I’m Freeeeeee!

I think I’ve blogged about my giant hiccups before. They’re not really hiccups. Hiccups are cute but mildly annoying little things. What I get are these giant SQUAWKS that make everyone in a restaurant turn and look. They don’t feel great, either—like my throat is a squeaky toy someone keeps stepping on. They sometimes get so bad I can’t read aloud to the boys at night because my throat is just too worn out.

It wasn’t just my throat giving me problems. I was having a lot of muscle pain, too. First my calves…then hamstrings…then glutes…then hip flexors…then shoulder…then lower back. Some days I couldn’t even go for a walk, my hip flexors hurt so much. I was still able to eke out a workout at the gym, but my exercise list was shrinking by the week.

I was starting to feel like this guy:


I left pilates with Kevin one Saturday in March. Pilates is something I do in between gym days because it’s so much easier on my body, but that day I had barely made it through the workout. I didn’t mean to, but I let out a sob. “I just feel like I’ve been beaten up.” “What hurts?” Kevin asked. “Everything.” Everything

I’ve been to regular doctors, naturopaths, and therapists. I’ve done physical therapy, had ultrasounds, X-rays, and MRI’s, an endoscopy and a colonoscopy, and tried every treatment the experts recommended except the metal detoxins footbath, but in the end they all said, “I can’t find anything wrong.” They also said they’ve never heard of someone SQUAWK like that before.

I joked that it was all in my head. I worried that it was all in my head. I knew that it definitely was not all in my head. It was hard to see so many things I love—running, exercising, playing with my kids, hiking, gardening—disappearing. It felt like my life was shrinking.

Kevin, engineer that he is, tester that he is, convinced me to do a gut intelligence test. He was so optimistic. I was so without hope. But I sent off a blood sample and stool sample anyway because Kevin is hard to say no to and because bleeding and pooping were two things I could still do.

A few weeks later the results came back (I went through Viome) and showed that I shouldn’t eat tomatoes, cucumbers, or turmeric. They also showed I should limit sugar to 1 teaspoon a day, limit my intake of fatty meat, and not drink too much caffeine, which made me skeptical. That’s not personalized advice; that’s the curriculum of a fifth grade health class!

But to make Kevin happy, I stopped eating tomatoes, cucumbers, and turmeric, throwing in peppers for good measure. Actually, I didn’t do it to make Kevin happy. I did it so that I could say, “See? I told you so. Nothing works.”

Except that…it did work. Two weeks after stopping cucumbers, turmeric, peppers, and tomatoes my hiccups all but disappeared. I sat cross-legged on the couch one afternoon. Cross-legged! Can you imagine? Feeling brave, I went for a walk. I started out in my slow, granny way but then got bolder and bolder until, unbelievably, miraculously, I was walking briskly!  The next week I tried running. Readers, I can run. I can run!!!

It feels like I’ve traded in my body for a new one. Like I reversed time. Like I tossed my crutches into the bushes and ran down the road, yelling, “I’M FREEEEEEE!”

I’ve never been happier for Kevin to be right.

Not all my problems are solved. I still have some muscle stuff going on and have to be careful. It’s become extremely difficult to eat at restaurants with my list of things I can’t eat (I also can’t do citrus, coffee, and a few other things). I’m still three inches shorter than I’d like to be. Kevin has more work to do.

But I am up and running again, all thanks to this guy. My hero.


Maybe not the best picture?


This guy. My hero.


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