I Am…

… exhausted.

But first, a photo from the weekend:

DSCN9893

Place des Ternes, 17th arrondissement, 14 November 2009

This is the post that I started yesterday, but am finishing today. If you recall from the previous post, I wrote that yesterday I had the BEST conversation with Karen, someone I have met in the city through this blog (!). We learned a lot more about one another’s Paris stories on the phone yesterday and tomorrow we have plans to go on an Adventure. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here is what I began yesterday and finished today.

I am on day 16 (17 now, as I post this) of NaNoWriMo after taking two days off this weekend. I have a ton I can write about, I got the grocery shopping completed by 1 pm this afternoon (a record for me, I think!) just so I could sit down and write and not be interrupted by thoughts of , “Oh, I have to do X!” or “OMG, I must do Y!” It is now 3 pm, I do not know where the past couple of hours has gone, but know that I now have to spin out about a thousand words an hour over the next three hours to keep up with my postings for the challenge. (This, of course, was pleasantly interrupted by Karen, and if she reads this part, I do not want her to feel the interruption was not wanted. As I told her on the phone, the whole reason I created this blog was to LIVE LIFE better, to potentially meet new people through it, and to go and have experiences about which to write! Her interruption is furthering the goals of this blog’s original premise and to not talk with her would have been an serious and flagrant act of jumping the shark. So I am most pleased I did not meet my word goals yesterday. I am still ahead of the game, I am sure I will more than make up for it today). [A little later: BOY HOWDY. Did I ever. LOL.]

All this, and I am reacting to foods again today, just as I was over the weekend.

An alternate title for this post: CODE WORD = CRAPPY

It has been a while since I have focused on the food-intolerance portion of my life. So while I want to write about the Saturday I spent with my friend Tess, and tell you what we did, and while I want to tell you about how I finished the novel Sarah’s Key by French writer Tatiana de Rosnay, or that I want to tell you about seeing the kid movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (in French: «Tempête de boulettes géantes», “Storm of the giant meatballs”) and how it was only being shown in French and so I had to do the best I could to understand, or that I would love to tell you about the French language-learning and speaking I did over the weekend, I am not going to right this second. I might get into it by the end of this post, but right now I feel like merde and I want to write about the reasons why.

Just so’s you know, I go into some medical conditions and bodily functions here in this post. If that weirds you out, or grosses you out, this is not a post for you. Just sayin’. Skip ahead to the end (if there is one. Otherwise, just wait for tomorrow, okay?). Also, it is not so much related to me and My Paris Life as it is me and My Health Life, but my health absolutely impacts how I do and do not enjoy this city. I guess what I am getting at is that today’s read is not going to be for everyone. Try it, if you like, but I won’t be offended if you don’t stick around as it is not your cup of tea, or “ce n’est pas toi tasse de thé.” Moving right along…

Food Intolerances and Me

It is going to be really hard for me to write a super-coherent post about this right now because I am in a bit of a fuzz in my head (hint: symptom of food intolerance). Also, I cannot write this as a truly scientific, medical guide to food intolerance. I would like you to read this as an anecdotal account of what I have been learning, but I do not want you to use this as a basis for medical advice for yourself, if you are happening on this blog and reading what I have to say. You need to do your own research about it, and I am not saying that to be mean or anything, it is just that I am going to tell you my story here, it may or may not apply to your story as well, and it is just that: a story. It is not medical gospel truth that I am proselytizing and to which I am trying to get you to convert. But it may give you clues or insights into your own situation if you are reading and hearing bells go off in your head with stuff I write. Then you can do some of what I did which has been to read a ton online and in books about this, experiment with not eating certain foods, and crossing my fingers that some of what I am doing actually works!

So here we go: a bit of my story.

Childhood

I have known since I was a kid that the food I was eating made me feel physically and emotionally not good. When I was a kid, I can remember feeling draggy and foggy-headed and very crabby with two situations: when I would miss meals or when I would have meals really high in carbohydrates, like a plateful of pancakes with syrup.

