My proposal for a paper presentation at the Health Humanities Consortium Conference in Houston in March was accepted. When I was first accepted I was really excited about it. Then the plane tickets cost a little more than I’d like. I found myself doubting – do I really want to go? I found myself justifying all the reasons why I might not go.
It was the celiac talking. It was me trying to avoid going out because the food might make me sick. I was deciding not to go because of fear – not for any really good reason.
Yes, I’m nervous about the travel – air travel makes me anxious. I used to love it, now I worry that I’ll starve, and end up packing so much food that all I do is eat my way through the flight.
I worry that I’ll be hungry during the conference. I even asked the conference organizer about food – which they haven’t planned yet. I got an awesome reply. They said they’d try – I cannot really ask for more.
Once I realized the reason my waffling was fear talking, I decided to push through. I booked my flights, hotel, and registered for the conference. I’m committed now.
I haven’t been sick since July. That is six months without accidentally consuming gluten. My blood anti-body levels are back to normal. From a celiac perspective, I am healthy.
I have also tried to get past my fears on a local level. The other day I went out for fish tacos at my favourite local taco place. I only had one thing – fish tacos. I figured that if I tried anything else and got sick I wouldn’t know what made me sick. Next time I’ll try the carnitas (pulled pork) tacos. If I get sick then I know I need to stick to fish. I find that I need to take this one step at a time.
I’ve also learned that if I’m going to branch out and try something – I might as well try a lot of it and really enjoy it. You see – if something is going to make me sick it doesn’t matter how much I eat. The level of sickness I experience is no different between a quarter teaspoon of flour and two cups of flour, so if something is going to make me sick I might as well get the most of it and really enjoy it – as it will likely be the last time I try it.
Of course, now that I’ve decided to go the conference, I need to figure out my presentation. I’m working on my research now. I won’t get a huge amount of time to talk – so my presentation will need to be short and focused. I realize now that my past presentations have been a bit scattered – they have included snippets that were not relevant to the message – they may have been relevant to me personally, but they were not relevant to the overall storyline or the message I was trying to send. So now, I’m trying to figure out – what will be the theme for my short presentation?
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