I can be stubborn and thick-headed sometimes, but when the universe slaps me upside the head, or in this case repeatedly punches me in the face, I take notice. I recently left for a trip to Bali. I had spent months thinking about how fabulous this trip was going to be and what an amazing, life-changing experience it was going to be. Well amazing, not so much.
In a nutshell, within two days of arriving in Bali, I came down with Dengue fever. I recovered from that, got my feet back under me for a couple of days, and then I am fed gluten. I asked, "this is gluten-free?" I am told, "yes, yes, gluten-free." My body cannot tolerate gluten. What happens is exceptionally unpleasant. To put it as politely as possible, after eating gluten, everything I put in my body turns to water. This condition makes it impossible for me to venture far from a bathroom. In addition to this, some random joint in my body will become inflamed and cause excruciating pain. This time it was a joint at the base of my neck and top of my spine. For days, I couldn't lie down without burning pain through both my shoulders. Even now, over a week later, I still have pain in my back. I get over this, and I can function for two days when I am hit with Bali belly. As I was sitting on the toilet, spewing from both ends, I decided I had enough, I am going home.
When I got the word, I could change my flight, and that I could leave in 6 days, I was filled with peace. I also knew that when the universe is feeling the need to be especially brutal with me, there are lessons that I need to learn. I have been thinking about this for the last few days, as I have been recuperating yet again.
As I mentioned, I can't eat gluten. I also have that same reaction to sugar, dairy, soy, alcohol, simple carbs, chocolate, and probably some others I have forgotten. I am also a sugar and carb addict, so I tend to cheat with these, and the result is chronic pain.
The thing that I noticed in those days where I couldn't eat due to my illnesses, I had no or little pain. I believe that at least one lesson the universe is trying to teach me is that if I want to reduce and even eliminate the pain in my life, I have to watch what I eat. I have to realize that I am indeed one of a kind, and while it may suck that I can't eat like everyone else, I have to be true to myself. I have to treat myself with respect for the way that my body is designed.
About ten days before I left on this trip, on a whim, I ordered a raw vegan cookbook. Each time I made a recipe, I had a curled lip and was thinking this is going to be disgusting. Each recipe was tasty, some more than others, but with some being divine. After a couple of days, I noticed that my pain was gone. The feeling of popcorn kernels in my left knee was gone, and I could comfortably go up and down the stairs.
I guess maybe the universe knows me and felt it needed to hammer this point home, so it knocked me on my ass a couple of times to make sure I learned the lesson. I am committed to learning how to make a variety of raw vegan dishes and see if I can change my lifestyle as well as my level of chronic pain.
I'm excited to get home and get started on the next chapter of this adventure called life.