Lifestyle

Do I Have Coeliac Disease?

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NB To get a diagnosis you have to at least have a blood test and then potentially a biopsy via endoscopy (eek). In medical terms it appears that you either have it or you don’t. There’s no diagnosis for gluten sensitivity. Not yet anyway but I hear it’s being worked on.

I’ve had a lot of the symptoms associated with Coeliac Disease. However, what made me decide to give up gluten was my period. I was suffering horrendously with pain and discomfort. Every month was the same and I’d be so worried a few days before. I knew what was coming. Severe pain where I couldn’t even stand upright, never mind walk normally. I was so bloated I looked like I was pregnant. I couldn’t go to the toilet without feeling like my insides were being teared apart. I was exhausted and frazzled. I always thought that the pain felt more in my bowels than where you’re suppose to get period pain. I had brain fog, anxiety and felt very low during them. I had cystitis every time. After researching, I was convinced I probably had endometriosis and went to the doctors. Many times I was told to go on the pill. I didn’t want to. I had bad side effects in the past that lasted all month and I hated the idea of putting synthetic hormones in my body to mask the fact that my body was suffering and was telling me to heal. However, the pain got worse each month and I had to do something. I even started to feel some of the symptoms throughout the month. I very reluctantly took the pill and oh did it cause havoc. They gave me a progesterone only pill because it was suppose to cause less side effects. So not only was I getting headaches and anxiety from it, I was constantly in a really bad mood. I felt detached and worthless, to say the least. The doctor told me to give it time so I did.

The first month was just as bad, if not worse, than my period normally was. It was my birthday and I was in agony. I had took some pills and decided that I wanted to go out for my birthday. I spent two hours in the passenger seat of the car, doubled over, dreading every bump in the road. I raced round Ikea the quickest I ever had, hunched over and then headed home. I spent the rest of the day in the bath and in bed and the next day my stomach was so sore. The night before I had been out for a birthday meal and I had eaten a pizza. I was convinced it had something to do with what I was eating. I looked up to see if there was a correlation between dairy, gluten and endometriosis and there was. I don’t think there were studies but real people online in forums saying that giving these things up helped.

My period the next month was a breeze. Barely any pain and I almost felt like I had finally found a cure. I knew deep down that I was masking it but for a while it was worth the side effects. Then I read a book called Sweetening The Pill. This confirmed that I needed to stop taking it. I had already been vegan for a few months and my digestion has improved so I thought that perhaps I would be OK or I could at least tolerate it. When I came off I was faced with pain again. I felt like I had no choice but to go back on it. I begun researching some more about a gluten free diet. It didn’t make sense that it would work – how does gluten affect the menstrual cycle? I’m not going to get scientific but many have reason to believe it does. I had nothing to lose so I gave it a go. I had very little pain on my next period and I was so happy. The one after that was completely pain free. It had worked. My life improved greatly after that. I also began to feel better in other ways too. My headaches and migraines decreased, my cystitis was hardly an issue anymore, I had less acid reflux and nausea, my cycle regulated and I felt like I had more energy.

It’s hard for people to understand that you have a gluten sensitivity. There’s this stigma around it that if you haven’t been diagnosed, you don’t have an issue. I can feel it though, but I don’t want to tell people I don’t eat gluten because it makes my periods really bad. I didn’t tell many people and I still ate gluten occasionally when people gave me cake and biscuits. This past month I ate a lot more than usual. I had bread with a vegan burger, bread rolls to absorb acid when I was out and felt bad, churros at a vegan festival, several cakes as people at work had made them especially so I would have felt bad not to eat them (plus they were tasty) and I had some falafel. I decided to use it beneficially as an experiment.

So the results are almost all in. My stomach hasn’t been feeling good. I’ve had more nausea and acid reflux. I had daily headaches for over a week (I used to get chronic headaches as a teenager). My period is days late (so it’s already becoming irregular) but I can tell it is coming because I have a little cystitis and I can feel a little pain. I had a week and a half of PMS. It hurt to go to the toilet this morning. Lastly, my mood has been very low. I think that’s all of it.

Coeliac Disease can be very detrimental to your health, which is why I have realised that it is very important to know if I have it or not. In order to get tested, and if the doctor will actually allow me to, I will need to eat gluten everyday for several weeks. This is the bit I am not looking forward to. I probably won’t go through with the endoscopy unless I can get a lot more sedation than last time. I had too much adrenaline and as soon as they were putting the pipe in I was pulling it out and couldn’t calm down. It was terrifying! I will book an appointment shortly.

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Lifestyle · Mind · spirituality

My Story: From Fear To Freedom


For as long as I remember I have allowed fear to control my life. A few years ago I wouldn’t even leave the safety of the house unless I had to. I wouldn’t interact with people unless I had to or unless I trusted them. I couldn’t walk down the street without having to turn back after 200 yards, feeling like the air was pinching my skin and the ground was going to pull me over. Going to public places alone was too intense and exhausting. I would cry and cry and wonder why my life was so hard. I was paralysed by my own self worth. I hated being me. I had hidden my internal thoughts and feelings for so long that they had manifested into mental and physical pain. I became ill and abused myself, and for what? For not wanting to be me. But who else could I be? I didn’t want people to see who I really was. I didn’t honour my sensitivity or my feelings and needs. My intuition was bruised and I had weaved negativity deep into my veins. Somewhere along the way, I had enough and I began untangling the mess inside my head. I reached out to others and I started nurturing myself in anyway that I needed. I practiced gratitude and self care. I took up yoga and meditation. I started to eat better. I started writing poetry on my Instagram and I started a blog and I begun voicing my feelings out to the world. Then others began to hear what I had to say and by doing that I was honouring who I truly was. I discovered an amazing internal world that I was proud of and I wanted to share it. I unstrapped my inner child and embraced her. I set myself free.
Taken from my Instagram. Follow me: @sarahnityxo

Lifestyle

Saturday morning, 08:00


It’s 8am and it feels like I’ve had one of those bad nights sleep where you just can’t wait for it to be morning so you can get up and get on. I first woke up at 5am as the electric blanket had been left on all night. I love how comforting it is when I first get in bed but after I’ve slept for a bit, it just gets uncomfortable. I then woke up again at 7am and knew I wasn’t going to get any more sleep. It’s not exactly blue skies outside but the light shone right through our blue curtains and I struggle to sleep when it’s light. I often think that I’d sleep better with blackout ones but I shrug that off because I don’t think it’s healthy for me to wake up to a dark room. I noticed my wrist aching so I probably had slept on it all night. It probably will be a pain all day.

I picked up my phone from underneath my pillow and sat up a little. I went straight to Instagram as it’s my favourite app right now. I scrolled through and somehow ended up on someones blog. It was a pretty cool site. I often think that my blog is not very together.  It’s messy and unprofessional. I constantly compare it to others. However, it literally is just a place for me to come and express myself, in any way that I want to at that moment in time.  I don’t set rules or boundaries – as long as it’s not something too private or someone else is involved it’s fine by me. I just let myself become immersed in what’s going on and it just seems to flow out of me as easy as breathing is. There’s no long pauses to think about what to write next or how to write. It’s my favourite way of communicating and it’s the best way of figuring out some kind of structure and direction to what is actually going on up there. I firstly do it for me and secondly for the reader. All of the creative things I do, I do for me first. I think it should always be that way.

My alarm officially went off at 8am and I turned it off, gave my sleepy partner a cuddle, crawled down to the end of the bed and climbed out. I opened the door, asked Jasper if he wanted to come and entered the living room and then the kitchen. I grabbed a tall glass, poured some juice and ran the cold tap. I’m feeling particularly dehydrated this morning. I honestly only drank two of these glasses yesterday. I took it and sat down at my computer. Our desks are both in the living room. We spend more waking time at them than anywhere else in the house, even the sofa. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten used to it but the light doesn’t seem to be as bright in here. As I look through the dark-brown framed window I was see grey clouds and damp green bushes. It’s so peaceful this morning. I can hear the birds outside and the odd car going by. I look down to my Apple keyboard laid down on a shaded bamboo surface and it comforts me. I wake up my iMac and open up WordPress.

I’m feeling slightly sick this morning. I’ve had a cold for a week now and I often get some mild nausea with it. My stomach often produces too much acid anyway but I think it’s the phlegm in my stomach causing this. I don’t really mind it too much but it interferes with how much I drink and I just don’t enjoy eating. I hope it clears up later because I am going to a vegan festival in Nottingham this morning and I want to eat things. That is after a quick stop off at McDonald’s en route so my partner can load up his laptop and do some urgent business. I admit that it isn’t the ideal place for a vegan to be. McDonald’s did pretty much introduce the western world to factory farms but it just happens to be an ideal location and my partner is a meat eater who enjoys their breakfasts. I’ll probably munch on a couple of hash browns and go through my Instagram feed whilst I wait.

My sister just happens to be going to Nottingham for the weekend with her boyfriend. I doubt I’ll see them though. We will probably go into the city centre after the festival. Nottingham is one of my favourite concrete places in the UK. If we are talking country then it’s a totally different list. I’ve been going there since I was young – shopping with my Nan or loitering with friends. I have good memories there. When I was 14 and went to see Cradle of Filth at Rock City, my friend, her friend and I went there to buy clothes because you couldn’t buy goth clothes in Grantham. We got a child return on the train for under £3. That was my first proper gig, not including pop bands from when I was >10.

At this point in time I am sat in the passenger seat of the car. Still feeling sick and achy. The window wipers are in use and we are about to drive off. There’s no point to this post for you. There’s no message that you are reading until the end for. It just is what it is.

Lifestyle · Mind · spirituality

10 Recent Realisations

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It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post. There’s a reason for that. I guess it’s partly a lack of motivation but right now I’m putting more effort into writing my book, making things and writing nice things for my Instagram posts (sarahnityxo if you are interested). I have discovered my love for writing poetry. I like how disordered it can be. It doesn’t need to rhyme and it doesn’t need to make perfect sense. I like how I can put my feelings into a few lines and somehow it just works. I also like taking photos for it and editing them.

I’ve come to some realisations recently and I want to share them.

  1. I’m not that much of a great writer. I enjoy it but I have a lot to learn and so I am.
  2. Struggle is there for a reason. To help us grow.
  3. Meditation can be done (almost) anywhere, like on a train.
  4. There is a little path down to the lake that I have wanted to go towards for years and it is wonderful down there.
  5. I have to nuture my spiritual side in order for me to feel fulfilled in life.
  6. London still continues to delight and excite me. Camden Town is amazing.
  7. Making new friends and connecting with people you just click with is more important than focusing on those you don’t.
  8. Positive feelings can be almost as overwhelming as negative ones.
  9. I won’t be able to exercise unless I actually do! It’s literally one of the biggest challenges to get myself to do any!
  10. Working is more enjoyable when I focus on other parts of it such as connecting with people.
Lifestyle · Mind · spirituality

Abundance And Fulfilment

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It’s been a while, I know.

I’ve been going through some kind of transformation. You see, when you get into a dark place one of two things happen. You either continue to spiral downwards until you see no reason to live or you search for a small flicker and slowly climb towards it until it fills up your being.

I chose the latter.

Winter is a bad time for me. I get pretty low. As we draw further away from it, so does my mind. It’s metaphorical for me. It helps lift the strain that chains down my body in the cold and dark corner of my cage. I saw that light. It was a firefly and it asked me to follow it.

I gave in to my emotions. I gave in what I truly wanted, after searching for so long. Out of pain and struggle comes amazing growth. After giving into the divine, my inner voice spoke. It told me to write. To write everything that I had been holding on to. That I can write the book that I have wanted to for months. Lines of clarity and pureness spilled out from my heart, through my veins, unleashed out of my nerve endings at my fingertips and appeared delicately in front of me. Words blanketed empty spaces and I began to feel whole. A fulfilment that has called out for me like a baby crying for it’s mother.

