Health & ME/CFS

Coping: One Breath, One Moment

A post about getting through those moments you ask yourself: “What fresh hell is this?”, or beg, “Not again, please!” and, “When Food Is The Enemy”

Recently, yesterday I guess it was, but it seems eons ago, I managed to poison myself.

Not in the typical, swallow something toxic way, of course.

No, not me.

My poison?

A bowl of oatmeal. A stupid bowl of gluten-free oatmeal. A big bowl of oatmeal.

I knew almost immediately that I had made a serious error, as it first sat in my stomach like a brick, and then, the bloating and the pain and the overall “oh, crap, what fresh hell is this?” feeling came over me.

Like many with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia, I have Leaky Gut Syndrome, which in some patients is labeled as only IBS – (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I’ve got both labels, but today’s topic is Leaky Gut.

What that means, in very general terms, is that my intestines are far more permeable than they should be. Particles from foods I eat can enter my blood stream, and my body becomes hyper-sensitive to them. The more frequently I eat something, the more common reactions become.

For a more expanded discussion of this, see this post:
The Problem, The Plan, via Dr Z

I have quite a large number of items on “The List” of things I simply can’t eat. Oatmeal used to be on The List, but after avoiding it for a number of months, and then trying it again, it seemed to be okay.

Until yesterday. When suddenly it was not okay, and I have been enduring the misery of severe bloating (as in, looking 6 to 8 months pregnant), belly cramping, nausea, migraines, and an overwhelming toxic feeling ever since.

It is hard to define what it is to feel “toxic,” but in general, like you’ve been poisoned. Very weak, difficulty thinking, palpitations, nausea/vomiting, extreme migraines, on & on.

Note: To the family members of ME/CFS patients, I would just like to add: this, this horrifying misery, is why we don’t get excited about going out to dinner (if we’re able), or trying new foods. The tiniest bit of an offending food can lead to misery that lasts days – long after you’ve gone home.

So, what’s to be done when you’ve poisoned yourself with food?

Not much. Take a hefty dose of magnesium, which acts as a laxative, to move it along as fast as possible.

As long as it’s in your body, it’s going to be setting off your symptoms. So you need it out of there – and fast!

But mostly, you have to wait it out.

If your doctor (likely an alternative practitioner or LLMD) has indoctrinated you into the Gerson Therapy (the infamous coffee enemas), they can certainly help both move things along, as well as detox your blood.

Substituting chamomile for coffee, as explained in The Gerson Therapy, helps to calm intestinal spasms. You can also mix coffee and chamomile. Experience tells me that a slightly overly warm brew will produce better, umm, results.

For info on my own experience with the Gerson Therapy, you can see all posts tagged “Gerson,” starting with The Problem, The Plan, via Dr Z.

Breath by Breath. Moment by moment.

I wrote this to my mother earlier tonight, after two days spent complaining of being too nauseated to eat, and how awful I feel:

“Can’t think of much else right now except get through this moment, this minute, this misery. Its a thing my very ill friend, S., and I say. Just focus on this moment. Don’t think about how long the misery will last. Just get thru this one moment at a time.

“It’s how we keep from becoming another ME/CFS suicide statistic. If you think, “it will never be any better than this,” or, “this is gonna last forever,” or “I’ll never be any better than this,” or, “what’s the point, this is just gonna happen again & again,” that is the path to becoming a statistic.

“So when our heads are pounding, are bellies are churning, the pain is just so much we want to crawl right out of our skins, we say to each other, “Just get thru this moment. This one breath. Don’t think about the moments to come. Just this one moment.”

“And that is all I can do right now.”

I am very happy to report:
After my second round of coffee & chamomile today, the offending oatmeal has been well & truly expelled. I feel better already, although it will take a few days to get back to “my normal.”

Always remember: You can get through it. One breath, one moment, at a time. Just take a big deep breath… and let it go. See the pain/misery/illness/despair flow out with it. And then just take one more big breath…

6 thoughts on “Coping: One Breath, One Moment”

  1. Lovely post and a good reminder for me today. Have some medical tests to get through too and I like the one breath, one moment at a time. Better than one day at a time. Sorry you’ve felt so horrible, glad the chamomillle/coffee helped. Do u alternate them or mix them together? I know when I am sick if I don’t want coffee. Rest easy, my friend Ash.Life will be waiting for you just outside your door. and please stay away from oatmeal. Hugs and blessings, Laurie


    1. Thank you, Laurie. Sometimes, getting through just one more day is too much, and even one more hour, if the migraines are roaring or some other pain is crashing. The “one breath – one moment” has gotten me thru numerous MRI’s, when the constant banging has felt like a nail being driven through my migraining head! I hope it helps you, too, as you endure more stressful tests – and I hope they turn out well!

      With the coffee enemas, I started them almost 3 years ago – thought my doctor had lost her mind! But I’ve been hospitalized for bloating, and they are really effective for me – much more so than anything done in the hospital! People with ME/CFS & FM are supposed to limit them to one coffee enema a day. Today, I was desperate, so had a second one that was made of half very strong chamomile tea, and half coffee – I really felt the need for detoxing. I’m so glad I did, as now I’m eating again!

      Chamomile enemas on their own are great for intestinal spasming and if you need to clean out something you shouldn’t have eaten, or for bloating when it’s too late at night for coffee. But they don’t detox your blood the way the coffee does.

      I never imagined that I would still be doing these so long after starting them, but they are really essential to detoxing me & keeping my gut moving. I had to read the whole book to be convinced to try it, but they’re not nearly as uncomfortable as you’d think. I know several friends on Lyme treatment protocals who do them, but nobody talks about them – we just make jokes about how we take our coffee!

      Goodnite hugs & lotsa Love,


  2. I know the feeling that you’re speaking of, but for me, I am never sure of what will cause it-innocuous things. i’ve hit a wall recently-i sat in the stupid urologists office and sobbed as he again referred me for yet another test, but also again, with that tone-that tone that they get that tells you so much more about what they are thinking than they would ever admit. He thought that I was crying over what he said, but it was how he said it.


    1. Oh, Dawn, I’m so sorry… doctors like that… GRR! I know the tone you speak of well. Especially with specialists, it seems, they get so damn arrogant, they can’t be bothered to actually listen to their patients! I will be Mama Wolf for you, my sweet, or Sister Wolf, any day – and go with you!

      You have so very much going wrong in your body, it must be terribly confusing to try to sort out the triggers. Have you tried keeping a medical journal – every bite of everything you eat, every time & what meds you take, the weather since you have migraines, your pain/fatigue/migraine/symptoms listed (scale of 1 – 10) maybe as often as every hour? You could do a simple spreadsheet and just check items off, or their are apps for smart fones.

      I keep meaning to do that more regularly. Sometimes, patterns emerge. Sometimes, effects are delayed, by hours or even days.

      I just want to jump in the car & come wrap you up in my arms. Always, ALWAYS, know I am right here for you, and not too far away! Never ever be afraid to tell me what’s going on. I worry more when I don’t know, and just pick up little crumb trails here & there.
      I Love you, Dawn, and am sending many Healing & Guarding, prayers your way tonight ~ and always. Vast oceans of Love,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s