Limits

Jan. 20th, 2013 02:24 pm
shapeofthings: (Default)
My capacity for masochism appears to be limitless.

Despite serious efforts to do better at taking care of myself I am run-down and sick again after a string of late nights sorting out South America flights and various other things.

It's not insomnia; my body clock is just broken at the moment, jammed on not quite enough sleep.

So here I am, with a day kept deliberately free to get some much needed forest time now spent stuck at home. But to make me feel better my knee has mysteriously swollen up and jammed so I couldn't go walking anyway.

*headdesks*

I turn 34 in a week. Enough. This has to stop.

Alien morning

Oh No!

Jul. 7th, 2012 03:21 pm
shapeofthings: (Hug?)
So, this week work took me to Flinders Island. It was the last major deadline leading up to my holiday and the point where I finally started to relax, knowing I'd done everything I really needed to and had plenty of time left to pack.

The trip went really well and Flinders Island is truly beautiful: I'd like to go back for a few days to explore and to climb Mt. Strzelecki. It was, however, a long trip, with the drive to Launceston Tuesday night then up early for a dawn flight to the island and a dusk return to Launnie, followed by the 2 drive back to Hobart. The plane was a little twin-prop 18-seater, which was much fun to fly in.

Unfortunately on the return flight I was sat in front of a cougher. There's a horrid respiratory infection that's been doing the rounds in Tas that I'd thus far avoided. No longer. I am sick. Flinders Island Flu.

Do not pass Go, do no collect $200, SICK. I'm running a fever and want to do nothing more than collapse in bed for a few days. It's not to be, however, as tomorrow I fly to Sydney, then Monday morning I'm off to Santiago. Today, instead of sleeping, I'm dragging myself through the packing process (it's going exceedingly slowly) and doing my best to keep moving. I've jumped on antibiotics and am filling myself with garlic, lemon, ginger, chilli and honey. All I can do now is hope I feel a little better in the morning.

Meanwhile, here's a little Flinders Island magic from my flying visit. I'll catch you all when I'm back in August.

xoxo

1Flinders
Leaving Launceston

2Flinders
Walker's Lookout, view to Strzeleki National Park

3Flinders
Walker's Lookout, view to the east

4Flinders
Whitemark beach - not the best beach on the Island, but the closest

5Flinders
Boarding the plane back to Launceston

6Flinders
Island dusk
shapeofthings: (Diva)
The fallen
On the way to work this morning (getting into the habit of carrying the little point-and-shoot camera)


The problem with walking to work listening to Bjork's album Post is stopping yourself from singing along to the good bits (although I may have busted a few discreet moves to It's oh so quiet. Some things are just unavoidable...).

I went to the pool after work today! One the one hand, there's nothing like flailing around in a swimsuit to hammer home exactly how much blubber you've gained and condition you've lost after 4 months of inactivity and comfort eating[1]. On the other hand I actually went to the pool. I swum a continuous kilometre of freestyle which I'm pretty pleased with. Ok, it's half the distance I was doing back in January, but it's respectable all the same. I'm pleased to report that my cardio fitness is still pretty good (thanks to taiko and walking to work), but damn I've lost some muscle strength! Ah well, nothing for it but to get back on the horse again and keep hitting the water weekly.

Anyway, it's got late on me again so I'd best go shower and head to bed. I've spend way too long writing a rant on food waste over at the Shape of Things to Come.

G'night my LJ lovelies!

[1] I really need to find a better stress coping mechanism!
shapeofthings: (Hug?)
Hello again. My hard drive has gone phut so I have borrowed the work lap top overnight to catch up on the digital world. Thankfully I'd backed everything up about a week ago, and I really did need a new computer but I could do without the expense right now. I may see how long I can muddle along with the borrowed lap top, but I do miss Photoshop!

I've been in a wee bit of a slump these last two days: a combination of crashing back to reality after a wonderful Melbourne trip and a general lack of sleep. My sub-conscious is being very annoying right now, doing the mental equivalent of digging into the bottom drawer and the back of the cupboard to see what emotional debris have collected in the corners. I understand it's a reaction to recent events and perfectly healthy, I'd just prefer if it didn't result in semi-lucid dreams and broken sleep.

Is it just another toni-quirk or do other people have a subconscious that likes to test their true feelings on an issue by throwing up a range of scenarios and evaluating any emotional response? Bah, even my subconsious is a scientist: test, test, test.

