Hello, my name is Lesley, I often go by LL. I am a wife to a lovely man who rocks my world and supports me like crazy, mom to two Pitt Bulls Gaia and Bayon, a Pilates instructor, Pilates business coach, and a sufferer of digestive issues.
Last night I reached a breaking point. I went to bed with stomach pain again. It wasn’t my first breaking point around this issue. I have no idea if it will be my last. I certainly hope so…
I know, breaking points don’t usually happen over and over again within the same situation. But they can. I am witness to it. With every breaking point trying something new to “fix” the problem that no one has been able to identify.
This section of my blog will continue as long as I can. I’ve decided to write about my journey because I cannot be the only one who is dealing with this. After almost ten years of keeping it mostly to myself, I am tired. I don’t write this because I want anyone to feel sorry for me. I write this because if you are suffering, you are not alone. That might be the hardest part of this whole journey is feeling like I am the only one, not only do doctors not understand but it feels like no one around me does. However, in this big world I know that is not the case. That there are people out there dealing with the same thing I am or something completely different and my hopes in sharing my story is that you know you are not alone.
A few of those close to me have known about my stomach issues for as long or almost as long as I have had them; if we’ve traveled together or you met me recently, you may also have found out about my tummy simply because my diet has been so strange. I felt the need to explain or else in my mind you would think I had an eating disorder or something else.
So, my friends, readers here, I shall start off with when it all began in 2007 when I moved to LaLa Land….
I was managing a high-end women’s jewelry store at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, CA. My best friend had recently moved to Missouri to be with her now husband. I found a great new roommate and relocated to the beach. I hated my new commute and was feeling a bit stagnate. When my new roommate lost her job and said she was moving to LA, I jumped at the chance to make a change too!
It’s incredible how timing works out. I was able to transfer to another store for the same company. Not just any LA retail location either, I was going to be managing a store in the famously hip, beyond cool Fred Segal in Santa Monica, CA. Let the packing begin.
Two weeks later I was moving myself to our new apartment. I moved to LA on the 4th of July 2007. Fireworks were gracing the sky my entire drive north. I quickly settled into my new apartment and my new job. I had never lived in such a big city before. It was all so new to me. Paying for parking, looking for parking, a two-mile commute taking at least 30 minutes. I thought my biggest challenge would be making new friends or figuring out a new routine. Nope, I was quickly learning about life problems in LA. But, despite the daily annoyances of parking and traffic I was loving Los Angeles! There were many things to discover. I didn’t know how long I would live here, but I knew I was meant to be here.
Then one day after eating a meal with my roommate and some friends I was sidelined. Literally. The pain in my stomach had me laying on my side at the restaurant. Never, had I felt so sick before this night that I could remember. I could barely make it home. My stomach blew up to the size that I had only seen on a woman before she was about to give birth. I was twenty-four and wondering if I should be going to the hospital? Is the emergency room appropriate for major bloating? What would they do?
That was the night, the one moment that I can look back and say “it all started when…” Since that night I have had more nights, more post-meal pains that I can count. Usually, I wake up seeing and feeling the person that I am. Every day a new day, a new opportunity to go on “normal.” But, as I eat the issues of my stomach begin to reappear. Most times they wait until evening. But, appear they do. Not just in the form of gas pains but also like my first night in the form of bloating. One of my easier ways to describe it is that I wake up fitting in my skin and my clothes and I go to bed the size of a woman who is six-nine months pregnant. It’s an f’d up roller coaster ride of not just how I feel in my gut but in my body and my mind.
Back to the present: I am days away from new test results that will hopefully give me answers, help and a new journey into my gut. I promise to share how it is going as I can.
In my next issue, I will share my first steps in dealing with my stomach. The doctor who brushed me off and the nutritionist who helped me. Stay tuned for the next Core Issue
Ps. If you are suffering from digestive disorders I feel for you. I wish I could even help you. There is nothing like feeling sick when you eat. You need to eat to live, but when eating makes life so painful, it truly becomes a core issue. It takes over. You are not alone and don’t ever stop trying to find out what will make you feel best. Life is so worth living, and I cannot believe that I will forever live in digestive pain.