So the last month has been pretty horrible concerning stomach pain and intestinal issues in this family. We know what caused Jeremy’s and how to heal him, so now it appears it’s my turn. I have dealt with pretty severe stomach issues my entire life. But the stress of Jeremy being in the hospitals last month was enough to throw my system into complete meltdown-mode. So it was time to do something.
A simple stomach scope procedure immediately revealed results, so it was nice to know we didn’t need to go further to look into the problem. At least not right now. Last week, I was officially diagnosed with gastritis. Basically, it’s severe inflammation of the lining of the stomach. My stomach gets very angry and is extremely sensitive. We have to plan trips around bathrooms and I have always had to be very careful of what I eat when we will not be at or around home. It gets annoying, and I’m kind of done dealing with it.
But yesterday, my world took another turn. Essentially, gastritis is caused by something. There is something constantly in my diet that is causing the severe inflammation. Now we have to figure out what it is. While I will go on Monday for official testing, we are pretty certain at this point (based on other tests and food trials) that I am both gluten and dairy intolerant. If you didn’t know – gluten and milk are in A LOT of foods.
So yesterday, I cried. It may sound silly, but I was completely overwhelmed with this news. One part of me was angry with myself for not having tried to figure this all out a long time ago; I could have saved myself and my family an awful lot of grief. Another part of me was scared of what family members and friends will think. Will they think I’m rude if I respectfully decline dinner invitations or attempt to politely ask what will be served so I can bring my own food if necessary? Is that even okay? I used to think gluten intolerance was just a fad for a lifestyle adjustment; will my family and friends think I’m making this up? Why am I worried about what others think of my intestinal issues?
I know living with food allergies is doable. Thank God for my friend, Tasia. I text her immediately when we found out this is a pretty strong likelihood. Her family has been dairy, gluten, and egg free for years because of Celiac Disease, especially in her boys. She’s basically a clean-eating rock star. So talking to her made me have more confidence. I also know quite a bit about milk allergies since we found out a few years ago our oldest is allergic to milk. I’m pretty awesome at reading labels. But even with that, after a while we started getting more relaxed with allowing Hudson to have some milk in his diet. However, recently his symptoms have really taken off in the wrong direction, so that will be changing again right along with mommy’s new way of living. It seems elimination is the only way Hudson and I will be able to get any relief from the intestinal issues we are suffering from. I hate taking medications long term; so if we can control this with diet, that’s the way we will go.
Monday, we go in for official food allergy testing. Hudson will be re-tested, and mommy gets to have the testing done for the first time. We are confident we know what results will be based on other tests, but there’s still a chance we could have more or fewer allergies than we think. And on the bright side, I have been really careful this weekend, only having certain things every now and then to see how my body reacts. And guess what? I feel really good. When you notice the absence of stomach pain more than actual stomach pain, you’ve been living with something you shouldn’t have to live with for too long. So that’s where I’m at. A short time ago, however, I had some sour cream with chips and salsa. That did not go well. My body immediately became very angry with me. So I am positive I have the milk allergy my son has; and I’ve known that for a long time. I just kept eating it because I like it. Smart, right? I know. And gluten. Oh man gluten is yummy stuff too. But I’m quickly learning my lesson there too based upon an elimination diet.
So that’s where I’m at. I’m overwhelmed but also glad to know healing will happen. My husband is such an inspiration for this stuff. He lives with depression and he fights it. We do everything we can to help his health improve. I’ve kind of ignored and neglected my own for quite a while now through nobody’s fault but my own.
I’ll know more after Monday morning, and I’m really glad of that. There may be more in my diet I shouldn’t be eating that may be causing my gastritis to flare up. Knowledge is power. Clean eating is good. I’m on my way to health.
If you would, friends, please send up some prayers for Monday’s appointments to bring even more clarity with this overwhelming gluten and dairy information. And also, I’m sharing because I would gladly accept any advice any of you have if you suffer from these types of food allergies. So please share with me. I’m an open book and am having to really dig into my research skills right now.
Thanks so much. ~Bailey