Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
- Taking Anna and Simon to NYC to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, out to dinner at Nizza where I had a fabulous GF meal and they were such adorable, polite little angels, and we saw Donny and Marie's Broadway Christmas special! We sat in the front row and got smiles, hellos, and high-fives from both of my childhood idols. Anna and Simon enjoyed the day so much and 2 days later, I'm still buzzing and happy!
- Finding out I have a gluten intolerance/celiac disease has changed my life. I'm so thankful and want to remember the happiness of the discovery, not the sometimes-inconvenient nature of the lifestyle now.
- Summer 2010 was really lovely.
- My first half-marathon since 2001, which I ran with Kelly in the spring. Amazing! I cried and celebrated my health and many blessings.
- The Army 10-Miler was similar to the half-marathon, but better. I ran that race alone in October but spent the weekend with friends from high school. Those friendships are still sustaining.
- Gabriella going potty for the first time on the toilet was amazing! Her explosion of joy was very special.
- Simon singing at his kindergarten class's mother's day presentation -- he was an octave higher than everyone else and so proud of himself, exuberant, and completely invested in his performance for me.
- Seeing Anna take care of Gabriella, being a big sister and fixing Ella's hair, playing dolls with her, and just loving on her made me feel like Anna, despite evidence to the contrary sometimes, really is learning compassion, leadership, and a sense of responsibility.
5 minutes is over! :(
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
- bloodwork (found serum ferritin to be dramatically low so began liquid iron supplements)
- thyroid, checked probably 7 times in 5 years. Normal.
- My blood pressure at one visit was 70/45. Was told to add salt to my food and drink licorice tea.
- Tests for Addison's disease, which came back "subclinical" but still within normal limits.
- a colonoscopy, because of severe rectal bleeding
- a colposcopy, even though I'm HPV-negative, because a Pap came back "abnormal"
- several checks of blood sugar and pancreatic function ... pre-diabetes at one point when fasting sugars were between 100-120
- nutritional evaluation because my weight, after my 3rd baby was born, refused to come off despite smart eating and lots of exercise
- repeated biopsies of this unbearable rash: looking for fungus, cancer -- both negative
- tests for rheumatoid factors and other markers for rheumatoid arthritis
- questions about whether I might have contracted an STD (which I understand is smart from a public health perspective ... but anyone who knows me sees how incredibly ridiculous this tree is and doesn't bother to bark up it ... alas, the tests were run and of course, negative)
- stool samples (always a good time)
- tests for kidney function, which came back "mostly normal" but no doctor would attribute the variations to anything other than dehydration or other commonplace variable
- bone scan, to rule out osteoporosis
- x-rays of my pelvis and lower back, because standing and marching hurt like crazy, as did sleeping
I had been treated for the skin condition, which they considered "autoimmune" and told me to expect it to last 18 months to 5 years. When it raged through my 3rd pregnancy, the "autoimmune" theory was shot full of holes, because most autoimmune things go into remission during pregnancy. This got worse. I was also treated for systemic fungus and or yeast, neither of which I actually had.
Finally, in late 2009 and early 2010, I had a doctor who promised "I won't rest until you're feeling better." Sure, he initially recommended Time Management for Dummies at an early appointment, but I didn't get angry at him. He suggested that I had an exhausting life. He wasn't wrong, but I knew my body wasn't just tired.
He arranged for me to spend 3 weeks at home, unbound by the band's crazy schedule, so I could sleep. I slept solidly, 9-10 hours a night for 22 nights. I still felt like I had been hit by a truck. Some mornings, I wondered if I actually felt worse for having slept so much. He also listened to my pleas and ordered a vitamin D panel. Finally, something came back with a result to fix: I was decidedly deficient in vitamin D. Perhaps this would explain a lot of the vague problems I was experiencing? I began mega-dose supplements. My level rose, and I began to feel slightly better. I thought we had cracked it, but then, a plateau. A big one, that wouldn't budge. My doctor, who was leaving for a new duty station, referred me to an endocrinologist. She ran a lot of tests, to include a 24-hour urine cortisol test that required me to collect and refrigerate all of my ""voids" for a 24-hour period, then bring the big jug of "void" to the lab for turn-in. (Came back within normal limits but sure was memorable.) She asked whether I had ever been evaluated for celiac disease.
Within hours of returning home from that initial visit with the endocrinologist, I had scoured the internet and realized that, at the very least, I had a gluten intolerance. An endoscopic biopsy of my small intestine would be necessary to conclusively diagnose celiac disease, but I decided to skip that and remove gluten from my diet on my own.
I had a searing headache for nearly a week.
I lost 6 stubborn pounds in 10 days. My fitness test score jumped by nearly 40 points, which is huge for me.
My body stopped hurting, except for my right lower back and hip, which still hurt a lot.
I no longer have ANY gas (no, really, I just don't have gas anymore, and before, I had A LOT!!), bloating has gone way down, and GI issues after meals have completely stopped. No more wondering before a meal whether something bad is going to happen later. Now I can eat with confidence, most of the time. (Eating out is hard.)
My vitamin D levels are rising. I'm sleeping so much better. My mind is clear, no more of the debilitating exhaustion, confusion, and brain fog. It's gone. Sure, I still get tired, but I think I get "normal person tired" and I can recover from a busy week with a few good nights of sleep.
I'm happier. Is there a price on that?
I've been advised that a conclusive diagnosis is probably a good idea before I leave the Army. That would mean going back on gluten for a month before the endoscopy. The thought makes me want to cry, so, for now, I'm going to not think about it. Instead, I'm going to revel in the best thing I've ever done for myself: going gluten-free.