1. any heavenly body.
2. a person's destiny, temperament, etc.

Whether you’re reading this because you’re gluten intolerant, suffer from PVFS or CFS, are starting to grow your own veggies, embracing natural and/or alternative remedies, or just want to enjoy the journey with us, please remember I’m not a medical expert, nor am I here to debate global warming. Being diagnosed with a life-changing illness, looking for answers or changing the way one lives can all be overwhelming events, so I hope that by sharing the triumphs and tragedies, you too will benefit in some way from our journey.

I hope you enjoy the journey and if you leave this blog having learnt only one new recipe or started to think about finding your star, then this blog’s purpose has been served.

My two favourite sayings:
Pondering the choices we make at the crossroads is like revision in the school of life. Regretting the mistakes or taking for granted the successes means we have learnt nought.
An attentive student will gain wisdom from the mistakes and joy from the successes. Cartillyer – 2008

'Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.' Mohandas Gandhi

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Prescription for Persistence

I can’t say that my getting to the bottom of my illnesses came about because I was so clever or smart, because I spent a long time floundering in the world of information overload. I can’t give my doctor credit for it either, because she and the other doctors in the medical practice misdiagnosed me. 

My own research, my doctor listening to me, and luck contributed to my success, but the things that played the biggest part were my refusal to accept a life filled with fatigue, and my persistence in finding answers.

When my post-viral fatigue symptoms returned again in February 2011, I returned to the doctor and asked if it was possible that I had a sinus infection. I told her what I’d read about recurring sinus infections regularly misdiagnosed, especially as illnesses such as post-viral fatigue, and she agreed with me. She sent me home with antibiotics and by the time I’d finished the course, my sinus infection was gone.

I returned in March 2011 for more antibiotics when I got another sinus infection. By May the sinus infections were so frequent that I only had two days free of infection before I needed more antibiotics. By July, the sinus infections became resistant to the antibiotics, and I was at the chemist so often that they gave me the repeat prescription when they filled the original prescription.

By August I was over it. I’d finally found the cause for my post-viral fatigue, but now I needed to find the cause for the recurring sinus infections. Just like in the TV series Lost, just when I thought I had the answers, another problem arose.

So this time I went back to the beginning and looked at the moment when my illnesses began and what really started it all. If my post-viral fatigue was actually one very long, untreated sinus infection, then what if this didn’t start with a virus. What if it started before that?

I had also suffered from severe sinus pain every winter for the last ten years. I’d always assumed that very cold air caused sinus pain for everyone, so when I said to Mr T and Junior Accountant, ‘you know that pain that shoots up your nose to your forehead when cold air goes up your nose,’ and they both said, ‘no, I don’t get that,’ I realised that all those years of sinus pain were not normal.

I researched the cause of recurring sinus infections and finally found the link I was looking for. Wheat and dairy were two foods that featured often when I Googled sinus infections and allergies. I went without wheat and dairy for several months while breastfeeding Miss Flora, because she was wheat and milk protein intolerant. What if omitting these foods from my diet for an extended period and then reintroducing them caused a reaction? I had felt really good, had heaps of energy and lost all of my post-baby weight when I went without them.
I returned to the doctor with another sinus infection. After discussing my theories with her, she agreed that it was highly possible that wheat or dairy was causing the infections. She put me on a new antibiotic for two months while I did some intensive elimination dieting through September and into October.

(Please note: Totally eliminating gluten from one's diet for an extended period of time can lead to gluten intolerance, and I advise against it if you don't have a problem with it. When I eliminated dairy from my diet, I took a suitable calcium supplement to supply enough calcium to me and my breastfed baby.)

Next week: The diet results and the start of unearthing my star.


  1. Goodness!!! I am cringing at the mention of all those rounds of anitbiotics.....without any mention of follow-up PRObiotics. What I have found over many years of the same non-help from my doctors, DIY research, self-diagnosis, and treatment, is that infection treated with antibiotics NOT followed up with strong PRObiotics will always result in either the recurrence of the same infection or a secondary infection in another area. What probiotics do you use?

    1. Hi Babs,
      You're right, continual use of antibiotics without the use of a probiotic is cringe worthy. I take a probiotic daily. Sorry, I didn't mention that here. I use Inner Health Plus by Ethical Nutrients, which I used to only use when I was on antibiotics (during 2011), but now use on a daily basis. I believe that anyone who does not follow a healthy diet filled with whole foods (i.e. anyone who eats a lot of processed foods) should take a probiotic daily. (My change of diet, use of probiotics, apple cider vinegar and raw honey, and other alternatives that have aided in my recovery will be covered in a later post.)


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