A couple of days ago I received a call that made me happily jump up and down in my office. It’s been the best news in over 4 years for me now and I couldn’t be more thankful for it!
I realized that I dropped a few statements about my health conditions every now and then but I never actually told you about where I come from and why I am where I am regarding my health, body and relationship with food and exercise
In the middle of January I told you I had to undergo a medical examination and that I had to prepare for it and so on. I’ll need to reach back a little that you can understand the full impact of this news. If you can’t handle a few juicy details I would recommend to stop reading here. As the story really is a mouthful I will divide it into two parts.
Part I – The Beginning
Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts we’re about to take off for a little throwback…
I’ve always been a little picky with eating. In retrospective everything fits together but at the time being these were all just single puzzle pieces and little hints of me being a fussy eater or me being a bit “difficult”. Until the age of 3 I ate noting but mashed potatoes.In primary school I never ate the lunch my mum packed but let it untouched in my locker or threw it away. And I remember that when I went on vacation with family friends I ate almost nothing and dropped a size in the course of two weeks. Same happened on every single school trip. I wouldn’t eat for almost a week.
Most food just appalled me. For meat I only ate chicken. Almost no fruit besides strawberries and don’t even ask about veggies. I ate plain rice, plain potatoes, cereals and bread. Nothing else. I liked fuzzy soda and sweets and due to that I gained weight until I was an overweight 12-year-old girl. My mum tried to feed me better food but I just refused to eat it. It was crap food or no food so they gave in and it was crap food. Everyone in my family was a little overweight besides my sister. But she’d been a preemie and had always been a little different from the rest of us. But due to these genes it hadn’t been such a big deal that I was not super skinny.
Then things changed.
I remember the exact night when I first felt the impact of my illness. I was 12 years old and babysitting. I usually slept the night there as the mum came home so late from work. I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst stomach pain I had ever experienced and couldn’t go back to sleep. I just lay there curled up and prayed that it would go over. Eventually it did but it came back accompanied by the symptoms of a heavy gastro-enteritis. My mum was worried after a few days and took me to the doctor. He said it was the flu and I needed to rest and to re-hydrate. Nothing changed. We saw a holy lot of doctors within the next months but nobody could help.
I stopped eating when I knew I had to leave the house because I felt uncomfortable and uneasy when I had no access to a toilet. I still needed to go to school so I didn’t eat for most of the time. I dropped weight. I looked like a zombie. I fell asleep everywhere. I had no energy and my social life didn’t even start to develop. How can a 13-year-old girl explain the changing cloths she’s carrying around all the time? Or going to the bathroom 4 times an hour? You just don’t have to pee that much!
By the age of thirteen finally there was a doctor who recognized the symptom and sent me to a specialist who diagnosed me with Ulcerative Colitis which is a CIBD. It’s related with the better known Crohn’s disease. It’s an autoimmune disease which means my body fights itself by causing inflammations within the colon. I was diagnosed with Pancolitis which means involvement of the entire colon. People usually develop the symptoms between 25 and 45 years of age which made my diagnosis a process of almost a whole year!
I was treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppression. Over a course of two more years I felt better and was a pretty normal girl. I tried to forget about my health condition. I was so happy that I was absolutely normal again. And I ate! I made up for the two years of not eating by eating everything in my reach. I gained weight. And it got more every year. I worried a little about my figure but more in the way of looks rather than health.
When I was 17 I met my boyfriend (now husband). He’s 30 cm taller than me and of course he ate a lot more than I did. We both liked to eat and had huge take-aways and when we cooked we cooked heavy meals with cream, cheese, carbs and fats. And we both gained more. In 2009 by the age of 24 I reached my highest weight. At that point I never stepped on the scale so even if I wanted to tell you about it I could only assume how much it was. Then things got worse….