I’ve managed to make several changes recently which I believe have kept me from wheat/gluten exposures for nearly two weeks. It’s really too bad I’ve had to deal with illness during the period of time since the last known exposure and can’t exactly know for sure if I really have truly avoided it for this length of time. On top of the illness, I’ve had to deal with issues with my iron supplement and with trying to find another one that doesn’t cause problems while providing my body with the iron it needs. It seems like I’m going one step forward and two steps back. There are signs that things are pointing up, like my skin getting better and my nails getting a little bit stronger, but I still feel there is a long way to go.

While going without a wheat/gluten exposure for any length of time would have been cause for celebration ordinarily, I ended up coming down with a respiratory illness and have been dealing with it ever since. At first, I thought it was just a cold. I stayed out of work a day and went back the next day. I wasn’t completely well that day, but I was definitely better. I thought I had gotten over it over the weekend, but I developed a cough and sore throat that just got worse as time went on. At first, I thought it was due to allergy after being outdoors for several hours, but that turned out not to be the case. My cough started out dry but became productive about a

Boy, do I hate this cough!

Boy, do I hate this cough!

day later, and my sore throat just became excruciating. When I ended up with a slight fever a couple of nights later, I ended up taking ibuprofen to help with it, and it really ended up helping with my sore throat pain. Because of the fever, I ended up staying out of work the next day and going to the doctor to be checked. She diagnosed me with bronchitis, sinusitis, and pharyngitis. She prescribed an antibiotic and suggested I use Mucinex and nasal spray to help with other symptoms. I continued to use ibuprofen and sore throat lozenges to help with my sore throat. When I told her I had used the heavy-duty Easy Off oven cleaner the day before I got sick and may have inhaled some of the spray (the actual spray, not just fumes), she thought that might have contributed to my illness. To this day, I’m still battling symptoms, although I’m much better. I’m just hoping that dealing with this illness has not caused me to miss potential exposures. At one point, I had taken a liquid cough suppressant and had developed dizziness and sleepiness after taking it. I wondered if I had been exposed to something then, but my doctor seemed to think side effects from the type of cough syrup I used were common and I was probably having issues with the cough syrup. I took more doses after that without issue, though. There were other times where I felt yucky due to the illness, and I’m hoping that was all it was. This illness has been very frustrating to deal with. When I think I’m doing better and getting close to the end, it seems like I get hit with worsening symptoms once again. It’s also been frustrating because while I think I’ve been doing great with the seeming lack of wheat/gluten exposures, I really can’t celebrate because I’m having to worry about the illness. I’m hoping it won’t last much longer and that I can perhaps look forward to celebrating real progress in dealing with avoiding wheat/gluten exposures.

As for the iron supplement, I believe the ferrous gluconate supplement was starting to bother me more as time went on. How wonderful to have to worry about that along with the respiratory illness. I did some research and decided to try carbonyl iron instead. It’s still too early to tell if this will be a good supplement for me, if it will keep my iron levels up while keeping my digestive system happy. It already seems like my digestive issues have improved somewhat. If the supplement doesn’t work, I hope I can find something that will work. I’ve already gone online and done additional research looking for other options if I need to pursue them, and I believe I’ve found some viable alternatives. I plan to stick with the carbonyl iron supplement if I don’t have digestive issues with it and don’t notice symptoms of iron deficiency. The true test for it, then, will come when I have blood testing for iron levels done. Hopefully the test results will show improved levels. If not, at that point, I’ll have to see what else I can try, and hopefully my doctor can help point me in the right direction. I may ask what she thinks about the other options I’ve found.

I’m not sure how much progress I’ve made in the last couple of weeks in improving my health. Some signs that things may be getting better are my skin clearing quite a bit and feeling better on supplemental iron. My nails are a little better but are still easy to peel and break. Hopefully I’ll be completely over my illness soon and will be better able to figure out how things are really going. Hopefully things will continue to improve and I’ll have truly found and dealt with sources of constant wheat/gluten exposure. Hopefully I’ll do well on the proper iron supplement and keep myself from ever becoming deficient in iron. Hopefully doing these things will contribute to my better health and will continue to help me make progress in feeling better.

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