Food Is Thy Medicine
If you read this blog more for the spoons than the stitches, then you probably know what chronic pain is like. Living with chronic pain is not easy, particularly the unexpected changes in your pain level. You might have a really good day or a really bad day-and no way to tell which is coming. Right?
I recently went to my nurse practitioner about my pain. I'd had two days of horrible, crying on the couch, pain. Just sitting still was painful enough to cause tears, never mind the idea of getting up and moving on that knee. This was two months AFTER my knee surgery, so it shouldn't have been that bad. I begged her for an answer, other than more narcotic pain medicine. She told me: change your diet.
Oh please! How many times have people told me that if I just lose weight I'll feel great again? Yeah right. I did it once and I still felt like crap. For reference, see my first knee surgery that came when I was at normal weight. No, no, she said. It's not about losing weight. I perked up-really? What's the point then? She told me that what we eat can actually cause increased inflammation. o_O I was skeptical, but I listened. It made sense.
After much research, I found many plans that conflicted with one another. Dr Weil's anti-inflammatory pyramid. Clean Cuisine's list of good and bad foods. And more. Some say eat tomatoes. Others say no tomatoes or other nightshades! Some of them even conflicted with themselves. I was about to give up when I found The Plan. Others had hyped it to me on a forum and I figured it couldn't be worse than the CC plan of hemp seed, hemp milk, hemp, hemp, hemp "all hemp all the time".
Surprisingly, it made sense. The Plan states that the reason so much of the information is conflicting is that people are different. A lot of people do fine with tomatoes and peppers. Others don't. The Plan is a testing protocol to find out what works for you. I figured I'd give it a try. I've been on it for five days (this is six) and I'm already seeing a difference. My pain isn't all gone, but it's a LOT less. This book has given me ways to measure what is reactive for me and I can track the food and the reaction. Did I have more pain? Get exhausted? Then I know what to do with that food afterward.
I won't tell you that only The Plan works. I didn't actually try the others, though I used them for guidelines for two weeks before starting the Plan. I do recommend looking into this phenomenon if you have chronic pain, though. If you're interested in seeing how The Plan goes, you can track my progress at my food blog, Starving Mama.