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Filtering by Tag: wife

ONE YEAR LATER - SO, WHAT'S MARRIED LIFE LIKE?

Irena Masters

Celebrating our first wedding anniversary, thanks to    Love Cloud Nine Picnics

Celebrating our first wedding anniversary, thanks to Love Cloud Nine Picnics

Nine years ago, I said yes to William, to be his girlfriend.
Two years ago, I said yes to William, to be his fiancé.
One year ago, I said I do to William, to be his lawfully wedded wife.
And yesterday, I said yes to William, that it was indeed the recycling bin that needed to be taken out this week. 

So, what’s married life like?

I get asked this question over and over again, and although I still don’t feel like I can answer it with much depth as it has only been one year, I think I now have a better understanding of the difference between dating and being married.

Our wedding day captured by the amazingly talented Tina & Doruk from   Lovelenscapes Photography

Our wedding day captured by the amazingly talented Tina & Doruk from Lovelenscapes Photography

In a way, our wedding day marked the conclusion of her and his life, and the beginning of our life. I write ‘life’ rather than ‘lives’ because I believe it’s no longer about being singular, but about coming together and building as one. When I walked down the aisle and said I do, I had a rough idea of what marriage entailed, but unfortunately not even google can give you all the answers. Marriage, like everything else in life, cannot be taught or understood. Everyone is different, and everyone has different dynamics in their relationship. What works for one couple may destroy another. It’s something that needs to be felt simultaneously by both people involved.

Luckily, Will and I have been together since high school (grade 9 for me and grade 11 for Will). We’ve basically lived at each others houses until my second year of University, then we moved and lived together for roughly a year and a half in Darwin prior to getting married and buying our first home. So I’d like to think that we knew each other pretty well before marriage, because of this it wasn’t a complete shock when I ‘accidentally’ only bought white décor for the entire house or if Will ‘accidentally’ didn’t put away his lunch containers. It’s essentially all we’ve ever known. Everything we do on a daily basis has been moulded from the beginning together. It’s funny, because we both did a personality test last night for the first time and both scored extremely high in the category of ‘perfectionists’. I have no idea where we may have picked up these traits but it makes a lot more sense as to why I’m such a freak when it comes to tidying our home and colour coordinating every room in the house and why Will’s side of the dresser is always picture perfect besides when I throw in a few of my items.

The way our house runs is smooth because we know our responsibilities and we know when and what we need to do in order to keep our routine consistent and efficient. We obviously have the occasional days where either Wills absolutely wrecked from work or I’ve been working from 5am – 9pm with a short 30min break and had no time to do the laundry, or cook dinner. Those are the days we rely on the other half to help out and balance the situation which normally happens almost instantly. It’s as if we both know as soon as we see each other whether one of us has had a normal day or a crazily, hectic, ‘get me junk food now’, busy sort of day. For me, marriage is all about team work and having each others back, especially during the stressful times… so whoever it is juggling their day like a maniac… you get them that ice cream… or if it’s both of you then hooray, let’s make it a party and go buy a packet of Maltesers, sour lollies, and a few desserts!

I hear two different spectrums on the topic of marriage, people often say ‘don’t do it, it’s a trap’ or ‘my gosh, it must be the most amazing thing ever’. In my opinion depending on the people and the situation, both are wrong. There are days when you can casually wake up, pop some acoustic on, prance around in your pyjamas, cook breakfast together and cuddle for hours, these days are called… Sundays and yes they are amazing! I think some people who are optimistic about marriage, picture that, as the everyday. Don’t get me wrong, those days definitely are a part of married life. Will and I put a huge emphasis on using our weekends/days off to really spend quality time together as our weekdays are always so full on and involve a lot more dedication, compromise, patience and love.

Living together, travelling together, exercising together, paying bills together, sharing chores together, working together, growing up together – these are the realties of marriage and they can bring out the best, and sometimes the worst in people… yes, unfortunately I do get super competitive when it comes to who can fold their clothes the fastest.

You may still be asking the good ol’ question,
so, come on now, whats married life like for you…?

First of all, before I get into my experience thus far, I don’t think anyone should ever compare their relationship with another. Everyone has different perfections and flaws that they love or hate. What I may find amazing, somebody else could think of as mediocre and vice versa. What works for myself and William may never work for yourself and your significant other. Our emotions may not be what you’re feeling but in no way does it mean your relationship or ours is any worse or better.

