By Mel Ball
The one phrase I have been longing to hear for the last 6 months! I have been fighting mental and physical health problems for over a year now and at last I am starting to see the end of my journey of discovery.
I’m not going to lie, this year in general has been pretty shocking. Some of my friends and family have wondered how on earth I am still alive at times. How can anyone go through such turbulence and still make it out on the other side? I have pondered from time to time the same thing. It’s not like I haven’t thought about ending it all, hurting myself in some stupid way, but here I am writing to whoever comes across my message.
I still have these thoughts from time to time, I’m not going to lie.
A diagnosis at last
But now I have finally got a diagnosis for my physical health. I have coeliac disease. It could be one of the many reasons why I have been feeling like absolute rubbish. A reason why life sometimes had no meaning, as to why I could not physically get out of bed in the morning. The pain every time I ate anything would blow me up to the size of a nine month pregnancy belly, it was torture!
Going through this could make anybody depressed, anxious and damn right angry, especially when you have no idea what is happening to you. When I got the results from a blood test for possible coeliac disease, I was really upset, I mean I was crying to the doc like a toddler! I love food, I have trained to cook food and I have worked with food for most of my working life. It broke me, even though I know how to cook without flour and other cereals. It hurt to know I can’t have the foods many people enjoy without thinking.
I was sent to hospital not long after the blood results to have an upper tract endoscopy to confirm, through biopsy, for coeliac. This is a camera to look inside your throat, stomach and upper intestinal tract, and to take samples at the same time.
The day starts off fine, I get to the hospital in good time. I’m relaxed while the nurse takes my blood pressure and notes. She asks if I would like a sedative. Yes was the answer. I’m then taken to the op room, I’m given the sedative to relax. I’m still awake, but I don’t remember what happened next, all I’m told is that my body went into “distress” and the op was cancelled. I go back to my room and eat a sandwich while the surgeon tells me all of this. I don’t remember anything until my boyfriend and I get a coffee. He tells me what the surgeon told me again.
I’m angry at myself, so disappointed. How could I let myself down? My partner tells me it’s not my fault it was just the hypergag reflex that I have.
Since that day I have been having panic attacks every other day. I’m signed off work as I just couldn’t cope. My medication has been upped and changed.
I’m back at the GP office, and the lady doctor I spoke to gave me some peace of mind at last. She told me the two blood tests I had done to confirm coeliac both came back positive. If these tests were done for children they wouldn’t have needed to go through the endoscopy.
Relief at last!
She tells me, to be on the safe side, that I need to go for more blood tests. This is to see if I am lacking in nutrients that could be affecting my physical and mental health. Who knew that lacking a little vitamin B12 could cause issues?
I am so happy that I am coming to an end with finding out that my issues may have answers. Not all of them thankfully consist of a medication, but just plain and simple clean eating. I’m not saying that medication doesn’t help, I am still on tablets to help with day to day life, but I’m glad it means I can start changing for the better.