In also exciting news, it means that M can finally make me my birthday cake!
On Monday, I had my long-awaited doctor appointment. I really wanted to get to the root of my GI problems. This practice has several naturopaths working with it, and a focus on balancing Eastern and Western medicine, and they like to treat patients with lifestyle modifications before going to heavy-duty pharmaceuticals. I like to try to treat things as naturally as possible. If I can alter a life habit in order to avoid taking pills, I will. (Seriously, folks. I gave up dairy, for pete's sake! I am willing to do lifestyle modification!)
I should write some more about my beliefs on the mind-body-spirit connection, no?
I learned that I have to do a rather extensive battery of tests, including some new-to-me ones, with the expectation that we will figure out what is at the base of all the ongoing GI problems.
At the end of the day...
The PA agrees with my Oregon doctor, thinking that I was probably lactose intolerant for a long time before I was finally diagnosed with it. Meaning she thinks it's unlikely that it'll ever go away or just cure itself. She does think that once we get everything else that is going on squared away, that I might be able to do a regimen of introducing some lactose back into my diet and may eventually be able to tolerate a small amount. But getting back to the point where I could have a glass of chocolate milk? Unlikely. If I'm lucky, maybe I might have some small yogurts in my distant future.
This was disappointing news, as I was really hoping to hear "Oh, yeah, we can fix this!". I know, I know, but still... I am trying to comfort myself with the reminder that we don't have local dairies available to us here in Tysons Corner, so all our milk would come from miserable slave cows, and at least I'm not supporting miserable cows. But I didn't give up dairy because of sad cows, so I don't really get any moral points, there.
GI tracts, when they are hurt, do heal, but they tend to take their time. So for this season, I might have to be fairly gentle. The PA in the practice is an RD, and she has said that once we get the big-deal stuff straightened out, she will work with me to plan a meal plan that will support my activity level and feed me the right foods to help my gut get strong again.
And meanwhile it's a battery of tests to see what's causing the ongoing GI problems. Which could mean that within a week or two, we will have lots of answers and I'll be on the real road to recovery.
For my race plans this season... I think it means I'm taking it easy. I hope to do Nations. I would like to do the Wine Country Half Marathon (but it'll be a slower race for me, mostly likely). I don't know if I'll have any other big plans, or if this season will basically have to be about building back up a strong base and letting my poor GI tract really heal. And maybe just a few events to keep my medal wall growing.
It's disappointing to know that there's no quick fix ("Just eat a banana every day for a magical fix, and you'll be back to normal by April!"), but it is good to know that there's hope for a good fix.