April 7, 2015

From sick to not sick...Part 1

Alrighty, this post has the potential of getting real long real fast....for when you deal with something for 20+ years there becomes mucho to share. But I cross my heart promise to keep it short and sweet - probably a part 1/part 2 dealio. That way my fingers won't die typing and you won't die of boredom. Well, I hope you won't die of boredom. 

Honestly, I share all this health stuff because I hope it helps someone. Because I know how debilitating, hopeless, and full of despair it can be to live with ongoing health issues. To fight for pain free days with each and every waking sun. To throw your hands in the air and say "well, this is just how it is...." only to finally realize that it is not normal to live this way.

So there. If you're interested in this journey you're more than welcome to come along for the ride. If not, no worries - just stare at this and call it a day:

Looking back I have been sick most of my life - more specifically starting when I was 10 or so. Fast forward to Max at 8 months old and I was on the couch from 3pm until bedtime every. single. day. Fatigue. Joint Pain. Digestive Issues. Migraines. Numbness and tingling. Sever brain fog. Depression and mood swings. To make a loooong story short I was finally diagnosed with Celiac disease (an auto-immune response to wheat,  barely, rye, oats and anything cross-contaminated with them). Almost 5 gluten-free years later I am at the point where, if I come into contact with a crumb of gluten, I am sick for three weeks. On the couch, dead to the world, sick. Which currently means no gluten in the house and not really eating out for me. (I get to enjoy a really really nice glass of wine instead...BUT going to bars give me a migraine with all the beer floating around. You know what I just heard though?! The first gluten-free brewery opening in Portland. ROAD TRIP?!) 

But at least I wasn't dying so it's all good.

Except it wasn't. It wasn't all good. 

I thought it all stopped there: go off le gluten and I'll be golden. Come to find out that not only is there other crap going on (of which I am finally figuring out with the help of the MOST AMAZING NATUROPATH. SHE IS AN ANGEL, PRAISE JESUS, HALLELUJAH) but there is just so. much. damage. still. from being undiagnosed Celiac for so long that I have to really hone in on full repair mode like stat.

And this is a big reason why I'm sharing this: if you think anything anything is out of whack with your body/health get on it NOW. We are meant to live pain free, energetic, full of hope lives. Our food/the overuse of antibiotics/hashtag all the chemicals are reeking havoc on our bodies - namely the digestive system. And gut health is correlated to pretty much everything else: brain health, our happiness (aka: serotonin levels), our skin, chronic inflammation/aches and pains, you name it. Even if all you deal with are mood swings of which you have no control over, get it figured out, for this, too, is a sign of something going on. (Dude, I KNOW.) And if you keep pushing it under the rug (like I did) saying it'll go away or you can deal (like I did) it will just keep getting worse and worse and do more and more damage. There. The End.

Fast forward to now (and through all the different experimental stages of trying to figure things out) and I finally finally feel like I'm on the path to health. And not just "put a bandaid on it health." Like, really heal and BE NORMAL (oh, please Jesus) health. Can I get a what what?!

After my initial intake with my doctor she looked at her pages and pages of notes and said "In all my years of practice, I have never made a list this long. BUT we WILL get you healthy."

So, here's what I'm currently dealing with, some of them known for a while, other diagnoses new: Celiac, FODMAP intolerance, dairy intolerance (and still waiting for the other food panel to come back), low iron, yeast imbalance in the gut, fat malabsorption, adrenal fatigue, and endometriosis. At least my toes are healthy. Wait, except they aren't - there's that extreme cold all the time thing and my pretty little pedicure hardly ever sees the light of day.

Current prescription: (not knowing my love of the islands) my doc turned to Avila and said "Mommy needs to move to Hawaii for three months."

I knew I liked her.

Tomorrow I will share how these beasts have individually affected my life and how I'm finally starting to overcome them one-by-one. But one prescription is for certain: I have to focus on getting better. I have to (force myself to) take the time to focus on my healing. That means I have to cut some stuff out and rest and do what kind of feels selfish. But getting healthy is not selfish. (At least convince me of this pulease - especially when I choose to sit on the couch with a book instead of doing the 50 million other things required of me...) 

So now I will do the dishes and the laundry and the school and THEN I will put my feet up for a few and perhaps start dreaming about those three months in Maui. Doctor's orders.....


Unknown said...

Girl that is a lot for one person to deal with for sure. It's hard having food allergy issues. Hubby is Gluten and Dairy free (thankfully he is just intolerant of gluten and not celiac, but still sicker than a dog if he eats it) I know how challenging it can be to eat (out or at home) with all the yummy temptations out there. I'm thinking of you for sure! Hang in there and stay strong and healthy!

janzi said...

You write a great blog and this post I am sure will help many try and seek help.. it IS all too easy to just try and wait for it all to get better... glad , so glad for you, that your doc is on your case, and you can see light at the end of the tunnel... All the very best for a great year.. Hope your Easter was a lovely one as it looked on your blog.. hugs from across the pond. J

Unknown said...

Thanks Jen! And we need to open a GF/dairy free FAST FOOD restaurant with FRENCH FRIES!!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Janzi. You're so right that it's easier just to "wait it all out and see" but it's definitely not a solution. Our Easter was wonderful and hope yours was too!