Saturday, June 30, 2012

Husband's Guest blog 5- Ups and Downs

My dear wife has badgered me to write another post, and to be honest, I have no idea what to say. Twice she had suggested that I record my progress, and I actually realise now, sitting here writing this blog that that isn't something I have done yet. Facebook friends whom I have bored to tears with my constant status updates would know how my health is going, and no doubt they think things like "wow, you're health is getting better! Woohoo, that status update just rocked my world". I do believe however, that marking time is an important part of getting well. So let me start at the start.

When I started this diet I was 26 kilograms heavier than the upper limit for a male my age, I suffered from back pain often at night and I often suffered from headaches. I regularly had mouth ulcers, I had a constant band of pain in my stomach both day and night. I also had immunity problems. In the six to nine months before the GAPS diet there was seldom a week where I wasn't sniffling, had a cold or was just feeling tired and rundown. In addition to this, my head was in a bad space. Not only from being chronically tired, I seemed to have a brain fog, and a sensitivity in my ears. Often when someone would try and speak to me, or when someone was trying to teach me something new, I would struggle to understand. I was often in a daze, and I had to strain to understand difficult concepts. This lack of concentration also had a deadly edge. twice in recent history I was nearly run over by cars because of my head being in a fog-like condition. Some days the brain fog was so bad that I had a job to understand basic things and I would worry that I would not understand at all. Being tired all of the time means that it was difficult to not be grumpy, and grumpy I was!

This is a picture of me, during the weightiest times.

I always remember visits to the doctor for one thing or another as a child, and I was the sickly one in our family. I can't remember a time when there was nothing wrong with me. Only in the last 10 or 12 years has the problem been really bad. And we went to oh-so-many doctors about it too! One doctor, a flamboyant russian one said. "You're constipated... you need more fibre in your diet- you eat this bran for breakfast! One week of this and you'll be shitting like a rocket!". I could see where he is coming from, but the bran didn't help. Another doctor we went to looked at my bloodshot eyes after I'd explained my situation and she said as if struck by some amazing revelation "I think you are depressed..." I felt like saying "OF COURSE I AM FLIPPING DEPRESSED! I CAN'T SLEEP BECAUSE OF MY ACHING STOMACH YOU SILLY WOMAN!" She was kind enough to go through a short mental illness test with me asking things like "if I felt sad often", and whether i'd been "seeing things that weren't there". I aced the test, but only because the voices in my head told me the answers! But in all seriousness, something inside me knew that this was another thing causing the problem. I do realise that a mental illness could actually cause other problems in the body, but I knew somehow that it was the other way around for me, and I had to get my stomach somehow straightened out. One doctor even sent me to an ultrasound to check if I had a hernia. Not only did I not have a hernia, but I also found out that I was just fat, and not pregnant at all.

In light of all of this, what has changed in 72 days?
Once I had lost ten kilograms, my back pain completely ceased. Also, instead of sniffling most weeks, I had my first cold last week. We got through the vast majority of autumn without a sniffle. I very rarely get headaches now (maybe one in 3-4 weeks), and if I do, it is usually just tired headaches to remind me to go to bed. My weight loss has slowed considerably, but I have lost 16 kilograms and feel better about my weight. I had an amazing breakthrough two days ago when my stomach felt about 60-70% less pain during the day. I think I may have been detoxing, because the pain level went back up during the night. My stomach pain hasn't stopped, but is generally 20-40% better than when I was eating rubbish often. I think I have had one mouth ulcer since the GAPS diet, and it seemed to go within a day, not a week as they usually did, but I think one of the biggest transformations has been in my energy levels. I would sleep during the day nearly every day before the GAPS diet. Now it is very rare that I do that. I find I can get through the day and tiredness only happens every now and then. The brain fog is almost completely cleared up. I don't find conversations nearly as difficult to follow now, and I don't get confused as easily. I am still grumpy, but I live on a more even emotional keel now. Things that were impossibly frustrating to deal with, especially with my children are now a lot simpler, since I am thinking straight. I never thought I would be speaking about health in a positive sense so now, I feel the need to encourage people that it works, and that especially men should do it, because there really is no greater gift than feeling well.

In saying that, I am not out of the woods yet. Yesterday we visited my mother in law and she cooked us a casserole, and she told me "You can take the casserole in the container home, or you could put it in a plastic bag..." (of course meaning that I should put the container in the bag). I proceeded to scoop the contents of the casserole into the plastic bag, obviously thinking it was 'a bit of a strange request, but Okay' No. I don't have autism... but sometimes I wonder.

Oh, well...I am getting better. slowly.
Anyway, blessings.

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  1. You're a legend Ben, keep these man-posts coming please!!!! And woohoo on the progress too!

    1. I appreciate it! Maybe I should get off my butt and post more regularly (c:

  2. so good to read about your progress Ben!another post to show my chris :)

    1. Thanks for the great encouragement! Hope he likes it!

  3. Great post. Thanks god taking the time to share whole everything is going for you.

    1. it's a pleasure. I seldom want to report because I wonder if it's really helping anyone. That's why we both appreciate our reader's great comments!