Run!, Slacker, Stomach

Not Ok

When your doctor sounds completely bewildered by your test results it means one of two things.  Either it’s time to find a new doctor or you’re just extra special.  I haven’t quite decided which one to think yet.   Maybe both.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve heard me whine, moan, complain about my stupid stomach.   Actually I usually call it something much more colorful, it has a few nicknames.    Speaking officially, it’s gastroparesis with a side of GERD.   Or is that the other way round?   GERD was diagnosed about 12 years ago, and gastroparesis about 5.    It was all handled pretty well until June 2014.  Things since then have been one giant flare.     Which has brought on numerous tests, multiple medicines and some more dietary restrictions.  Yay.  I’ve run too many medicated races in the last year+.  Not ok.

I’ve tried to not complain too much on the blog in the past couple of months but I think I failed.   I have been quiet about how rough things have become.   My left side pretty much aches all the time.  I’ve been retaining water, air, something- who knows- to the point that I look puffy and swollen most of the time.  And people have started to comment on it.    I’ve been waiting for someone to ask when I am due since half the time I look pregnant.  Trust me, I’m not.   But my new stretch marks say differently.   Any pictures you’ve seen recently have all been taken from very odd angles to try to hide it.   I am once again living in dresses.   And my running shorts have turned almost scandalously short.   Not ok.

It also finally clicked that my side is affecting my sleep.    I may be a night owl but normally when I do fall asleep, it’s next to impossible to wake me up and I always stayed in the same position.  Curled up on my left side, always.   I’ve tried to sleep in other positions but always ended up back on my left side.    I haven’t been able to sleep on my left side in months.   Grrr.     Oh and my side talks.  Seriously everyone at work has heard it.  Sometimes it sounds like a whale.  At least that’s what a coworker used to say.  Other times a plane. And not in the I’m hungry, let’s growl way.    It moves too.  Yay me.That 'dying whale' sound your stomach decides to make in the most quiet situation.

So when the doctor ordered another CT scan, I was torn about it.  As much as you want answers, you also don’t want anything to be really wrong.  It’s kind of a catch-22.    I’ll also say that the results could have been so much worse.   But words like collapsed and mass are not things you want to read on a medical report.    Or hear from the doctor who sounds completely confused.   So now I wait while they are requesting yet another test to try and figure out what is going on.   But I can’t just wait.

I haven’t had the best luck with Atkins.  Partly because it was a little tricky and partly because I cheated too often.  It was an interesting 3+ months.  I also didn’t like that a lot of the options that were “low-carb” had an ingredient list 5 miles long.   And most of them were words I couldn’t even pronounce.  Also, I can not get into Quest bars, I don’t understand the fascination with them.  That consistency is just odd.    It was a little too easy to eat crappy food as long as it fit within my carb limits for the day. If you ask my mother, Atkins made me worse.   My side’s hurt longer than that so not true.    She also questions if I should be running at all.    Doc didn’t say to stop but I also didn’t ask.    I figured I would stick with 3 days running and slow down my easy runs.  That’s not a lot.

:)
🙂

So for plan b (or is it plan f now?) I am wading into the Paleo waters.  I’ve mentioned it in passing before but never followed through.  Now I am really going to give it a try.  Baby steps, but I am going to try.    The plan was to start this week but if you read my last post, you know I cheated more than few times last week.   Instead I started this week with the Slacker version of a reboot.  Starting Sunday, breakfast and lunch were all fruits and veggies via smoothies.   Dinner was usually more veggies.   It was surprisingly easy.    Except for Wednesday night, I had a serious case of the munchies.  All I wanted was cake or ice cream.    Seriously, if the fair wasn’t in town and making traffic crazy I might have headed to the donut shop.    Thankfully, it passed.    I wasn’t expecting miracles but I don’t feel worse, maybe just a little more even.   So, I’m calling it a win.   My mother told me I looked less puffy today.   😉

On another note, since last week I’ve cut my Diet Coke intake in half.  Slacker say what?!  Normal for me was 2 a day.  Now those 2 were 32 oz.   One in the morning and one around 2:30.    I only drink soda at work or when I’m eating out.  I don’t even buy it for home.  Combine those sodas with my usual over indulgence in water and I drink a lot of liquid throughout the day.  😃 I still commute so I added black coffee in the morning to keep me alert.    Baby steps, right?  I don’t think I will ever give soda up completely.   It’s my one vice.    Seriously, it tastes amazing after a race.

Now my challenge is to get through the weekend without backsliding too much.  I also need to double check my list for my first paleo grocery trip this weekend.    I can do this right?  Can I get through cookie Friday?!   Will this help?  I have no idea but at least I am doing something while I wait.    I’m not even aiming high, I would like to follow the 80/20 rule with this new plan.  Mostly because pizza, and the previously mentioned Diet Coke.

Thanks for listening to me whine.

Any Paleo tips?

What’s your vice?  What one food could you not give up?