I used to get canker sores like crazy when I was a kid — big, painful craters in my mouth and on my gums that made it super-painful to eat.

I know that I was viewed as a moody kid, one who would get withdrawn, or even have flares of a temper. Physically, I was thin for my height but not too skinny. When I was a really little kid, I remember being constipated a lot. It seemed to get better as I got older. I also remember being sick a lot with “throat stuff”: strep throat, pharyngitis, laryngitis. I went through a time where I had bladder infections, too, which were thought to be from too many Mr. Bubble bubble baths, so I had to stop using it.

I remember headaches and stomachaches being a frequent part of daily life.

But, I was not really sick — not in super-obvious pain or distress. I just remember feeling crappy a lot. And it made me crabby.

Young Adulthood

The crappy feelings, physically and emotionally, continued through adolescence and young adulthood. I remember reading a bit on hypoglycemia as a sixteen or seventeen-year-old and thinking that what I read matched my symptoms. I got tested and told my blood sugar levels were normal.

When I hit my early 20s I got acne really badly and did not feel well a lot of the time. I could distract myself from not feeling good by being active, but still would come the headaches and illnesses and canker sores that bothered me for years.

I went to China in 1990 when I was 22 years old to teach English. That experience stressed my body a lot. For example, I got pneumonia while there. I also had the worst sinus infection I have ever had. I got treated with both Western and Chinese medicine for these illnesses, but ever since getting that bad sinus infection, they became recurrent. I also got pregnant while living in China by the man who became my first husband, but after coming back to the States, I had a miscarriage at 17 weeks of pregnancy. Then my health and digestive problems kicked into high gear.

I began to have foul smelling gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. My bowel movements were acidic, and floated (gross! I know. But as a kind of foreshadowing, the quality of one’s poo can tell a lot about food intolerances). It became so bad that I could barely get through a day without a “digestive incident.” I was on the Pill during this time, too, and recall having yeast infections more, and oh! Hemorrhagic Cystitis — which means having a bladder infection so severe that I peed the color of Cherry Kool-Aid! That happened a couple of times that I can remember — once so badly that I went to the Emergency Room because I was in such pain. I was gaining a lot of weight, too, although I was not really eating more than usual. I just thought it was because I was turning 25 and growing up into a bigger, adult version of myself — hormones and all that.

I started taking lactase enzyme in the form of Lactaid caplets and that seemed to help me out some. The diarrhea and gas seemed better when I did, but I still had a lot of digestive upset. In spite of all this, I went off the Pill and got pregnant when I was a little over 27 years old. I made it through all the trimesters this time with little incident. I gained about 40 pounds and had a healthy baby boy in 1996.

I remember being shocked, though, that even though I was nursing, I had only lost 10 of the 40 pounds a few months after the birth. It was not a pleasant side effect of having a baby, but I accepted it, again, as encroaching “adulthood.” Adults just got fatter, right? Especially after they have babies, right?

I did not go back to taking the Pill because I nursed my son for a few months after having him. I remembered that the Pill had not made me feel great, though, and so I decided to stay off of it after he was weaned. I still got sinusitis and laryngitis a couple of times a year, I never really lost the pregnancy weight at all, and I basically threw my life into my son and my job as the marriage to my first husband, with all our mutual lack of maturity and cross-cultural differences, was failing.

By the time I was 31, I was separating from my first husband, became a single mother of a three-year-old boy, and experiencing yet another round of health problems.

