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Just Say No!

Here is my mid-morning and mid-afternoon line up of supplements.  These don't include my daily or before bed vitamins.  Are they hard to take?  No.  I feel like I'm giving my body a treat.  "Rebuild body!  Go!"

Here is my mid-morning and mid-afternoon line up of supplements. These don’t include my daily or before bed vitamins. Are they hard to take? No. I feel like I’m giving my body a treat. “Rebuild body! Go!” About 15 minutes after I take them, I feel this calm come over my body.

You remember that unforgettable slogan from the 80s that Mrs. Reagan birthed?

It was simple, to the point…

Unfortunately, statistically experts showed that it didn’t work.  Drugs and alcohol consumption continued to increase – and prescription drug abuse became mainstream in many schools.

Apparently just saying NO wasn’t as easy  of a reply when drugs were being offered.

Currently, we live in a society that there seems to be a magic pills for every ailment, and every disease has its drug of choice to make your body “work” again.

The cure?

Often times these medications can help people, in some areas, for some time.  The downside to these pills is they often also have lasting effects that are equally as harmful.  While, often patients are simply following what their doctors orders are,  assuming that their doctor is looking out for their best interest – in a sense – they’re letting go of responsibility when being under-educated in the matter.

Honestly it seems that unless you have a debilitating illness with no cure, or something like cancer – most people don’t take their diagnosis serious enough to make the necessary dietary changes to be well.  We often blame our genes for our biological predisposition to things, instead of owning how WE contribute to the demise of our health.

{Gluten-light, or cutting out “most” gluten – doesn’t cut it.  It just doesn’t.  The issues it causes are systemic.  You may never feel them in your gut.}

Take for instance, if your doctor tells you that you have high blood pressure – and that  by changing your diet 100% of the time, you could avoid medication… and reverse the effects…  You might laugh, and call him a quack.  Insurance doesn’t cover you to eat mainly live foods, and it’s not easy to watch your sodium intake.  Maybe you don’t want to change the type of stress you hold in – because you have the attitude that something is going to kill us all, being so aware of our foods and toxins is a waste of time?

Essentially – you’d rather hand over your responsibility of your health care – to someone else and call it good.

That’s totally your call.

But for me, my wake up call this year was this:

The most important decision maker … was ME. 

I had the right to refuse whatever it was they were selling.  I had the right to refuse to see a specialist, or test.

I needed to JUST. SAY. NO.

I didn’t need to allow them to make me feel like I was wrong – when no one knew my body and what was going on – more than me.

So as my appointments drug on, and I began to think about what my END to my means really was, I realized that most of the books and studies I read said they would start me on a steroid or another prescription called Plaquenil.

As I prayed one night just crying out to God… WHAT should I do?  Did I really want to be on a drug to function for the rest of my life?  Was THAT going to get to the root of my problems?  Would it be ignorant to NOT take the prescriptions offered?

The answer for me… was NO!

I had looked through the drug options.  I knew my symptoms  None of them seemed like a great road.   Several auto immune disease drugs induce lupus because they were enzyme inhibitors.  (Ironically, I’m already having those issues – thanks to my leaky gut issues – lacking enzymes and essential amino acids leads to lack of proper function and auto immune diseases)  They told me I didn’t have lupus (at this point), why on earth would I want to risk that?

I didn’t.

I wouldn’t.

I was done!

Suddenly, I didn’t really care WHAT I had was called.  I didn’t need a name for my “connective tissue disorder” – as I felt I already knew where my body was heading, blood test proof or not.  My ANA titre knew, I could feel it – and I decided to make the LEAP to take my life back before they slapped me on the back with telling me what my life was going to be like for the next 40-50 years, if that.

Since then, I have read countless of encouraging stories of others with multiple auto immune diseases also… stepping out in faith, and trying a GAPS diet, or a Paleo diet, or an Auto-Immune Protocol diet… and feeling their way though what foods made them sick – and saying NO to drugs.  Many have been on multiple scripts for years and now feel better than ever!

