It was sometime in my early teens that things began, slowly. I noticed that I felt horrible at the movie theatre. We figured it was stress of some sort. Then I realized that sodas were bothering me, and stopped drinking them or any other carbonated soft drink. I knew that eating hurt, but I didn't know that it was abnormal. I just assumed I didn't deal with it as well as other people.
When I was 18, I graduated and was enrolling in college. I was told I needed to get the hep B vaccine. That night I felt awful. Not just dizzy, but nauseous. I decided to go out, anyways, and ended up laying down on a grassy area with my confused friends sitting around me. Eventually the cramping passed enough that I managed to drop them all off somewhere and get home. My mom and I were told it was just a side effect from the vaccine. Except, it kept happening.
I refused to eat out, ever. I brought my own food to other people's houses or waited to eat until it was almost time to leave. I had my first baby, and the all day and night "morning" sickness did not help this food phobia. I still ate...and I still ate junk food. In mass quantities. French fries didn't bother me, and bread seemed to help mask the discomfort, at least if I ate frequently. I couldn't get hungry or the cramps would start again.
I developed what was termed "rosacea". It was a nasty, blistering, bleeding rash over my face. It did not respond to treatment. The only times it improved were when I was too sick to eat. But I didn't make the connection. I'd sleep with socks on my hands so I wouldn't scratch. I gave up on make up and treatment options, and the tolerance factor improved marginally. It still looked bad, though.
I was labelled with IBS, and PCOS. During my menses, the cramping was unbearable and I would take up to 800 mg of motrin at a time. This was prescribed...I wasn't just taking chances. That would take the edge off enough for me to sleep. Usually on the bathroom floor because I'd also developed incontinence at times. Did I mention I was only 23? My new dr said this was normal with IBS.
I got pregnant with my second child sometime around my experiments with vegan macrobiotic cooking. I figured there had to be a food connection, and macrobiotics sounded like a good way to get my gut back under control. I thought it helped a little, but some of the foods (like polenta) really did a number to my stomach. My newest dr said I probably just needed time to get used to this new, healthier way of eating.
When I went in for the glucose tolerance test things took a turn for the worse. I felt like my gut had been ripped open. I could actually feel the length of my intestinal tract, and it felt like it was on fire. My mouth erupted into sores. I was told I just wasn't used to so much sugar. (The test results were 80. by the way. Phenomenally good, I'm told.) When the pressure, cramping, and general burning persisted I was told it was stress. And life was pretty stressful.
After the baby was born. I had periods of extreme nausea and dizziness. My arms would go numb. The world would darken. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, and it was hot...so miserably hot, as if a huge hot air balloon had just opened over me. It was stress, and maybe anemia.
After all, this baby wasn't a happy contented baby like my first. This one screamed. She screamed herself blue in the face, and then got louder. She arched her back and kicked her legs, and nursing only made it worse.
The funny thing was...she woke up happy as a lark. She just hated nursing. A food diary soon led me to the culprit...nuts. We ditched all nuts in the house, and a new baby appeared. One that laughed and snuggled and didn't cry herself to sleep.
The results were so astounding, we began to wonder if food could help my older dd's headaches. We couldn't find a connection with a food diary, so we began an elimination diet. No dairy...no effect. No chocolate...no effect. No corn...Well, thats strange, she still had headaches, but my rosacea disappeared.
And so...the journey began.