So waayyyyyyyy back whenever it was that I figured out that actually, hey, I appear to have some sort of wheat allergy, I gave up wheat and my lifetime of acne cleared up and everybody cheered. (And here, by “everybody” I mostly mean “I.”)
Except that for the first few months, I would still cheat periodically. I’d reason that just one slice of pizza or one warm piece of bread right out of the oven certainly wasn’t going to KILL ME, or anything, so why not? I would savor whatever slice of wheaty, gluteny heaven I’d allowed myself, and the next day I would have a zit (or two or three) the size of a mini-marshmallow. ATTRACTIVE!
Eventually my need to NOT HATE MY FACE overrode my unquenchable desire for bread, and after a ceremonial outing to my favorite pizza place on New Year’s Eve (one last hurrah!), I have been wheat-free ever since.
And my skin has been amaaaaaaaazing, if I do say so myself. At least, it was right up until a few weeks ago.
A few weeks ago—without any change in my diet at all—my skin went haywire again. It’s been positively zit-tastic all up in here, and I’m not talking about a few itty bitty blemishes, either. I’m talking about monstrous lumps of painful red swelling. Gross. I started thinking a lot harder about what I’m eating; was I unwittingly eating wheat? Had I changed something else? I did sneak a few pieces of Easter candy, after all. Had that done it?
I was mystified.
I went back to consciously measuring my water intake. I don’t drink much but water, anyway, but I made sure I was getting at least eight glasses of it a day. I cut back on the coffee. I exfoliated more rigorously!
And my face continued to pop out misshapen lumps and generally make me wish I never had to leave the house.
The past few weeks have been stressful from multiple angles; Monkey continues to have some of his regular challenges at school, while Chickadee’s school suddenly seems completely overrun with little thugs. (Handy tip: When you are emailing the principal and able to say, “You know, lately it seems like I’m emailing the school every week to find out why my child is being shoved into the lockers, or why her property is being stolen, or to report that her belongings have been grabbed away from her on the bus. What’s wrong with this picture?”, CHANCES ARE that yes, Houston, we have a large problem here.) I think I spent upwards of six hours, all told, straightening out Chickie’s glasses, and I have FINALLY jumped through every hoop and gotten what we need to head to a specialist at Emory this month to deal with her skin issues, although the last few pieces of that puzzle were a little harrowing, as well.
[Digression: I bet you thought that the manager of the optical place lying about being the manager was the worst medically-related thing you'd heard recently from a real person. But it turns out---and I hope you're sitting down for this one, because it's a REAL laugh-riot---that the doc who argued with us about running blood tests last summer and finally ran them and told us "all her results were normal" was actually a bit of a truth-bender. And what a CO-WINKY-DINK that when the dermatologist requested those records, they were never sent. And another one, too, when the pediatrician requested those records, and AGAIN they were not sent. And finally when I threatened to stand in their waiting room until the records were given to me, they were FINALLY forwarded to the requesting doctors. (If I wanted a copy, myself, I would be charged. So I opted to get a copy from one of the NOT CRAZY, NOT PRETENTIOUS ASSHAT-ed doctors, instead. Which is when I discovered that, in fact, her bloodwork had yielded multiple abnormal results LAST SUMMER and that doctor just didn't feel it was worth telling us. NOW we have all records and results for the specialist. But wouldn't it have been nice if the doctor had, I don't know, DONE HIS JOB and maybe saved my kid almost an entire 'nother year of problems? Oh, me and my wacky dreams of doctors who give a damn!]
There was other stuff. There’s always other stuff; I believe some people refer to it as “life.” Stress happens. I know that.
And I’ve always disliked the implication that stress can cause acne, because for me it reminds me too much of the “Just relax and you’ll get pregnant” days of infertility, when well-meaning people wanted me to believe that a glass of wine could cure endometriosis if only I was willing to BELIEVE it could. (Note to said people: Yes, just relaxing fixed me right up. The multiple surgeries and the anti-clotting medications were just part of my Zen state!)
Anyway. My point? I think maybe stress causes acne.
Today we’re metaphorically poised on the edge of taking care of a bunch of these stressors in the immediate future, and although I’m finishing up ministering to one monster eruption that plans to first eat my chin and then conquer Atlanta, my skin has otherwise started to quiet down. I’m hopeful that in another week I’ll be back to my former blemish-free, pasty goodness.
And maybe I could just wear a mood ring in the future, instead of my body trying to signal to the world that I’m stressed out by turning me into some sort of leper. Yeesh.