Body image, Chronic health condition, Depression, Doctors, Gastroparesis, gluten free, Misdiagnosing, Uncategorized, Vegan

Misdiagnosing

Misdiagnosing a patient isn’t something a doctor wants to do but sadly it happens. Doctors are only human after all; even if they do act like they’re better than everyone and everything.¬†

I myself have been misdiagnosed a couple of times in the 3 years it’s taken me to finally get an accurate diagnosis. My chronic fatigue was easily diagnosed but diagnosing my gastroparesis hasn’t gone well at all!¬†

3 years ago I started getting really bad stomach aches and would alternate between diarrhoea and then constipation with a lot of blood in my stool. I was also bloated and looked pregnant (I still do but the doesn’t matter at the moment). Anyway, mum and I went to the emergency room at the Royal Childrens Hospital 4 times because of my double over stomach pains and the blood in my stool and every time they would do a blood test and then send me home. They never did anything more than take my bloods and get me to talk to a doctor. They referred me to one of their gastroenterologists and got me to talk to a social worker. They really weren’t any help at all. Well, I saw the gastroenterologist and he put me on the waiting list for a colonoscopy and endoscopy; that was meant to happen in April and I finally got in in November (even though I was on the category 2 list). I got the scopes done and the gastroenterologist told me that nothing was wrong and to come back in a couple of months.
Of course mum and I weren’t happy with that so we got a referral from my GP to see a paediatrician and to see if he could help. We went and saw the paediatrician and he straight away diagnosed me with the chronic fatigue which was great because now I had an answer to that and also to my heart problems but we originally went there for the stomach issues so we told him all about it and what had happened. I think it’s important that I also tell you that I was in the psych ward at this time. Anyway, so he basically told me that I was obese and needed to lose weight and then all my stomach issues would go away. He also made me get an X-ray which he told me was normal but when I went to my new gastroenterologist he told me that it WASN’T normal and that I needed to fix the issue ASAP. So after telling me that I was obese, grabbing my fat, telling me there was nothing was wrong with me and making me get an X-ray and then saying it was fine when it wasn’t he sent me on my merry way and told me to come back in a year or never if I didn’t need to see him.

I mentioned before that I was in the psych ward and that I thought that that was important to mention because what doctor who knows that you’re in the psychiatric unit at the hospital and knows that you have problems with your weight tells you that you’re obese and that you need to lose all the weight and then you’ll be fine? I was obviously in the psych unit because I wasn’t doing well and I had told him that part of the reason I was in there was because of my weight gain. Safe to say that I never went back to him!¬†

After that failure with the paediatrician¬†mum and I went back to my GP to get another referral to see a different gastroenterologist (Lets call him Bob) ¬†because nothing with my stomach had improved and it was actually getting worse and not better. So off we went to see another gastroenterologist; this time it was privately and hella expensive. Bob thought I had ulcerative colitis at first and put me on steroids and another medication he also booked me into hospital for another colonoscopy and MRI. I ended up staying in hospital for a week while we tried to figure out what was wrong with me. I had the colonoscopy done and once again nothing showed up and nothing showed up on my MRI either. I was so frustrated when nothing showed up, I didn’t want ulcerative colitis but I also didn’t want to not have an answer. I was tired of seeing doctors and getting told there was nothing wrong with me when I KNEW there was something wrong with me. I got discharged from hospital and went back to see Bob. He told me that he didn’t know what was wrong with me and then sent me home and told me that I had to do a bowel flush out every month. If you’ve ever had to do a bowel flush out to get ready for a colonoscopy or just because like me, then you know how disgusting it is. I mixed it with apple juice and now I can’t drink apple juice, I also used a certain glass for the flush out liquid and now I can’t even drink from that glass because it reminds me of the flush out and how disgusting is. Yuuuck.
So I did that and it didn’t help with the symptoms at all so I went back and he told me to try this medication which I did and it didn’t help at all; it made me feel really sick. Sent me back home. I went back to Bob a few months later and he said that I should do a gastric emptying study. So I did that test and… FINALLY an answer! My stomach empties 1.5 to 2 hours slower than the normal stomach. I asked him if it was gastropareis as I had been doing my research and he said yes. So there you go, after 3 years I finally got diagnosed with a rare and horrible disease called gastroparesis. Bob hasn’t told me anything about it so I’ve had to learn what I can on the internet and through Facebook groups. He also said that I need to see a pelvic physio who I’ve been seeing and has given my exercises to help me relax my pelvic floor and to help my bowel motions come out a bit easer and for other stuff…¬†

