My Story: March to May 2020- SIBO treatment and considering chronic illness

March was crazy. For everyone! I started a new diet (the Fast Tract), went to what was to become our last hurrah of an auction party for my son Gabe’s preschool where I let loose and drank for the first time in months (and didn’t feel any worse than before–in fact I felt better! This was a strange phenomenon and taught me that sometimes STRESS REDUCTION is more important than being dogmatic about food or drinks ALL THE TIME), was told to stay home from teaching for a day because of possible COVID at my school— and then things really started to happen. I took my IgG test from home and found out I’m sensitive to gluten, eggs, and dairy (typical, right?) Still don’t know how much confidence I put in these tests, but I tried taking these things out. I haven’t gone back to gluten since, as I noticed it gives me weird pains in my right side. Eggs and cheese seem to be fine in moderation. I began working with Dr. Norm Robillard and after a month of strict keto/paleo/low FODMAP eating, started an herbal protocol for my SIBO. The whole nation shut down and we were told to stay home. This is when I started to feel better.

I took Allicin, Berberine, and Biocidin. This combination REALLY helped me start feeling more like myself. One day I looked in the mirror and I thought “It’s me!” I hadn’t felt that since Sterling was born. After a few weeks, I was able to expand my diet to include more fruits and vegetables. I added some dark chocolate. Almond flour pancakes. WINE. My sessions ended with Dr. Norm and I decided to work with another online practitioner, Mark from Bella Lindemann’s online practice.

I went on hiatus essentially– stopped taking my supplements, stopped my antimicrobials, stopped everything. I continued to feel better, but some symptoms popped up. My nose felt like someone was pushing on it constantly, I began getting a burning sensation in my back every time I ate something. I was/am convinced this is my gallbladder struggling. I read and researched and my health anxiety took flight with these new symptoms.

I’m still sitting with them now, but trying to trust the process. I’m constantly asking myself– is this seasonal allergies? histamine intolerance from the SIBO? Pathogenic in nature and needing some antimicrobials? Or will antimicrobials make this worse? My mind is in a constant state of questioning.This brings me to now.

I’m working with a physical therapist to do visceral manipulation on MYSELF to help both the SIBO and my abdominal hernia. I’ll start seeing her in person next week (eek! Going out into the world for the first time since March!) My acupuncturist has been helping me via telehealth and will open in 2 weeks. I’m looking forward to taking baby steps into the world for my health.

I now view GERD and SIBO not as diagnoses themselves, but as hints to something deeper going on with my body. My instinct tells me to consider Hashimoto’s or Celiac disease. I am not afraid of a diagnosis, only unsure of where to go from here. My naturopathic dr seems hesitant to do loads of testing, my PCP is great but has so many caseloads she often forgets PPI made me feel incredibly ill and every time suggests them to me again. I emailed her today to ask for a full thyroid panel. I’m not sure what kind of response I will get, but I’m hoping for the best. If not, I’ll ask my naturopathic dr.

I work from home for 3 more weeks. Next year I’ll be going half time in order to make space for another (amazing) ESL teacher who subbed for me when I was on maternity leave. My almost 9 month old son, Sterling, is crawling all over the place. I’m able to focus on joyful moments rather than my symptoms every moment of the day.

I feel grateful and yet, still striving for better health.

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