I’ve always had the sort of health and body that just worked without too much trouble. I could push it to extremes of stress and endurance (although not physical) and it ran on empty quite well. I travelled, ate local foods, drank water in Thailand and Bali, spent many years in alcohol-soaked work cultures and successfully delivered a baby with complications only arising from the surgery.
When I got sick at the end of last year, I kept expecting the same from myself. I kept thinking every few weeks that I would have recovered. I also had some poor advice (was it Ross River?, was it Parvo?, was it glandular fever?) so I didn’t know what to expect, however I still assumed my body would manage what it always had, to recover.
Skip ahead to now – 8 months in and if you want to read about them it’s all in my blogs – and this week whilst giving up hope and pursuing a fix, I was presented with another piece of the puzzle. A definite, blood test confirmed, dairy allergy. Whether or not it’s always been there, they can’t prove and it doesn’t matter. My body is reacting to dairy as if it’s an intruder and since I’ve been having smoothies and coffees every day, it’s got a lot to react against. This could very well be what’s stopping me from recovering as I expected due to the over-exhaustion of my immune system in dealing with dairy.
The news was surprising to me. To be honest I’d written off the results and was just going to attend the appointment, going through the motions whilst they informed me there was no clear result but perhaps I should cut out all the foods anyway. I was planning on ignoring them.
The GP’s visit on Tuesday kind of made me feel ashamed somehow, like she was unhappy I had gone against her recommendations and I’d maybe done something wrong by pursuing an alternative result for my health. It wasn’t like she was offering anything else but ‘you’ll get better’ but I came away quite ambivalent and questioning why she kept recommending anti-depressants. We had one of those circular conversations where I told her I was sleeping 8-9 hours a night and needing a nap and she told me that sleeping a lot wasn’t good for me but I told her I was sleeping because I was tired. You can see one person saying something and the other hearing something else can’t you?
The naturopath really helped me feel positive. For one, she was so pleased she had found something significant, she was almost bouncing off the walls with excitement. When I told her about the GP’s recommendation she agreed that yes anti-depressants would make you feel better as ‘it’ll flood your system with serotonin but it’s masking the cause’. Immediately I felt at ease with the words, ‘It’s not going to be surprising, if you’re feeling down, because you’re unwell all the time!’
I have to say here that I’m trying not to have a prejudice against anti-depressants, I feel logically that they can help people when they need support, however I’ve just not felt myself despairing for that long across all this. Some moments and times have been tough but I have never stayed in a long period of despair, surprisingly. If I felt the need I would use the prescription, but I don’t right now.
For now, it’s avoiding dairy time and see how that goes. It could be a really significant finding in all this, I really do hope so. Even the difficulty of the last few months fades in intensity as I realise it all led me here. If I hadn’t gone through those months of shaking up my system with supplements and of feeling worse and recognising that I wasn’t improving, I wouldn’t have been led to this finding. Anyway, it’s early days, let’s see what happens now.