I was 32 and feeling really good about myself. I got a new bicycle and started riding it to work every day, about 7 miles each way. Despite the occasional angry drivers who tried to run me over (what do these people have for breakfast?), it was a extremely refreshing ride. On weekends, I enjoyed taking my doggies on hikes along the beautiful Northwest trails. These were long, strenuous walks rewarded by the amazing views at the top.
I had lost quite a bit of weight even though I was eating more than ever: I felt great about that because I figured my metabolism was kicking in, putting all those calories to work. I was always craving apple juice and was drinking tons of it, thinking it was helping me to stay hydrated.
I took a week off to join my family in China. It was very exciting to meet them there, although being a vegetarian it was hard to find things I could eat, so my diet consisted mainly of white rice and not much else. While I was there I was getting very painful cramps on my legs, which I attributed to the many hours sitting in the plane. My sister, who hadn’t seen me in a few months, mentioned my hair seemed to be thinning. Since I had noticed that myself, as soon as I returned home I went to see a dermatologist to check what was going on. He told me it was alopecia and said I could try some Rogaine but not to worry about it. I did however passed on the Rogaine because I don’t like to take medicines if I can avoid them.
Around that time I started getting frequent yeast infections which I’d never experienced before. My ObGyn prescribed some very strong suppositories which I reluctantly tried, but they were not much help as the infections kept coming back. So I started eating more yogurt, hoping that it was just a phase and it would pass soon enough.
Little did I know that all this was the beginning of a new life, and not one I would have ever imagined for myself.