A lifechanging event

      10 Comments on A lifechanging event

So, something happened recently. Or actually, has been happening for a long while but I didn’t know it. Finally getting to know it is a lifechanging event for me (and the people around me).

What is this thing, you might wonder? Well, let me explain. (This will take a while.)

For as long as I remember, I have been tired. Like, all the time, sometimes worse than other moments. I have been cancelling appointments, simplifying my life, sleeping afternoons and then some, to be able to live. I used to think this “always being tired and not feeling well” thing, was due to my not-so-happy (understatement) childhood. A form of stress that was still killing me from the inside, that kept me from enjoying my life and participating like all the other people seem to be able to do.

As it turns out, it wasn’t. It was not stressrelated or anything having to do with my childhood. That stuff, where I have been working on for years, was not the reason for my constant pains, my heavy migraines and the long periods of well, wondering why to live at all… Yes, that happened a lot and every time I decided that life was actually pretty amazing even though it was so damn hard to do.

Earlier this year, I decided to finally start living. So I did what all the health specialists tell you. Eat healthy, exercise, meditate. Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself. But it didn’t change the pain nor the tiredness. After an amazing holiday to the Swedish outback I got back home, feeling amazing and not tired at all. I hiked, I climbed cliffs and that was basically all we did that week. “This is it!! I finally feel better!” But within two weeks I felt bad again and I finally realised; “this is not some psychological thing, I actually feel physically ill“.

So I went to a docter and convinced her that I didn’t need to see a psychologist, but needed a physical test. She didn’t believe me, but sent me for a bloodtest after all. In the hospital a docter told me the same thing as my GP: “Do keep in mind that nothing will come from these tests.”

Well, it did! My second blood test showed a high tTG count. Further probing was needed to make the final diagnosis: I’ve got Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disease (not an allergy) in which my body attacks me because I have eaten gluten. This makes me gluten-intolerant.

I very much like this scientific explanation about what that means:

Two days after the probing I started my gluten-free diet, for the rest of my life. And I immediately started to feel better. Ofcourse there was the high (and emotions) for knowing that this was a medical thing and not a psychological thing, but my body also started to feel better quickly.

For example:

  • My belly is not bloated anymore and I don’t have any stomach cramps (which I never realised I had, so that was weird to discover). This also includes, no more smelly farts.
  • The severe joint pains just cleared up! This was an amazing discovery, because I have tried so many things and also have spent so much money on not having this constant pain in my back, shoulders and neck. And it’s just gone now!
  • No more migraines either! Okay, scratch that. I did have one migraine, but it was like, scale 4 on a 10, in which a 10 means you want to kill yourself to end the pain. Still not sure if this migraine was triggered by eating something wrong or just having a real busy day and not sleeping that night.
  • No more brain fog! This is truly amazing. I can concentrate again, pay attention to stuff. I’m not constant in a cloud anymore. I am HERE. Hello!
  • And of course, so much more energy. No more sleeping in the afternoon, being able to do the dishes after dinner and still have fun in the evening doing stuff instead of playing couch potato waiting for the time that I can finally slide between the sheets.
  • This one is pretty nice for the people around me: I am not constantly cranky anymore either. :-)

Yesterday I took a sip of a milkshake, which turned out not to be glutenfree and *woosh* brain fog… and also back were the tiredness and the bloating and today I have joint pains again. From. Just. One. Sip. This is how serious I will have to take my diet. For the rest of my life.

I finally understand, how people are able to work fulltime jobs, do physical exercises in the evening and still go meet friends afterwards. Just because I asked for a simple blood test…

10 thoughts on “A lifechanging event

  1. JoeVC

    I’m glad you were properly diagnosed. Here’s wishing you a strong, disciplined approach to your new lifestyle.

    Reply
  2. Richard P

    Congratulations on discovering the problem! And I’m glad that you pursued the tests even in the face of skepticism from the “experts.” This should make a huge difference in the rest of your life. :)

    Reply
  3. RobertG

    That is really good to hear (and good to see you back on your ‘web’ too).

    Good luck with the diet – it can be tricky to find the right foods (having had to shop for merely soy-free and for a lactose-free menu has had me realise how much food gets mixed up). (Er zit zelfs melk in de vleeswaren bij de supermarkt… .)

    Reply
    1. spider Post author

      Thank you Robert, it certainly feels good to be back writing! The diet is going along well, thanks to the law of 2012 it’s a lot easier to read labels. But indeed a lot gets mixed up. That makes it hard to explain to people why I can’t eat certain stuff. I just do the cooking thing myself now, everywhere I go. But I don’t think I can keep that up all the time.

      Reply
  4. Bill M

    Sometimes the diagnosis takes a bit of digging. Glad that you got the correct one.
    Hope you’ve had a Great Christmas and will have a most Wonderful New Year.

    Reply

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