Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Becoming a believer

2 weeks into going Gluten Free and I have to say that this has been an eye opening experience. Not only in how gluten is in EVERYTHING but in how much happier my stomach has been. I no longer suffer from painful bloating, which I honestly thought I only suffered when I ate dairy. This explains why despite being dairy free for 10 years I still would suffer bouts of severe stomach pain and rude gas. To the point that it would take my breath away (not the gas but the pain).
I feel normal. Or as normal as I have in years.
I am not suffering. I had my ice cream and brownie sundae this evening. I will miss the textures of some things, but I am finding recipes that can be tweaked and if not, well I really don't need to eat them anyway. Bread has been hard though. I've never been a big fan of toasted bread sandwiches but toasting it seems to be the only way it stays together. 

As far as my Lupus symptoms are concerned. The biggest difference is my face. 
The skin on my face was part of the reason why I caved to take the medication. Yes, my vanity shined through like a light in the dark. I have always taken pride in how I was never ridden with a pizza face and how I never needed layers of makeup to cover anything other than a random zit. 

My face was rough, pimpled, itchy, and embarrassing. People I worked with kept asking why my face looked so bad. Family and friends asked too, but were a bit more polite about it. My uncle jokingly asked if the fleas were bothering me, I shot back that it was only the howling that bothered me. 
But despite my joking. It did bother me. I've never been model thin and have always had self esteem issues to boot. But my face was my pride and having it suddenly plagued and ravaged was a deep blow. 

Having said all this, being GF for 2 weeks has done more than almost 5 months of medication has. My face is scarred now, yes. But it doesn't itch, there is no scaly build up and it isn't a mess of pimples or swelling. 

This is my face pre pregnancy. The flash made me a bit pale here, but I've always had rosy cheeks. My great grandma said it was because I ate too many strawberries.

This is me after having my son. They got a little more rosy, but I thought it was due to weight gain.

My silly face while pregnant with my daughter.

My cheeks were always pink/rosy after having her. Once again I thought it was just because of weight gain.

So, a determined me started to work on my weight. It flared out worse. This was when it was borderline unbearable. Dry looking, bumpy, red and itchy as heck. (My hair was also at it's thinnest here.) This is how it looked when I started the medication.

This is it a four months later. The bumps are still there, I was still battling the itchy dry skin and never ending zits.

This is a week into going GF. The red is still there, but the dry skin has subsided and the itching is gone.

This was this past weekend. My cheeks are scarred now, I'm sure of it. But the micro zits, itching, dry skin build up and pain are gone. It is still sensitive, like when I scratch it absent minded, but it is so much better than it was. 

I am convinced that I may be a carrier for Lupus or it might be enough of a blip to cause immune/intestinal issues. But I am starting to doubt if what I have is really Lupus or if it is just a side effect of my forcing my body to digest foods that it cannot handle. I never really had these problems when I was younger but having two children has probably changed my body in more ways that I previously thought. My next test will be when I switch to a more holistic minded Rhematologist. I am curious to see how I do without the medication, but I am positive that unless I find a more holistic minded doctor, it will be a self run experiment. Which I don't feel 100% confident in doing without supervision. Maybe I am fooling myself and it's actually the medication kicking in fully. But, just maybe, it is just was my diet. 

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