Sunday, October 21, 2012

Update 3: My Body Hates Me

Near the end of the summer I started noticing a theme: I was getting sick everyday. Whenever I ate, no matter what I was eating, I would get super sick. I have been allergic to dairy for years so I go out of my way to avoid dairy. This was not dairy related. I was getting horribly sick. I would have sharp stabby stomach pains all day, I would get tired almost instantly after eating, a migraine quality headache would soon develop and I was experiencing awful joint pain. Initially I did not connect the headaches, fatigue, or joint pain. I went to the doctor shortly after the semester started, just for the sick and stomach pains. We talked about what could be causing it and she order a lot of blood work.

Those that are successful at obtaining my blood without hurting me will be given a huge reward. To my recollection this has never happened. I have had everything from a phlebotamist inserting the needle and moving it around to find the vein. I have had blood taken from both elbows, the back of both hands, and even from between my knuckles at one point. When having my blood drawn at the doctor's office, it took two people. The first person attempted to get blood from my elbow and couldn't do it. The second person came in and took blood from the back of my hand. The problem, then, was that both were from my right arm, my dominate arm. I lost all feeling in my right arm for the rest of the day, which made driving a fun game.

I went back to the doctors this week to follow up. My blood work showed that I am severely anemic and that I have hypothyroidism. The Anemia I can understand but I have not fully understood what exactly hypothyroidism entails. However, the test for bacterial infections and parasites were clean. In between the two doctors visits I realized that everytime I eat wheat I would have all of the symptoms. So I haven't had gluten in a month. I feel so much better and I'm only getting sick when the dining services sneaks gluten into my food.

So it turns out I have Celiac Disease. Apparently 1 in 100 people have it. It's an autoimmune disease that makes it impossible for my intestines to process gluten (the protein found in wheat, barely, rye, and other grains). I have to load up on the fruits and vegetables and I am trying out weird gluten free foods. It has made eating in the dining hall insanely difficult so I am working with housing to try to move out of the dorm.

In one month I have been diagnosed with anemia, hypothyroidism, and Celiac Disease. My body hates me!

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