Bob put me on a new medications and it has really helped. I can now eat most meals without getting double over stomach aches and horrible nausea. The medication doesn’t work all the time so I still get the stomach aches and nausea but it’s not every meal I eat. I’m still bloated all the time and look pregnant which really gets me down. I pretend with mum to have maternity shoots and pose in funny positions because it’s easier to laugh about the way I look than to remember and think about the fact that I’m 18 and look pregnant even though I’m not and that I will always look pregnant and be bloated. Since Iv’e lost weight the bloating has become a bit smaller so I’m hoping that the more weight I lose the smaller the bloating will get. But that’s another thing, gastroparesis can cause either weight loss or weight gain and I suffer from the weight gain aspect of it so it is so ridiculously hard to lose the weight that I’ve gained. It takes me months just to lose 500 grams and that’s with walking every day. I also eat pretty well. I’m vegan and gluten free and I don’t eat much junk food at all. It’s so discouraging and annoying to try so hard and to not see results.¬†

Since Bob hasn’t told me anything about gastroparesis and I’ve had to google it, I’ve come across some scary facts about it. I never knew it was such a serious illness! People die from it and it’s scary. I’m not saying that I’m going to die from it but I am worried that I will get worse and I’ll end up with a feeding tube in hospital not being able to eat or drink… Gastroparesis is scary and I’m scared.¬†

So, here I am! Finally got my stomach issues diagnosed along with my chronic fatigue. Now I just have to get my fibromyalgia verifed and diagnosed. 

Keep safe,
Maddy xoxo 

Follow me on twitter if you’d like xx

 

PS- I got a puppy! Her name is Asher and I’m going to train her to be a therapy dog and get her certified so she can go everywhere with me and support me out there in the scary anxiety inducing world!¬†

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Body image, Depression, Emotional eating, Food addict, Guilt, Uncategorized

What it’s like being an emotional eater and addicted to food…

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Food. I love it and I hate it. It’s heaven and it’s hell. It’s good and it’s bad.

My relationship with food is a complicated one because as you can see in the title of this blog, I am an emotional eater and addicted to food.

“Hi, my name is Maddy and I’m a foodaholic.”
“Hi Maddy” (you all say in a bored monotone voice).

Food has always been a comfort to me, it’s always been there when I needed it and sometimes I hate food for always being there. I eat when I’m bored, sad, angry, anxious, tired and just about every other emotion you can feel. It’s a crutch for me to stand on; a very unhealthy and unhelpful one at that.

But what does it actually feel like being an emotional eater and addicted to food?
It feels like a viscous cycle that you know you need to get yourself out of but you just can’t. I’ll be sitting on the couch feeling bored and without me even realising what I’m doing I’ve gotten off the couch and eaten the rest of the chips, put some toast in the toaster and while that’s cooking heated up a muffin and because that wasn’t enough to eat i’ll go back and finish off the corn chips! All because I felt a little bored… Right now as I’m writing this blog post all I can think about is how nice a toasted bread roll would be, but then I remember how I feel after I’ve gone on that food binge and I start to hate my self and resent my self. ¬†I start thinking about how fat I am and how no body likes a fat person. But then those thoughts make me feel sad and I want to go eat! So as you can see, it’s a horrible¬†cycle.

EAT->FEEL BAD ABOUT SELF->EAT SOME MORE->FEEL EVEN WORSE ABOUT SELF->MAYBE EAT AGAIN->FEEL SO DOWN AND DEPRESSED THAT I CAN’T GET OFF THE COUCH TO EAT ANY MORE <—- Fabulous isn’t¬†it?!

When I’m feeling really down food makes me happy, even if its just for those minutes that I’m eating it I feel ok and that’s where I get stuck in the cycle. I don’t think to go and distract myself I don’t even think at all! It’s like breathing I just dot it.

It’s such a messed up thing and I hate it. I hate that food is the one thing to make me happy and sad all in the space of 10 minutes.
I’m getting better though at not hating on my self too much I think. My mums a big help in that because she knows how I feel and what it’s like to eat your emotions away.

My psychologist says something to me every time I see her and that is to ‘Be kind to yourself’ and I always roll my eyes and say yeah ok, but she’s right. I do have to be kind to myself because if I hate on my self too much and end up being a depressed mess (Get it? ;)) I’ll feel the need to eat again and get stuck in that cycle that in no way helps me.

I need to start to remind myself that food doesn’t help, it makes everything worse. I need to stop myself when I’m in the kitchen looking for food and tell myself to go do something else if I’m bored.

Food shouldn’t be my crutch it should be my friend that I visit every day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and an afternoon pop in for tea if I’m feeling peckish.
I also need to learn to be ok with my feelings and to sit with them and not immediately go and put something in my mouth.

Love to you all,
Maddy xoxo

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Uncategorized

Who is Maddy?


Who am I really? What makes me me? What makes a person a person? What’s an identity? These are all questions I ask myself regularly when trying to find my way through this maze that is called life. I’ll start with what I do know.