Personally, for me, the naturopath was the easiest and quickest way to get me turned around – but depending on where you are in your body’s destruction from food and toxins – maybe the elimination process works for you.  You know pretty quickly when foods don’t like you.  The problems can occur when it takes several days for the effects to build up or take hold – and by then you may have added in another new food.  It’s much trickier than I imagined.

Just this past week I learned another valuable lesson.  I started a new organic vitamin from Rainbow Light.  It’s a vegan vitamin, in all other ways it was safe for me to take.  In all other ways, means – within a few days of starting it – all of my chronic fatigue symptoms started back in.  I felt like I was going crazy with brain fog and confusion.

It was my mid-cycle and I was tired, and grouchy and unmotivated.  By day 4 my eye was swelling again and it hurt.  I didn’t know if it was a combination of my hormonal shift and the vitamins, or what was going on… things were back sliding quickly and I began feeling frustrated after feeling unstoppable for several weeks.

I immediately removed the new vitamin from my daily intake, and went back to my safe, tried-and-true Juice Plus.  Chronic fatigue again disappeared.  I called Dr. K and had a great chat about what was going on.  We added in a herb (Vitex) to help me mid-cycle and she talked to me about taking turmeric incase I get in an uncomfortable inflammatory state again.

It felt good – figuring out what was going on… recognizing it and making the changes to change my body’s response.

I suppose that’s why I speak out so strongly about gluten.  It’s the reason that toxins take hold of me so quickly – and I’m thankful I can FEEL it.  But for everyone like ME out there?  There are countless people who AREN’T feeling a thing, but the damage is just the same  – and they’ve treated their “symptoms” for years because no one told them their gut health was a mess.

It’s why my body has psycho auto immune responses to foods and drinks.  I don’t want other people to live this tight rope.  If I could have done it all over again – of course I would have made the necessary changes years ago before my body got to this point!

There is truth in the statement that you can have everything in the world, but without your health?  You have nothing.  Invest wisely.

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear,

because fear has to do with punishment. 

The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18

Auto-Immune Protocol

Taken from the book "Practical Paleo" - just WHO should be on an auto immune disease diet?  Check it out. #1 rule on the list?  REMOVE GLUTEN from your diet.

Taken from the book “Practical Paleo” – just WHO should be on an auto immune disease diet? Check it out. #1 rule on the list? REMOVE GLUTEN from your diet.


Have you ever heard of such a thing?
 I suppose I skimmed over some pages in a few of my Paleo and Auto Immune Disease books as I was one of the few who didn’t have multiple auto immune diseases.  RIGHT?

Bad idea.

Well the reason so many auto immune diseases are tied together – is because of leaky gut, and an impaired immune system through inability to absorb necessary vitamins and minerals.

So what is the AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE PROTOCOL?  It’s basically a revised Paleo Diet, but can vary as everyone has different inflammatories, based on where your gut damage is, and how you are uniquely made.

NO GRAINS (only nut based flours – coconut, almond, hazelnut meal)

NO EGGS (I can eat these, but they are a problem for most because they are inflammatory)

NO NUTS (I can’t eat peanuts or almonds, therefore almond flour is out)

NO SEEDS (including cocoa, coffee and seed based spices) – this rings true for me, although I do eat chia seeds without problems.

NO NIGHTSHADES (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet and hot peppers)

NO ALCOHOL

NO NSAIDS (which ironically are what the “specialists” told me to take!  But they are bad for your gut)

Then there is the possibility that other foods are causing you issues through gluten cross-reactivity which require a food cytotoxin blood test to sort out.

Sounds miserable?  It’s NOT.  There is plenty I can eat, and I feel fabulous.  (Which is of UTMOST importance!)  I eat to live.

Lots of vegetables, grass-fed meat, bacon, chicken and fish!  God is good.  He is restoring me – and I’m so thankful.

Will I ever be ‘cured’ of my auto immune diseases?  The answer is no.

I need to eat to live – and improve my health – for the rest of my life.

That means – eat organic, get rid of as many chemicals as I can from my body, exercise regularly, keep my stress level lowered – and sleep well every night!

