NOTE: I promise…THIS is the FINAL post in my series about my food allergies.Thank you so much for your patience as a detail an interesting health journey. Stay tuned for the follow up to the Let’s Not Get Cheesy series soon!
There were several unforgettable moments during those 10 months of my queasy stomach and frequent trips to the restroom. Several moments when I wanted to avoid food all together. Lots of moments when deep down I still believed it was all in my mind and stress was the main culprit of my health issues. Apparently denial and deceit are issues I may also have.
As I mentioned, in the tres post, the Monday after the delicious dinner at Coal Vines was historically a very long work day. I woke up that morning at 4:30 a.m. feeling okay, but around 8 a.m. or so, pain started to set in. Unfortunately, the show was already underway, I would seriously have to suck it up.
This was by far the worse pain I had felt in a long time. I could barely stand up straight. I could barely even walk. My usual remedy of lemon-lime soda wasn’t even touching the pain I felt. Nothing was helping. I suffered through, went home that evening, took a half sick day the following morning, and dun, dun, dunnnnnn, went to a doctor.
I skipped the whole idea of going to my normal internal medicine physician. Why would I waste an hour of my time and a $30 co-pay just for him to refer to me a GI doctor. After years of dealing with some sort of illness, from allergies to tonsillitis, I knew what to do. So, I called up the doc my parents have recently visited for the colonoscopy. He went to OU medical school, so I had faith that my body and the future of my diet were in good hands.
Sitting in the exam room, I anxiously awaited his arrival. I stared at his credentials on the wall and confirmed that indeed, he was a Sooner. He entered the room and asked me the famous question “what brings you in today?”
What a loaded question? I proceeded to basically educate him on my illness just as I have told you in these series of posts. He took notes, shaked his head, squenched his eyebrows together and took more notes as I gave him a pretty specific and detailed timeline. He was honestly shocked to hear that whatever I was eating was causing problems in the both the upper half and lower half of my body. I think I may have stumped him. I tend to do that to doctors.
As expected, he scheduled a variety of tests—blood test, sonogram, endoscopy and lactose test. The blood test quickly concluded that I did not have celiac disease. PRAISE.THE.LORD. How happy I was to hear that I would not have to be gluten free. The sonogram showed that I had gallstones…dozens of them…in my gallbladder.
Do you know what the gallbladder is?? The little booger was full of these horrible stones. The gallbladder holds bile what is released from the organ when we eat fatty, greasy and spicy food. Each time I would eat something that fell into those categories, those little stone would move with the bile and get stuck in the gallbladder canal, causing me horrific pain in my upper abdomen. It all made sense.
My gallstones were the size of pennies. They brought me to my knees every time they would move though. The endoscopy showed that I had gallstones stuck near my pancreas, which was probably the reason why I was having problem with hair loss.
Mr. Lactose test was the final procedure I had to do. What a beating!? For nearly 4 hours, I had to drink the equivalent of 8 ounces of whole milk every 30 minutes…or something like that. I sat there with my accounting book and homework, drank the milk and then waited for my body to react to the lactose sugar. Who created that test? Like really? A few moments after each consumption, I had to breathe into this machine and the nurse/technician would record a number. To be lactose intolerant, the number had to be around 50. In most cases, the number would start off really low and then grow. Mine was like 200…from the beginning. What a horrible experience?!
Finally, I finally knew what my problem was. Months of deliberation were over. I am lactose intolerant.