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Under a Spell

Not that kind of spell

During the last couple of years I periodically went under a spell.

I don’t mean something another human (or animal) cast on me, but a time of uneasy dizziness and disorientation when I wake.

After a discussion with my physician, he said not to worry. Okay…

It happened again this morning and I did this: Remedy 1: go back to bed. Remedy 2: eat breakfast. Remedy 3: go outside and harvest garlic scapes, radishes and sugar snap peas for dinner. Remedy 4: take a nap. Remedy 5: Read about the impact of infectious disease on pre-Columbian societies. Remedy 6: eat a bowl of soup. Remedy 7: find a recipe for garlic scape pesto.

By 2:30 p.m. I was feeling more normal. Normal enough to turn on my desktop and maintain some files, deposit a check from a writing gig, and open up WordPress. Normal for a sixty-something is different from when I was a thirty-something. Once I’m done I may go outside to breathe fresh air again and feel a breeze. That seems the most impactful and I could use the exercise. The garden was too wet from last night’s rain to accomplish much there, even if I felt up to it.

I’m trying to keep my blood sugar level within a reasonable range to prevent type two diabetes and that may have prompted today’s episode. According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy range of daily carbohydrate intake should be between 225 and 325 grams. My estimated average has been 202 since I began the project May 25, ten percent lower than the bottom of the range. In addition I’ve lost 17 pounds since then. I feel better, at least when I’m not under a spell.

The biggest change has been my stomach growls when it is ready for a meal. That hasn’t happened for a very long time. When I hear the sound now, I get a snack if it’s not meal time, or fix a meal if it is. Being mostly retired is the only way this kind of tracking and growl response can work as there are too many distractions in a regular life.

There are always free snacks in the break room of the home, farm and auto supply store to tempt one to give up tracking carbs to enjoy some sweet or salty snacks or baked goods. A recent study of 5,222 employees across the U.S. found we consume an average of 1,300 additional calories per week made up of food at the office, according to Working only two days a week makes a difference for me as the will power struggle is absent when I’m not working at the retail outlet.

This carb counting process continues until August when I get a new blood test and see my practitioner again. We’ll see what we see. According to my ophthalmologist the blood vessels in my eyes look fine and diabetes is absent. I suspect the spell was due to not eating enough before bedtime. I experienced glycogen burnout only once in my life, during a century bicycle ride, and this isn’t it.

I don’t like losing the whole morning and part of the afternoon. But as I finish this post, I’m feeling back to normal: sustaining a life in a turbulent world.