Have you noticed that since January of 2012 I have been barely blogging? Yeah.. me too and I do not like it. Ohhh.. I can come up with thousand of excuses, such as am too tired, too much work, always running around chauffeuring two daughters and one exchange student, and... more often than not in pain.
Ok, here is the part that if you are a guy, better off close this browser right now as am about to talk about women's issues and am sure you have absolutely no interest in it. Sure roll your eyes! Bye...
I am going to try to make this as short of a story as possible if not I would be here tomorrow still writing it, actually maybe even next week. So here we go...
Just as I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter-the dancer, who is now 14 years old, I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. Now some of you who have it you know well the route I took. Had to have the left thyroid gland removed which then changed from hyper to hypo, right away was put in Syntroid and within 9 months of course went from my tiny size 2/4 to size 12! Lovely, right? We all know how that feels. I was exhausted at all times, but hey... had a family, a full time job, a tad depressed from the rapid weight gain, but who was I to fight every single doctor that did not believe I was exercising, I was eating a healthy diet and so on. So the simplest thing for them to do, is keep on changing the dosage hoping... I guess for a miracle? Well nothing changed.
Meanwhile since having our first daughter, we wanted another. And nothing would happen either and no doctor ever brought up that perhaps, you know, just perhaps there was a connection between fertility an thyroid disorders... A few years later I started dealing with horrible pains, absolutely horrible; but again.. have to keep on working, taking care of the family and so on. Kept on just telling my mind I was making more of a big deal than it actually was as I would pop one more ibuprofen. As the pains got more constant, usually between periods, forget about trying to be intimate with hubby, forget about everything actually, and all I got from doctors is that I was very fertile during those days of pains so if I wanted to get pregnant I knew what I had to do. SERIOUSLY? Hey doctor... I came to you because I was in pain and could not live my life normally, and that's the answer I get?
Well about 9 years ago, not long after our second move in IA, I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis. Meanwhile I had done enough of my own research to come to that conclusion, but it was fantastic to find a doctor that actually "believed" my pains, or much as he told me after doing a laparoscopy, "I was a pain"-meaning I had such a strong case of endometriosis and ovarian cysts that he was only able to "clean" as much as he could. He was also truthful with me that this was not a cure and to expect it to come back. Meanwhile through natural hormonal therapy, exercises, even more diet I was able to live a life. Still not great, but certainly easier and with less pain.
As I kept on doing my own research, reading books, articles, online forums of other women who went through similar situations, is when I realized all this was connected: thyroid / infertility / endometriosis... fun stuff, right?
Well I started playing around with food and see what would react to my body. I noticed whenever I ate more red meat I would have more pains, that due to the Syntroid medicine I was lacking calcium, that certain vegetables would help me more than others.
As this post is getting longer and longer... so after much food modifications, I was able to get off the Thyroid medication and started feeling much better. Of course I made sure to let my doctor know and kept on checking the blood regularly to make sure things would not turn to the worse.
A few more years later and after an unannounced yet exciting pregnancy (just as we had just moved to WI and I had accepted a brand new job), all of my hormones went crazy and sure enough after all my hard work, once my daughter was born most of the pains came back. At the beginning I just told myself it will go away, I will deal with it and so on. I kept though on researching what I could do to better myself. My doctor kept on giving me the "medical" choices but I was not convinced. After 3 years I had the luck to find a nurse practitioner who specializes on endometriosis and thyroid disorders.
I made an appointment, first she listened to my whole story, asked me very many questions, then talked about the different methods we could try. I was a tad skeptical of her ideas as I had not heard of those methods. But thought to myself, worth trying and decide later if it does not work out, I can always go another avenue. After all I was used to live my life in pain so what would a few more months be?
The first thing she did was a hormonal testing by injecting "stuff on my arm and seeing if my skin had any reactions. So to see if there were any allergies to certain hormones, foods, etc. She then explained the results of such and advised me to follow a diet similar to the Candida one, but with a few changes due to the results along with some homeopathic drops for thyroid functionality.
I went home with all this new information and right away started doing my own research about it. I must say even though I love cooking, I was very much overwhelmed with all of the dietary restrictions I had to follow the first month to remove all toxins from my body. It took me two weeks to getting used to cook a different way yet at the same time allow the rest of my poor family to still have a "normal" diet.
It did not take long for me to feel the benefits in my body. Within 3 weeks I was pain-free. Wow.. really? REALLY? can it really be possible just because I removed certain foods from my diet? I kept on reading more and more about it and all started to make sense.
Now 7 months later I feel much better, have added a few food ingredients back to my diet as I have noticed they were ok for me, yet still follow a Gluten-Free diet with a few other restrictions. Meanwhile the very best news that were totally unexpected, was the day my older daughter and I were going through clothes to get rid of and I decided to try on some jeans (size 5 juniors mind you!) as most of my older clothes were slowly starting to look baggy on me. And yet another wow... can it be, really? Am I in those jeans? and they actually zip without a problem?
Even better was when I went to my annual check up and found out I had lost 24 lbs since last year (well now I know it was since 7 months ago).
So all of this to let you know that the recipes you will find in this blog will have my food restrictions yet I will always make sure to make a comment on how you can change one or two ingredients with what you would rather. I will be posting much more gluten-free alternatives and keeping you posted as what seems to be more of a problem to me. We are all build differently inside and out and what works for one may not for another. But the most valuable lesson I learned through this journey is that you have to learn how your own body reacts to food and how to gain the love for cooking to your own diet.