Friday, October 7, 2011

Bob's Red Mill

Note: This post was imported from the original blog this site is based on. It is a personal account of my experience and is not very relevant to the current website. I have kept it out of respect to the journey that led me here. 

My older sister  took me on a bit of an adventure yesterday. We went and picked up my adorable nephew from preschool first, and we had about an hour before his doctor's appointment. So, we stopped at the old Bob's Red Mill. For those who don't know, this is a company that makes a lot of healthy, high quality grain products. And at their restaurant/store, they had EVERY product they make! As one of the best producers of gluten free substitutes, this was very exciting for me.

I ended up buying a 25 pound bag of gluten free all purpose baking flour. The biggest obstacle for baking for me has been how complicated switching out flour can be. You have to add starches and various gluten free flours, and it takes much longer than it should. The great thing about this blend, is all of that is already taken care of, so you can use it straight across. It usually costs $6 for 4 oz or something, so I got a great deal buying it in bulk. I am making cookies today, something I've really missed since I had to go gluten free!

The big challenge of going gluten free for me is that I'm hypoglycemic--I have to eat snacks every two hours, or I get really shaky and can pass out. It used to be a huge problem before I figured out how to manage it. However, the most convenient snacks, ones that hold up well for long periods of time in purses and backpacks and aren't too sugary, are generally made of flour. It's hard to lug around yogurts and peanut butter.

I am working on figuring it out though and making it work because I think it may be making a difference in my pain. The whole point is that by reducing and eliminating gluten as much as possible from my diet, I am reducing the presence of a rather inflammatory chemical. And, as endometriosis is an inflammatory disease, especially mine which inflamed my entire abdominal cavity, cutting out gluten can help reduce the 'fanning of the flames'. Studies have shown that around 50% of women with endometriosis experience significant reduction in pain when they eliminate gluten from their diet. I'm giving it another month, to be sure, but I may luckily fall into that 50%. It is a bummer to have to make such a huge dietary adjustment, but I need to count my blessings that there are things I can do to reduce my pain and discomfort.

I bought several things at Bob's Red Mill, and I even got a sandwich, which was made of the first GOOD gluten free bread I've had so far. It was nice to feel excited about these changes I need to make, and to have hope that there are products that make the change less difficult. Plus, I'm lucky that I can have a tiny bit of gluten without getting severely ill. I just need to avoid it as much as I can, not 100%. My mum is even giving me her old breadmaker so I can make my own gluten free loaves. There are plenty of options, products, and help to make this change more tolerable.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

IBD and Gums

Note: This post was imported from the original blog this site is based on. It is a personal account of my experience and is not very relevant to the current website. I have kept it out of respect to the journey that led me here. 

Did you know that IBD makes your gums swell and causes sores in your mouth? Not gross stuff, you can't even see it, but I've definitely experienced some spontaneous bleeding. Well, for those who aren't aware--I'm... well... rather tiny. I admit I am on the petite side of normal women. And in sync with this, I have a small mouth. Small teeth too... but still, cramming a full set of adult teeth into a tiny mouth, including fully surfaced wisdom teeth, is a little much. And when I have a colitis flare, my gums swell and my tightly packed mouth hurts even more. It especially hurt during this last flare, so I went to the dentist.

I had an amazing, sweet/kind dentist whom I can't correctly pronounce the name of. I stumble over it so much that I have just been calling him 'doctor', because I'm embarrassed. He took pity on me, without any prompting from my side to be honest--he just saw my medical rap sheet, looked at me, and asked, "how can this much be wrong with you when you're so young?". He asked why I hadn't had my teeth out yet, and I explained that I had an appointment but I had to cancel it because it conflicted with my surgery I had in June to remove a tumor. At this news, he squeezed me in that SAME DAY to get out two of my wisdom teeth. He also coded it special to make it cheaper for me. He would have taken them all out but he suspected (correctly) that I would be slow to heal with all my medical issues. He didn't want to hurt me on accident. But he did an amazing job with the removal, I had a pretty smooth recovery, and I just had the other half removed by a friend of his. His colleague wasn't as good as him, but they still squeezed me in quickly and got me a special on pricing.

Having invisible diseases like endometriosis and colitis means that a lot of people don't understand what's wrong with me or expect me to be healthier than I am. I've known people to treat me like I'm 'making it up'. In all honesty, I'm more sensitive about it than I should be, but it really hurts my feelings to have people treat me like I'm faking. I've had to give up so much because of these diseases, and I would honestly cut off my leg to be healthy again--to have people belittle it adds insult to injury and I've cried over it before. It's stupid, and I shouldn't let it get to me, but I have before. So to be treated like a sick kid who really needed a break by this doctor/dentist--it was a really nice change of pace. He knew what colitis was and knew I was in constant pain, and that was enough for him. Thanks to him I have all four of my wisdom teeth out, and even though the left side hurt more and my stitches keep snagging (the other dentist wasn't quite as good as him), I'm grateful to have them out. The pain I've had for years in the corners of my mouth are GONE!!

Moral of the story? When you're sick--really sick--some people will have compassion for you, others will treat you like a big fat faker and think you're exaggerating. I've experienced both. I try not to whine; I have a jar labeled my "Bitch and Moan Jar" in which I have to place a quarter every time I whine. I get the money back if I can go 21 days without whining. I've made it 5 ha ha. But it's really helped me be aware of my complaining. My Mum actually told me she sometimes forgets how sick I am because I don't whine about it. And when you tolerate it well, it will make you tougher and able to endure hardships better, not to mention make others tolerate you better. But it also means a lot of people will think it must not be bad if you aren't complaining. Whining for attention isn't my style though, and I don't think anyone who is actually sick cares about getting 'extra attention'. You just hope people will have compassion and be patient with you, and if they're not, it's best to just ignore them. Otherwise you'll constantly be let down. Appreciate those who show compassion and patience, and screw those who don't.

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Contact me at bedhead@bedriddenhead.com

About The BedRiddenHead

I want to be happy. And this site is about that chance. How to strive to thrive in the body I've got and maybe turn my experiences into something worthwhile.

This site aims to help educate and reach out to people all over that struggle with pain or illness. To try and make something helpful. I work as a medical research writer, my background is in neuropsychology and biology, and I want to share what I learn in a way that is easy to understand. I am not a doctor. I'm definitely not your doctor. I am just some lady who wants to make someone's (anyone's) life a little bit better. Whether you have endometriosis, a chronic injury, a struggling friend, or just want to learn something new, I hope to make a place that has what you are looking for.

Thank you for stopping by, I wish you strength in your health and happiness.