Monday, December 6, 2010

In the sea of endless night

So, I've pretty much stopped sleeping.

I had problems with insomnia since forever, and maybe ten years ago started to taking an older anti-depressant at night to help me sleep. But in September when I stopped eating gluten and started feeling better I suddenly found I could sleep without any meds.

When I changed my diet I knew full well that eventually my doctors would tell me to start eating it again for about a month before the did an endoscopy to see if I did in fact have a detectable reaction to gluten. I had all these ideas that I would argue or put it off until I had finished school, but somehow in the doctor's office I didn't even flinch. I just agreed to start eating it again.

I thought, very briefly, it might be nice to have all the foods I had before... I even thought I might enjoy it. Make a list and eat whatever, just in case I find out I wouldn't be able to eat it again. I don't know how I could have been so ridiculously naive. I spent the first week in agony. I stopped sleeping then because I was in some serious pain. But, then it stopped. I don't feel any of that anymore.

Now, however, I feel like I'm losing my mind. I can't sleep. The other night I stayed up thinking of the same thought over and over. I have a rather disturbing temper now, which I think stems from the fact that I go through periods where I feel rather disoriented or confused. The other day I lost it and punched the side of my desk. I didn't really think it was that hard Okay, I punched it really hard and I punched it three times. My knuckles maybe had a bit of a black-eye for a while. It was one of those things that seemed helpful at the get-go (and honestly it was a pretty good release after a particularly stressful day), but turned out to be kind of stupid forever after thing. Also annoying, the bouts of spontaneous crying have returned. I got my flu shot the other day and there was a kid screaming and I almost completely lost my shit.

Let me tell you about my usual self: I used to work looking after kids. We were at the park one summer day. Somehow one of the spikes anchoring one of the swing sets had come unearthed from the sand. A little boy running around barefoot stepped on the spike and it tore into his foot down to the bone. His grandparents were kind of stunned and rushed him over to the fountain and just kept flushing the blood away. I walked up and asked if they had an extra diaper. I remember the man said something like, "Why would have a diaper at a time like this?" I calmly apologized for not elaborating and explained that if they had a diaper they could wrap the foot up in the diaper, tape it shut with the tabs and drive the boy to the nearest ER. So, I got them a diaper. They wrapped it up and away they went. I returned to playing with the kids without thinking twice about what happened (though I do remember somehow dealing with that spike too, thought I don't remember how anymore.) I miss that self, the person that could just deal with stuff. I'm not opposed to feeling anger or sadness or whatever, but I am opposed to it like this. It is not my normal.

Anyway, I have two weeks left of eating barf bread things and then the scope. I am not looking forward to the scope, but I think the doctor sensed the panic look in my face and mentioned they could give me something if I was really anxious about it. I just really don't like people near me in a way that I can't control. In the meantime, too, I've called the doctor that first prescribed those meds to sleep. I can work my head around self destructive behaviours for two weeks... if I have sleep.

I'm trying to keep an open mind about all this. I keep telling myself the tests might all come back fine. Maybe this is just related to other things. Secretely, though, this shit is not making me feel good. I think I just keep telling myself it's something else so I can push through the next two weeks. The truth is, after all this is done, I'm never eating gluten anything regardless of what the tests show. My body is telling me it's done. Even my blood sugars are messed, with unexplained lows after eating and equally bizarre highs at other times.

I miss sleeping and dreaming.


Scully said...

You are my hero. Not because the trouble you are going through but because you are in the same boat as me. I went gluten free in July and haven't really looked back since. I never got a formal positive celiac test but I had to take matters into my own hands. I feel better, I've never felt this good in all my years of feeling sick. Gluten free sucks BIG TIME, but eventually we do what we have to do. If it feels better - I'll take it. I'm glad you wrote this, I know you'll do what makes you feel the best.

Virtue said...

My family doctor was really good about things. She just said, regardless of the tests if it makes you feel better just do it. Had my endo had the same response I don't know that I would have gone through with this testing. She is just worried that it will be too difficult to get all the carbs I need on a gluten-free diet... but having practically made the switch I didn't see it as being that difficult.

Even just from my own blood glucose levels though, I can see that products with wheat/barley/rye are digested way differently than those without. My blood sugars were much more stable and predictable without.

Anyway, thanks for the support :) If I find any gluten-free resources/recipes I will try and pass them along :)

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