Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Life Update

Time for a life update!

It's been roughly 6 months since I started to eliminate gluten from my diet. And I had gotten pretty bad without realizing it. From the tons of research, I've learned that symptoms I never would have connected were all inter-related and now they're gone, or at least almost gone. Some of them come back almost immediately after I've accidentally eaten gluten so it's easy to tell where they came from.

I was a mess. I had headaches that knocked me on my back. Painful mouth ulcers. Weight loss. I lost 10 pounds last summer even though I was ravenous all the time. My nails peeled from the malnutrition. I had random stomach upset and nausea. There was a complete lack of energy. Constant puffiness. Dizziness from the anemia. The depression that came with lack of answers and constantly feeling sick. I was irritable and sick and tired of being sick and tired. But I dealt with it because I didn't realize how bad it was. I got used to feeling shitty every day.

But the strangest symptom was the confusion. This is something that has not been researched a lot and I haven't come across it much except for when people with Celiac describe it.

I could tell that slowly, I was losing my ability to concentrate. To memorize and focus. To learn new things. I remember many times I would be typing and know that I had made a typo. I would read and re-read and I wouldn't be able to catch the mistake until about the 5th time. Normally it would be a split-second thing that was no problem. But for some reason I felt my intelligence slipping. During an exam I would know the answer to a question but I was unable to recall it. I was walking around in a fog. That's when I knew something was really wrong, but I had no idea what. It's really hard to define "getting stupid."

I had given up, because how can you go to the doctor with these symptoms and not be labelled a hypochondriac? (In fact, I was called that many times...)

But my new badass doctor decided to test, quite randomly, and it changed my life. I had never complained to her about any of those symptoms but she read my chart one day and thought of it. The crazy thing was, I didn't even have many "typical" symptoms for the disease, which explains why no other doctor thought of it. See? I'm not crazy! haha

Like I said, I feel 100 BILLION times better. I wake up in the morning and don't have to drag myself out of bed. I'm not as grouchy. I don't get so dizzy when I try to exercise. I can read a chapter and actually suck that knowledge in my brain instead of wondering what I just read. No more constant migraines. And all that jazz.

It's fabulous. I feel great. Honestly, this is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I hardly even miss the food since I've been learning how to cook.

See, it's not so bad. :o)

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