I can't tell you how happy and healthy the paleo and autoimmune protocol diet and lifestyle has made me. It cleared my psoriasis (one patch left and counting!), it made me a healthy weight for my height for the first time EVER and gave me lots of confidence and energy. But, although I was buzzing with energy, I think, along the way, I got a bit complacent.
Christmas was an especially hectic time for me: we had visitors staying, and my paid work doesn't stop - in fact, often it will get busier at that time of year and continue all the way through, no breaks. So I decided to do double the work the week before and double the work after, so I could have Christmas with my family (and not end up sitting at the laptop while the sprouts were cooking on Christmas Day).
Leading up to Christmas, I had school plays, concerts, music lessons, kids' parties and then the everyday things to sort out and arrange for the children. I stayed up late, trying to make some progress on the book I'm working on, keeping up with social media (I love you all) and, of course, blogging, as well as my normal work.
One morning in mid-January, I woke up at 6am with a stiffness in my neck and a heavy, dull ache at the base of my skull. Thinking I must have slept funny, I flicked on the light, and I could see double of everything. I got out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. My balance had gone, slightly, but this was still worrying. I found my phone and called the out of hours doctor. As I tried to speak, I found my speech was very slurred and I had to think very hard to answer simple questions. The doctor on the phone told me to take a painkiller and see if it went away. I managed to get the children to school that morning (I don't know how) but it didn't go away. It got worse. I phoned them again, at just after 9am. I was told to get to the emergency hospital. By now, I had a tingling in my arm and my confusion and slurred speech was much, much worse. I looked in the mirror. I was an attractive shade of grey.
This was really scary. My husband made his way home from work and took me to the hospital. After 9 hours in the hospital with a CT scan, heart trace, lights being shone in my eyes, MANY other tests and being bashed about the knees with a hammer (for checking reflexes) it was decided that I had had a very severe migraine. The neurologist told me to go home and REST.
For two weeks, my brain was foggy and I felt like I had a massive hangover. It took two days for my speech to return completely to normal, but my brain was fuzzy for a long time. But I didn't really stop. My husband needed to go back to work so I was back to housework, washing, taking the girls to school, clubs and other things and I was basically back to normal. My work was great, they offered me all the help they could. But I wasn't helping myself.
Over the past few days, I've found the dull ache returns and with some yoga and sleep, it'll usually go away. But I haven't been feeling completely 100% for a little while. I LOVE blogging and talking to all of you on social media (I really do) but my body (and brain) is telling me I really need to take a rest. I'm exhausted, sometimes tearful and get anxious over tiny things (I burst into tears the other day because I couldn't think how I'd find time to go to the shops and buy my daughter a birthday card for her friend on Saturday. Exactly). I get headaches every couple of days, and a foggy brain most days. My one remaining psoriasis patch has started to turn white and dry so yep - it's coming back.
I'm telling you all this, because this episode has taught me three things:
1. AIP can help clear chronic symptoms and make you feel amazing. But it doesn't make you invincible.
2. From what I've known and written about the AIP and paleo lifestyle, I've always said that when you're tired you need to make time for yourself and stop. Well now I need to practice what I preach.
3. When a top neurologist tells you you need to rest, you really DO need to go home and REST PROPERLY.
So I'll be back soon, readers. I will still be posting up articles I think you might find useful and the odd meal on Instagram and Facebook, there just won't be any blog posts here for a little bit. I love you all, and I'll be back soon x