Thursday, April 24, 2014

Third Time's a Charm?

Coming up this Tuesday, I take my third SIBO test. Drumroll please. It hardly seems fair to be eager to take it, and it seems foolhardy and pride-goeth-ing-before-a-fall to say I think the bugs will be gone… but eager I am, and gone I think they shall be.

It seems unfair and foolhardy because the little bit out there on this issue online shows that many people require a year, or two or three, to get rid of their SIBO. Who am I to think it is going to be gone 3.5 months after starting treatment?

But the proof is in the pudding. Or in the toilet bowl, my friends. My world there is a very different one than it was for the last year or longer, and I just feel like the bacteria is gone. Come Tuesday, I'll take the test, and in another week or so after that, I'll get the results - and if it's there, or if it's gone, I have no idea what comes next.

This sort of intense dietary restriction can't be done if you're looking ahead. It can only be done one day at a time. So I don't know what I'll "get" to do and eat and experiment with come May; I just gotta get through Tuesday first, and then waiting on the results.

But in the meantime, nothing like a true distraction… how about… a new dog!

Meet Reno.

He likes to sleep, and bark at other dogs when he's on the leash. (We're taking a class for this soon. We're registered.) He's about 4 years old, they think, and was a stray from Los Angeles who must have had a family at some point, since he's housebroken. He's also terrified of anything in your hands, and was clearly hit with things, but he's coming around to us. We're getting to know each other. He does not like the rain. He does like the fireplace:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Two weeks after the two weeks.

Oh, the two weeks were glorious. The things I dined upon! Pizza, breadsticks, ice cream, frozen yogurt, a bagel, a biscuit, a slice of sour cherry pie a la mode. Potatoes - french fried, mashed, and fingerlings a-roasted. The kati roll from Bollywood Theater, a polenta soufflé, a chocolate brioche and lemon tart from Maurice. (Bill, if you're reading, the polenta soufflé was worth writing home about.) Bread, bread and more bread. With butter, and jam. A slice of so-chocolatey-it-was-almost-black cake.

And then there were the things I forgot to eat. Pasta. I didn't think of it, not once! And no Frank's noodles, and no sweet potatoes. No oatmeal!? Indeed, no oatmeal. I didn't bake because I didn't want to restock any flour, sugar, or chocolate for just one recipe.

And then there were the things I ate that were not good. No surprises here: a Chips Ahoy cookie, a granola bar, a Fig Newton (that was ok, but not great). Anything processed tasted like nothing; like cardboard and sugar. If my eyes were closed, I'd never have known it was a Chips Ahoy. It could have been shortbread.

But alas, even two glorious weeks come to an end. There were exactly three things I think about still. One, the biscuit and two, the cherry pie from Lauretta Jean's. I mean, if this Captain of Team Cake is thinking about a slice of pie, you know it's out of this world. And the biscuits. Oh, the biscuits. They are worth every calorie of butter, worth every bit of gluten. And Three, ice cream.

Look, there's nothing like ice cream when you've not had sugar in 9 weeks, and neither dairy beyond hard cheese, butter or kefir. Ice cream is amazing. Ice cream is everything Anne of Green Gables thought it would be at her first picnic, it's everything you waited for at the beach as a kid. Ice cream is the miracle at your grandmother's World's Fair and I take back any time I didn't appreciate ice cream for the glory that it is. I work with a group of folks who have ice cream every day at 3 PM - it's one of the engineering groups' rituals - and I'm not precisely accusing them of not appreciating ice cream, but I am saying that generic Safeway brand creamsicles can't, just can't, hold a candle to real Rocky Road. Or a premium vanilla-bean-flecked vanilla. Or Salt and Straw honey strawberry balsamic with cracked black pepper. Or a Ruby Jewel sammie.

But I digress. I had a bit of ice cream, it's true.

Then the two weeks ended. And I had to strictly go back on the SIBO-approved diet. Which I've been on for two more weeks. And in about two MORE weeks, I'll get to take the bacteria test again.

Much like last time, where I thought it would show I made progress but was not healed, this time, I feel it's going to show that I beat it. The bacteria will be gone. And what comes after that? I haven't asked yet. This whole process only works if you stay in the day you're in, and not think too far ahead - I mean, I never could have said I'd eat meat, eggs, fat, veggies and some fruit for months. So I can't say what will happen and how I'll do, but I'll tough it out another couple weeks and then test, and then tough it out a week while the results get analyzed, and in the meantime, I'll share some of my infinite variations on meat-and-sauerkraut with you!

(I actually won't because that would be terrifically boring. But I will post some regular updates on life and health, and to the four people who still read along - thanks for sticking with me and my microbiome!)