Tuesday, November 15

Health Update

I haven't blogged in a while, and felt you were all due for an update. The short story is that I've seen my hepatologist and been to the hospital a lot more than I like to lately, and I've had blood draws, an MRI, a liver ultrasound and a liver biopsy, all to tell me that the autoimmune disease I had in my old liver (Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis) has returned, the bile ducts in my liver have narrowed from scarring, and there is already some liver cirrhosis (scarring in the liver tissue) present. Bummer, yes. BUT- I have way too much joy, purpose, and blessings in my life, and I'm not going anywhere!

All of this nonsense couldn't be happening at a better time. God knows what's happening, and He goes before us. The Sun Stand Still series we are going through at church is EXACTLY what my family has needed to be able to go through this season the right way. Each day and each week that passes, we learn more about audacious faith and big prayers, and I've been simply glowing with faith that my God REALLY, TRULY WILL supply ALL my needs. He is El Shaddai, the God of more than enough. And He does exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. What a treasure to know Him. People tell me I am strong, but that wouldn't carry me through this kind of challenge [for the second time in my life] without the hope of Christ. Check out this past Sunday's message (Sun Stand Still Week 5) and the previous four On Demand here! My little family gets a shout on in Week 4 - PK shared our miracle Victory story. To God be the glory!

In the meantime, life goes on. Hubs was doing a little web surfing about PSC (by the way - never do that with your medical ailments; it's bound to be more frightening than helpful!) and he came across a website from the UK. It specifically stated that PSC is now being linked with Celiac disease. Now, I won't talk about how angry I was for a day or two, thinking about how ten years ago, when I had a perfect, new, healthy, clean liver to work with, I didn't know this. The important thing is, I know better now. I've been eating mostly gluten-free (about 80-90% of the time) for a year or two. I've had my cheat days, and not obsessed over restaurant ordering. But I'm done with that. I haven't gotten support from my doctors over the past few years to look into the Celiac possibility fully and seriously. But I know better now. I have Ulcerative Colitis, PSC, arthritis, possibly fibromyalgia and most recently, MS symptoms- I'm finding that all of these are tied with Celiac and gluten intolerance. Well, that's more than enough motivation to go gluten free.

Hubs made the decision for all of us. He said, "We're going gluten free, period!" [A note to the ladies: you know you've got a good man when he leads the way on something this major for the health of you and your whole family!]

Sure, it's a bummer thinking about how for ten years, a seemingly harmless substance has been slowly tricking my body into attacking itself, and I didn't know.
The important thing is, now I do know, and I'm moving forward without looking back. I'm convinced I have Celiac, and I'm okay with that. I'm going to take on the gluten-free life, and with that life, my husband, my daughter and myself will be healthier than ever. It's going to be awesome!


Update, December 2011:
I have a fantastic new gastroenterologist and he ran the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene test for me. It was positive. This further confirmed the likelihood that I have Celiac. This is actually great news to us. Answers are always a good thing!