The Mystery May be Solved

I think I have finally figured out what has caused my personal health problems, and what it is that Alex had prior to his cancer diagnosis. It appears that it was Crohn’s Disease. Only since we have no medical insurance, it is not going to be possible to get an official diagnosis.

It is certain that I have colitis, and that I also have upper GI problems, which pretty conclusively points to Crohn’s, especially when you figure in the family connections (a sister has it, and so does my mother – and Crohn’s is familial). Figuring out what to do about it though is tough, since going to the doctor right now simply is not possible. So I am working on figuring out what foods trigger it on my own. NOT easy!

The final piece of the puzzle was learning that 6-MP and Methotrexate are often used to treat it. Alex began gaining weight within two months of starting chemo, and those two drugs were part of his treatment for most of the 3 years he was on chemo. In fact, he started building muscle mass again on chemo, and was healthier on it than he ever was off it! So at least now, we know WHAT to watch for as his body readjusts to not being on the chemo.

It is harder for the rest of us though – my oldest son is now having colon pain and other symptoms consistent with Crohn’s, as is my oldest daughter. They are both in situations where it is tough for them to get treatment. And I am having to test foods one at a time. At this point, it appears that even Ensure is a trigger, since it makes me feel sick and horrid.

One of the difficulties in diagnosing Crohn’s is that it can be “silent” for many years, with secondary symptoms being the only thing you see – fatigue, muscle weakness and pain, difficulty controlling blood sugar, headaches, heart arrythmias, arthritis, chemical sensitivities, miscarriage, and other things brought on by nutritional deficiencies. It can promote either weight loss, or persistent obesity (because your metabolism slows down). It can look like a lot of other things at first. Pain may be a symptom that shows up very late in the course of the disease, especially for young children

I’ve been to doctor after doctor, due to muscle weakness and exercise intolerance (we are talking PAIN when I exercise, and I am not a wimp… I’ve been through induced childbirth eight times, I know pain!). All of the common tests came back negative, and they ended up scratching their heads, and I ended up feeling discouraged. There is no easy solution to this, but at least I know what it IS now.

It is certain to change my life. But I learned with Alex that once you adjust to the new “normal”, things become very manageable even with catastrophic illness. I may not like some of the things that it will change, but I’ll learn to deal with it because it beats pain and constant fatigue.

Grow a Garden!

Gardening doesn't have to be that hard! No matter where you live, no matter how difficult your circumstances, you CAN grow a successful garden.

Life from the Garden: Grow Your Own Food Anywhere Practical and low cost options for container gardening, sprouting, small yards, edible landscaping, winter gardening, shady yards, and help for people who are getting started too late. Plenty of tips to simplify, save on work and expense.