My Seventeen Year Stomach Ache and The Search For Answers

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Please note that I started this blog back in June 2013 but was unable to finish writing and publish this blog post until now...October 2013. Many, many things have changed since June of this year and I am now trying to catch you up on what has been going on. I am sick and this is my personal blog about the road to my physical, spiritual and emotional recovery. I am opening my heart to you. Letting you into my "heartspace" means that I will be showing you my vulnerable side. I am willing to share my life with you because my hope is to help others. If anything I write/post/blog about helps you or someone you know, it will be so very worth it. I hope you choose to walk beside me as I walk into the arena.

"Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don't exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be--a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation--with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgement and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly." -passage from Brene Brown's new book, Daring Greatly.

 Join me as I choice a life of daring greatly.

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 June 2013

I don't even know where to begin. There is so much history. I have not felt good in over seventeen years. It has always been my stomach...always. Twelve years ago I started eating gluten free. Three years ago I stopped eating shellfish. Six months ago I stopped eating nightshades (potato, tomato, eggplant & peppers). Now I must stop eating dairy, eggs and all grains. I already do not eat wheat, barley, oats and rye. Now I have cut out corn, rice, soy etc. I will be eating what is considered Paleo (Meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, roots, tubers and nuts). Why on earth would I do this to myself? It is the last piece of the puzzle in terms of figuring out what foods I am eating that are still making me so sick. I am trying the elimination diet where you cut out the major allergens. It takes a couple of weeks (at least two) to clean out your system.

I am starting this Paleo/Elimination diet because of an abnormal test result. I had to go through a test were I drink a small amount of radioactive water and then my stomach is scanned for forty-five minutes. A normal stomach will empty half the water into the intestines in thirty minutes. I never thought in a million years that the test would come back abnormal. All the other tests I have had came back normal (endoscopy, colonoscopy & blood work). I would explain to people that after I would eat...food seemed to just sit in my stomach until I would start to feel toxic. It turns out, that is exactly what was happening to me. My stomach does not digest solids and liquids properly. There are NOT a lot of options to fix my problem. The medical approach is a DRUG I take forever, a feeding tube or a stomach pacemaker. The holistic approach is a VERY SPECIFIC diet, nutritional supplements and cutting out as much stress in your life as possible. I am choosing the holistic approach which will require me to change A LOT of things in my life. I don't feel like I have a choice right now. I don't want to keep living a life of not feeling good.

So...what is Paleo? Some people call it a cult and other people call it "a diet". There is a very large group of people who consider it a "lifestyle" that goes beyond food. You can google the term Paleo and find out WAY MORE information than I want to personally write about in this post. Here is a link to one of the top experts on Paleo lifestyle. http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/. I originally learned about Paleo from a gluten free forum. People kept posting about how crazy the Paleo crowd was. Not only were they very harsh to non-Paleo's but would even turn on there fellow Paleo devotees. There was lots of talk about what food is considered true Paleo (what...no green beans?) and at what degree of a loser you are if you cheat and actually eat a potato. Getting past all of the controversy, what I did notice (that was very positive) from my research is that Paleo = gluten free. I didn't start on the Paleo diet when I first read about it but I kept it in the back of my brain.

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