I can confidently say that so far I am so extremely grateful and happy with the life Will and I have created together. I honestly didn’t think it was possible but I am more in love with this amazing man today than I was one year ago when we said, “I do”.  I cannot believe that time has passed so quickly and yet I can think back and reminisce on how many little milestones we have both accomplished. I hear people say ‘marriage is hard’, I disagree, I think life is hard, all the pressures and rocks that get thrown at you are sometimes so difficult to manage and I think those who have found a partner or soulmate to help navigate through those storms are so extremely lucky. Our marriage quite often floats down a beautiful stream peacefully and lovingly, there are a few ducks that float along with us, supporting our adventures (family/friends), sometimes there’s a small exciting wave (new experiences/beginnings), sometimes a little rain (little disagreements, mainly on what we should eat for dessert, crème brulee always), and very rarely a thunderstorm hits (family, loss, work issues). During these gusty moments we continue to keep paddling, we keep afloat, we hold onto each other’s hand a little tighter, and we never let go until the storm dissipates. This is, what marriage looks like for us…

I would love to hear about your experiences or any questions you guys may have! PM me on Instagram or comment away below.

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IN THE KITCHEN

Irena Masters

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About seven years ago William went overseas with me for the very first time. We were headed to the Solomon Islands to visit my family (they owned a business there during this period). Unfortunately Will experienced chronic food poisoning within the first couple of days. This is basically where his health saga started. We have been in and out of doctors, specialists, dieticians, naturopaths... the list goes on, with no idea what was wrong or why he continued to experience symptoms. We completed multiple tests (blood, parasite, breath tests, colonoscopies etc.) with no results and not much guidance. Majority of doctors would palm us off and basically say "I'm not that knowledgeable in that field, but I think you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This was beyond frustrating especially as Will didn't even experience 90% of IBS symptoms, he didn’t have a problem with toilet duties (bowel movements) and he did not experience gassiness. What we have learnt over the years is that a lot of medical practitioners have not actually been exposed or taught about food, diet, or stomach/bowel complications, there is very minimal science, testing or research in this field and a lot of the information you receive is quite new. Unfortunately a lot of victims who are experiencing stomach and bowel problems will likely be immediately placed in the "you have IBS" pile. 

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After our one hundredth visit to the doctors (slight over exaggeration, only slightly though) and being told Will had IBS we were advised to be on the Low Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols Diet. You’re probably thinking, what the hell was that all about? It’s short for Low FODMAPS Diet, FODMAPs are essentially a collection of short-chain carbohydrates that ferment in the stomach due to lack of absorption in the gut. This is what causes victims to experience symptoms. While on the topic of IBS even though William didn’t/doesn’t have IBS – it’s a syndrome that is quite common. According to the Monash University, 15% of the world’s population are affected by IBS. I have a couple of close friends who have to deal with this syndrome and struggle with it everyday.

After a couple of years of doing the Low FOMAPs Diet we were able to see a slight difference in Wills symptoms, he was no longer experiencing as many, however, the problem was still present and not fixed. We didn’t want to forever be constrained to certain foods anymore and Will really wanted to know the underlying issue and answer. To be honest I have no idea how Will stayed with me during this time as for those of you who know me, know that I am a huge foodie and literally eating is one of my hobbies. Anyway, so after two years of changing his diet to accommodate the Low FODMAPs we decided to stop and continue researching for another possible diagnosis. Before I continue though, if you do have IBS, I highly recommend downloading the Monash University FODMAP Diet App for $7.99 (I know that’s pretty expensive for an app but trust me this was our bible when dealing and preparing foods). I will be writing some posts in the future on some of the recipes I came up with during the two years so that Will didn’t lose his mind when eating this restricted diet. So hopefully that can help anyone who is dealing with this at the moment! The Low FODMAP Diet is a god send when trying to reduce bowel symptoms, it’s also a great way to figure out which specific food groups react badly and what to avoid.

