Based on my social media persona, you all probably know me as a writer whose imagination is way more interesting than her everyday life, a person who loves cats and books, and can be funny (on occasion).
What you probably don’t know is behind this computer screen, every single day is a battle with my health. I’m a Type 1 diabetic, but my cells have stopped processing insulin properly. This leads to high blood sugars and stress on the organs. So three months ago I reduced my diet to protein and produce. I was already celiac and couldn’t have wheat gluten, but now all grains, including rice and corn are off the list. I have allergies 24/7, 365 days a year, and the only reason I drink coffee is to keep the migraines at bay—which works most days.
Recently I found out I’ve got heavy metal toxins preventing any form of true healing from happening. That means detox, but if you’ve ever quit giving your body something it’s used to, you’ve probably experienced that things get worse before they get better. Your body doesn’t function very well holding all those toxins tightly in its cells, but when you detox, the floodgates open and all those nasty things are allowed to wreak havoc on your entire system. The plan my doctor lined up will take months, and I must confess that seeing the other side of this path is like looking down a road covered in blinding thick fog—with rattlesnakes in the bushes; I can’t see how far away the end is—or if there is one.
Last October (wow, almost a year ago!) I posted about outliving my expiration date. I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes since then. I’ve been gluten free for over a year now, something I never thought I could do (or would). I’ve eliminated 99% of sugar, including artificial sweeteners, from my diet—no more cookies, candy, or ice cream. I say 99% because lots of grocery items have some form of sugar, like some canned beans!
The process of making these changes has been brutal, and the most discouraging thing of all is they haven’t made me feel better. With my doctor’s current plan, he hopes I’ll start feeling better in a month. And then we’ll keep going with the regimen for as long as it takes. Can you imagine thinking of recovery time in months or over a year? It’s daunting.
People have asked if I would ever write a character with diabetes or similar health issues, and the answer in the past has always been ‘no.’ When I write, I’d rather spend time with someone who isn’t held back by such weaknesses and inconveniences. One of the reasons I write is to pretend, just for a little, that I can go and do and be someone else.
However, with my current struggles and the frustration, that’s changed. I started a new book and this time my character has just as many health problems as me. Of course, I’m throwing in supernatural stuff as well. This character will face weakness and learn to find different kinds of strength. Because even though the days are hard and sometimes I feel so discouraged as to cry (or say “screw it all, I want the cookie!”), I keep going. I keep living and doing what I love. Writing this book started out as a therapeutic venture, but I hope the final product will be something worth sharing with you all.
I’m putting together a blog tour for the release with dates in November, and if anyone would like to participate, let me know! You can check out the tour schedule’s page on the right.