Saturday, May 08, 2010

Illness to Wholeness

I'm sorry I've not posted in so long.

I've been struggling with feeling not well for probably three months now. I couldn't really figure out what was going on with me - headaches, extreme fatigue, feeling cold all the time. After many, many appointments with a family doctor, a cardiologist, hemotologist, GI specialist, and neurologist, and more blood drawn than I care to think about - I was diagnosed with celiac disease. This is what was causing my severe iron deficiency anemia (like a iron of 2 - worst my doctors have ever seen & hemogloben hovering around 8.5 to 9) & all of my crazy symptoms. The diagnosis came on April 20th, after a two day stint in the hospital with a unrelenting migraine & nausea, possibly caused by a five hour iron infusion earlier in the week to treat the anemia.

At first, I was pretty upset. You see, I love bread. I've been eating bread, pasta, and basically all things gluten for the last 29 years. But, when I realized the gluten was killing the insides of my small intestine & making me so sick, I knew giving it up would be worth feeling much better than I ever did in my whole life. So, I've been gluten-free since April 21st & feeling good. It's had its rough moments, especially when I had to clean out my cupboards & come to terms with giving up easy options for meals. This diagnosis has given me a reason to learn to cook for myself & make things from scratch, so I am sure they are safe for me to eat.

I had a follow up appt with my family doctor yesterday. She had some results of the latest blood work - great news! My iron has gone from 2 up to 62, hemogloben almost at 12, and the best news was that I've lost 10 pounds in the last two & half weeks. All of my clothes fit better, except my pants, so I think I need a new belt. I'm not needing to sleep 12 hours at night anymore, just to make it through the day. I wake up around 6:45am & ready for bed at a much more reasonable hour of 11:00pm. All in all, this gluten-free lifestyle is amazing.

That doesn't mean there won't be hard times - going out to eat is pretty tricky still. Plus, I need to make plans for having gluten-free communion bread for next month. But, I don't want to eat stuff that makes me sick anymore. The option is eat bad stuff & increase my risk for developing small bowel lymphoma or stick to the diet & live a healthy life. Cancer or life? Not a hard choice!

My church allowed me three weeks of medical leave to give my body a chance to adjust & begin the process of recovery. I'm really grateful & very much looking forward to stepping into the pulpit tomorrow morning. There is a lot going on with my church & some hard things ahead in our life together, but I think I've got the energy to face it head on. Thanks be to God!

3 comments:

RobMonroe said...

Thanks be to God indeed. It is a hard journey, but it makes such a huge difference. My sister lived with us last summer and as long as we kept her Gluten Free she did really well. She gave up wanting to feel good, though. It mad me sad and a little mad.

You can find rice pasta that is pretty good, and it's Farmer's Market season and easier to find new and exciting vegetables and fruits to add to your diet!

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Moonstruck said...

Iexactly kno whow u must have felt .. I hate to follow any kind of diet or exercise regime .. no wonder i am not being able to get rid of my pot belly :(

But ur blog was a nice inspiration for me..Thank u :)