So I've been sleeping badly, distracted and a little frayed around the edges. I may have even indulged in a little sulking and eating of chocolate. This evening, though, I've given myself a stern talking to and set about looking after myself properly. If I'm going to insist on living this crowded and complicated life (as it seems I am, since every attempt to slow things down a little is quickly abandoned when something shiny comes along) I'm really going to have to take better care of myself and find some self discipline. That means eating properly, sleeping properly and giving myself time and space to work through assorted cares and concerns.

Dahl1

Dahl2


So tonight I went out into my sorely neglected little garden and picked a bucket-load of kale, made lacework by an infestation of cabbage moths[1], and cooked myself a mountain of kale and mushroom dahl. Shortly I'm going to go tackle the dishes and the washing, then settle down with a mug of sleepy tea and think a little.

Dahl4


Uncertainty around my employment future weighs heavily (desipite having plans for scenarios A, B & C, scenario D - current job ends and alternate job prospect fails - remains a concerning prospect). As much as there are many other things I'd like to invest my energy in, it seems now is the time to focus on my career and doing what I can to build my employment prospects. At least I have a fair idea where I actually want to take my career now: a better position than I was in 6 months ago.

Life is complicated, but it's also full of beautiful things and wonderful people. If I'm going to survive it all I'm going to have to get better at the whole balance thing. I've got to look after myself if I'm going to keep running. *grin*

Much love!


MeMe
Hah, amusing to see what photos are on my werk computer c.f. backing up my phone.


[1] Because I'm a hopeless hippy an ecologist I dislike using poisons in the garden and generally just accept a portion of my crops will be lost to the snails, bugs and grubs that are meant to be in a garden. Sometimes, however, things get out of balance (especially as establishing a well balanced garden with the birds, bugs and lizards to eat the pests takes more time than one generally gets in a rental) and action must be taken. So today vast quantities of kale were picked, the caterpillars and eggs removed (the laciest leaves will wind up in stock) and the remaining plants coated liberally with derris dust. One day, however, I will have a proper balanced garden!

Ooh, speaking of, I made my first batch of tomato relish for the year on Monday; a colourful mix of yellow Snow White and purple Black Cherry toms. Should be good!
shapeofthings: (Diva)
Graves


This morning I went to see my endocrinologist for my 18 month check-up. Yes, it's been that long since I had my second hit of radiation: 6 months of awful followed by 12 months of feeling better than I have in years, slowly re-building my health and my life. The verdict: frankengland is stable, my immune system has stopped producing thyroid antibody and all is fantastically well.

There's still a chance of future wobbles since I still have 50% thyroid function. I may lose function over time and need to take more Thyroxin; my immune system may kick off and send me hyperthyric again, but both these outcomes are considered unlikely right now and I am a picture of endocrine health. Dr. B's conclusion: I don't need to see him again. We're done.

Grave's Disease Journey


It's been a long journey: 6 years now or there-abouts, but it's finally over (at least for a good while). I'm healthy, I'm happy and I have re-claimed my life. Thank you, those who've journeyed with me, sent me love when I was struggling to get through each and every day, held out a hand when I fell down. May those dark days now be nothing more than memories to look back on just to see how far I have come.

Here's to health, radiation, and replacing my thyroid with little white pills - a far more reliable option!

Daily

Whoops

Jun. 16th, 2011 07:48 pm
shapeofthings: (Hug?)
I knew I'd been pushing it, my mind, my body, my spirit. I came home from Melbourne teetering on the brink of total exhaustion, ready to collapse. Yet I did not stop.

More change, more challenges, more rapacious consumption of all life has to offer.

I've started a new job, new office, new career direction, new routine.
I've worked with my careers advisor, mapping what I want to do, where I want to go.
I've sought feedback and constructive criticisms from my previous workplace, deconstructing my ego and learning painful lessons.
I've hiked and danced and moved until my body would do no more.
I've grieved for the loss of the good times Alex and I shared, for the dreams that never came to pass.
I've sought out friends and social engagements, strengthening my little circle.
I've thought about and pondered my relationships, in all their splendid complexities.
I've decided that I am exactly the person I choose to be.

And in the process of doing, learning, choosing and loving I have pushed myself too far. Physical, mental, emotional collapse.

Now it is time to exhale. To retreat a little, fold in on myself, gather up my loose ends and weave them back together.

