What a difference a year makes. This time last year, I was beginning to feel the neurological symptoms that made me so sick last fall. Around this time was when my left hand started bothering me so badly. The worst of the symptoms didn’t really begin until probably August, but I remember my left hand cramping and twisting into an odd knot throughout June. At first, I ignored it, believing I just needed more potassium, but as the symptoms progressed, I knew something more serious was happening. At the worst of the illness, I could barely walk, and simple typing left me feeling utterly exhausted from the concentration required.
Today, I won’t say I feel 100%. My left hand still trembles, and my fine motor skills are not great. Typing still requires a lot of concentration, and I often jumble letters or strike the wrong keys as I type, which can be annoying while working on a book. However, the most significant improvement is in my energy levels. While typing still requires quite a bit of concentration, it doesn’t leave me feeling exhausted. In fact, my productivity is nearly double my previous amount in terms of daily output. Part of that comes from my sense of urgency for finishing this manuscript, but mostly it has to do with energy. When I finish writing for the day, I don’t feel utterly spent and look forward to the next day.
Physically, I also feel better. I certainly don’t feel like I’m staring down 40. In fact, I have more energy than I’ve had since my early 20’s. Part of that comes from working so hard on the farm, but most of it comes from getting over the worst of the neurological symptoms. My strength is returning, and my stamina has improved. Considering where I was just seven months ago, feeling nearly crippled, I’ll take it. I don’t know if I’ll see any more progress in terms of the fine motor skills and coordination, but I can live with how I feel today.
Until I see the specialist again in August, I can’t say definitively that gluten is the culprit, but that’s been the only change to my life. Since I cut it out of my diet, I’ve progressively felt better, and the one time I accidentally consumed it, I felt sick for three or four days, so to me, common sense dictates that gluten must have been the root cause of the neurological symptoms. Until someone can prove otherwise, that’s what I’ll believe. For now, I’m going to enjoy how I feel and continue doing what I’m doing. I feel strong, healthy, and productive, and to me, that’s about as good as it gets.