Thursday, August 22, 2013

Did Spanish make me healthier?

When I first got to Oregon, I did not speak any Spanish.  I only speak a teeny amount now, just enough to manage a service and say hello, but that's about it.  But still.  I embarked on a mission to learn Spanish. 

Last fall, I went to Mexico for a language immersion and learned a TON.  It definitely helped me make a leap in my Spanish comprehension- I finally "got" the idea of verb endings- and helped me really start to understand the culture.  On the downside, I picked up a bug and came home with E. Coli.  Several weeks of antibiotics later, my tummy was free of bugs. 

Around then, my GI issues flared up with a vengeance.  For a long time,  I was managing with Lactaid, antacids, allergy meds, and decongestants, desperate for relief.  Everything from lactose issues to tooth cavities to IBS to an ulcer was tossed around.  

By July, after some fun rounds of tests, my doctor had diagnosed a dairy allergy.  He thinks I had a natural, mild intolerance that was severely aggravated by the food poisoning and perhaps a little over-training.  

Since then, I have noticed a host of things.  I haven't had a single episode of acid reflux since July.  I have stopped taking allergy medicine.  I have developed this weird super-smell sense, which actually isn't that great of a super-power when one must walk through downtown, but it's pretty cool when sitting on the back deck of your house.  

Most interestingly, I have always had issues with backwards bending yoga postures.  Usually, anything involving back bending or inversions gave me a problem.  I'd get queasy at best, and at worst, would have a big surge of acid reflux.  Usually, I'd also get dizzy.  

As my body heals from the tri, I've been doing Barre3 to regain flexibility and maintain strength, and have tried a few back bending postures.  No problems at all.  Even things like triangle postures, are having zero effect on me.  I am not sure if it's that I can breathe so much better all of the sudden, or that since my body isn't busy fighting off the dairy anymore, it has the energy to devote to things like balance and digestion.  

It's pretty neat, all the subtle ways I'm finding my body is healing itself.  I still hold out hope that I'll be one of the people who heals all the way and is able to tolerate dairy again some day, because there's a lot of delicious ice cream out there.  But I'm really grateful I had the doctor who got the proper diagnosis and told me to not eff around with this.  It's been a struggle, but things are really looking up for my poor gut.  

The way I figure it, if I had never studied Spanish, I'd never have gone to Mexico. I'd not have gotten E. Coli, and I wouldn't have gone to the doctor.  I wouldn't have gotten tested.  So, indirectly, studying Spanish made me a healthier person.  

Gracias, espanol.  

No comments: