Saturday, August 22, 2009

Death by Yogurt

I haven't said much to anyone, but I've been feeling awfully sick for the last month. Can I tell you about it?

Exactly one month ago, on July 21st and 22nd, I had a stomach flu and stayed home from work for two days. I'd been feeling achy and tired for several days before that, but I didn't think too much about it until the "real" symptoms made themselves WAAAAAY too obvious, and then I figured it out. I went back to work on my birthday, July 23rd, and I was feeling somewhat better. Of course, the celebrations over the next few days also helped distract me from any lingering effects, although I knew they were there a bit, off and on.

Now, a little background about me. I don't exactly eat right much of the time--not as well as I really SHOULD anyway. I don't get a lot of exercise. I'm overweight. My gallbladder and I have been parted longer than we were together. When I get nervous or stressed, my stomach and other internal parts rebel. So, given all that, my recent bout with stomach flu, and the fact that I'd quit smoking with a vague notion of trying to become a little more healthy, it's not surprising that when I went to the grocery store a week or two later and saw that Activia yogurt was on sale, I decided to "take the Activia challenge."

I'd tried it before when Activia first came out. The problem was, though, that I couldn't seem to remember to eat it more than two days in a row, and so I soon quit trying. This time, though, I was going to try harder. I bought four 4-packs of Activia in different flavors. Yum! And for the next two weeks, I ate a container of Activia every morning for breakfast.

When I started this yogurt thing, I really didn't expect that eating a small container of yogurt every day was going to do very much. Remember my first girl boss? She saw me eating some one morning and told me she'd been eating it for a year or two and loved it--it really worked! Humm. Okay, so maybe it would be good for me. And I found that if I added a half packet of Equal and some fresh fruit, it didn't really taste like sweaty gym socks after all--in fact, it was pretty good!

Did I notice much of a difference? I'm not sure, exactly. The bacteria in Activia is supposed to shorten the time it takes food to travel from the stomach and be eliminated. Yeah, okay, maybe that worked. I didn't test it--how would you? Never mind--don't answer that. But did I feel wonderful? No, not really. In fact, as time went by, it felt like that stomach flu was coming back again.

I wasn't sleeping well, but I attributed that to other causes. I didn't feel very well, but I thought maybe I was just still having some flu issues or it was the food I was eating. Do you remember when I posted that one Friday night about two weeks ago that we'd had dinner at my sister-in-law's house and I came home feeling really ill and went to bed? I thought it might be the spicy food we'd had for dinner.

So this went on for a little while. By this past Tuesday, I'd started having acid reflux in addition to the intestinal symptoms. And, for some reason, I decided to stop eating the Activia--I don't really know why except I thought that eating it and hurrying all that stuff through my body just might make me feel a little worse.

Tuesday I was typing a document on a case involving a guy with dyspepsia. Just to be sure, I checked the internet to see what dyspepsia was and it was just what I had. I learned that dyspepsia is pretty common and could be caused by many different things, but it could also be a sign of some really bad stuff in those of us in our mid-50s and older. Like cancer.

See, that's the problem with my job--it involves medical stuff, and I'm always quite positive I have whatever it is that I'm working on. So now I was certain I had cancer.

Wednesday came along, and I was still pretty sure I had cancer. I was feeling really, really horrible. Maybe I should go see my doctor? There was a problem with that plan, though: If I went to see the doctor, I knew he'd want to do a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. And by Wednesday I was working on another case where a guy went in to have a colonoscopy and an endoscopy and ended up dead. See what I mean? So I really didn't want to see the doctor.

Thursday, at lunch time, I was sitting in the office kitchen, looking at my microwaved diet mac and cheese lunch, and thinking about how I really hadn't been eating much--no wonder people with cancer lost weight. I threw out my leftovers and sat at the table with my head in my hands, wondering what I should do. Go to the doctor and die? Or don't go to the doctor and die?

I figured that sitting there, thinking about how rotten I felt, wasn't accomplishing anything, so I pulled some applique out of my bag and started stitching. About five minutes later, I realized I was feeling better. The power of the mind? The healing effects of quilting?

Miraculously, throughout the afternoon, I felt better and better. I don't know when the lightbulb went on in my head, but at some point that day, I typed into an internet search engine "Activia side effects," and there it was--people commenting about all the problems they'd had when they tried Activia--all the same stuff I'd been feeling for the past couple weeks!

Don't get me wrong--many, many people LOVE it! If you're inclined to try Activia, please do so--it may be just the thing for you! But it wasn't for me, that's for sure! Now, three days after I stopped eating it, I'm feeling wonderful again. I've gotten two good nights of sleep, and I plan to sleep well again tonight--and sleep in as long as I want because it's Saturday!

If you've ever been pretty sick--and I imagine most of us have--then you probably know how really wonderful you feel when you feel well again. And I'm feeling about 85 percent back to normal, so I'm feeling pretty darn good! So good, in fact, that I wanted to celebrate my return from the brink of death.

What do you think? I spent my lunch hour today getting a pedicure! Bliss!

I hope you have a blissful weekend planned!


Kim said...

Wow! That sounds scary. I'm so glad that you're feeling better and realized the connection of what you were eating to how you were feeling. If you're over 50 you should still go have your colon checked out.

My husbands father had colon cancer in his mid 50's and my husband has had 4 checkups since he was 35 years old and this last one showed a few spots that they could take care of before they became anything serious. Prevention is the key to catching it early!

Quilter Going Bananas said...

Glad you figured out that the Activa was the problem and you're feeling much better!

Btw, I'm the third quilter mentioned in the Irish Quilting magazine blogging article; it's nice to meet you! I haven't adjusted yet to becoming famous, have you? LOL
Have a great weekend!

Orcsmom said...

A pedicure always makes me feel like I could climb the mountain and start singing like Julie Andrews! Have a wonderful week-end and I am glad you are feeling so much better! I missed ya!


searchfamilies said...

Glad your feeling better, Activia don't do much for me but does for DH i go for the Easiyo yoghurts which you make from a packet.
When you think about our bodies we do put them through a lot so i guess it no wonder from time to time they saying hold on hope that you will give up smoking & good luck with the weight loss i am trying but i am doing it with portion control & healthy diet as for exercise well that not so good lol you take care
Hugs Janice

Judy Whitehead said...

Glad you found out what it was so soon! I was pretty sick a few years back, and it went all the way to seeing the neurologist before it was diagnosed as Aspertame poisoning. Yep, that common everyday artifical sweetener.

You just never know what's going to react on who.

Jan said...

Soooooooo glad you got to the bottom of those tummy issues!!! Those are always so worrisome; and with cancer hitting so many, it's only natural that it always seems to pop into our mind whenever we're not feeling up to par. I still recommend the "stick 'em up test" tho; and that's coming from someone who needs to have one too!!!!!

Kelly Ann said...

DH had the same sort of thing for years...wasn't as bad but he ate some type of yogurt everyday, you know it's healthy it says so on the container...after being off a week...walaw he felt great..Glad to see you are back on your feet..wait but you aren't you're sitting on your butt while someone does your toes..I'm so jealous (of the toes not the yogurt)

Anonymous said...

Sure glad you're feeling better! Now you can enjoy your quilting & Starbucks.

Nancy E

Nancy said...

Wow, that was close...I almost had to find another blog to read first thing in the morning!!

Glad you figured out what the problem was. I think I will stay away from the Activia. Don't want to be THAT kind of healthy....

Fiesta said...

Kim did you say that you no longer have a gall bladder? If that is the case it may be the diary that is huring you.
Yougurt, icecream, I have to limit these because they hurt me severly. With no gallbladder, your food is going straignt to your intestinal track and of course causing you this ill feeling. Please go see your doctor. Don't brush this off, you are much too young.

QuiltingFitzy said...

Also think about Celiac's disease, or the inability to process wheat. It causes the same type of symptoms.

Funny thing, we visit our dear friend's house for dinner, (she has Celiac's) and we come home sicker than dogs because of the substitutes she needs to use in cooking, lol. We resort to a sleeve of saltines in the car, eat 1/2 on the way and 1/2 on the way home!

paulette said...

Hi Kim!
So glad things worked out for you. You were smart in waiting to go to the doctor THIS TIME! I always wait to go to the doctor too. I fret about it and worry and stew and then finally go. One of these days it's going to catch up with me...
But we stitch on and that's what REALLY matters! Happy quilting! Have a wonderful weekend!

