Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Am Only A Little Crazy and Alot Gluten Free

So no updates on the home-front for now.  We had a few major road-blocks in the new house come up that I really don't want to go into right now.  Perhaps another time...
  Since everyone is stressed out, including those who helped us move, things got a little heated around these parts...
  Mom got into one of those tirades where she started throwing insults etc. that didn't even have anything to do with what she was supposedly mad about, but during this bout she informed me that she thinks I'm crazy. 
  Proof of this? I don't eat gluten (and I'm pagan).
  If being Wiccan makes me crazy then I guess I am guilty as charged.  Right now I'll just focus on the Gluten free part..

I'd like to go into this bit of gluten-free craziness, just in case anyone else has similar troubles. I follow a blog on occasion where a woman is trying through trial and error to cure her disease--endometriosis.  This disease is supposedly incurable, and I have/had it too.
  I didn't just have it a little, I had it a whole bunch.  The pain was so unbearable I could not enjoy any aspect of life.  One of the great myths about this disease is that it just means you have "hard periods".  How I wish that were true!
  After many  years of it getting worse I became unable to sit or stand for very long, could no longer ride a bike and could not have sex without resorting to prescription opiates.  I had excruciating 24/7 pain.  I considered getting on disability (good luck! that myth people have about endo. exists in the disability world too! why give someone disability for "hard periods??).  I also contemplated (albeit in passing) suicide since my life was filled with nothing but pain.
  I think this is very difficult for someone to imagine if they don't have it, or are one of the (lucky?) ones who seem to experience no pain from it.  These "lucky" ones often have very severe cases and only find out when they are so full of scars they cannot conceive a child...
  I finally got a diagnosis after about 6 years of doctor visits.  I went in for the laperoscopy (the only definitive way to get a diagnosis) and they "lasered" off the scar tissue strangling my colon and burned off the tumors/implants/lesions --whatever you'd like to call them, that were covering the insides they could reach.  Like most women, they were back in short order and growing and spreading again.
  I was told I'd need to be on Lupron (a no bull-shit drug also used for cancer with bad side effects, some permanent).  When I refused, they said I should try Depo-provera since it was just a lower dose.
I tried different natural treatments and was finally so miserable I opted to try the Depo thinking that maybe if I could tolerate that I'd move on to Lupron. 
  I took one dose, and lost a ton of my hair, among a host of other nasty side effects.  Now, me and hormonal treatments have never got along.  I understand there are many who like Depo--I am not one of them! I never got another shot and resumed my search for a cure or something to alleviate my pain without the side effects.
  I started going vegan for inflammation.  I went to aryuvedic doctors. I had acupuncture.  I eventually came up with a routine of exercise, yoga, sauna for detox and a barage of herbs: yerba mate for allergies and fatigue, pao de arco for fungus, chasteberry for too much estrogen, maratime pine bark for pain mitigation.  On my period I had to still resort to the prescription opiates, plus ibuprofen and a combo of cramp bark and valerian root. I did rituals to rid myself of disease.  I prayed alot. I still barely got by.  I found all these herbs that helped, but they just covered up the symptoms, took the volume down a bit, the same way western drugs had (at least they didn't have the nasty side effects...)
  Funny thing about endometriosis, it comes with ALOT of complications and it tends to cascade and cause other things like thyroid troubles, cancer, allergies etc.
  Many years a later I accidentally went gluten free for a couple of days after a trip to the asian market for rice-goodies.  I felt great for a change.  I examined what I'd was gluten.  I'd seen online others with endo felt better after being GF, and I thought I'd tried it before.  But I didn't know at the time how many things gluten was hiding in.  Who knew most soy sauce had it??  I now check labels religiously. After a year of being gluten free, I now only have a twinge of pain from time to time.  Periods can still be a little bad, but only 1 month out of six requires a prescription.  It's pretty damned much cured.
  Also my stomach pain is gone, my gas, bloating, joint pain, the numbness going down both arms and an improvement in allergies.  I can eat meat again ( kinda feel like I have to since going gluten free leaves one with little options at times).  I still watch dairy as it bothers my sinuses.  Does this sound crazy yet??  With all of those problems I think it is easy to label someone as a hypochondriac (the word my dear mother was actually looking for when she threw out "crazy").  Having a gluten intolerance also causes those things.
  Is going gluten free the only thing I have changed to keep my health in check? No, but it is 80% of my recovery as far as I can tell.  I have breast-fed my son long-term now, so I cannot be certain how I will fair when my estrogen is no longer kept in check.  In his first year of life my endo returned with a vengeance as soon as periods returned.  It was not until I cut gluten that I began to improve.  It took a year to get feeling back in my left arm/hand. If I get a "dose" of gluten my numbness returns.  My various health complaints on gluten could fill a book I imagine...
  The woman whose blog I follow still hasn't found her panacea, but for me, it seems largely due to cutting out gluten.  Did I do other stuff in the years-long journey, yes! Am I still trying other stuff to feel even better--hell yes!
   I think that a cure can be different for every woman.  It is whatever is causing her particular imbalance (possibly more than one thing!).  It is a daunting task to try to figure it out on your own.  One that is nearly impossible, I think, without providence.  But that doesn't mean it is impossible.  Remember we are talking about a supposedly incurable disease that I (and many others) have all but cured, or eradicated using natural means.  The blog I am speaking of "" was recently hacked and someone posted all over it about how she is crazy and should just take Lupron.
  It's not crazy.  When something doesn't work we simply take our own life, our own health, into our own hands.  The alternative is to lay down and die, or watch yourself get progressively worse,which is the same thing.  This disease attacks younger and younger ages.  Even as early as teens.  That is a sad time to have your enjoyment of life, your actual life, over. I had symptoms as long as I can remember that got progressively worse, since age 11.
  I don't see lying down and giving up as an option. And it is not crazy to take control of your own life, even if it looks strange to others.  For any other women out there suffering, don't give up hope, and don't worry if you look crazy, your health is so much more important than all that...
love and light,