I need to remember how to rest, how to give myself the time and space I need to process everything I've learned. Reminding myself that taking down time is a need, not an option; that it's ok to let go for a little while. It's so hard when I feel like I'm missing out on moments of living; that opportunities and adventures are passing me by.

I need to love and care for myself.

I can't remember the last time I slept properly.

x

Ada1
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
The plan: a long weekend, starting tonight with a trip to the theatre, followed by a trip to the north of the state for fun and fine company.

The reality: simultaneous sinus and chest infections!

Immune system fail. Again.
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
...to hypothyric town!

Tired. Epically tired, and permanently cold. Body feels like somebody doubled my density then replaced all my ligaments with old rubber bands. Back hurts. Feeling sooky and whiney.

I want to curl up in bed for a week, preferably with someone providing tea and cuddles on a regular basis.

*makes small, pathetic noises*

So, it looks like the radiation might actually be working. Hooray. Quickly too, by the feel of it. Only 2 weeks ago my thyroid levels were peaking, now they've plummeted.

Have made the executive decision to go off my meds - doesn't seem to be much point in suppressing thyroid function any more. Hopefully this will give me a short reprieve from the tired and acheys. It will at least remove one complicating factor from the equation: now what I am feeling should directly relate to what my body is doing. Will let the doctor tell me off for it tomorrow (he doesn't like it when I make his job redundant. I only go because I can't get the blood test results directly).

So here's to nuclear power, doing it's job and making me feel ick.

Go you little isotopes, go!
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
Last Friday went something like this:

Radiation1

For me? You shouldn't have!

You may notice that the vial says the dose was 450 MBq, rather than 600 MBq, but you should also note that the vial says i'll be 450 MBq on May 3rd, but on April 30 when I actually swallowed it (the day of manufacture), the dose would have been ~580 MBq. This is how they allow for radio-active decay of isotopes requiring transport. Fascinating stuff!

Radiation2

Aww, it's so pretty!



All right then, down the hatch!

Radiation3

Ahhh, I'm radioactive!


So far, so good. I'm a little hyper-thyric, but nowhere near as much as predicted. Now let's just hope it works!
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
Part 1 is HERE

It's been an interesting few months. I've been to talk to the doctors at the nuclear clinic, my potential surgeon and my endocrinologist about my options for further treatment. And in the mean time, my thyroid levels have finally come down into the normal range, and even slightly low, for the first time in almost a year. It's been lovely to have a few weeks of feeling like my old self and I have relished every minute of it. But it's over now; I'm on my way up again, but at least time it's intentional.


To your left is Dr. Hummer. Well, that's not really his name (it's Dr. Wilkinson), but it is his obsession. He drives a Hummer (yes, you guessed that much, I know). He gets articles in the newspaper about why he drives a Hummer (click here!). He has model Hummers in his office (it's true!). He even has Hummers on his official office stationary (evidence provided on request). He is also the man who will be cutting me open should I opt for thyroid removal in Tasmania. His main speciality/earner is gastric banding and he does his consultations in full scrubs. I'm told he's a very good surgeon. He's removed thousands of thyroids. But he's not removing mine, not yet.

We had a good chat though, Dr. Hummer, Alex and myself. I learnt that the parathyroid glands are four little pea-sized spots on the back of the thyroid. I learned that these little glands are very easy to damage as you pull them off the thyroid and try to preserve their neural connections and blood supply. I learned that you really don't want to mess with parathyroid function - that's your calcium, phosphorus and magnesium regulatory system - and I learnt that even if they're successfully preserved in surgery there will be some disruption to function that will likely require monitoring and treatment for the next three months. On the plus side, no more thyroid. On the minus side, three months of feeling crappy, and still a small chance of permanent damage to the parathyroids or the vocal nerves.


To your right is Dr. Keady. She's the nuclear doc. Alex and I had a long and detailed discussion with her about why the last lot of radio-iodine didn't really do much and what our options were. Dr. Keady listened and was thoughtful and took my perspective on board and came to the conclusion that the first dose had at least done something (my goiter is smaller and I had an initial reduction in T3 and T4 levels before spiking again then remaining high), so a much higher second dose should really do the trick. We're talking 600 MBq, the maximum outpatient dose (as opposed to the 250 MBq they gave me last time), and approximately three months to complete thyroid ablation. Provided, of course, that there are no surprises and complications, and even then we're talking perhaps 90 % confidence. And we'll have to do another technetium scan ($270), to make sure there are no more surprises. But there's no cutting, no hospital stay, no anaesthesia, no two weeks off work to heal, no risks to the parathyroids and no $4 000 hospital bill.

