A Tiny Crack in the Sidewalk

I haven’t been keeping track but I’m pretty sure I’ve been in bed for like 2 months.  I’ll be honest, it’s been a dark time.

Last week, I was in Northern California, on the coast- majestic, chilly and enlivening. Truthfully, I felt poorly. You know, the typical ME heaviness; like I had the flu (worst ever), hangover (what happened last night?) and a cruel re-enactment of my first period (twelve, mortified, lying on the carpet in a country club bathroom) and don’t forget the exponents in this sick new brand of calculus.

I had fun in spite of ME. I took it easy, yes, but also forced myself to take several meandering walks, went to the spa and got scrubbed and rubbed, jacuzzied naked, rode a sweet horse named Karma, pet cats and dogs, saw bunnies, deer, COYOTES and was seranaded by a little yellow bird!


My sister and her husband who live about an hour north of the area, came for dinner. It was so good to catch up. It always is. We laughed. I forgot about ME until it was time to go to bed. Just knowing that I have family and friends around the globe that support me, keeps me treading when it gets cold and deep and lonely.

My husband, Chuck and I spent time talking, sitting by fire pits and eating oysters. He encouraged me to lay low; sleep if needed, order room service, watch the World Cup or just sit in my hotel robe and mouth-breathe at the ocean.


My daughter stayed back in Virginia with the most generous of family friends so it was just the two of us. One day, we had mushroom sandwiches at Dad’s luncheonette- a lunch only, organic place in a retrofitted caboose. Apparently, a three Michelin starred chef left the San Francisco restaurant grind behind so he could serve only lunch, only amazing lunch and still get to see his wife and kids at night. Great food, B-side reggae and authentically friendly people-there and mostly everywhere around Half Moon Bay-and why not, it’s heavenly.

It helped psychically so much. After the loss of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain-not like they were friends-but I liked them if that’s even possible. I get it. At least my version. I’ve been there and when an illness drops you to your knees, hope has a way of running away without a shadow.

Here’s another thing I did while in California (besides making an appointment for my roots).


I started questioning the Stanford protocol. Was it working? At all? Stanford’s noble, research-based yet thin staff had never mentioned anything about nutrition. I take that back. They recommend the Mediterranean diet, which I love, but that seems so general. I had been following that diet with diminishing returns. I’ve tried a MILLION supplements, minerals, prescription medications, tinctures, drops, powders and potions. Jeff Bezos- it’s a win win with us. And I am still absolutely willing to try anything. ANYTHING. IF SOMEONE TOLD ME A DAILY MILKSHAKE MADE OF PEOPLE WOULD RETURN ME TO A QUASI FUNCTIONING HUMAN I WOULD DRINK IT I REALLY WOULD.

Another thing I tried while there thanks to PK (#pkadams@wordpress) a wordpress blogger and trail runner, tactfully (because that matters) coming forward and sharing what’s helped her address her health issues without foregoing everything she loves. She gently suggested that I try eliminating grains and soy from my diet. The day after she responded to my blog, another friend recommended reading the Wheat Belly and Grain Brain.

Since that time, now about 12 days ago, I have not had, not knowingly, any grains, soy or legumes (apparently molecularly similar to gluten–and no I don’t remotely have a science degree, just hope and an abundance of desperation).

Like I mentioned, I did not feel well in California-at all. BUT-the day after I returned, and since (only about a week but still) I have felt….normal, no…

REALLY GOOD. Now, I know better. No, I did not go for a run or rejoin the gym. I’ve taken leisurely walks with my dogs, saw friends and have caught up a bit, oh, and got my roots done (thank you, Kristi).

I don’t know how long this spell of wellness will last and if this diet (I like my sister’s term better- “live-it”) has anything to do with me feeling like I am a part of my days, then it will be easy to continue. As in I’ll never look back. I’ll eat almond flour cake and paleo lemon bars. I’ll give up the lifelong half assed ethical dilemma of wanting to not eat animals. I’m eating a lot of protein-chicken, fish and nuts (no peanuts-read the book). Even if I have fewer sick days and more days to join the living-outside of my bedroom then I will continue this “live-it” and modify, if and as warranted.

Will this last? Stay tuned. I hope, I pray and I eat (mostly organic). Amen.

Oh, and look at this one!

6 thoughts on “A Tiny Crack in the Sidewalk”

  1. I’ll be interested to read about whether this new diet helps you. I’ve tried high protein, low protein, no milk, no wheat. vegetarian, vegan. Right now, I eat mostly a plant-based diet, with some 70% Valhrona chocolate thrown in for good measure.


  2. I have an appointment in a couple of months w/Dr. Bonilla. Did he help you at all with ME/CFS? I have tried every elimination diet in the world, so if primarily all you got out of your visit was a suggestion to follow a Mediterranean Diet, that is not going to help me. And I cannot afford a $3,000 medication on a regular basis. So is a trip to Bonilla at Stanford worth the time, energy (which we have so little of) and expense?


      1. Cut out grains years ago. Live in Seattle. Have fought for 30 years and am losing the battle….no one here will help and believe me I’ve searched and searched. I’m so tired I don’t know if this reply is even getting to you as I’m unfamiliar with this format.


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