“We need to talk…”
NOBODY, alive or dead, likes to hear those words. Not even my stomach and the rest of my digestive tract likes to hear those words. The mere mention or thought of them sends my GI system into fits of clenching and twisting, not to mention liquifaction. You’re welcome for that mental image.
No longer does Pepto Bismol work on “what ails” me. I’ve alluded to some digestive issues in a previous post, and after years and years of digestive upset, I finally got around to making the appointment to see my doctor. It’s time to find the cause of my “intestinal discord”. I tracked my food and what happened after I ate it – I’ll leave those thoughts to you – but suffice it to say, it appeared that nothing I ate made my system happy. Oh, I powered through the discomfort-sometimes-agonizing-pain. Cramping and gas bubbles so painful that at times they’ve made me double-over. Headaches, racing to the loo, stuffed up sinuses and nausea. I seriously thought feeling like that after eating was “normal”. It’s not normal.
So, I went to Web MD (which my doctor pretty much hates because people self diagnose once they go there), used the symptom checker app and away I went. Top contenders are: Lactose Intolerance, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Gluten Intolerance/Celiac Disease and Giardia.
Giardia?! Oh, let’s just start off with that one. Doc said, “You go camping…. but you don’t have well water…” I stopped her, “Oh, but I do have well water.” She raised an eyebrow and wrote down “on well for water” and looked at me and stated, “then I definitely want to test you for Giardia and Cryptosporidium, too”. I worked at a veterinary clinic. I know how that test is done. Since a sample couldn’t be provided that day, I was sent home from the lab with a lovely care package. I’ll fast-forward past all the undignified, messy details and say, yeah, I’m negative for those tests.
That leaves me with lactose, gluten and IBS. Blood was drawn and two or three tests for gluten/Celiac Disease were run but all came back negative. Now down to two options, unless my issues are from something entirely different, like soy or eggs.
Do you know what it’s like to live in the Dairy State and be faced with the possibility that you can’t eat dairy? Dairy! Dairy is wonderful! I LOVE cheese and have on average 6 varieties in my fridge at a time. I love yogurt, especially Greek yogurt. Sour Cream is divine and I’d eat it plain. Milk is wonderful. No dairy? The thought makes me a bit down. And IBS? Great, EVERYTHING makes my system unhappy.
So a few tests down, and I anticipate more in my future. I’ll be making another doctors appointment to schedule testing for food allergies where they’ll look for the antibodies. From what I have read, this is going to be similar to the Giardia test, oh joy…
By the way… do you know how hard it is to find packed foods that are free of dairy? Food is LOUSY with the stuff! It’s added to damn near everything.