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The "What" that went to "Yikes" & Eventually "Phew"

13/10/2014 12:10

Have you heard the saying, “if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap?”  This is said in levity & is not meant to be literal at least as far as I am concerned.  My family heritage is Scottish on my Dad’s side & English on my Mom’s side.  That makes sense then that I have a huge addiction to tea & scones & shortbread then…ha ha!  Okay, there are times when the word “crap” perfectly describes a situation.  It big time describes how I have felt physically for the past 4 years.   For so long it was such a mystery but the pieces are starting to fall into place & I am grateful for this.  The severe pain, nausea, weight up, weight down, and balloon bloating of my abdomen had gotten to the point where it was starting to drive me buggy.  It felt like some sort of nasty alien had decided to reside in my tummy. 

The thing with medical diagnosis is that it sometimes seems to become a thing of elimination of things that we do not have in an effort or journey to get to the diagnosis of what we do have.  A ton of time can go by in the arriving at a diagnosis in some cases.  And I will say that there have been many times over the past 4 years that I have felt like a “head case” of sorts with some of the reactions that I have received from medical personal along the way.  It is like pushing a huge boulder up the hill to try to find out what is going on in our insides & not simply be dismissed along the way as a little “nutty.”  Simple is not a word that describes most of our lives & I sure know that this is true for me.  I find myself as an outlier in too many situations to count & health is definitely a huge outlier for me.  If there is a tiny chance that I will get something, I would bet on the small chance because that has been the result for me so often when it comes to health diagnosis’s along the way.  For sure, I get diagnosed with things that usually kids get diagnosed with so often.  If a medical professional tells me that it is unlikely that I will have this or that because I am an adult I just laugh & state that we had best look at those diagnoses first then.  “Unlikely” is a word that kind of has little to no meaning to me due to the health experiences I have had along the way.

Last February I could not take it anymore…the constant, relentless pain, the buckle over kind of pain, the like morning sickness nausea with no end and more.  Have you ever assertively begged someone for something in your life?  It sounds a little contradictory in a way perhaps.  That’s what I did last February though.  I went to my family doctor & assertively begged him to help me to find out what the heck is going on inside my body that is causing this pain & nausea so that I can fix it & get on with living my life more fully.  Now I am an “eggs in many baskets” kind of gal & take life by the britches so I also made an appointment the next week at my Naturalpath’s & spoke with her about my situation as well.  We each make our own health decisions & what is right for me is not right for you…no one size fits all so I am just describing my experience & not suggesting anything medically to you.  For me, I love choices so I love putting Eastern & Western medicine to work for me & then I decide which parts of each to put together for my health plan.  I was referred to a new G.I. specialist last April.  He is absolutely outstanding & I have big time confidence in him.  

Last May, my Naturolpath suggested to me that I would benefit from having a food allergy test done to see if that may be the problem or at least adding to the problem.  If you are unfamiliar with that test, it is just a blood test via a lancing device so no sweat whatsoever for a person with type 1 diabetes who is used to doing blood tests about 10 times a day, day in day out.  What was one more?  One more meant to me the difference between potentially receiving another medical puzzle piece or remaining in the dark & wondering.  The testing is in my opinion expensive however so are a lot of things that some of us choose to partake in that are at times just pleasure bearing short term experiences.  It is all about value in my mind.  I valued the information that this test could potentially give me so I went for it.  And I am glad that I did

