It’s been hard to write lately. I feel unworthy, or unjustified, to share my experiences–because I want to have answers for you all. And the reality is that I’m just as messed up and in poor health as the rest of you that are suffering with this hair-pulling, makes-you-want-to-throw-your-bone-broth-across-the-room illness (and this is not an invitation for you to tell me that I need to go meatless, it’s just an expression).
I’ve come leaps and bounds farther than I was a year ago. I’ve learned so much about the gastrointestinal system, food, detoxing, and how to care for my body. I’ve learned how to manage my illness. I’ve grieved the loss of my quality of life. I’ve prayed. I’ve learned how to listen to my body and what it needs. It hasn’t been for nothing–and hopefully I can still share some of what I’ve learned with you.
But I am still fighting.
It can be discouraging hearing the tales of SIBO survivors and how quickly they managed to triumph SIBO through their various rounds of treatment. But the reality is–I just don’t want to live that way. Because those very same people are re-testing and relapsing with the same gut issues today. And that’s not how I want to live life.
So, I signed up for the long haul. The emotional and physically taxing quest to find out why I got SIBO in the first place and how to heal. And it’s not as easy as getting a stool and blood test done. It’s so much more. It’s trial and error with foods, changing your life style, switching to low-toxic products, testing for mold, seeing how you do on a particular diet/protocol. It’s trusting your health team. It is hard freakin’ work, man.
I know the people in my life are tired of hearing about this as much as I am tired of talking about it. There are seasons when I just want to forget I have it for a little while and focus on something more fun. Like my upcoming wedding, reading, church, traveling, etc.
But inevitably, it comes up again. And I have to think about it again.
So I’m here now.
The last 90 days I have been doing a protocol catered to the results of my stool tests. I came back as having Klebsiella Oxytoca, Citrobacter, Strep, and my naturo assumes I also have yeast along with everything else. So to tackle these things head on, we took on this protocol:
- ACZ Zeolite Spray
- S Boullardi
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Activated Charcoal
- Argentyn 23
I’ve taken all of these products in various ways throughout the day. And I removed nightshades, my MRT foods, and follow an Autoimmune Protocol Diet.
My reflux disappeared, guys.
I didn’t even realize it. My bloating was still there. I still experienced nausea. And had other symptoms. But the thing that started this whole journey was GONE. So crazy! No cough! No inflammation in my throat or tummy (that I could feel). It was GREAT. I loved it.
But it was taxing having to be SO strict and regimented on what I ate every single second. Not being able to have tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower really limited my options to eat out. I was tired of eating the same thing every night. And I heard great things about people who went meatless. I added back some nightshades and MRT yellow foods to make sure I was getting more nutrients.
I decided to try it and didn’t last more than a week.
I was weak, fatigued, and I knew it wasn’t just die off. My body could not handle sustaining itself without meat while I was dealing with this bacterial overgrowth (and whatever else was going on). I continued to eat foods I was ‘sensitive’ to — (still no gluten, dairy, sugar–we’re talking strictly veggies).
It was SO nice to not have to be so crazy about what I would eat. To not think about it every second of the day.
To be a normal person that could just make dinner quick and eat a cauliflower pizza crust with some spinach + gut-friendly tomato sauce.
And as the weeks went on, I’ve realized eating these trigger foods is not just a mental thing. It’s real. It’s biological. And my body wasn’t having it.
To make matters worse, I began to push my body past it’s limits. I was on ‘ultra-productive’ mode and pushed myself mentally, killing myself at work to prove myself and be taken seriously. Working past 5 and researching and writing more than I ever had. And physically–using every free moment to pay a bill, run a wedding errand, clean, etc. There was no rest.
I also re-visited a place that was traumatic for me and that brought a lot of physical symptoms to the surface.
And I had my last wedding shower, where I felt the pressure/anxiety to appease 20 friends while all I wanted to do was crawl to a toilet because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to hold any food down.
Life is a lot. I wish I would’ve eloped. In a perfect world, I’d love a wedding. Being ill has robbed me of so much–I didn’t want it to rob me of a wedding. And here I am, 26 days away, and I wish I would’ve eloped or done a smaller wedding. I wish I would’ve listened to myself and done what was best for me. I guess I was hopeful that 7 months ago I would’ve been so much more improved than I am right now.
It’s hard when everyone is so excited for me. For my bachelorette. My wedding day. My honeymoon.
When I don’t even feel like I’m going to make it through today.
How on earth am I going to make it through such a long day?
Just because I am “getting married”, that doesn’t magically cure my ailments. And I’m tired of people saying those things. I’m so excited to have a partner in my corner and to be married. But we don’t have to have a wedding to do that. (Except now we do because we’ve already paid for everything and this is just life now).
And I guess this blog doesn’t really have a point. I just wanted to document the hard moments, the great moments, and all the in-between.
I think it’s okay to be upset sometimes. I think it’s great to have a positive mindset towards your illness. I think you need to go through the process.
And this is my hard season at the moment.
I’m not looking for advice. I just wanted to share my feelings for any brides with gut issues out there. Or people. To know that I know what it feels like to feel discouraged. To feel robbed from your quality of life. To be grateful and tired of people asking you how you’re feeling. To be tired of your life revolving around food. To feel great one day and terrible the next. To feel like it’s never going to end and you want to give up. Then to feel like you can see the road to healing.
This is honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.
I’m not sure what God is teaching me in the process, but I still trust that He is good.
I really would appreciate any/all prayers for great health on my wedding day and honeymoon. And words of encouragement.
My next steps are:
- Taking it VERY slow leading up to the wedding.
- Continuing therapy.
- Proactively taking time each day and week to rest well.
- Skyping with my naturopath.
- Removing trigger foods.
- Practicing whole life detoxing routines more regularly.
Here’s to the next 26 days! And the journey to health.