Reshaping it All: My Health

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Shortly after my last post about “Reshaping it All” (Reshaping it All: My Weight Journey and More), I had a doctor’s appointment to tell me the results of my swallow test. Ever since I had Adam I have had several health problems. I didn’t realize until found out these results that some of the symptoms were all connected to the same thing. It was just going to take a year to figure out what was wrong!

It started with really bad stomach cramps when I ate certain foods, mostly just when I ate cheddar cheese. Cheddar cheese you ask? Yes, Cheddar Cheese. Every other cheese was fine. I told the doctor and she ordered me an stomach ultrasound to check on some things. Just about the time I finally got the results back from that, I started with another problem. I had this constant feeling of a bubble in my throat. It was annoying and just would not go away.

I got the results from the stomach ultrasound and everything was fine, so at the same time I told her this throat problem I was currently having. She told me to take something over-the-counter and come back in a month. Well the problem came and went several times and seemed to get worse as now this “bubble” in my throat was hurting. When I went back in she asked me if i thought certain foods irritated it more. I said I wasn’t sure and she said she thought it was probably acid reflex and ordered me a swallow test.

For those who do not know what a swallow test is, all I have to say is don’t ever have to get one. It was bad. You have to swallow several different things all while they are telling you to, “Try and keep it down!” and “Just let us know if you are going to throw up!” I had prided myself  before in not having a weak stomach, but this stuff was horrible! Luckily, however close I came, I never actually did get sick from it.

After I got back from my trip to West Virginia, I went to get the results from the swallow test from my doctor and she told me I had a Sliding Hiatal Hernia, which was also causing very bad reflex. Basically, this hernia is my stomach sticking up into my esophagus, at least that is how my doctor explained it. I was a little shocked, and not even sure what all this meant. I guess I was hoping for an easy fix, but that was not to be.

My doctor put me on a very strict diet. She said this hernia needs to time to heal, and so I need to stay away from foods that trigger the acid reflux. I went home did some research and was a bit shocked at the list of foods I need to avoid including: chocolate, caffeine, soda, anything with tomatoes in it or tomato-based, anything fried, garlic, peppers, onions, any spices, mint, and anything with acid in it. My doctor said I could basically eat rice, cereal, and milk. Of course there are lots of other foods I can eat too, but when she said that I kinda just wanted to cry.

You may think, “No big deal I could do that!” And I have been doing it! But it is a lot harder then you might think. Not only do I have change my own eating habits, but I also have to figure out how to still cook for my husband and family so they don’t have to eat such a bland diet as me. It’s a little more difficult than I anticipated. Every recipe I used to make is totally changed to take out the things I cannot eat or it’s just a recipe I cannot eat at all. And don’t even mention eating out. I have tried several times, and it very hard finding something on the menu that doesn’t have at least one ingredient that can trigger discomfort. It can be kind of discouraging. I almost feel as though I eat the same few things every couple of days.

My doctor said that this hernia could have been caused by one or several things:
1. Having a baby.
The baby pushes everything all around in there and puts pressure on areas that never had pressure before.

2. Gaining weight. 
Either from my thyroid disease or from having a baby.

3. Eating too much food.
Eating a lot during pregnancy or just eating too much in general.

That third one really got me because if you read my last post in this series, then you know about my food confession. I feel like I may have done this to myself. I have not had self-control in many areas and I have not taken care of my body like I should have. Of course there is no real way to tell which of these really caused it, but I know what I can do to help make it better.

My doctor said I can start losing weight and I can try to eat healthier. And so that is what I have been trying to do. I started working out and I mean really working out. I ran on the treadmill, walked several miles with a friend one day and ran several miles with her another. I started taking a spin class on base, which I really really loved. And on top of that I am eating less and watching what I eat. I have already started to lose a few pounds!

I am also on a pill- nexium for about 6 weeks to see if it makes a difference in how I am feeling. If not, then I will have to have a endoscopy. I am absolutely scared to have this done. But I am just praying for peace and that I can make enough necessary changes to get my body back to good standing.

I still am going to be reading that book, and I plan on sharing more of my journey with you in those posts. Thanks for reading!

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  1. Glad to know you finally have an answer! Don't be afraid of the endoscopy- I have had one before and it's not that bad. If you got through the swallow test, you can definitely manage it!

  2. So sorry girl… I've never heard of anything like that before. Hopefully the strict diet and exercise will help. It sounds like you are off to a really great start though. 🙂

  3. I have had a sliding hiatal hernia for years… I was diagnosed when I was 19 and only weighed 100 pounds. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong girl!!! It can be very painful and combined with IBS sometimes I'm a mess. I've learned to know and feel when my stomach slides up because i get a lot of pain and back pain. You can use a tennis ball and roll it from just under your sternum down to your belly button and it can help pull the stomach back down where it belongs…or even just use your hands to try to pull it down.

  4. I need to get back on the exercise band wagon. It's been hard since M got back home from the deployment. Now that we are getting settled in, we are trying to eat better. While M exercises every day with PT, I need to start exercising. I have a Kinect and a few workout games. Thanks for posting this. It was exactly what I needed to hear/read.

  5. Glad you are getting some answers to your health struggles, though I can tell they're not easy answers! Sounds like you're working hard to feel better. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  6. Wow! That is a lot going on! I also have a very strict diet because I have an array of stomach problems, but I've just found I have to look at the positives so it's not depressing 🙂 I love cereal – I always have at least 5 boxes of it in the pantry…dry or with (lactose-free) milk, it's a staple for me. I still cook for my hubs, but I typically stick with my bland foods so I'm not doubled-over in pain. Hang in there and keep pursuing your goals!

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