Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How blogging has changed my quality of life

I don't get to blog often but I always want to... why? I think it's about empowerment & enjoying a community of people I would never have communicated with otherwise.
When I was told I had an ovarian cyst and possibly endometriosis I was really sad. I thought this was going to change everything about having kids and being able to stay off medication. I had been through two other unrelated surgeries by the age of 26. After those procedures I told myself I'd do anything to not go through it again. But then a year later, the pain in my left side started. We monitored the cyst, hoping it would diminish on it's own. It only got bigger. When it started to really affect daily life, I gave in... we scheduled a surgery date.
After the procedure my doctor came out & talked to my husband. She asked him if he was ready to have kids anytime soon. I would have paid to see his face. We had only been married for 4 months. She mentioned
that there had been a lot of endometriosis and more than she expected. She wasn't able to remove it all because of it's positioning on certain organs. If we weren't planning to have children in the near future, we would need to talk about treatment options when I came for my follow up appointment.
This surgery was difficult to recover from. I don't think it was the surgery itself, maybe my body was just mad. I'm a seemingly healthy person and all of these strangely unconnected things kept happening. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT a pity party because I count my blessings everyday that I don't have something life threatening. But I do believe that anything we go through, endometriosis, cysts, etc is a "QUALITY of life" threatening illness. If we don't manage them and work through them with the tools we have, we're going to get nowhere and so many will get sicker & sicker.
Anyway... ;) After this surgery I got desperate. I started to research endometriosis and the connection to autoimmune disorders. This was enough to make me want to read everything I could and talk to anyone I could. I started to realize that many of my health issues over the last ten years might have a link. I consulted an acupuncturist for the first time, to the skepticism of many people. She was amazing. She listened and walked me through some of the food/mind/body connections I had been reading about. We decided that if I was up for it, we'd eliminate gluten first, along with my acupuncture treatments.
I immediately went online and started reading through all the blogs I could and gathered as many recipes as possible. I relied on this community of bloggers to make me feel like there was going to be normality to this shift in my life. I eliminated gluten successfully for several weeks and then took the test. I ate a piece of bread and felt so sluggish, tired and a few hours later, got stabbing pains in my lower abdomen. Now, I need to preface this with the disclaimer that obviously I'm NOT a doctor. I'm a graphic designer and far from anything in the medical field. But I've finally learned to listen to my body. I personally believe gluten had been causing inflammation and pain through my endometriosis. I'm not completely healed and I still battle with endometrioma cysts but I still have work to do. There is a great interview that explains the nutrition and endometriosis connection a little further: (I've read Dian Shepperson Mills book and it's great!)
Since then I've also learned I need to be better about eliminating soy & sugar. Those are my next crusades. Some days I feel like I'm turning into an almond or a coconut but it's worth it! Through it all, I couldn't have done it without the blogger and twitter community of fearless gf cooks and people like me trying everything they can to get that recipe right. From all of you, I have learned to make meal plans & how to cook ahead to make life a little easier. So I blog in the hopes that maybe what I've been through can help someone else and their pain/quality of life illness. We always write off those unconnected body alarms. I'm thankful that so many of you helped me put the pieces together to give me my sanity back. I'm still getting through this one day at a time. There are some important test results I'll be finding out soon but no matter the conclusion, I've become a healthier, happier person for changing the food I eat. Dont forget "you are what you eat"
Night everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I love your honest writing. Thanks for sharing. It truly is amazing how our bodies respond to proper nutritional care. I just wish I had known about ten years earlier that gluten was causing all of my symptoms!