Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Winter approaches and appetites increase

But life goes on! I'm still having energy, braving the cold to go on bushwalks. We went for a 6 km walk last Thursday. The children are having energy issues, particularly Dante, who is looking somewhat emancipated according to my mother. Hey, he is looking thinner, he's lost his six pack and his butt is flatter and his hips, what hips? So that is a real worry!

I'm feeling really, really positive. I've been cooking and learning about new ways with food. Going out is frustrating for poor Andrew. Yesterday we went to Praties and realised that nothing on their menu is really OK. So I went next door to Chish and Fips and had a grilled blue grenadier and salad and some of Monika's chips. It was OK but a bit dried out because I had to get them to grill it on top of foil as they cook gluten containing products on the actual grill and at risk of cross-contamination. All was well with the staff, they still made their money even though they didn't need to do much differently.

My mother also told me that she can tell I've lost even more weight. This makes me feel good but I need to not so. In some ways I should love me for me, not my size. But feeling healthy and energetic makes me feel a lot better in myself and sure losing weight and feeling better is a great thing all around. But I do still struggle with societies imposing attitudes to the Fat Chick!

Last week I made some lovely new things. I made a chicken Lasagne, my own bread and some chocolate muffins and blueberry muffins. They all ended up being really yummy. Andrew made polenta mash and GF sausages with veges. It was OK with the sausage but it was quite bland. I'll experiment with that.

Brought some Quinoa to use in place of rice/potato in a dish sometime soon. Also finally got to Ziggy's Small Goods and was awfully impressed by their selection of GF foods, and brought Chorizo's for pizza and other yummy sausage for a casserole. Will definately be going back there.

Best news is in the last week and a half I've lost another 4.5 kg, without really trying.

Current Weight is: 118.5 kg.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Getting better everyday...

But the road is definately one of trial and error. Somethings seem so difficult, other things are really really good and worth all the fuss.
For instance, last fortnight's shop I brought myself some 'treats' like chick pea bites and rice and corn chicken flavoured cakes. These ended up containing gluten (stupid me for not checking, hey they sounded fine). Alas, not the case. The kids ate up the rice and corn cakes but haven't touched the chick pea bites as yet. I thought to myself that it doesn't matter anyways, I've enjoyed munching on sunflower seeds and nuts.
According to the BetaLife program, that's exactly the kind of thing I should be eating to liven up my metabolism. It certainly has changed my energy levels (topping out for late nights but still tired and unable to wake in the morning.) Hey I even got out into the garden for the first time in 4 months to do the weeding yesterday! I think it's not so much my diet that is the issue with my over tiredness but my anti-depressants. Yeah, I know they are suppose to be lifting my mood and giving me energy. They may be lifting my mood (or it may be my health improving expotentially), but they are most probably responsible for my slow morning starts. I was unable to wake until nearly lunch time today. Poor kids!
It may be my anemia, too. It is a real problem for those who have CD and still eat gluten! But I've been really good and avoiding it like it's poison (which in fact it is to me - it causes malnurishment and no end of health issues.) I can't believe all the wonderful changes in my body and my mind since ridding myself of it. So, ultimately instead of eating fish so often I'll be looking at upping my reds next week.
Another side to my situation is I am being inspired to create new dishes, and looking at other Gluten Free blogs for inspiration. I'm going to give making a fish potato bake a go, and a garlic chicken polenta dish a whirl. They seem like they should go rather nicely together. I also probably should buy a GF cook book but I need to buy some boots so I can do gardening/fishing. I also want to get hiking boots. I guess I'll be using the wonderful expertise on the web for some time.
What a wonderful, masterful and expensive machine the Kenwood Chef is. I've already got the mincer attachment, I'm looking at getting a liquidiser/icecream maker/food processer/grain mill in the next few months. They'll end up costing MORE than the machine. Oh, but the culinary places I can go! The money I'll be able to save to be able to grind my own grains, make my own so many things, like icecream.
Andrew (partner) has agreed that he'd like to move bush with me. You know what that will mean? A sheep or two and some goats. I'll make my own fetta/cheese/icecream and milk! I'll put in a food forest and grow my own vegies. I'll have laying chickens. I just have to save some money and get some bank to agree to a loan. He wants to build a subterranian house, kind of inspired by the hobbit holes in LOTR. Its a wonderful dream and we should be able to save around $5000 by christmas without hurting too much. I'll be honing my gardening skills with a green house and raised garden bed and raspberry canes in the next few months that may save us some dosh. Oh, and fishing always helps on the meat quotient. (Even though I be needing a bit more of the reds of late).
My depression is lifting and my head is full of dreams. I just have to get me a writing so I can make maybe a bit more money and get our dream a bit sooner than later...
And on a good note, I've been losing a bit more of the heavy stuff. YA!!!
I'll be brave and post a pic soon so there will be a before shot up... and showing my progress and helping me to keep it up!

