101 Days Until I’m 40

We’ve arranged our first EVER overnight babysitting. My in-laws are driving two hours to stay at our house and one of the main reasons I can JUST ABOUT trust someone else with my children is that for the most part, they will be in school and preschool, so it’s only pick-up, feeding, bedtime and drop off that needs doing.

I don’t know why I have such trust issues (actually, I do: it’s because of the depression, psychosis, and total lack of normality in my own family).

But at least now the boys are bigger (and can tell me all about what goes on), I feel a little less like I have to BE THERE FOR EVERY SECOND IN CASE SOMETHING HAPPENS TO THEM.

Which means we have booked a very nice suite in a spa hotel, and dinner at a very posh restaurant. And in the day time I’m going to find some kind of activity that we can do (all less than an hour’s drive from home, of course, in case I need to rush back).

I am actually looking forward to it.

I also have a cream, beaded, strapless dress that I’d like to wear (oh it is just so lovely!), but at the moment I’m still too chubby round the middle from pregnancy to get back into it.

However – I’m still exercising every week (and loving it, weirdly), so I’m hoping to drop just enough weight to get back into that dress – and if I don’t, I’m going to buy myself a lovely new one anyway ;-).

I thought about parties, and friends and whatnot, but at the end of the day, what I really want to do (and given it’s my 40th, that’s what it’s all about), is spend the day doing something super-relaxing and gratifyingly indulgent with my husband. I think having finally accepted that I am introvert and that’s OK, I don’t feel the need to impress everyone by having a massive party for my 40th birthday.

For the second half of my life, I intend to be a lot truer to myself than I have for the first half of my life.

Hurrah for turning 40!

Day 11/90 Falling In LOVE With Exercise

Something has happened. In the space of a few short days I have gone from desperate irritability to sunshiney happiness.

Something else has happened. I am loving exercise. I am looking forward to it, enjoying it while I do it, feeling great afterwards and just loving that feeling that I am making my body stronger and healthier every time I move it. Glorious!

I did a yoga-based class at 8pm last night, and I had the creche booked for a 9am gym session this morning. I haven’t been able to exercise like this for years – literally years. The tiredness, the aching, the muscle-soreness – it all just added up and stopped me from doing anything of any real intensity for any duration.

But somehow, something about completely cutting out sugar (including fruit and grains) and eating a TON of protein and fat, has changed not only my energy levels to be more consistent, but it has allowed me to recover within hours of an exercise session.

Before now, every time I did anything, I would be wiped out for the rest of the day. Exhausted on the sofa. Too tired to do anything. The next two days I would mope about with sore muscles.

Now, when I exercise, I am fine. By bedtime, I don’t feel any different to how I do on a day where I don’t exercise. I am recovering incredibly well.

I wonder if perhaps all these body-builders with their protein obsessions are actually spot-on, because I have run, weight-lifted, yoga-posed and swam from a cold start over the last 11 days and I haven’t had anything more than the mildest muscle soreness as a result. I feel so strong and healthy – and I’ve only just started! I have never felt like this when I’ve started exercising after a break.

I’m thinking about booking some one-to-one sessions so I can get to grips with the free weights. I am thinking I could actually, for the first time in my life, exercise 5+ times a week without having to give up from sheer exhaustion.

It is amazing.

And I am so excited to see where I’ll be in a month, or two months, and how my body will morph into something leaner and stronger than it currently is.

Who would have thought that this would be a side effect of eating the way I am?

Coeliac Disease Home Testing

coeliac

18 months ago, I bought a home blood test for Ceoliac Disease. The test result (positive) is pictured above.

I bought this test two months after my first miscarriage (when trying for baby no.3). I was suffering (and occasionally still do) from digestive complaints – wind, massive bloating, cramps and (TMI) even two occasions of leaking a bit of poo (how horrible!!!!! I can’t even believe I’ve written that down!!!!!).

Anyway, seeing the positive result, I went straight to the doctor and they ordered me a blood test.

Which came back negative.

I was stunned. Not only do I have many of the symptoms, but coeliac disease tends to run in families. My mother has suffered from IBS for years (she has never been tested, but coeliac is often mistaken for IBS) along with a whole host of other immune issues. And her mother suffered osteoporosis (which can be a result of coeliac disease).

Not only that, but coeliac disease is often linked to recurrent miscarriages. My count stands at seven (at no point has anyone suggested coeliac disease might be worth investigating, nor did the doctor I saw think it was relevant).

In fact, my doctor didn’t even want to see me – the receptionist gave me the results and said there was no need to come in and see her.

I guess my digestive problems weren’t considered serious enough to warrant any further action.

What did I do?

I cut right down (but not completely out) on gluten products. We switched pasta out of our meals (we used to eat a lot of it) and included more rice and potatoes. I cut down on bread.

