TW: ED Triggers
I haven’t written a ramble in a low time, so I think it’s time to share one. A few weeks ago, I shared on Instagram about some health issues I had been facing. I haven’t talked about it fully, so I decided to share some words about my health. Now, I did add a TW for this blog post just in case, so please be mindful of it.
Near the end of September or early October, I began to have stomach issues, felt more exhausted than usual, and my hair was falling out in huge chunks. I thought my exhaustion was because I would start a depressive issue, so I didn’t really think anything of it. Now, my hair has been falling since I started grad school due to stress and health issues, but it never started to fall as it did then. I used to hate to shower because I was scared. I would watch huge clumps of hair fall of my hair, and I would start to cry. And brushing my hair got me in an awful mood.
Then the vomiting began.
Every single day after dinner, I would find myself throwing up. No matter what I ate, I would find myself in the bathroom 10 minutes later, throwing everything back up. It got to the point where I was so scared to eat. My throat began to burn. People kept telling me that it could be acid reflux or something similar, but the food came back up no matter what I took. I honestly just gave up eating dinner, but I would sometimes find myself throwing up something clear even then.
I knew I was going to the OBGYN for my annual visit, so I asked her if I could get some blood work done, thinking that I perhaps had issues with my thyroid. I talked to my doctor about all my issues, and she agreed that blood work could help figure out what is causing everything.
My phone rang a few days later. A nurse wanted me to schedule a visit with my PCP to discuss some questionable lab work.
It was my liver and potassium.
Visiting the doctor at the time of Covid isn’t fun, but I had to do take care of myself. My PCP and I talked about my health issues and we came to the agreement to get more lab work done, but she wanted me to get rid of a lot of food groups in case something was causing my liver numbers to come out high.
I began a diet that had no processed food or any type of flour. I practically ate veggies and lean protein with some fruit thrown in. It was the only thing I could eat, but even then, I was still nauseous. I was getting anxious wondering if something serious was going on. Had I destroyed my body?
I went through various exams, and my liver and potassium were getting better. My hair was a whole other issue.
So instead of hiding from the world, I decided to share part of my health story.
View this post on Instagram
I began to get messages from random women, who don’t even follow me, about how their products would help my hair. I began to cry even more. I was so furious with women, who didn’t really bother to read my story or even ask questions, making assumptions about my hair. I told one woman that her expensive shampoo wasn’t going to help me because I had medical problems. She wasn’t a doctor or a nurse, so who was she to say such things? I was furious and hoped my hair would come back.
Thankfully, my doctor referred me to a GI and a dermatologist. The downside was that I had to wait patiently to get an appointment. I continued to watch what I ate, but I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I had energy, didn’t throw up and I genuinely felt good.
The GI and I talked as she saw my lab results, and realized that two things could have caused my issues so she wanted me to visit the lab one more time. I really wanted to be done with all the blood work, but I had to find out what was wrong, so I agreed. I scheduled another appointment and waited patiently.
On the day of the lab appointment, I looked at my husband. “I hope this is it for us and this chapter. I don’t think I can handle any more anxiety of the unknown.”
Later that day, I got the answers I needed. I was sensitive to gluten and had an infection. While I tested negative for Celiac, my body was still sensitive to gluten. I was never tested so how was I supposed to know that my body couldn’t handle gluten? I had explained my health issues to many doctors before, but they all just shrugged and told me to lose weight. My PCP had also prescribed me medicine that was already helping my infection so that was already gone by the time I got tested.
I cried so hard after that phone call. I was done with the blood work, learned what was wrong with my body, and why it was behaving the way it was. It felt so nice to be done with the anxiety and fear of “what if.”
Today, I am feeling much better. Physically, I am not as exhausted as I used to be and my clothes are fitting looser now that I know what foods I need to avoid. I can finally eat food without the fear of it coming back up. Mentally, my anxiety was gone. I wasn’t checking the internet to see what my symptoms could be and wondering if my body was going to ever recover.
Unfortunately, my hair is still extremely thin, but I am seeing the dermatologist in a few weeks. I was told that with my new eating habits, my hair should start coming back. I cannot wait for that day.
So yeah, it has been an interesting few weeks/months, but that is what I have been dealing with the last few weeks.