Pic of the day – Puzzles

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Puzzles is right!

a) The puzzle is one of the symbols of the autism pride movement, and
we spent a chunk of the late afternoon at the Autism Collaboration
Center at EMU. They seem to be the new bright and shining game in
town, given the closing of the UM autism research center.

b) My own puzzles.

Those who know me in real life know that I’ve been struggling with
damaged skin on my face for about the last 10 years. Series of
infections, tons of treatments, lots of what ifs and no good answers.
Yes, I’ve seen dermatologists. I won’t go into the details now, but
suffice to say that I finally gave up and didn’t go back, for a
variety of reasons.

Recently there have been some new clues. I had found that eating
quinoa helped my skin heal better. The theory is something to do with
lysine and collagen. My face was exceptionally bad this past winter,
so I began eating a lot of quinoa over the past few months. I found
that eating lots of quinoa helped other health issues, especially my
bones. I started to eat even more quinoa! I started to rave about
quinoa after a stunning surprise mile-run, something I’ve never done
in my life, and which I’ve been under direct orders not to attempt for
~20 years because of knee trouble. No problem. Hunh? No problem? Wait
sec, there is something very puzzling with that concept.

I felt wonderful, at least 10 years younger than I’ve felt in more
than ten years. As I raved about the wonders of quinoa, my knees being
great, increased energy levels, alertness, productivity, focus, etc
… not one but THREE of my medical friends and colleagues said,
“Hmmm, you sound just like our patients that have gone off gluten,
hmmm.” One doctor, one nurse, and one public health professional.
Interesting. I listened. I realized that by consuming more and more
quinoa I had replaced most of the gluten in my diet, but
unintentionally. I decided to do a mini-gluten trial. So I quit eating
quinoa last week, and went back on sandwiches and burger buns and
such.

Very interesting. I found I felt tired all the time, muddy in my
thoughts, and my face? My skin practically dissolved. It’s in an awful
state right now, sore, scabby, and swollen. Painful. I wondered, whoa,
could gluten be associated with skin problems? Quick search yielded a
definitive YES. At least two serious dermatologic conditions are
associated with gluten intolerance. Interesting. One resembles what my
skin does, but usually occurs on other parts of the body. The other
one usually occurs on the face, but doesn’t look like what I get. So,
I don’t know, but worth continued exploration.

I am still curious about distinguishing between gluten and quinoa, so
after the 4th of July holiday weekend, I’ll try a week of gluten free
with without quinoa. I know, a week isn’t much, but this is a very
informal test with a sample of one. In any case, I am going to start
avoiding the gluten for a while and see if I can get my face to heal.
It was almost completely healed before I went back on the wheat
breads. Pretty sorry I tried at this point! Ow.

So, I still don’t know what’s wrong, but this is a direction of
enquiry that hasn’t been explored. If it helps, hey, I’ll be very
grateful. It would be very nice to have my face not hurt on a regular
basis. And either way the test goes, I figure I’ll still be eating
quinoa. After all, I still have other bone diseases, and quinoa is
supposed to help with those, whether or not it does anything for my
face.

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