There’s not too much to update since the colonoscopy, but I thought I’d check back in anyway.
To review, following the procedure, the doctor told me that he’d found no inflammation and a small, benign looking polyp. Due to those results, he was able to rule out some seriously scary issues like Crohn’s, Collitis and Colon Cancer. Thank goodness.
I originally really liked this doctor because he seemed full of ideas and suggestions. After the procedure he seemed a little deflated, and I think that rubbed off on me. He suggested two more possibilities (lactose and fructose intolerance), but I just couldn’t get on board with those. Maybe I’m just burnt out from too many tests and too few answers, but I decided not to follow through with the testing. Anecdotal evidence tells me I am not lactose intolerance, but avoiding cheese has never made my stomach hurt worse.
I chose not to do the fructose intolerance testing mostly because even if I were found to be fructose intolerant, I wouldn’t make the necessary dietary changes. It’s just too much. I’m getting very tired of restrictive eating especially because it feels like it makes little difference. Some weeks I can eat whatever I want and feel fine. Other weeks, I stick strictly to “safe foods” and feel terrible.
I’m sure I’ll go back to the doctor soon and continue our quest for answers because I really don’t want to live like this forever, but for now I just need a little break.
I’ve formulated my own action plan, and I’m hoping it strengthens my resolve to get better. Here’s what’s on deck:
- Be really good about keeping a food diary. I’ve done this in the past and actually really surprised myself about what some of my “trigger foods” are. It’s tedious, but I’m going to see if keeping the diary on my phone helps me actually stick with it.
- Ease up on the restrictions so I don’t lose my mind, but monitor my intake of “trigger foods.” I can’t avoid gluten forever, so I’m not, but I do try and stay conscious of how many danger foods (gluten, dairy, spicy food, high fiber foods, red wine, chocolate <— I know… it’s terrible) I eat in a given week.
- Stick to “safe foods” in a flare situation. Sometimes, when I feel myself getting sicker, I eat more “trigger foods” just to stick it to my body. It’s exactly as senseless as it sounds, so I’m stopping that. When I start to feel really crummy, I’m sticking to safe foods (white rice, sandwiches instead of high fiber salads, plain pasta, fruit juice instead of fruit).
- Learn to manage my stress and anxiety effectively. I’ve sort of been putting off finding a new therapist since we’re moving soon, and I’d like to find one in our new town, but I am on the hunt and eager to sit down with a professional and make a plan to really tackle this anxiety. I know my stress lives in my stomach, and that certainly doesn’t help me feel better.
- Explore alternatives. Like acupuncture. I just learned that my health insurance will cover acupuncture treatments so long as their performed by a doctor or chiropractor. Thus far, I’ve only been able to find doctor’s whose office hours conflict with my work hours. I’m working on it.
- Maintain a regular exercise schedule. I’m one of those people that just does better when I do a little activity each day. My body thrives on consistency. I don’t think running every day is good for me though, so I’m looking for other ways to get my heart pumping daily. I’ve been looking into gyms in my almost new hometown, and I think I might try spinning since blogland said so.
So, that’s it. I don’t have any answers, and I’m taking a break from the doctor for now, but not forever. I’ll keep you updated on what worked and what didn’t, and I’ll try and post a sample food diary as I had a hard time finding one online.
Until then, I hope you’re feeling well!