A Wonderful Celiac knowledgable doctor at just the right time.
To Dr. Heidi Hook I went. She was a happy medium between the wacky doctor and Kaiser. She used blood tests to diagnose like Kaiser did, but she was trained in Holistic Medicine while also being a medical doctor.
It was refreshing, like a load lifted from my shoulders. Dr. Heidi spent 90 minutes with me trying to get to the bottom of my health problems. I truly felt like she was trying to heal my Celiac disease, not just prescribe me some new pill to quickly get me out of her office. The blood tests came back confirming what the wacky doctor said…and even more. I had 200 foods tested through these blood tests and ended up being allergic to mostly everything except meat, vegetables, and nuts. I was even allergic to RICE, my favorite food of all time with a close second of cookies and cream ice cream.
Knowing these specific allergenic foods helped tremendously. Dr. Heidi’s basic philosophy is that if you heal the gut, the rest of the body will heal itself…and it was worth a try.
I noticed a huge difference and my body began to heal itself.
I was taking some supplements that she recommended, specifically vitamin D and a probiotic. And, I also cut out every food that I showed an allergy to. My diet was very restricted, but I could tell my body needed a break from the foods antagonizing it. That meant no eating out at restaurants, and no exceptions to the food diet.
Extended family wasn’t all that helpful. I don’t think they believed me or could comprehend the anguishing nature of my pain. Specifically they didn’t buy into my “alternative” medicine theory after having a lifetime feeding at the nipple of western medicine. Some people went along with my special needs (but I know they went back to their house and mocked what they thought was my ridiculous restrictions). Others just ignored my needs and told me that the food they prepared for me was perfectly safe for me to eat. Then after eating it, I cried all night long in pain. I can’t say I “cried myself to sleep” because I could never sleep when the toxins were in my system. My body began to vibrate, get inflamed and sharp acid burning pains began to eat through my small intestine. Yep, thanks for the food. Needless to say, I began bringing my own pre-made food everywhere I went. I’d just bring a little tupperware sized meal of meat and vegetables with no seasonings during Christmas, Easter, special occasions, you name it…
Two years later:
Fast forward about two years on the same restricted diet, taking the same vitamin D and probiotic and I eventually felt like my body was back to the foundation of where it should be. But anytime I explored new food or changed my diet, the pain and symptoms returned.
Luckily, I found a new supplement named “Celiact” that changed my life. It contains the exact minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that us Celiacs need and are deficient in. I began to eat small amounts of dairy, soy, corn and RICE without any repercussions. I could go out to dinner now and enjoy my family without having to be the weird one with the diet restrictions. Yes, I could even eat ice cream again!
Now, I still haven’t tried wheat because I’m too scared of the consequences. Dr. Heidi Hook was right. She told me that if I heal my gut, that in time I should be able to introduce many of the foods back into my life and it was happening.
Honestly, I’m happy just being gluten free now. I don’t have a desire to eat wheat, it’s just not my thing. Plus my wife is such an amazing cook that I feel blessed to be eating her food, and wheat is just an afterthought now.
How I feel today:
Well, as of today its been officially 4 years and I feel like a regular 35 year old. I have my health issues, but my pain is gone, my diet isn’t restricted, and I possess my mind again. I feel like I’ve been reborn. Like God has given me a new life to conquer, a new passion has emerged and I have a desire to be a better person.
My politics have changed. If I was so wrong about Western Medicine vs. Holistic Medicine, then what else could I be wrong about? I’m on a quest to find real Truth. In all my pain, in all my ups and downs, two things were by my side the entire way. God and Shanti. They are responsible for me writing this right now, for they are responsible for me being here right now. There were days when I cried out to God to take me home and when I didn’t feel God at my side, Shanti was always there sacrificing her days and nights to comfort me and talk me down. And as I look back, God WAS there carrying me, meeting my needs in the form of my angelic wife, embracing me when I needed it most.
There are people who claim to have died and seen God and then returned to Earth with a new found purpose and calling. Even though I don’t have some “white light” story, I feel like I do have a new life. There are some absolutes that I have come to grips with. God is real and God is true, but I don’t think religion is. That is, religion is man made, but my relationship with God is personal and pure. Many won’t understand this, but I recommend that you search God out before assuming He isn’t real. Lastly, Love is an action and not a feeling (Shanti embodied true love and I owe my life to her. Her tender devotion kept me fighting each day).
My kids also deserve my thanks.
They had to deal with a father that gave everything he had, but wished he could give just a little more. Each day they would pray for me. I can’t imagine the stress they were under as they watched their father waste away in a slow painful deterioration. They didn’t give up hope and they are a huge reason I never gave up. I love each one of them and am so proud of the character that has been built in the process.
Lastly, I plead with you. Give your spouse, your kids, your loved ones and friends a hug tonight. What has God laid on your heart? What has he gently placed on the surface of your soul? In the midst of pain and suffering, just remember that a broken heart is sometimes what is needed to allow the item God has placed upon it to fall into your heart and make you full. May the rest of your life be the best of your life…and may you live life as a Life Made Full.
If you’re looking for a naturopath in your area, HERE is a list of reader-recommended Naturopathic Doctors around the country.
Have you had struggles with your health? Share your story with us or leave me a comment so I know I’m not just talking to a wall here.