My writing is well under way now.

Thanks for those who have stuck by me during this time. I appreciate and love you all so much. My ultimate dream is to feel abundance and fulfilment. I want that for you to in whatever way you desire. Nameste. x

Lifestyle

Twenty-Third Day Of Blogmas // Farewell 

I’m really tired today! Just one more day until I am off work. Every year when it comes around I wish I wasn’t working this week so next year I will take a whole week off. I’d much rather be at home watching Christmas movies than working my butt off just to get done a little earlier.

I don’t like the couple of days before Christmas when I’m working and I don’t like how much I really want it to be Christmas Day. Time just seems to get slower on these last two days! Gah!

I’m sorry that I don’t have anything interesting to say today. After work tomorrow I am having to drive my sister home, which takes 45 minutes one way, so I’m going to be shattered and not available to write a blog post. Therefore, this will be my last Blogmas post. Thankfully, that is. It hasn’t been all bad but I’ve definitely lost sleep because of it.

I wish you health and happiness and a very merry Christmas! 

Lifestyle

Twenty-Second Day Of Blogmas // Best Christmas As A Teen + What I Am Doing This Year

I like freedom a lot and I don’t value tradition that highly. I’m not one to create rules and I like to not be held down by too many plans either. So one Christmas was particularly memorable because we did our own thing. It was just my Mum, my sister and I. I wasn’t big on Christmas dinner and neither was Mum. So she asked me what food I actually wanted and we had tomato soup and bread to dip in. That was one of my favourites until it started giving me acid reflux. I had also bought my mum two Megadeth CDs and we actually listened to them whilst we were eating lunch.

It was different, chilled and really nice. I do like to spend more time around my family at Christmas but on the actual day I like nothing more than just spending it with Carl and Jasper (my dog). It makes it just about us. There are no obligations and we can do exactly what we want to do. That was what this Christmas was like. Stress free, unchaotic and full of freedom. That’s one thing I love about my Mum. She has always given me a lot of freedom.

I can’t wait to see Carl opening his presents from me. I can’t even write what I got because I don’t want to spoil them for him but I’m really excited as I put effort into them. I also can’t wait to see what my presents are. I’ve been feeling them and can guess a few, like DVDs, but can’t figure out exactly what I’ve got. 

I feel like a little kid swept up into the magic of Christmas! I’ve been feeling way more optimistic about life recently and Christmas falls into that category. I’m also really looking forward to the new year. I have lots of ideas for my blog and my book that I am (slowly) writing. It’s about a journey so in order to write it I need motivation that comes from experiences that I have! So much to look forward to. I’m even going on holiday next year and it’s our 5 year anniversary in June. 

I’ll stop babbling now and get some sleep! 3 more sleeps and 2 more days at work to go! x

Lifestyle

Twenty-First Day Of Blogmas // Vegan Cakes, Being Accepted And Quote 3/3

Today’s quote is really true for me:

‘Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given, when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.’ -Joan Winmill Brown

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At work our manager put a huge box of sweets and chocolates together for everyone. There were large Toblerones, tubes of Fruit Pastilles and stuff like that. Nothing I could eat. I was surprised when she handed me an envelope. She said someone had told her that I didn’t eat dairy (I assumes they told her I was vegan). So I got a Santa Mini Moo and some jelly beans. I had to look up the jelly beans to see if they were vegan. They were by Jelly Belly. They don’t contain gelatin and they are vegetarian but they do contain beeswax, which makes them so shiny and smooth on the outside. Still, I took them home and gave them to Carl. I’m not complaining. I know it’s hard to know what to look out for when you aren’t vegan yourself.

