Soldier on… Only you can do what must be done.

I’ll start today’s blog with a bit of a “Dear Diary” angle (to satisfy my therapeutic purpose of the blog)…

Dear Nacho,

Have you ever been driving on the highway and noticed that you are the one in the “slow” lane that everyone keeps passing up and speeding by on their way to whatever fire they’re rushing to?  Yeah, me neither.  😉  (My lead foot and swift race car-like abilities have kept me pretty capable.  J/k Mom!)  Well, I have been feeling like that with my life lately.  I have watched as friends and co-workers go on vacations, travel for work, have kids, take on big life-accomplishments and projects, while I…sit.  Stagnant.  Hmph.  I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I need to take advantage of this “down” time, and focus on just being healthy enough to make it through the surgery (and whatever follows), but it’s no less frustrating.  I’ve been told that I might just be bored, and that’s very possible.  Because so much of what I love to do is off-limits for the time being, I’ve been trying to come up with ideas to keep me productive and busy.  I can’t workout, but maybe I can (finally) take up yoga.  I can’t take classes, but maybe I can try to relearn a new language (so I can better understand the Frenchies at work when they think they’re gossiping undetected).  I can’t take on a new 2nd job, but maybe I can volunteer with some additional non-work projects.  (I’ve already started that one by discussing ideas with the head of the Essilor Vision Foundation… we’ve discussed coming up with a Fundraising Committee that can organize various events/items (auctions, collaborative cookbook from all of our international offices, etc.) to raise money for their cause.  She’s discussing it with HER boss today, so we’ll see what that outcome turns out to be! )  Other than that, I guess I should just sit pretty and wait.  I know things will be better after it’s all done, however I can’t help but think of how much I have riding on this.  It almost feels like my life will finally start again with this one surgery!  I can travel again…be active again… eat better foods again…change my career again if I wanted to…I mean, this thing BETTER work or we’re going to have a serious turn in our Nacho posts!  hahaha…

Ok, venting done.  On a brighter note, I’ve have now been gluten-free for almost a month, and I am absolutely amazed at how much better I’m feeling!  My stomach issues have pretty much disappeared (!!!), my acne has completely cleared, and the rash on my back and legs is almost gone!  I’ve even been told that I’ve put on a few “healthy  looking” pounds!  Who would have thought?  I still need to discuss the skin issue with my dermatologist to see if he has anything that can help speed up the healing process, but all in due time..which apparently is what I have PLENTY of right now (ha!).  Since I don’t normally gorge on bread products,  it hasn’t been too difficult a diet to follow, but I will say it has been a challenge!  A lot of food has hidden gluten ingredients that you typically wouldn’t think of, like meatballs and sausage, which have gluten or bread as fillers.  It’s also been a pain to find places to eat out at times.  Mexican food is always a safe bet, but you can only have so much of that before you get sick of it.  (Wait…did I just say that out loud???  What????)  Not only that, but it’s a bit embarrassing to have to keep asking for the g-free menu and asking how various items are prepared.  As much as I hate being vocal about my illnesses, this ranks right at the top of my annoyances.  I’ve kind of lost some of my interest in food in general b/c I just don’t even want to bother with it anymore, but I’m sure as I learn more about how to cook with this diet, I’ll gain that excitement back.  Again… baby steps.  I did take on the initiative of trying to make our cafeteria a bit more friendly for people like me by requesting that they start serving more “special needs” menus… our chef said that they would be happy to start providing g-free bread at the deli/grill for us, but they couldn’t get a new panini/sandwhich grill b/c it was too expensive.  (Cross-contamination is a serious issue…I’ve tested it, and it’s no joke!)  I think I will have to do some Christmas shopping for Essilor and donate a grill for all of us to use!  🙂

In the meantime, I found a pretty good article online that I wanted to share with you.  (click here)  I like it b/c it starts out with the very same cynical vibe I used to have about gluten-free diets, thinking it was just another fad diet (yeah, the last laugh was on me when I was told I had no choice!  ha…), but it gives some very helpful descriptions for some of you who need further explanation of what all the fuss is about.   I can assure you, for some of us, this is NOT a fad, but something we’ll have to deal with for life, so I’m praying that the “fad aspect” of this gluten free popularity lasts for awhile!  I’d like to keep having all these options even when everyone has moved on to the next new “fill in the blank” diet!

Lastly, I’d like to sign off with some more good news… My GI has sent his clearance to allow me to go forward with the transplant!!  This doesn’t mean I’m active yet… ugh… but the process is rolling forward as we check off all the steps that get me there!  As I mentioned before, if ANYTHING out of the ordinary pops up, they have to clear it with the committee to say it’s not going to prohibit me from moving forward… they are very strict.  Now, we’re just waiting for my Cardiologist’s clearance and the clearance from the committee!  I’m also hoping to hear back soon whether I’ve finally been approved for the pancreas.  Even though my doctor said it might not be approved, there’s still a miracle’s chance it could happen!  (Crossing my fingers, legs, eyes, hairs… )


What I’m thankful for today:

1.  That all of my friends and family on the East coast made it through unharmed from Sandy.  I love ya’ll… a little rain won’t bring you down!   😉
2.  Goat cheese comes in slices at Whole Foods!  Love!
3.  That Texas de Brazil is open for Thanksgiving.  Bring on the beef!

One response

  1. B-E-R-T-A!!! I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and read all of your blogs from start to finish! YOU are a GIFTED and TALENTED writer! But I’m not surprised…every time I read one, I hear your voice in my head and your WONDERFULLY INFECTIOUS laugh. I’m so happy to hear you are making progress. Keep at it my dear friend. One of these day’s I’m making a trip to Big D and would love to visit, hang out and catch up. Take care sweetie and I along with the rest of your POSSE are rootin for you!

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