So, we have:

Guaranteed thyroid death + risks of surgery + risks of anaesthetic + risks to parathyroids + risks to vocal nerves + hospitalisation +time off work + whopping great bill + 3 months of feeling crappy
VS
90% likely thyroid death + a few hours in clinic + 0.01 % increase in risk of throat cancer + no time off work + affordable bill + 3 months of feeling crappy (technetium scan pending)


So yes, I chose the nuclear option again. It seemed so much more straightforward and if I'm going to feel crappy for three months either way, I'll take the non-bleedy option, thank you.

But of course it's never clear-cut or straightfoward, is it?

Surprises, complications & pretty pictures )

At 2 o'clock today I head back to the hospital to take my radio-active pill.

There's no turning back now, but neither is there any guarantee it's going to work. In three months' time I might be giving Dr. Hummer another call.


My thanks to the staff at Regional Imaging Tasmania - Calvary Hospital for letting us take photos of all the goings on.
shapeofthings: (Caterpillar)
Whups! Guess I've been over-doing it recently. In an attempt at having something resembling a normal life again I have evidently pushed my body too far. Had to call the boy to rescue me from work early this afternoon, as reality was rapidly unravelling on me. Once rescued, I was deposited into bed whence I passed out for the next hour.

I'm starting to think I have a Collins-Class body.

Made. Of. Fail.
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
Officially Not A Good Day today.

Not only did I fail at sleep last night, I totally failed at today.

I did actually make it into work, where I proceeded to burst into tears in front of my colleagues.

Then a couple of hours later I managed to crash and burn whilst still at work. I had to be helped to the sick bay for a lie down as my body decided to shut down and hit me with a massive hit of adrenaline at the same time. There's nothing like being too weak to stand unassisted whilst trembling uncontrollably for an hour to really make your day.

Alex had to be called to take a taxi out to the office so he could drive me home. =o(

Evidently somebody's still a bit thyrotoxic.

***

Dear thyroid, I have had quite enough. Please be getting on with the death by radiation business.

Dear immune system, please learn to differentiate self and non-self correctly, and play well with others.

Feather-fluff
shapeofthings: (Default)
Oh bollocks. I've gone and over done it, haven't I?

I went for a walk around the block, and I baked a batch of muffins and biscuits (both really easy recipes not requiring any beating or creaming). Evidently that was too much for my still-feeble body.

*collapses*
shapeofthings: (Hug?)
Working Week


Last week wasn’t a very good week.

In fact, it was an awful week, and there are yet more to come, as it take a long time to get off-the scale thyroid hormones under control again.

I’m a long way from control at present. A sudden sharp spike has hit seemingly related to this virus that still won’t go away. But what does that really mean?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3536/4017877773_3fbebd35dd_o.jpg


This is what Grave’s disease is. Auto-immune over-stimulation of the thyroid gland causing the excess release of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). This causes a cascade of effects in the body including raised heart rate and blood pressure, raised adrenalin levels, racing metabolism and tremor. I can’t sleep, can’t think, am utterly exhausted and worst of all, have little control over my emotions. When you’re hyperthyric (thyrotoxic) you’re instantaneously thrown into a state of anxiety and depression.

It’s been 4 years now since I first got sick. I don’t talk about it much because I don’t like thinking of myself as sick, and because I don’t want it to be an excuse for apathy and lethargy. I don’t talk about it because people often don’t understand – I don’t look sick – and I’m worried people think I’m a hypochondriac, or that I’m being dramatic.

I take my little pink pills twice a day, and generally that’s it.



Three months ago I had radio-iodine treatment. I went to the nuclear medicine centre and was given a capsule full of radioactive material to swallow, and I thought that was that. Done, dusted, thyroid no more.

It worked so well. A few weeks afterwards I was feeling the best I’d felt in years. I had energy, stamina and focus, and I finally felt like I was getting my life back. The next blood test was perfect: T3 and T4 levels smack- bang within the normal range, and for the first time in years my body was producing Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. I was getting well!

