Friday, February 1, 2013

Gluten & Dairy Challenges

I posted a little while ago about having to do the no gluten/ no dairy diet.  I started adding gluten and dairy back into my diet and I can handle small amounts for sure.  If I add too much gluten and dairy into my diet in one day... oh goodness, it tears my tummy up.  Still dealing with some temptations with that even though I know the consequences will be evil punishments on my body.  So as a way to beat temptation with determination I try to plan ahead.  I usually let myself have dairy and/or gluten in one meal out of my day.  Found these protein bars and they are pretty fabulous!!! I also have found pretzels that are gluten and dairy free and I dip them in peanut butter as a snack.  Another snack that I am going to try this week is rice chips with hummus.  I tried peanut butter and bananas on a rice cake and that was pretty good as well.  Every time I find a new recipe, it motivates me to stay on track.  I get excited to try it!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prayers Please!

This morning I am going in for a small outpatient surgery to close up an open wound.  After my intestinal surgery my incision got infected and they had to open it up below my belly button.  Since then (November) we have had to clean it and pack it with gauze twice a day and it just won't heal and close up.  So this morning they are going to try to close it up so it can heal.  This is one of my last physical reminders of how horrible and painful the last 10 weeks of my life have been.  Prayers are appreciated! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


A couple of days ago my husband and I went to Walgreen's to pick up some stuff. We walked around the store, gathered the items we needed, and proceeded to the checkout counter to purchase them. There was one person in front of us so we were waiting patiently in line. All of a sudden something caught my eye... There it was... And it had my full undivided attention as I stared at it.  The object that I was infatuated with in that moment was nothing less than a peanut butter snickers bar. Have you ever sunk your teeth into that goodness?!?!?!?! I had one during Halloween and it was amazing.
It was finally out turn to checkout so my husband laid out basket on the counter. As he unloaded the items from the basket, the lady behind the register started scanning our items and put them in bags. A sense of panic entered my mind as I looked at the peanut butter snickers and then at the items going in the bags. I grabbed the candy before she got done scanning our items and laid it on the counter and then acted like nothing happened. My husband put the bags in the backseat when we got to the car. While we were driving I was dreaming about that snickers bar the whole time. Once we got to our destination I dug through the bag and found the candy bar that I had been dreaming about. I held it in my hands and stared at it. I am not a fan of forbidding foods from myself but at the same time I can't let myself eat the whole thing. In that moment my husband passed me and said, "I didn't realize you got candy..."
I asked him if he would like to share it and he said yes- sweet action! My problem was solved! Before I sank my teeth into the goodness of that snickers I asked God to help me find satisfaction with half of that candy bar. And guess what?!?! After I ate half of that delicious candy bar... I was pretty content! It the small accomplishments like this that lead to meeting the big goal of living a healthy lifestyle and glorifying Christ in the process! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gluten-free & Dairy-free

The title of this post might make you cringe.  Don't worry... I totally understand the reaction.

So, I think I have talked about what has been going on with me and my health in previous posts, but I will give a summary anyways.  I got pretty sick with an infection after having emergency surgery in November to remove a foot and a half of my intestine.  Scary stuff.  So I am just going to be honest- if you get grossed out easily by bodily functions you should probably not read the next part of this post.  After staying in the hospital for 13 days after that surgery- I have no more modesty. I mean... It was me in the robe with the back opened and you know I probably flashed everybody at some point during the days when my doctor forced me to walk the halls because even when you tie that thing it doesn't stay shut. (me and my cankles were bringing sexy back at that hospital) ANYways... after all this surgery craziness I was having diarrhea like 6 times a day. 6 times a day! Yes, it is as painful as it sounds.  SO, they blamed it all on the IV antibiotics so I just prayed that the infection would go away soon so that I could stop the antibiotics.  Praise that the antibiotics ended the Wednesday before Christmas- best Christmas present ever.  BUT the diarrhea did not slow down much at all.  Long story short... we were concerned about all the rapid weight loss that happened due to the diarrhea so went to a intestinal specialist that thinks it is bacteria growing in my intestine and gave me some wonderful drugs to clean it out and try to reset my digestive tract. I had lost 33 pounds and got down to 113 in 8 weeks.  Let me tell you... I know some of you might be thinking 'I wish I was 113'.  No you don't.  I didn't look healthy, my arms look pathetic, my hip bones stick out, and when I sit down in a wooden chair I can feel my butt bones and it is actually painful.While I am on this 30 day antibiotic that is doing this... I am supposed to be eating gluten free and dairy free and they think it will slow down the diarrhea.  I was kind of upset about it at first since I am against dieting but I had to change my perspective: I am not on this diet for weight purposes, I am on it so that I will be more comfortable and have a better quality of life. 

