How this all started was the previous November, 2017, when I began a four or five month decline that all began as a runny nose. Then it ran intermittently through nose congestion, sinus, tickle in the back of my throat…then worse – to a cold that moved into lung congestion from a sensitive throat, raspy, coughing a lot, then coughing convulsively (almost expiring a couple of times from choking and not being able to get air into my pipes for what seemed like forever. I was never declared as having pneumonia – but I felt like it was close to that.
After about four months, I was still hanging mostly around home, not dancing during that time (which was unthinkable for me). I still had inflamed sinuses, a constantly dripping nose, sensitive throat doing a lot of choking on food and liquid…and still was not dancing.
I plateaued, then, with teeny incremental improvements. Except first thing in the morning…and in the evening – when I would do more coughing and sneezing than at most other times…with one or two coughing or sneezing fits in the day in between. The thought occurred to me that maybe that was the best I could expect for the rest of my life…maybe my “health bar” had reset at a lower level.
On July 1st, Canada Day, my dancing community always met at an outdoor park and danced Lindy Hop to our favourite music, Traditional Jazz, played by our favourite bands. I decided that I would re-enter my dancing life at this event. But I was nervous. I told myself that I needed to be reasonable and sit down once in awhile (I didn’t used to) and go home before the next band came on the stage. I followed my instructions. It was an exciting moment. But I could tell that night and the following day that I had been affected by even that little bit of dancing. I coughed and sneezed more than I had been doing. In a couple of days it eased up, however, and I dared to go dancing again. About one hour – up to one and a half – seemed my “sensible” limit. It also depended whether I was out in the sun, or if it was really late at night, or if it was cold. I was feeling discouraged that I couldn’t seem to improve from this level. But I was thrilled that I could dance again and wasn’t worsening my health by doing so.
Somewhere in the beginning of October this past fall, a long-time friend of mine approached me. As an aside, she is also as fanatical about health as I am. She shared with me that she had run across an approach to diet that made sense to her since she had been following it – she wondered if it could also help me. She loaned me the book…and the rest is history.
The book’s name is, “The Plant Paradox”, authored by Dr. Steven R. Gundry, and the essence of the diet is eating “Lectin free”, and is fully described in the book. I have been following it for about three months – although the first three weeks I spent getting myself off foods that were on the NO list (there’s a YES list but my challenge lay more in what I couldn’t eat if I wanted to be healthy again and free of lectins).
My first three weeks were an emotional roller coaster – and I found out how attached I was to many of the foods that were on the NO list. However, I hung in through sheer determination…and much to my surprise, things that I had previously disliked, soon became palatable or even really enjoyable! Motivation helped!
I was very frustrated over my current health and the helplessness I felt to get any helpful answers from our medical system. Drugs hadn’t helped…and time was helping a little but I had stalemated.
To be continued….