Medical Appointments. All who think they are a dread say I! They should be called waiting appointments instead. During the past few months I’ve had my fair share of them, some better than others. Finding a new doctor in the Midlands area near my home in Columbia was exorbitantly harder than it would seem! More so, finding a specialist, such as a gynecologist? Might as well not even try. I’m not a pessimist, but after calling over ten OB/GYNs in the area, all I was able to get were appointments a month away. Hospital it was, if anything were to go drastically wrong in the time between. Since I wasn’t getting in an office anytime soon, I made an appointment for the most renowned OB/GYN office in Columbia. Go big or go home right?  Where do people go around here for a specialist?

When it came to family doctors, I called around and was able to get an appointment the next week with a doctor close by with a decent reputation (score!). I was told that I had to get a kidney ultrasound. The ultrasound is to see that your kidneys are working in tip-top-shape. After attending UF for four years and embracing the part-time alcoholism afforded to me during such ;), I was in betwixt and in between if anything may be a tidge off. I was told that one hour prior to the ultrasound, you have to “drink at LEAST 32 oz of water…and HOLD IT!” by the nurse that I spoke with over the phone. Yes Ma’am!

At the site, the lady doing the ultrasound on me was very…unsociable. Whether or not she was trained to be like that in order to come off professional is unknown to me, but having an ultrasound previously I know that I have indeed had friendlier. She pressed down on my kidneys,  so hard it hurt. Needed or not, it wasn’t pleasant. The bladder part of the ultrasound was just downright uncomfortable! As they press down on it you just about think you’ll pee yourself! (As I did not have a bladder infection at the time, I now wonder how bad it is for those who do..)

Now, you know what is most dreaded? The look I term as the “Sourpuss Face”. When the technician looks at something they’ve found to be unsatisfactory. In my case, and by law, the technicians aren’t allowed to tell you if they have found anything, good or bad. Hogwash I say! Would they rather I die of a stroke in anticipation? Now as I am Mrs. Super Sleuth, I was watching her notes as she typed from shot to shot on the wee little screen. Psh, and I need glasses!
If only I knew Morris code, as much of it looked as such. What was readily apparent was her consistent typing of “left ovary” or “LT OVARY.” This visit was for a kidney and bladder ultrasound. My anatomy may need some brushing up but lets face it, ovaries aren’t what she was intending to look at, or so I should only assume by the reason I was sent to get the ultrasound.

Ovary…left…left ovary…it kept repeating over and over in my mind, and on her damn keyboard! Does it really need to be repeated so many times in multiple shots? ..Am I missing a left ovary? Is that even anatomically possible, to be born with only one ovary?  Wouldn’t my OB/GYN have told me if something was wrong? I could have sworn I just had a pap smear with negative results…LIES! …or…is my ovary interfering with my bladder performance, stealin’ the spotlight are we? Is THAT even possible? Do ovaries correlate with bladder effectiveness and I just didn’t know it? I should get out the anatomy book when I get home…

All of this ran through my mind as the ultrasound went on. Not to worry I told myself, she simply could have just been noting what side the picture was taken on..using the ovaries as a baseline. Possible. Not probable. Until proven otherwise, I’m going with that, since to my knowledge my kidneys are lookin’ fiiiiiine.

The only need for looking at my kidneys via the ultrasound was a preliminary check before sending me off to a urologist, due to recurrent UTIs in the past years. New doctor, new inquiries, and having medical insurance I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see how the ‘ol kidneys are doing. (Writing this after getting feedback from the results, I know that this specific ultrasound may have eventually saved my life in the long run.) Any woman who has ever experienced a UTI will tell you that, quite possibly next to labor, it is the most pain a female may have to deal with in her life. As NOTHING, I mean prescription strength or non, can help alleviate the symptoms until you strangle a doctor for some antibiotics; nothing is just strong enough to get directly into the Urinary Tract and Bladder to stop the infection, or at least calm it down enough to still the symptoms. Some medications lessen it but let me tell you, not well enough by any means.

