Life after diagnosis.. becoming me again

18 Dec

Although I’ve always known I wasn’t quite “normal”, (ha! No one has ever called me “normal”!), I haven’t felt “myself”, for a long time. I lost my zest for life and my energy levels slowly declined starting back in my late teens. There were probably a number factors involved, not just development of Celiac disease (and I guess, who knows how long I’ve had it!), including depression. I know my depression was partly hereditary, but maybe my body fighting gluten and losing the battle also had something to do with it.

I started reading a new blog called Celiac Teen, and wow, is this girl wise beyond here years! And she has such a bright

Making progress. Feeling sick for years (left). Starting to feel better - this pic was taken 3 or 4 months after going gluten free (right).

outlook towards her life with Celiac, what an inspiration! I just read her new post, “A Reintroduction” in which she described how active she was before she started feeling sick. And in turn, now that she’s starting to feel more energetic, how she’s making a plan to slowly reintroduce exercise back into her life.

It was really touching to me because I went through the exact same thing and actually feel guilty for not excising for the last say, five or ten years! I had times where I attempted to exercise, but part of not feeling “myself”, was definitely due to my lack of energy. If you would have seen me in high school or when I was a kid, you would know that I was FULL of energy! I tried every sport I could and was always running around, climbing on something or being generally mischievous. In high school I was co-captain of the cheer leading team and a star runner in my school’s track and field team.

Fast forward ten years and no one would guess (not even my boyfriend of almost four years), that I once once a lively, active and energetic person.

I tell myself that I shouldn’t feel guilty, because Celiac robbed my of nutrition for so long and it isn’t an easy road to recovery. But I do know that I need to push myself to try. I’ve been on a gluten free diet for about 9 months now, and there have been major improvements. But I’m still so low on energy that all I can manage to do is get up an go to work (and this is VERY hard for me to do even though I like my job), and come home, make supper (this is an improvement!) watch some tv and go to bed. I don’t see my friends nearly enough and I never “feel” like going out. But I do want the “old MaryBeth” back.

I refuse to make exercise a New Year’s resolution, because I’ve done this for years now and it never works. Instead, I’m going to make the goal to: take care of myself, continue to learn how to cook, make time for friends and hobbies, learn to appreciate life more, and slowly incorporate fitness and activity back into my life. That’s not my official New Year’s “goal” list. Just the start. It’s time to become me again!

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6 Responses to “Life after diagnosis.. becoming me again”

  1. Lauren December 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    MaryBeth! You are so kind! I know that you will achieve your goals (I too hate writing them down, but sometimes it can help =D). I completely get the low energy thing, as that is exactly what happened to me. In fact, I didn’t start to really feel like me until I started my most recent meds (salt pills, believe it or not). This all takes time, but we will get back to our old selves!

  2. mlaff December 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    Thanks for your kind words, Lauren!! I guess it takes baby steps to improve.. So what kind of effect do salt pills have? Since I started cooking gluten free, I’ve been putting sea salt in everything!

    • Lauren December 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

      I have really low blood pressure, so they increase my blood volume. Dizziness has always been one of my biggest symptoms, so they helped alleviate that. My cardiologist decided it would be best, so we tried them, and they helped. Obviously I’m not a doctor, so I wouldn’t recommend just trying that, unless your doctor recommended it =D.

  3. sarahjam December 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Go MaryBeth!! I fully applaud all of your new healthy goals, and I will hold you to them! I wish I could be there in-person for daily or weekly support… can’t wait to see you in the New Year, I miss my BF.

    • mlaff December 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

      Thanks SJ!!! I miss you too and you’re always such a great health advocate!! We need more phone dates!!

      • sarahjam December 20, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

        We DO!!! I have started buying calling cards, so let’s set one up! When’s best for you, my dear?

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