I felt better.

And that’s how things have been for 18 months.

Eating vegan has prompted an increase in gluten and my skin and eczema are now really bad (could be the dark chocolate). I’m full of wind (could be the extra beans) I’m bloated as hell (could be my big ovarian cyst). I just feel so crappy all the time (no, that’s not a medical term, sadly).

But now I’m wondering again.

Why was the home test positive and the doctors test negative?

Is the home test just rubbish?

I’ve read as many reviews as I can on the home tests – many people have got a positive home test and gone on to get a positive test at the doctors.

What is happening in my case?

Why the discrepancy?

I decided to do some research.

The coeliac test I originally used is this one. It tests for:

  • IgA antibodies to tTG (ATA IgA)
  • IgG antibodies to tTG (ATA IgG)

ATA IgA is almost certainly an indicator of coeliac disease. However, coeliacs can be deficient in IgA and produce excessive IgG. The problem is, IgG is not as definitively linked to an immune response to gluten (as far as I understand).

So I was testing for two variables in one test. And I don’t know which was positive.

Maybe my blood test at the doctor only checked IgA?

The doctor is closed for the weekend, so I went out and bought a test for IgA only, so see what the result would be:

coeliac2

Negative!!

So I have no IgA antibodies to tTG.

Logic therefore dictates that I tested positive to IgG antibodies in the first test. This may also explain why the doctors test was negative (to be confirmed).

Next step:

Why would I have raised IgG?

Two possibilities:

  • I am a coeliac with IgA deficiency
  • I am a coeliac with normal IgA levels (some people have a positive biopsy despite a normal blood test)
  • I am not a coeliac. My body is producing an immune response to some other condition or issue (I have long suspected an immune issue, as I mentioned in the antihistamine protocol)

IgA Deficiency

From Medscape: Immunoglobulin A deficiency (IgAD) is defined as an undetectable serum IgA level. In the past, this was usually confirmed with the low-level radial immunodiffusion method (lower limit of detection is 50 mg/mL [5 mg/dL]). However, this test is rarely done in current practice, and results are usually reported as < 0.07 g/L or < 0.05 g/L.

And from coeliac.org.uk: When the laboratory is measuring your antibody level they should also check your total serum IgA to detect IgA deficiency. If you are IgA deficient your GP will need to test you differently for the condition.

So I need access to my blood test results from 18 months ago. That will have to wait until next week.

If I cannot obtain any further confirmation via my doctors, I will try an elimination diet and subsequent gluten challenge.

Door To Door

17:08

A woman knocks on the door.

I find door-to-door sales really irritating, but these people are just doing their jobs so I am determined to be kind, even if she tries to sell me double glazing.

Hi, I’m doing a survey and I’m looking for a lady…

She chuckles uncomfortably.

Although I’m sure you’re not…

I raise my eyebrows.

She continues:

I don’t mean to be rude…

I blink at her.

She looks awkwardly at me.

I’m looking for a lady who is…

She scans her clipboard and pokes her finger at it

…under 24.

She looks up from her clipboard.

I keep my smile fixed in place, although it is even less genuine now than when I opened the door.

No, I’m not.

No… no… I didn’t think you were…

She is shaking her head and walking away, smiling sadly.

I take my rictus grin back inside and shut the door gently.

My Heart Check-Up

I had my cardiology appointment today, after seeing the GP about increasingly annoying “skipped beats” over the last year.

After an ECG and a heart ultrasound, the consultant saw me and told me my heart is perfectly healthy.

He says I am suffering from ventricular ectopic beats. They are very common and totally benign.

There is no heart murmur either.

Ectopic beats are often provoked by nicotine (nope), caffeine (two teas a day at most), fizzy drinks (nope), alcohol (hardly ever).

Oh, and stress.

Well, yes. I do get that. A bit.

Isn’t it funny how I keep expecting something terrible to be wrong with me, but I just keep getting told I am in perfect health??

So I started wondering.

Is everything down to stress?

Am I miscarrying because of stress?

Generic baby websites reassure women that stress doesn’t cause miscarriage.

But there is an interesting summary of studies here that say the opposite.

And a huge increase in miscarriage rate is seen in women exposed to rocket attacks in war zones.

Am I stressed?

Hell, yes I am.

I’ve been stressed for two years while trying for a baby, losing 5 pregnancies and simultaneously looking after two young children with zero support aside from my husband. I’ve lost two grandparents and my brother has been in and out of psychiatric wards. I’ve also found myself dealing with impossible emotions surfacing from my own childhood since becoming a parent myself.

I’m a control freak and a bit of a perfectionist.

So, I’m going to get an adrenal stress profile done and see what the results are.

And I am simply too tired, tonight, to write anything else.

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