My 30’s

The first thing that happened to me in my 30’s, post-baby and post-divorce is that my nice, normal 5-7 day periods arriving like clockwork on a 28-day basis turned into nightmares of Super Plus tampons needing to be changed every hour and doing so for two to three days in a period that stretched from 7 to more like 10 days in length. I got diagnosed with a fibroid tumor and was put on the Pill again. The annoying thing with it is it made me feel crappy. With my divorce, I ate less, I got out to do some walking to de-stress, and lost about 20 more of the 40 pregnancy pounds. I was still 10 pounds over where I had started before getting pregnant (and that was about 10-20 pounds heavier than what I had been for most of my 20’s). On the pill, I still felt crappy. I noticed around this time that other weird things were happening to me, such as I would have trouble gripping objects with my hands and I felt clumsier than usual. I also had heart palpitations, and light-headedness. I was still taking Lactaid caplets while eating dairy as my stomach seemed to react to dairy (although sometimes the caplets did not help very much). I cut way back on my caffeine intake and this seemed to help.

My periods got better, but I had noticed how much my hair had thinned and how I was cold so much of the time. I also could not lose the extra weight I still carried, even if I did not eat very much.

I felt pretty good in other areas as my job was going very well, I felt a true freedom and lightness — a new lease on life — from being divorced from my first husband, and I had met and started dating the man who was to become my second husband.

About a year after meeting, I was married to my second husband. The week after we got back from a few days in the Colorado mountains for a honeymoon, I was laid off from a job in web design in the great tech crash of 2001. My anxiety level kicked into high gear, I had insomnia badly, I felt unhealthy, and then, after my then-husband, my son and I relocated to NE Colorado, I had a terrible experience. I was still on the Pill for the heavy periods, but it had been causing breakthrough bleeding and short cycles — annoying stuff. With the stress of being a newlywed, having been laid off, and moving to a new location 120 miles out of the Denver area, something in my body snapped. I started a period that caused me to have to use a Super Plus tampon AND a heavy duty pad which had to be changed every half hour. This went on for three weeks.

Not having health insurance but needing to do something, I went to the local clinic. There, I saw a Physician’s Assistant who told me to double up on the Pill and that it should go away. She said something to me, though, that started my questioning into the role of food and my health. She clearly had some “natural medicine” (naturopathic) leanings for she explained that red meats and milk were full of hormones and that I might be sensitive to them. I wondered about this, but part of me also said to myself, “I think she’s kind of a quack.” and forgot about it.

Doubling up on the Pill did not help much. If I remember correctly, I went back to taking the Pill normally for a time, but then, I started to feel lumps begin to form in my breast tissue. Other weird things were going on with my health and reproductive organs. By now I had some very expensive health insurance for people who were self-employed, so I went to the doctor. I had a mammogram that came back clear. I stopped the Pill as I could not stop feeling bad while on it. I also got my thyroid levels tested. I was wondering if my symptoms of being cold, and losing hair, and heavy periods could be due to an underactive thyroid. Those symptoms can be due to hypothyroidism, but my thyroid levels were in “normal range.”

I started working as a public school teacher in 2002-2003. The job was stressful, and my life was so financially stressful as being the sole breadwinner for the family as the second husband continued to try to develop his own business, that I gained 20 pounds in just a few months and was actually at the weight I was just before my first baby was born, only not nine months pregnant. I felt horrible.

I was exhausted, I felt bloated, I still had very heavy periods, and then, in early 2003, I got pregnant and had another miscarriage, this time six weeks into it. I knew on some level it was going to happen. I was not healthy. I did not feel well at all.

I did not renew my teaching contract for the next school year. The second husband and I decided to open a small business of our own, a retail store, in the little NE Colorado town. I had been reading about the role of food and well-being, and happened on a couple of books that my then mother-in-law had. One that seemed to call out to me was the book Eat Right 4 Your Type by Peter D’Adamo (Wiki article here).

Whether or not the ideas of Dr. D’Adamo are completely accurate or not, I know that the health issues he described for Type O blood, which I have, fit the things I was experiencing. It recommended a higher-protein, lower-carb lifestyle, and this led me to read the famous low-carb book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution by Dr. Robert Atkins (Wiki article here).

