A couple of weeks ago, I posted a photo of myself on social media and I shared with you about how I have been fairly quiet recently due to some health stuff.
I asked whether you would like to know more about that. Many of you said you would so I thought I’d catch you up on how I have been going with all of my gut health journey.
For those of you that haven’t read my story you can read about that here and here. For those of that you that don’t want to read about my story that is ok – you can just stop reading.
I realise this a far cry from selling art and sharing beautiful photos with you – so for those who have stayed, thank you.
I am not writing about this journey to seek sympathy, I have enough of that from my beautiful friends and family. I am writing about this journey for a few others reasons though, to help process my experience, to bring a bit of awareness to all things gut and mental health and most of all – in the hopes that it will help someone (or even just one person) have an easier time than I have, or at least, feel less alone on their journey.
Last time you heard from me about trying to conquer my gut through the Gaps Into diet. I have since decided to come off this because it was hard going, nothing was improving and my mental health was getting worse. After coming off the Intro diet, my mental health has improved. I decided to go and see a functional medical doctor (who looks at you holistically and has the time to do so) and get some antibiotics to decrease the Klebsiella (an opportunistic bacteria) that was wreaking havoc on my gut.
While I was at the FMD she also wanted me tested for copper toxicity (which among other things can increased anxiety and depressive symptoms). After seeing the FMD she gave me the antibiotics and sent me on my way. I was happy to be moving to the next stage of getting my gut health under control and improving my overall wellbeing.
It was school holidays and at the last moment my little family and I decided to make a road trip to see Uluru.
I started taking the antibiotics before we left and all was ok… to start with.
The further we got into the trip the worse my bowels got.
My FMD had told me that a side effect of the antibiotics might be diarrhea so I thought I was prepared. I WAS NOT.
Let me just say I needed a toilet to be in close proximity at all times.
I arrived home and messaged my FMD and she told me stop the antibiotics immediately. Which I thankfully did. She also told me that I have high levels of copper and unbound copper in my system… another dot connected.
Unfortunately, after stopping the antibiotics the diarrhea did not stop. I did have an appt booked for a gastroenterologist in early November. Being that it was now only August and I had had chronic diarrhea for two months, I decided I could not wait. I got an appt with my local GP who thankfully got me into another Gastroenterologist the next week.
By the time I got to the gastroenterologist I was pooping 8-10 times a day and I was exhausted.
He asked me how long the diarrhea had been going on and I told him that it had been happening on and off like this for most of adult life but never as bad as the continuous diarrhea I had been experiencing lately.
He booked me in for a colonoscopy and endoscopy two days later and in the meantime, he got me to do another stool test. Finally, I was going to get some answers and work out where to next, right?!
On the day of the colonoscopy, the specialist saw me beforehand and told me that my stool specimen had come back positive to a nasty little infection called clostridium difficile that you can get by taking…. wait for it…. ANTIBIOTICS.
He said that would explain the diarrhea in the last two months but not the diarrhea that was going on previous to that. He said he would give me some…wait for it… more antibiotics on discharge to get rid of the infection.
Apparently, the specialist also saw me after the procedure but I have no recollection (thank you drugs).
I was sent off with another prescription and no idea how the procedure actually went.
I got to wait another whole month to find out the results of my procedure.
Despite this I was hoping the new round of antibiotics would finally bring some relief (needless to say my gut health is up the creek at this point).
After the course of antibiotics were taken, I was better… but not a lot. My bowel movements went from 8-10 a day to about 3-4.
I knew something still wasn’t right but I just had to wait it out until my next appointment.
I had my next appointment at the beginning of last week. The gastroenterologist sat me down and said that the clostridium difficile is probably gone but he did find that on biopsy of my intestine I have what is called microscopic colitis and which attributes to my antidepressant.
He then hands me another script for some steroids, to calm down the diarrhea and tells me to stay on these for the next two months while I wean off my antidepressant- a process that he believes will take the next two months.
I’m tired, I’m frustrated but I am not going to stay silent anymore. There is something missing in our health system that allows a person to be suffering several infections all based on the pill the doctors give you, and to fix it they just want to give you another pill and send you home to suffer alone.
It is time to begin looking at the root cause of why our bodies are screaming at us and not hand us a little magic pill to muffle the screams. It’s time for me to put on my big girl pants and start standing up for everything I believe in… stay tuned for the rant I so badly need to make.