No Appointments Today

14 06 2011

It’s Tuesday, and for the first time in 15 weeks I don’t have a doctor’s appointment today. According to my diary this is what the last 14 Tuesdays have involved:
* Took Emma to the GP because she was spotty again (probably german measels)
* My initial appointment with the GP to discuss my fatigue and initial blood test
* My follow-up appointment with GP and referral to gastroenterologist
* Emma’s 12 month injections
* My initial appointment with gastroenterologist
* Appointment with GP to discuss Ben’s digestion problems and possible coeliac disease
* Ben’s blood test
* My gastroscopy
* Follow up appointment with gastroenterologist and confirmation of my coeliac disease
* Ben’s follow up appointment with GP and confirmation that he does not have coeliac disease
* My follow up blood tests
* Buffy’s vet checkup and injections
* My follow up bone densitomitry scan
* My follow up with GP and discussion about possible thyroid disease

I’m so thankful my Mum is on long service leave at the moment and she has been happy to look after the kids every Tuesday. It’s become my routine to drop them off and then go to an appointment. Today I didn’t have one. So I went shopping instead. Bliss!

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Coeliac Disease – Road to Diagnosis

11 06 2011

So for those who haven’t heard, I have been officially diagnosed with coeliac disease. My gluten free life begins now. (Actually it began 5 weeks ago but I’m still a little lax at keeping up-to-date with the blog).

The diagnosis was not surprising as my Mum was diagnosed with coeliac about 4 years ago. Her road to diagnosis was much longer. Her symptoms began in her late 40s and included diarrhea, vomiting, anemia and loss of bone density. At the time little was known about coeliac disease so she was told it was probably menopausal and given supplements. When she was finally diagnosed correctly and began her gluten free diet she said she felt better than she had for the last 10 years. That’s a long time to feel sick.

Soon after my Mum’s diagnosis her sister was also diagnosed. They both agree that their mother, now deceased, was probably also coeliac as she struggled with conditions like osteoperosis and thyroid disease. Subsequently two of my older male cousins on that side of the family also began eating gluten free and felt much better for it.

Given the strong family history of this genetic disease, I had a blood test to see if I might also have the disease. I was pregnant with my first child at the time and I was having a number of blood tests anyway so I tacked it on the list and got it done. Unfortunatley the results were too confusing for my obstetrician at the time (I can’t really blame her for not being totally up-to-date on coeliac serology). She told me that as only one of the three tests was out of range, I should leave it until any digestive symptoms manifested.

Fast forward four years and two babies later, I found myself requesting another blood test. Not for digestive symptoms but for fatigue. I’m always tired and never able to get enough sleep. And while 2 children who get me up in the middle of the night and do not sleep well in the day certainly contribute to this, I felt like it was more than that. I interact with other mothers who do not seem to be as drained as I always feel. So I thought I should get a few things checked like iron levels, vitamin levels, thyroid function, and sure go ahead and recheck those coeliac antibodies too.

The blood test results were a little bit surprising – iron levels were fine, vitamin levels were fine, thyroid function a bit overactive, and coeliac antibody levels super high.

The gastroenterologist said that given the serology and the family history there was little doubt I had coeliac disease. But I went ahead and had the gastroscopy and small bowel biopsy to confirm it. This confirmation is required to be able to join the coeliac society. It’s certainly the most expensive and invasive membership fee I’ve ever had to pay.

So there it is. The day after the gastroscopy I started eating gluten free. And besides having to ask my mother a hundred questions I haven’t found it terribly difficult. I am lucky to live in an age where there are hundreds of gluten free products and substitutes available. The follow up biopsy in 12 months will tell me if my insides are healing. But as the only symptom I have is tiredness it will be difficult to judge if the diet has an impact. In 12 months time I will have weaned my 1 year old, she will hopefully be sleeping better, and my overactive 3 year old will finally be allowed to go to kindy. So gluten free or not I’m sure I’ll feel better next year.