Laurie said...

Hi Kim,
I'm so glad that your feeling better. I never did like yogurt. I have IBS so I can relate to you having stomach problems. It is not fun!
So you'll be back to your comical self and stitch away!
Love your blog,

QuiltSue said...

Glad you're feeling better. How clever of you to track down just what the problem was.

I love your latest self-portrait.

MichelleB said...

A pedicure is always a wonderful way to celebrate! I'm so glad that you're feeling better. There's nothing worse that feeling crappy for weeks on end.

Quilt Hollow said...

Wow....something to think about for sure! You have posted quite a bit in the past about not feeling well and I always wondered why you were so sick alot....gosh....take care of yourself.

dianne said...

aaaaw! don't those little piggies look pretty!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

All this "food" that is suppose to be good for us! I'm curious...does Activia have aspartame in it? 'Cos that can cause all manner of problems too.

Glad to hear you are feeling better :o)

Colleen said...

So glad you feel better Kim. It is so scary when we think about all that could go wrong... so it is nice to figure out something with an easy fix! Love your second nude self-portrait in a series, lolol.

quiltmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
quiltmom said...

Hi Kim ,
Your counter has rolled over the 300,000 mark.

WOw that was fast!!

Glad to hear that you are feeling better. Your toes are looking great-
Are you able to wear open toed shoes to work to show them off?

I will send you a report of my finishes soon.
The slasher quilt is on the living room floor and I am still pondering solutions when the dog doesn't think that is her toy to shake the begeesus out of.... She is not very helpful but funny to watch...
Congratulations on hitting 300000 HITS ,


Micki said...

Glad that you found out what was causing the problem. I was going to buy, I won't.Get well soon!

Carol in E TN said...

So glad you figured out what your problem was and are feeling so much better! And getting a pedicure to celebrate, great idea!

chris said...

So glad you're feeling better. You still need to get at least a sigmoidoscopy. There is a new Virtual Colonoscopy available too. It's important to take care of that end. good pun?

I think something went wrong with the counter. Yesterday or the day before, it was still at 299,511. (or something close to that number.) Could it be right?

Lady of the Cloth said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. I work in the healthcare
business and the first few years I thought I had every malady I came across. I guess all the nurses feel that way too while they are in nursing school. Too funny. The bad thing is now I tend to ignore things, don't get a mammogram and don't usually fill prescriptions when the doctor gives it to me because I read the side affects and dismiss it. Can we really win? Yup, you've got the perfect answer, Quilt!

Linda said...

I dunno Kim. I think you're in pretty good shape. After all, you must be on the floor to get your feet in that position for your profile picture! Can't remember the last time I was on the floor!!!
Lurking Linda

Gran said...

Hey I am just checking in after the Lincoln Exhibit and your counter is at 300,052!


Catch your later.

Anonymous said...

So...maybe that's what's causing my acid reflux? I thought it was all the spicy foods I've been eating. I'm leaving here and going googling (I've been eating Activia for the past 3 month...every day!) And maybe that's why I'm not sleeping! Thanks for the info!

Molly said...

Hi Kim,

So glad you're feeling better.

I would like to know how you got your tootsies up the air to take that picture? Hahaha! I'm impressed!

Greenmare said...

I do release of medical records so I understand what you are saying about seeing sypmtoms. it works the opposite on me though, I read stuff and think, "what a wuss, just deal with it" :-)

quiltmamajb said...

Kim - so glad that you're feeling better - it's amazing how one little thing can set off such a chain reaction and affect so many aspects of your life. Glad you're back on reading the blog!! Thanks for sharing your take on life and quilting.....BTW - love the 'new' portait - very becoming. Piece...

Jen in NY said...

Oh gosh, I never would have suspected the yogurt! I'm so glad you figured it out. Nice pedicure!

dianne said...

ha ha ha! you've updated you nude self-portrait - STRRREEETCH those little piggies!

Quilt Nut said...

i can't eat activia yogurt either. i can go 2 days and any longer than that and it is not pretty.

glad you are feeling better

MARCIE said...

great! Now you have made the rest of us feel sick!