Does the Silver Bullet Exist?

A few years ago, I gave up on finding a cure for Crohn’s.

I distinctly remember the conversation I had with a friend. We ate at Little Big Burger, where she had a cheeseburger and crispy fries drizzled with truffle oil…and I had a plain burger on a lettuce wrap.

I was jealous of her fries.

It was in the middle days of my SIBO adventures, so I was learning that it really was necessary to take small steps every day toward my goal. I had to re-train myself into new daily habits centered around purging bacteria from my insides and my outsides.

Because of my increased focus on the daily grind, I had finally reached the (painful) conclusion that what I wanted–one simple trick!–simply didn’t exist.

Admitting it out loud, that hurt.

And I truly believed it. I still do. When it comes to dealing with long-term disorders that involve multiple bodily systems and a whole cornucopia of external factors, you have to chip away piece by piece so that each layer has a chance to recover and rebuild. Sometimes there’s so much “static interference” from inflammation across multiple systems that it is impossible to even know how bad the problem is.

Taming a chronic disease takes work. There is no silver bullet. That’s a fact.

However.

It’s still surprising to me how quickly my body can start to heal when I finally stumble on the “missing piece.” I do all this work to support various health systems, but it looks like there’s one cornerstone that is the light by which you see everything else.

In my case, I’m back fighting SIBO regrowth and ran out of a supplement that combines three different herbal antibiotics. Instead of buying the same blend again, I decided to see what would happen if I tried each component separately.

And guess what? One worked much, much better than the others.

The turnaround has been spectacular. Saturday I had to make an emergency pit stop for Immodium. Today I went 10 whole hours without needing to run to the bathroom.

Truly, it’s not a silver bullet–there’s still a lot of work I have to do, and I’m not magically cured all of a sudden–but it is like a switch has been flipped. I’m pointed toward health again.

There are no easy cures, but there are smart ones.

Yup…Today Sucked

I’m planning to try out a sauna this week, and had been discussing that fact with a coworker. As we walked out of work this evening, I said:

“You know, maybe I will go to the sauna on Friday instead of Wednesday so that if I crash and burn afterward, it’ll be on the weekend.”

My coworker replied, “Why would you do that? You should just go!”

But you know what? I know how hydrotherapy has hit me before, and I can’t imagine a sauna being much different. I’ve been seeing signs of SIBO regrowth, which means that if I do a couple rounds of steam heat-slash-cold, my immune system will get to work. And that means a herxheimer reaction, or dehydration, or just plain exhaustion. Who knows, maybe a sauna will produce some new reaction altogether!

The point is, I don’t want to have to deal with the secondary effects of a new treatment option while trying to juggle a very full workload.

The older I get, the more psychic I feel.

Yesterday I wrote about how sometimes knuckling down is the exact opposite of what you should do, but sometimes you have to do it anyway. And I predicted that today would suck.

Well, it did.

I was completely overwhelmed, overloaded, and I’m dealing with it (just like I said).

But today is almost over. Tomorrow is a new day.

Maybe I’ll go to the sauna.

(Lack of) Taking it Easy

I often live with this idea that I need to do everything perfectly. It’s not enough simply to just do it, it must be done well. And that doesn’t apply only to days when I’m feeling good, but it also applies to every day when I’m not feeling great.

Over the years, I’ve learned how to knuckle down (or rather, punch up) and get myself through a tough day. Maybe fatigue has set in like a dull fog. Maybe I’m running to the bathroom every ten minutes. Maybe my gut is cramping so hard that I can’t stand up straight.

That can happen on some days, but it usually comes at a price.

That price may be not leaving bed the next day.

There’s a time and a place to knuckle down, but I’m also learning that it’s okay to do nothing. And not just the “well, I did nothing so by default I’m okay with it because I can’t change it anymore” kind of acceptance, but the “I am doing nothing today because my body needs downtime” kind of okay.

I’m a big fat hypocrite writing a post like this today, however, because my energy was spent at about 4pm but I still came home, and did laundry, and cooked dinner, and worked for an hour, and now I’m writing this post, and after that I’ll rescue my laundry, and then will do a writing assignment for a course I’m taking.

And tomorrow is going to suck!

Which I will deal with…tomorrow.

One day at a time.