I’m still vulnerable to illness and having flares if I get accidentally cross contaminated, or my stress level overloads.  Anyone with auto immune disease is in a constant battle for their health – and much of it depends on choices they make.  Someone with AI disease shouldn’t ever consume gluten again – the systemic damage will pick right back up, even though many effects can slowed down, or reversed – depending on how severe the damage has gotten.  (Anyone who has the HLA genes shouldn’t sit around like a ticking time bomb – waiting for your auto immune disease or cancer to appear.  If these types of auto immune diseases are in your family – chances are, you have those dominant genes.  It just makes sense to remove gluten as a start.)

I, however, am not my auto immune diseases, and through continued health and detoxing – our family doesn’t plan to add any new auto immune disease to our lists!  We are grateful to have this opportunity to take responsibility of our health as best we can.  We encourage you to do the same.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:2-3

What Do They Want?

Preparing for my vitamin IV on Wednesday.  They call it the "pick me up"... I'd say so!  I felt fabulous for the past 4 days.

Preparing for my vitamin IV on Wednesday. They call it the “pick me up”… I’d say so! I felt fabulous for the past 4 days.

I’ve felt written off and passed around from specialist to specialist with “no answers” worthy to chart – while clearly the answers seem very obvious to me to the whole time…

I almost have felt sorry for doctors, who rely so heavily on these blood tests for answers… and the patients who so desperately want to know what is going on so they can be well.  I wonder if they would change how they did things, if they truly knew how much nutrition played into things…

Those videos I mentioned the last week… that doctor said when he went back to his original group practice – eager to help his patients get off of their medicines, and transform their lives, so their bodies could naturally heal – as God intended….

Most didn’t want to hear it.

They didn’t want to change.

They couldn’t afford any test that was out-of-pocket, and not covered by insurance… and often insisted they would rather have their prescription medicine, which WAS paid for by their insurance.

How sad that the things and people who can actually make us well, are NOT paid for by our insurance?  What is wrong with our country???

Do you know who pays for many of the studies that are done at hospitals… in the name of “advancing medicine”???

It’s the drug companies.

Do you think they’re looking out for your well-being above all?  Or are they concerned with the bottom line, and selling products?

I noted that even the Chicago University Celiac Center was privately funded…   and I thought – wow, that’s strange – when 97% of people aren’t diagnosed, you would think there would be money to FUND such an important illness.

But alas, you can’t own the rights to “proper nutrition”… and you can’t sell whole food vitamins in a patented format that would be a money-maker to the drug companies and medical doctors alike.

Food companies have gotten on board to fund some of the “search for a cure”… but  still don’t quite understand that – when the cure is – avoiding the foods that make us sick?

I have also read some of the “negatives” about holistic medicine.   That they want to sell you “their” supplements… Well for one, that has NOT been my experience.  They have been VERY open with what I need – but never pushing me to buy things only “from them.”

Secondly, this low dose Armour I’m on for my thyroid…  which most endocrinologists poo-poo.  The sheet on the prescription states it has “no” negative side effects.  Interesting…  I wonder what the list is on Synthyroid??  Why again won’t doctors give it a chance if a patient is wanting it?  Oh yes… that’s right – it’s not the money-maker, and perhaps you wouldn’t need it forever like you do Synthyroid?

Now, I realize – not all doctors are like this, and there are just as many out there that have no clue that they are making choices that have really bad consequences for their patients.  I still shake my head when I think of my GI doctors telling me he would prescribe me some anti diarrhea medicine, following my endoscopy.  Knowing that would have only masked things until I probably ended up with colon cancer, or continued poisoning my system with more auto immune disease issues searching for anything else, since “a professional” told me that wasn’t the problem.  While he was a professional, he was professionally wrong in my case.

I look forward to sharing with you our latest decisions we need to make.  We got two phone calls last week – one indicating my blood work from the learning hospital showed my ANA is up again.  Now it’s 1:320.  I was referred to a rheumatolgist… that I can’t decide if I’d like to see.  What are they REALLY going to be able to do?  Do I really need a diagnosis in my chart?

