Thank you doctors!
Thank you for changing my life. Indeed, saving my life.
I had discovered through a laboratory test that I had antibodies to gluten in 2003. For the last seven years, I had very carefully avoided gluten. I learned all the unsuspecting places gluten might be found, and I have been very careful to avoid them. Since avoiding gluten, the sharp, stabbing pains that I had in my lower abdomen have gone away, but I was still extremely fatigued. Fatigued to the extent that I took an early retirement from work, I underwent a sleep study which did not find any major problems, and I would limit my car travel to just a few miles from home. It felt as if someone had drained all the blood from my body. Also, each annual physical would come up with a finding of progressively lower total white blood cell counts.
In 2009 and 2010, I saw both Dr. Petersen and Dr. Mousseau. They had me take a stool test checking for parasites. As strange as that might sound because I had not been backpacking or traveling to third world countries and I had no complaints of diarrhea, I followed their directions. Amazingly, the results came back positive for a parasite called Cryptosporidium. They explained that this parasite is common on food and in the water. It frequently does not bother people who do not have a reaction to gluten and who have normal immune systems, but people who are sensitive to gluten can have irritated intestines that allow the parasites to stay and make a home. Although it was challenging, I took the medication they prescribed, and right away my energy levels jumped about five hundred percent. I now feel like I have normal energy levels.
There is just no way to say “thank you for giving me my life back.” What a gift these two doctors have to unravel very elusive issues that can make you feel like part of the “walking dead”. Dr. Petersen and Dr. Mousseau, thank you a million times.