Ain't that the truth!
It's time to get real, which means I'm going to talk about poop. Everyone in my family knows this about me: I talk about poop. I try not to but it just always seems to happen anyway. I suppose it is a part of me that I should just stop denying. On a psychological level it does make one wonder what the hell is going on in my subconscious?!?! Frankly, I refuse to go there.
So the whole point of this post is that I wish to keep a journal about my foray into the world of the gluten-free diet. The reason for this foray has everything to do with my bowels, which have been in an increasing revolt over many years.
For as long as I can remember I have suffered from IBS. Most of my life I have simply ignored it . . . Until about two years ago when I woke up in the grip of such extraordinary pain I found myself going to the one place I do not ever want to go: a hospital emergency room.
Many pokes and prods and laboratory tests later it was surmised that I suffered from colitis, an inflammation of the colon. Why couldn't I have some graceful or glamorous disease? Why can't I simply tell people I "have the consumption". Maaaaan! Colitis? Really? People don't mind talking about arthritis or benign tumors or diabetes but NO ONE wants to hear about an inflamed colon, not even me!
I was supposed to see a gastroenterologist but quickly put the nix on that when I was told they wanted to perform a colonoscopy. How much degradation could I possibly take? I'm sorry, but getting a tube shoved up my butt has the immediate effect of making me run in the opposite direction. Sorry, man, that's an exit-only orifice. My mother hates when I refer to it as the tube-up-the-ass. She insists I call it a "colonoscopy" and recognize it as a medical procedure. Sorry, mom, you spent way too many years telling me to respect my body and treat it like a temple. There isn't a dinner and flowers out there expensive enough to convince me to let anyone violate my most unholy of holies.
For the past two years I have dealt with the colitis pretty well. Except for a few small incidents I have been pretty much functioning "normally"; however, about three weeks ago I went into a colitis fit badly enough to actually consider returning to the dreaded E.R.. Instead of giving in to this consideration I did what any practical American would do in a time of crisis: I started researching my ailment on the internet.
Here's what I discovered: colitis is not the disease, it is the symptom. Which leads to the all-important question: symptom of what? Half of what I read would have convinced me that I'm going to die. Fortunately for me I am a natural skeptic. Besides, I have already come to grips with the fact that sooner or later we're all gonna die. So I let that crap (ahem!) go. Eventually I found a disease that matched all my symptoms, including ones that I never realized could be colitis related: anemia, fatigue, weakness, IBS, colitis, arthritis, unexplained infertility, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, irritability (wouldn't you be irritable too if you suffered from all this stuff?), neuropathy, pallor, vertigo and voracious appetite.
The sites I covered suggested that one see a gastroenterologist and have the tube-up-the-ass treatment and a colon biopsy to ascertain (I made an ass pun!) whether or not one indeed suffers from Celiac Disease. If one has been positively diagnosed with Celiac Disease then one is immediately put on the gluten-free diet (as the disease is connected to an allergy to most major forms of wheat and whole grains). Upon streamlining one's diet on the gluten-free regimen one should cease and desist having any and all symptoms associated with the disease.
Which lead me to wonder: why would one condone the tube-up-the-ass treatment to find out they have the disease when one could simply start the gluten-free diet to see if any and all symptoms cease and desist? Oh yeah, the medical industry wants to make money.
To hell with that, on top of the tube-up-the-ass (I can hear my mother's voice in my head, "it's a colonoscopy, for Christ's sake!"), I'm supposed to take an enormous medical bill up the ass as well? Like I said before, it's exit-only, baby.
So on Monday (after a weekend of researching what it means to be gluten-free) I started the gluten-free diet. At first I thought it would be tricky. Actually it's pretty easy! On Monday I enjoyed grits with butter, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for breakfast, complimented with a cup of coffee which contained my typical amount of milk. During the day I also ate a spring-mix salad with cheese sprinkles and a gluten-free dressing, corn tortilla chips with salsa and cheese, porkchops cooked in garlic and topped with sauteed mushrooms in a butter sauce, gluten-free greek yogurt, a banana, and salted peanuts. For dessert I was delighted to find out that my Breyer's All-Natural icecream was indeed gluten-free!
Yesterday was much the same, except we had baked chicken breast for dinner with parsley potatoes and mixed-veggie-broccoli for the sides.
Hey, this isn't so tough at all!
As for my health, I am already beginning to see a change. As of yesterday afternoon all my stomach pain has dissipated. Also, I am back to one b.m. a day (better than the ten I suffered through on Saturday!). Ive also noticed that my arthritis flare-up has gone away and I am now only suffering a slight stiffness and soreness, rather than the category 5 hurricane of pain with which I typically try to cope.
The fatigue is still there, but I have noticed the vertigo is disappearing. My appetite is still voracious and I'm still pallid. I will have to ask the hubby about the irritability, as I know my own opinion is biased.
I am also going to start a vitamin regimen. Hey, it can't hurt (unless someone tries to shove them up my ass, which I would not recommend trying).
So it's only day two but I am seeing results. It will be an interesting journey and I'm looking forward to seeing how much different I feel after a month of this. It definitely beats being anally violated, that's for certain!
My only gripe: I am now required to avoid whiskey and beer. Dude, that is just wrong!