She was so sick and in so much pain. Her back would ache, but not the part that was fused from an injury. Rather it was such a low back pain that one idiot doctor wrote “anal pain” although that was not at all an accurate description. A physical therapist–at a yoga based practice that was recommended by many others who fight the same disease she fights–called it sacrum pain. He helped her find exercises that would lessen the impact sometimes and help her cope other times.

When the pain could not be controlled, it would expand. The back of her head and her legs and hips would hurt. If it continued, she would have excruciating headaches and her back would hurt so bad she would lay on the floor with her feet up, crying and trying to find relief.

She also gained weight although she was eating pretty healthy and getting exercise when she could–when there wasn’t too much pain.

She alternatively had constipation and diarrhea. She kept a food journal, trying to find a pattern. She went to a gastroenterologist; he said she had IBS. She later found out that means they don’t know what is wrong and they don’t want to do more tests; it’s just a catch-all with no solution.

It was so random. She never knew what the day might hold. She might get up and have diarrhea and then feel fine. Or she might get up and have diarrhea feel terrible for two days. Or she might be constipated and feel functional. Or feel terrible. There was no discernible pattern.

She was sick with a cold and it wasn’t getting better, as often happens with people who have her disease, so she went to a new doctor near the new house. As Doctor took her history, Doctor wanted to know if anyone had run an allergy test. Um, no. So Doctor ran a 25 item test and have a recommendation for a naturopath to run a more extensive one if anything came up. Three items came up. She stopped eating them as she learned what that really meant.

Naturopath worked with her on the pain issues but did not run the allergy test and related disease diagnosis test for several months. Because of the delay, the disease could not be diagnosed but several more items showed as gut allergens. She stopped eating those things too.

She would still have the pain issues sometimes and she was baffled. Then it happened on a day she was seeing Naturopath. Describing it is not nearly as impactful as being with sometime when it is happening. Naturopath said it was hormones related to the disease that soon thereafter caused her to have surgery.

She was more baffled. How was it so much better after she changed her diet if it was that other thing? But since it was so much better, she continued to follow the new diet. And when she would have days of (much lesser) pain, she would consider what more she could change to be healthy and feel as she imagined normal people feel.

To reduce cross-contamination, she got her own pans, cutting boards, and other items that are commonly known to retain the oils or crumbs that might make her sick. She learned all she could and cleaned the kitchen before and after cooking.

He wanted her to feel better but he didn’t want to change what he ate. He used his own pans for the few items he cooked for himself.

His relative made comments about the “special diet” and made her feel paranoid. The other relative folded all the dirty kitchen towels and put them away, leaving the dirtiest of the cloths in the basket. Now she felt completely paranoid and unsafe and asked that she no longer receive any “help” from the relatives in her kitchen.

He ran out of a food item she could not eat; he complained each day until she bought more. It was a food item they usually bought at the store for which he had a membership card. A food item she could not have went bad and he was upset that there was not a new one available for his use; he told her it was bad right after she went to the grocery store. A friend was out with them and they discussed having lunch at the house; he said that she never buys anything for him or thinks of him at the grocery store, although all three of them knew that was untrue. She was hurt and embarrassed. She watched him use a knife to cut something she could not safely eat; he then, without washing the knife, wiped it on the kitchen towel and put it away. The towel she was using that day to wipe dishes.

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She is unsure what more she can do in order to be safe at home. She thinks he understands and then he does not show it. She thinks it is too hard for someone who doesn’t have to eat this way, but then a house guest completely gets it and does everything correctly for several days and asks about anything unknown.

She knows she must do what is right for her, for her health. She feels like a control freak. She feels overwhelmed by the extra cleaning, extra dishes, extra work. She feels disappointed that he does not want much of the food she prepares, although others tell her it is good, that she is a good cook. She feels weary. She wonders if it will ever get easier.

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