I think that’s mostly why I missed the warning signs that I was getting sick again. I thought my thyroid couldn’t produce enough hormone to make me sick anymore, so when a little bit of depression crept in and I started having trouble sleeping I found other things to blame. After all, things weren’t going well at work and I was feeling pretty lonely.

Then everything escalated and I found myself having panic attacks in the middle of the night, feeling like a spring so tightly wound that the metal starts to crack.

Meds


So now I’m more heavily medicated. As well as the iodine uptake inhibitors (the pretty pink pills) I’m taking calcium blockers (the bright orange ones) to soothe the effects of too much adrenaline. Sleeping tablets mean I get at least a few hours of solid sleep a night, and now I’m feeling somewhat better; like I’m not about to crack. It’s just that I’m so very tired…

If I’d have noticed sooner, it wouldn’t have got so bad. Last week’s blood test shows levels in the red again, and not a trace of TSH. I don’t know why; no-one really understands what causes Grave’s disease or why the immune system suddenly ramps up its attacks. My specialist says to give it another 4 to 6 months for the radio-iodine to do all it’s going to, and then we see if I need another dose.

More blood tests, more medication, more missed work and more wondering if it’s ever going to end.
shapeofthings: (Dragonfly)
I must be finally on the mend - I've started to care about food again.

*crosses fingers*

Lost at sea

Jan. 7th, 2009 07:38 pm
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
It's been a rough few days. We're both sick, I'm off work, and a lack of things to do has lead to too much introspection, angst and emotional upheaval. Consequently we're both feeling a little physcologically delicate this evening; a bit lost, lonely and isolated, a little inadequate, impotent and vulnerable, and still frustratingly sick.

What do you do when you're under attack from the might-have-beens, should-have-beens, could-have-beens? How to find a smile when you're feeling all at sea? Take one rubber ducky, some water and detergent. Just a little smile, ok?

shapeofthings: (bloop!)
Bleh. A taste sample of gelati has me so bloated up I look at least 3 months pregnant.

Gluten-free my arse.
shapeofthings: (geek)
Needs Glasses


I'm not in work for a couple of days. There's not much point when I can't focus on a computer screen for longer than 10 minute bursts. (And even then I wind up with a headache and shallow depth of field for the next half hour. Consequently, I'm writing this post in very short bursts). I have 2 shiny new astigmatisms (so neither eye would feel left out), as well as deteriorating distance vision to add to my shonky near-sight. It makes me wonder how I failed to notice my vision was worsening until it got to the point where I can't really function - surely I should have noticed something earlier? Of course, in hindsight I can tell you that my vision's been off for a couple of weeks now (even though my hindsight is no longer 20:20). Of course, my boss expects me to spend my day doing work in 10 minute bursts, but it's not worth the head-ache. I'll just have a busy few days once I get my new specs (Wednesday, apparently, after finding an optometrist with super-fast turn-around times, and damn spunky they are too). Hooray!

Annoyingly, my eyes aren't the only area of bodily failure at present. A catalogue of individually-insignificant symptoms suggests my thyroid hormone levels have dropped a little too low (this isn't a bad thing, when you consider I was thyrotoxic for almost 12 months. The medication is finally doing it's thing, it's just challenging to balance it in just the right range by adjusting medication and considering the interplay of diet, exercise and the interacting hormonal interference of PCOS) so it was off to the pathologists again today for another vial of the red stuff to be drawn and analysed. I should get the results back on Wednesday, or maybe Thursday. *sigh*

It's a frustrating process, getting everything right, made even more so by having a month or two where everything balanced out and I got to feel strong and healthy for the first time in years (or perhaps ever). Losing my health again so quickly after finding it, well, it's enough to make a girl stabby. I've just got to keep believing that all these little wobbles are bringing me one step closer to permanent good health. Which reminds me, I've got a physio appointment on Wednesday too (what an action-packed life I lead), where he'll hopefully give me an all clear on the knee incident. After a month of forced R&R I'm looking forward to a bike ride or a proper swim with mildly alarming levels of anticipation.

So what's girl to get up to with all this not working, no reading or writing, don't bend the knees to much lifestyle? Let's just say that the remaining weeds in my garden have taken to cowering at my approach. And tomorrow, I'm going to tackle the last two year's unsubmitted tax returns. Eeek!

