Meeting Myself Face-to-Face [PART THREE]
As I made my appointment for the following week, I continued cutting out more and more lactose containing foods.
My weekly half – buttermilk donut… gone! Seems odd that would make a difference. After all, HOW many months did I eat half of a donut on daily basis?
I decided I’d try a few bites of their sourdough one instead.
REALLY bad idea. After feeling flu-ish and cramping all through church that Sunday, my husband suggested a quick trip to get our weekly things from Wal-mart. I thought I might pass out in the store. Hot flashes, and cold sweats. I took my temperature when we returned home. Nothing.
I ran to the bathroom and proceeded to throw up the entire contents of my stomach. JOY.
I passed out on the bed from exhaustion, not eating lunch, and slept for a good 2 hours. I woke up feeling much better, but with a headache. This wasn’t the flu. My body was rejecting food, and carbs seemed to be clogging up my instestines. I just didn’t know what to think.
Wednesday couldn’t get here soon enough. Day after day – I would eat, feel uncomfortable and not be able to sit for hours after eating. The pain was crazy, my joints hurt from swelling and my mind was in chronic hazy-fog. I would wake up with fingers and feet swollen and hurting. I remembered these symptoms now and again, but it was becoming a frequent occurence and worsening daily.
WHAT IN THE WORLD COULD BE GOING ON?
Finally, I got to talk to my Dr.
After listening to my recent ailments, and my commentary that I’ve always struggled with “IBS” symptoms, I asked about possibly celiac disease, or crohns. He assured me it wasn’t celiacs, stating how rare it was, and the test was expensive – but he did want to rule out crohns or any other stomach bacteria that can cause similar issues. While pressing around my stomach, he realized how tender my left side was – especially under my ribs about where my stomach and small intestine lie.
“We need to check out your gall bladder,” he stated. “When people lose a lot of weight, that’s the first organ to give people problems.”
So although I didn’t have any pain where my gall bladder was (on the right side, mine was all on the left), he thought it was worth a look. We scheduled an abdominal sonogram, and a full blood work up to check my thryoid, cholesterol, and wbc. His office scheduled an upper and lower GI for shortly after mid-April – a month and a half away.
The blood test showed nothing alarming. In fact, I looked in perfect health.
The abdominal scan results came back normal also. That was March 5th.
Next the Dr. ordered a HIDA test for March 15th. It’s a fairly easy test that just requires you not eat a few hours before, and you must lie still on your back for about 2 hours. They run a solution through an IV, to check the function of your gall bladder. Everything looked normal, no blockages or anything to report.
The pain intensified and after another long week of worsening symptoms, losing weight and headaches from not enough calories… I was losing the desire to want to eat at all. It was my turn to take our daughter out to breakfast Friday morning, so I did. I enjoy a waffle (no butter), a few eggs and bacon…
On the way home my foggy brain started feeling like I might be having a stroke. I kept taking deep breaths and trying not to panic, but something WASN’T right. The worsening vertigo, and my vision issues were throwing me for a loop. Maybe I was just tired. I was feeling tired a lot, despite plenty of rest, water and good nutrition.
I continued exercising – just for shorter periods, getting my weights in…. and making sure I wasn’t over doing it with my decrease in calories. I didn’t want to just feel sick – I was going to fight to feel well again. GOD, please give me the strength!
By March 19th I hit 121 lbs, and I just stopped all carbs. I tied almost every connection of feeling very ill to meals that involved any type of bread-like substance. I decided I needed to figure out how to get nutrition in me through out the day – and I planned out separate meals from my family that included no carbs at all. I felt better… sometimes – but still not right.
Several people mentioned to write down what I was eating… and I tried that. I never could seem to find a connection that “fit” – as to why I would feel better or worse. It just seemed like I always felt bad, and some days I felt REALLY bad.
I figured if I could at least STOP losing weight… I would be ok. I needed to function for my family, so if that meant green smoothies with almond milk for lunch, and plain eggs for breakfast – I could get through. There had to be an answer somewhere!
It was about this time that my friend mentioned celiacs to me again. I ignorantly assured her it wasn’t that. After all, I KNEW someone who had celiacs. She was really sick to the point of being hospitalized… I wasn’t having chronic diarrhea all the time. In fact, if I wasn’t under stress, I was swinging the other way. A recent client also had a daughter with celiacs – she stopped eating, and my friend’s son had celiacs, no GI symptoms but during puberty he just didn’t follow the growth chart. Nope, it definitely wasn’t celiacs.
Then I goggled celiac diease…
The symptoms were endless, and many of them sounded oh TOO familiar.
– Foggy mind / vertigo / floor moving feeling
– Leg cramps/foot Charlie horse where toes feel uncontrollably stuck
– Feet/legs falling asleep often
– Tingling throat, like sore – when not
– Severe bloating (as if I were 5 months pregnant)
– Diarrhea/constipation (despite lots of water/exercise?) Always the two extremes.
– Tar-like stools
– Gas – malodorous
– Swelling of fingers/ feet when not eating sodium filled foods
– Stomach cramps, pain – left side – starting at under ribs, sometimes entire left side.
– Lump-like area when bloating is really hard – left side.
– joint pain
– mouth sores
God was teaching me patience. My GI appointment was still a LONG way away. Maybe I should get some books on the subject and read up, as well as grab some information on what to cook books I need that can keep me from losing more weight. Of to the book store and library I went!
[to be continued…]
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34