The long and the short of this part of my health life is that I went on a low-carb diet, I lost almost 40 pounds, was at my pre-pregnancy weight once again and I started to feel better than I had in years. It is not an easy diet to maintain, however. While I tried to stay as low-carb as possible, I still went back to eating wheat and dairy. The weight would creep back on until I would remove those foods for a time. But I was able to maintain a lower weight overall.

In early 2005, I got pregnant again. It was more difficult at age 37 to be pregnant than at age 28. I had some undiagnosed complications, too. In my 21st week, I started bleeding. I got checked out, and was not miscarrying, but had no explanation could be given as to why it started. I would spot on an off for the next ten weeks, after which it stopped. I had a little bit of high blood pressure, but everything else went fairly well, although it was thought from an ultrasound that our son might have a kidney defect. He was born on November 7, 2005. His birth was not easy. It was natural, but upon his birth he was in sufficient distress that his APGAR score was only a 2. He recovered at five minutes to an 8. He was monitored for the next several hours to be certain he was not going to have further distress. An ultrasound then revealed that his kidneys were just fine.

I nursed him. I woke with him each night. I felt like crap, I felt kind of depressed and isolated, but then most new moms do. Also, I knew I was an older mom and could not expect to feel like an energetic 20-something anymore.

I think back on this time as kind of the beginning of the end of the second marriage, though.

I know that my ex-spouse likely has a completely different story about everything that happened, but I do look on this motherhood/parenthood experience as the beginning of the amplification of the fault lines in the foundation of who he and I were together. And this which I am writing about is not really related to my health, and yet it is. It’s all kind of one complex system, what it is to be human, isn’t it.

After the baby’s birth I was given iron supplements because I was anemic. I had not had medical care in a while, so I don’t know if I tested with iron-deficiency anemia before his birth. I just know that I have tested anemic since then, too. I did not take the iron supplements because, by this time, I also had become very constipated. Taking the iron seemed to exacerbate the problem.

I got into yoga, eventually, started to try to eat a little healthier and stay low-carb, and, ironically, picked up smoking once the baby was weaned at 10 months. I quickly escalated to a pack a day. Also at this time, I started to get cyclical yeast infections, ones that were very itchy and painful, but not with a lot of other symptoms that usually come with those kinds of imbalancess. I was not even sure what I had, and it was not until a year later that I would be diagnosed with a yeast infection that was cyclic and recurring. Initial tests even came up negative for yeast, but subsequent ones were positive.

By this time, husband and I had separated, he taking our son with him. I was working full-time, once again teaching. I lost a lot of weight with stress, smoking, and malnourishment.

My Present Days in Paris, in my 40s

Skipping a lot of personal information here that is not relevant to this particular health story (although very relevant to my life overall — another time, though),  I visited PJ in Paris and my friend Janet in Antibes in March of 2008. I turned 40 in May of 2008, finished my teaching contract, and I came back to France in June of 2008, where I have stayed ever since, with the exception of taking a few trips back to the States in order to have a current visa.

PJ has had a fairly “bachelor lifestyle” the past few years. This has  included a diet of a lot of beer and wine, and fritesand carb and fat-laden foods. I fell into this lifestyle with him once I got here. Then, of course, there are the bakeries with delicious breads,  pastries, etc. I jumped off the low-carb wagon and onto the high-carb express, eating as much French bread and drinking as much French wine as I could tolerate. And also could not tolerate, as it turns out. Weight started creeping back on. What is interesting about this is that I realize now that I was at times in those early months here in Paris eating less than 1,000 calories per day. I would not eat breakfast and lunch most days. I would drink coffee all day, smoke, and then have dinner with PJ, which was often hamburgers and fries, or, what we dubbed our “trailer trash meal,” corned beef on fries. We would make up plates of it and watch Jerry Springer re-runs on French TV. I still gained weight on carbs, even with eating small amounts of food each day.

It was fun while it lasted, but last it could not.

