Having a chronic illness does not stop time. Life trundles along and the days slip by and the next thing you know, years have passed. I looked at the calendar and realised, the other day, that almost a year has passed since I lost my law job due to illness (I got the sack on Valentine’s Day in 2012… and a big “I love you” to you too!) and almost two years since I first became unwell. My goodness how time flies when you’re having fun.
My health has most definitely improved since this time last year when my daily nausea was so severe that I had to carry a bucket in the passenger seat of my car, just in case, but I’m still yet to say, “I’m cured!”. Two years is definitely long enough for most treatments to make a difference but it seems I have plateaued in what my pills and potions are going to do for me, so the question is, what next?
I have done my dash with GAPS for now. Most GAPS advocates and specialists tell me that if GAPS doesn’t work, you’re doing it wrong. I confess, I wasn’t 100% vigilant, slipping the occasional square of chocolate in on the weekend or eating a steak fried in “mystery oil” at a restaurant, but surely after three months of 95% adherence I would have felt some benefit? Apparently not. Some patients even said they were on GAPS for years before they felt better. That’s right, years. Well, call me stubborn and foolish but I simply can’t endure years of bland, mushy food with hours of preparation time on the vague promise that it might help me and if it doesn’t, I must have been doing it wrong. The whole premise reminds me somewhat of The Secret, a self-help book by Rhonda Byrne that posited you can bring anything to you in life if you just believe it hard enough. Based on this theory, if you desire to be say, a professional basketballer, all you must do is desire it and wish for it, ignoring the fact that you may happen to be only 120cm tall. Of course, not all wishes come true, but Byrne’s response to this dilemma? Ahh, you just weren’t wishing hard enough.
Ok, so I don’t begrudge the power of positivity and there is much truth to what Byrne was saying but my point is, these self-fulfilling prophesies always seem to place the blame externally to themselves. Now I do not for one moment accuse Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride of casting such irrational assertions, she is a scientist and bases her statements on research and observation. However, when anyone says, “it didn’t work because you did it wrong” without actually even knowing what I did, I find it a little (ok, a lot) insulting. It implies an assumption that I am either unable to understand the requirements of the regime or have some kind of maverick attitude and throw caution to the wind, blatantly ignoring rules but expecting the benefits. Hmm, perhaps I go a little overboard, but I’m sure you can sense (and maybe even relate to?) my frustration at GAPS not working.
So what next? I went back to my GP for further testing. What else could be making me feel rotten? We made a new connection, that I had started to feel really, really bad shortly after ceasing the oral contraceptive pill (Brenda or Dianne 35, for those of you playing along), so decided to test my hormone levels and guess what? I’m oestrogen dominant.
But what does that mean?