*** This blog is not to be prescriptive nor give you advice, merely to show you my way of navigating true health in a jungle of advice and pharmaceutical pressure. Please do your own research, ask your own specialists or contact those I have used if you wish to find out more about your personal condition and symptoms. To your very best health. ***
Week 7 results (warning…heading into toilet talk, put your snacks away)
I went into week 7 in a grumpy mood.
My back wasn’t great. I couldn’t do my sprints each morning. My sleep was still consistently short. I mean at least it was consistent, but really? I was done with 02.30 now. My digestion was completely at a standstill and I was beginning to feel so stuck and bunged up that I didn’t want to eat anymore.
When I did eat on the Monday after the retreat I felt like the food was just sat in my stomach as it had nowhere else to go. At this point I decided I needed reinforcements and made an appointment with a therapist I’ve seen before for a colonic irrigation.
There’s so much to say about this as a profession, but I’ll stick with just two things.
- Thank God they are out there!
If you’ve never had one then I am sure you won’t be surprised to learn that they aren’t great for your dignity.
You do have a tube popped up your bum that allows water to flow into your bowel and colon. Once you can’t hold anymore water you need to expel it, as though you were having a poo. This action pushes the contents out into another tube that collects your ‘output’ and flushes it away.
The therapist assists in that she massages your abdomen as this is happening to get things moving. This was a pretty painful experience. Bearing in mind I’d not really had an un-assisted poo for about 6 weeks, and my insides weren’t happy to take any more food it felt pretty tender when she massaged my sides.
I got very gently told off for a) using laxatives and b) leaving it too long. To say I got rid of a lot would be an understatement. I weighed myself before and after and lost 3lbs in the two hours or so apart! Suddenly being told I was full of crap wasn’t such a low blow!
Louise, the therapist, also did say that I wouldn’t have managed to have shifted it on my own. So I must remember that and go sooner should I need to again.
Whilst it’s not social media photo worthy, the collecting and flushing tube is clear so that the therapist can make comment about your digestion ( I did say the first question about this profession is why?!) and so we had a birds eye view of that too. Delightful.
After about 20 minutes or so of washing my insides out, she stopped and said that it would get things moving again. She reminded me that the action of a colonic, i.e water in the bowel, stimulates natural defecation. I didn’t feel at all convinced.
I felt better because I was emptier and my belly wasn’t tender to the touch. But I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be a simple fix. Anyway I almost skipped home feeling significantly better in my middle.
Because of the impacted nature of it all, Louise recommended some aloe vera juice as it’s an excellent colon repairer. I made a note to get some next time I was out.
That same morning I’d been to the chiropractor for a normal session but of course was now living with this back ache that wasn’t really shifting. I couldn’t sit comfortably and was kneeling at my desk to work.
Kelly was so good to me that day. I went in feeling quite low and she listened and said she’d see if I was in a position to be adjusted. There was no pain whilst being moved about on the couch and so she attempted an adjustment for my lower back that has been stubbornly sticky for as long as I’ve had chiropractic treatment over the past 15 years or so. It has never moved under any chiropractors hands.
It seems my back tweak was a silver lining.
Kelly made the adjustment as normal and my back just moved. Not once, but several times. I felt it ripple gently up my back. It was quite significant and felt like we’d made some progress. Remember that apart from this new yoga tweak I wasn’t in any pain before, these adjustments have been all based on the initial assessment that my spine isn’t optimal which means that function is reduced. Function that impacts my bladder, bowel and digestive system. Function that is improving quickly because my food is supporting my healing.
The grumpiness diminished somewhat after that appointment. My back was still sore, but not in a position to stop me doing much and I did leave feeling like I’d made a big step in my recovery both for the immediate tweak and longer term functional issues.
In an unprecedented turn of events I also had the GP that day to see what the results of my recent thyroid blood test results were.
I’d no sooner entered the consulting room when he was asking me how I was feeling and was I feeling better? I had to remind him again that I wasn’t never really aware that anything was wrong, but now that he asked yes, my hands and feet are always cold, my sleep is terrible and I am more constipated than ever before.
He didn’t ask me anything further about any of that at all.
He proceeded to tell me that because my blood test results were now in the normal range he didn’t need to increase my dosage or see me again for a year.
Interesting that the time when I am now ‘well’ as far as ranges are concerned and I mention more symptoms of a body not working that I get ushered out. I felt conflicted. On the one hand I am delighted that there is no additional increase in the Thyrxoine medication, this is a win. However, I’ve never felt so aware of what’s been out of sorts with me as I had over the past few weeks and when I mentioned them (all key low thyroid issues) no further action was initiated.
I left knowing that I wouldn’t need to go back for a year, and by that time I’ll be in a better place anyway. I’ve already resolved to fix this on my own so didn’t see what else I was going to get from him.
The day after the colonic appointment I had a gym session at Rev5 for a strength training session. It’s not my normal day, nor time. But because I’d missed a week for the yoga retreat and the following Saturday it was Harry and Meghan’s wedding and the studio (which is on the route) was closed, I fitted in a session midweek to keep my hand in.
With hindsight, so much about this wasn’t right. But at the time I didn’t see it.
I was really excited to go, I really love the time at a Rev5 session. But I had a new trainer, someone who doesn’t know me, and I’d had half the contents of my digestive system removed the day before.
- The session wasn’t terrible, but I thought it was.
- I wasn’t a weed, but it felt like it.
- It wasn’t my normal happy place.
