Today I’m just gonna write a little. Today I’m not gonna inform or entertain. Just write.
Two Sundays ago I went to Michael’s to grab some yarn because I was starting to feel okay enough to pick up a crochet hook. This time of year has been making me want to create warm, soft things like I used to. When I walked into the store the first thing I saw was a table with a platter of sugar cookies on it. Pumpkin-shaped, bright orange sprinkles, kinda large. Before I knew what was happening my hand had a cookie in it and then so did my mouth. I savored it as I walked past the aisles of scrapbooking papers, Halloween decorations and Mason jars.
Just as I was starting to feel a tiny bit better… SABOTAGE.
The last two weeks have been extraordinarily painful. Gut pain has had me writhing. ‘Could all of this extra misery really be because of one cookie?’ I wondered. A phone chat with Dr. F revealed that yes, it was mostly from the cookie. Since I hadn’t had a trace of gluten for several weeks before the delicious, evil treat, my “gluten defenses” were down. My gut was not ready for a gluten attack. And so as my innards were trying hard to heal I gave them something to fight about again.
Dr. F reminded me just how severe my gluten sensitivity is. We looked back at the two tests that confirmed it. I tested negative for celiac disease but I need to basically act like I have celiac. He said I’m “one step down from it.” I can NOT have gluten. Ever. Though it’s been a hard, excruciating lesson, it’s a lesson I’m glad I learned firsthand AND I’m thankful to finally know – after years of wondering – that I AM very sensitive to gluten.
From here on out it is OUT of my life. Not an option.
I’d also been wondering how long it typically takes to start REALLY feeling better after starting SIBO treatment. At yesterday’s appointment Dr. F said it depends a lot on how long you’ve had it and how severe it is. Well, I’ve probably had it for about 18 years and it’s pretty severe so…. we are probably looking at 6-8 months before I start feeling significantly better. Patience. Something I don’t have.
This. Is. SO. HARD.
This morning as I rested on the giant beanbag in the loft and chatted with a couple of friends on Facebook, crocodile tears began streaming down my cheeks. Today is another painful day and overwhelming frustration filled me to the brim and leaked right out. I bawled to Scott and clenched my fists. He reminded me that my anxiety is virtually gone and that I’m pooping daily – two HUGE improvements. “Focus on that,” he said, “and remember that there IS finally a light at the end of the tunnel!” God planned plenty in advance to have my dear husband working from home at this point in time. If he wasn’t home with me most of the time I WOULD be in a padded room by now. Not even kidding. Just knowing he’s here and being able to hang out by him while he works is everything.
I guess I thought that by this point I’d be feeling a lot better. But reality is reality. 18 years of on-and-off illness does not go away in a few weeks.
So I’m still hurting. A lot. And I’m still eating as best I can (with one large, pumpkin-shaped, stupid, STUPID exception), still taking my supplements without fail, still trucking butt down to Lemont every two weeks to the doctors, still doing my brain exercises. Resting a lot and getting good sleep (another great blessing from God).
Eventually I’ll look back at this post with a healed, calm tummy and I will smile and remember how hard it was. I’m glad I’m keeping a written record. Maybe someday I’ll turn it into a book or something. Someday my pain will help others. Of that I am sure.
Thank you for reading. ❤