Been a tough one, this week. Things did not improve, flare-wise, and I had a choice to make. With the pain increasing and nothing looking like it was about to calm down any time soon, I knew I would have to go to my GP, as there were only two possible scenarios: a) things would get worse, to the point where I’d have no choice but to take oral antibiotics to combat infection – and that would put me right back to square one and the last five weeks would have been an utter waste of time; or b) I could ask for some topical antibiotic cream to treat the wounds, and hope that would be enough to stop an infection occurring. I didn’t want to do either, but at least with the second option I could hopefully avoid interfering with my gut and stay on track for the elimination diet. We know that antiobiotics do not help with HS insofar as treating what causes it, but they do combat infection and the truth is that, for all my good work, I just cannot afford an infection right now – the complications which could arise from one are just not worth thinking about. >>>>>Rock * Me * Hard Place <<<<<<
So plan B it was. I still don’t know for sure what has caused the flare, but the likelihood is it’s hormonal. Cycle-wise, I’m usually as regular as clockwork, often to the hour yet, since the second operation, I am all over the place. It’s the same this month – right out of nowhere and way, way too early. More pain, and that old familiar feeling that I’ve been run over by a truck and I can’t get up. In a sense, I’m almost pleased, though, as it does offer me at least a plausible explanation for the flare: monthly hormonal changes are notorious for triggering HS but, because I have never tracked this alongside my previous attacks, there’s no way of knowing if it’s actually just my monthly cycle – and only this – which is my own personal trigger, and nothing to do with food.
All I can say is – fingers crossed – the flare shows signs of relenting and, by the end of the week, if this is hormonal, then surely the flare will disappear, although I’ll definitely have to keep an eye on next month to see if the same thing happens. The only reason I’ve actually thought more about the hormonal side of things, is because I’ve been absolutely rigid with this plan, I haven’t deviated at all, not one illicit morsel has passed my lips, yet I still flared. So what if it’s not food/drink that’s the problem? And the prevalence and repeated nature of the attacks down the years could absolutely be connected to my cycle. I’ve always had problems of one nature or another, it seems to be ‘my thing’, so perhaps HS is just another bastard addition to the list of “Why Periods Suck”.
Still, I have no intention of stopping the ED until the 60 days has elapsed. And remember, that’s just the first phase. Reintroducing foods, one by one, is going to take a long time, it’s not like I can just go out and get drunk on Day 61 and grab a bag of chips on the way home. I’m just hoping I’m edging closer to a solution, whatever that solution is. Even if that means having to encounter false positives or spend time investigating other possible causes, I’ll do it, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, I just have do something.
The Coven have been extremely helpful, as usual (thanks, Teri, for suggesting I look into hormones a little more). Without them I honestly don’t know what I’d do sometimes, it can be a very lonely place when you feel like you’re going around in circles looking for answers that might not even exist. I know this is just a bad week, and it was bound to happen at some point. It’s that No Man’s Land of being in the middle of something, where it’s just as far to go back as it is to go forward, and you lose sight of any finish line, because you’re neither nearer the start nor closer to the end. You’re just somewhere in between and it doesn’t have a name.
I did manage to get into a pair of jeans yesterday that I’ve not been able to get anywhere near in about a year, though, so that was nice. Apart from that, I guess we just roll the dice again and see what happens during the week ahead, which presents its own set of challenges as I’m staying at mum’s for the most part – we have our Mollie for half term. That means I’ll be eating in company for the first time in 5 weeks, and my temptation-o-meter is going to be pushed to the limit. It’s kind of easy when it’s just you – you can only eat what’s in the cupboard/fridge and there’s no-one else to think about. But this week I’ll be surrounded by bread, cheese, loads of other lovely stuff. And mum’s a really good cook, too, so everyone else will be tucking into gorgeousness while I have to stick to my bananas, tuna salads and vegetable soups. Oh, and I have to walk past the wine fridge ten times a day, and that’s going to be hell on earth…
This week is going to either kill me or cure me. Watch this space.
Week 5 (of 8)
Average daily calorie intake: 931
Energy level: 6/10
HS severity: 8.5/10
Weight loss: 2.75lbs
Total weight loss (35 days): 11lbs