Another call was from an immunologist specialist my son visited 2 weeks ago… His grand plan of vaccines, medicines and testing made my head hurt… that was before I got his paperwork, where the doctor stated some elements of my son’s health history MAJORLY incorrect.  Chicago University did the same thing – I simply don’t think listening nor knowledge on nutrition and health is the strong suit.  I’m thankful we live in America and have choices… This boy needs help with his immune system, and has made great strides already, since last May.  He does not need more medicine and doctors appointments.

I’ve continued to feel well this week after my vitamin IV, and additional supplements.  I had a bit of systemic pain today – in the morning and evening yesterday, with some fatigue…but I was also on my feet most of the day.  I fought back and did an hour-long DVD with Bob Harper tonight.  Bob always makes me laugh.  I needed that.  I’ve done one of those a week now… which is a huge progress for me since September.  Praise God.

Please.  Educate yourself as much as you can about nutrition and the symptoms you have if you are sick with auto immune disease, cancer, asthma or thyroid or other hormone issues… we truly ARE what we eat – and genetically it’s effecting our country in a BIG way.

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

That GUT Feeling…

Things that make you go hmmmm?

Things that make you go hmmmm?

If you remember my appt with Dr. E in October, and follow-up blood work in November… (that yielded no results, other than an elevated ANA of 1:160 which they felt was just “nothing” despite my symptoms) – then you remember how crushed I was when she recommended that I go to another doctor.  An Immunologist.

The soonest appointment?  Two months away.

I decided I was grateful she did that, as it pushed me to seek alternative help – I was failing quickly.  I knew I couldn’t make it through the holidays.  At the rate I was going, I would likely end up in bed on a daily basis, if we didn’t get some help soon.  Thankfully, a thoughtful friend who obeyed when God prompted her to contact me… I found a naturopath, Dr. K who has been most helpful in untying this knot.

Well, even though I have made some great progress in only ONE month… I still had that appointment set with the immunologist this week.

Do I cancel it?  But the nauturopath suggested I get tested for Lyme… to rule out any chronic type of infection.

Reluctantly – we went with an agenda in mind.  Ask questions, get Lyme test.

I didn’t have the normal paperwork ready for this doctor, as I knew she had my files.  I really didn’t want to go.  My gut told me to just cancel.  I should have listened.

So I arrive on time to the same “pod” as Dr. E… interested to see just what Dr. G might have to say about my health history, chronic infections and elevated ANA – despite being on a GF diet and having my chronic gut issues on the mend.

Imagine my surprise when a young male entered the room.  He introduced him self, but I heard nothing he said… as I was thinking…”you aren’t Dr. G.”

The greek looking resident with thick accent proceeded to say that he was basically fielding for Dr. G… to figure out just “why I was here.”

The puzzled look on my face must have been apparent – as he repeated, “I know what the paper says… but I want to know why YOU think you’re here.”

{At this point, I’m thinking maybe a barrage of cameras is going to pop out to let me know this whole past year was nothing but an awful joke – and I’ve been filmed as a study for some greater purpose… }

But alas… HE was serious, and I was STILL very confused.

I started in speaking… but I don’t know what words were coming out.  Something about being referred… and my ANA… and he cuts in again.

“Usually people who have had chronic infections seek out an immunologist… you know, people who have been sick a lot, respiratory issues, breathing issues… people who have low IgA… or immune problems.”

Once again I started speaking… and I found myself calming explaining why I was there.

Wait a minute.  WHY am I defending why I’m here?

WHY was HE asking me why I was here?????  It wasn’t a referral *I* asked for.

I had a pile of sheets stapled together in my lap that I had been working on since I checked in… a health history of sorts, documenting different symptoms.  {After about an hour of him talking – I just put it in my folder.}  He never looked anything over… nor asked for those sheets.

I began to explain I *had* chronic infections … for years before I went gluten-free!  Pink eye, yeast, sinus, throat, and most recently the UTI that lasted a month.  I explained I had gotten the flu the past three years, despite being immunized… he listened, and then told me that my IgA being on the low-end had nothing to do with how sick I had been.

Really?

