Yesterday I chose the doorway to health. I chose this door because I have a larger mission in life than managing a disease, because I deserve it, because I was ready, and because it would have been really weird to walk into Bradshaw Johnson Chartered Accountants and ask for a fecal microbiota transplant.
The truth is, I made this choice a long time ago, and not just because I already paid for my treatment. I chose health the day I vowed to never eat gluten again. I chose health the day I finally opened Elaine Gottschall's Breaking the Vicious Cycle with the intent of reading it cover to cover. I chose health when I later customized my version of The Specific Carbohydrate Diet because my body needed more fat and carbohydrate. I chose health when I told my amazingly supportive wife (then fiancée) that I was going to defeat this disease, no matter how long it took.
As I walked up the street to the Taymount Clinic I considered all that it took to get here: the diets, foods, and lifestyle changes I had rigorously implemented; the blood loss, discomfort, and sense of unease that came from living with IBD; the pain, doubt, and shame that came with being a grown man who often wonders whether today will be the day he craps his pants.
Would this treatment have solved my health problems years ago, and will it solve them today? To the former, I say: it simply does not matter. To the latter: I entirely believe the answer is yes, and, in the end, that is all that really matters. Change can be as hard or as easy as we want to make it, and today I was ready to make it easy.
My treatment went off without a hitch. The staff were courteous and professional. I received accolades for the cleanliness of my colon. (Might I just add that I love hearing that word spoken with an English accent...CO-lawn.) I chatted with the staff about diet, prebiotics, probiotics and all of that health stuff I love to geek out over. These were my people.
Fresh out the clinic door with the first installment of my new microbiome, I was faced with an exciting question: what does it want to eat? If it is not already blatantly obvious, I love food and this new spin on nutrition made me almost giddy. I perused the produce section of the local Waitrose and tried to let my bugs decide. It turns out my new bugs are just as excited about apples as my old ones and leapt at the opportunity to try their first Cox's Orange Pippin. Okay, they didn't leap--that would have been messy.
I returned to my hotel, fired up my new English cooktop ("hob", they would say) and did what I love to do--turn great ingredients into a delicious meal. Aside from a little excitement when the new burners started smoking profusely, it was a delightful evening in.
I savored a smoothie of cranberries, banana, and coconut oil, spiked with prebiotics. I delighted in wild New Bruswick prawns tossed with sea salt and clarified butter. I enjoyed steamed asparagus drizzled with goose fat and seasoned with Herbes de Provence. I put down a couple of bowls of leek and broccoli soup. Microbiota--you're welcome.
Day one of my FMT is now behind me. So, how do I feel? In a word, great. I wasn't expecting that pesky rash on the back of my leg to disappear overnight, but it did. I wasn't sure I would sleep through the night with a belly full of food, but I did. The old me thought that I might need to use a restroom on my walk to the clinic today, but the new me took the long way and had no need for the loo. Did I mention I was ready for change?
In good health,
I'm Ethan, a guy whose life used to be controlled by ulcerative colitis. As I systematically tested diets, treatments, and all types of health advice to heal my colon, I learned a lot about my own biology and also how to cook without compromise. I'm here to share the best (and sometimes worst) of that journey with you.