28 October 2013

Reading Labels

I've become a label reader.

I remember taking a marketing survey, once, that asked me if I read labels when grocery shopping. At the time, I thought the inference was for counting calories. That's the last thing I need to do. I need to gain weight. Throw those labels to the wind and bring on the calories

Since my last post about Crohns, I have encountered more new food intolerances. I would say that my first noticeable food intolerance EVER was MSG. Can't handle it! Major bloatation and eruption. Then came the sugar intolerance this winter... and dairy, and tomatoes, and eggs, then wheat (though I am officially not celiac)! Just last week I discovered that soy was last thing I had failed to remove that was causing me problems (it was hidden in my multi-vitamins).

My naturopath recommended that I complete a full stool analysis (TMI, I know). The results came back with no parasites, no yeast, and good absorption. All great news! But I have no natural growth of lactobacillus probiotics in my gut, and instead have a large growth of harmful bacteria. Normally they would recommend taking an atiobiotic to clear out these bad bacteria colonies, but since I was on a series of antibiotics shortly before my stool test was conducted it likely wouldn't help. So my naturopath recommended an elimination diet and supplements.

Pretty sure my body was naturally putting me on my own elimination diet! For good measure though, I started a GAPS Intro diet, to which I've added elemental shakes. This elimination process has been going on since May, but I've really seen the best progress in the last week. Needless to say, I am now a label reader for life. Checking for sugars, soy, and MSG. If all goes as planned, I should be able to overcome all of my food intolerances by healing my leaky gut.

This journey has not, NOT, been easy. I have avoided social situations because they revolve around food I can't eat. My hubby and I both have a hard time explaining to family why I can't eat certain things and what I can have, because it's just easier for me to make my own meals and know exactly what went into each dish. It's hard to plan for vacations or even weekend trips to visit Scott on rotation because I have to worry about potentially eating something that will make me ill for days. But I love how I feel my body recovering, illegal foods aren't as tempting any more, and I'm getting used to being that hippie foodie. In the end, it's about healing. If that is even possible to do with food, and I'm seeing that it is, than I'll embrace the hippie... and the label reading.

21 October 2013

Med School Update: Elective

If you know my husband, you know that he loves sports. He loves to play sports, most especially, but watching sports is a frequent past-time of his as well. From the very beginning of medical school, before we had even arrived really, Scott would say that he imagined himself going into sports medicine as a specialty. He didn't even know what that would entail. He just liked the idea of working with athletes, and if it meant he could watch a game on the sidelines as team physician, that didn't hurt either!
As Scott began his rotations this year, he began to have a better idea of how he wanted to practice, no matter what specialty he eventually chose to pursue as a career. He's discovered that he prefers to work in outpatient clinic settings, as opposed to large hospitals. He would like to incorporate osteopathic manual manipulation (OMM) into his daily practice, because he likes working with musculoskeletal problems and giving patients some immediate pain relief in a natural way. He continues to think that sports medicine is the way to have a practice with these aspects, but is open to other possibilities including Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R).
This last rotation was Scott's elective, which he set up with a former Western University graduate who now works in Portland as a sports medicine/family physician. This doctor happens to be the team physician for a hockey team in Portland, and he works in an office where other physicians have team physician responsibilities in the area. This doctor, also happens to have Tuesdays off on his schedule. So Scott didn't have to go into the clinic on Tuesday's. This inspired Scott to tell me that when he grows up, he'd like to take Wednesday's off. "Then I could work two days, and take a break. Work two days, and take a break."
It was clear, pretty early on, that this rotation was different for Scott. It may have been the first or second day when we had this exciting text conversation:

Scott: [This doctor] does a lot of OMM.
Me: That's cool! You should ask him if he has an problems reimbursing for OMM.
Scott: Nope
Scott: And he listens to ESPN radio during the day.
Me: Wow! I'm surprised you haven't already declared this your dream job!
Scott: It's never good to declare.
Scott: I'll be going to a hockey game with him too.
Me: You're so special!
Scott: Thanks hon!

The picture above is when Scott attended the hockey game with his preceptor. Scott hasn't "declared" his future career in words, but in my mind it's close enough.