Sunday, 11 August 2013

Dealing with change

Hello loves,
 
As you may have read I've been having a bit of a weird time in my life at the moment and I thought now would be a good time to fill you guys in. This is in no way written for attention, nor sympathy, it is merely the fact that I am going through changes in my life and seeing as this is a fashion and lifestyle blog it seems only right to post what I am going through in my life.
 
I have had problems with my stomach for over 3 years now. I went to the doctor about it and she put me on some tablets and that was that. I was on them for a month and didn't carry them on as I wasn't told whether to or not so for the next 2 and a half years I was brushing off my problems, until enough was enough. Last year I decided to try and figure out what was going on with me, cutting out various foods, the first being bread as I thought that could be the problem. It worked for a few days but then the stomach problems came back and I was stuck again. I ended up figuring out that it was wheat and gluten that was irritating me and I diagnosed myself with a wheat intolerance.
 
Things were finally improving with my body now that I had figured out the issue and was swapping certain foods for the 'wheat free' range and I was a lot happier. I found that I could still eat wheat and gluten every now and then, but not too much otherwise my stomach problems would flare up again. I thought I had it all sussed out, until about a month ago when I started experiencing deep stabbing pains in my tummy and then feeling ridiculously bloated. So much so that I looked about 3 months pregnant and felt as though my belly was just full of air and if I pricked it with a pin my tummy would explode! (It all sounds rather exaggerated, but I'm not exaggerating at all). I booked an appointment with my doctor and was quite anxious about what he would say. I had this fear that he would tell me it was all in my head and there was actually nothing wrong with me, but fortunately that wasn't the case.
 
My doctor (different from the doctor 3 years ago) was so good, asked me bunch of questions and pretty much knew straight away what was wrong with me. He said my symptoms sounded like I either had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Coeliac Disease, which is ironic seeing as I was reading the Coeliac disease poster in the reception and thought 'Hmm, I wonder if I have that?'. He prescribed me the same tablets that I was prescribed 3 years ago and told me to stay on them if they helped (unlike doctor number 1!) and sent me off for a blood test. So basically, if the blood test comes back clear then I have IBS and if not there will possibly be further testing.
 
For those of you who may not know, IBS is caused by certain foods irritating your body causing your stomach to contract and therefore creating these 'stabbing pains' as I refer to them. There is no 'cure' for IBS but there are things that can help treat the symptoms and IBS is usually caused by stress (3 years ago I started university - hello stress!) and can flare up if you are at a stressful point in your life (I graduated uni and was interning in London around the time I felt the stabbing pains - stressful times). Coeliac disease is something which is targeted by foods containing wheat and gluten. It would make sense, to me, that this has been causing my discomfort as cutting out wheat and gluten from my diet really helped, however it does seem that other foods have now been affecting me too, which could therefore be IBS. I hope this is making sense!
 
I went for my blood test on Friday, and was surprisingly calm seeing as I hate needles and usually work myself up and I will receive my results this Friday, so I'm still not sure which of these illnesses I have yet but I am happier knowing it's not all in my head and I am closer to finding out what it is.
 
Recently I have been struggling with mood swings and feeling miserable and feeling generally lousy. Not wanting to get out of bed was a big shock and worry for me as I am never usually like that. I usually wake up and get up and get on with my day. I am a positive, 'the glass it half full' kinda girl and lately I just feel lost, like I don't really know who I am anymore. I have absolutely no reason to be sad either, which is the frustrating part! I have graduated university with a degree in Fashion and Textile Design, I live with my boyfriend, I have amazing family and friends and I have just been promoted in my job - what is there to be sad about?! So I did a bit of googling, which I know isn't always a good idea but I was desperate, and it turns out many people with IBS feel the same way at times. Now, I don't want to jump the gun as I don't know what is wrong with me yet for definite, but all the symptoms are adding up.
 
So, I am taking a pledge today to promise myself that whenever I feel this way I will not dither about feeling sorry for myself, I will snap myself out of it by going for a walk or run or doing something fun, something that isn't too demanding to feel positive again. Even if it's just painting my nails whilst watching my favourite programme, like I did this morning, it's something little to cheer me up :)
 
Do any of you have IBS or Coeliac disease or any other illness that makes you feel this way? I'd love to know how you snap yourself out of a negative mind-set :) If you are going through anything similar I would suggest seeing a doctor straight away, and even if they are useless to begin with, keep nagging them! It's best to nip things in the bud sooner rather than later, like me.

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