Well, it’s been a while since I talked about my stomach problems and at this exact moment, I’m being constantly reminded ‘hey I exist remember me’ by what I refer to as the baby sharks in my stomach SO let’s dive right in, shall we?
The last time I updated, I talked about the low sulfur diet my naturopath had me on to see if sulfur and sulfates were the root of my stomach problems. Spoiler alert: they’re not. With the huge amounts of elimination diets I’ve been doing this year, my naturopath and I have basically come to the conclusion that more likely than not, my problems are not due to the foods I’m eating (to an extent, I’ll still be following a mostly-Paleo diet because it does make a difference to cut out grains and dairy), but rather the fact that my insides just do not work the way we need them to. My pancreas doesn’t release enzymes when it’s supposed to, my gallbladder doesn’t produce enough bile to break down the foods I’m eating, and my digestion is slow and painful. The frustrating thing is that we can know all of that, but it doesn’t lead us to a solution. How to make me feel better.
Honestly, things have been worse lately. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s stress, food, the election, whatever, a combination of everything going on. I feel like shit basically all the time. Mentally, physically, I’m exhausted. I’m depressed and having a hard time focusing on anything. I feel zoned out so often, apathetic, just tired. I want to sleep for weeks and wake up feeling better. I don’t want to go to work. I’m having a hard time not crying every day. It’s hard to work and come home and make dinner and clean and feel like I’m keeping myself together when I’m in so much pain its all I can do not to rip my hair out.
The next experiment on our list is a protocol of supplements recommended by the nutritionist at my naturopath’s office, intended to dissolve gallstones. Now, I do not have gallstones, but she said it would probably be beneficial for me and could help repair my gallbladder. The problem is, we don’t know if it will help. Also, it’s expensive. I’ll probably start the protocol at some point, but haven’t decided whether I’ll be doing it very soon or waiting until after the holidays to move forward.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a full year that I’ve been facing my stomach problems head-on. I mean, I’ve been dealing with the pain for about 5 years and have been seeing doctors about it for the last three, but this is the first period of time that I’ve actually felt like I’m making some progress. If you’re having any issues that your doctors aren’t able to diagnose, I would really recommend seeing a naturopath. Seeing my naturopath has really reinstilled my faith in doctors because before I started seeing her, I was really ready to give up. Too many times being told it’s just in my head, it’s just anxiety, ‘why don’t you just try a vegan diet and everything will be okay?’. Having someone who actually listens to me and values and respects my opinion? This shouldn’t feel like the goldmine it is.
Anyway, if you hung in here for all my rambles, thank you. Anyone with chronic pain knows that it’s a bitch to deal with, and while I certainly don’t want it to be the focus of my blog, and even feel embarrassed bringing it up sometimes, unfortunately, pain is a large part of my life. It’s there daily, weighing me down, and sometimes the way to feel less sad about it is to write about it, or talk about it. I also hope that if anyone stumbles upon my little blog and is having any of the same problems, they can find comfort in that and maybe even find an idea of what they might be able to try to heal themselves.
xoxo Odessa Darling