Well Belly Chronicles: One Man’s Fight

fodmapsibs-640x426We dedicate this room at the Bistro to all who deal with chronic Belly Issues:

Diverticulitis
IBS
Chronic Belly Issues
Debilitating disorders

Why? This is too much to bear alone. The burden is too great. The fears are mind numbing. We at the Be Well Bistro know all too well!

Yet – We live in a society plagued with chronic digestive distress. It can become a living nightmare.
What is the root cause, we cry out, as we eat what we think is healthy choices. More and more adults are dealing with ongoing digestive distress and its time we start talking about it.

Doctors don’t know!

They have no education in dietary theory, nutrition, or nourishment. They are taught to diagnose and treat with pills and surgical tools. They are often swayed by medical marketing machines. To complicate things, all stomach issues are different.

Nutritionists give vague ideas.

More often than not, they get swayed by a new pill or potion sold by multi level structures. Many become interested because of the profit potential. Others truly care and seek solutions outside of western medicine because — well, because western medicine may be a marvel but it doesn’t address nourishment, nutrition, or daily living.

Patients fall into a never ending abyss…

Patients who fall outside the routine medical solutions are often left out in the dark. They – WE fall through the cracks. We aren’t sick enough to be diagnosed or treated, but we are stuck in a quandary of guess work. If you can’t get a diagnosis, you can’t get treatment, you can’t get disability, you can’t quite keep a job but you can’t get financial when you really need it. It’s like you are stuck in a sink hole. Friends and family wonder why you can one day be fine and the next so sick you want to die.

One Man Fights Back

My husband has a chronic, debilitating sickness that takes him down faster than a masterful One-Two Combination delivered by the infamous Mohammed Ali. It started on our honeymoon. Yep, literally 2 days after we said I DO, my husband fell ill. So ill that he nearly died in a luxury hotel in Maui. So ill that the doctor chastised me for not calling sooner, but what did I know? That day in May — it was merely the beginning of torture for an otherwise healthy, active nature photographer.

In my husband’s case, his disabling illness came down hard and fast. There is still no diagnosis. Not really. I’ve come to think that the docs just don’t want to label it because there is no real concrete label. NOTHING fits. Our doctor literally said after another round of expensive and inconclusive tests: “You know what, I have no idea what else to suggest. I am afraid I am out of ideas for you. I’m sorry! ” This came as my husband was already fighting for his life – already trying in vain to find a way out of the dark and dizzy debilitation. These words sent him into a tailspin. It was the culmination of 9 years of torturous stomach ailments.

First it was 3 or 4 ER trips each year. Most resulted in a 4 day hospital stay where they ran tests and never found anything. It took 3 years to get a diagnosis of diverticulitis and a quick recommendation for a surgery. The surgery in 2007 was supposed to cure all of it, but instead it created problems of a different sort. Trying to find a root cause, became unbearably frustrating. Doctors, specialists, naturopaths, acupuncturists – a never ending search with futile results. All seem to mutter: Hmmm, that is rather weird, but lets try blah blah blah. Some order expensive tests, some say you’ve been poked, prodded and blasted with enough radiation.

Health Coaches, Fitness fanatics, and other well intentioned friends and family come up with all kinds of dietary suggested — most already tried.
To make everything worse, our friends, our family say things akin to Buck Up and Take It. Or “You just need to lose weight” or …You know how it goes — they think they have the solution and they want to help but it comes across as a meddlesome judgement against us. What is the root cause, we cry out, as we eat what we think is healthy choices.
Here at the BeWellBistro — we focus on solutions. We listen. We encourage. And we do not leave you hanging out to dry like a dead poet. This section is devoted to all who have belly issues — not fat belly but sick belly issues.

Let’s work to support each other. Send me your comments. Tell me your tales — successes and trials by fire.