Current Weight: 123.4 kg

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Wonderful Feeling!!!

Yes, it's a wonderful feeling waking up in the morning and actually BEING awake!

It's a wonderful thing being able to go for a bush walk during my period and have the energy to KEEP going even though the rest of the family can't (a couple of months ago I was unable to leave my bed).

It's a wonderful feeling to be able to have NO pain during my period.

It's a wonderful thing to have no D.

It's a wonderful feeling when I've lost a kilo or two.

It's a wonderful thing to have this thing most people take for granted - a healthful bod. One day I know it's going to be a beautiful bod again. People have told me I look like I'm losing weight (although it's been very little). My appearance has changed somewhat though.

It's also great that my sister and her son is now gluten free and getting healthier, and my mum is also trying her best to go GF.

Today I took Dante to see my GP. He's got to give him a stool sample to rule out the possibility of a parasite/infection. If that comes up negative he'll give him a blood work up to see if that shows he has coeliac's disease. I know that the outcome of the stool sample will be negative but we have to go through that anyway. It is a good idea to know what it isn't as well so I agreed.
Other than that we await the pediatricians at the hospital to give Raven a work over to see what it is that is wrong with him.

Weight: 129 kg

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pizza Night. Not quite Zen Pizza.

Something we didn't want to lose as a family tradition is family pizza making nights. Yes, we always scratch cook it. Last time we cooked pizza it was a disaster (using the bread mix that's more like paste) and it became one with the baking paper. This time I didn't take any chances, we used Orgran's Pizza/Pastry mix. Using my beautiful new Kenwood Chef, we mixed the pizza dough, it needed the olive oil and yeast. It rose quite well and made a yummy pizza base. Won't call it perfection, but certainly edible and pleasant. We also made a chewy smaller base out 1/3 of it for a garlic/parmesan cheese pizza instead of garlic bread which obviously I can't eat anymore. It was OK. Definately lovely flavour just a bit on the chewy side. Here's some pics:

1. The Garlic/Parmesan number.

2. The Gluten Free/Lactose Free Pizza. Toppings include: Diced Tomato, chicken, bacon, green and black olives, red capsicum, mushrooms and crumbly sheeps fetta.

3. The non-allergy pizza for everyone else (this may change if/when one of the children is diagnosed with CD.) Your traditional pizza base, tomato, bacon, Tasty cheese, chorizo, chicken, green/red capsicum, mushrooms, green and black olives.

Poor Dante was complaining that his stomach hurt after. So we decided to measure/weigh them all. They all seem to fall fairly OK over the charts. Even little Raven has gained weight. However, playing at a park today we ran into a friend. She was surprised about my diagnosis a little, but stated that young Dante looked very thin and very pale. We'll see what my Dr says on Thurday when we've got an appointment for young Dante. She also said I'd lost weight. If I have it hasn't been noticable on the scales, I'll be checking tomorrow and post then. I do know I look different and my tummy looks flatter, my double chin as I've said seems smaller.

Dante has grown a centimetre in a month! Raven the same. They are the two I am most concerned with - but Labryinth I think is also a bit of a worry. She's quite heavy. I wish I could just get the tests done quickly, this waiting drives me batty!

