It’s everywhere. I look in one area then into another and I cannot avoid seeing it. I go to the store and displays everywhere tempt my senses. I must be strong. I look forward as if I am wearing blinders (those “harness winkers” or leather patches that keep horses from looking to their peripheral vision) so I don’t stray from my mission. The forbidden fruit beckons. “No!” I will not cave.
It’s not that I can do this in my own strength, by the way. The cravings are too great. Every cell in my body has probably been affected at some level since I’m without the glucose and carbohydrates that provide energy to battle the infection raging therein. Oh you thought I was writing about something sinister, didn’t you? Nope. It’s an elusive fungus, partially protected in a mucous-y biofilm but not sinister per se. It is CANDIDA! And at level 3 of 4 levels, gut yeast is hurting me badly. The “forbidden fruit” includes actual fruit plus food containing any form of sugar plus any simple carbohydrate or starchy vegetable. This includes all grains, even the gluten-free kind. Now even several months into this this extreme diet I have yet to see the endpoint.
Now let’s add another layer: any food that is fermented, aged, seasoned with just about anything but salt, or at risk for trace amounts of mold! Evidently even walnuts and pecans can harbor mold in the folded areas of the nut itself. Leftovers in the frig for more than 24-hours can harbor mold. Black pepper can harbor mold. And the list goes on. Tonight I decided to sacrifice some more seasonings to try to prevent the side effects of consuming the wrong foodstuffs. The consequences have been severe: three and one-half hours of seizure attacks plus hours of recovery yesterday convinced me of the need for some more tweaking. I also stopped one of the medications that feels like it’s killing me. When a pathologist stated online that seizures change the matrix of the brain, well that woke me up again to the seriousness of this battle. Seizures can be a part of a level 3 Candida infection. Geez. And most people associate yeast with vaginitis. That was a cakewalk compared to where I am these days.
Yes, this is tough stuff. Yes, it takes total discipline, focus, endurance, and patience with the repeated setbacks. Chronic illness requires grace from one’s family, especially one’s spouse. I am grateful for a loving husband who relies more on the Lord for his happiness and peace than on me. He sees things from a hopeful place and speaks to the little improvements or the sweet moments between us no matter how small. His God-given strength is very humbling. The only way we are able to endure this is through the love of our Lord, Jesus Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit. We believe that this is the Lord’s plan for our lives and that He is here with us no matter what happens. And if it is His will, I will be well someday. I will be able to put to use that awesome carbon fiber canoe paddle Steve bought me for Christmas! Such a gift of confidence from my beloved. I love my man!
The forbidden fruit of today have become the hedges of protection I need to keep me from getting worse. Just like the corrective events of life (those we bring upon ourselves from our own mistakes and those the Lord allows for His Divine purposes), they are not to be hated, feared, avoided, or teased. We must face that which is forbidden and directly choose otherwise, place a barrier (physical or mental) in the way of temptation, and simply go forth on a different path that leads to victory. Nothing else will do if we want to win. I did not dink around with my diet at all during Christmas and I still was very sick. Imagine if I had “cheated” on my survival diet. I would have not been able to visit with family for three consecutive days, cook for several hours at a time, and enjoy a delightful time of fellowship. Sure I “crashed and burned” around 8:00 p.m. each night. The sacrifice was worth the reward that was available to me. The reward was greater this year than last year at Christmastime. That’s cool.
From here the journey ahead is unclear. I will continue the treatment approaches I have described above yet do not know yet if any new medical approaches are warranted. I have an upcoming appointment with my Lyme and mold-literate medical doctor where we will review the difficulties I have had functioning these past two years. There’s another functional medicine clinic of interest that is 3-hours away . . . We sure will be praying for direction about all of this in the new year. Wherever the path leads I know the Lord is already there. I welcome His plan for my life that has created more joy than I ever could have imagined on my own. If that joy must come through serious illness then I would not want it any other way. Really. I’m just believing what He tells me, you know. Picture me and Steve in an outrigger canoe along a sandy beach somewhere warm . . . Yes, I can picture it . . .