The whole family was down with the flu.
Somehow, I dodged it. I give credit to my improved immune system due to my wheat-free lifestyle. For the past several years I have been the one person in the family who always has caught the bug, and it’s been getting worse the older I get. When I was younger, I hardly ever got sick. I had the constitution of a very healthy elephant! I refuse to believe that my increased occurrences of knock-down-drag-out illnesses are simply due to aging.
Tonight, the better half’s sick. Last year, I was the one who was laid out. The week-long sickness is still clear in my memory. I mysteriously caught the flu or food poisoning or whatever you call it after we hurriedly dined upon pancakes one evening. My wife said, “We just had bread for dinner.” In fact, we had bread for breakfast (waffles), lunch (sandwich), and dinner (pancakes). Not only that, but every snack between meals had wheat as one of the main ingredients.
I looked down at the remnants of my meal. The heat rose in my face and I broke into chills. And then I barfed. Boy, did I barf. I barfed for days. I barfed so much that my back went out. I missed nearly all of the holiday celebrations because I couldn’t even roll over.
From then on, we’ve cut out the wheat, and not just the wheat, but the rye, barley, and most grains. As a result, my debilitating joint pain has receded to manageable levels — only to resurface on the few occasions when we mistakenly bought wheat bread (The grocery store kept the Wheat Udi’s next to the Gluten-Free Udi’s in the Gluten-Free section of the freezers. Thanks, Safeway. Good looking out!) or when we would politely eat the pasta served for dinner at a friend’s house.
With less pain in the daily routine, I’ve been able to work on other things — like improving myself. I’ve heard my family doesn’t really like the grumpy, hollering me, and I’ve listened. I’m focusing on improving myself, and karmically, the world will follow. It’s nice to look back and to notice that I am not the same person that I was this time last year. I feel that I am more loving and compassionate towards my wife and children than I was last year. I am happier and more likely to seek out the positive side of a situation. All of this growth is thanks to my wife and our constant work on our relationship. With this new year’s arrival has come a new opportunity to redouble my efforts to fix what I can in this old world, starting with positively charging how I interface with this illusion we call shared reality.