I'm back!!! I know you've all been dying to know what the heck happened to Mommy Moment Mondays. I mean, one minute here it is and the next..POOF..it was gone just as fast as it started.
Well life has been kicking me down lately and I wasn't sure whether or not I felt comfortable sharing. I want my blog to be a positive place to inspire others but lately I've been very negative, uninspired and I wasn't sure if being honest would scare you away. After much soul searching I decided that sharing my struggles, both positive and negative is not only good for my soul but just might benefit anyone out there who cares to listen. I'm not here to pretend to be perfect and I think we can all learn a lot from each other by sharing our greatest challenges and struggles. And so, I'm just going to put it all out there-crap and all. Because happy or not this is who I am and where I am at. And if you don't want to hear about it then you don't have to keep reading today's post.
Those of you who have been following my blog for the past six months know that I've been struggling with my health. Despite heaps of test all of my results came back inconclusive. Not only is this extremely frustrating, preparing for them was just making me sicker. A few months ago I was told that I am in the early stages of diabetes and it was only predicted that I have celiacs disease. In order to be tested further for celiacs I had to eat the equivalent of four pieces of bread a day (which I just couldn't handle). Since my diabetes is in the early stages I can not be medicated but have to live on a low GI diet for the rest of my life. Upon further tests for celiacs disease and months of putting gluten in my body and making myself so sick that I could hardly function, my tests still came back inconclusive.
This whole journey has been so incredibly emotional. I've been angry that my body was giving out on me. I've been feeling depressed because I look awful, I feel awful and I felt like there was never going to be an end to this dark tunnel. I wasn't being the kind of mother I wanted to be. I wasn't being the kind of partner I wanted to be. I was constantly exhausted. Constantly angry. Constantly picking fights. And constantly secluding myself from everyone because I didn't like the way I looked. I cried every time I took K to the park and someone asked when I was due. I refused to let people take pictures of me and then felt disheartened when I realized I didn't have a single photo of my son and I since his first birthday nearly a year ago. I cried every time I was stuck in the bathroom with the runs or vomiting. I was tired of not being able to eat any of the food I enjoyed. I lay awake at night unable to sleep because I worried that I wouldn't be able to be around for my son. I worried about our finances because we are constantly struggling and my health was just another burden and a huge financial strain. We can't afford to eat the way I need to. We can't afford the doctors bills. We just can't afford any of it. And then the guilt started to set in and all I wanted to do was lay in bed and sleep all day. No matter how much sleep I got when I awoke I was still exhausted and still hurting. I lost hope that it would ever get any better.
Finally I got enough confidence in myself to trust my gut and worked up enough courage to change my life. I began researching as much as I could. Surely there had to be a reason for my exhaustion, nausea, bloating & cramping, flatulence, eczema, constipation, diarrhea, severe headaches, aching muscles, heartburn, always too hot or freezing cold, bloodshot and yellowish eyes, lack of energy and failing eye sight. Not to mention every time I cut myself it would take a month or more to heal and I'd be left with a scar. Sure enough, there was that awful word kicking me right in the face again-GLUTEN. So I worked up the willpower to stop eating it. And you know what? I got better.
I still have good days and bad days because gluten is sneaky stuff. I've had to experiment with a lot of different products, change all of our toiletries (Can you believe there was gluten in our toothpaste and shampoo?!) and even change our cooking utensils and dishes. But the change has been instant. I have energy. I sleep at night. I don't hurt. I don't look pregnant anymore. The severe dry skin patches are gone. My hair is going curly again. My skin is glowing and I am not struggling to read this computer screen as I write this! What a change a week can make.
Even though I feel better it is a constant struggle not to grab onto the comfort foods that I love. It's overwhelming grocery shopping and trying to read the labels and it takes me three times as long to get it done. But it's all worth it.
As it turns out I'm not the only one with gluten intolerance in my family. My son is nearly two and has had four/five bowl movements a day since he was born, all of which have been diarrhea. He doesn't sleep well at all-sometimes he wakes up more than twenty times a night! And during the day he has been challenging because he is constantly cranky, getting into trouble and throwing temper tantrums. I wish I knew then what I know now.
After one week on a g-free diet he is waking up only once or twice a night and only because he wants his pacifier (which I think we can now start weaning him from). He is calm and can concentrate during the day. He is happy and willing to play independently. He has thrown only one temper tantrum in the entire week. We even went out for dinner the other night and he sat there happily eating his entire meal and colouring his pictures while we waited for our food. It's like I have a completely different child!
If I can offer any advice to those of you that aren't feeling good and have the same symptoms as I had, or have a child that doesn't sleep, can't concentrate or is hard to handle it would be to cut out gluten. It's honestly in almost everything we eat and in a lot of the products that we use every day. The results in our house have been nothing short of amazing and could be seen almost instantly. It is thought that one in three people are living with gluten intolerance but most do not know it. It could be YOU.
The stresses of the day just don't seem so big anymore. Sure, we might not have a house to live in next week and maybe my partner and I won't be together forever. But you know what? None of that really matters anymore. Because we are still here. And now we can start living again. The universe can start closing doors, opening new ones and giving me whatever challenges it needs to in order to learn the lessons that I'm here to learn because I am strong and NOW I can handle it. Will there be bad days? Probably. Will living this new lifestyle be hard? Absolutely. But I am not going to let some silly gluten get me down or burden my family and I anymore.
I look forward to blogging about our journey of going gluten free from now on and I hope that I can share, inspire and hopefully change the lives of those of you who can relate or who are willing to listen.
I'm linking to some of these parties.