37 thoughts on “Not Ok”

  1. I really sympathize with you. You must be so uncomfortable with all this going on. I know this is unsolicited advice and you probably already know this, but cut out the diet soda all together. My hubby had stomach issues because of it. And it is so not healthy. Find a non-sugary alternative and go with that. Please cut it 100% out though. You don’t need it. I hope the doctors find a diagnosis and remedy for you. It is not fun living with pain and discomfort. And I can’t live without chocolate. I have one small piece every day so I don’t binge eat a whole box.

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    1. I know what they say about Diet Coke but I don’t drink or smoke or anything else like that. My doctor also knows exactly how much I drink- I don’t hide it. He’s actually not concerned about it. My goal is to cut back and only have it occasionally. I have been trying carbonated waters but can’t find one I like that doesn’t use the same ingredients as Diet Coke. I usually only eat chocolate around Christmas time. When I eat candy, I’m more of a red gummy kind of person. 🙂

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  2. I am so, so, so sorry you are having such a hard time. I can relate to you on some level – my stomach hates me. It’s not the same as yours, but I do have trouble with digestion. Changing dietary habits is hard and I always get an idea in my head and try to go into it 100% and then end up binging on something like cake or pizza. I really think you are going to find relief with a Paleo diet – it helped me so much. Start small – like maybe this week you will be Paleo for breakfast and one snack. Then next week make it breakfast, a snack, and lunch. Once you are good with that, add more Paleo choices in. Once you see how much better you feel, it actually is easier to turn down foods that aren’t Paleo. I LOVE to eat and love anything that’s bad for you, so if I am saying this then I PROMISE it’s true! Now, I still eat my pizza on Fridays to maintain my sanity, and splurge every so often but when I do my stomach can handle 1-2 non Paleo meals without totally freaking out! And about the soda – I LOVE soda. But I did give it up, sort of. I don’t drink it daily but I will drink it with pizza or after a race. A good substitute (still doesn’t really replace it) is seltzer – the Polar brand has awesome, interesting flavors!! Hang in there and fingers crossed that you get some answers with your next round of tests.

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    1. I usually jump head first into something and crash and burn quickly. I am trying to take my time with this. My plan is to start with lunches and snacks, if I can get past the afternoon chip craving, I should be ok. Breakfasts are going to require some thought. I admit I am super lazy in the morning so I need something easy. I like Monday night pizza and I really want to keep it. I’ve been trying various seltzer/ carbonated waters but haven’t found one I really like yet. The WalMart brand was good but still has aspartame. I don’t like La Croix and have been unable to find Polar out here. I am going to keep looking for a better option. I am really hoping that Paleo helps, there is a lot to take in and it’s going to take effort on my part, I can’t be a slacker about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes.docs are just baffled and our investigations only tell us so much about what is going wrong. I hope you find some answers soon

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  4. I have heard really good things about Paleo, but it’s a big commitment. Good luck with it. Best advice I’ve heard for easing in is to set small goals: say, this week, I’ll do five meals Paleo. Next week, bump it up to six, and so on. This makes it easier to adjust to the new while also slowly weaning you off of the old stuff you want to avoid. I kicked soda for the most part about a year ago and don’t really miss it any more. It gets easier!

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    1. It is going to much harder than I had hoped. There a bunch of little things I hadn’t thought to take into consideration. I will definitely be easing into it over the next few weeks. It’s kind of sad how much I look forward to that afternoon soda. I seem to have adjusted to no soda in the morning so I may give it a week or so before I make my afternoon one smaller. Baby steps.

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  5. I am sorry about your health issues. I hope you can get to the bottom of them. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

    Soda is my guilty pleasure too. Regular coke. I’ve known its bad for me, but just can’t totally give them up. I’m down to 2/wk. I buy a 16 oz bottle with the screw on cap then work on that soda for several days. Seems to be working.

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  6. Oh I am so sorry. This sounds so similar to what a friend was experiencing (her intestinal inflammation turned out to be food allergies). Going paleo and gluten free has been a game changer for her. I hope the same will be true for you!

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  7. I used to LIVE on Diet Coke. It was the only source of caffeine I’d drink and it used to get me through the day. I have Crohn’s and I’ve realized that soda just irritates my stomach too much. It causes me to bloat and leaves me feeling disgusting for days afterwards (although I do agree with you that nothing tastes better after a long, sweaty run!)

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    1. Back in the day I lived on so much Dr. Pepper. I worked at a restaurant and had an endless fountain right there. Over the years I switched to Diet Coke and cut way back. I always crack jokes that I just want someone to meet me at the finish line with a large, ice cold soda. It’s never happened. 🙂

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  8. I used to live on Diet Coke, too, and now I only have it every couple of weeks, and I’ve noticed that when I drink it, I crave it, but when I stop, there isn’t a craving anymore!

    So, can I have pasta on Paleo? I have a great raw food salad that has rotini. And I am not making pasta from scratch (I’ve been working on not processed foods and have done pretty good on that end, and it’s similar but not quite Paleo)

    Hey, I blogged about some paleo chocolate treats not that long ago, they were awesome with blueberries on top – and really, you could have a couple it not hurt anything – you should check that out, it was like 3 ingredients!!

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    1. I hope the craving goes away, right now it is hard. I look so forward to that afternoon soda.

      Zucchini noodles are ok but I don’t even know if I like zucchini, ha! I managed to kick pasta when my doc put me on Atkins. I really don’t miss it. If Sunday dinner was Spaghetti or Stroganoff, I subbed in a big plate of broccoli for me and still had the sauce. I actually really enjoyed it!

      That’s right! I will have to go check those out again, thanks!

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  9. Hahaha I’m a reformed Diet Coke enthusiast as well… I used to keep a 12-pack under my desk. I think the only reason I stopped buying it at home was because it got so expensive! I’m so sorry about the stomach issues, but hang in there and good luck!

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    1. I’ve never really liked it out of the can and I think that has helped me not drink it at home. Having 3 gas stations with soda fountains less than a block from work makes it all too easy to drink it at work. Plus that quick escape from the building is nice. 🙂

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  10. Oh dude. You have every right to complain… this sounds miserable. Especially the not being able to sleep your preferred way part… it seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal but it makes such a difference! Best of luck with trying paleo! I’ve never been brave enough to try (I like crappy, processed food too much) but my cousin is paleo and is rocking it. I hope it helps and that you feel better ASAP!! ❤

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    1. It’s sad how much of a difference that makes for sleeping. It’s also sad how long it took me to notice. 🙂 I have craved so much junk food this last week and I am only taking baby steps in, yikes! What will happen when I get stricter? Thank you!

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  11. Man, I hope you feel better/find a solution soon!! That’s just not cool how crummy you’re feeling.

    I can’t give up soda. I did for 100 days last summer which helped me drink less of it when that was done but I can’t quit it completely. You’re absolutely right; it tastes freaking amazing after a run.

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    1. Thank you. I know everything they say about soda but seriously if that’s the worst thing I eat/ drink/ consume I figure I’m doing ok right? 😀. Now that I’ve cut back to one in the afternoons it’s kind of hit post run status- tastes so good!

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  12. I’m so sorry you continue to struggle with these stomach issues! I don’t think I had it quite as bad as you, but I’ve been through my own stomach nonsense too. When training for my first marathon, I could only complete 1 out of every 3 long runs I tried – my stomach hurt so bad in those failed runs that I could barely walk home and often stayed close to my house just so I would never be too far away.

    The biggest change for me came when I cut wheat out of my diet. The thing is though (and I know you’re not going to like it), if your doctor is recommending a diet for you, you can’t just follow it half-heartedly. If you really want to feel better, you have to dive in and commit. For instance, I’d say it took about two-ish weeks of absolutely no wheat (no cheating at all!) till I finally noticed a significant change in my body and how I was feeling. Every once in awhile, I think I’ve been good for long enough, I deserve a cheat day right? The cheat day turns into a cheat week and then I feel absolutely awful again. I know it’s really hard, but once you get through the first bit and you notice how much better you feel, it becomes a lot easier to make those healthier choices for yourself. There are so many good paleo foods out there too! Find some recipes/foods you like and base your meals off of them. Try some gluten free oatmeal with cinnamon and banana for breakfast or a sweet potato baked with chicken in it. It’s totally worth it and once you feel better you really won’t be tempted much by all the goodies anymore (I swear it’s actually helped me keep my weight in check the past two years because I can’t eat cookies/desserts at parties anymore!). I really feel for you and I know it sucks, but I can honestly say I love feeling good and don’t miss the stuff I used to eat too much – for almost everything, there are decent substitutes (except bagels! I can’t find a good gluten free bagel still :/) Sorry this was so long!!

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    1. I run lots of loops- you never know when you may need to bail!

      I’ve cut most grains out entirely. That was one thing that Atkins was helpful with. I don’t even miss pasta. Which is good because Sunday family dinner is usually some sort of pasta dish but I just swapped in broccoli. 🙂 I know myself too well and know that I don’t do well with going cold turkey. My inner 5 year old comes out and I rebel by going the opposite way. Just call me a rebel without a clue. 🙂 This week has gone much better than last week though. However, I have been caving a donut for weeks. Luckily I am too lazy to stop on the way to work.

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  13. I’m sorry you’ve been going through a hard time. I also have gastroparesis and it’s reared its ugly head this summer. I’ve done semi-paleo for the past couple of years. Right now the best thing for me is low-fat/low-fiber/low fodmap (plus no dairy or gluten). I still get sick some but it’s better. I’m training for a half marathon and it’s hard when you have no fuel!!!
    My running buddies got donuts last weekend but I stayed strong…well my weakness is frappaccinos and I gave in a suffered the consequences. Sometimes I just get bratty and say the heck with it.
    If you ever need someone to commiserate with please feel free to email me! I hope you feel better soon.

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    1. Hi! Sorry to hear you are dealing with gastroparesis too. I have had so many diet changes. restrictions over the years it’s hard to keep track! For some reason fat is the one thing that doesn’t aggravate my system. Go figure. Low fodmap helped for a bit, which was also a bummer because I learned that apples are a huge trigger for me. I love apples. 😦
      I managed to restrain from the donuts over the past weeks but pizza has been a giant fail. It’s my biggest weakness. I have been craving a donut lately though, I am trying to ignore it. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

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