An Unplanned Hospital Trip and a Health Focused Fortnight

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Tuesday 26 May 2015

An Unplanned Hospital Trip and a Health Focused Fortnight

2 weeks ago our hopes had been high for relatively swift departure from Holland. With no fixed plans we had been looking forward to the next leg of our adventure, planning to head generally south to sunshine and pastures new. We'd had a great week in the Hague with Esther's parents and grandma, visiting the beach and cycling around the Hague, enjoying some fine weather as well. Then, with Terry and Ria leaving on a Wednesday evening, we had planned to set off just a day or two later, after spending a little more time with Oma and making some more definite plans. Sadly, life had another idea in mind as we found ourselves in A&E on Friday, rethinking our next steps.

In the weeks leading up to our crossing back to Britain Esther had been struggling with stomach cramps and unpleasant excess gas (fun times for all!).  With an initial diagnosis of a grumbling appendix from a consultant in Durham, and we had tried various diet related and other natural interventions which had initially seemed to be working well and had significantly eased Esther's discomfort and she'd been cleared for travel. However, with us being on the move again as we crossed back to Holland, we had not been adhering as rigidly as we should have done to the guidelines (post the water-only fasting Esther had under taken whilst we were at Phil's in Banbury) and had noticed the discomfort becoming more frequent and eventually severe after a week or so in Holland.

Things came to a head on Friday when Esther developed a fever and, after almost 24 hours in severe discomfort and vomiting several times, we decided enough was enough and we took ourselves to hospital. The doctors were brilliant, quick, and put our minds at rest, ruling out acute appendicitis (as we had feared because of the previous diagnosis) after tests and another ultrasound scan, suggesting instead it was diet related, possible food allergies / IBS like symptoms from re-introducing solid food too quickly.

All in all it was a pretty scary period and not one we'd want to repeat in a hurry.

But what to do next was the question? We had been planning to set off travelling but with the cycle of discomfort / fasting / relief etc. Esther was in, we knew that was out of the question at this moment, so we decided to stay in more familiar surroundings. Esther's parents were wonderful in allowing us to stay in their house so having much more space than our own little motorhome to recover and work out what to do.

So, all in all, the past couple of weeks have been very different to our plans. We've done a lot of research into digestive disorders, food allergies and elimination diets and have made some brilliant changes to our eating habits, reducing the amount of certain foods that might have been triggering the symptoms. I've been doing my best to support, pottering in and out of the Hague to collect vegetables from the organic supermarkets / market.  (Sadly after two years of working perfectly, for no discernible reason, the screen of our Omega juicer broke which was bad timing to say the least.  The company we bought it from have been very good and we're now waiting on the replacement parts to be sent from the UK).

Thankfully, the changes seem to be working and Esther is feeling much better each day and we're hopeful it will continue to improve. Although all of the upheaval has meant that we've been quite limited in what we've been able to do, limiting ourselves to walks to the beach and back, just to feel we'd seen the sea, cycles to oma to have an hour together and shopping when we need to, the main thing is that Esther seems to be moving forward in the right direction.

Hopefully in the days ahead, if things continue to improve, we'll be able to think about travelling onwards once more!  For now, we're very lucky to have a place for Esther to rest up and continue her recovery, with the added bonus that the weather has been quite good lately.

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