So I started the gluten-free and dairy-free diet.  I felt so much better!!!  My body felt better and it did help with the diarrhea.  Most of all my tummy wasn't hurting and cramping as much.  I ate TONS of fruit, eggs, chicken, and salads.  Rice chips are not bad, my husband even enjoyed eating them.  We tried almond milk and really liked it.  Now I can start adding gluten and dairy back into my diet in small amounts, but we have decided that we may try to keep some of these foods around in our diet long term. 

You are what you eat.  Most gluten-free and dairy-free foods are not processed and when I eat a lot of processed foods my body feels very sluggish.  I really like the way my body feels after eating these types of food.  My energy went up and I was able to put some weight back on.  Right now I am about 120. 

I just wanted to share this with you.  You could challenge yourself to try it for 1-3 days and see if you could tell a difference in the way your body feels. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

In the trenches...

In the past 5 weeks I have been through a abdominoplasty surgery to remove the excess skin from my stomach, a mastoplexy and augmentation mammaplasty done to reconstruct my breasts, large amounts of X-rays and abdominal CT scans (where you have to drink the contrast), emergency bowel obstruction resection surgery, large amounts of antibiotics to fight an infection from the bowel obstruction surgery, a tube that went up my nose and down my stomach to drain my intestines, 2 infected wounds on my incisions, a 13 day hospital stay away from my 2 sweet babies and husband, sponge baths, a few dark and depressing days, and a lot of pain.  I got to come home on November 29th and that is when my healing began. I am not writing this post for a pity party, but I am writing this post so that you know where some of my emotions that I want to express come from.

During my hospital visit I would ask the doctor when he thought I could go home.  His answer after a couple of times was, "Quit asking me that- no time soon."  That crushed me.  My husband was at home taking care of our kids, doing all the household duties, and working at his job.  It was heartbreaking to me to not be able to be there for my family and do what I am supposed to do.  It was very lonely and boring to be in that hospital bed.  I went through different stages of grief about my situation while I was in the hospital, but I cried a lot.  There was a tech that worked at nights and he would make me laugh so hard and cheer me up, I looked forward to seeing him.  At one point during my hospital stay, towards the end, they put a drain in my pelvis to drain fluid from my abdomen that was infected. It was so annoying to carry the whole arsenal that was attached to me to the restroom...  I had an IV pole with tons of bags hanging from it, my new drain, and 2 little drains from the 1st surgery... along with my gown that was spread wide open so that I could show everyone my business.  Going to the bathroom was a chore.  I am getting off subject...  the drain... The fluid that came from this drain went into this bag and the bag, of course, was clipped onto me and the fluid smelled AWFUL... worse than rotten eggs- and it was coming from inside my body!
Finally, one day the doctor came in and asked me if I wanted to go home.  I looked at him with disbelief like he was making a sick joke.  He repeated his question and I answered with attitude, "Well, Yeah."
He went on to tell me that he would send me home under the care of a home-care nurse, a PICC line, and IV antibiotics.  He also went on to tell me why he had kept me in the hospital for so long and told me how much my surgery and complications with the infection scared him.  I think that's pretty  bold for a great doctor to admit feelings like that.
So... I got to come home! It felt like getting released from prison.  Except, I don't know what that is like but I am sure it is similar.  I was highly emotional when I came home.  Happy to be alive, happy to hug my kids, happy to see my house...  through all this came a lot of feelings of being thankful.  My family relationships changed drastically for the better.  It is amazing how people react when death knocks on the door.

I am able to look at my kids and my family and be thankful for them and that I am still alive.  But I have not been able to go to God and thank Him personally for this yet.  You may be asking "WHY?!?!?" in utter shock like I did.  I went to counseling about this because it was making me have a lot of guilt inside and making me even more emotional.  The counselor pointed out that I have been through SO much physically and emotionally already.  Because I have such an intense relationship with God, that conversation that I have with Him will be intense as well and I am just emotionally not ready for it yet.  It doesn't mean that God is not there.  It doesn't mean that I do not love God with all my heart.  My brain is still processing the last 5-6 weeks and it is okay to take my time processing these things one by one.  What the counselor said made sense and I accepted it to ease my feelings about this.  I am not quite ready to have that deep conversation with God, but I know that I am starting to emotionally prepare for it.