Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Food is my Enemy
I was telling a friend one day that I thought the issues with my arm were related to food. Her response to me was that I am more than food. I am still mulling it over as I am not sure what she meant. Of course I am more than food. I suppose I felt, once again, like someone was basically telling me that I was crazy for thinking that food could cause my health problems. And I think what is so frustrating is that is simply the story of my life.
I have always had issues with food but we didn't know it while I was growing up. My first experience with food as a problem came in college when I started having some serious headaches. I went to see a chiropractor but that didn't help like it had in the past. He told me simply to stop eating sugar, so I did. Wallah!! No more headaches. But that didn't last long but headaches never really came back like they had been. I guess I had been off the sugar long enough to make a difference.
When I was first married I ended up in the hospital with what we thought was appendicitis. They diagnosed me with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome.) They gave me some generic information but offered no hope for cure. I tried to follow their ideas but didn't fully understand what I was dealing with. I had never heard of IBS. It obviously wasn't life threatening or they would not have just sent me home. Not sure what happened after that. I guess I just moved on with life and kept living as I was.
The first sign of issues came after I had JB. My right eye swelled up like I had been hit with a baseball. I thought at first is was pink eye. Antibiotics didn't help. Finally went to see a specialist. He started telling me that my right eye was pushed out a bit in the socket and that could be a sign of brain cancer. Um, I had a newborn and a very weak walk with Christ at the time. Not a good combination. I eventually ended up with another specialist. He did a biopsy on my right lachrymal gland and found nothing but scar tissue in there. He put me on steriods to bring down the inflammation (and increase the size of my hind parts in the process - don't get me started on Prednisone.) Some of the swelling went down but it still remained. I had tried everything. I stopped wearing most of my make up. I stopped cleansing my face. I wouldn't put anything on my eye. Nothing helped. Finally, In a last ditch effort I remembered that I will still using a bit of my Mary Kay base make up. I stopped using it. It took 3 days for the swelling to completely disappear.
It was about this time I began to pray about feeding my family healthy foods. I had a new baby and was suddenly very interested in health living and especially healthy foods. I found a book that jump started my journey into whole foods and I began to apply some of the things I was learning. I eventually hired a dietitian who specialized in whole foods to help me out. She introduced me to a product called Juice Plus. I loved taking that stuff but it grew to be too expensive. It probably saved my life though. My dietitian and I suspect that it was actually what caused my appendix to have so much scar tissue on it. The dr that removed that when I was 14 weeks pregnant with my 3rd baby told me he'd never seen so much scar tissue on a appendix. What was happening is that I would start to feel sick and just take a gob of Juice Plus to fight off what I thought might be a cold or infection. It was but it was more internal than I realized.
That turned out not to be a good pregnancy. I lost blood with that surgery and ended up with horrible anemia. I was very stressed out because Underdog was unemployed. My labor and delivery didn't go well and so I ended up in the hospital having the baby (was attempting a home birth.) They put me and her on a ton of antibiotics as well. That was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back. One month after she was born she broke out with horrible thrush - Candida. Several days later I developed the most horrible pains in my breasts when she would nurse - Candida in the milk ducts. Now, I will never understand how a mom can get Candida deep in her milk ducts but not have systemic Candida. I was told it wasn't possible that only people with a suppressed immune system (like those w/ HIV or cancers) could have systemic Candida. Please, someone, explain that to me. I was beginning to have it all over and there was nothing the drs could or would do to help me. I begin to suffer from anaphylaxic reactions to food I had eaten for years. I later learned a concept called leaky gut and I figured that is what I had. It was scary though. I didn't know what food would send me to the ER and possible shock. I literally stopped eating for a while. I lost all my baby weight plus some. My 3rd child is not a strong healthy kid like the rest are and I believe it's because of her first year with me. I wasn't healthy and I didn't offer her much of it either.
A year after she was born I was introduced to a woman who uses Electrodermal Screening to diagnose health issues. What she found was a body ravaged with Candida. She was able to tell me the foods that I was sensitive AND allergic to as well. She started me on several bottles of a homoepathic remedies. It took a few months but by May of 2004, I was on the mend and feeling better than I had when I had my first baby. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, the lifestyle that lead to that healing didn't stick. And I would venture say that it's contributing to many of the problems I am having now. That is why I say it's food related. And I suppose, a bit put off by my friends response to me. It is VERY hard to maintain the type of diet it takes to keep Candida and other health issues at bay. For those that don't have a body that has turned on itself and attacked (which is essentially what an allergy is, especially a severe allergy) they often don't get the whole food thing. But I have walked the road of feeling energetic and well. I do know what that feels like. And being in the state I am in right now, stinks. But what I don't need is people giving the implication that some how I am crazy for thinking it might be food related.
Some people struggle with weight issues. Other people struggle with internal sin struggles. These God uses to sanctify and pure our lives. Food is my issue. That is why the comment bothered me so much. I know my friend doesn't understand that. She doesn't deal with food issues like I do. As a family, they can eat anything they want to eat and be just fine. Not so for my family. My youngest son suffers from pain eczema that is food related but I don't have the money to investigate the causes. My 2nd daughter has allergies to nuts so we have to read food labels everywhere we go. I am allergic to flax seeds so have missed out on the health benefits they hold. All of my children get terrible allergies after eating certain types of food products with wheat in them. Out comes the benedryl when that happens. My 5 yod gets almost a high when he eat anything with food dye in it. he also throws up anything that has food dye in it. His little body can handle the fact that it isn't food. But for people that don't struggle with these things, it's just crazy and madness.
I am sure that I sound just so stupid and crazy. Food and it's effects on the body fascinate me. I am very much in to the Real Food movement right now. I love eating farm fresh eggs and pastured meat. I can tell the difference in taste. I can tell a difference in water as well. Sad that others can't because there is some really good and some really bad water out of there.
Ultimately, I see my experiences with food as a mean to grow with and in the Lord. I have wondered if the comment was meant to tell me to just relax and trust God with all this. Surely, I do want to trust God but I don't think it meant to just throw off all restraint and put anything in my body trust God to keep me safe and healthy. Is that really good stewardship? I think that is the key. I believe that it is good stewardship to know what I am putting in my body and being aware of how it effects me. I can't take Benedryl without it causing mood swings. When I have mood swings I sin against the people that I love most because I become snappy and rude toward them. Now, I know that something causes me to be out of control and sin against people, why would I put it in my mouth? And that is the same issue I am having with food. The struggle is finding just what exactly is causing the problem and be able to get rid of it. It cost money to do that right now and I don't have that luxury.
Although I was frustrated with my friends comment, the reality is that this is God's Sovereign will for my life right now. He's using all this to teach me to trust Him. To trust His timing. To trust His wisdom. To trust His healing some day. I am certainly not all about food but, oh the lessons I have learned through food. and it's been a long hard road. I am thankful for His sanctification through all this. I am thankful for the places that God has brought me from. I would not handle the issues with my shoulder and arm if not for the fact that I have walked down other difficult roads. God's grace is truly amazing and completely undeserved. So amazing.
That is my journal entry for today. Not sure it made sense or not. I can't feel my left arm now so I need to go take some advil and go to bed.