It was almost as if my voice took on Charlie Brown’s teacher when I spoke.  I explained that I had waited 2 months for this appointment and had driven 2 hours to meet with Dr. G regarding what to do next – because clearly the additional symptoms my body had taken on, were NOT normal.  Dr. E didn’t know what to do further, and obviously REFERRED ME here….  A blank look came across his face… and after an hour and half of this – he said he would be “right back.”

A few times he came in and out… apparently talking with someone from Rheumotology.  Why I wasn’t in THAT department, I have no idea…

FINALLY, Dr. G appeared.  A petite woman, around my age… with a delicate face and long red hair.  She was kind… and spoke as though she thought I was here to inquire about celiac disease.  She began explaining to me that being off gluten was very important… as she continued talking I realized she had no clue about me or my history.  When I explained about how my past year went, including my lack of celiac antibodies, and how the GI did my biopsy incorrectly… she began to talk about “non-celiac gluten sensitivity”… again, assuming I didn’t know what that was.

But those people… they don’t have GENES for celiac.  “The auto immune genes for celiac are the difference,” I stated.  My mother and I are positive for those genes – and I have every symptom in the book.

This is where I wonder why common sense doesn’t trump out these tests.

This is where I wonder why well-educated people, can’t simply look beyond their charts and realize… there are people who don’t fit within their boundaries – whose problems aren’t in their head.

If you’ve ever studied MEANS before… then you understand how everyone being designed differently MIGHT not apply to tests in the same way as majority.  It isn’t because they don’t have an issue.  It’s because the TEST isn’t able to show it the same way for all people.

Example: if my lower IgA is REALLY low for me, but it’s not for my husband… than he might not have a problem with colds, infections and the like… while I battle things non-stop because clearly, my body is struggling.  It’s ABNORMAL for me.  It’s not where my body is happy.  My body might not be able to perform at that level… compared to someone else.  A logical thinker would be able to figure something like this out…. correct?

I don’t say this because I want to be diagnosed with something I don’t have … I say this because it’s clear that all of the other evidence points to an answer, and yet it’s ignored without the two things someone has set as the necessary needs for diagnosis.  It’s the same thing with celiac, as it is for Sjorgrens, and I wonder what else.

The bottom line is this – I have auto immune disease genes.  I have every symptom of celiac, and of Sjogrens… and I understand that hypothyroid (and chronic fatigue, and fibro) go with those things also.  I know what these mean also because I *FEEL* it… and I’ve SEEN the effects.

Not because I read it on the internet, or in some book… or created it in my head.

I’m not “just tired” from having 8 kids….

I don’t need more rest… because I could sleep all the time on the days I couldn’t get out of bed.

The pain definitely has triggers.  Cold. Wind. Sunlight.

No.  I do not want an antidepressant.

No. I don’t need anti-inflammatories in the form of antidepressants either….

SO when Dr. G suggested she might refer me to an infectious disease specialist…. I declined.

Truly – I’ve had ENOUGH.

Enough not listening to my symptoms… and enough testing to last me a lifetime.

The best suggestion she had was to maybe see someone from their integral medicine department that dealt in holistic medicine, warning me that it was “really expensive.”  I just said… “well, it’s cheap if they can truly help you feel well again.” She agreed.  I told her I would keep them in mind.

But what I wanted to say was this:

“I clearly have celiac, hypothyroidism and Sjogrens – and you missed it.  I have a leaky gut and multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies and THAT is what created all of these other auto immune symptoms – thanks to celiac being undiagnosed for years and you ignoring my genetic make-up.  You tell me nothing is wrong… when I’ve told you SOMETHING was wrong because this is NOT normal for me.  I am not “just tired” – this is NOT something a power nap will fix.  Look beyond your numbers on your chart and realize something is going on.”

 

After 4 hours in that appointment, I sat in the blood lab to do some standard checks on my CBC, and a recheck of my ANA…(no test for Lyme BTW), but they were finally testing numbers on my liver, and heart thanks to some advice from the rheumatology department – two important organs that could very well show damage related to the symptoms I’m having.  I was thankful for this… it was something.   I looked around at all of the very SICK people there.  Most overweight.  Many looked tired, defeated, and worn down.

