Ever since I can remember I have had allergy and sinus problems. When I was around 8 years old I can remember being teased for “sniffing”. I remember everyone saying “Go blow your nose, go get a tissue”. My nose was stuffed up all the time. This was back in the 1980’s. I finally went to see an ENT specialist who put me on a steroid nasal spray. Wow, did that work like a charm. I was so grateful. I could breathe through my nose and the congestion was gone. Nor more sneezing and pressure!! That lasted for about 3 months and then it came back. I was put on another round of steroid sprays which worked again but it was short lived.
I also had eczema in every nook and cranny possible. I had it so bad on the inner part of my elbow and up and down my forearms that I wore a sweater to cover it up. That sweater acted as my shield against all the comments like..”EWWWW, What’s that gross stuff all over your arms”. I specifically recall one time itching my skin so bad I got impetigo. I had to take oatmeal baths and put this heavy paste on my skin each time I got out of the bath tub. I was not allowed to go swimming either. The water from the pond or a pool was not good for my skin. That was torture to a small child. I recall sitting on the side of the pool or on the beach not being able to go in.
As I got older, we were able to get my eczema under control. That was done with steroid creams. With all these steroids I’m surprised I’m not a hairy, women like lady with a voice like Arnold. Around the age of 21, I was working for the Government and I finally had INSURANCE! I went to the allergist to get “scratch tested”. They injected my back with a bunch of allergens. The tests came back that I was allergic to dust, mold and rabbits. Rabbits???? Oh geeze, now how on earth will I ever be able to eliminate rabbits from my life? Those hairy bastards LMAO!
I was given an allergy pill to take as needed when I did encounter the dust, mold and those darn rabbits. Around the age of 30, I started having issues with my stomach and constant lose bowels and urgent, explosive, diarrhea. Now there are 3 words you don’t want to hear together in a sentence. (UED) At times it was bloody. I again, went to the doctor who did blood tests and found nothing wrong in the blood work. That is when I had my first (with 3 more in my future); colonoscopies. That test showed I had proctitis. I looked at the doctor and said “I have WHAT?” I know the suffix “I T I S” means inflammation so now I have to figure out what a PROC is? The doctor began to explain:
Proctitis is defined as inflammation of the anus, OH GREAT, I have a broken Anus. The opening and lining of the rectum (lower part of the intestine leading to the anus). I feel like such an ass. Symptoms of proctitis can vary greatly; which is no news to me…One may at first have only minor problems. Proctitis affects the last 6 inches of the rectum and can cause the following:
- Pain during a bowel movement
- Soreness in the anal and rectal area
- Feeling that you didn’t completely empty the bowels after a bowel movement
- Involuntary spasms and cramping during bowel movements
- Bleeding, and possibly a discharge
Proctitis can last a short time or become a chronic condition (last for weeks or months or longer).
So now the million dollar question. I asked the doctor, “How did I get this? “
He rattled off a number of causes; Excessive Antibiotic use ,Autoimmune Disorders and the most bizarre one was “Foreign objects in the rectum” I cracked up laughing and said “ Umm, we can rule out that last one doctor”.
To make a long story even longer, I was once again put on steroids. This time the steroid has a special twist to it. I was given a rectal suppository. Refer to previous paragraph where I thought that was SO VERY FUNNY about objects in the rectum causing my affliction. Yeah, not so funny now is it ? The thing was the size of a magnum 44 bullet. I briefly flashed back to the movie Scar Face where he says “Say hello to my little friend”.. YIKES.
I was on the suppositories for 2 weeks and felt SO much better; but with any steroid, it only lasts so long. I relapsed again…………It was a vicious circle………Cramps, fatigue, and the 3 words again I don’t want to hear together…. Urgent, Explosive Diarrhea. I pretty much gave up and accepted the fact that I am sick and I will just have to live with it. I kept an emergency kit in my car for when I traveled. Unlike most emergency kits, it didn’t contain fix a flat, or flares, It contained, baby wipes, a clean pair of underwear.
It wasn’t until my niece Kara was born that I realized what was going on and the importance of healthy, organic, wholesome and a GLUTEN FREE diet.
You see, Kara, our little angel, was born with Down Syndrome. I remember hearing the news. I remember feeling so sad for my sister and so sad for Kara. That’s when I had a reality check. I held that beautiful, little baby in my arms I thought; “Why am I feeling sorry for anyone?” This little baby girl is beautiful, kind, sweet and loving. Kara looked up at me and gave me the first of many of her bright, heart warming smiles. It was the kind of smile that says “Look out world, here I come”. http://lettucethrive.com/category/fitness/
She has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives. On top of the Down Syndrome, Kara has Celiac Disease. I had never heard of this before. My sister Wendy filled me on the subject and she suggested I do some research on my own. I looked up all the symptoms of Celiac and they did sound very similar to all the issues I was having. Then I thought, the doctor said I didn’t have celiac and he wasn’t sure what was wrong with me or why I have proctitis, but here TAKE THIS MEDICINE and come back and see me in 3 months.
I told you this was a long story.
I started following a diet that was similar to Kara’s. I eliminated Wheat & Gluten. Within 2 weeks, my intestines felt a little better. My aches and pains were slowly subsiding. My fatigue was lessened. I had more energy. I actually felt normal for a change. Thank you Kara. http://lettucethrive.com/category/main-dishes/
I do have days where I cheat and have gluten. 30 minutes later I feel lazy, sluggish, crampy and a fogged brain and yes, the U. E. D.
If your feeling sick all the time, try an elimination diet. Take out wheat, gluten, corn, dairy and soy from your diet for 3 weeks. Note how you feel. Do you feel better or the same? Keep a food journal. Plan, plan, plan your meals and make sure you have plenty of food in your house that does not contain the 5 items above. You may find it very difficult at first however it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Limit sugar also and take out all the GMO products from your diet. That is a large cause of inflammation in your body. Eating wheat and gluten or things that are inflammatory can also irritate raynaund syndrome which I also have.
On that note, I am going to grocery store to replenish my gluten free supplies, organic veggies and snacks. I have also taken dairy out of my diet. I switched to coconut yogurt. Chobani has a delicious selection of flavors. It’s the consistency of a pudding instead of the thick greek I was use to eating.
A great site for recipe ideas and GF treats along with our beautiful Kara.