In a state of confusion

Life has been upside-down lately. Many things have changed significantly; many things are completely the same. Much like my almost-two-year-old, I’m used to order and crave structure.

Life is a roller coaster; I understand that. There should be ups and downs – without them, there would be too much monotony and frankly, life would be completely boring.

I like boring.

When life isn’t boring, I become stressed.

When I become stressed, I internalize my panic and nerves and worries and strife – and out come health issues.

Gluten sensitivity to the point that I need to consume a strict gluten-free diet.

Headaches so intense I can’t function well.



This roller coaster, it’s a jarring ride.

I have been able to buffer the “jarriness” of the ride with books, my crocheting, and my family. It’s difficult, but with the anticipation of my sister’s new baby arriving (any day now!!!!) and crazy workdays (I’m back working in the office – after 3.5 months of working at home, at the beginning of June I headed back in for my hour-long commute and am back in the office. Oh, and I changed my hours – I go in -and therefore get out- an hour earlier. Good in the long run, sucks getting up early) and stressful coworkers and too much craziness and not enough wine, well, it has been extra jarring.

When I’m going through a gluten sensitivity bout, I have extreme issues with consumption of anything containing wheat, barley, hops, and anything else in the category; I also get sick if I use a toaster to thaw my gluten free bread that has previously been used for gluten-filled bread. It doesn’t take much to make my insides want to just explode.

I had been exclusively gluten-free for about 3 months. A short bit ago, I realized that the “medicine” that I had been taking to help me consume gluten a little bit better (aka, eat gluten free but if I needed to be sure I didn’t get sick from cross-contamination, take two pills and call it good, and later, a box of macaroni and cheese or a calzone and some  onion rings – all full of gluten) had zero active ingredients. Zero. I decided to attempt some gluten, knowing that it was likely going to be absolutely no different than with the “medication” – and I was right. I had no adverse affects.

I started eating gluten again.

My stress level has not changed. Nothing in my life has changed to allow my stress level to decrease – things have actually gone in the opposite direction. My stress level is through the roof.

And my chronic pain is back. I woke up a few days ago and my hands were on fire. I actually started this post just over a week ago, but after typing all day at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home is type. I’m crocheting an afghan for my new niece, and that’s taking up all of my hand strength. That, and caring for an almost-two-year-old. When I stand up at work after sitting for a while, I can’t walk upright for a few moments – I look like an 80- or 90-year-old woman.

Life is crazy. Life is full of give-and-take, and making sacrifices.

As much as I love gluten, I believe that I need to make some (permanent) changes – I need to significantly reduce the amount of gluten I consume, and I need to regularly work out. I need to focus on my health, and I need to increase my strength and stamina. I am tired of always being tired, always being in pain, always needing to stop what I’m doing because my body won’t let me. I understand with EDS that I need to take it relatively easy on my joints, that there are some things I can’t do, but I need to make myself stronger. I just need to do it, and I need to do it now.

For my family.

For my sanity.

For me.

Quel horreur

When I was in France, I ate my share (and more) of French pastries. And it showed. My favorite pants became a bit snug, regardless of the fact that I lived on the “quatrième étage” – the 5th floor for all you Americans out there. With no elevator. And lots of stairs.

Sadly, one thing I never tried were macarons. I know, quel horreur. I should’ve. There’s something absolutely sacrilegious about the fact that I just never even thought of it; it’s right up there with the fact that I didn’t drink wine until much, much later. At all. None in France (wine country!) – absolutely zero until years later.

I had my first taste of the delightfully crispy (on the outside) yet sticky (on the inside) cookies a few weeks ago. This wonderful patisserie opened up recently, and after having caught a glimpse a week before (they were closed – merde!), I just had to try. And oh, am I glad I did. They were delicious. Scrumptious. Sweet in just the right way and in just the right amount. They were crispy and delicious. I tried one of each flavor – orange, chocolate, coffee, lemon, pistachio, and raspberry. I should’ve taken a picture, but I didn’t think about it until after I had eaten them all.

I returned this past weekend to the amazing patisserie, and I was not disappointed. I sampled a few more flavors – lavender (flowery, but in a good way! quite subtle.), salted caramel (sweet with a hint of salt at the end), rosewater (, and of course, coffee. It was my favorite last time.

Because I live about an hour and a half away (one would think it a travesty to be so far away from such a wonderful place, but alas, my hips thank me), I don’t get to sample their fares as soon as they are available. And though their hours are quite accomodating, I sometimes just don’t make it there when they are open. Because so many people know about the deliciousness that is the macaron, they tend to sell out relatively quickly. If one waits until the end of the day to get a macaron, one will not have much of a selection to choose from – if there are any left.

Macarons – two lavender, one salted caramel. I’d be surprised if they make it through the day!

Moral of the story: enjoy a macaron when you’re in France or Manchester, NH. You’ll be glad you did.