I’ve been rather slack with the blogging. I had some ‘2018, New Year’ posts to write, some interviews to share and some other ideas I wanted to try. Unfortunately for me, all of that has been sitting on the back burner while I’ve been trying to get my gut sorted. Yes, I said I’m sorting my gut.
I was getting really sick toward the end of last year. It was the type of sick that was easy to hide or disguise, I somehow managed to get through my days. I took a lot of painkillers for the constant body pain and drank a lot of coffee to stay alert. I chalked it down to being overworked, not enough iron, needing a rest or maybe not having enough time to recover. People assumed I was getting sick because I was too skinny, didn’t eat enough red meat, had a ‘bad immune system’ and needed more vitamins. I was feeling chronically tired, had chronic body aches and pains and felt like I was always ‘catching the flu’ but didn’t ever really get ‘sick’. My mood was low, I was tired and unhappy and I didn’t know why. I went to the doctor and demanded blood tests because I was so sick of feeling sick. I got my tests back with pretty normal findings except for being a little on the low side with my Vitamin D. The doctor told me to take some tablets and seemed to resolve that ‘that was that’. I was frustrated. Something came over me and I blurted ‘Is that all I need to do? The Vitamin D tablets will make me stop feeling so sick all the time?’. Perhaps it was the look of utter despair on my face or the fact that I was sitting there slumped over white as a ghost but the doctor actually took notice of me. She really looked at me and said, “how long have you been feeling sick?”.
Next move was to see a Rheumatologist to work out why I was having the chronic body and joint pain. My doctor wanted to rule out Fibromyalgia which is a chronic pain disorder that nobody can find a cure for (yay). Well, I was only diagnosed with Hypermobility Joint Syndrome (HJS) which means that my over-flexible joints can cause me a world of chronic pain if they are overused. Of course, my joints are overused, I am a performer and a dance teacher. He told me I was ‘border-line Fibromyalgia’ which I guess was good news? He gave me some fact sheets on chronic pain, prescribed some strong painkillers and directed me to a few websites. I still felt like I had no solid answers. I couldn’t keep living like this, feeling sick all the time and not being able to do normal things like go to the shops without feeling like I was going to pass out.
Not satisfied with any of these findings I booked in to see a gut specialist. Apparently, HJS can cause gut issues and I was definitely feeling like that needed some attention. It was worth a try I mean I was willing to try witchcraft and human sacrifice to feel better! Well, well, well. It turns out I had some nasty parasites lurking in my stomach, probably for years, doing some huge damage to my immune system. I have adrenal fatigue and leaky gut (dysbiosis) which can explain many of my chronic illness symptoms. For years I have been putting up with feeling sick, food allergies seeming to appear out of nowhere, feeling tired and never ever feeling 100% healthy. After lots of time and money spent I finally have some answers.
I’m not going to preach to you about how to get your gut health back in order. There are plenty of other bloggers out there that are already on top of that. I will say this though – never give up on something until you find an answer, especially if it has to do with your health. Do not allow your concerns to be dismissed and keep fighting until you are heard. If you’re feeling sick all the time more than likely something is wrong and it can be fixed or managed. I think we sometimes like to ignore any feelings of pain or illness for fear of appearing weak. I would look at my husband, who works so hard and is able to go from one job to another, feeling fine and dandy. I’d feel silly for being tired or feeling run down. I didn’t want to think about feeling sick and it wasn’t until I found myself literally unable to move off the couch that I realised something was wrong. We live in such a fast-paced world that we can chalk it down to needing rest or needing a break. While this might be true sometimes it’s more serious than just needing a few hours to soak in the bathtub. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you are ‘just tired’ or ‘need a rest’ if you know deep down there is something seriously wrong. Listen to your body and trust your gut!
2018 was supposed to be a year of huge ‘career’ resolutions. Last year I got married to my soul mate so my love life is sorted. This year I decided I’d focus on my career. Well, you can imagine how pitiful something like ‘career’ is when you measure it up to your health. It seems foolish to focus on something like that if I feel constantly sick all the time. This year I will reconnect with the healthier version of myself and concentrate on feeling good from the inside. In true fashion, I will, of course, be oversharing all of this with you all on my blog. I feel like issues of pain, fatigue and ‘invisible illnesses’ need to be shared. I’m lucky that I was not diagnosed with something more serious and life-threatening but I won’t sit back and take any chances. My body is the only one I have. Trust your gut!
Have you experienced something similar? What journey did take to get answers?