I know I am 17, I am a leo, I was born in August, I am vegan, I have anxiety, I have depression, I have many health conditions, I am trying to finish year 10, I want to be a teacher when I’m older, I would like a puppy, I’m not very good at maths, I like to read, I like to bake, I like to eat, I love my mum very much, I like to watch TV, I like to sleep when I can, I’m a bit moody sometimes, I like to think of myself has an empathetic and nice person, I have long brown hair, I have dark brown eyes, I don’t like any sports except for tennis, I have a blog, I don’t have any friends, I don’t have a social life, cheesecake is one of my favourite things to eat on special occasions, I have a brother who died and another brother that I don’t get along with very well and an older sister who’s hard to have a relationship with, I can be a bit bitchy sometimes, I am spiritual, I have a good sense of humour I guess and I haven’t given up yet. But with all those things that I identify as myself who am I really? If we strip all that stuff away, what’s left?

Who am I?

A lot of people say it takes a long time to find your ‘true self’ and I wonder what that true self looks like.

I haven’t talked about my religious beliefs before but I think this post calls for it.
I respect everyone and their religious beliefs and I hope you can do the same with mine.
I am a spiritualist and I do believe that there is life after death but I don’t believe that there is a heaven and a hell that we may or may not go to. I believe that we all have a spirit/soul  and that when our physical body dies our spirit leaves and goes to the spirit world and I believe that there is such a thing as an ego and that most of the time our lives are just the lives of our egos and not the lives of our spirit/soul.  I also believe in reincarnation; I believe that your spirit/soul has lived many lives before as different people and that when that body your spirit is in dies it goes into another body, I believe this happens because you have life lessons to learn before you die and when you don’t complete those life lessons your reincarnate until you complete them. For example: My life lessons so far are forgiveness, acceptance and tolerance. I’m working on forgiveness and acceptance at the moment! And most important of all I think is that I belive in signs from my brother who has died and I believe that he is living his TRUE self as a spirit in the spirit world and that when I die, I will be able to be MY true self and be able to spend the rest of eternity with him. 

Keep safe,

Maddy xoxo 

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Chronic health condition, Depression, Grief, Guilt, Survivors guilt, Uncategorized

Guilt… I don’t like this emotion!

There are a couple of different types of guilt I feel on a day to day basis these include: survivors guilt, suicidal guilt and the guilt of being a bad daughter. I’m going to start with the survivors guilt I feel most days.

My brother died three and a half ¬†years ago from brain cancer; the cancer killed him within twelve weeks of his diagnosis. The many thoughts running through my head when he died and still up to this day are ‘Why wasn’t it me?’, ‘Why did he have to die and not me?’, ‘I should’ve been the one to die instead of him’, ‘He was too young and I was older’ and ‘It would’ve been easier if I died instead of him’. These many dark and gloomy thoughts plague my mind constantly. I feel so guilty that I’m still living and he’s dead and that he will never experience becoming eighteen, moving out, friends, love, marriage, kids ect. He will forever be five years old and only a memory I have in my brain, but here I am wanting to kill myself! And that’s where my guilt for being suicidal comes in. I know all these things about my brother not getting older and experiencing life and yet I still can’t help but feel like I want to die sometimes and get this life over with. I also have guilt about wanting to kill myself because how could I do that to mum?! She is the only reason I’m still here and the fact that I might miss my chance to be with my brother and have to reincarnate (yes, I do believe in reincarnation if you haven’t completed all your life lessons before you die or if you kill yourself). The thought of dying and not seeing mum and my brother for god knows how many years or if ever really makes my stay on this earth. I love my mum more than anything and the thought of leaving her breaks my heart and makes me cry, so really there’s no chance of me killing myself if I think of all the reasons why I can’t. Mum has already lost her soulmate, why would I put her through having to bury another child? That¬†would¬†just be cruel and incredibly selfish of me. So don’t worry mum, you’ve got another forty¬†years to put up with me! ūüėȬ†

Every birthday I have I can’t really enjoy anymore. I feel guilty if I get excited or happy because what kind of sister gets excited when her brother is dead and will never have another birthday? Every year I get¬†older and every year it’s just another year of my brother being dead. I also haven’t been to the cemetery in such a long time and I feel guilty for that too; it’s just too hard for me to go there, but does that make me selfish for putting my feelings before my dead brothers grave? I don’t know, it’s just too confusing and complicated.¬†