Lots of positive's though, and hopefully things can start improving sooner than later for them as it has so much for me. I've been discussing my history with my partner, Andrew. He wanted to know if Gall Stones are related (second pregnancy I got gall bladder disease and had the microscopic surgery when I was week 22.). Every pregnancy excepting Kai's I've had more and more auto immune/other related problems emerge... First thing was the "IBS" with the first, then the Gall Bladder Disease (very nasty that was!), Kai's pregnancy uneventful for me even though they were harrassing me constantly searching for what was causing the pregnancy to have 1/3 extra waters and his subsequent largeness - they thought it was gestational diabetes but it wasn't, then blamed it on my obesity - not looking for the underlying cause of it all. Raven's pregnancy was asthma, and hayfever with Monika. Not just ordinary hay fever either... constant throughout the whole pregnance to the state I looked like I had black eyes some days. All of these auto-immune responses plus tonight after further research looks like I might be able to lay my scoliosis at the feet of CD too. My shoulder burstitus and joint pains are also related. Can't blame my astigmatism though. About the ONLY thing.

BRAIN works. Memory beginning to function better. Not nearly as tired. Energetic sometimes. Kids happy with me for being less irritable. But NOT happy that Andrew brought a Roast Turkey with gluten for Friday! No, it was really OK, I got to enjoy corn-fed chicken legs instead which is better!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So, whose to blame?

Just joking!
On the serious side, lets look at genetics.
My mother has diabetes, IBS and a multitude of other symptoms such a mind fog/fatigue/the weight game. Both her parents suffered from diabetes. Her mother was massively obsese and had an insatiable appetite (even though she was constantly on the go). Her dad, bone thin and rarely ate. How likely is it two coeliac sufferers hook up? Mum's sisters both have diabetes. One now, after decades of the D is finally diagnosed about 3 years ago with Chrons Disease and had a total colosoctemy and will now enjoy using a colostomy bag for the rest of her days.

My dad doesn't suffer the classical symptoms but suffers chronic depression, nasty joint pains and osteoarthritis. His sisters suffer from Thyroid disease (let's be fair, maybe it is the lack of IODINE in the soil here in Southern Tasmania). One was the kind of obese you cringe for when seeing them struggling to move their bulks across the room. It wasn't until 6 years before she died she was diagnosed for Thyroid disease and poof! Weight gone in 6 months. My father's mother, is a nasty little story. She had a Goiter the size of a golf ball in her throat when she was 28 induced from a Thyroid disease. A miscalculation of general anesthetic caused her to wake up early, while they were still stiching her throat back together. She screamed, split open her stitches and bled to death on the table.

Both sides bring medical conditions to the table which can coincide with a coeliac condition. My misdiagnosis is not uncommon, as I'm pretty certain it's happned on at least one side of my family already.

At least my mother is now going GF, I hope she can save herself the problems that her sister has. I really hope she can stick to it because she certainly doesn't keep to her diabetes diet. I asked her yesterday what is she going to do now? Will she substitute or buy things pre done?
She told me she's too old and can't be bothered with all that learning and cooking, so now she will just eat even less. I really hope she gets some energy and inspiration back! I can certainly give her some GF meals, but hopefully she'll be more motivated when she feels better (if she has CD - which is pretty certain.) My sister whom I said was pretty positive CD will be moving with her family thier soon, so when she goes GF that will certainly help mum.

Positive Updates:
My energy levels are definately on the improve. I was running around and walking and still felt good at the end of the day! My mind is waking up from its hibernation and I'm remembering stuff I'd thought long forgotten. My voice is improving. I feel like a new woman! I feel like I'm going to be able to lose weight and do all the things I need to do like experience that new learning curve in cooking so I can do lots of GF from scratch so that I will be able to afford to put my children onto the new diet and they will really enjoy the food!

I've been scrapping, and no longer feel its too hard. I feel positive, less depressed, less fatigued. No signs of hay fever/asthma (I didn't even know they would ever improve).

I can sing! Yeah! I can LIVE again *)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Glutened again... and something else.

Very stupidly I've me, actually. I got glutened by accidently eating soy sauce. I just find it a bit dangerous having to feed other's gluten meals and not accidently get stung by it.
So far, tummy pain, gas, acid reflux (which I can't treat because the only meds we have against it IS glutened! But besides my problems, I've got my children to worry about.

