It has been a LONG time since I have written in this blog. For my loyal readers, I do apologize!
In 2019, I published 60 articles for SNHU Odyssey about a myriad of topics from homelessness to the possible federal legalization of cannabis to the Chair that Gave Me Back My Life. Eight of those articles consisted of a multipart photo essay about my own journey through homelessness in an attempt to bring a bit of understanding to the topic of living unhoused.
Through Odyssey, I have experienced my largest page-views yet with over 10,000 readers interested in an article I wrote about fluoroquinolone antibiotics, “These Antibiotics are Killing People Every Day.”
In another article that garnered more than a few hits, I “came out” in an article in June, with the support of an author friend, but I also used the medium to share a few poems that almost no one thought were interesting enough to click on, including one about my least-liked substance, coffee.
I had the honor of attending The Cannabis Science Conference West in Portland, Oregon in September where I not only reported the event for Odyssey, but I also met the owner-publisher of GRAM- Grass Roots America Magazine. At the conference I was asked to interview my friends at Twenty22Many-Olympia for the November issue of GRAM. It was the first time I have been published in a magazine I could hold in my hand since 2016. It felt great to be able to get the information out there about such an incredible organization while furthering my own career experience.
The work on my Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction Writing has been paused with six months remaining due to some family obligations that have taken more of my time and energy than expected. The work on my first book, The Car that Ran on Prayers is continuing as I am able.
This winter, as always, I’ve been struggling to keep my head above water as the “Seattle grey” has found its home in my sky, but I appreciate the friendships I have made across the country. During the holiday season, mysterious friends sent me surprise gifts that cheered me up and reminded me that I am loved. I was humbled.
My body has been going through a metamorphosis since June of 2019. I have discussed many of my health issues in this forum, and several of you share some of those maladies with me so I will share a bit more.
Last June, in an attempt to assure that my primary medicine, cannabis, was not interferring with several diagnostic tests to evaluate my brain and body after the Levaquin exposure, I weaned myself off of my capsules. It was then that a cascade of symptoms that had been previously been held at bay began to overwhelm my body.
The first issue that became compounded was the neuropathy in my throat and mouth. The degree of inflammation in the same area also increased until I wasn’t able to swallow more than freezing cold liquid and I wasn’t doing that effectively. I was referred for emergency appointments to specialists for several invasive tests. I failed a swallow study.
On the way home from the tests, I prayed. I felt an answer direct from the Holy Spirit, “Stop drinking milk.” It was simple but it was anything but simple. Over the past few years, in spite of having demonstrated a considerable sensitivity to the substance as a child, I had become addicted to milk.
I followed the impression that God honored me with by continuing to prayerfully change my diet. I implemented the recommendations of my gastroenterologist as well as eliminating foods that I had tested sensitive to several years ago at a naturopathic physician.
After the tests were finished, I resumed taking the cannabis capsules that have kept my pain and other symptoms controlled. I completely changed my diet, eliminating all casein (dairy protein), corn, soy, eggs and most wheat. I have recently reintroduced wheat that has a low probability of containing glycophosphates without an increase in symptoms, so we shall see about the future of me eating breads. Other than homemade bread, I really don’t care for the substance anyway.
For Christmas 2019, I received a diagnosis that put all of my maladies into perspective: hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). It is something that I have had since birth and is genetic. It explains symptoms from my childhood through the 53 years of my life. It is official: I am a “zebra.” I will be writing much more about this.
I have been honored to have finally hired two women who work with my schedule and neverending particularities to help me to be more functional. I never realized just how important caregivers are. They are a critical need for disabled people and seniors and there are far too few of them working in this world.
Finally able to control what I was eating, I began to lose the inflammation that had ballooned my weight far into the 200s for several years. With help to prepare food that is healthy for me, I was no longer relying on processed food and milk for my calories and the weight began to drop off quickly.
With so many food sensitivities, I began to rediscover foods I could eat. Spending more time at places like the Olympia Farmers Market buying foods that I don’t react to has also allowed me to get more involved with my community, and that brings happiness to my soul.
Over the past seven months, I have lost over 60 pounds. My body and mind are both continuing their metamorphosis. I figure I will probably level out around 135-145, which would be about ten pounds over my weight as a young woman. My physicians are monitoring the changes closely.
I am hoping to finish The Car that Ran on Prayers this year. I will also be continuing to write for Odyssey as well as looking for print publications interested in publishing my writing.
I appreciate greatly the love I have received from my readers and friends through all of these changes. Please continue to be good to one another. Thank you for your support and love.
Love and Lighte from Maggie Slighte