That you can hurt yourself cleaning? Of course you can. Of course I can, anyway. I have given myself TENNIS ELBOW from squeezing a sponge repeatedly. How sad is that?

I felt a wave of dread at facing another injury that might take months to heal, as in the past, and then I remembered that I heal pretty fast now (i.e. like a healthy person). It is already feeling better. I have been icing it with a bag of frozen leek hom bow that no one in my house can eat now. I am still trying to get rid of a little food here and there, as donations, to friends. P. found a perfectly good bag of unopened corn flour in the pantry from Bob’s that is waiting for my sister’s next visit. I did a huge cleanout when I discovered what disagreed with me, but somehow it was psychologically hard to get rid of unopened, brand new things? And then I forgot about some of them.

The cool thing about cleaning the house from top to bottom was not experiencing any back pain afterwards. I was a little tired, but that was nice and I slept great. I had back pain for years, back to high school. People gave me advice: stretch, run, walk lots, stand, do yoga, do sit ups, and more. I tried everything but nothing really worked. I would do light amounts of housework or work one of my many jobs that I had throughout high school and college and I would still come home with a dull throb in my lower back. If I laid down I would literally limp around after I got up. I just thought, no matter how hard or how little I exercised, that I was a wimpy person. Of course it is something that can present with Celiac disease.

I had a trip to the dentist in December where my long-time hygienist noticed my long-time mouth roof hole. This lady’s great, she rarely misses a trick.

“Did you burn the roof of your mouth?” she asked.

“Uhhh, probably.” The Notorious P.I.G. does not have time for food to cool to an edible temperature. “Oh wait, THISH?” I crammed my finger up to the roof of my mouth where I knew the scar was. “That’s that old, old hole.”

“Oh yeah! It looks different.”

She asked me what was new as they do at the beginning of my appointment and I told her I found I was intolerant to pretty much everything that comes in a wrapper. I mentioned this because it seemed like a “health change” that you should declare as a patient and I was afraid that there would be corn in something they would use on me or Strudel. They were very nice and let me see the ingredients in the tooth polish and fluoride. So the groundwork was set for me to mention that the hole had healed further.

“I used to get a shooting nerve pain up to my ear when I would touch it with my tongue,” I said. “No more.”

My teeth are also no longer sensitive to citrus/acids, or cold like ice cream, or hurt when I use a sonic toothbrush.

“You’re barely bleeding,” she told me. “You used to be a BLEEDER.”

“I know,” I said. “Sorry. Gross.”

“Your teeth look great, too. Hardly any build up on them.”

I win! I didn’t say this because it veers off into “I don’t know what is happening so it sounds kind of crackpotty,” but I have this weird feeling like my pH has changed somehow. My mouth tastes different and my breath is better. No matter how I would floss and brush it seemed like tartar would fly to my teeth and cling a week after the dentist. Now they feel great for almost the whole six months. Flossing is no longer an ordeal that I have to steel myself for, and expect to spit tons of blood no matter how regularly I flossed. Now my mouth is like “WHAT ELSE YOU GOT, FOOL?” I am thinking about inventing something new in oral care just so I can do that every night too.

A thing I have learned about myself after many years is that as soon as I start feeling decent, I start hurting myself immediately. I am not watching a ton of TV right now, but I have been taking the chance to catch up on a couple of things I let build up on my hard drive during the holidays. I told myself I can watch TV if I spend the first ten minutes of a program in a “third world squat.” Flexibility was always a struggle because it hurt to get into basic yoga positions like “table.” I kid you not. My wrists would scream. I had padding for my padding when I did yoga. I must have looked like I was about 900 years old.

There’s kind of an ethos at my house which involves keeping electronics mostly out of sight. I’m not sure why I do this–it may be partly the librarian in me who wants a serene environment that is more conducive to reading or conversation than “let’s all face a screen.” We bought a midcentury end table a year ago to hide what is almost the sum total of our electronics. The Wii lives in the bottom cabinet, and my laptop sits in the middle when it is running TV. The projector and a lamp sits on top, and my MP3 player charges and hides in one drawer (the Wiimotes are in the other).

ANYWAY, I say all this by way of explaining that for the past year if we do want to watch something, my routine has been to kneel down in front of this little cabinet to access my laptop and queue it up, silently cursing the whole time about my knees and back. But lately I’ve found myself just dipping into a squat, like a toddler. I realized it didn’t hurt, and in fact felt good! “I bet I could do this for a long time,” I thought, foolishly. “I will start with ten minutes, that’ll go by fast!” Yeah, a lot of things sound easy until you try them, like plank pose or ass-to-mouth.

But I’m starting with this, and when my “sponge elbow” feels better I’ll do some other things that involve my arms.