Where Did June Go?

1 07 2009

It’s been a whole month since I wrote a blog post.  Here’s what I was doing instead:

Packed for our holiday.  Flew to Perth.  Visited Perth City, Fremantle, Rottnest Island, Swan Valley.  Drove to Bunbury and stayed with uni friends.  Drove to Margaret River.  Visited 25 wineries.  Saw some of the local attractions , although not many because it was raining most of the week.  Drove to Perth.  Flew home.  Looked for a rental house for my friends moving back from Japan.  Had a lot of swimming lessons with Ben, to make up for our time away.  Had my brother and sister-in-law come and stay.  Had my parents-in-law come and stay (they took Buffy to Bundaberg while we were away).

I have heaps of pictures and a ton of things I could blog about.  But I think I’ll just take it slowly, bit by bit.  I’m really hoping that after next week things might slow down a bit around here.  (How many times have I said that in the last six months?)





Remembering

30 04 2009

I have always had a terrible memory.  I often forget appointments or things I need to do.  I leave a trail of possessions in my wake wherever I go.  I forget names of people, places and things.  And it seems it’s only getting worse as I get older.

I’m good at logic and reasoning but terrible at memorizing things.  That’s why at school I found maths and science a breeze but struggled with languages and social sciences.  I could never have studied anything medical at uni because I would never have passed first year anatomy – too many names to remember!  And often I find myself giving up on the task of scripture memorization because as soon as I’ve mastered a verse, the one I learned previously slips out of my brain.

It’s actually more of a problem with the speed of recall.  I can see someone I know and not be able to recall their name until five minutes later.  I find myself talking about my garden and the new plants I’ve just put in, you know the ones with the big spiky leaves and the beautiful pink flowers, the um… the um…. and I can’t recall the name while I am having the conversation but if I sit down and concentrate on it for a few minutes I will of course remember eventually because I know exactly what they are.

I just read an article about a Mum who wrote a long letter to her children for each of their birthdays summarising the year – special achievements, funny things they did and said, favourite toys and games, etc. as a way of recording her memories.  I don’t think I would be able to do that very well because I would have a hard time remembering all those things for a whole year.  I need to write things down straight away.  This blog is as much for myself and my children as it is for my friends.  And I don’t want to get 10 years behind like I am with documenting my photos.  I need to be more diligent at writing down the seemingly mundane things that will make me smile when I read them again in 10 years time.

Lest I fotget…





Blog What?

14 03 2009

I am quite blown away by the blogging world.  A few weeks ago I didn’t read any blogs.  I started out reading a few blogs by my friends and then with curiosity explored a bit further to see what other bloggers actually write about.  And because bloggers love referring to other blogs that they’ve been reading, I find that the more I read blogs, the more blogs I read.

Apart from journal type blogs, I have been reading instructional blogs on home management, knitting, gardening, parenting, and lots more.  The wealth of information out there is astounding.  But to be honest it is mostly like reading a magazine.  You have to trawl through lots of stuff you already know, don’t care to know, and advertisements for stuff you never knew you needed to know. 

So reading blogs is like reading a magazine.  That’s fine, I’ll grab a cuppa and read a few posts each day.  I might learn something, I might not.   That’s ok, it’s relaxing and enjoyable.

But the kind of blogs I truly gain from, really learn something from, are going to be my friends journal blogs.  What a wonderful way of keeping in touch with each other.  If you are one of my blogging friends please keep it up.  I don’t care about the quality of the writing or the quality of the content.  I care about you.  Because the more I know about what you are doing, the more I know you, and the more I can encourage you, pray for you and love you. 

So after pondering the thought of topical blogging, I have thrown it aside.  I don’t want hundreds of strangers to read what I write.  I want my friends to read it.  It won’t be educational.  It probably won’t even be interesting.  But it will be me.  Just me and the stuff I do.