Gluten free and slightly scatterbrained

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a recent post about going gluten free. That decision came about as an experiment to try to improve my health. I am normally a pretty healthy person, at least as far as normal test results go. But I also suffer from fibromyalgia, which can get frustrating from time to time. I've balked at the diagnosis until recently because my symptoms vary. But they have also led me to seek medical help in all sorts of ways over the years. I have come to the conclusion that on this issue, there is little my doctors can do except prescribe medication. I know God could heal me. I've asked Him to numerous times, especially when I'm hurting. But so far, the only thing I continually hear Him whisper to my heart is, "My grace is sufficient." I'm not particularly thrilled with that answer. But I am also learning that it is often through physical suffering that we find ourselves most dependent on Him. And, I still hold out hope that the day will come when I'll figure out what is causing this syndrome.

Part of how I do that, is how I do most things - I research. In doing so the other day, I ran across a link between fibromyalgia and gluten. Now maybe there is a connection, maybe there isn't, but since I had a number of gluten-free products in the house, I figured, why not try it? So this past Sunday, I went gluten-free.

I guess the main grains that hold gluten are wheat, barley, and rye. I've also read some not so favorable things about wheat, so having to avoid it doesn't upset me. On the other hand, my timing could be better. I had plans with a girlfriend to have dinner at Red Lobster on Monday night (day two of gluten-free), and the sole reason we picked that restaurant was because I had discovered they make a great chocolate cake! Unfortunately, for me, cake has gluten. At least this cake did.

But I did discover that Red Lobster lists allergy information on their website, so I could pick out what I could eat beforehand. That came in handy, and the waitress was so helpful! And though I missed chocolate cake, I could have their cheesecake with strawberries! (No crust.) I am not complaining.

The cool thing is that I already feel better when I avoid most grains, especially in the morning. And I am discovering all sorts of great gluten-free products! I made some seed fruit bread today, which wasn't bad. Too salty, unfortunately, but that might have been because I used salted sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin seeds that it called for. (I have this habit of substituting what I have on hand.) (The recipe is here.)

So for a while, I'm going to give this a serious try. In looking back at my family history, and really, with many people I've known over the years, there are a lot of health issues out there. And I wonder how many could be helped by diet? I'm pretty convinced our American diet isn't healthy for us. It's no wonder we don't feel good half the time! Of course, I'm not claiming that healthy eating will cure all ills, but I do hope to figure out if I have sensitivities to food that are causing me pain I don't need. I am hopeful.

I also discovered this week that Google maps are not always as reliable as they should be. Or perhaps it is the map reader (me) that is the problem! (I have been known to be slightly scatterbrained sometimes.) That may have been the problem yesterday when I had a doctor appointment, but it was at a new office I'd never been to before. I couldn't remember where they were located, so I called, but got the automated system (not a fan) so I hung up and figured I'd just "google" it. Well, I found it well enough, kept it open in maps on my phone, and even left early so I would be ahead of schedule.

I walked in the office a minute early (okay, so it took longer than I thought) but didn't see the doctor's name on the practice's list of doctors. It was the same practice name. So why wasn't his name on the list? I walked up to the receptionist and said, "Does Dr. Beck work here?"

"No, he's at the office on Hall Road."

"But Hall Road is right there." I pointed to my left, which was north, where Hall Road was a few blocks away.

She told me they had another office about three miles away. (Why on earth would they have them so close together?) That's where Dr. Beck worked.


So by now it's a few minutes past my appointment time, and I still had to drive to the other office. But she called ahead for me and they said to come. I again checked Google Maps. It said the office was near the freeway right near Babies R Us. So I took the turnaround it seemed to indicate and pulled into the office complex near Babies R Us. No doctors' office.

By now I'm fifteen minutes late. I called the office. Which exit do I take? The second one. Not what it looked like on the map. So I did the loop around again, and pulled into the parking lot. I parked. Walked up to a locked door. Read the sign on the door. Wrong office. (This is me, smacking my forehead.)

I followed the sign this time. (There was a sign!) Who knew? Parked at the back. Went in. Twenty minutes late.

Fifty minutes after my appointment, I saw the doctor who checked me out, sprayed some nasty numbing stuff in my throat, that was supposed to last 15 minutes but lasted an hour, and pronounced me fine.

I think I probably wasted the afternoon yesterday. And Google Maps could use a little better directions on the details.

And I should probably stay home for a while!