So this is fun, and by fun I mean “gross.” I was hunting through a drawer for who knows what during my big clean and I found this from my stocking last year:

P. had gotten me a giant clove (my favorite candy flavor) candy cane in my stocking. As I’ve mentioned I got to the point where I was barely eating sweets because everything made me feel fairly ill. No doubt it was the corn in most candy. So I snapped an end off at Christmastime and ate that, and then tucked it into a drawer, where I meant to come back to it and then forgot about it. They look like this new. Whoops! And EUGH.

In good food news, my current obsession is socca. I mixed finely chopped green onions into the batter last night and it kind of reminded me of those thousand-layer Chinese pancakes. I made collard greens last night and put bites of greens on pieces of socca and it was wonderful. It also reminded me I want to try making injera at home. Teff=gluten free!

I moved the hand vac temporarily when I was scrubbing that zone of my kitchen and Edith lost her MIND. This doesn’t capture it as I would have liked. When I came into the dining room she was flat on her belly whisper-barking at it. “HUMAN THERE IS AN INTRUDER, I WILL SAVE YOU.”

Horace went into “FOR FUCK’S SAKE” mode like he does with her and came in to show her it was no big deal by kicking it and touching it with his nose. He’s a good big brother. She likes to fetch and he watches until I throw the toy and it goes a little out of her sight (like into an empty laundry basket) or in a different direction. Then he will go “JESUS CHRIST” and get up and show her where it is. Brain the size of a planet and he is stuck being a service dog to a creature slightly dumber than Winnie the Pooh.

6 thoughts on “DID YOU KNOW

  1. I had the same thing happen too with my teeth when I went primarily paleo (not %100) My teeth were sensitive to cold water amd ice for decades and in 3 months, that completely went away and I am not eating organ meats and cheat with grains a couple times a week. All I can thin is that my body really needed the protein and good fats. So odd to think that I used to try to eat less meat and now eating more has helped in so many ways.

  2. Buenos dias, mi amiga! Your blog is so inspiring! I want less sensitive teeth! I thought (think) my sensitivity is from over-agressive tooth brushing.

    I am currently out of food. Down to almonds and a few dates. Literally. Maybe some cashews and granola. And that’s it. I want to re-commit and do another Whole30. I had a few cheats the last time. Ideally I will get out of the house today to shop. I don’t know how I started last time. It feels so daunting this time. I’m not sure why. I did it before. What’s the big deal? Seems like a big deal, all the same.

    Anyway, I’m super excited about the dressing business!!! Sounds yummy. I will fly to WA to buy it when it goes to market.

  3. I must try to make that socca with greens. There are so many interesting flours I haven’t worked with. I was obsessed with Manjula’s Kitchen a couple of years ago and she uses chickpea flour and lentil flour in a number of recipes.

    That is such good news about your teeth and, of course, the realization that you are decidedly not a broken, wimpy doll! More a thriving plant that merely needs the right conditions!

    There is a mouthwash called CloSys that I was using (I have genetically bad gums) which is specifically for neutralizing pH. I like it because it has no flavor. I think it tastes like rainwater? There is an optional mint capsule you can add.

    We are on a cleaning bender over here, too. Also a fixing little things and organizing and purging spree. It feels so good, I’m going to listen to Chuck Mangione.

  4. I’m so happy to hear you are thriving! You are slowly having an influence on me too. I’m not celiac, but I do have a mild inflammatory response when I do eat processed foods with gluten. I started taking omega-3, evening primrose oil, B-complex, magnesium and sea buckthorn oil with a small multi every day along with mostly avoiding grains. I remember going up and down the stairs this weekend and thought, “Hey, my knees don’t hurt”…”Hey, I feel really good” and “Hey, this used to be hard”. Awesome!

    How did your interview go last week?

  5. suenos: That is interesting! I’ve been reading a lot of self-reported stuff about diet and teeth lately–former vegans talking about how cavities exploded for them when they were vegan, paleo making a difference, etc. I suspect I am eating the same amount of meat as in the past. It’s hard to say if it’s no wheat or more vitamins, but I am not changing anything.

    Krumpy: P. and I were talking about doing another W30 but he pointed out for us it might be best to wait til summer when the veggies are booming. I was thinking about a January one, but I really don’t feel that bad. For us, it would be not much of a change anyway…remove rice :'( Also remove some of the grains and seeds that work.

    A: YES, Indian food. I am still mourning naan in my sad panda feelings place but once I “discovered” socca I googled around until I found this great article showing GF flatbreads from many cuisines. Of course I cannot find it now. But, teff for injera, and chickpea which will bring my precious Indian food back. YISS.

    Kathy: I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU. I’m sure you can tell I’m not trying to peddle any kind of one-size-fits-all cure, but I am glad bits of mine (which are hardly original) are working for you. If I was Oprah I’d be all “YOU get a magnesium, and YOU get a magnesium…” Assuming it was 2005 and she was on the air of course. Joint mobility is very underrated.

    Interview went well, I think. I have an in-person this Friday so that should be it!

  6. I would take the magnesium if you were the Oprah! Reminds me that I had a foot cramp yesterday. Must be the magnesium. I’ll take some tonight.

    How’d the interview go???

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