Really? That’s What it’s been All Along?

I’ve been trying to compose this in my head so that it would make some semblance of sense. I don’t know that it will. For those of you that I am close to you will know part of the story already, for those that don’t know me personally I don’t know if it will ever make any sense.

To say I was not a hyper active child would be a severe understatement. My mother always told me that I was a “low energy child”. Food and sleep were (and probably still are) two of my very favorite things in the whole world.

Somewhere around the year 20oo, maybe 2001 I started getting sick. I don’t know effectively I can describe it.

I felt awful.

Everything hurt, I had a severe headache, my whole body felt like I was coming down with the flu… only the rest of the flu symptoms never showed up. But more than anything else I was tired. Tired like you would not believe. Tired to the point that once it got so severe that I had to nap in the hallway trying to crawl to the bathroom from my bedroom. I was incapable of standing up for two days.

The symptoms came and went. Some days were okay – some days were horrible. Some days were worse than that.

After a while some of the symptoms stayed all of the time. The headache has been ever present in my life for at least 8 years.

The doctors had a litany of suggestions and diagnoses of varying ridiculousness. I was labeled a “contrary patient” for not complying with all the medications that they wanted to put me on. Sometimes I would try one or more of them and they never helped the symptoms and in a couple of cases caused SEVERE side effects and complications.

I was desperate to find anything that would make me feel better. I tried almost everything that was suggested. I did research and experimented with pretty much every variable in my life.

I tried to hide what I was going through as much as possible. Bitching about it didn’t make anyone feel better. My Grandma told me “just because you are in pain, doesn’t mean that you have to be one.” I tried to be “present and pleasant” and admittedly failed horribly pretty often. Many days I was barely holding on and on the verge of tears – interacting with people took every ounce of energy that I had. Sometimes I would go off somewhere hide and cry. Way too much of my free time was spent sleeping; thinking that if I could just rest long enough I might feel human again.

In all honesty on more than a few occasions I wanted to eat the business end of a shot gun – just too tired to keep fighting.

I discovered RedBull and it did help. Some days as many as 6 – but normally 4 a day could get me through. Regular caffeine did nothing to help and just made me nauseous. I figured even a $10 a day RedBull habit was better than the permanent disability that the doctors told me was inevitable.

Gluten was something that had come up several times in my research and I had tried cutting back on it a few times – I kept getting sick anyhow so I figured that wasn’t it.

Several months ago for reasons that weren’t really clear at the time I decided to get vigilant about the gluten this time.

My entire life has been transformed. The effect is like night and day. I am beyond excited. I have been hesitant to talk about it too much for fear that this marvelous feeling would go away.

Today I sit here with a second chance at life. Perhaps really my first. I don’t remember EVER feeling this good in my entire life. I am positively giddy at moments. A few days ago I was actively agreeing with a friend and nodding my head and I almost burst into tears with gratitude that the motion didn’t cause me pain.

I CAN MOVE!! and it doesn’t hurt. I have started a running program. Yes, really.

I have been told this is a very difficult diet to maintain and I say that I don’t give a shit. I will do anything to keep this feeling. Anything. If that means that I can never have bread or a hundred other foods again for the rest of my life – I don’t care. NOTHING will EVER be worth going back to feeling like that.

I discuss this here because the person that I am today and the person that I am going to be tomorrow are different from the me that you may have come to know. I have a lot of regrets over the last decade. I did the best that I could with the tools that I had available to me. Many more changes will be coming in the future – some of them I am planning some of them will be based on new opportunities that will be available to me now.

…and if you know someone who is having problems with fatigue and pain – please let them know that gluten sensitivities can cause all those symptoms.  Perhaps someone can be saved the years that it took me to figure it out.



I don’t know where I will wind up from here or what I will be doing – but I know that it is going to be wonderful.

Thank you to all of you for sticking by me during the dark ages. I look forward to getting to know you all better.

Thank you!


~ by justteejay on April 21, 2012.

3 Responses to “Really? That’s What it’s been All Along?”

  1. hi teejay… is amazing what i have just read..Monica is almost the same as you, with a lot of the same symptoms…she has to be so very careful about what she eats..and gluten free,along with the sugars too…when she does, she feel so much better…i will mention it to her to read your post and story. thank you so much for sharing, and i sincerely hope you continue to do well…you so muchly deserve it!……MaryL.

  2. Congrats! I understand your excitement. Sending you thrilled hugs and kisses. Can’t wait to see you again with both of us on top of our game! Love to you and yours

  3. I’ve been eating little else but meat and vegetables for several months and it is remarkable how much better I feel. Glad you’re off the Red Bull! That stuff is crazy.

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