6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.



The day?  Saturday.

Brian and I had spent the day with our kids.  We had, had a lazer tag showdown during Family Night on Friday.  Saturday morning we ate breakfast together, chatted, played, went to Saturday evening mass and took Jaibrian to a Birthday Party Sleepover.

The boys, Brian and I sat down around 7:00 pm to watch an old episode of "Merlin" on Netflix.  We're wading through the episodes one by one.  We all like that show.

After the movie, the kids went to bed.  Brian and I were relaxing in our computer chairs checking out Facebook and balancing our budget.  The time was 8:45-ish pm.

As I sat in my computer chair, I began to have "that" pain.  The one that I recognize, oh so well.  It started in the upper right side of my abdomen, just under my ribs, as usual.  I knew to sit back in my chair and relax...breathe through it.  The pain intensified...just like a Charley horse in a person's leg, but my "charley horses" happen in my chest.  The tightness always gets worse, peeks and then slowwwlyyy subsides as I breathe, sweat, cry through the pain.

This time, though, something was different.  I sat, breathing, Brian watching me as usual, waiting for it to pass.  I began to feel a cloud cover my brain.

"Brian, I'm going to pass out.  Make sure I keep breathing." was all I could manage to say.

The next thing I know I woke up to the sound of Brian urgently saying my name.  I can't figure out why there are millions of crickets chirping in my ears.  I realize I've passed out, but I can't get my body to work right.

"What in the world is that sound!"  I'm able to say.  Brian's shocked.  What sound?  Your computer?

He turns the computer off.  The Ambulance Personnel are questioning me.

'When did they get here?'  I wonder.

"When is your birthday?  Shelly! When is your birthday?"

'How long have they been asking me this?'  My brain is thinking;  My mouth is not cooperating fully.  I finally manage to say the date.  I'm completely soaked...sweat.  Oh, That's right; The last time I passed out I was soaked in sweat.  OH! I passed out again and the ambulance is here... Okay. Now I'm with the program.

I am helped onto the stretcher.  The next thing I know I'm looking up at a person pumping IV fluids into my veins, talking on a CB?  "Blood pressure 60/40"... I hear.  The voice on the other end says.  "Take the vitals again. If it drops lower, call back."

Whoa...I'm upside-down...I think. 

I'm at the hospital, the pain in my stomach is subsiding, my brain is finally cooperating.  I'm admitted.  Tests are run...gotta stay all night. Crap!

Sunday, Nuclear Stress Test.  Not such a bad gig.  It tastes funny...even though it's an IV... but I don't have to walk on a treadmill so that's a plus.  The Doctor on staff thinks I'll be out today.

Sunday Afternoon; Bad news.  I need a Heart Catheterization.  They've found something irregular.  Brian calls my parents.  Crap!

My loving family and friends keep me uplifted in prayer.  Our youngest children, mercifully, have no idea what has happened. The Heart Catheterization is normal.  More tests have been run, 5 separate doctors scour through my past history, current predicament and ask me so many questions I can't even believe it.

I'm so thankful for their attentiveness.  They nod, ask more questions, nod, write...they're actually listening...while reading my files. And lo-and-behold, they come back with ANSWERS! After 7 years of this non-sense, THESE doctors...God Bless Them, actually have a diagnosis! ( I should have gone to St. John's WAY before now!)

Turns out I have some sort of domino effect issue in my body that is triggered by gluten and dairy.  I "think" this is the process...If I understand correctly.

Domino 1: I have esophageal spasms.
Domino 2:  I have a hiatal hernia
Domino 3:  I have gluten intolerance and Lactose Intolerance.
Domino 4: Those foods trigger esophageal spasms in my body.
Domino 5: If the stars are aligned right on that day, the spasm will trigger a vasovagal response that drops my blood pressure.
Domino 6:  If the pressure is dropped low enough/long enough, I pass out...
Domino 7:  I have had a heart ablation for Heart Arrhythmia
Domino 8:  This puts me at risk for death from Vagus Nerve response. Most people don't have to worry "as much" about the arrhythmia issue, but, because of my hearth issues, I'm at risk.

So, what solves this issue?   A Gluten and Dairy Free Diet.


Thank you, Lord Jesus, for getting me and my family through the woods safely.  Amen.


Kristina said...

I'm so glad you have a diagnosis. I know the relief of that. I'm sure Brian is in a state of eternal relief right now!

I'm sorry that you are going to have to live gluten free. It can be difficult. There are so many options available for gluten free living these days. Personally, I am working my way through recipes trying new gluten free recipes every week. I'll be sure and share the ones that we like.

Sunday Taylor said...

Oh, Shelly thank goodness you are ok, and got some answers. I work through St. John’s it is nice to know that when we sent people out the big hospital that they are getting great care. I hope the new diet makes all the difference for you.

Cindy said...

It took 10 years for me to realize gluten was my problem, I so understand the relief of a real answer! Gluten free living takes a minute to get the hang of, but BOY is it worth it!

The Mom with Brownies said...

Hi Guys! :o)

I'm thankful for the docs at St. John. Everyone was very nice. If I didn't know better I'd think the entire staff had gone through Disney Hospitality Training. They were overly nice.

I wish I had stuck with the gluten free diet when I tried it before. Hindsight.

The Mom with Brownies said...


How does Gluten effect you?

The Wilhelms said...

Wow, shelly! Being off fb sucks, I miss all the "good" stuff. So glad you're okay! AND there's finally a diagnosis! Sounds very simliar to Micah's diagnosis, at least in the respect that the food is causing issues in the esophagus. Hard one to figure out. Im guessing this is your motivation to really cut the gluten and dairy out, eh? It only took me about 2-3 months to start to feel like gf/df wasn't so bad. Hang strong in the adjustment period and it'll start to get easier.

The Mom with Brownies said...

Hi Sarah,

Oh my goodness, if Micah is having this kind of pain, that poor baby. I can hardly handle it as an adult, I just cannot imagine how he must feel for a little one who cannot even understand it.

It's horrible because the weird feeling in the stomach/chest never really goes away, it's just a twinge, pain, zip that is around until it hits full force.

Apparently the gluten/dairy is the trigger for the full out episodes. It also causes me to be in a fog and tired most of the time which was causing me issue with concentration.

I am prayerful and hopeful that they have the right diagnosis. I should have just stuck to the diet all these times that I've tried it before. Now that I know it's "real" and not just in my head, I'm sticking to it.

Thank God I still had a lot of information in my computer and they sent me know with a lot of information too.

How is Micah doing now?

HISchild said...

OH MY GOODNESS! So glad that docs have been able to see through all the stuff and give you a definitive answer!

Join the gluten free crowd!

The Mom with Brownies said...

Ellen, I know! How long have you and I been talking about "these pains?" I finally know. Thank you God. I mean that literally. Hope you're doing well. It's been forever!