Recipes, SCD, follow my journey!
Recently (1/22/2013), the mystery was solved! I have Ulcerative colitis in the rectum and left colon. Sometimes I wish the mystery was never solved, because at least before I knew, I thought I could completely get better. Now I know I am stuck with a chronic illness that has no cure besides surgery. Daunting. Since my colonoscopy, I’ve had even worse diarrhea than ever before (bloody, soupy, stinky). It finally just stopped after two weeks (2/5/2013) and now I’m dealing with spasms. The SCD diet proved successful before up until my colonoscopy and now I have to start from basic intro again. Awaiting the day I can have SCD yogurt again!
No one really understands.
Sometimes I just feel so weak, so alone.
I know I’m not, and I’m definitely not trying to be melodramatic. But even my doctors think I might just be a hypochondriac. “It’s not common for Asians to have Celiac’s Disease. It can’t be. Eat some eggs.” (Eggs apparently are part of the “secondary glutenizers” group along with soy and corn!!)
I think I might actually hold the key to what might cure me of all these crazy things.
I grew up eating pretty healthy. I never really liked oily or fried foods, and fast food was never my food was choice. I always preferred cut up vegetables and fruits, and maybe noodles. Of course, I was constantly tired because I stayed up late in high school in college, but I always bounced back pretty quickly.
I moved to China about 2 and a half years ago. I was about 22 years old, so my body was still in pretty good shape. When I was 23, I actually became pretty depressed, although I don’t think I wanted to face it. I partied a lot, drank obscene amounts of alcohol, and ate pretty bad food in China to try to save money and because sometimes I just had a craving for it (street food, fast food, take out pretty often).
Now I’m 24 and since the beginning of February 2012, my body started dipping downhill very quickly. It started probably earlier, back in 2011 in the summer when I had a terrible stomach bug. When I look back, I’m convinced I had Salmonella or some type of horrible freak bug, because it lasted in my system for about 2 weeks. Endless fevers and watery diarrhea. Anyway, it finally ended one day, and then I was back to my old self, so it’s hard to say if that was some freak bug or the gluten intolerance starting to flare up. In February 2012, I fainted on a treadmill, because I thought I was going to have a heart attack after a 20 minute run. For the next few weeks, I had endless panic attacks and visits to the hospital at all hours of the day. I started getting all sorts of scans done to my body — from the lung, to the heart, to the other vital organs, the brain — nothing. I went to a Taiwanese hospital, a local hospital, and later even went to an international one. No one could give me even a clue as to what was going on. They kept giving me different types of IV drips, and drugs, but nothing could get rid of whatever I had. Unbeknownst to me, I was cutting out a lot of gluten out of my diet, and was eating gluten free (aka plain white rice congee for a month), and as lacking in nutrition that was for me, I actually started to get better. Strange.
For about 4 months, I was pretty much back to good health. I still would get tired, and the occasional mild headache, but I was pretty much a-okay. I realized some weird changes in my body since the sickness. Though I wasn’t getting heart palpitations or close to a fainting episode, my heart rate would sometimes go up for no apparent reason. I could be laying on the couch or sitting on my bed, and all of a sudden, I felt like my heart might jump out of my chest. I would get these horrible cramping pains on the lower side of either of my ribs, and also sometimes even lower down my waist. I also developed a rash on my hand. It was super itchy, and blistery little red dots. I wish I had taken a picture so I could show you, but it kept coming up in the same place. Then it would magically disappear and magically appear yet again. Also, I would still have random episodes of diarrhea from time to time, but I thought, eh, that’s normal.. right? Another strange phenomenon was that I would get these strange hot flashes, most commonly after a meal. I didn’t always get it, but I almost always got it. I guess that’s normal since gluten is pretty much found in EVERYTHING we eat nowadays. It started off as just my hands and feet getting warm, but it evolved into what felt like electric pulses coming from my intestines into my fingers. I thought it was just my carpal tunnel. I’ve had horrible joint pain for as long as I can remember. Now I wonder… was it all caused by GLUTEN?
Anyway, I’m now on this journey to see if that’s the cause of all my problems. In the beginning of October 2012, I had a horrible cold, which I think caused my immune system to go down. I went to a doctor who didn’t even take my blood and IV’d antibiotics into my system. My heart rate started going crazy. My fever was uncontrollable. And I had diarrhea again. I went to Indonesia a couple days after, since I felt the fever had subsided. I had a good three days there, even though I did feel tired, and on the fourth day, I thought I was going to faint again. My intestines and my heart were just driving me nuts! It turned out that I had contracted Salmonella. But What’s WORSE, is I think the gluten intolerance made it extremely difficult to recover. 15 days on two different antibiotics (Ciproflaxin and Metrodinazole), and at the end of all of that “fun”, my salmonella was probably gone because my poop wasn’t slimy, but it was still diarrhea. My doctors all told me that it was probably just a side effect, and I should eat some yogurt and bananas. But, well, I’m lactose and bananas made me feel uneasy. So I went back on my plain congee diet. That seemed to do the trick..
I got a bit cocky and thought I could try eating normal food, but my body started to react again. Now I’m trying to see if this is really the cause of my problems, but my friend / Gluten Free Diet role model, Andrea, tells me I need to persevere and stay off of gluten for a while before the antibiotics completely die off (6 months). However, she said that at half-life, I should be able to see results (3 months). So join me on my journey! I’d love to hear your thoughts, your suggestions, your questions, your concerns.. I’m just on this journey, and I’m completely new to this. I hope I won’t cheat and fail, because it’s really painful… really painful. So join me, and hopefully this blog will be a blessing unto someone’s life! That’s my hope 🙂