I found myself asking my husband this question because I am constantly aware of my ears and how they feel: is there pressure in them, are they tingling, are they hot, is there a hint of feeling where otherwise there should be nothing. I think I may be becoming a little paranoid about them because I feel there’s something going on with them all the time. So far, my RP has manifested only in my ears and once in my nose. So, the paranoia is associated with this history.
Yesterday was a particularly stressful day. There was no specific reason for this stress other than normal and everyday events. But, for whatever reason, I was just unable to let it wash over me. As a result of my weakness and stress, I ate some chocolate (no milk content and just 3 pieces) and I had a glass of red wine (which I didn’t finish). Now, both of these items are on the ‘allowed’ list of the Wahls Diet, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily a good idea. I definitely felt strange goings-on in my right ear all through the evening yesterday and it was enough that I said it out loud: normally I say absolutely nothing unless it’s clearly a flare. Thankfully it came to nothing, although my ear awareness continues.
I now have to think about whether or not this ear activity was triggered by the wine, the chocolate, or the stress. My initial solution is this: my husband and I have agreed not to drink anything (alcohol) for the next 10.5 weeks, which is when I have a milestone birthday. So, if it’s the alcohol, I guess I’ll figure it out then (hopefully it isn’t alcohol because having a flare would be a terrible birthday gift to myself).
My hunch, however, is that the stress is the culprit. Of course, it could be the chocolate too, but stress is such a horrible thing for your body that it feels likely as the candidate.
If stress is the trigger and I have done all I can with diet, then I have a little anxiety about what to do about it: I have an exceptionally stressful job, which is effectively an endless commitment to my emails and phone calls. I have more deadlines in one week than anyone ought to have and I have no end in sight because I’m good at what I do and my company has no appetite to move me to another job. I could leave my company, but there are significant financial implications associated with that decision. Anyway, once I’ve mastered the Wahls Diet, I plan to focus on stress management as the next critical part of my life to control. That’s a more daunting prospect than adopting the extreme Wahls Paleo Plus diet, and that’s saying something.