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William and I have spent countless hours on the World Wide Web, trying to find case studies, research articles, science journals, blogs and everything else in between for an answer to his problem. It wasn’t until twenty seventeen while sitting on our couch in our new home that we stumbled upon a forum filled with a handful of people, that we got the ‘uh huh’ feeling. We read through each person’s list of symptoms and surprisingly William could 100% relate. I remember thinking ‘tick, tick, tick… this is Will to a T’. We read the diagnosis… ‘SIBO’ and had never heard of it. We both sat silently and typed away in our web browsers to find more information and instantly had a gut feeling (pun intended) that this was it. It took us about a week before we started contacting specialists who dealt specifically with SIBO and organised an appointment with a certified dietician to arrange to do tests ASAP.

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After completing various examinations and doing the lactulose breath tests we waited patiently for the results. When we walked into the patient room I clearly remember feeling quite negative and was prepared for the same lines that we heard countless times, “hmmm, sorry guys the results are negative, not sure what you have, possibly IBS, have you tried the Low FODMAPs Diet?”. The outcome was oh so different. The dietician walked straight in waving around the results paper and straight away said “looks like you have a positive result William, you have Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth”. Normally at this point most people would be quite unhappy with a positive result for a health issue, but instantly Will and I looked at each other in absolute relief, we finally had a diagnosis. After 7 years we could finally proceed with the correct treatment. I think our dietician must of thought we were crazy by this point.

For those of you who have not heard of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, it is a chronic bacterial infection of the small intestine. Basically the bacterium from the colon has moved its way up into the small intestine. The bacteria then disrupt and interfere with digestion therefore damaging the intestine lining which in return can cause autoimmune disorders and leaky gut syndrome (where food particles, bacteria, toxic waste “leak” out of the intestine and into the blood stream). Main symptoms of SIBO include but not limited to abdominal bloating, pain, loud gurgling and rumbling of the bowels, immense discomfort, malabsorption, weight loss, constipation or diarrhoea, fatigue, but put simply a feeling that you are pretty much allergic to the majority of foods you eat everyday, milk, wheat, sugars, fruit, and yes, even certain vegetables.

The only way you can find out whether you have SIBO or not are by measuring the levels of hydrogen and methane in your breath. This test is called the lactulose breath test, I have placed a link at the bottom of this post with the centre we went to, to organise all of this. It’s a pretty time consuming test, it took Will about 3 to 4 hours to complete, and with his high demanding job we were pretty proud of ourselves by managing to squeeze it in at 3AM Monday morning before his work commenced.

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We were given two options of treatment.

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If you were to take method 1, you would need maybe 1-2 rounds of Rifaxamin, unless you have methane producing bacteria in which case you would take, Neomycin. We did quite a bit of research and although antibiotics are obviously a faster way of killing off the bacteria it also has a faster and more common relapse percentage. I guess this is because the antibiotics are so strong that they hurt the gut lining while eradicate all the bad bacteria as well as the good.

We decided to proceed with number two, the natural way. Our dietician started Will on an 8 Week SIBO Bi-Phasic Treatment Plan consisting of three phases:

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Each phase involves different antimicrobials (essentially natural antibiotics - message me if you want to know which ones Will is taking). The goal of the treatment is to initially starve the bacteria, repair the integrity of the intestinal lining and restore normal motility in the small intestine. The treatment is very restrictive, you can’t eat a lot of things such as no rice, no bread, no potato, no dairy, no sugar, no fruit, no legumes, no spices, no dried herbs, the list goes on. You can only consume a small variety of unlimited veggies within the first phase, bok choy, bok choy, and bok choy, I’m just kidding, but kind of not. There’s bamboo shoots, bok choy, carrots, chives, cucumber, ginger, kale, radish, lettuce and only two or three other veg. All other vegetables have to be eaten in small amounts for example he can have 5 snow peas, or 1/4 cup of pumpking etc. Thank god he can have meat or there probably won’t be any William left after the 8 weeks.

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Will’s just completed three weeks of the treatment, we are approaching the beginning of the forth week, he’s lost around 6kg (I know, I wish) but seems to be stabilising which is good. We have done a lot of prancing around in the kitchen together, organising and meal planning. William has been surprisingly helpful, and has been promoted to my sue chef! He instantly has had a major reduction in symptoms and is feeling pretty okay considering he hasn’t had a coffee in two weeks! I will be posting updates and a few of our recipes to hopefully help others who also have to experience and go through this. If you have any questions, again just send me a message or comment away and I will respond as soon as I can…

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SIBO TEST CENTRE - https://www.vivehealth.com.au/

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