Over the past few weeks I have been going through a really severe Celiac flare, probably the worst one I have ever experienced. My working theory is that I have been exposed to gluten because my son has been bringing fast food into the house that pretty much contains everything I am sensitive to.
This flare has been extra tough to wrap my mind around and adapt to because for the past few months, I have been able to create some momentum and consistency in my daily life.
Things like making my bed every day, doing the dishes and tidying the kitchen as I go, getting my washing dried, folded and put away on the same day (almost a miracle, right?) and having set days for doing my podcasts, newsletters and Facebook live time.
After so many years of chaos, unpredictability and uncertainty, being able to create and keep a routine has been amazing so this flare really pulled the rug out from under my feet. Plus, it’s been painful. My gut has been swollen, bloated and everything has shut down. It is worse at night and I’m getting broken sleep so the cumulative effect of that has meant brain fog, no energy and generally just feeling awful.
Flares also trigger all of the original fears I felt back when I was first diagnosed:
- What if this is another autoimmune disease?
- What if I can’t recover from this?
- What if this keeps getting worse?
We all know that chronic illness changes every single aspect of our lives, but so often, we still want to go on and make choices and use our energy as if nothing has changed.
I reached a point where I knew that I could continue to push through or listen to my body and stop. This flare has brought up some old issues for me that I know are important and that I need to renegotiate with myself each time and work out what my highest priorities have to be.
In episode 6 of the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast, I step you through the process that I use when I am faced with flares and other challenges that need me to put myself and my health first, overcome any feelings of guilt and obligation and make the best choices for me.
You can listen to the podcast here using the player below or find and subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and most podcast players.
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