NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Isn't That Romantic?

I know I promised a trip to Iowa for our anniversary my readers and to myself.  But, life has changed my plans...again.  A few have noticed that over the past few months I will throw out a teaser and then not report on it.  This has mostly been due to gastrointestinal health issues interrupting my plans.  I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy and endoscopy on Tuesday, but I'm pretty certain the diagnosis is going to be IBS-C combined with fructose malabsorption whether it's on Tuesday or another day.

Isn't that romantic conversation on one's 23rd wedding anniversary? My husband is one lucky guy!

I first noticed the occasional "bad day" back in the spring and by summer it was a few times a week.  Come August I was symptomatic every day, and started making appointments to see doctors.  Diet changes have helped a little, medications pretty much not at all.  I've gone from my high fiber diet filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables to a diet so stringent I struggle coming up with something to eat that won't make me suffer and have lost about 14 pounds in the process of trying to find food my system will tolerate.  So far I've got plain oatmeal, quinoa, small amounts of unseasoned meat or eggs, cheddar cheese and corn products. Seriously.  Here is a picture of my lunch at 11:00 today.  Needless to say, I'm no longer a vegetarian out of necessity.

It's almost 8:00 and I haven't eaten again because my stomach is distended and painful and due to the nature of what is going on I can't be certain whether it is from today's meal or from yesterday's piece of bread that I forced myself to eat because the GI doc wanted me to add wheat back to my diet.  Yesterday was not a good day either, but I've been eating a slice of bread one day a week in an attempt to keep some gluten in my system so they can determine if celiac is an issue.  If one slice a week for the past 2 months is not enough to diagnose the celiac...does it really matter? Celiac or wheat intolerance, all I know is that the bread makes things much worse. 

Sympathy is welcome, but please don't post any fiber or other constipation advice.  Like I told my GI doc, I was doing all the right things before the problems even began.  I drink only water, exercise daily, and ate a high fiber diet filled with quality food.  The very things that should "help" tend to only make things worse.  The constipation seems due more to slow transit, food intolerances and fermentation issues and not more standard causes.

On the bright side, I've been experimenting with gluten free cooking and I just pulled a loaf of carrot bread out of the oven. "Free at Last" by Patsy Catsos is a very detailed guide to the FODMAPS dietary concept, but when I tried the elimination diet I was symptomatic...I'll have to modify it and try again another day.

The bread for my gouda, provolone & pesto sandwich I got from the gluten free goddess blog and doubles as a pizza crust recipe. The pizza crusts and breads in the stores are HORRIBLE.  Those who need a gluten free diet, take heart and try baking it yourself, it's definitely worth the trouble!


I special ordered the book "Food Intolerance Management Plan" by Sue Sheperd because it was supposed to be the written by the expert on fructose malabsorption, but I found it to have no more information than websites I stumbled upon.  The cookie recipe was good...but most of the other recipes were too weird to even try.

Well, the sandwich, the carrot bread and the cookie are in my stomach for better or worse.  Wayne is with me for better or worse as well, and is as anxious as I am to try to get this condition managed.  Soon I'll have answers to some of my questions, but in the meantime I've got to fill up a little whether I want to or not because tomorrow it's a liquid diet!


  1. Pam, I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties. I hope your healthcare team can find the cause and a working solution for you pronto! Gentle hugs xxxx

  2. Oh what a bummer.... My son suffers from Crohns and has trouble finding things to eat that don't upset him. So I have an idea of what you must be going through. I hope that your docs can get to the bottom of the issue and get you feeling better soon!

  3. Hope a diagnosis soon leads to a treatment plan that makes life easier and returns you to the healthy life style you were once able to follow.

  4. Well, you've kept a sense of humor about it, at least :)) Even tho I'm sure it's not humorous :((
    Box Canyon Mark

    1. I'm trying to keep a sense of humor, what else can you do? After so many months it becomes more frustrating than depressing. It wasn't so humorous at first, let me tell ya!

  5. Health issues are the pits. Hope you get some relief soon.

  6. I just happened to link to you today through another blog you commented on. Your problem could very definitely be related to the foods you have been told are healthy to eat but are actually causing your problems in the first place. You just need to drastically lower your carbohydrate intake, that includes fruit and grains of all kinds and no sugars. You need to eat meat and eggs and fish, boost your proteins and healthy fats and keep daily carbs intake below 100 grams. I urge you to review this site, check out the success stories and you will see very similar stories to your own. A lot of folks have cured themselves of this ailment as well as diabetes and reflux while at the same time losing weight effortlessly and becoming fit and even keeled emotionally and energy wise. There is nothing to buy, all the info you need is available on that site and elsewhere on the web. Also check out Gary Taubes 'Good calories, Bad Calories' which is a tough read but explains the carbohydrate issue thoroughly. Just reading the reviews on Amazon will be very informative as to the thrust of the book.

    I am 58 yrs old, I started the Paleo/Primal eating regimen on Sept 1st and a simple regimen of pushups, pullups, squats and plank exercises which I do 2 or 3 times a week. I actually eat much more food per day than before but instead of oatmeal, toast, orange juice, skim milk for breakfast it's now 3 egg/cheese omelet cooked in butter, bacon or sausage, avocado, coconut and whole organic milk. Lunches and dinners are steaks, porkchops, chicken, fish with as many fresh vegetables and salads as I can stuff down. Protein shakes blended with blueberries and coconut milk. The results are phenomenal, dropped 15 lbs and put on more muscle than I have had in my entire life and I have always been an active sports type. I am back to my 28 yr old weight and will go down below that shortly, my goal is single digit body fat percentage. My energy level is greatly improved and constant, no more ebbs and flows, no food cravings or hyper manic swings I used to experience if I didn't eat. I am far more upbeat and positive emotionally. I was wondering if I was IBS myself with typically very loose bowels with periods of constipation for many years, that has gone away and frankly the stools are a different shape and texture but now regular every day.

    I know this sounds a bit crackpot, I am a skeptical person but now a believer, I don't understand why doctors do not get this. I feel cheated that I ate 'healthy' all my life with frustrating results because I believed the conventional wisdom, it's bunk and I can attest to that.

    I wish you the best of luck and hope you'll give this a try.

    here's a great place to start your research: