Boy, am I excited by the news I have to share with you today! I haven’t shared any health news for a while because honestly, I wasn’t sure how I was doing. From Christmas Eve through the end of January, everything was touch and go. Most days saw me wake up feeling fairly well and just a little tired, but after just breakfast and cleanup, I felt like I needed a nap, and I was flat-out exhausted by lunch. Before you roll your eyes, break out your tiny violin, and think “yeah, who ISN’T tired, Nicole??” understand that being tired becomes an entirely different animal when it’s a quick jump from there to a host of other symptoms which can easily land you in the hospital. You have to learn where that line between functionally tired and dangerously tired is, and depending on different factors, that line can shift from day to day.
Through February, I saw steady improvement and had a few clear instances that showed me how my diet changes have helped. I’ve successfully reintroduced white rice a couple times a week, small amounts of tomato, most spices, grass-fed butter, cocoa powder, small amounts of goat cheese and sheep’s milk cheese, but I had a pretty clear reaction to a lower-quality cheese (strong headache and facial rash) and regular butter (increased fatigue and headache). I’ve been eating to increase my vitamin D intake because, in professional medical terms, it was “abysmal” and have noticed marked improvement in energy. I’ve been able to amp up my strength training enough that it now resembles what I did before lupus struck, and I even skipped my nap three times last week with no ill effect.
The explanation? Guys… My lupus is in full remission! My vitamin D levels are climbing and all of my bloodwork is completely normal, and I feel closer to normal than I ever imagined I would be able to feel. I’ve been praying for this, and I know many of my friends, family, and readers have been, too. I am endlessly thankful for all of you prayer warriors and that God has answered all of our prayers this way. My rheumatologist said that at this point, I shouldn’t be afraid to start running again, to go through with my somewhat ambitious plans for a garden this year, or to engage in pretty much any activity I want. This doesn’t mean that I’m out of the woods forever, though. I still have some more appointments and testing to check for other causes of fatigue (I still tire more easily than I should) and other symptoms, but for now, I can live like a normal person who just eats a freakishly healthy diet, which at this point looks a lot less like the paleo autoimmune protocol and more like a modified standard paleo diet. And when that diet involves things like the blood oranges with rosemary honey pictured above, I can’t complain even a tiny bit.
Get the Recipe: Oranges with Rosemary Honey