Dante looks to be very much suffering the symptoms of coeliac's. He has tummy pain/bloats/the big D quite regularly. Silly thing is, of course, he is the tallest out of the children and he sports a six pack. He begged me tonight, after having nausea/bloat/tummy pain to put him on a GF diet too. I would in an instant except he needs his diagnosis. I explained this to him, telling him he'd need to be glutened (and it would be worse) if he didn't wait first to get the tests. I said they'd probably test Raven first (as he has the classic problems for children - the distended stomach/short stature/poor weight gain/anemia/joint pains/lethargy.) Then I would insist they test all the children. He said he didn't want to wait, he wanted to find out immmediately. SO, talking it over with Andrew, we've decided to take him back to our GP and explain that we want him to get the CD bloods done straight away and get him fast tracked. His insensitivities also include intolerance to dairy. Poor little guy! I think it takes a year on the waiting list. I certainly hope not!!!

I really wish they could be a bit faster for children - its their development at risk after all.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Midweek Update

Well, there has been some positive changes only in the last half week, so I'm here to document them....

1. I'm definately not suffering the big D anymore...
2. I'm beginning to tolerate small amounts of dairy
3. I forgot my happy pills last night and I felt on top of the world all day, so maybe my depression is evaporating. I feel very positive.
4. I'm starting to feel the stirrings of getting nutrition, and my body is getting hungry! I haven't had real hunger in a very long time.
5. Energy levels appear to be on the slight improve.

I don't know what it means BUT I've been craving Tomatoes. I eat them everyday, in salad, on toast with hummus and sundried tomatoes. Last time I had a tomato fetish I was pregnant with my first child. I'm not pregnant. Strange. Mayhaps that's the last time I had any real nutrition (the symptoms were wacked out after that pregnancy.) I didn't have cravings in ANY of my subsequent 4 pregnancies.
I've started worrying that I'll absorb gluten and make myself sick again, so I've taken to gloves and washing up stuff as soon as the kids have eaten so it doesn't cross-contaminate.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What this Blog is to Me

I am recently diagnosed (finally) with Coeliac's Disease. I was recently glutined and am still suffering its affects.

I do not look like your typical CD sufferer. I am not stick thin and short, I am morbidly obese (I so hate that label). I do suffer from some of the classical symptoms: joint-pain, lactose intolerant, bloating, diahhrea, gripping stomach pain, fatigue, depression (who wouldn't be?), thin hair, anemia, acid reflux. I, after much research, now find that much more of my symptoms are Coeliac related. I am asthmatic, I have suffered from the parallel illness Dermatitis herpetifomis, horrible dibilitating periods, memory fog, I have had underactive thyroids, swellings around my body, itchy scalp, miscarriage, itches without rashes, tingling hands and feet.

After the birth of my first child, I have 5, I had chronic D. Given the colonoscopy only gave the diagnosis of IBS. An endoscopy which I didn't recieve would have diagnosed my Coeliac status and saved me a decade of pain and suffering.

So this blog is about my recovery - my life without gluten. Unfortunately on the eve of my diagnosis I went out for a meal. I was accidently glutined - even though I informed the chef of my gluten free needs. I suffered several of the symptoms I haven't for a long time.

You see, I've been gluten free for 6 weeks now. I am still on anti-depressants, but right now my IBS symptoms are gone, my periods are basically those of a normal girl, I have only lost 2 kilos, but my muscle tone has improved, my double chin has halved in size. Howver, my stomach hasn't started to flatten out yet, it still bulges like I'm pregnant. I'm told this may take a year or two to settle. Reading up on fellow sufferers who have my symptoms and are morbidly obese, they are all finding they are shrinking, slowly or fast at varying rates, some are actively trying and others are just going gluten free, drinking coke and eating high fats.

So far this is my positive results: I am slowly losing weight. My face looks half the size, my legs are getting a more muscled tone. I no longer have IBS symptoms - except for the recent glutening which was bad, 6 days to recover. This is normal, apparently. People have said I'm looking like I've lost weight. My periods are settled (I no longer bleed mostly to death each time and take 3 weeks to recover just to go through it all again a few weeks later. I no longer have aches and pains. I no longer get acid reflux. I am still fatigued, depressed, have memory fogs, have the look of a pregnant woman but no longer suffer the bloats, still lactose intolerant but improving.

Weight: 131 KG.