 The results of the testing really explained so much.  The Doctor shared with me first of all that she had never seen a reaction to dairy that is so off the charts elevated before.  I don’t eat a great deal of dairy but she told me that even a little will send the gut into a tailspin.  So much for cream in my coffee for starters & baking with butter.  Life goes on.  Goodbye cheese pizza.  Top that off (no pun) with the fact that I am also intolerant to wheat, gluten & yeast & pizza is not exactly impossible but let’s just say undesirable as I would have to replace basically everything in & on it with something dairy, wheat/gluten & yeast free.  As an aside I have a list of no no foods for the chronic guttate psoriasis that I have been sporting (or should I with a sense of humour say instead “spotting”) since last March including no more tomatoes, red meat, nightshades in general & more & that really leaves pizza out.  I don’t love pizza that much except for that feeling of being left out when in certain social situations.  Almond for me is off the charts as well.  That is a bummer because it was the go to snack in the afternoon.  Adieus filberts one of my guilty pleasures.  I use to love hazelnuts especially in chocolates.   Ah, no problem on the lima bean allergy front though.  I don’t think I have ever knowingly eaten one so the news that I would need to give those up was met with laughter.  Yes, the lima beans are the comic relief it would seem.  The news about saying goodbye to eggs was disappointing.   The irony is not lost on me that I am someone who loves to bake & now there is not one thing in my recipe box currently that does not contain either milk, eggs, butter, nuts, yogurt, yeast, wheat/gluten, or cheese or a combination of many of these ingredients.  I do however have a couple of new Paleo & gluten free cookbooks that have been in my stack of books unopened for some time that have alternate recipes.  Best of all, the super healthy things I seem to be fine with like fruits & veggies.  Better than that, I seem to be fine with coffee & tea.  Had I heard that I would need to give up tea it would not have been pretty.  Sometimes it is complicated though &  I end up having to prepare one set of meals for our sons & my husband & another one for myself which is a grind.  Having said that though, it is the Fall & that is the best season to enjoy local fruit & veggies so I am going to enjoy them even more this year. 

When I received the allergy results last June, I made a conscious decision to take time to digest the information that I received & not do what I usually do:  be 12 steps into the future with questions.  This is a step by step process that has been going on for many months so I am taking it one bite at a time & making a concerted effort to do 2 things:  live in the present & elect to have a glass full kind of attitude about the food changes needed for better health.   I just need to focus on doing my part & look at what I can have versus what I need to give up.   

It is a relief to find out that the pain & nausea are caused by these identified foods.    That answered the “what is going on” & short term it did complicate menus but hopefully will continue to pay off big time in me finally feeling better & that is absolutely amazing. 

Being a person with type 1 diabetes & receiving these results gives me the home team advantage.  I am already proficient in reading food labels out of necessity.  That is a great thing because I  need to know if milk or any dairy, eggs, gluten & nuts are in anything I eat & avoid those things.  Those ingredients are in a lot of things so it means to me that I will be more inclined to make everything by hand versus out of a package & that is a great thing health wise anyway in my opinion for myself & my family.  Also, I believe that my blood sugars have benefited from eliminating some of the listed foods.  I will continue to keep track of my before & after glucose numbers to see what the trend is blood sugar wise.  That can provide motivation to stay on track too I think.

As always, I am a believer in abundance thinking versus a more of a Mr. Snuffaluffagus approach of “oh bird, I have to give up this or that.” Within a few weeks of receiving this list of food allergens, I received 2 more lists of additional foods to also eliminate.  One of the lists was from results from G.I. testing.  The other list is from the guttate psoriasis which is permanent for me (unfortunately) & has ranges of discomfort & visibility.  The hugest culprits for huge psoriasis flares are stress & certain no no foods.  In adding these additional 2 lists to the allergens list, the overall big master list of foods to eliminate is super lengthy.  Then there is type 1 diabetes & the effect that eating differently has on that.  I am having a lot more low blood sugars for instance.  And I have replaced a previous go to fast acting sugar as it has allergens in it.  Ya, it is complicated.  I can handle complicated though with help & humour.  Type 1 taught & continues to teach me to keep walking through complicated every single day.  I choose to do everything in my power to feel as well as possible with or without type 1 and whatever else I have on top of that.   Do I expect it to be easy?  Of course not.  Neither is type 1 diabetes care.  Neither is psoriasis yet type 1 has taught me repeatedly that I am one tough cookie…egg free, dairy free, gluten free of course!

My heart’s hope for you is that when you seek the answers to health challenges that you find the answers.  And I hope that you live the fullest, most joy-filled life that you choose to lead whatever health curve balls find their way to you or I.  Join me...be a gentle yet tough cookie!

Smiles, Saundie :)