Making Hay While The Sun Shines!

Next year we upgrade: push mower!

It’s no secret that my health has been – iffy – the past year, especially since October when I tumbled into bed after a looooong teaching trip only to rise as my own self in late January!

So many things seem to be part of this Fibromyalgia experience.

I have memories of meals I enjoyed immensely, only to feel absolutely terrible; ill, achey, feverish, flu-ish a few hours later.

I now realize it was the massive amount of wheat / gluten that I inhaled during those most enjoyable meals.

I think back to a slight case of the cold, or  flu that seemed to expand and explode into a pain filled three week voyage.

I realize now that my immune system doesn’t work the same as it did 5 years ago (or the same as most folk’s immune systems work!) This fibro is VERY clever at exploiting any chink in my health armor to tackle me into submission.

Submit I will not.

When it’s warm and I feel that I can rule the world and save the universe – all from the comfort of my bike seat – I have to dig deep to remember just a few weeks earlier when it was below freezing here and I could barely move.

On a rainy and cold day like today, in the middle of a warm Spring, I feel practically paralyzed with stiffness every time I try to move.  These episodes now make sense to me.

That doesn’t mean I enjoy them any more, but it DOES mean that I know it will end, and I will be able to move again.

Sadly, I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that as much as I love cold weather (and I adore it) I usually do a bit better when it’s not clammy & wet & cold all at the same time (like today.)

Our family is NOT contemplating a move – we ADORE Minnesota and we’re doing well here – but it does mean that I need to take advantage of the warmer months for the more physical aspects of my job.

So my own way of making hay – of putting up a harvest to live off of through the Winter – is teaching.

UPCOMING ENGAGEMENTS

I’m teaching in May (Ireland), June (Columbus), Aug (Scotland) & Sept (Italy).  I’m a little concerned about my ability to swear off of wheat while teaching near Rome, but it must be done or I’ll do precious little teaching.  Maybe I’ll go on a sacrifice pasta bender my final night?  I’ve already sworn off Guinness whilst in Ireland.

However, I’ve scheduled only one engagement per month, quite a reduction from previous Summers.  In recent years I’d teach 2 weekends a month, or go on long trips where I’d do 6 or 7 engagements in two weeks.  That’s not going to be happening any time soon.

I know now that I can’t push it. I will suffer, as will my students.

And that makes me immeasurably sad.  But I must be realistic.  Learning to do what I can do, and to stop doing things that make me sicker, is going to be a long journey.

I can’t stand the thought of being disabled – even partially – or what that would mean to the kids (with their father already out of commission) so I’m working hard to squeeze in enough work during my up times to make both ends come together nicely.

COLUMBUS CLASSES

My only scheduled in-person teaching event in the US in 2010 will be in Columbus on June 10 & 11.  The design group I belong to, The Stitch Coop, has rented space at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Columbus, OH, so we can teach to anyone who wants to come and have an awesome time learning new knit techniques!

If you’ll be in or near Columbus and are interested in taking some wonderful classes (not just mine, but so many classes by other SC members!) please check out our offerings and sign up!  We’re limiting the size of the classes, when they’re full, they’re CLOSED!

For folks who sign up for my classes at my website, I can offer you a bit of a discount.  Use the code word “tnna” and you’ll get a cool 10% off of the price per class.

If you know what class(es) you want, you can sign up here.  For more information on my classes, visit http://anniemodesitt.com/classes/columbus_classes_2010.html and you can sign up there, too!

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I hope to see you in Columbus.  (Or, perhaps in Ireland, Scotland or Rome!)

HEALTH ADVISORY

Not to go all Katie Couric on you, but get a Colonoscopy.  Seriously.

Colon Cancer is a terrible disease, but your chances of surviving increase by 90% with proper testing.  If you are in your middle years (the guidelines now say age 50) please get yourself a colonoscopy.

My mother died of this horrible disease (complications of it led to her liver and lung cancer, too, a pretty awful way to pass) and my recent colonoscopy turned up a pre-cancerous flat polyp that was 15mm, pretty large.  It was removed, but I’m supposed to have another test every 3 years.

I shudder to think what would have happened if I had skipped this necessary test (as I considered doing) before my health insurance runs out on July 1.

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13 thoughts on “Making Hay While The Sun Shines!

  1. kristi

    Hah! Too bad you aren’t closer, I’d give you the old push mower 😉 I took out all the grass, so I don’t have to mow any more. And you forgot to mention that if you come to Columbus for classes, there’s a good chance you’ll see some of your favorite designers and yarn-makers tipping back a pint and eating sweet potato fries at the Tip Top!

  2. KnitPurlGurl

    Annie,
    I didn’t tell you this, but my DS is on the autism spectrum and also has horrible reactions to gluten. The food-body connection is just amazing. Your being so honest about your health issues is bound to help someone else out there. I think you are an amazing and inspiring woman! 🙂

  3. roz thompson

    You might consider taking your own gluten-free pasta with you to Rome, then you could have your sauce and pasta too!!! I have celiac, recently diagnosed–and I’m learning learning learning. I too love beer…and guinness but can no longer drink it–but I’m finding some fairly decent glutenfree ones. Bard’s is good–tastes kinda like a micro-brewery special beer, and I’ve got some Green’s to taste–got a blonde and a dark to try. (Who knew beer could be a blonde????). I feel soooo much better off the gluten so even though I miss it, I’m not tempted to eat it. Udi’s makes a great pizza crust. Anyway, good luck!! Roz

    1. Annie Post author

      Yes, Bard’s is made not far from where we live, in Canon Falls, MN! I love it, and can buy it locally or get it at my local (gluten-free) pizza place!

  4. Diane L.

    I have a friend who cannot tolerate wheat or dairy. She has had terrible gastro-intestinal symptoms along with achy joints. I know it must be hard to give up wheat, as it seems to be in so many foods. While there are numerous books out there on nutrition, the one I keep going to for myself and friends is PRESCRIPTION FOR NUTRITIONAL HEALING by James Balch, M.D. It’s an incredible resource of info. on not only foods, but nutriceuticals (vitamins, minerals). Wishing you an enjoyable and energetic spring/summer, Annie.
    Diane L.(sheepdream on Ravelry)

  5. Marie

    Amen on the colonoscopy. My first one I had 2 polyps that were cancerous neither had clear margins when removed, so a month later I had a bowel ressection. Thank God it was all gotten the first time, there was no chemo and radiation. That was 4 years ago, I am due for my follow up.

  6. Gretchen

    What about hard cider– any gluten there? All the pubs in Ireland and the UK seem to have it, with many different choices of brand and style, and it’s delicious. I don’t even like beer, so cider was the focus of my pub visits.

  7. millie

    eating gluten free in italy is easier (and more delicious) than you think. they know all about gluten intolerance/celiac disease, and many restaurants and shops offer foods “senza glutino.” pastas, cookies and even pretzels, oh my.

    am suddenly hungry. all the best, and cheers

  8. Allyson

    I have Celiacs Disease – gluten intolerence. Eating in Europe will be easier then you think, seems they’ve been developing foods and menu’s for a lot longer then their US counterparts. Go online and get translated menu cards for the resturants in Italy. In Ireland, there is Woodpecker cider on tap – much better then its American cousins. And GF stout beer is coming out of Belgum and available in some spots. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel if you follow a strick diet. It gets easier in time to spot the contaminents that get through. For me it was soy sauce (now Wheat free tamari) and rice crispies (barley malt has gluten – who knew)

  9. Lee

    I have Celiacs Disease – gluten intolerence. Eating in Europe will be easier then you think, seems they’ve been developing foods and menu’s for a lot longer then their US counterparts. Go online and get translated menu cards for the resturants in Italy. In Ireland, there is Woodpecker cider on tap – much better then its American cousins. And GF stout beer is coming out of Belgum and available in some spots. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel if you follow a strick diet. It gets easier in time to spot the contaminents that get through. For me it was soy sauce (now Wheat free tamari) and rice crispies (barley malt has gluten – who knew)

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