In my normal remission state I can enjoy a cocktail or two with no physical consequences. However, the hectic holiday season riddled my body and mind with a list of annoying, painful symptoms that only seemed to become more agitated when alcohol was involved. I pat myself on the back as I type this: I rang in the New Year with no champagne toast!
Due to a scary head-and-chest attack the night before following a mere sip on a cranberry vodka, I decided to totally cut out sugars and alcoholic drinks from my day on New Year’s Eve.
It felt good, too. So I’m still going. Now to be fair, I do not drink as often as some of my cohorts or the average person my age, for that matter. Whenever I do, my cutoff is at 2 drinks.
This is because of the nature of living with an autoimmune disease and dealing with the side effects of a flare-up. The past 7 years have been filled with the most random, unpredictable ups and downs when it comes to pain and pain management.
In layman’s terms, I tend to feel ‘good’ and ‘bad’ throughout the course of a day in hour-long increments. This means that from when I wake up to when I fall asleep, I have experienced at least 10 significant episodes of both.
Part of dealing with a chronic illness that majorly affects the function of my immune system among other things, it is hard to even understand my own body and what triggers it. I can have a glass of wine with dessert and feel fine one day, and the next I can feel like keeling over in agony at any second with neither things in my system.
I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about the first major health craze of 2017:
This month will be one spent without consuming alcohol, and even famous women are on board for the trend. Simply because I just want to feel better and preventative of everything that causes inflammation or discomfort in my body, I’m with the challenge. However, I’ll be frank: the sugar part is probably going to be much more difficult than cutting out a cranberry vodka or Moscow Mule.
I have gone from eating a doughnut or cookie on a daily basis–sometimes, one with every meal–to not at all. But I am excited to see and feel a positive difference in the frequency of my symptoms.