I’ve written in the past about having SIBO, which is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. You can read more about it here.
So on top of the auto-immune issues, which continue to be tons of fun, my SIBO is back.
Oddly, my symptoms don’t present quite the way they’re often listed. I feel bloated and fatigued and have nausea and go back and forth between constipation and diarrhea – and that’s all expected. But my major symptom is actually early satiety, which is when you feel full after only eating a small amount. I also feel like I swallowed a brick – I have a heavy feeling in my stomach, like there’s a rock in there or something.
That’s how I knew the SIBO was back. As soon as I got that “I feel like I swallowed a large stone” feeling, I knew.
I have the test week after next and will likely be on antibiotics fairly soon after. For now, I’m on the Low FODMAP diet and taking supplements. I’m not eating anywhere near the calories I should be because of the damn early satiety, and also because of the FODMAP diet itself.
So, clearly, this is causing weight loss. I’ve dropped a few pounds already, and will continue to. And this is where I get frustrated, because people want to compliment my weight loss. I’m always careful to tell them that it’s not intentional, that I’m losing weight because of issues with my digestive system. I give them the opportunity to be sympathetic – but sometimes I get the classic “I wish I could get that so I could lose weight derp derp” response, which I’ve become completely intolerant of. If anyone ever tells me, even in a joking way, that they wish they could be sick so that they could lose weight, I lay into them pretty hard. It’s not only insensitive to the person dealing with the illness, but it highlights how skewed and fucked up with are as a culture – if you prefer illness to being fat, then you’ve been brainwashed. When you stand back, and realize that you’re saying you’d be willing to trade a healthy body for a sick one, as long as it makes you thinner…I mean, that’s massively fucked up.
Never put your weight before your health. Being thin doesn’t guarantee good health, or happiness, or any of the things the diet commercials promise.
Not to mention that if your self-esteem and self-worth is all or mostly tied up in what your body looks like, that’s dangerous. Bodies change, and sometimes those changes are beyond our control. We need to find other things that we love about ourselves, and value ourselves for things other than our looks and our weight. We’re inextricably bound to these bodies we inhabit – and that’s exactly why is always to put its general functionality and overall well-being before it’s aesthetic appeal.
I just want to feel normal for once. I just want to be able to eat without getting sick. I want to have an immune system that doesn’t attack my own body. I want to have more energy. The SIBO will go away eventually, but the auto-immune issues won’t. I’ll continue to go through cycles of weight gain and weight loss, of fatigue, and who knows what else, and that’s fine. I’ve accepted that I have no idea what’s coming for me, and I just take it one day at a time.
What I can’t accept are assholes who think being thin is more important than being healthy. If you’re lucky enough to be healthy, you better damn well be grateful. And always remember that your health can change in a heartbeat – don’t ever take it for granted.