Why is this happening to me?
by Shayla Nyberg-Sutton
(Sioux Falls, SD, USA)
My story starts all the way back in my freshman year of high school. I started feeling sick to my stomach a lot and found myself vomiting almost on a daily basis. For a while, I just brushed it off my shoulders thinking I had some bug or something. The situation went on for a while and eventually I was sick of dealing with it, and I decided to go to the doctor. They told me I just had a stomach flu bug. So once again I brushed it off.
I would like to say that things got better, but they didn’t. I went to doctor after doctor, and they always told me the same thing. "Just the stomach flu." I have had my thyroid checked, and I’ve been tested for diabetes and those tests always came back negative. So I lived with it.
When I moved to Mitchell for college, it just seemed to be getting worse. The vomiting used to be just in the mornings but now it was any time of the day and sometimes more than once a day. But still not EVERY day. I continued to just live with it.
My last year of college I decided I had had enough. I went to a local doctor that I had seen a couple of times before. By this time I had started vomiting up blood, and it just wasn’t fun. I hated it, to say the least. The doctor I saw in Mitchell told me that I had a bleeding ulcer but other than telling me that he did nothing for me. So I continued to live with the pain of vomiting up blood. After I had finished college, I moved back to Sioux Falls and these symptoms just continued to escalate. I started vomiting daily multiple times. You would think after all the vomiting I had done I would be dropping weight like crazy. On top of vomiting every day, my immune system seemed to start failing. I found myself getting sick a lot more often, and it was very hard to get over these illnesses. Anything from the common cold to Influenza B. It sucked.
Having my mom at my side what the only thing that was keeping me from going insane. I missed more days in college than I ever did in high school, and eventually it started to effect my job. I started missing lots more days of work. I felt like a total hypochondriac, and it seemed that everyone I knew thought so as well. Including my mother. The fact that my own mother thought I was over exaggerating. Talk about a knife in the heart. I just couldn’t seem to convince her that it wasn’t in my head and
that something was wrong. I continued to live with all these problems because it seemed no one believed me. Not any doctors and not my family and friends.
Finally, almost seven years after the start of these symptoms, I saw a doctor that I had never seen before. She immediately ordered a battery of different tests. Once again my thyroid and diabetes tests came back just fine, but it turns out that my vitamin levels were horribly low, which lead her to order one more test. The one that would change my life forever if it came back positive.
And it did.
I received the phone call that said my Celiac number was severely high. My heart sank, and I began to cry. I had never heard of such a thing, but I knew it couldn’t be good. What is Celiac’s why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?
She told me that it wasn’t a sure thing and that I would have to see a Gastroenterologist (a stomach specialist). Great, let's keep adding to the pile of bills that I already had. So I made the appointment and started researching this Celiac Disease. And all I could do was cry. All of a sudden it happened, my biggest fear in life came true, and I was more overwhelmed than I had ever been before. What was I going to do? I have an incurable disease known as Celiac Disease. Now I know this disease will not kill me but when your whole life revolves around food and its what you love to do and then all of a sudden you can’t do it anymore. I cried for days.
So here I sit, writing this story of my adventure of medical problems. I am crying again as I am forced to relive everything that has happened in these last seven years. And it has finally occurred to me that even though this will last for the rest of my life and it's not the most fun thing I have ever had to do but its something that I need to do for me. I still find myself sick but not near as often as I was before. I am learning that there is wheat in almost everything on this planet and that it’s a very expensive road as well. But I am doing my best to continue living my life to the fullest every day. I’m going to figure this out, and eventually I'm going to be happy once again.
Thank you to everyone that has been there for me throughout this hellish ordeal. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude to all of you. You know who you are. I love you! Thank you again!