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.