There were a few times this past month where I cracked open ye old blog editor, started typing nonsense and then got distracted. This led to a total of 1000 words that got lost to the ether, never to be seen by this blog. I'll try to make up for it in June.
Let's talk about doctors.
Now that Isabella successfully had her surgery and has recovered quite nicely from it (you go girl), I felt that it was my time to shine in the medical mystery spotlight. For the past few months I had been having interesting digestive symptoms that felt a heck of a lot like getting "glutened" when I know darn well I had not ingested any of it.
Now, for those of you that are new or may not remember, I sincerely wish that I was one of those people who did the gluten free thing because of a diet or because it "made me slightly gassy", unfortunately I am full on diagnosed celiac. This disease, if you're not aware yet, is an auto-immune disorder where my body has decided that it hates anything made with "delicious". So much so, that when I do eat any of this delicious, it just decides to beat the crap out itself. That is, my white blood cells attack the villi in my small intestine.
You know... because... genetics. Yay!
Anyway, gluten free diet but having symptoms as though I wasn't. This evolved into a pressure under my left rib cage that manifested itself after eating "certain" things. I tried pro-biotics, I tried diet alteration, I tried antacids, I tried a lot of things. Why?!
Because I hate doctors.
I don't hate the people... I hate what they represent. Doctors represent the fragility of my body. I hate being fragile.
After trying many natural things to fix this pain issue, I finally broke down and visited my local doctor. After explaining these symptoms to him I got a "sounds like heart burn"... hrm... well, ok it may sound like heartburn, but I can tell you it's not. But, you're the doctor - so give me some heart burn meds (because the OTC stuff wasn't good enough) and lets call it a day.
2 weeks later, still pain, no change. Sitting in my office, holding my left hand side, I said screw it and went into a walk-in clinic at the behest of my wife. I walk in (like the clinic told me to), explain the pressure I've been having after eating, and she immediately says, "well, I'll have to talk with the doctor down here because I'm not sure we want to take a heart issue... we might walk you up to the emergency room".
Wut? I said "digestive"... not heart... I'm not having a heart att...aaand here we go up to the emergency room.
Upon arriving in the emergency room, I was told to get in a gown, lay down, had an IV jammed in and 6 viles of blood taken, all with nurses scrambling around me. Whoa whoa whoa whoa... what the crap?! I went from having some pressure in my lower chest to hard core emergency patient.
After a bit of panicking and the emergency doc finally chilling everyone out, I was free to go with a referral to a gastroenterologist (couldn't they have done that in the walk-in?).
Let's talk about bacteria.
Most bacteria is actually really good for your body. We have billions of bacteria chilling in our flesh bags in a pretty symbiotic relationship. From our mouths, to our skin, to our insides... it's everywhere.
Sometimes bad bacteria gets in there and needs to be killed, which a fever and some white blood cells take pretty quick action on.
Sometimes bacteria growth just gets out of hand.
When this happens in your intestines, specifically your small intestine, this is a bad thing. A newly discovered diagnosis called Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth, or SIBO, has been found to effect a lot of people. Turns out, in celiacs, it's really common. I would have never known this had I not gotten the referral to the quite amazing GI doctor.
SIBO presents itself most commonly when you have any sort of damage to your small intestine which would prohibit the normal muscular contractions that keep the large intestine's bacteria out. Also, and I write this with a whole crap ton of disdain towards the other doctor, stomach acid is another huge player in keeping your small intestine overgrowth free.
Being on an acid inhibitor was one of the worst things that I could have done. Way to go, doofus.
Further reading about SIBO also leads to some recent studies that show that this whole "gluten intolerance" thing might be a load of garbage (remember, gluten intolerance is nothing like being a celiac) and that, in fact, it might be people suffering from SIBO. One of the things that plays to comfort with SIBO is a low FODMAP diet. Which, ironically enough, includes eating lots of gluten free stuff.
Let's talk about future updates.
I actually have a lot of other stuff I want to write about that happened in May, but will do so later this month. I feel that your attentiveness to this text is dwindling... or is it my dwindling attentiveness to writing...