Thursday, March 27, 2008

330: it's been a long time

hey y'all.

it's been a long time since i've had a headache.

today i had a massive one.

it started last night, no doubt fueled by the massive quantities of junk food i've been sucking down like air over the past few weeks.

when it comes to my eating habits, i'm an extremist.

some days i won't eat until night. some days i'll have lots of fruit, no veggies; some days are the opposite. most days i don't have any water; some days i'll have a little but not enough.

i am able to eat junk food in moderation as long as i don't bring it home. usually it's junk food i get from the healthy foods store. and although i still love my almond joy candy bars (which i'll only eat with plain potato chips) and my cherry twizzler strings, i'm good at forgetting to get them when i'm out. so i don't indulge too often.

i can manage to eat well for a time, even long periods of time. and then something happens to take me back to the Dark Side of eating. and i'll stay there -- spiraling down, down, down -- until something happens to bring me back to the light.

my current chauffeur is the headache.

i reiterate: it's been a long time since i've had a headache, specifically, a migraine.

yes y'all, the culprit is my diet.

years ago, i ate a lot of dairy: ice cream, cheese, milk, etc. my reward: almost daily sinus headaches.

when i became a breast-feeding mommy, my dairy habits gave baby bliss eczema and colic. my midwife said kill the dairy and you'll get rid of both. putting the cows back in the barn did indeed kill two birds.

my first migraine came soon after i began dating mr. bliss.

yeah, i should have known that all those weekends of  chicken with mambo sauce and fries for dinner on friday nights, steak and cheese with more fries for saturday afternoon lunches, and sunday morning breakfasts of fried potatoes/sausage/scrambled eggs/grits/bacon/biscuits were just as bad for my head as they were for my hips.

add in all the chips, candy, soft drinks, cakes and popcorn we ate at his house (and at the movies) every weekend and y'all can see how disaster was inevitable.

all the good eating habits i'd struggled to make were washed down the drain in a sea of ginger ale.

* * *

i readily take the blame for it all. my mother has been a vegetarian and a researcher of holistic and alternative healing since i was in elementary school. (what?! no more hot dogs? no more McDonald's fish sandwiches? no way. i was traumatized.)

it's taken years but i've come to my own realization of how eating right can work for me.

part of my realization came shortly after the eczema/colic episodes, when baby bliss's dad and i visited his family a few months after i gave birth. someone had a book called "Eat Right for Your Type", a book that intrigued me with its seeming simplicity.

i bought my own copy and proceeded to eliminate the "no-no" foods from my diet. it worked well. not that i needed to lose any weight (i had already lost 50 pounds by the time my daughter was one month old), but i'm certain changing my diet helped me lose a little more and maintain the final 147 pounds i weighed at baby's first birthday.

my skin also looked better and i had lots of energy.

all my glowing good health scattered in the polluted winds of my hometown after we began hanging out and eating with mr. bliss.

it took me 10 years to gain the pounds, but i now weigh between 185 and 190 pounds. most people can't tell by looking at me because of my shape. but i know how my clothing sizes have increased over the years.

common sense would have had me examining my diet the minute my first migraine subsided. but no, my head was hard for a long time after the migraines started. years after. many years after.

i think baby bliss was two when i had my first migraine. we were at the circus in an old building with bathrooms located in the very top of the decrepit-ness. the bathroom was deserted and filthy too.

however we didn't know until we arrived there. if the migraine hadn't already nauseated me, the bathroom would have. thankfully i was able to hold in all stomach contents until we returned home.

members of mr. bliss's church -- who we had ridden to the show with -- were obliged to stay with the children in their group so baby bliss and i had to take a taxi back to mr. bliss's house.

before today, my last migraine was summer 2006.

i remember because it was the 3-day migraine that sent me to the E.R., where baby bliss laughed as i was shot up with imitrex.

today's migraine didn't as long, thank God. i know this was a warning of Things to Come if i fall off the wagon again.


i was able to get rid of today's bugaboo by tried and true methods and the help of sweet baby bliss: flooding myself with lots of water, making myself vomit, drinking several cups of peppermint tea to settle my stomach, then laying down in a quiet dark place and taking a nap.

baby bliss said i napped for 2 hours, a rare thing in this house. (but maybe not so rare. most of my sleep is long naps. i average six hours in a 24-hour period.)

now i've got to make up my mind about making a permanent change in my eating habits. if i don't control what i eat, what i eat will control me.

one thing for certain, if it's the latter, there will be whopping helping of migraines for the main course.

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