Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Finally, a Diagnosis!

It's been a long road to diagnosis, but I am thrilled to be here. Tears of happiness poured out of my eyes when my doctor confirmed the diagnosis.  But let's travel back for a second. 

I've been troubled with stomach issues for at least ten years. The first bout of problems happened around my brother's wedding. I remember a group of us went to Las Vegas after the wedding, and I spent a chunk of that trip in my hotel room with stomach discomfort. From then on, I would have alternating months of feeling fine with other months feeling awful. Sometimes the problems lasted for years before I started to feel a semblance of normalcy. But the pain always returned. 

I saw a few GI doctors here and there, most of whom diagnosed me with IBS and sent me on my way. No one ever thought to test my blood for food allergies, much less Celiac Disease. 

Recently, the problems returned with a vengeance and I was no longer willing to accept IBS as a diagnosis. IBS is a true disorder, but only when you've eliminated several other things. I hadn't had those eliminations yet. In doing research for possible causes, I stumbled upon Celiac disease and everything seemed to match up. Many of the symptoms listed matched how I was feeling. 

Around that same time, my general practitioner ordered regular blood work, this time with an allergy profile. The results showed a wheat allergy, so I began to cut wheat from my diet.  I saw a GI who had me tested for Celiac. All the paperwork indicated I had it, but the doctor said there was no way I did. 

I was confused and needing answers. She didn't have time to help me, so I made an appointment with yet another GI. He confirmed my suspicions in minutes of my consultation. I had Celiac. I have Celiac. 

It's been 10 years of not feeling well. So upon hearing this news, I cried. But these were happy tears, because it's not in my head and I finally have something to work with.  I can feel better. It may take work, but I'm on the right path. 

And once again, I've self diagnosed accurately! 

If you're reading this and you want more detailed information, I'm happy to share. If my troublesome journey can help light the way of your journey, I'm an open book, so please ask.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Year in Review

It was a huge year for the Liefermans. Most of the highlights center around our wedding and the events that surrounded it, but there were a few other goodies in there as well.

The year kicked off with lots of wedding planning. To start, our lovely photographers, Adam & Laura, scheduled us an engagement shoot to get us comfortable in front of the camera. I adore this set of photos they took, and I'll cherish them forever.

 We celebrated Doug's 33rd birthday with a big group of friends at a great hamburger restaurant in Redondo Beach.  

I was a lucky girl, I had three wonderful bridal showers thrown for me.

My friend Tania coordinated a very fun bachelorette weekend for the girls (+1 boy) so it was off to Vegas we went. Lots of pool side lounging, delicious food, and of course, gambling!One of my favorite memories of the trip is taking the photo below, only because it made us all laugh hysterically. Tania first chose the world's oldest person to try to figure out how to manipulate an iphone camera. When that failed, she chased down a young boy to do it, which was equally entertaining and odd. In the end, we got a great picture, so it was worth it. 

I somehow managed to lose a lot of weight right before the wedding. Here's one of the pictures I found, which really motivates me to get into better shape again. Without the impending stress of a wedding and wedding photos, I gained a lot of weight back the second half of the year. 

After a bit more planning, the wedding was upon us. We celebrated the night before with a great dinner at Roman Cucina after the rehearsal itself. It was a nice night and it allowed Doug and I to really talk to more people one on one. Here's Jessica and me in matching outfits the day before the wedding. 

And then the big day arrived. It went so fast, with all the getting ready and photos, and then suddenly it was gone. I had a blast. We picked the best location for a wedding, The Summit House - the food, the decor, the service. I couldn't have chosen a better place to marry my love.  

After the wedding, we had one day to pack and then it was off to Ireland. It's hard to sum up the trip in words, so I'll use pictures. It was a two week adventure around the island in a rental car. 

When we returned from our trip, I was antsy to begin our search for a new home. We went to see lots of homes, but nothing clicked. The search continued.  

We took a mini trip out to Palm Springs. Doug had to work, so I took a day off at the office and joined him for some fun in the sun. Of course we had to gamble, and I got really lucky and won $1000 on a poker machine. 

And then it happened. Somehow the universe presented us a house we loved and everything fell into place. We made an offer, and the house was ours! 

Moving presented a bit of a problem. We lived in Aliso Viejo, but my work was in Long Beach. Not one to commute, I decided to leave my job and find something closer to home. It was bittersweet - leaving a place I had worked for four years, and not seeing my friend on a daily basis. But in the end, it was time for a change and I'm ready for the next big adventure that awaits me, whatever that may be. Here's a photo of Tania and me at my farewell lunch. 

To commemorate our big move and my 33rd birthday, we had a big party at the house in November. We rented a karaoke machine and lots of family and friends came. It was a really nice night.  But I couldn't find any photos :)

Finally, to ring in the new year, we had some friends over for a quiet night in, with drinks, dinner, and games. 

2014 is here and everything is great. 2013 was a year of change, of finding my footing and learning more about who I am, and not accepting things, either about myself, or others, that I easily did in the past. It was a year of growth. I can't wait to see what 2014 holds for us!