Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Silly Yak

I'm no fan of WebMD and my brother likes to tell me I am crazy. But I think I'm onto something here!

I have self diagnosed myself with Celiac Disease. So yes, it might be possible that I do not in fact have this ailment and that I am making it all up. But the whole Gluten free diet has been a freaking God send to my stomach and its previous issues. Without getting all sciency and stuff Celiac disease is an intolerance to gluten. It basically produces auto antibodies that destroy parts of my stomach called villi. Once destroyed they can no longer absorb the nutrients that everyone else can. And thus, pain is involved in the process.

I dealt with stomach pain for years and years. I thought I was lactose intolerant, which would be highly unlikely for someone who literally drinks milk every single day since I was born. I freaking love milk. And Cal Ripken is a liar. I'm from Baltimore so he is usually my go to man. Except growing up he was all about those milk ads. So i drank and I drank. I'm flipping 5 feet tall CAL! What the hell. I didn't grow big and strong because of all that lovely Calcium. Jerk. (okay so I've never broken a bone, and genetics might have something to do with my height, so maybe you do have something. Whatever you're still my hero, Billy Ripken!)

Moving on, I have been trying to keep a food diary (not consistently because well, I can't do anything consistently, except be loud of course.) for about 2 years. I never really noticed a trend in what triggered the pain and discomfort after eating. I knew yogurt was one of them, and my BFF explained to me that that was weird. Because people with digestion issues often are helped by the live cultures in yogurt. So I pretty much thought I was crazy at this point. I just knew that I was going to be in pain and sometimes not have any desire to eat another meal for hours upon hours after something set me off.

Very quietly I would deal with the pain, except when someone would listen to my complaints. I mean I am a woman, we will talk if someone will listen. My firefighter ex used to try to help me figure out exactly where the pain was. It was quite nice to actually have someone helping me because I was usually met with, "go to the doctor" "you probably just have gas" "eat more fiber" "welp, maybe your appendiz is going to burst" (That last one was my brother. He loves me.)

So over and over I was told to either shut up, or was given a ridiculous solution. Well I do believe I have mentioned my lack of health insurance in another post. And it is a BIG factor in my life. Especially when you have a mystery illness. But alas, I am still in no place to afford myself the sweet luxury of health insurance.

No matter! I have figured it out. I think Oprah calls these "ah ha! moments". Unfortunately the way that I found out was freaking Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Gross. When she talks I want to punch her. She might have just told me that I am the most beautiful woman in the world and I would still want to punch her in her baby maker.

But anyway, her obnoxious voice got me to stop on a channel where she was hocking her new book. I listened for a bit and it seemed to describe me. I immediately decided to do a gluten free diet for a month or so to gauge amount of pain I was in.
It stopped. All together, no pain. It was tough the first couple of weeks. I still find it difficult to eat out. But honestly within weeks, I felt nothing. And it was amazing.

I had gotten so used to being doubled over in pain after eating that I found myself waiting. Waiting for it to hit me. I still do sometimes. I am only in month 2 of this lifestyle change and it is here to stay. Thank goodness I have a dietRition best friend who can help me figure out meals I can make. I gotta tell you I have never eaten so much meat in my entire life.

I seemed to have traded one obnioxious trait for another. I may now be that annoying girl at the restaurant asking what is "gluten free" and making sure there is "no bun" on my burgers and such. But I will no longer be the girl sitting there complaining after a meal any longer. I wont be all "i wanna go home, my stomach hurts" or "stop talking to me I hate you as well as my stomach!" Not that I've ever said those things. (sorry to the people who got yelled at while I was dealing with pain, I am pretty much only in touch with my more abrazive feelings, not so much the softer ones.)my bad.

But I'm better now!

...stay tuned.

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