My food choices haven’t been THAT bad lately. Yes, I stopped obsessively freaking out about every milligram of sodium, but I haven’t been inhaling overly processed foods at every chance, so I can’t be THAT overboard!
Then why have I been experiencing the telltale symptoms of Meniere’s lately? My left ear has been booming? pounding? boom-boom-powing? I don’t know how to describe it… whumping? It kind of reminds me of how a baby’s heart sounds on a heart monitor/ultrasound I think, (from what I’ve heard in movies… no babies for this girl!) except not that loud, thank goodness. I also have distorted hearing through my left ear on phone conversations again and feel a “stuffy” kind of pressure in my left ear. It’s really distracting at work, and builds the pressure (no pun intended) to get back to strictly low sodium (as in, strictly under 2,000 mg not “as low as I can go”!!)
But then I wonder about the other triggers for Meniere’s. I haven’t been drinking any alcohol or caffeine (thank goodness I’m not a coffee person!) but then there’s stress. I am pretty sure I read somewhere that stress can be a trigger and OH MY GOD has work been stressing me out lately. It’s not like I can measure my stress and keep it under 2,000 mg a day (I wish!), and the doctor didn’t say, “make sure to not get so stressed that you want to slam your head onto a sharpened pencil” so how can I tell if this added stress is really contributing to my symptoms?
At this point I can only guess. I’ll pay closer attention to my diet in the next few days and hope that the feelings subside. One month until my next hearing test and ENT appointment!
Yes, it’s been a while since my last post but I’m still here, I promise! Here’s a novel to explain where I’ve been during the last 10 days:
The thing is, “cutting back on my sodium” gets really frustrating when I go off the deep end and EVERYTHING starts seeming like a “bad sodium choice” because it has sodium in it. Any sodium at all. Let’s just say it culminated in a sad incident at Whole Foods wherein I was already very hungry, tired, and stressed when I walked up to the prepared foods section and sheepishly inquired about the sodium content of their offerings. The nice man behind the counter ever so gently informed me that gee, he really wished there was something for me, but everything is seasoned with salt and pepper so he can’t be sure if anything is ‘low sodium’ and so he’s very sorry, but Does Not Have Anything For Me. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I invested in a new cookbook called The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook by Donald A. Gazzaniga. I sort of saw this as my inaugural step towards a low-sodium life. Unfortunately, upon flipping through the pages, I became quickly overwhelmed at how low in sodium these recipes actually are. I mean, we are talking sodium measurements down to the thousandth of a milligram. Seriously?? If I level off my measuring cup differently than he did, that could affect the numbers!! I was thinking, “I have to be this sensitive? I don’t want to become obsessed! But if this guy is, maybe I’m supposed to?!” He wrote this cookbook because his heart was failing and he drastically cut sodium to the point that he was taken off the heart transplant list. Um, I just have a weird ear disease, do I need to be as diligent as he is?
wrapping my head around low-sodium
It took me a while to process all of that, but I eventually got used to the idea that just because I bought that cookbook does not mean I need to go hard core cold turkey on sodium. I’m shooting for less than 2,000mg a day, not less than 500mg! (I just messaged my doctor, though, to see if he thinks “the lower the better”… hi Dr. Shinners if you are reading this!)
Remember, this is a blog about transitioning to a low-sodium lifestyle, not jumping in all at once!
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, we can move on to the recipes I’ve tried so far from this wonderful book…. coming up next is Orange Banana Muffins! (only 0.96787439864mg* sodium per muffin!!)
*I’m being facetious, in case you could not tell.