In March of 2009, I had an “incident.” I do not feel comfortable going into too much detail here, but the night after St. Paddy’s Day I drank too much beer, it made me very drunk and sick, PJ and I had a “falling out,” to put it mildly, and I went to my friend Janet’s in the South to sort things out, and so that PJ could sort things out, too, by himself.

Janet had been talking to me about Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, and food allergies for quite some time. But based on the state I was in when I visited her, I think it was she who really realized just how bad things had gotten with my health, she recognized some symptoms in me based on reading she had done on the subject, and she recommended I start eating gluten-free.

Here are some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance

Many checklists of symptoms of Celiac Disease/gluten intolerance can be found online.

Here are a couple of links and their list of symptoms:

Celiac-Disease.com

General Symptoms of Celiac Disease May Include One or More of the Following:

  • Recurring bloating, gas, or abdominal pain
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation or both
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Pale, foul-smelling stool
  • Unexplained anemia
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Behavior changes/depression/irritability
  • Vitamin K Deficiency
  • Fatigue, weakness or lack of energy
  • Delayed growth or onset of puberty
  • Failure to thrive (in infants)
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Infertility male & female
  • Spontaneous miscarriages
  • Canker sores inside the mouth

Celiac Disease Foundation — symptoms list (same as above)

This is turning into a behemoth of a post that is becoming even unwieldy for me, but I need to keep going a little more.

I want to put in a nice, tidy nutshell what I have learned, but it just isn’t going to work that way. And I need the word count today, too, so on I  push. This is not going to be a polished piece of writing, but I need to keep going.

As you maybe can see from that checklist, there is a lot of concordance with lifelong symptoms I have had and the symptoms checklist for Celiac. I have experienced 10 of the 16 symptoms there throughout my life.

I started eating gluten-free based on seeing the symptoms list.

Now, it should be noted, going off gluten like I chose to IS A BAD IDEA!

I wanted to put that nice and big so that anyone reading this and saying, “Yeah! I see those symptoms in me, too!” won’t just up and stop eating gluten. Here is why:

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

When working with a physician to diagnose and/or confirm Celiac Disease (CD), three major steps are taken.

  1. A thorough physical examination is conducted, including a series of blood tests, sometimes referred to as a “Celiac Blood Panel”.
  2. A duodenal biopsy is performed with multiple samples from multiple locations in the small intestine.
  3. The gluten free diet is implemented. When the patient shows a positive response to the diet – symptoms subside and the small intestine returns to its normal, healthy state, confirming the diagnosis of Celiac Disease.

Note: To ensure the most accurate and timely diagnosis of Celiac Disease, the gluten free diet should be implemented only AFTER the first two steps have been completed.   Otherwise doctors may be unable to confirm you have Celiac Disease via the biopsy.

From CeliacDiagnosis.com Celiac Disease Diagnosis Information

If you think you might have Celiac Disease and have access to medical healthcare, then take the information at these links to your physician and ask for the Celiac Blood Panel. In order for the presence of gluten antibodies to be present in the blood and therefore viewed on the test, a person needs to be ingesting gluten.

I have not had access to non-emergency medical care for over a year. Throughout the past several years, I have not had access to regular healthcare through a consistent provider. Consistent medical care has been very sporadic since I graduated from high school. I don’t know that I will have regular healthcare in the very near future. I could, and I may be able to do something about testing later (i.e., go on something called a “gluten challenge” where I basically would eat gluten and wait a few weeks to see whether or not it messes up my body again). I just know I certainly did not have access to it last spring when my body was in a bit of a crisis. I *had* to take matters into my own hands. There was no waiting to try to see someone to have a whole panel of tests and biopsies. I decided for myself to go off gluten, but what this means is that I may never know for certain if Celiac Disease is what I have.

I do know this: from my experiences on the Atkins Diet (which in its early stage is a gluten-free diet) a few years back and based upon the past six months of not eating gluten, I am healthier when I do not eat it. There is a problem with gluten and me. I suspect it could be Celiac, but I may never know for sure.