I prayed for our country, and for the people who don’t have a voice, or access to books and information to learn about what to do to be well again.  To the people who eat poorly – to get by… to the people who never make time to take care of their bodies through exercise…  PLEASE.  Stand up for yourself.  Take CARE of that body God gave you.

If your doctor is analyzing numbers like an accountant, but unable to hear/see you as a unique person – designed by God… then GET A NEW DOCTOR.  YOU are worth it.  Your future is worth it.  You are worth being heard… and you have the right to say NO to medicine that might actually make you worse with side effects.  Research all you can before you take anything.

In the mean time – my natural thyroid meds have helped a TON, and my vitamins are doing their thing…  I’m missing sugar a lot – but I’m doing ok, knowing I can work out again and my metabolism is on the rise again.

*** I do want to say there are a lot of great doctors out there… and for most purposes, their testing and numbers are important in diagnosing some major illness.  However, as a whole – they have got to get a handle on understanding the importance of nutrition – how utilizing vitamins and natural options for treatment –  and LISTENING to their patients. 

Do not discount the effect of every bite, every sip, and every breath you take…  healthy for HIM.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Psalm 107:1

Thank You, May I Have Another?

Even though I don't eat the cookies, it doesn't stop me from making them for my kids!  These are chocolate chip with a bit of cinnamon... Mmm!

Even though I don’t eat the cookies, it doesn’t stop me from making them for my kids! These are chocolate chip with a bit of cinnamon… Mmm!

After my hopeful trip to the naturopath Dr. K last Monday, I had a follow-up appt with the eye specialist in another city 2 days later.

I honestly didn’t want to go… clearly I hadn’t flared up with uveitis again.  But, I did need to keep the contact, in the event it came back – or went chronic.  {I don’t think that will happen since I cut out coffee and haven’t been cross contaminated… but…}

Ironically, that day was highly over cast, and while I looked forward to a day “alone” with my husband…  the day started off and continued with a major migraine and fatigue. I did get a nice rest to our appointment and back, but it was very difficult to enjoy our day together when I felt so rotten.

I was grateful my husband could actually come to the appointment. In the past, he’s usually dropping me off – and listens (second-hand) about what my appointments entail.  It’s good to have a second set of eyes and ears at appointments.  Especially for me on a bad day…

With a migraine, comes major light sensitivity for me.

Exactly what you want in your eyes…  a bunch of bright lights and prodding.

The doctor arrives in about 30 minutes late to my appointment and then proceeds to sit down at the computer for about 20 minutes without even saying 2 words to my husband or I…   {at least this time he wasn’t grinding his teeth off from his computer data stress that he mentioned last time!}

He looks over my records, asks me a few questions and then basically looks at me as if to say, “Why are you here?”  It was clear he had no further ideas on where to go.  He seemed relieved that Dr. E was also sending me on to an immunologist…

“Oh, she’s a ‘good one’… maybe she can help you,” he said.

When I inquired about a Sjogren’s test for eye moisture, he commented… “Your eyes ARE really dry.”

Thank you.  I know this.

No.  He didn’t have a way to measure that… and again, no suggestions on how to manage it either.

{Thankfully my mom clued me in on some OTC “Systane” drops that I could get at Target or Walmart, they work wonders.}

Again he commented on my notes from Dr. E. and noted my “significantly elevated ANA.”  He assured me that he didn’t think I had Lupus…  He thought I had issues of a connective tissue disorder… and the inflammation that follows with that.  Something like Sjogrens was highly likely.  He noted my blood vessels were larger than normal – but didn’t want be to go back to the steroid if I could avoid it.

We agreed, at least.

Then he said something I found hysterical.  “Well, I’m sorry you have to wait another month for help… it feels like socialized medicine.”  I appreciated him recognizing this has been very trying… all of the waiting and fruitless appointments… but I already knew his stance on what is going on the direction the medical world is going.  {He didn’t need to preach to the choir.}

My husband felt the same way I did when we left…  wasted time, and no closer to answers on this front.  He also had a better idea of why I felt so frustrated.  When I handed the Dr. a study on uveitis, and celiac disease {that he had requested from our first conversation} …. he read through it, tossed it aside, then flippantly asked if I was Swedish!!!  Apparently studies outside of the U.S. aren’t valid.  I kindly let him know that the University of Chicago was holding a symposium on celiac disease next fall – with doctors from all over the world, including a large chunk from Sweden.  I digress…

In the meantime, I’m still working on my “home work” for Dr. K… and I received my blood tests back regarding my foods that cause inflammation.  I can’t wait to tell you about that next!

