Gabriel’s Visit to the Ophthalmologist

Yes, we finally found a great group of ophthalmology at VCU. What a team! Loved, loved, loved them!

After a long wait, Gabriel finally went to have his eyes checked today. The doctors and the technology at VCU were fabulous, and most importantly, Gabriel cooperated fully and kept his eyes open for the entire duration of the many tests he underwent. Juan and I were in awe.

It turns out Gabriel’s eyes are PERFECT. Clean cornea, retina, optic nerve, the whole shebang. There isn’t even a trace of the series of persistent iritis he had six months ago. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

This is great news, of course. And it’s also disconcerting, only because we have pretty much tested him for everything there is to test, and we still don’t know why he has had such a strong decline in behavior and mood. The only possible explanation, as far as I’m concerned, unless I’m missing something, is that it is purely sensory.

On that note, it’ll be fabulous to have our dearest friend, Maggie, come visit next week 🙂 Gabriel is going to flip when he sees her!

Anyway, thank you for all who have prayed for Gabriel. I know many of you have and continue to do so. Please don’t stop. He has had several good days, and his eyes have been consistently open for three of them. This is INCREDIBLE. We have suspended the use of migraine medication, which has actually seems fine without it. But we still need to figure out what he struggles with and how to help him, so keep those prayers coming!!

Specific prayer request: Pray that he will receive his Med waiver. He has been on a waiting list for a long while, and it would be amazing for him to get those funds. We can sure put them to good use. Lord, provide the waiver before the fall of this year!!

Sitting casually at the doctor's office :)

Sitting casually at the doctor’s office 🙂

Model patient

Model patient

Ready to go have pizza!!

Ready to go have pizza!!

Gluten-Free Discoveries

A little over 4 weeks ago I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet. I armed myself with information and recipes and set off to discover if some of the health issues I’ve been feeling have anything to do with gluten intolerance.

Here is what I experienced: My digestion did not improve. In fact, it worsened. My heartburn did not improve either. My blood sugar may have improved, but honestly, I wasn’t measuring it. None of the other minor issues took a turn for the better either.

Yesterday I decided to eat gluten and see if I would react to it in any way. I had heard that experiencing an averse reaction would be something to be expected. But I braved it anyway. I took a couple of bites of a delicious pizza slice Juan was eating (I ate the edge only). I waited. Nothing; I did not feel bad. Needless to say, I felt relief. This morning I ate a flour tortilla. A whole flour tortilla! And nothing bad happened. I have concluded I do not have a gluten intolerance (yay!)

Freeing myself of gluten did give me one advantage: It helped me realize my intolerance to dairy. So here I go, adjusting my diet all over again, eliminating milk in all forms. I just purchased my first container of almond milk. Not sure I like the idea, but I’ll do anything to improve my digestion.

I will add gluten back to my diet, but I will continue to be careful with carbs in general, reducing them enough to lose weight and lower my blood sugar levels. Also, I bought the book recommended by several friends, Trim Healthy Mama. I will review it once I read it and give it a fair try.

Maybe I Can Be Pain Free…

I’m in pain. I’m always in pain. I have been in pain since I was a little girl. I don’t complain about it, unless I’m in severe crisis, in which case it’s hard to hide it. My last crisis happened back in the summer, the week before Tom Sawyer began (when I spent endless hours playing piano). I had so much back pain that I was hardly able to move. I ended up in the ER just to get some strong enough pain medication that would allow me to function.

I’ve always assumed that the curvature in my spine has been the cause of this pain. In fact, I’ve had several doctors and chiropractors tell me that throughout my childhood and adult life. Therefore, other than seeking chiropractic help once in a while, I have not thought that I could ever be pain free.

But yesterday I went to a sports medicine doctor (something I should have done a while ago), and for the first time he gave me hope of getting rid of the pain. Among other things going on with my back, my main problem is something called Impingement Syndrome with chronically inflamed tendons. So he prescribed a series of exercises and stretches that I need to do daily. He told me that if I’m faithful and consistent, I will find relief!!


Now, that is cause for celebration!!

I have begun these exercises and they are very painful. I feel I have to endure through the initial suffering, focusing on their future benefits. I don’t care how much I’m hurting now, because the thought of possible relief makes me want to jump for joy!

Flour-less Banana Muffins

Thanks! Must try 🙂

This morning’s Sunday fun-day Kitchen sesh, centred around the need to use up two very-ripe bananas in my fruit bowl.

After a few google searches, I came across this recipe by the lovely Amanda at A flour-less banana muffin recipe without oil or butter? Could it really be?

With a little tweaking of the recipe, I managed to make it not only flour-free and fat-free, but also sugar-free! I was able to substitute honey for brown sugar and ended up omitting the chocolate chips completely – and they still tasted delicious.

This recipe was an absolute winner! Not to mention super quick to whip up as all ingredients were able to be whizzed up in a food processor. These will make an excellent lunchbox addition this week, or a healthy option for an afternoon or post-dinner snack, when those sweet cravings kick in.

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Going Gluten-Free

My friend, Laura, has been after me (for years) to try to get me to change my diet, in order to improve my health. She is very persistent. And I’m very stubborn. I’ve always resisted the thought of eliminating wheat from my diet. I can hardly imagine a life without it!

But here I am, at the point of no return, actually seriously considering this craziness. I’m pretty scared and intimidated about facing life without wheat (all you Celiac sufferers must have no empathy for me, but hey, no judging), but I believe I need to give it my best try. One of the scariest thoughts is that I’ve read and heard that once I give up wheat, I will not be able to go back to it. Chances are it will make me very sick. So I think that by “trying” to see how I feel without wheat, sort of means that I will never be able to tolerate it in the future. Yikes.

I guess if it helps me with my “foggy brain”, reduces my aches and pains (I sound like I’m ancient), improves my acid reflux, and helps me fight against diabetes, it will be worth it.

So please feel free to share your favorite recipes and tips with me. I am at an absolute starting point, so I’m terribly ignorant about everything I might need to know. So far I’ve gone 3 days without gluten, and I’m still smiling, but I need all the help I can get.

PS. I’m a pretty lazy cook, which means I like recipes that are simple to prepare. Also, I’m on a budget, so I cannot go overly fancy. Any recipe or tip that meets this criteria will be readily welcome 🙂