Other Food Intolerances

I have since learned that I also have problems with eating dairy, yeasts, sugars, and several kinds of fruits and vegetables.

Why is this?

Here’s what I have pieced together.

When the intestinal lining is compromised, then it makes it possible for molecules in foods to cause problems with the immune system. In the case of Celiac Disease, the body’s own immune system, when encountering the protein chains present in wheat gluten, turns around and attacks the cells on the walls of the small intestine. This is why Celiac is of a special class of food intolerances: it is also an autoimmune disease.

The small intestine is essentially the gateway through which nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and then sent to other organs of the body for use. It is the immune system’s first line of defense against foreign invaders getting into the bloodstream. If the walls of the intestine are compromised, either through Celiac, or through other problems, such as a yeast or bacterial overgrowth, then substances that normally do not make it into the bloodstream get in. When this happens, there are several parts of the immune system that come into play to “attack” the foreign invaders.

One of the best and simplest sites explaining some of this is here: Gluten and Other Food Intolerances

I found that my yeast infections were still going after stopping gluten, so I researched about yeast overgrowth in the body, discovered yeast overgrowth can happen easily to people with gluten intolerance and/or Celiac Disease, and to get the body back in balance, it is best to stay off of anything containing yeast, sugar (upon which the yeast feeds, so including the natural sugars in fruits), vinegar, anything fermented or with potential to have molds (peanuts, cheeses), and all grains, including non-gluten grains, but some which can be consumed in moderation (brown rice, for example).

I learned from several websites that there is a connection between something called “vulvodynia” (vulvar pain), chronic and cyclic yeast infections, and the consumption of oxalates, which are naturally occurring chemicals in foods such as buckwheat, quinoa, almonds, and figs. Women who have chronic and cyclic yeast infections and vaginal pain because of it are often helped by going on a low-oxalate diet.

Chronic Candida and the Oxalate Connection

Low Oxalate Diet

The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health

YEAST INFECTIONS, CANDIDA ALLERGY, AND VULVODYNIA – OBGyn.net

I try my best to stay away from foods high in oxalates, and I managed to get some Fluconazole (Diflucan) capsules here and am on a regimen where I have taken 150 mg once every third day, I am now taking 150 mg once per week for two months, and then I will take it every other week for two months. This is based on a research and treatment I read about here: Vulvodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis: Challenges in Diagnosis and Management. Just so you know about that previous link — it is at the American Academy of Family Physicians site, and it shows medical photos of hoo hoos. Like, you know, va jay jays. Vulvas. So proceed with caution, it is a NSFW site, maybe, unless you work at a doctor’s office, and NO, I DO NOT have it as bad as those chicks do on that site, thank god/dess.

I have learned, too, that once the immune system gets involved with having molecules from foods enter the bloodstream — also called “antigens” — then the adaptive part of the immune system goes into a kind of overdrive, sensitizing to those foods.

You can read more on this sensitization here: Allergies and here: Type III Pattern Food Allergy

What Happens to Me When I Eat Stuff to Which I Have Sensitized

Much like the earlier part of my life, mostly I feel crappy.

I get symptoms like with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (yes, that nebulous illness sometimes called the “Yuppie Flu,” but which is a part of what I have going on, I believe):

  • fatigue
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • fever and chills (not often, but it has happened)
  • tender lymph nodes
  • trouble concentrating
  • memory loss (for me, mostly as I can get so “spacey”)

I also can get stomach problems, like when I ate quinoa and had severe cramping and then diarrhea after eating it, even after soaking and washing it to get rid of something called saponins.

The other thing that happens and which is the most difficult to deal with is that I get severely depressed. Like, heavy-duty depressed.

