The Shrinking Woman

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I am shrinking. Have been for several months now. And, it’s getting a little embarrassing admitting to those who ask, “No, I’m not really doing anything.” Let me explain a little…

You see, I’ve had some, as I’ve been calling it, “Gastro-Intestinal Distress” for several months. Started with nausea… daily nausea. To the point I freaked out a bit and bought a sizable stash of cheap pregnancy tests. Nope. Not pregnant. The nausea remained and was joined by a general lack of appetite and mild pain. This came to peak, as my luck runs, the week of my birthday in mid-July. At that point, I was surviving off generic Ensure shakes and rice noodles in broth. Not cool.

Then began the battery of testing… Upper GI Scan with contrast, Abdominal Ultrasound… I was hoping for a tapeworm or a parasite as I already had a jar ready and a name chosen. My medical professionals assured me this was highly unlikely, albeit pretty humorous. Next up was a HIDA scan to check my gall bladder (I was prepared to place all blame on that little bastard and have it yanked out). Turns out, the little bastard was not the problem and continues to operate somewhat normally. Next, I had the pleasure of my very first colonoscopy… yay, me! Considering how nasty I’d been feeling, none of these diagnostic tests were the torture they sometimes sound like being. The torture part… well, that was hearing after each and every one that things are “normal”.

There I sat, crying in my car in the parking lot of one of our area’s best medical facilities… feeling crazy, still without answers, and wondering if the next thing to be said to me would be, “This may be all in your head.” My dear husband, in an effort to help, suggested I try an elimination diet. The family doc had mentioned her next idea was to send me for allergy testing anyway… testing she admitted may be inconclusive. I’m freaking out over the accumulation of medical bills at this point and pass on the allergist… start my elimination diet the next week.

So… turns out, my body is not so keen on fatty, greasy anything. Yeah, I know, that’s a BIG surprise, now isn’t it?! Additionally, it seemed that I was not too fond of high levels of gluten. I’m too cheap to let them go ahead and give me another expensive blood test to see if I actually have full-blown Celiac Disease (which I highly doubt I do), but realized I could feel better by steering clear of the stuff. I’ll admit it, I am not always 100% gluten free, but I am feeling better. Mostly.

The side effect of this GI journey has been some somewhat radical weight loss. In July, I was down 25 pounds. Recently, that number has drawn closer to 40 and has become quite noticeable to those around me. I still walk past mirrors and do a slight double-take… “Wha?! Is that ME?” And, I am still a bit weird about telling people how I got to this point. I found myself giving the very short answer recently, “I’ve been forced to make some pretty significant diet changes, but no, I am not sick.”

I can’t deny that I enjoy the attention it has brought on… never in my adult life do I remember being this size and although I despise how I got here, I do kinda like it. On the other hand, I feel guilty when complimented since I really didn’t have to do much to get here besides feel like crap for a few months.

So, folks… this why my writing had tapered off for awhile there. I was busy. Being nauseous and willingly poked and prodded. All in the name of trying to feel like myself again. And, now, here I am trying to come to terms with the “new me”.

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