Thursday, December 13, 2012

It feels like dying

Having Celiac Sprue disease fucking sucks. I cannot stress this enough. I don't eat out, not even at friend's or families houses. I can't. My body can't take it. I'm scared to weigh myself; I don't want to know what I'm wasting away to.

I suppose I should explain what this bullshit is: Long story short, if I ingest 3 molecules or more of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, my body declares all out war on itself for about a month. I'm talking about a single, solitary crumb, a grain of flour for Christ's sake.

And for about 3-4 weeks, it's nothing but stomach cramps that render me immobile, simultaneous constipation AND diarrhea (you don't even know how to imagine that, do you?), vomiting, involuntary anorexia (because eating ANYTHING during this time hurts worse than starvation), even more stomach cramping, and to top it all off, I don't have a fucking clue what did it to me. I know I sure as shit didn't eat a piece of bread or drink a beer or something stupid like that. Could have been a crumb under my fingernail (I have a bad habit of biting them), could have been a cross-contaminated fork or some bullshit.

Because the thing is, I'm not allergic to gluten. I don't swell up right away or immediately start puking. See, that would actually be preferable, because then I could say, "okay, I'm never fuckin eating THAT again," but that's not how it works. Anywhere from 24-48 hours after I get glutaminated (that's my word, but feel free to use it), I'll start having the stomach cramps from hell. But I don't know which one of the things I ate in the 2 days prior that betrayed me.

I was born with this, but wasn't diagnosed until 2 years ago. Doctors said I wasn't too far from irreversible damage. Now for some technical jargon: inside your intestines are these little tree like things called villi. They're the things that absorb nutrients and vitamins and all the shit that makes you healthy. When they did the endoscopy on me, the doctor said, "it looks like someone clear-cut your forest." All my villi were gone. But the body is an amazing thing, and they assured me, as long as I didn't ingest anymore gluten, my intestines would repair itself.

The problem is, every 3-4 months or so, some crumb or something gets in my system. I got glutaminated somewhere around Thanksgiving, and I still haven't recovered. I've spent most of this week either on the toilet, or crumpled up in the fetal position begging for a quick death.

I'm not joking about that last part. I've been depressed and suicidal before, and this is nothing like that. I'm happy with my life, and ending it is not something I've contemplated in well over a decade. But when it feels like you're dying, when every breath, every sip of water, every waking moment hurts, you start to think, "fuck you, death! If you're gonna do it, just do it already!" I don't want to die, but holy fuck, this pain is intense. I just want it to end.

*I am not suicidal. I promise. This just sucks.*

edited to add: I usually weigh around 145-150. I'm down to 119. I've lost over 20 pounds in 3 weeks. Also, this is my favorite shirt.