Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Approximate Size of My Favorite Digestive Tract

Back in January, I got what I think was Norovirus. I wrote about it here

For the past however many years (eeps, I think it'e more than 10 years) I have had occasional flare ups of IBS.  IBS Stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It's not that big of a deal. My digestive tract doesn't quite work right all the time.

But after the norovirus extravaganza, things seemed to go from bad to worse.  I had no energy. I would go to bed by 8:30 or 9.  I didn't want to go running; I didn't want to go work out at all. And I was cranky too. 

My nice husband still got up diligently at 6:30 a.m. to make me breakfast four days a week.  Since it's been cold and snowy out, he made oatmeal. The kind of oatmeal that's not quick oats. These take are Irish steel cut oats, and they take about an hour to cook correctly. I'd drag ass down about 7:15, shower and sip coffee until it was ready. 

And most days I'd have these bouts of distress (to put it mildly).  My pants didn't fit anymore. I have weird body issues anyway, so this freaked me out and I didn't want to eat anything.  I felt better when I didn't eat much.  I've avoided milk and soy for a long time.  Milk doesn't taste good and soy makes me absolutely sick. 

Finally, one Thursday after I came home sick and was in bed (at 4 p.m. for cripe's sake) with a heating pad on my stomach, we figured we try some different foods. I'd go off of gluten for awhile.  I made an appointment with my doctor too, in order to check for Celiac disease.  And nuts.  They seem to make me sick too. They always have.

At first I thought Ok, this isn't so bad. At least I can still have coffee and dairy. Within days I started to feel better.  Mostly better. 

My doctor asked if I could be lactose intolerant.  No. No, I cannot be lactose intolerant.  Yes, my sister has to limit her dairy intake or risk migraines. But it would make sense. So I kicked and screamed reluctantly acquiesced and cut out yogurt, ice cream and cheese.  Life was not worth living.  I felt a little depressed.

Here is what I had for lunch the other day:
Yeah, that's carrots, orange, cauliflower and broccoli. And coffee and water. 
Meanwhile, Grey swung into action. We looked at the local health food store to see what was out there.  We also paid over $7 for a loaf of rice bread. Ouch! So we made a list of foods and figured out what we'd like to switch to for breakfast.  While oats aren't a wheat product, for some reason they still make me sick.  We decided on eggs and toast for breakfast.  The next day, he went to some stores around town to scope out what he could find.  There appeared in the cupboard rice cereal (delicious) and sesame crackers (also delicious), sorbet, fresh options, soups and olives and a weekly menu of stuff that I can eat pretty comfortably. 
Nicest. Guy. Ever.
It's been 3 weeks.  I've had to sort of add in meat again.  Maybe twice weekly.  It's not awful. It's just not good.  But I have much, much more energy.
My doctor never called me back. I called for the results of my Celiac test- negative.  The nurse says I'm having a bad flare up.  Bland diet for awhile. Nothing they can do.  She said to call back if it was prolonged or really painful.  I asked how long prolonged is.  And how painful is painful. She doesn't know.  So my doctor doesn't really know what it is.  He's lumping me in with a general diagnosis of IBS because I don't fit into another category.  Diagnosis by elimation no pun intended.
Ah well. This will pass. It just stinks and I'm going to pout for awhile.  But I will get over it.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to eat some plain noodles.


  1. I can sympathize as I sometimes have these "bouts" - broccoli is one of the things that stress my tummy. Glad you are finding your triggers - "knowledge is power", even if the knowledge "stinks". Take care.

  2. Having dealt with mild IBS and lactose intolerance for most of my adult life, may I make a suggestion? If you are giving up yogurt, take some probiotics. My system is now in pretty good shape and I find that if I eat yogurt (plain, homemade) most every day, it stays that way. I can now do cheese and a little milk in my tea or coffee. And as you may know, just because your test was negative for Celiac disease doesn't mean you aren't gluten intolerant. As for oats, they are often processed on equipment with wheat. I'm pretty sure a gluten-free brand is available. I don't have gluten issues but I know lots of folks who do so that is why I know that. ;) Btw, I'm a progressive Oklahoman who is interested in politics, activism, etc., too.