I’m not sure exactly when it all started.
I remember sitting in my grade six class, taking a bite out of the whole grain bread of my sandwich that my mother had sent me for lunch. I could feel something scraping the inside of my belly button and I wanted to vomit.
Needless to say, the sandwich was quickly tossed into the trash, along with all the other sandwiches that followed.
Then, there was that time I visited Canada’s wonderland. After eating some greasy pizza, I ran to the bathroom.
My mother said it was lactose intolerance. If I stayed away from dairy, my stomach would get better.
But it didn’t. I didn’t.
In high school, I started having hot flashes. I had low iron. I had terrible nausea and gas. At night, I couldn’t sleep…at least not for more than a few hours.
In university, I started getting splitting migraines. My spine and joints felt like they were on fire…
I went to the hospital, but the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong.
Then, a year or so later, I went to the hospital again. I was having pain on the right side of my body.
The doctors found nothing and I went home.
In my fourth year of university, the pain on the right-hand side started again. The doctors were sure it was appendicitis.
But the surgeon wasn’t so sure. He told me to go home and wait to see if it got worse.
It did. I was soon back in the hospital with the same pains. Again, they said it was appendicitis. Again, the surgeon wasn’t sure. He said it might be IBS or something else. They gave me some medication and sent me home.
My stomach was worse than ever.
A week later, I went to visit a Naturopath to see what alternative medicine could offer me. She told me to stay away from gluten.
I did…and I started to feel a little better.
I shared my experience with a fellow student on campus and she told me to get myself checked out for Celiac disease. I didn’t believe her; after all, the doctors at the hospital had probably already thought of that as a possibility and ruled it out.
Probably. They were the experts, right?
Then, I started having my doubts. What if there was something wrong with my body and what if gluten was the problem?
When I started seriously considering getting tested, the medical community made sure to let me know how crazy my suggestion was.
They were sure it was all in my head.
I was starting think it was all in my head.
I got tested. Twice. Guess what? It’s not all in my head anymore.