I have had episodes of depression on and off through the years, but in the last five or so years, it has become really a problem. Until learning about food intolerances and their role in depression, I thought it was “just me” and that I was just “broken.” Mental problems are the hardest to handle because of their stigma, their incapacitating abilities, and the overall misery that something like depression brings to oneself and one’s family. It is my least favorite part of all of this. It’s why I have been trying to keep this blog — to keep my head above water and have some reasons to live.

What Do I Eat?

The list of things I am avoiding right now is so long and growing;  it is better to focus on what I eat instead of what I do not.

In the last few weeks, I have had reactions to the popcorn I had been eating at the movie theaters and the Ladurée macarons, too, which I just learned have additives in them. See the article, only in French, but maybe you will get the idea, here. I have discovered that the protein in dairy (casein) really sets off the CFS-type reaction.

The things that I find have not been making me react too hard, if at all, are:

  • chicken
  • rice
  • tuna
  • salad greens
  • eggs, in moderation (with which I also have been making homemade mayonnaise)

In feeling kind of desperate and hungry, lately I have been eating brussels sprouts (oven roasted, yum), red and green grapes (which in France all have seeds but are the juciest, yummiest round globes of sweetness!), and these cocoa, pure cane sugar and palm oil-coated rice cakes. Also: tamari — wheat-free soy sauce.

I had been, up until Saturday,  been trying popcorn at the movie theaters, but based on my experiences on Sunday, I think I am now reacting hard to corn, which is a common allergen and an easy food to sensitize to.

I am thinking that the cocoa-covered rice cakes could be a problem, too, as I was eating them like crazy (another warning signal for me is if I crave or have the feeling of “can’t get enough” when I start to eat something and cannot stop). Cocoa is not only high in oxalates, but is another common allergen (chocolate).

The jury is still out on cabbage and roasted cauliflower, but if you remember this post a while back, I think I can say that it seems cabbage makes me react pretty hard, too.

Other than that, I have had problems with foods not on that list, from potatoes and tomatoes, to leeks and turnips (okay, turnips not so much as I have not eaten them so very often! I just do not care a ton for them, but then I used to think that about brussels sprouts, too).

I need to try some broccoli again.

The Hardest Part of It All Right Now

I think that the toughest part of it right now is what a downer this all is. I mean, I eat a food: it makes me feel sick, tired and depressed. But eating in such a limited way makes me feel kind of sick, tired and depressed, too, especially in a place like Paris, France.

I know I don’t have it so very bad. There is a chica named CoconutGal. You can read about her at this post on Elana’s Pantry – Chocolate Chip Cookies Again. Weird thing, though. CoconutGal’s blog is closed now. It makes me a mite bit worried, like, what happened to her? Here is a link to a Flickr photo with her in it. But her blog is definitely closed down. It worries me. I hope nothing bad has happened to her…

I have found a few of her comments, a couple on this post here by Meghan Telpner creator of Making Love in the KitchenHow I Got Here. It’s a cool post. Kind of like what I have posted here, but a LOT shorter, and she already has come to a kind of light at the end of her tunnel and I am still in the tunnel. Anyway, it gives me some hope.

But now I am wondering why very little from CoconutGal appears online from beyond May of this year.

HOLY COW. I am so going to add Meghan’s blog to my Google Reader. Check out her post here: The Pill: Sex, Drugs, and Mood Swings, part 2 Wow.  A lot of what she writes there fits in with some of the things I have been writing about here in this post. It makes me realize how what we put inside our bodies does have an impact on our health, and sometimes, if we become super-sensitive people, drastically so.

Jeebus. I don’t know if you made it this far…

… but I just checked my word count and it is over 6,000. LOL. Yikes. I think I made up for yesterday and got today taken care of, too. This is WAY too long to be considered a blog post — more like a tome. But. I needed to write it. Maybe someone out there needs to read it and this is why it is here. I am okay with that.

Live long and prosper, kids.

