A few weeks after going Vegan, I found myself in health crisis mode. I started getting itchy, which I attributed to grains. One day I noticed my hips were itchy, I kept catching myself scratching them - but nothing that would lead me to expect what happened next. That night I took my pants off and had giant welt bruises where I had been itching. Did I bruise myself scratching, or was I scratching bruises I didn't know I had? What was going on?
They faded. Then it happened again on my thigh.
|my thigh, in all it's hideous glory, with our tv remote for welt ratio|
Then I started having some dizzy spells, which morphed into vertigo. My husband wakes me up once he is out of the shower, and one morning he sat down on the edge of the bed and woke me up and I started to sit up and the world just started rolling. It was as if I was going to fall off the Earth, and I was screaming and clutching my husband for something to hold on to - something to anchor me - and then it subsided just as quickly as it came on.
That scared the husband enough to send me to the doctor, who didn't really have any answers. My blood pressure was escalated that day, and the nurse made a passing comment about it being high. I mentioned to them several times that I normally had really good blood pressure and that was definitely abnormal, but the doctor blew it off. The message I got was that it's normal for big fat girls like me to have high blood pressure so that doesn't mean anything.
He ran a bunch of tests, and I was told that everything was totally normal and I should see a neurologist for further testing if it continued. When I got the actual test results in the mail I compared them to previous tests I had done about six months ago, and noticed that while "normal" my blood sugar had also increased. It seemed as if something was triggering inflammation and sending my body reeling, but what?
The only obvious changes we could come up with were that I had started taking anti-anxiety medication a month or so before, and that I had switched to a vegan diet almost a month before, so I stopped both those things cold turkey and it seemed to help. It could have been either one of those things or it could be that my body finally reached it's tipping point, which would not be surprising as I am not getting any younger and a month ago was at my highest recorded weight ever. (Just for transparencies sake, my previous high weight was 325. A few years ago, after about a year and a half on the Paleo diet, I was down to 232. I went back to work, got lazy, and started slowing gaining weight back...then I broke my ankle hiking, was confined to bed and a wheelchair, unable to exercise or cook, and started gaining faster - and was so distracted by trying to walk again that I didn't really notice, and by the time I noticed I was discouraged by the weight gain that I turned to comfort food and packed on some more. I was 338 at that doctor visit. I did immediately start counting points with Weight Watchers, and am back down to 325.
The vertigo, itching, and bruising subsided (although I do still have small vertigo waves) and I started to feel better, even going for a swim one day and taking some walks as I got stronger. The past few weeks I have been distracted with helping my older son move back home and do some soul searching and make a life plan, but now that's pretty much on track and it's time to turn some focus back on myself.
Here we go.....again.