Looking back on this session I could have done so much more to improve it. However, all I’d say is, if you ever have a colonic and then expect to feel right as rain the next day, be kind to yourself. You probably won’t be 🙂
Later that day I thought I’d buy some supplements to support my lazy bowel and went into the health food shop in Wokingham to get some and to get some inspiration for my meals.
My daughter Laura had suggested that I look for coconut aminos. A coconuty version of soy sauce I guess you’d call it so I wondered in and was delighted to find some. I also found some coconut kefir (just had an epiphany writing this!*), organic coconut milk with no nasties added, sauerkraut, aloe vera colon cleanser, digestive enzymes and tea bags.
I left feeling ready to tackle my guts once and for all and to feel that I had a bit more to choose from when I was cooking.
When I got home I tried the aloe vera and gulped down a dosage. I also tried the coconut kefir, a fermented product which is great for restoring your gut health.
Within the hour I was feeling and looking very bloated. Balloon like. But thought it was the effects still of the colonic the day before and didn’t think anymore about it.
After two more doses of the aloe vera and no changes to my new distended belly I thought I would think about it some more and I looked to see if the aloe vera plant is one of the fruits associated with the latex-fruit syndrome intolerance I learned about a few weeks ago. Sure enough, it was. That’s another food off my list, so … no more restorative aloe vera for me! That’s sat in the fridge looking lonely now.
Feeling bloated, not going to the loo properly still, my sleep disturbed and my back not really right yet left me feeling quite flat all week.
It was about to get even better!
After the colonic I decided that I’d look at some new probiotics to boost my now cleaner insides. I was recommended some that were gluten free, had a variety of strains and were good for promoting bowel regularity. They arrived on Thursday and I took one that afternoon.
By the evening I was so bloated and distended, my husband asked if I was alright, he could see how it changed my shape through my clothes!
I really wasn’t right at all. I thought it was still the effects of the aloe vera juice which I’d had the last dose of that day too and so the next morning took another probiotic. That was all I needed to see what the problem was.
My stomach just popped out. It was as if I’d eaten bread or pasta and been glutened. I was pretty shocked given that the probiotics were advertised as gluten free. When I checked the ingredients there was barley grass and oat grass listed, which I guess had been de-glutened, but not enough for me. Two days later I got the tell-tale outbreak of spots (dermatitis herpetiformis) on my buttock that I get when I’ve been glutened and realised that these probiotics were not for me.
I felt pretty low about this.
I’d spent 8 weeks or so working on cleaning my diet very, very carefully to remove all antibody forming foods so I can squash the Hashimoto’s into remission and then this. It’s been said that gluten molecules can take 6 months to leave the body and for the immune response to quieten down. I’m now starting the clock again, very bloody frustrating.
However it was also my birthday this week and I was’t going to let this ruin it.
We went to Bournemouth for the day and I probably had my first birthday ever without some birthday-like food of some sort. We had lunch out and I managed to get it on plan and adjusted accompanied then later we stopped for a drink at a local hotel and rather than my customary glass of wine, I knocked back a 75cl bottle of fizzy water and a bowl of olives. Celebration at it’s cleanest!
Three days after the colonic and I’d still not been to the loo. I’d been taking a herbal blend ‘Advanced Colon Cleanse‘ and still nothing was happening. This was making me pretty low. I was now worried that I’d done some damage by leaving it too long to sort out, I wondered whether allowing my intestines to get so impacted had caused them to give up on trying to do it by themselves. My heart wanted to be positive but my brain wasn’t having it and was feeding me a whole barrage of doom about the long term impact of not looking after my guts.
By Saturday evening there was a suggestion that all was not lost when I did manage to go. It seemed that this was the start of a very quick succession of visits to the loo and the herbs really kicked in! It seemed ridiculous that I’d been moaning about not going at all when all I did Saturday night and Sunday was spend my time in the loo.
It made me realise quite how much of me was bunged up. Louise had managed to dislodge the oldest stuff with her massage and water, and these herbs were working on stuff higher up. In the 7 days from the colonic I lost 7lbs in weight…and not from changing my food habits just from removing the build up of crap inside me. I told you this wasn’t glamorous or pretty.
Two other wins this week in this long reflection…
I was reminded of grounding (walking bare feet on the grass or mud) as a health benefit and sleep improver. So on Sunday 20 May I plodded about in the garden barefoot for some time. I went to bed at 22.00, my normal time and was completely staggered to wake at … 05.15am on Monday! I’d love to say that this has continued but it didn’t. But for a snapshot of time I saw that my sleep too is just a phase I am going through before it gets back to normal. What it did make me realise was that I no longer walk around barefeet like I used to. My feet are so cold most of the time that I’ve been wearing socks and slippers to keep them warm. Maybe some regular barefootedness will have a longer term impact.
Finally, I went for a run this week to get the insides jiggled about and was really pleased to notice that I didn’t have an achy right shoulder when I ran like I’ve had for years. I put this down to the improvements from the chiropractic care from Kelly.
I know this is a long read, but it was a long and heavy week.
- Food fiends.
- Supplement sabotage.
- Sleep shortage.
- Digestive disorder.
- Colonic cleaning.
- Flat moods.
Or you could view it as…
- I now know which foods to avoid for good health
- Do my due diligence on labels reading in future
- Get sleep where possible
- My insides aren’t broken
- I had a great birthday.
Same days, same weeks, same problems, different response.
*In writing this blog, I realised too that, as you’ll see next week, I discovered coconut doesn’t agree with me. This coconut kefir would have added to my distended belly and bloating during this week along with the aloe vera and probiotics. No wonder I was blimp shaped!