After a lifetime of stomach issues and medications that solve one problem only to create others, I decided I had had enough. I couldn’t just keep doing what I had been doing and expect different results.
But I liked tried and true. I liked mainstream. I trusted it. But the reality is that mainstream was getting me nowhere. As a patient in my current health plan…the same health plan I have been at since I was EIGHTEEN, I have no less than 8 doctors. All but my primary care doctor are specialists. But it seems they never talk to each other about me. Despite having access to my files, each one treats me independently of the other. Each specialist only sees in me, their specialty. The stomach doctor, treats my stomach, the skin doctor, my skin, the eye doctor my eyes…etc.
If any of my symptoms were ever connected, I would never know.
So I threw in the towel and headed to a new place. A Holistic, Integrative doctors office, where one doctor wanted to know ALL my symptoms. He did not want to know my diagnoses, he wanted to hear about my symptoms. And once I started, I discovered the list – when taken as a whole, was pretty daunting. And perhaps, very much connected.
He made suggestions, I followed them to the letter and….I am NOT cured! Crazy, right? Here’s what is really crazy. For the first time in 51 years, I felt LISTENED TO. Someone acknowledged my symptoms and really thought about a treatment plan. I tried a 30 day elimination diet. This is where I ate absolutely nothing I was familiar with, gave up everything that had previously got me through the day and tried a brand new way of preparing food, all at once.
I won’t lie, I hated the process and I complained…a lot! What I didn’t understand when I started was, that this journey was going to change my life and my thinking. Slowly over the years, I have developed better eating habits. Got rid of soda, added fruit and veggies….but what I didn’t know is how much I DIDN’T KNOW!
Lately I feel like I’m living my very own science fiction story. It’s like I fell asleep knowing how to feed myself and my family and I woke up realizing that nearly everything I ever thought I knew about food was wrong. I hadn’t only been making bad choices for myself but I had been training my kids in poor food choices, their whole lives.
It was, and continues to be, overwhelming. I still am searching for what is causing my stomach problems. And I am still working on that elimination diet, even though I am well beyond the initial 30 days. I have learned tons about my body. And I have learned even more about food. Real food. It’s been a huge adjustment. But there is no turning back. Processed foods, sugar, additives, chemicals….I don’t want them. But my repertoire of replacements are slim because I still have a lot to learn.
I consider myself lucky though. With so many resources available at this moment in time…books that give me the real scoop on food and grocery stores that finally offer good choices, I feel like I ‘woke up’ at just the right time.
Food defines us in ways I never really thought about. But so do illnesses. If I can use food as a way to help my body to heal from a lifetime of less than stellar choices…I am determined to do so now. The path is uphill, but I think it will be well worth the effort.