Wednesday, November 9, 2011

my thankful post

I hadn't really thought of "my story" as inspirational until lunch with my friend Kathy one day about a month before my half marathon.  I thought about it a bit, and let it go.  I'm not really into sappy inspirational stories.  Then today about half way through a nine and a half mile run I started thinking about the past year and a half of my life and feeling really thankful for my health.

In order to tell the whole story I have to start at the beginning.  After Lila's birth in 2005 I was experiencing severe joint pain in my hips, knees and hands.  So severe that I could not use an elliptical or cross my legs without pain, nor could I sleep on my side without waking in pain.  Long story short, I went to see my naturopathic physician Dr. Leslie Peterson who recommended I try cutting out wheat.  The improvement was drastic and I lived the next few years of my life relatively symptom free and feeling good.

Then sometime last year I began having daily headaches that by fall had turned fairly severe with a few gaining migraine status.  The joint pain was also returning with a vengeance as well as a list of new ailments: fatigue, tinnitus, leg cramps, bloating, and horrible gas to name a few.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving week 2010.  My mom had come to visit and I had a cold.  The cold turned nasty and I came down with a hacking cough that would later be (mis-diagnosed in my opinion) diagnosed as walking pneumonia.  After over a month of constant coughing and multiple trips to the doctor I ended up in the emergency room on Christmas eve with a fever of 104.4 and could barely breath.  Turns out I had influenza A, bronchitis, and was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease.  Basically, they knew I couldn't breathe, but didn't know why.

I was scheduled to see a pulmonologist in mid-January and put on a massive amount of prednisone, albuterol  and a steroid inhaler in the mean time.  I made it through January and was no longer coughing by the time my appointment came around.  Luckily it turned out I just had asthma.  I had had trouble with asthma in high school but not much after that, so it was only a small surprise that I had it again.  After being on the Qvar (twice daily steroid inhaler) for about a month I called it quits only to start coughing again.  Back on the Qvar I started looking for more answers.

I was feeling relatively good and in March, despite my aching joints and daily headaches I decided to start running again for the first time in many years.  I made an appointment with Dr. Peterson who agreed I should try going off gluten and was given some homeopathic remedies to help alleviate the asthma.  After reading Healthier Without Wheat I was convinced I had celiac disease and decided to get tested.  I went back on gluten and knew immediately that celiac or not, I was gluten intolerant.  Within half an hour of eating a pb&j on wheat I had horrible heartburn, gas and a stellar headache.  No surprise when test was positive.

After years of problems I was finally on the track to a healthy me. So many things in my life where directly correlated to celiac disease.  Here is a list of my symptoms: asthma, tinnitus, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, bloating, gas, hypothyroidism, depression (though luckily I haven't battled this for years), infertility, tingling in limbs, leg and eye twitches, swelling and pain on the bottoms of feet, oh and getting sick very easily!  Huh, who knew?!

Back to current day.  Not only is my asthma under control (I'm still on the Qvar, but nothing else) I am 99% (I have trouble from accidental exposure on occasion) symptom free!  If you didn't already know, I ran a half marathon in October 2011 and am signed up to run the St. George marathon in October 2012.  So, inspirational or not, I'm feeling very thankful to be healthy and to be able to run!  Life is good.


Timbra said...

I didn't even realize half of this was going on, you did well to push through despite all you were dealing with! Glad you are restored to health, it's always wonderful to get to the bottom of the thing that is dragging you down :)

Rachel Ellis said...

Hooray for health! That IS something for which to be grateful! Glad you're feeling and and doing so much better, my friend.