...all you have to do is have an unidentified digestive problem that prevents you from eating and/or holding down any food or liquid for days on end....and....wa la! Instant weight loss.
Actually, it's not really very funny at all, and I've spent too much wasted time worrying about what may or may not actually be wrong with my husband, so I'm not going to devote much more time here. In a nutshell, Glen has always had a weak digestive system. He's always been quite susceptible to stomach stuff. Since Thanksgiving, though, he has had this (as yet) unidentified problem that runs in cycles. We've thought detoxing (he had recently changed his diet for the better right before the onset), food poisoning (realized the odds of that happening so many times in so many weeks...probably not), stomach bug (hmmm...odds are slim that only he would catch it...over and over and over), ibs (symptoms don't really fit), chrone's disease (again, symptoms don't totally fit), to what I tend to think the problem is. Giardia. One little word. Life, as we know it, comes to a stand still. Think one day feeling totally fine, next minute, the onset of symptoms you know is the beginning of what you hope is only a day or so of feeling miserable beyond words. I will you spare you the details (google it if you are so inclined...be warned), but suffice it to say that it's bad. What makes it really hard, though, is finding a doctor that will actually listen and try and find out what's wrong, not just try and give you a pill to alleviate the symptoms. Don't get me wrong, I very much want my sweet husband to feel better, but even more, I desperately want to find out what is wrong with him, causes him to not be able to drink even a small cup of water without vomiting or going to the bathroom all night long, unable to eat anything for days, hardly able to walk for weakness, and caused him to lose close to 30 pounds basically since Christmas. It started out him only feeling bad for a day or so here or there, then fine for awhile. But this last episode has had him sick since last Saturday. He was finally more normal last night, although he did throw up again a little this morning. Anyway. He's feeling better now.
So...giardia. Traveller's sickness. It's actually quite common, a lot of people get it and don't even know that they have it and their body takes care of on its own, but for some reason (weakened digestive immunity?) some people are floored with it. The reason I tend to think that's his problem is two fold. The first being that he went to see a lady that does electro-dermal screening and that's what popped up on her findings. We'd never heard of it before and up until that point had been baffled. I looked it up online and the symptoms fit exactly. She wanted to treat it herbally. Okay....if he could actually keep anything down and we had time to do it that way. Treating it that way can take awhile. Plus, a good friend of mine who is very into herbs and treating things naturally said that is not really the way to deal with a parasite. Parasites are stubborn and evil and you don't want to be easy on them. Kill them and kill them fast....before they wipe you out, basically. I'm all for natural as well, until my husband is literally shriveling before my eyes. I say bring on the meds. (For all you natural healing types out there, we did try the herbal thing briefly, but quickly realized he needed treatment fast. He has been on a probiotic with immune building stuff added in for a few weeks now.)
So, visit to the family doctor. A round of flagyl. Glen is feeling better...yay! For a little while. Then it came raging back, twice as strong. This last bout has been the worst by far. (The guy is amazing, though, he has still managed most days to get out long enough to deal with his jobs, in between napping in his van and knowing where the nearest bathroom is at all times (sorry...too much information). He also stays in a sweet mood toward me and keeps a great sense of humor with the all of us...even if it is from the couch.) Okay, he calls the doctor back, they say "hmmm...maybe ibs. I say no, my research tells me probably not ibs, probably giardia as again, this is how it effects some people." Well, they don't really want to deal with it. I actually really like this doctor, but he's a family doctor, not a GI doctor, and I think they just don't really know what to do.
So, the GI doctor is finally able to see him yesterday. By this point Glen is finally feeling quite a bit better. The GI doctor doesn't think it's giardia. He says it should have shown up on their testing (my research says it is notoriously hard to test positive for, but the dr says he has a newer test that's accurate), and the flagyl should have taken care of it (my research says for some people that is definitely not the case, it takes more than one round of meds, and this stubborn parasite can actually live outside the body for a long time, so it is easy to reinfect...but whatever, he's the doctor). Fast forward to March 4 (praying he won't get sick again before then) when Glen gets to go for some oh-so-fun testing. Yuck.
Now, before you all begin to run when you see us coming, none of the rest of us have whatever this mystery is, so it's not really contagious. And trust me, in a family of 8, if someone has something contagious, someone else will get it. And, in all honesty, it could be ibs or something like that. Hopefully, prayerfully, the testing will show us what the deal is and how to help him feel better. We just want it gone. He cannot afford to lose anymore weight, actually. His pants literally fall off of him. His hips can't even hold them up, they will slide right off if he doesn't wear a belt :o) So, for whoever may read this...if you will please pray for him and that his doctor will find the problem and that it will be gone.
And one other prayer, the secret one that has really been mostly unspoken in my mind, although I have mentioned it on occassion to Glen, but I don't think he realizes how it's kept me up at night this week when I'm nursing the little boys or been lying awake listening to him in the bathroom...I have always been scared of this year. Glen's dad died of cancer when Glen was 7, and I have always had this little thought in the back of my mind that something would happen to Glen when Caleb, our oldest son was 7. I've never dwelled on it, or believed it, but it's been a little nagging thought. I've been able to keep it at bay even through the last few months, but this week...well, I've been bothered by it. We had a neighbor a few years ago, that began to get mysteriously sick, slightly, very slightly similar symptoms to Glen, and by the time they finally opened her up to find out was wrong, she was so full of cancer that that she died the following week. Now, I don't believe that is what is wrong with Glen, I don't accept it, I'm not speaking it over him or any of that stuff, I just want to know what's wrong with him and fix it. And I want a doctor that will listen to us, talk with us, and figure it out.
So anyway, prayers would be much, much appreciated. And I plan to enjoy a nice night with my husband tonight and have a fabulous time giving my sweet sister her very first baby shower on Sunday!
Updated to add...it's just celiac! Ha ha, just. But seriously, compared to not knowing, it's no.big.deal. Thank you, Jesus!
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton
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