Bah

Mar. 18th, 2008 09:29 am
shapeofthings: (Default)
Chimes (cord)Chimes (bird)Chimes (bead)

Sometime's life's a constant climb uphill. Recurrent injury, frequent illness, broken sleep, beaurocratic bullshit and financial stresses. Pull yourself up and the next blow rains down. Life's a game of whack-a-mole: some days you're the hammer, others you're the mole.

Not having the greatests of days today. I've been at work for over an hour but am yet to get going. Brain's distracted. I slept badly last night; strange, wild dreams like a sequence of flash cards (image:response, image:response) and dying fish.

My beautiful, only just re-established display aquarium: columnaris infection. We've lost 5 already.

Reboot. Remember how to bootstrap. Up we go (there's no alternative).
shapeofthings: (Wedding)
The last three years have been somewhat of a misadventure for me, with health woes piling on to medical complaints and mental melt-downs. I lost a lot of weight, gained a lot more and underwent treatment for anxiety. Just whenI was beginning to remember what "normal" felt like my immune system went to town on my thyroid gland and I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. It seemed like I no longer knew my own body. Nothing worked the way it used to and very little made sense. I had a severe case of hyper-thyroidism, yet I was gaining weight. The thyroid medication reduced most of the syptoms, but the upset digestion, moodiness and misbehaving metabolism remained.

By August it became apparent that something else was going on with my digestive tract. For several years I'd develop bloating and indigestion if I ate too much wheat, but in the months prior I'd been on the road so much that wheat had become a dominant part of my diet. I'd stopped noticing the reaction to wheat until it had become so much more severe. I had no appetite, felt constantly tired and bloated, had the runs and was putting on even more weight. I was catching every bug that went around; again. This was not right. In a moment of mental clarity I realised that I was reacting to something I was eating. I considered the two food types I'd reacted to indulging in too much in the past: wheat and dairy. I was facing a process of elimination. Remembering the bloatyness, I decided to start with wheat.

24 hours later I started feeling better.

3 days later my digestion started to behave itself.

I thought I had the answer: I was wheat intolerant! I just needed to avoid wheat flour-based products and all would be well.

That conclusion, as it turns out, was far too simple. Initial improvements were countered by sudden returns of those now-familiar symptoms. I eliminated spelt, then rye, and more improvements followed, but still new sensitivities emerged.

By the end of 2007 I came to the realisation that I am completely gluten intolerant. I have diagnosed myself with Coeliac disease. There is a medical check: a blood test to detect the anti-bodies produced in response to gluten, but in order to prove anything you have to eat enough gluten to produce enough anti-bodies to be detected by the test. How much gluten is enough? My doctor says to eat a normal diet but to include gluten. When even the gluten in one jelly bean is enough to make me sick, the official diagnosis just doesn't seem worth it.

So I can't eat bread, or pasta, or pastries, or breakfast cereals. That's the obvious stuff. But I also can't eat soy sauce or soba noodles, most potato chips or rice crackers, marinades or marmite. I can't even eat most brands of ice-cream! Supermarket products are rife with gluten disguised as wheat glucose or caramel colour or thickener or natural flavours. But you know, that's ok. As long as I know the gluten's there, I can avoid it. And the best part is that in avoiding gluten I'm learning to look after myself and to feed my body well. Because to eat gluten-free is to eat freshly prepared, high quality, naturally flavoursome foods. When you're eating like that, you really don't miss mass-produced foods that taste like artificiality. And good things follow: I'm losing weight, I feel energetic and bouncy. I feel properly like me for the first time in years. We are eating well.

Where it gets difficult, though, is eating out. At cafes, restaurants and friends' houses food becomes a risk. Not everyone understands the many forms gluten can take and the unexpected places you'll find it.

We spent the weekend past at Alex's parent's place, in celebration of my boy's recent birthday. Hs father takes great joy and pride in cooking, and has been happy to accomodate my increasingly difficult requirements. On Saturday night he made roast beef with baked vegetables and gluten-free Yorkshire puddings. He even used proper corn flour to thicken the gravy! But he didn't think to check the supermarket-bought stock. I was a veritable picture of mysery that night and the following Sunday; my belly hard and bloaty, and my stomach sore. It was Sunday night before I could even face up to food (a gentle, easy to digest gluten-recovery diet) and today I'm still feeling tender and tired, my digestive tract grumling gassily.

But even in recovery mode, gluten-free food is fabulous. Just look at what my wonderful husband has made me for dinner. And even better, it's made with love.

Sushi!

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