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Categories: Candida/Candidiasis, Celiac Disease /Gluten Intolerance, Food Intolerances, Personal Life | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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13 thoughts on “I Am…

  1. aimee maher

    I totally read the whooooole thing. Now I’m off to look at the blood type stuff–I’m an O too.

    • pariskarin

      Mamers — you rock. Thank you for reading. I re-read it a few times myself, and actually felt for the length that the flow was not too bad! It feels good as a rough draft, though. Yeah, the Blood Type diet is really interesting! I enjoyed reading the book, and now, several years later, actually kind of am following it based on what I have found that I can’t eat! Ironic! But good, I hope, in the long run.

      Thank you again, chica. See you in yonder parts. 🙂 (That’s different than “nether regions,” heh!!)

  2. d

    Thank you for presenting your story in such candid and in-depth detail. Now I understand a fraction of suffering experienced by my gluten-sensitive friends and those diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
    P.S. There are likely health magazines–print and online–interested in your story. Consider pitching it to editors, if you’re so inclined.
    d

    • pariskarin

      Thank you, d! I really appreciate your taking the time to stop by, read this post, and comment such! I am glad that my first stab at this, this kind of “rough draft” of what has been going on with me, health-wise, has communicated things effectively. I had not thought of submitting this part of my story to anyone/anywhere yet — just trying at this point to get the words to come. But you know, that is not a bad idea to see if there is anyone interested in the story in a health magazine. I think that perhaps this may be the one I come back to, work with to edit and perhaps submit it somewhere such as that. Thank you for the idea to do so!

  3. Karen

    I’m so glad that you were able to kind of catch up in your writing… I, too, made it through your “tome” which was so honest and helpful! Thank you so much for sharing your story. Why are our bodies so confusing?!? Feel better Karin 🙂

    • pariskarin

      Thank you, Karen, for reading as well! I am glad that its honesty rings true and that it is helpful to read. I know, right? So confusing our bodies can be — such a puzzle to figure out! I know I swing between profound gratitude for and sometimes deep despair at having one! Part of the human experience, I guess. I like to tell my story like this as it helps us relate to one another and band together in this craziness that is called life.

      Thank you for the well-wishes and see you in a couple of hours!! Yay! 🙂

  4. ken

    been droping subtle hints ( Ten )

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  6. Nice subject area that you have chosen.

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  8. Ellie

    Thank you for being so real! Though I identify with your symptoms, I don’t have insurance, so I can’t be tested. Please publish something on the subject. There are too many books that emphasize extreme lifestyle changes (which cost too much time and money) and I don’t wonder if many of these authors are being endorsed by outside enterprises… ie. I read a book that encouraged regularly consuming Corn Pops cereal – what the heck?! Also, society doesn’t understand these health conditions, and can be very crude and unforgiving. It’s lonely and painful, but I’m encouraged to know there are others who are experiencing the same things. Thanks again! E

    • Hi Eliie! I am glad that this post gave you something with which to identify. Yup — it can be a very trying path on which to walk. Dealing with multiple food intolerances is very tough. I want to encourage you, though, that extreme lifestyle changes, while tough at first, do indeed start to come along, and while they are not an easy row to hoe, they are also not as expensive or challenging as I believed them to be. I guess that I just got to the point with the health issues that making the changes was less painful than the symptoms. Corn Pops, though, eh? LOL. That just sounds plain dumb, lol!! Hang strong. I know for me, there are good days that come along with the bad ones. I look forward to those good days to get me through the bad ones. Overall, though, I see progress in myself by sticking close to eating the way that makes me feel good, despite what others are doing around me. I certainly feel, that while it is a total pain in the ass some days, it is worth feeling better to go against the rest of the world (or at least that is how it feels sometimes). Good luck to you, Ellie, and thank you for reading!!

  9. Jane

    Hi again – just read your whole post – couldn’t stop reading it – very similar to me but not exact, I had the candida thing for many years – not sure if it was the cause of food intolerances or a side effect really…..my own personal story is monsterous like yours but I won’t go into detail!

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