This weekend I did everything right. Well…almost everything. I still have a huge stack of papers to finish grading – but hey – that’s the life of a teacher. I’m talking more about following the gluten free life. Heck, I’ve been doing it for so long it’s just natural.
On Sunday, after a busy day, we decided to order pizza for dinner. The neighborhood restaurant serves a great gluten free pizza. They used to make it out of bean flour and it was pasty (so NOT tasty, IMHO). Now they have one they craft out of rice and it is tasty and even crisps up (if you ask them to bake it longer). I’ve eaten their pizza a few times over the last couple years and I’ve never had a problem. Ever.
I even decided to try new toppings. I verified that all the toppings were gluten free – they are very well versed – etc. I ordered the pizzas (one gluten free, one regular for the girls/hubby). I even double checked with the cooks when I got there to pick up the pizzas that everything (my new toppings) was gluten free. I was assured that indeed it was. And the thing is…. I don’t doubt them.
However, on Sunday night – several hours after dinner – the most excruciating abdominal pain told me that even though I had the gluten free pizza…..had asked all the questions…. etc that something had gone seriously wrong. The pain is unbearable. The hot flashes, nausea, bloating (like seriously, please….put a pin in me and pop me already), the inability to find a comfortable position, etc is all overwhelming.
Something happened. I must have made a mistake somewhere. It could be as simple as helping kids cut their pizza and put it on their plate and then forgetting to wash my hands (for the umpteenth time while feeding them). It could have been a kiss from a kidlet with a crumby set of lips. I honestly don’t recall this as this issue – but I still can’t figure out where this came from.
On Monday I stayed home from work. Unable to really stand up straight or move too far from the bathroom, I spent my morning trying to figure out how I had gotten here: back to the most painful place possible with gluten ingestion. I still can’t figure it out.
So what do you do if you are hit with the debilitating pain?
There are only two things that have ever helped relieve any kind of pain or discomfort for me in the past to some degree.
1. Cool washcloth on the back of my neck. (Heat makes me more uncomfortable – although some people report relief when applying warm compresses to their stomach/abdomen.)
2. Papaya enzymes/tablets. I have no idea why this has helped in the past, but it has. I chew up a dozen of these tablets (PLEASE be sure to buy the gluten free ones!) when I’ve been concerned or had a hint that something is awry.
But this pain? The one I’ve had since Sunday night? Nothing. Nothing is stopping it. It comes and goes in waves. I returned to work yesterday and just didn’t eat much other than mashed potatoes or simple/easily digested foods. And then last night? It started all over again. The pain was so severe, I was vomiting.
The brain fog has left me a mess too. I have left doors open (to my car…in the garage….nice). I pulled some things out of a cupboard to get the crock pot…and left them on the floor. Completely forgetting to put them back until I turned back around and almost stepped on them. I have misplaced my keys … my water bottle… and even walked over to a car that was not mine and couldn’t figure out why the doors were not “beeping” to open with my keys. My “to-do” list at school is a blur. I tried to organize my desk yesterday as one day out meant a sub left my entire desk covered with neat piles of papers on every surface possible (!!) but I left with a large stack of papers on the floor next to my chair – too overwhelmed to even begin setting up the grade book columns and entering scores. (Come to think of it…it’s probably a good thing I left those tests to be corrected at school.)
Not to scare you, but this is the face of a body rebelling from accidental tiny amount of gluten ingestion.
Those huge raccoon eyes? Not normal.
The blotchy skin? Red patches? Also not normal.
The puffy face? Ditto.
Yes. I’m hurting.
But here’s the deal: Accidents happen. And goodness knows no one ever wants to be back here in the land of pain and discomfort. But there might be a time in your life that you slide back kicking and screaming into that day when you suffered before diagnosis. So here’s the question: what do you do?
What stops the pain for you?
Here are the tidbits offered up over the years from numerous sources. Maybe some of them will work for you. If I am missing some, please leave a comment. Maybe your tip or trick will spare someone else some pain or discomfort.
- Maalox or Pepto Bismal (for me these are only sources for relief of the aftermath – not the pain so much)
- Papaya enzyme tablets
- Warm compresses on the tummy – or a cool washcloth on the back of your next.
- Ginger and honey tea.
- Probiotics – drinkable liquids, not just in yogurt.
- Eat candied ginger. (My mother in law sends me Chinese candied ginger – it’s awesome for tummy troubles)
- Peppermint tea or peppermint water.
- lots and lots of cold water
- <insert your idea here>
Obviously, the best solution is ZERO exposure/ingestion to gluten. That’s the way I prefer to go too. But stuff happens.
I’m not big on putting more things into my body when it hurts. So while I have tried the papaya enzymes and the probiotic drink, when I hurt like this, I honestly cannot imagine putting MORE food into my mouth – let alone my stomach! Am I alone in this?
I’ve missed blogging. I will come back shortly with a more upbeat post soon. But for now, I’m off to figure my way out of this brain fog and pain nightmare. I’m giving myself a week. (At least that’s how long my hubby says these symptoms have lasted for me in the past. LOL)
-May every morsel that touches your lips be tasty and gluten free -