Should we talk about my guilt of being a terrible daughter now? I think so! 
In my house it’s just mum and me, mum goes to work when she can (she has an auto-immune condition along with depression and anxiety) and I just stay at home all day trying to do some school work and chores when I can. I feel so guilty that she has to go to work to support both of us and I do nothing to contribute. I know I have health issues along with depression and anxiety but I just wish I could do more. Mum is always telling me not to worry and that she doesn’t think I’m a horrible daughter, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking and feeling like that. I wish I could get a part-time job and help out financially so all the pressure isn’t on her… I hate having my health conditions and not being able to get a job, it’s so frustrating! Will mum one day wake up and resent me or think of me as lazy because I don’t do much? I do the vacuuming once very week which is my job and I do the dishes and some washing but really, I’m not helping pay for the food or bills or anything. Mum gets so stressed about money and I feel so guilty and bad about myself because I can’t do anything to help. I’m hoping that when I let go of some more weight my health will improve and I can get a part-time nannying job to help out financially at home. Fingers crossed alllllll my health (physical and mental) problems go into remission and I can start to help out a bit more.¬†

That’s enough for today I think!¬†I should probably listen to my own advice but, keep safe, keep going and things will get better.¬†

Maddy,
xoxo

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Body image, Chronic health condition, Depression, gluten free, Grief, Uncategorized, Vegan

A better me? No, just a vegan me.

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It’s 1:30 in the morning so you know what that means! Blog post time. Yay! I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this but all my posts are written in the wee hours of the morning when I can’t sleep because of my CFS.¬†

Now I’m not feeling very positive but I thought that I might write a positive post, who knows it might cheer me up? Yeah, I doubt that too.

My positive post today is about how I became vegan and gluten free and how it has affected me. I decided to become vegan and gluten free on the first of January this year as my mum has been vegan for about 2-3 years and has always been pushing me to give up everything that comes from an animal and I’ve got to say, it’s been a pretty good decision.¬†
I’m not gonna lie though, it wasn’t easy at first but now after watching many horrific videos of animals being tortured and slaughtered and going 10 months without animal products I am happy to say I am a fully committed vegan.¬†

I’m going to tell you the sad part of this blog post now and then get to the positive part.

After my brother died I gained a lot of weight and I mean a lot! Not all at once but gradually where it got to the point where I had put on at least 30kgs (yeah omg!!!) I truly believe that I put that weight on to protect myself from the trauma that came with watching my brother die and having my step-father be an a**hole. With the weight gain and the grief came the depression and with the depression came the over-eating and with the over-eating came a very fat and un-healthy Maddy. It got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore so I tried Optislim for a couple of weeks and I did lose 5kgs but then I fell off the Optislim wagon and put double that back on. I was even unhappier than before and my health conditions even worse. So I pulled my crap together and went vegan and gluten free. ¬†

Now comes the positive part! The first week of my new adventure I did a smoothie cleanse (god I was hungry!) after that I cut out all dairy and all gluten and started eating gluten free bread instead of that yummy, fluffy and ¬†freshly baked Bakers Delight bread. I also started to walk as much as I could which wasn’t much considering I had ingrown toenails that needed to be surgically removed. I didn’t feel much different in the first few months health wise or so I thought, but looking back now I can definitely see that I’m much better than I was. I still have horrible flair ups like I do right now but things are different. I also started to loose weight, its been very slow because after 3 years of having no idea what was wrong with my digestive system I finally have a diagnosis of gastroparesis; this pretty much means that my stomach doesn’t empty as fast as it should and then makes the rest of my digestive system slow down. So as you can imagine, trying to lose weight with little to no metabolism ain’t easy! ¬†I have lost 10kgs so far and I know its not that much considering I have so much to go but it’s a step in the right direction. Writing that is weird because I’m so harsh to myself all the time about not meeting my monthly weight goal so I never really stop and say, “You know what Maddy? You have a stomach that doesn’t empty, you’ve had two toe surgeries that are still messing up, you have chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety and you are pretty much in constant pain.” I’m definitely going to have to tell that to myself more often I think…

Since losing weight through vegansim and gluten freeism (<—made up words) and trying to walk as much as I can, my bloating has defiantly gone down which is such a relief. I no longer look 8 months pregnant, only 3-5 depending on how my bowel is feeling and how much I ate.¬†
I’m actually going soy free at the moment too to see if that can help at all since that’s the only thing I haven’t tried excluding. It’s been one week so far and I see no difference but we’ll see how I go after another week.¬†

I truly believe that becoming vegan and gluten free has helped me (it’s also helped all those animals which were being slaughtered so I could have some ice-cream). A lot of meat eaters think that all we eat is vegetables and salad, well that’s not true at all. We have so many delicious things to eat and sometimes it’s even tastier than what non-vegans eat! Trust me, I would know since I was a meat eater for 16 years.¬†

If any of you read this post and are over weight or battling and illness I strongly suggest becoming a vegan. What have you got to lose? 

Please feel free to comment any thoughts or questions you might have. 

Lots of love,
Maddy xoxo

 

 

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