Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bad Ideas and the Summer From Heck...

First a little background info.

When I was diagnosed as having Celiac Disease there was a slight possibility that the atrophy in my intestines was from a recent bout of gastroenteritis and that I did not actually have Celiac Disease. The blood tests that indicate Celiac Disease were all negative for me. The blood test being positive means that you definitely have Celiac Disease, but a negative does not mean that you don't. Confusing, but my gastroenterologist (gut doctor) told me that the best idea would be to go on the diet and see if it helped me. He told me that if I ever doubted my diagnosis that I could just go off the diet for two weeks and see what happens. If nothing happens then I'm not a Celiac, if I feel crummy then I know that my diagnosis was correct.

Fast forward to this past August. I started thinking maybe I don't have Celiac Disease. I was feeling worn out and having stomache pains, and since I was on the Gluten-Free diet I thought that maybe there was something else causing all my trouble. So my hubby and I decided to do the two week trial. Just to see.

Usually, when I think I've been "glutened" I feel some... umm... "bowel distress". I compare it to food poisoning. It is pretty much in direct proportion to how much gluten I have ingested. The first time I might not even feel it. The second time, however, it is like salt on a wound. Much worse. Then I heal and I'm fine again. Normally there are no lingering effects.

I started back on the "regular" diet on a Monday. It was beautiful. I was able to eat things that I had been dreaming about, mostly fluffy rolls and turkey with actual gravy from a restaurant. It was nice, very nice. I went a whole week not feeling a thing. No tummy pain, no "distress", none of the bad stuff at all. I was actually starting to think that my diagnosis was wrong and that I was going to be able to lead a normal life again.

Then came week two.

The Sunday of my experiment came and I was feeling run down and achy, almost like I was getting the flu. By Sunday afternoon I was so sensitive, that the slightest touch felt like someone was pushing on a bruise. Speaking of bruises, I noticed a few more bruises than normal that I had no explanation for. (FYI I bruise easily anyway, so I mean that I had bruises on my arms and legs not from the normal bumping into furniture.) I stayed on the "regular" diet because I had a lot of treats that I'd bought and I wanted to finish them so as not to waste money.

I gave that up by Tuesday. I was miserable.

It was horrible. If I had been running a fever I would have sworn that I had the worst flu EVER. Nope. The Gluten Monster had returned, and with a vengeance. Not only was I in "distress", but I was hurting in ALL my joints, achy in every muscle. Plus I was in a really, really bad mood. My depression was bad, and my anxiety was horrible too. Lucky for me that Valerian Root really works.

I'd had a week of fun, and it took TWO MONTHS for me to recover. That's right, two whole months. I was useless. Here it is the end of October, and I am finally feeling normal again. I have a really understanding husband. (The preceding was a huge understatement!)

So between the Serotonin Withdrawals and the Celiac Monster, I was not much fun this summer. We were able to squeeze a nice visit to my family in Phoenix over the Fourth of July, between my self medical experimentation. I feel bad for my kids, there wasn't too much fun this summer, but they did get lots of fresh air and sunshine playing in our backyard!

Okay, I know this was a horribly long post, but I wanted to give some explanation for my disappearance these past few months.

As a post script: I figured out that I'm sensitive to high-fructose corn syrup, especially in soda. Avoiding it seems to take care of the other problems that I was having when I decided to do the "regular" diet experiment.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Wow, Heather!! At least you are certain of your gluten intolerance now. That's always the light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

Glad you're back to blogging. I sure missed ya!