a few mediocre ones along the way) who have helped me on my journey to healing, and I am much better than I was. However, the miraculous arrival of our daughter in January 2014 has upped the ante for my personal wellness goals. I want to be as fully functioning as possible to enjoy my very energetic toddler.
This led me to finally decide to break into our savings and pay the substantial sum to join the concierge practice of an amazing doctor (let’s call him Dr. G) in my area who sees last-ditch patients. I borrowed Dr. G’s book from a friend and decided that I needed to see him. I actually whined to my therapist, “I want to keep my savings for a rainy day, not spend it on medical care!” She said, “You’re saving money for a rainy day? It’s raining.”
Dr. G diagnosed me with central sensitization syndrome and a vicious level of mold toxicity from nuts. He prescribed pharmaceutical, dietary supplement, and lifestyle changes, in addition to treating me with traditional osteopathic manipulations (nifty!). I began to see other complementary medicine caregivers in his office. Still, I wasn’t seeing the improvement I was hoping for. I have long had a nagging feeling that something I am regularly eating is furthering my dis-ease, so I wasn’t surprised — though I was displeased — that he recommended The Paleo Approach, a diet for people with autoimmune disorders which is designed to eliminate almost any foods that would irritate an already amped-up central nervous system, as well as restore integrity to irritated gut linings, which are a given in people with the kind of symptoms I present.
As Quiet Riot said, so now I’m here, there’s no way back. I am treating this as an experiment: I am all in for eight weeks. If I don’t feel better, I plan to celebrate with a pizza with a side of Mediterranean eggplant salad.