As a child I had no idea about health or well being. I had no concept of living with a chronic illness or what it even felt like to be unwell. I ate what I ate when I wanted to eat it, lived my life the way I wanted to without many limitations or compromises. Until recently I had no idea just how many people suffer from a a variety of ailments impeding their everyday lives. Ignorance really is bliss.
Almost as if suddenly, an imaginary door opened and a whole world was exposed to me where I realized there are so many people suffering daily, suffering without answers, suffering with answers and suffering none the less. It’s hard to go through these health journeys; it’s hard to watch someone you love go through one as well, but I am a firm believer that everything is embedded with lessons. Teachable moments are peppered throughout life and sometimes it takes something big to get your attention.
How does my stomach feel?
It feels like pain. It feels like restriction. It feels like confusion. It feels like sadness.
Roughly two years ago I went through a painful two month process trying to figure out why I couldn’t eat much, why my stomach was in so much pain and then I discovered I had h. Pylori. This little bug is responsible for ulcers and all kinds of crappy pains and tortures and is really not well understood by everyone in the community. I went through a very rough round of powerful antiobiotics – 3 pills twice a day and it reeked havoc on my system. When the first round didn’t feel very successful, we did it again with four pills – twice a day, and I was incredibly sick. I recovered from that still feeling unwell and decided perhaps I needed to seek out some natural solutions. These natural solutions seemed to work better for me, but I still wasn’t myself. I had many limitations on what I could and couldn’t eat. If I ate something on my “could not”eat list I was sent back into a world of pain and regret. It was incredibly irritating, I had lost a lot of weight and was so unhappy from the restrictions.
Things did slowly improve and life went on. I did my best to avoid some acidic and some high fat foods (I do miss avocados a lot though) as well as figure out what I could and couldn’t eat. Then I got pregnant. During my pregnancy and postpartum I was able to eat some things that I had avoided in the past. I felt pretty good and normal, I started to push the envelop more and more, feeling I was healed. One thing I was supposed to avoid was caffeine. I am not a coffee drinker, but I can drink a lot of tea; those caffeinated teas gave me the energy to tackle life with two small children. After a month of new found energy, I rediscovered the pain. It could have been the caffeine, it could have been my new push the limit diet all adding up, but I will never know the why – and that bugs me.
Accepting these things at face value is often hard for me; not knowing, also bothers me. Ultrasounds have checked out fine, I almost wish they had found something because I desperately search for a concrete problem with a concrete solution. My doctor and I are approaching things one theory at a time. Perhaps it is an irritation that opened a sore in my stomach and it just needs to heal. Perhaps it’s h. Pylori back again, and yes that can happen. One theory at a time. There is no absolute solution that works for everyone all of the time, forever. A round of antiobiotics could cure you of this, but may never cure me; but it is like that for most things in life. There is no one stop solution that works for everyone, you have to navigate what works best for you and your body. We are all different and require different needs. Figuring out individual solutions can take some time and effort but there is often something awesome hidden inside, a lesson, a motivation -something pushing you outside yourself and into your true self. Hidden amongst the rubble is you, waiting to be the real you – daring to be great, daring to be you.
I have no idea where my stomach problems will take me physically, I have no idea of what will come from this but I can confidently tell you I’m not the same person who started this health journey and I will never be and that’s kind of awesome.