I was actually really happy as I don’t expect it at all. When someone brought in some Christmas biscuits they also brought in some Oreos for me. When someone made a chocolate sleigh, they made sure they had dark chocolate as well as milk. When that same person made fairy cakes, they made them vegan. When someone who is lactose intolerant made a yule log, they made it fully vegan so the other vegan and I could also eat it. Everything vegan that others have brought in has been really tasty. It feels really good that people don’t want to leave us vegans out. Other people ate the cakes as well and they all said they were really good!

I’m feeling very grateful right now. When I first decided to become vegan in February, I was worried that people wouldn’t accept me. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? It’s made me less afraid to share my values with others. It’s wonderful.

I was a little late writing this post but I will again make sure to write another one tonight! x

Lifestyle · spirituality

20th Day Of Blogmas // How I’m Doing, Spirituality + Quote 2/3

 

I will begin with today’s Christmas quote. I like this one a lot. It’s a really sweet concept.

‘I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.’ – Harlan Miller

Today was a good day. I was at work and had a good day?! I know, I need to sit down! People were in a good mood. Even I was in a good mood, once I’d woken properly. I think it has a little to do with Christmas but more to do with me thinking more positively and trying not to focus on the bad, without forcing myself to feel happy. Yeah, it’s complicated. I just spoke really nicely to myself and tried to support myself. I was recently getting increasingly stressed, as I often do, and hit a point where I couldn’t take anymore, as I always do, and decided to try something new.

I am also reading a new book called The Celestine Prophecy. I haven’t gotten all that far but it’s really making me think about life and purpose but in a good way and not in the way that leads me to having a weekly existential crisis. I can’t wait to learn more. I am really getting into spirituality. Previously, it was an illogical thing that I didn’t think truly existed but after yoga, meditation, therapy and a lot of reading, I’ve been experiencing things that I haven’t before. Things that make life worth living because there is more than just working to live and suffering. I let myself suffer. It’s becoming very clear to me. It’s something that I didn’t even notice for most of my life. I am actually enjoying getting older. I’m learning more about myself everyday and experiencing new things internally. I’m growing as a person in ways I never thought possible to me. The reasons behind my bad moods are becoming more obvious.

I’m also trying not to dwell on the things I lack in my life. I still have dreams but I am not seeing them as things I don’t have right now but things I can have one day and I’m trying to be okay with where I am now.

So that’s where I am today. Not a very Chrismas-y post but I wanted to share how I am feeling. Five days to go! I am truly excited! x

Lifestyle

19th Day Of Blogmas // Christmas Every Other Year? + Quote 1/3

It’s getting really close now! I’m just happy because working around Christmas often means we get to go home a little earlier!

I was tagged to do the 3 day Christmas quote challenge a few days ago and thought I’d start each post with a quote. So todays is:

‘Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful,’ – Norman Vincent Peale

Ah, how lovely!

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We all know a human grumpy cat.

Today at work someone said that we should have Christmas every other year instead and a couple of others agreed. It made me sad that they don’t enjoy Christmas. Perhaps they don’t like to spend time with their family or they just don’t like to spend money. Or perhaps they just don’t like the hassle of it or have had too many bad Christmases. The truth is you can make it how you want it. You define it how you want it to be, whether you have had a bad experience or a good. Whether you want to go all out or not, it’s up to you. That’s the way I look at it anyway. I’ve often not felt bothered about it so I can sympathise a little but this year I have made it a priority to be Christmas positive and it has paid off so far. I used to see a large build up for just one day. Now I see an enjoyable season. I used to see a time where family interaction was forced. Now I see a time to catch up and relax with relatives, as I have always chosen to visit them. It was never forced. But, hey, maybe that’s just me.

I am starting to plan ahead for the next year. So far I am planning a holiday with Carl, going to see Aerosmith on their last tour at Download Festival, yoga classes (they start back 9th Jan), changing the dates of my outgoing payments, deciding when I am going to have annual leave and lots of other things. I just want to get everything organised in preparation for the new year. It’s nearly 2017!

I hope that you are having a lovely Monday and are getting excited for the weekend. x