You know, how they say, there is something good about every bad thing? Try to see the positive side. Well, I’m trying hard to see the positive in all of this, and the only thing that comes to mind is, that it’s a learning opportunity. Because, if nothing else, it has been that. Let me rewind a bit.
It is early June. I’m on a drive somewhere. It may have been on the way home from CrossFit. I am feeling a pain in my side, upper right abs, just under my ribcage. I apply some pressure to assess the pain. It’s not sore muscles despite the gazillion sit ups I just did. This feels like gut pain… like intestinal pain. But it’s not a very strong pain, so I dismiss it. The pain doesn’t go away. As a matter of fact, it’s still there a day later, but now it’s spread kind of all around where I assume to be my large intestine. I pay close attention to it, but because food doesn’t seem to make it better or worse, I still dismiss it.
Days later I’m starting to lose a little energy, the pain increases, and I’m feeling a little sick. A visit to my paleo doctor brings no immediate answers, and the stool test results a couple of days later give no conclusion either. Must be some digestive thing. Wait it out, he says.
Late June it’s time to go on vacation. I feel okay… not great, but the excitement about redwood trees and beaches and smores is too big for me to worry much about that nagging pain in my gut.
The story continues into July. I am getting weaker, and on some days I am downright sick. It’s a good thing I work from home. I spent the better part of my days sitting on my couch, and working on my laptop. No CrossFit for me. I can barely stay awake until 9pm.
Four days ago, feeling unbelievably weak and groggy, with no energy left, I finally dragged my sad little self back to the doctor’s office and reported on my problems, and that I’m not leaving until he figures out what the heck is wrong with me. My doctor asked me for symptoms, shook his head, scratched his imaginary beard, looked at me long and hard… Then he checked my labs again, and finally mumbled, “Oh, I may have ignored something last time.”
Now, this is where it gets interesting. Ignored something? Why yes, this something is a parasite with lovely name of blastocystis hominis, a single cell, algae like thing. It goes unnoticed in many people, because often times it comes without symptoms. If people do develop symptoms, they happen to match mine 100%! After a long conversation with the doctor, he names my options.
1) Go on an all meat diet for a week to 10 days. No onions in my burger. No eggs. No veggies. No fruit.
I went home determined to eat nothing but meat for a week. Of course, about five hours later I was whining, because my dinner of ground beef with a little bit of salt and pepper was anything but satisfying. I started doing some research, asked for opinions, and was told by some other professionals in no uncertain terms, that meat alone will NOT cure this thing.
By Day 2 of my all meat diet I was done. Sorry, Doctor, it’s a no can do. I looked up all the supplements and things that others in my position were taking, and by evening also came to the conclusion that nobody out there on the world wide web was kicking this blasted blasto in the butt without an antibiotic. I called my doctor, asked for the prescription, and he happily called it in, of course.
I am now on my second day of AB. I’m regaining some energy, although I’m still in pain. I’m also taking L-Glutamine to repair my intestinal lining, and also magnesium, and a probiotic. I’m eating sauerkraut, and I’m drinking kombucha and water kefir. Never together with the AB. I take the AB three times a day with my main meals. The probiotics mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
We will see how this thing turns out. I read that some people struggle with this for weeks, months, and even years. Good luck to me, eh?