Wherein an Amazonian Gal Tries to Wind Her Way Through Wheat Free Living – while attempting to keep the whining to a minimum
AKA – How We Got Here
Hello, all. Yup. Another blog, another person danged and determined to share their life with the rest of the world. Why am I writing this? Well, first of all.. I’m a writer. It’s sort of what I do. I natter on, playing with words, feeling the shape of them in my brainpan, and than I attempt to share them with the rest of the planet… whether the planet wants them or not. Secondly, well. A little over two years ago I started hearing the words “celiac” and “gluten” shouted at me from what felt like every street corner. Articles plastered on magazine covers, segments on television, hades… the radio started nagging. And… I started to wonder.
I’ve suffered from unexplained health “issues” since I was a kid. A few allergies got identified when I was younger, but for the most part – the doctors I went to were stumped. So were my parents. Diagnosed at different times with – IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerated colitis, ulcers, and the one fun month where the doctor was convinced I had stomach cancer (yeah -that was a fun one). But with each diagnosis came the shrugged shoulders and a weak “well, we think it might be” but no results, no relief.
I’ve spent more than a third of my life either looking for a bathroom, running to a bathroom, living in the bathroom, or recovering from the bathroom. Result? I don’t own magazine racks, I’ve got bookshelves in my loo. And a wireless router for my laptop. And it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility that I might possibly have chosen at different times to keep a cooler in the corner of the linen closet for the days I was in there for more than 6 hours at a shot. I’m the girl who could tell you within 5 feet where the closest bathroom was (sometimes without ever having to actually enter the building myself. I have MAD toilet-fu skills). I’m the gal who has pulled into a complete stranger’s driveway, walked up to the 85 year old woman weeding her rose bed and asked, rather bluntly albeit politely, “Ma’am? I’m terribly sorry, but I need to use a bathroom… now. Here’s my wallet, my mother’s phone number is in the front, I swear I’m not a serial killer, call her if you like… but at this point – your bathroom or your rose bush, and there isn’t much time to decide.”
Heaven bless the woman for believing me and waving me towards her upstairs restroom.
The lemonade after was nice too.
By 25, I’d just learned to deal with it. I just was going to be a : tired, drained, cranky, and nauseous gal who ALWAYS put the premium toilet paper ahead of any other purchase. I managed too, more or less. Even with my inability to work “normal” jobs – due to never knowing if today I was going to be fine… or would I spent 8 hours in the bathroom – I managed. On the days I was okay, I worked my tuckus off. Always fighting to get ahead of the curve, to not just catch up but work on ahead… so I could be prepared for the next time my stomach would decide to kneecap me. Not great, but I kept it together – for the most part. I even managed to : find a great guy, make friends, travel, live a life just a wee bit outside the lines of “normality”, and 4 years ago… get married to said great guy. The health “stuff”? I just tried to ignore it. I also have a slight heart “issue” (it gets bored and stops for a few seconds on occasion. But, to quote the great Python “I got b’tter!”) as well as a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (which in my case – translates to the first half hour of the day sucking as I try to stretch everything out to working order… than I shove it to the back of my mind and go about my day. My system is too wonky to take many pills, so a couple Aleve and I manage.) so I already had a standard line of attack when my body would crap out. Deal… and ignore.
Yes. I’m aware that’s not the most… mature way of handling the issue. But it worked. For a while, anyway.
And that gets us to two years ago almost to the day. I’m 31 years old, and my husband and I are starting to have scary talks involving children, the future, and all the things we might want to be when we grow up. Things, that to be honest, I’d always avoiding looking at too hard. Mainly, because its dang hard to see the future through a bathroom door. All those issues I had just jammed my fingers in my ears and ignored over the years… it was time to deal with them.
So I made the mature and adult decision, right? Of course that’s why I restarted trying to find answers. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the shouts heard round the nation when my friends and loved ones found out:
A) In the last 15 years I’ve never gone more than a week without my stomach bleeding.
B) My stomach will go into cycles of misery (and bleeding) for up to 6 months at a shot.
C) I was tired to the point of blacking out… a terrifying thing for others to deal with, as I’m 6’2. I’ve taken out more than my fair share of frightened villagers over the years.
D) Did I mention all the bleeding?
Okay… fine. The screaming, yelling, and threats from my husband to “taser my butt, and drag me caveman style into the hospital” might, maybe, have had a wee bit to do with my sudden burst of adult responsibility. But only a little.
I made appointments with doctors, this time armed with reams of information I’d researched and questions I wanted answers to.
Little did I know, I had finally arrived at wheat’s end.