First off: No, I am not pregnant.
For the past few years I have been plagued with stomach and health problems. I have always had a sensitive stomach (I blame my incredible mother...) but 2008-2011 have presented a brand new set of problems that I knew was not just sensitivity. Intense nausea, powerful migraines and lack of appetite have danced across my days unannounced for three years. People wrote it off as me being stressed, under pressure, and even anorexic. (Please, take one look at me...then re-think the anorexia assumption.) I, however, know my body. I absolutely knew something was wrong. On my first date with my husband, actually, I was just finishing a detox prescribed by a nutritionist to get to the bottom of this (we never did.) So OJ has been with me through all of this- the good, bad, and very ugly. While I was sure this was just the way I am, the pre-med major portion of my husband was determined to figure it out.
I can never be confident what sets off the stomach pains, but when it comes it is there to stay. Discomfort and a filled-to-the-brim feeling last for hours, even if I had only taken two bites of my meal. If I was going to a restaurant to meet people, I had to be conscious of how long the ride home was incase I felt sick. The migraines were new, but I recently spent a very scary night in the hospital because I was sure the migraine couldn't be "just" a migraine. Of course, I was given an IV and sent home with a lollipop. I have seen a total of six doctors for this issue, had a CT scan of my abdomen, a cat-scan of my brain, an ultra sound, given up dairy, given up flour, and anything else you can name only to hear doctor after doctor say "Congratulations! Nothing is wrong, you look perfectly normal."
Normal is the worst.
All the recent traveling and new developments of this stomach issue had my husband and I on our knees praising God that Jesus Christ died on the cross so that we would not be living in illness, and praying for answers and the right doctor to lead us to health. That doctor came in the form of Doctor Mackie on October 13. Talking to her about each and every symptom, I noticed that this was the first time a doctor was attentively listening, jotting down every spark that came to her head. She had my blood tested, and sent me to get 70 shots to figure out what my body was rejecting. Instantly, a slew of trees, grasses and plant samples turned into large mosquito bites on my back. By the end of the 30 minute test, peanuts, walnuts, soy and corn had jumped up as well.
(please excuse the anti-itch cream.)
She said "we won't know for sure until your blood-work gets back exactly what your body is rejecting, but until then, steer clear of all those things."I thought, no problem! I wont eat peanut butter and jelly or corn on the cob. Got it.
On the plane ride to SF the following day, I was ready to devour a Jimmy Johns turkey sandwich. One hour into the flight I ate a bag of Sun Chips and began to unwrap my sandwich when an all too familiar pain took over my body. I felt as if someone was sitting on my chest and I couldn't catch my breath, and that I would be throwing up all over the poor girl in 12 E. After three hours of fear, I re-traced my food steps as I was taught. Sure enough, the first thing I saw on the Sun Chip bag was corn-oil.
My doctor called the next day with my blood work results, and said she had some "interesting news." This is never good. She told me that the bacteria H- Pylori is in my blood. (Don't worry, didn't ring a bell for me either.) It is the bacteria that causes stomach cancer and stomach ulcers. The symptoms it presents include:
Loss of Appetite
Weight LossThose three things are practically my best friends lately! I start taking antibiotics for this bacteria tomorrow and am praising God that it will be fully removed from me. Please join me for that. She then said that the three things that came up as items my body would reject were peanuts, pecans, and corn. It still hasn't hit me that these things are out of my life for good, because I am truly overjoyed. That may sound confusing, but after all these years of questions and problems, having a doctor call me with news was overwhelmingly exciting. Mind you, I have had at least 8 blood tests in the past year, and no one found a single thing.
I instantly began looking up more information on corn allergies to find that there are whole blogs and websites dedicated to this allergy. I almost teared up reading that people went through years of migraines, nausea, IBS and so on until they discovered the allergy. It made me feel like I wasn't in this by myself. The joy quickly left when I discovered that the list of "What We Can Eat" was fifty times shorter than the "What to Avoid" list. Also, when I read this article explaining how corn is in everything (which explains the constant and un-pin-point-able nature of my symptoms) :
All in all, this is a brand new journey. I am very thankful to all my friends and loved ones who have been praying for me and am so grateful to see first hand God's love for us and answered prayer. I will keep the updates coming! Off to do some more learning...