Hi Everyone! I'm so happy to have found a group of people that understand what GA is like to go through. I'll give a bit of my background:
I'm 26 and live in Edmonton, Canada. About 15 months ago, I collapsed at work after my muscles stopped supporting me. For the next 8 months, in addition to no functional use of my legs, every week I would get full body muscle spasms that would last for 12-15 hrs.
Initially, when I went to the hospital, they put me in the psych ward for 3 weeks and determined that there was 'nothing physically wrong with me' which countered the psych assessment of 'nothing mentally wrong with me'. The next several months were spent getting bounced from doctor to psychiatrist and back and forth with no one offering an explanation to my symptoms.
Finally, a naturopath/traditional medicine clinic in Phoenix determined that I was gluten (and corn and dairy) ataxic. The effects from the diet change were immediate. Three days later I was able to walk with a reasonable gait.
It took 2 months of intensive physiotherapy to retrain my body to move normally again, but I got there. I'm happy to announce that I've been back to work for about 3-4 months now. However, there are an incredible amount of challenges to being around people who don't share the same dietary restrictions. The office is always full of baking and doughnuts, etc. Though I obviously don't eat any myself, the contaminents get spread throughout the office on the hands of people that do.
I've found that even trace exposure to my allergens will send me back to immobility for between 5-10 days depending on if the trigger was gluten or not. I've been getting these reactions every 5-6 weeks since i've been back to work. I think the constant trace exposure slowly builds up in my system until I tip over into a reaction. That would be my only explanation for the consistent frequency of my reactions. I can also 'tolerate' small quantities of corn syrup in a glass of sweetened soy milk in weeks 1-4, but I will react to that same glass in weeks 5-6.
Before I went back to work and after I had changed my diet, a 4 month period, I only had 1 reaction to an old jar of peanut butter that still had crumbs in it. So I'm struggling to find ways to protect myself. It seems like it takes a little longer each time to fully recover from an episode.
So, I'm wondering, has anyone had success in the workplace (or any other place where you are consistently surrounded by others) with GA? I don't want to keep damaging my body like this, and could use any tips/tricks people have found.
Yikes, this post wasn't nearly as brief as I intended. Hopefully everyone didn't fall asleep halfway through.
Thanks for starting this board up Brett!