Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Catch up! Graduation and Recovery ~~

I kept trying to find the time to come back here and write but it just didn't seem to happen...I've had alot on this summer and finding the time to talk about it was quite hard.
To start off, I graduated with a 2:1!
It was a rather long day at London Royal Festival Hall, and to think I've got to do it all again next year when I complete my second degree. I spent the whole day feeling like my graduation outfit was slipping off or falling out of place.
Which brings me on to my second subject - I managed to get on to Camberwell's BA Illustration course in the third year. I will be studying for one more year and at the end of it I will have my second degree in Illustration, this one being a BA (hons) and my previous one a Foundation Degree. Exciting, but also like opening an old wound. The thought of going back to college to work really hard gives me nightmares. But I'm hoping this time it will be a tad easier. Which brings me on to my third subject....
I've not been amazingly well for what I think has been around 18 months. It was too minor to make a huge deal about it, but it lingered and niggled away in the background getting on my nerves.
I started to notice in early 2013 I had really bad sugar cravings. Really intense ones that would lead me to devour tubs of honey or worse left right and centre. I also would feel pretty weak throughout the day at random times, even if I ate a big meal (this sometimes made it worse).
Eventually I realised I had a bad case of reactive hypoglycemia - in other words, whenever I ate food, within three hours my body would suffer a blood sugar drop that would make me a) tired b) shaky and c) very very grumpy.
Anyway, this got kind of bad, and after some research I decided it might help to give up all added sugar in the hope of restoring balance. This did help alot, and whilst it made me feel much more normal and stable, it did not solve the issue and I just assumed I was doomed to live with this condition. 
Then about a year ago I started getting unexplained stomach cramps...really weird ones that felt like I'd just done a million sit-ups. I can assure you I hadn't :) 
Aswell as the cramps and the hypoglycemia, since around last winter I started suffering from aching limbs and very very bad exhaustion - I'd go to bed and wake up feeling as achy and as tired as when I got in to bed....it was getting to the point where I didn't even have the energy to get up and go to class. Not good.
The tipping point of all this is when I went to Budapest, Hungary at the start of Summer, and endured a week of eating bread. More so than usual. Croissants, apple pie, you name it. So when I got back to England, I suddenly felt even worse than before. 
A couple of days after my trip I'd truly had enough and after work I went to Sainburys and spoke to a pharmacist about it. She thought that from what I'd told her it sounded like I had gluten intolerance. This was something I already had dabbled with as a theory: I knew anyway I was a little sensitive to gluten due to the fact that whenever I had pizza or good old fish & chips (favourites of mine) I'd get tummy aches, shakiness and often fall asleep within an hour of eating it. It was all a bit suspicious, so I took her advice and decided to go gluten free for a while.
This was alot more difficult than I first thought it was going to be - Gluten is almost in everything. From humble bread to pasta to pizza to soup to sausages. Oh my goodness. Even the little multicoloured flakes on Fab Ice Lollies contain it.
The first two weeks were pretty miserable. Every time I ate, the food going through my stomach would make everything ache. My tummy was bloated enough that I joked to my boyfriend that I looked 3 months preggers, it was truly tragic. Worse still, I continued to suffer from the hypoglycemia and the dreaded exhaustion. It didn't seem to make a difference.

However come the third and fourth week, I suddenly noticed I no longer seemed to have hypoglycemia. It had disappeared. And the tummy aches, along with the exhaustion, began to disappear. I was cured....

......Until I went abroad and got glutened in Poland by an amazing soup. 

Back to square one. Within a week I felt awful again, but this time it was worse - the corners of my mouth split, the fold on my ears split, and the end of my nose starting flaking off. Oh boy.
 But two weeks have passed and I'm in recovery again :) I'm feeling alot better already just by eating decent food. I  try to eat lots of fruit, veg, rice and meat, with the occasional gluten free pasta here and there. I have alot of Indian food and enjoy melted cheese from time to time too...mmm...
The only thing I have avoided besides gluten is sugar. But that's a whole other story....just ask my boyfriend about that. All I will say is when I don't have sugar, I'm a much nicer, better person. :)

Anyway, that's all I have time for, but I will be writing about my travels to Europe in the next few weeks so stick around :) x



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