Project 22 – Chapter 20

Chapter 20 – Shifting Sands

Everything was going really well, I no longer had SIBO, my energy levels had increased, my period pain was no more, sure I still had some slowness around my first and second day, but it was fine. I had 2 cold sores through the year, and both of them had been the result of stress, so I could manage that and know that if stress appeared in my life, I could manage it ahead of time.

My lung issues were still an issue, but I knew that everything I was doing was helping them. I was moving my body, I hadn’t had a UTI (that’s gold) and my hair was still thinner than I wanted, sometimes it looked thick and new hair was growing, it was a journey and one I’d been on for a while.

When food gets stuck

Chris and I met up for lunch one Friday, whilst I was avoiding gluten it wasn’t always possible when I ate out, so I’d eat whatever I wanted rather than choose something that wouldn’t bring me joy.

I ordered a chicken burger and chips at a cafe and it came out looking delicious, however after only one chip I couldn’t eat any more.

For years I’d had an issue where if I ate wheat products (which contain gluten, so I couldn’t separate if it was a gluten thing or a wheat thing) or if I ate those wheat products too fast – it could be either – the food could get stuck in my throat and I’d have to either wait for it to pass, which it could sometimes do by itself and very quickly or vomit it up.

If it didn’t pass quickly, I’d often just vomit it up and then I could eat again – no issues, but I would slow things down.

That wasn’t the case this time.

The food had gotten stuck in my throat and I tried to vomit it up, but it wouldn’t come. I tried over and over again. First in the toilets and then in a private grassy area at the back of the cafe, but we ended up leaving the cafe. I took my food in a takeaway container, knowing I was hungry and once this passed I could eat it later, but later never came.

I picked Teddy up from school, took him to acrobatics, where we sat in the car for half an hour before his class started, and then went home.

Chris had offered to do this, but I was sure it wouldn’t last long, so I told him to go home and get his work done, I’d take care of Teddy.

I tried multiple times to get it to clear and I didn’t want Teddy seeing me trying to do it. To my knowledge he missed it all together, the blessings of iPads and YouTube.

When we arrived home I threw out my food and sat on the couch for a while, not being able to eat or drink.

If I tried to eat or drink, the original food would act as a blockage, not letting anything pass. I’d then throw it up.

I wondered if I’d have to go to hospital, but I didn’t want to do that so I went to bed instead hoping everything would settle.

I didn’t sleep very well that night. I was worried about my upcoming week as I had a contract kicking off and I couldn’t just ‘ring in sick’. I also wondered what would happen if I went to the hospital and how long I’d have to stay there, again something I didn’t want to do.

When I woke the next morning, and it still hadn’t cleared, I knew that I’d have to go to hospital if I couldn’t get it to clear and I jumped online and researched my options. One options was to drink something with bubbles in it. I didn’t know if it would work because I couldn’t drink water, but it was worth a try.

I looked in our fridge and the only thing we had was Coke Zero, not something I drink but it had bubbles so I gave it a shot.

When I was in India in 2009, I didn’t want to catch any tummy bugs, so at each meal I’d buy a bottle of water and a bottle of Coke, working on the principle that Coke will kill things (my thoughts) and if I had a tummy bug it might help get it out of my system before it became an issue. That said, I did end up with a runny bum when we were in the desert, so something came in but I continued with the Coke approach, and ate rice for a few days to help things settle down.

Ok, here I go, I thought, and I took my first sip of Coke Zero. It didn’t get stuck. I took my second sip, it didn’t get stuck either. Ok, this is good. I kept drinking the Coke Zero and eventually finished the whole can. Winning!

To double check that I was on the right track, I drove into town to pick up some Hydralyte, to help with replacing electrolytes that I’d possibly lost and it has a fizz, and spoke to a Pharmacist. The universe gave me the best Pharmacist ever, he said to me ‘you know your body better than me, and it sounds like you’re on the right track, there’s nothing else I could suggest. Of course if you have ongoing issues, get some medical help.’ I paid for my products and headed home.

That night I ate a homemade wood fired gluten free pizza, and everything was right with the world.

This episode brought sparkling drinks into my life. I wasn’t a fan of mineral water, but when Brooke suggested soda water and lime, I went with it and I’m still drinking that or Lemon, Lime and Bitters once a day.

The reason for this is I felt the bubbles helped my belly, so I’ve been following my intuition on this and it’s serving me.

A Vomiting Bug

I woke up in the middle of the night one Thursday in October and ran to the toilet, I needed to clear both ends – vomiting and diarrhoea.

It was clear my body needed to get this thing out and it was clearing everything. 

I managed to get back into bed for a little while before I had to get on a coaching call. I wondered about cancelling the session, but there was a flow on effect. No one could take the session for me, and I had 3 sessions that morning. If I didn’t do them today, I’d have to shift them and that was a challenge I didn’t want to work through.

I decided to get on my call and see how it went. I made sure I went to the toilet beforehand and I took a towel with me, just in case anything went wrong. The call was voice only and really I should have taken a bucket.

I managed to get through the entire call with only one moment where I felt like I was physically going to vomit. You know when you get that wave of nausea over you, the heat rises and it’s fully about to come. I had the towel ready, I put myself on mute and I waited. My students had no idea, they were chatting amongst themselves and I was listening, just a little distracted.

The wave dissipated and I came back off mute. I finished the call and went back to the toilet, my new home.

When getting on my next call I let this group of students know that I wasn’t well. That I’d managed to get through my last call but if I disappeared for any reason, they’d know why and to continue diving into whatever we were talking about. Nothing happened and I got through the call.

My third call was the same, no issues, just me needing a nap by the time everything was finished.

I wrapped up my calls, completed my admin and got into bed where I stayed for the rest of the day.

I honestly didn’t know what had caused it but I suspected it was the chia puddings I had in the fridge, that didn’t have lids on them and were a week old. I threw them out.

I recovered. It took a while to get my energy back. My stool, well, it was all over the shop, generally a 5 or 6 on the Bristol Stool Chart so I needed some support with that.

Wrapping up

These two events shifted things for me in a big way. I could see how quickly things could go pear shaped, plus how things change when your body needs them too. I started eating more, what I would call, ‘simple’ foods like rice, I put bread back in, ate plain chips and I didn’t experiment as much as I’d been doing.

My body needed healing, so I gave it that time, staying away from sweet foods and simplifying the veggies I ate. I ate slowly, being more present with what was in front of me and paid a lot of attention to my bowel movements, seeing what helped and what didn’t. Generally noticing that it was so up and down, no matter what I did.


My next step

I’m going to wrap up Project 22 with my final blood test results, my appointment with Brooke and my next steps – because there’s always next steps.

You can check out everything about my Project 22 over here and Chapter 21 – Thank you and Goodbye.


Share with me

Are you going on your own journey in 2022? Then tag me and use #project22 so we can connect xo



Everything shared in this post and across my website is my story and recollection of conversation and events. They are in no way medical or mental health advice, prescription or diagnosis. Should you be interested in what I’m sharing and what this could mean in your life, then I’d encourage you to engage with the relevant health professionals or if you need support please seek out the health professionals that can support you.

In relation to my podcast, the information shared is mine or my guests. Again it is not medical or mental health advice, prescription or diagnosis. If you need support, please seek out relevant medical professionals.

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