Waiting two days for the results, even if you are 99.99% sure that there is nothing wrong with your kidneys, is borderline excruciating. Never to fear however, I have ALL of the fluff to keep my mind off of the medical for now. =D

“Fear is a part of life. It’s a warning mechanism. That’s all. It tells you when there’s danger around. Its job is to help you survive. Not cripple you into being unable to do it.”


No bread?!

Whenever I tell someone that I am Gluten-Free, and the person to whom I’m speaking with does not know about Celiac disease or gluten intolerance (which most people don’t), they look at me quizzically. So I then follow with “I don’t eat wheat, like what’s in bread.”Now, to this I have been given the most perplexed and judgmental looks. Even the more intelligent sorts have asked me time and time again “how do you survive?” To which, I answer, how DID people do it before the harvest of grains? You would think that humanity would have ceased to exist before such! Surely you can live off of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fresh meat, but since we are indeed living in the twenty first century, there have been many advancements in the realm of gluten-free foods.

I, as well as Eric, do not have Celic Disease (an allergy to gluten that can scar and break down the small intestine), but have learned the importance of  a gluten-free diet. Now, although i strongly support such do to the research proving that it can do more harm than good to your body over time, I don’t discourage eating a diet of healthy grains which include gluten such as oats, whole wheat, barley, etc.  For me, being gluten-free wasn’t as tough as one may think. Just think fresh, clean, and healthy. Say a meal of lean chicken, vegetables and rice. Quinoa has proved to be a perfect grain, as well as buckwheat, both with an ample amount of protein, fiber, and branch chain amino acids. Keeping processed foods in mind, there are many great brown rice pasta alternatives that are gluten-free, Eric and I both love the various brown rice pasta from Trinkyada. There are also an abundant amount of meal/snack bars that are gluten free, I personally love Pure Bars as they aren’t costly and have such a rich, exquisite flavor with no chalky taste as many “healthy” bars do. If you’re a bread lover, Udi’s gluten-free foods is a great gluten-free read alternative, but there are many different brands of gluten-free bread choices, and Betty Crocker even has a gluten-free boxed cake mix which is quite good!

Now, remember i’m psychic? 😉 You’re asking yourself why you would ever want to go through the trouble to become gluten-free. If only Burger King had a gluten-free whopper, yes? You can still enjoy every delicous meal on a gluten-free diet, and many recipes can be adjusted to be gluten-free, such as using rice flour instead of wheat flour. Did you know that gluten stays in the body for a total of twelve weeks?! Day by day the gluten slowly inflames your intestines even after it digests, which can give a person a bloated feeling.  I know after being gluten-free for over a month I felt an extreme difference. I felt lighter, healthier, and had a substantial increase in energy.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a “cleanse” or weight loss diet in itself,  but it does help with weight loss in that a gluten-free diet is high in fiber and doesn’t include the sugary, processed carbohydrates that bloat and cause water retention. No body wraps or diuretics needed! YES, there is a way to lessen the water retention! (for the time-of-the-month-days for my women out there, you’ll see a difference during those times too, trust me.) And if you have ever suffered from IBS, gluten free may be your island getaway from the frequent bathroom trips. TMI? Yes, but true. A better diet, as well as less inflammation in the bowels, adds up to less IBS. (I also highly recommend probiotics in conjunction with a gluten-free diet, as it helps to increase the natural, healthy flora in the gut.)

Ultimately, being gluten-free has been highly advantageous to both I and Eric’s lives. Not buying highly processed or prepackaged meals, we prepare and cook meals together which can be a fun and creative time for the both of us. We follow mostly a “cave man” diet as Eric terms it, meaning lean meat, vegetables, fruit, and minimal grain, which is very form fitting with our gluten-free lifestyle. It’s truly cost-effective as well as healthier in the long run. I would encourage all of you to try it, if only for a month, and feel the difference a gluten-free diet can make!

In this kingdom, the queen did not indeed let us eat bread. A quest embarked on, but not finished.


Thanks for visiting!

If you are a weightlifter, strongman, exercise enthusiast, or just looking for a good read, do head over to Eric's blog RIGHT HERE..
He is my inspiration in more ways than one, especailly when it comes to pursuing my writing.

Oh, you know you want to be stronger, doesn't everyone? ;)

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