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you

to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

1 Peter 3:15

Oh, It’s Nothing…

This new brand of GLUTEN-FREE baked good showed up at few weeks ago. We made the chocolate cookies and they were a hit! Everything they offered was GF and DF except the corn bread. Enjoy!

or maybe it’s something … or nothing.

Well… I mean… I know it’s SOMETHING, but will we find out what that ELSE that SOMETHING IS –  before this year ends???

Dr. E’s nurse called, the day before Thanksgiving.

Just like she said she would.

As she began reading off the lack of information the latest batch of blood results showed, she got to my ANA test, and explained how my levels were elevated…

and how that can be something…

or nothing.

Huh?

{You have to love these blood test results that seem to shape the future tests, and these steps that MAY or MAY NOT end up affecting everyday of the rest of our lives.}  Right?

Similar to celiac, these blood tests can be helpful – or worthless… and it’s certainly isn’t foolproof.

One false negative or positive, and lead you in a different direction – missing the problem altogether.  Fabulous.

We finished up the phone call, after she said we were waiting on a few other tests – that might point us towards lupus or sjorgrens…  I think what she thought would be a stressful call of letting me know carefully (as to not upset me), left me with hope that we might eventually have answers – and I am in NO WAY depressed from that.

Obviously I’ve already embraced that SOMETHING is clearly wrong…  and I just want to know what that is.

I’ve done well NOT to jump to conclusions, but only learn about the certain auto immune diseases (out of the 80 that exist) that matched my symptoms.  The Dr. has suggested what her suspicions reside with – I want to know a little bit about what this all could mean.  Naturally, we have curiosity – and I just want to be on a road that isn’t continuing to crumble.

First of all, values of an ANA test – aren’t really a quantitative answer in blood testing.  A higher number doesn’t indicate “worse” vs. a lower number meaning “better” or fewer symptoms.  Basically, it means more of a positive or negative… and a reason to dig deeper.  The nurse said – it doesn’t always mean auto immune disease… but it’s good indicator of.

What I read later was… if you had no other symptoms of lupus or sjorgrens or others, then a positive doesn’t mean much as far as having active auto immune disease.  However, if you’re having symptoms that line-up with the test – then the test means a bit more… {again, to point you into further testing.}

Personally, Sjogrens makes the most sense to me – as far as what goes with celiac, and what lines up my symptoms that revolve around my head/neck/eyes/lymph nodes – as well as fatigue, and breathing issues.  While I knew what it was in the back of my mind, I didn’t REALLY know much about it.

Then I watched this.

While I realize it could very well NOT be this either – because often times AI issues over lap with one another, and I realize they want to know what they’re dealing with exactly to best treat you, and monitor you…  and I appreciate that…

It’s just – there is something of comfort to listen to someone else who feels similarly and who “gets” it – and NOT feel so alone in your lack of energy, drive, motivation and capability.  If some top athlete can get struck down with this, and a year later – by God’s grace – revamp her life and health to be an Olympic champion and rock star the following year…

I can be well again, too.

God gives me hope.

Hope for answers, and health – and NOT feeling like cement, who doesn’t care… who hurts all the time… and who is always tired, chronically thirsty and over-all sick.

And you know I’ll do whatever in my power to get there.  By God’s grace, and will – I will be well again.  I look forward to that.

So… I wait!  I’m getting good at that.

If you are struggling with getting answers on why you are sick, and suspect it might be auto immune related, here are some TIPS on how to get the help you need.

“What do workers gain from their toil?  

I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  

He has also set eternity in the human heart;

yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy

and to do good while they live. 

That each of them may eat and drink, 

and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

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