As I sit here feeling incredibly blessed to be alive and moving in the right direction, for a change, I must reflect a bit this year on the challenges and blessings it brought. You may have had similar victories and defeats, challenges and good fortunes. This flourless chocolate cake (that totally tastes like a chocolate cheesecake!) is evidence that I can live again as I exit 2013 and look forward to even more healing in 2014. It is a tribute to those foods I left behind and don’t wish to bring back into my world. This cake is different. It is delicious AND allowable on the GAPS Diet (chocolate is allowed after enough healing and as one tolerates). I will link the recipe to my Pinterest board.
2013 rocked my world in a very challenging way!
We all have years sometimes that hit us blind-sided. But I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. In 2012, my beautiful mother increasingly declined in health and we kind of knew things were not looking good. Rounding out 2012, the flu hit our family right before Christmas and proceeded to make its way to my mom who had gotten the flu shot earlier in the year. She went by ambulance on Christmas morning after the flu went straight to her lungs. At first we thought she had made it through as she was sent home from the hospital after a couple of days of intense asthma and steroid treatment. But that trip home was short-lived and she ended up with a relapse a few days later. That began the long, hard road of daily emergency treatments, ICU, and eventually, two months later, her death from complications of pneumonia. This was how my 2013 began!
No, I can’t find the silver lining on this one, but I CAN say that she is out of her misery and I don’t think a day goes by that I am not really distraught about how she suffered at the end of her life. There are no guarantees in this world. I am very happy I have faith that there is a God and that she is at peace in a better place. That is the only consolation I have had in this department this year. The rest of the year has been very difficult in managing the affairs left behind that will continue to be a focus in 2014. This requires me to travel so my days are broken up between two living spaces which has really made it hard for me to settle into the healing patterns I know I must adopt to continue my healing journey.
As you can see, I have had my challenges emotionally this year. I am certain you all have a story of equal or greater stress in your life and possibly in 2013 along with me.
I will leave the other challenges out as this one is the top of the list and needs no competition for stress this year. Suffice to say, there were other stresses, in finances, health and huge decisions that needed to be made. This, however, is life. And that is what this post is about.
2013 was a year of healing!
Yes, you heard me right! In the midst of all the stress you read about in my life, I was fortunate enough to have, in place beforehand, a healing protocol. As most of you know, I am on the GAPS Diet. This diet really saved me in so many ways this year. It allowed me to function through daily trips to the emergency room, hospital room and rehabilitation center that my mom was being nursed in. All this was not only a daily stress on its own, but I was living 4 hours from my family and home. During this time, I had to bring my own food each day (not knowing if she was living or dying that day) and if I made a mistake in what I ate, I knew I would not be able to be there for her. So, although this might sound restrictive to some of you, I consider this to be one of the biggest blessings of the year! If I had not had the GAPS Diet to use during this time, I am absolutely certain I would not have been able to be there for my mom’s last days on earth! And I am very serious. The year before I was bedridden for at least 3 months due to complications of mercury poisoning and what I now believe was nutrient deficiency brought on by gluten sensitivity and intestinal permeability (leaky gut). These conditions are much more serious than they sound. I spent the next year blogging about gluten because, well, I believe it to be one of the most important subjects to grasp if you have an autoimmune condition or quite frankly, if you don’t want to end up with one or more to begin with!
My most popular posts this year were:
- Hashimotos Thyroiditis: It’s a Journey
- Hashimotos Thyroiditis: My First Podcast Interview With Wardee at GNOWFLINS
- Hashimotos Thyroiditis and Update After a Year on the GAPS Diet
- Hashimotos Thyroiditis: Before and After GF and GAPS Pictures
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause (Book Review)
- Hashimotos Thyroiditis: Let’s Go Gluten Free! (Let’s Go Gluten Free Series #1)
So, as it goes sometimes, I had a huge challenge and a huge blessing in the same year. I think it’s important always to see that “silver lining” as we look back. As long as we have breath, we can look for the good that comes from the bad.
Motivation for 2014
I really don’t feel I had a 2013 so I am really looking forward to the new year. It was taken up by shock, grief and survival. But what I have learned from it is invaluable. I learned that the GAPS Diet sustained me through probably the hardest year of my life in over 20 years. I learned that healing is possible and managing Hashimoto’s is something tangible. I would have NEVER believed this just two years ago because Hashimoto’s then seemed so mysterious to me and finding a rhyme and reason seemed beyond possible.
I thank God for the Gluten Summit this year! This week-long event changed the lives of so many people. If you were unable to experience it for free that week, there is a way to order it in digital form so you have it for your library. Instead of explaining what these 29 gluten experts gave to our community, I think I will just link you here so you can see for yourselves and if you would like to order this amazing compilation of the best information I have ever heard in managing autoimmune conditions, you will also have opportunity to purchase this gold mine with hours of fabulous presentations to help you on your way to health.
Also, for free, from January 9-12, 2014, Dr. O’Bryan will be doing a follow-up workshop on how to actually implement a gluten-free lifestyle. It is called “Now that you know, where do you go?” Hope to “see” you there!
It’s never too late to improve our lives. We all have different struggles and most of us have Hashimoto’s, but even if you don’t, eating in a healthy and preventive way can only help future health goals. Let’s make 2014 a healthy year and move into a more functional lifestyle. And if you haven’t seen a Functional Medicine doctor yet, perhaps this is the year to take that plunge? That is the type of doctor that saved my life and is continuing to be my help even now. My story about this is in podcast form here if you are interested.
And if you haven’t been over to our Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group on Facebook, come on by and let’s help support each other in 2014!
Disclaimer: All posts are describing my personal journey through health issues and are in no way meant to guide anyone towards any method in particular. I am not a medical practitioner or have a dietary or medical license, and this blog is not intended to be taken as authoritative advice. Please see your doctor, or health professional before making any drastic diet changes! Also, occasionally I find others to partner with whom I have had tremendous help from and therefore, there may be paid advertisements and links to support them and help me financially run this website.