3am Light Bulb Moment (Too Hungry To Sleep)
Friday, June 10, 2016
I am sooo tired of being hungry, all the time - quite literally! :( I get so hungry in the night that I wake up and can't get back to sleep. :( I eat well, way too well. Maybe. If fat stores are an indication, then of course I eat way too much, but not always "well". Then it occurred to me, this morning, "Wesley". Yes, 3am, this morning. :p
Wesley is my sweet, amazing 18yo. When I got up, his bedroom light was on, and he was sound asleep. I shut the light off. The first four years of his life were quite a struggle. We had to deal with food allergies since he was 3 months old, but I was so new to the idea, and even quite skeptical about food allergies, and tired beyond function. I nursed him at first, and like my other two children, started him on Pablum at three months of age. He reacted to the dairy milk that I mixed in his cereal, so the doctor had me try him on soy milk. I didn't even notice the dairy reaction, the doctor did - noticing that Wes did not gain weight since his last visit, and should have. As for the soy, talk about reaction, it's a wonder he lived. :( Not an instant, anaphylactic reaction, but an I must have been feeding him concrete reaction. His digestive system could not at all handle the soy product. I'll spare you the too much info details, but it was horrible.
Most of those first four years were a blur, as he was waking up, every.single.night, 4-6 times per night, crying, starving, wearing a ten-pound diaper - so it seemed (and that's with a couple of diaper changes in the night). I do remember some critical details, just not quite when they happened, or even in what order.
There was a constant battle with the doctor. "There's something wrong with Wesley", I'd say. At one point, the only response I got was "He's a good, big, healthy boy, there's nothing wrong." Chief Surgeon in our local hospital, he must be right. But then why was Wes waking up so many times in a night, why was he so off target for learning and development? His teeth were rotted out, but he could not seem to exist without a constant bottle in his mouth or a soother dipped in corn syrup to help his digestion. Turns out, he also had Scoliosis, but I didn't know that until his first visit to the chiropractor, another opportunity for me to be skeptical.
By the way, our social health care system at that time did not allow for second opinions, so I was stuck with my doctor's information, and that was it. Until my chiropractor introduced us to his Naturopath. Ka-ching! Cost us a fortune! :( We couldn't afford it, but you do what you have to for your kids, right?! And where was I on confirming my skepticism?
According to the Naturopath, Wes was allergic to every.single.food he was eating. The Chiropractor and I had already suspected a sugar allergy, which was devastating for my 4yo to hear. When we suspected the sugar allergy, and Wes collapsed in sorrowful tears, I took him shopping and filled the cart FULL of foods that had no added sugar, just to show him that there's lots of yummy foods with no added sugar. It was no help, it turned out, he was allergic to everything. (allergic to protein and fructose - doesn't leave much other than ... water) :( He also had Candida overgrowth and other parasitic infestation, to add further detriment to his health. He was literally starving to death, though he ate constantly, day and night. He was malnourished as his body was receiving NO nutrients from the foods he was eating. The reason the doctor saw him as a "good, big, healthy boy" was because his body was so overloaded, it was storing foods as toxic fat. He looked a bit like a pudgy, malnourished baby from a third-world nation with that tell-tale distended stomach. :( My baby! :( Talk about guilt trip. But I'm not writing about that, right now, just the background story of my 3am light bulb moment...
So, back to this morning, all it took was that one word, "Wesley", for me to realize why I am so hungry, all the time. I'm not writing this to start another hurtful controversy between medical definitions of allergy vs intolerance. Honestly, when someone watches their overfed baby nearly starving to death over food allergies, that argument is nothing short of cruel, negligent, and pointless, so don't go there! It is not the reason I'm writing this. I'm using the terms that were used by our Naturopath who had the decency to explain their choice of terminology, (roughly translated: foods that cause a negative and harmful reaction in or to the body) and I'm not interested in getting verbally beat up again and again about it in a social group that is supposed to be supportive. BUT I do feel the need to share the Light Bulb moment - as there may be others who need one, too. It's just not much of a light bulb moment without the background story.
I also got to travel that road that Wes was on, with food allergies, but not nearly as severe and my reactions were not the same as his, so I didn't recognize it in full until ... 3am, today.
I'm a pro driver. My health gets checked, every five years, minimum, as required by the law. I have to stay somewhat healthy to do my job. Any change in my health status MUST be reported. Fatigue kills, and is not an option for a school bus driver. But honestly, there's been days when I've wanted to call in "tired". Too tired to work for a couple of hours a day? That's not right. :( Unfortunately, a lot of doctors continue to overlook basic health issues such as non-anaphylactic allergies, Candidiasis and other parasite infestations. I don't know what your health care system looks like, but here, we have an extreme shortage of doctors. I know a young person who "probably" has cancer (lymphoma), but no doctor to properly diagnose her. :( If they don't have time for cancer, what chance do you think they have for less-than-obvious yeast infections? I wouldn't want to take priority over her, anyway! I have no money right now for a Naturopath. :( But at least I have a good understanding of some of the possibilities that I'm dealing with.
So.... to the point of this post... regardless of what you think of doctors, allergists, naturopaths, chiropractors, allergies vs intolerances, ... I want you to know this. If your body isn't working properly, then something is wrong. If you're not getting any answers that make sense, try again. If you're like me and can't afford the professional help you need, I totally understand and wish I had a solution other than the "very dangerous" practice of using the internet to do self diagnoses. :( (warning, yes, self-diagnosis can be more dangerous than not getting any help. Not getting help is also dangerous, but I know some of us have NO other options) TRY to find some answers, but also try to find someone who will help build you up, not someone to tear you down. If you have an issue, physical, emotional, other (?), get some help! Don't let it get out of hand! If you can't get the "right" help, do what you can, but do it! Serious health issues rarely correct themselves. When they don't naturally correct themselves, they tend to get worse. Stop the cycle now, before it's too late. Study, study, study! Learn all you can! Be your own advocate! Sometimes you have to! Your health needs you!
As for me, I know some of what I need to do. I just need to do it. I read someone posted in their signature, "if this were easy, I'd have done it by now". Yup and amen! Seeking progress, one step at a time. As for today, I'm up at 3am and working until 10pm. Two jobs, both split shifts. Not sure if there's going to be any nap time in there. Thankfully, an easy day for both jobs, and I'll have to be really careful of what I eat! Lives could depend on it. Also, the weekend is at hand! Recovery! :D