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How it all started...AKA...In the beginning
- By Pat Koehler
- Published 09/24/2011
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2002. I have had several misdiagnosis as the cause of my chronic fatigue, depression and pain. I was given drug after drug after drug and I had severe side-effects to them or they didn't work. I was tested for celiac disease in 2005 and it came back negative. On 8/18/11, I saw a doctor at a clinic while out of town with a sinus infection. He recommended going gluten-free to see if that helped. I intend this blog as a diary of this journey.
How it all started
Overwhelmed. ..anxious. ..excited…and a gamut of other emotions are what I felt that day. Did I hear this new doctor right? He left the exam room stating “wait here, I think I have something that might help you.”
I was out-of-town for a week when I started with sinus problems on the second day there. I was in a familiar town, had a former doctor there, but chose to visit a walk-in clinic hoping to be in and out of there quickly. I knew that going to my former doctor meant possibly waiting days to get in for a visit or waiting a long time in a waiting room, then an exam room. That may have been the best decision I’ve made. I had waited 3 days since the congestion began and my ears were still clogged. I knew I had a sinus infection and prayed that I could get put on an antibiotic, as based on past experience, if I didn’t, it was going to get unbearable and require a stronger antibiotic than I wanted to take.
I went to a walk-in clinic shortly after they opened for the day. There was only one other patient there. So far, so good. When the doctor walked into the exam room, he was an older man. Yes, my prayers were being answered…short wait (important because I had a 10 month old with me) and from past experience, younger doctors tend to not want to prescribe antibiotics, but I knew what I needed. After reviewing my medical history with me...fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, IBS, migraines, depression, abdominal pain (blamed on ovarian cysts)…he examined me and determined I did have a sinus infection. That’s when he said, “I’ll be right back. I might have something to help you.” Of course, I’m imagining he’s gone to get me a neti pot and my stomach turns.
He comes back with copies of something from the internet. My curiosity is piqued. He explains that he has started giving information to patients that come to him with a history similar to mine. It’s information about celiac disease. I listen to what he has to say while I remind myself that I was tested for that about six years prior and it was negative. Hence, the diagnosis of IBS. He asks me to contact him in about 3 weeks to see how I’ve done with it (note to self, contact doctor!). Wow, a doctor that knows I live out of state and he wants to know how I’m doing after I try this? I leave with a prescription for an antibiotic, a recommendation of an OTC sinus and cold medicine, and wondering if this doctor might have the answer for my other symptoms.
Loving to read, I buy the book he recommends (The Gluten Connection) and wait anxiously for it arrive. I started googling gluten-free and celiac disease. I realize that I needed to immediately change what I eat. The information is shouting out at me: you have these symptoms, nothing else has worked, it can’t hurt to try it. Okay, it can hurt the food budget, but if I can function better and feel better, it will be worth it.
My next blog will describe what I’ve experienced in the past month since starting to eat gluten-free.
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