I generally don't share health issues on the blog (other than "we're sick"); but recently, health issues have been popping up with us. Since we share all of our "antics" on here, I guess we can share the health stuff, too. (Especially since I will need some encouragement in my new endeavor!)
In the past 6 weeks, I've been to a doctor 3 times for various reasons, and have another appointment today. The first one was for a sinus infection upon returning home from Europe. I was given a 10-day antibiotic which cleared up the sinus issue. A few weeks after that, Steve and I had a joint "new patient" appointment to get set up with a doctor here in Lima. Steve was given antibiotics that time for sinuses, but I was cleared with "good health". Not a week later, I was having some crazy lower abdominal pains and a fever so I went back. I was diagnosed with a bladder infection (even though I had no regular symptoms and know what that feels like because I've had several) and given another round of antibiotics. The doctor thought the abdominal pain was deferred from the bladder; however, after being off the antibiotics for a week, I still have that constant pain, which is what today's appointment is about. Plus, the antibiotics the second time really hurt my stomach.
Now we need to go back in time to set up my overall health. When I was young, I had an unexplained seizure that left me unconscious and in a coma for 3 days. I snapped out of it and had to do some therapy to relearn basic motor functions. 5 days later, I walked out of the hospital on my own with new explanation of the experience. A few months later, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism -- meaning, my thyroid not only doesn't function but is slowly killing itself. For 15 years now, I have taken a small pill everyday to help my thyroid function (okay, I will admit not everyday because I forget a lot -- you'd think after 15 years I'd remember, but nope!).
Recently, I've done some research on Hashimoto's and have discovered that 9/10 people with Hashimoto's also have Celiac disease. That hit close to home since my mom has been diagnosed with Celiac and my brother & niece both are gluten intolerant. When I went to the doctor for the new patient appointment, I got tested for Celiac Disease (via a blood test) which came up negative. I have decided to go ahead and try a gluten free diet for a few weeks just to see if I can notice a difference.
I've always fought my mother on the fact that I don't have celiac symptoms; however, after research and talking to other "normal" people, I've discovered I have quite a few on the list. Just to name a few, I get lots of stomach pains at various times, I have constant skin rashes,, some other digestive issues, and just general lethargy (which can also be from my hypothyroidism). I figured, I'll never know until I try it.
Now, this is a new and very difficult endeavor. I LOVE wheat, I LOVE a good crusty bread, I LOVE pasta, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE cakey desserts and brownies! I know that there are several gluten free substitutes for all of those things, but let's face it. Eating gluten free is less convenient, more expensive, and doesn't taste quite like the original wheat products. OH well, I am reminding myself to stay positive on what I can eat. (By the way, I'm still pretty positive right now because it's only day 2. I'm expecting to hit a wall during week 2).
I plan on continuing this diet through the end of May. After a few weeks of no gluten in my system, I'll introduce it back in and see if I notice a difference. I have no idea if the current paint I deal with is tied into the thyroid/digestive issues I have or if they are unrelated. I get pretty frustrated over health issues because there are so many different variables when it comes to health. I'd appreciate prayer and encouragement during this time as I try to figure out the crux of all my health issues.