Sometimes the journey to health is a long, confusing, and winding road.
Just over 5 years ago I became really ill right after my 26th birthday party, where I admittedly had a little too much fun and awoke the next morning to what I thought was a hangover to beat all hangovers. Only this time I was bed-ridden, had the worst pain in my life all across my stomach and spent the next month just trying to keep anything more than saltines and applesauce down. I caved and saw the doctor, which is always my least favorite activity. She drew my blood and gave me a tetanus shot, stating that I was way overdue, and sent me on my merry way with no answers except for trying an elimination diet because I likely had IBD and Gastritis from being sick for so long.
I have spent every day since then testing out different diets, trying all sorts of supplements and lifestyle changes, all in the name of not feeling like my batteries were always drained and maybe to stop my stomach from having issues with most of what I ate, despite being on a healthy diet.
I eventually uncovered, 3 years later, that I had food allergies to sugar, eggs, yeast, and fungi. I cut those out, went paleo, started going hiking more often and further committed to my yoga practice, but my energy and stomach issues never seemed to be quite what I thought they should be for all this time, research and effort I was putting in. Why? What was I missing? Why Could doctor after doctor not seem to pinpoint why my health always seemed to be a little off, despite all my best efforts?
Last Monday, I finally got an answer to why none of what I tried was making a huge difference.
One week ago, I found out that I am one of the estimated 50 million Americans suffering from an autoimmune disorder.
Last week, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
I really wish I could say this comes as a surprise, but it is something I have personally suspected for quite some time. Doctor after doctor brushed it off and said my TSH looked like it was in normal range and my family history didn’t mean I had it, despite showing symptoms. I am so happy to finally have someone who listened, tested, and gave me my answer.
It has been one week since I started following a strict Autoimmune Protocol to hopefully help reduce my symptoms and finally find a little relief and in that time there have been struggles. My symptoms went from bad to worse for a few days. I’ve wrestled with a lot of the mental and emotional baggage that can come with the diagnosis of a chronic illness like autoimmunity. And am dealing with what I can only describe as food-restriction-depression. I already had spent so much time eliminating so many different foods and am happy to have a few back and testing them out, but there are many things I miss, like my seeds and honey!!!
The great news is that after 1 week I already am beginning to very slowly feel myself come out of my funk. I am having fun being ultra creative in the kitchen (HINT: many recipes to come!!!) and tonight I will begin the medication, low-dose Naltrexone, my doctor had suggested and I am beyond excited to see just how that goes. I’ve read so many wonderful success stories and hope that this helps to relieve further symptoms.
The biggest relief of all during this time is FINALLY having a name for the cause of my various symptoms, the roadblocks to me feeling how I thought I should be feeling.
Here’s to answers and hopefully a straighter road, less confusing road to feeling better.