This Gluten Free Love Story was lovingly submitted by Adalaide
On a late summer afternoon my best friend told me she was shooting off an email to a guy who sounded great, but their schedules just never meshed and they just never made it to their first date. “Is he cute?” I asked. Our first date was a month later.
Love came quickly. We knew we wanted to spend our lives together by the new year. The new year was a leap year. This was too good to pass up we thought, we quickly planned a very small (dozen people) ceremony at our church and were married on February 29.
Life wasted no time in the curve balls. That spring I took leave from work to care for my husband for a week after surgery to remove a lump from his neck that turned out to be nothing. After he was feeling better, I could no longer deny my health problem. I was having migraines that had gone from a few times a month to a few times a week. One was no sooner over before the next began. Doctors had no clue what was wrong. You only get so much FMLA in a year, I quickly lost my job. And my insurance.
I found my own answer to the migraines and thought things would be fine. Our life would work out now the way it was supposed to. Unfortunately, my health took one beating after another. Eventually I was sleeping 16 or 20 hours a day. Everything hurt all of the time. Doctors had no answers. There were things I didn’t tell doctors, like the fact that I felt just a little out of sync with reality. I had lifelong bowel issues I was told as a child were normal. There were just so many little things, that I was told over the past three decades were normal.
My husband let me sleep as much as I needed. He offered massages even after long days at work. He never complained if I was asleep when he came home, even though I had no other responsibilities and he had to get his own dinner. We tackled housework as a team on his days off, and when I felt up to it. Or he would do it while I slept. He would even put menthol creams on my sore muscles, despite the fact that he really can’t stand the smell at all. Mostly though, he made me laugh every day.
Eventually, emergency surgery to have my gallbladder out and a follow up ERCP led to my celiac diagnosis. I cried myself to sleep when I got the call. I didn’t know I had had a biopsy, I had never heard of celiac, but when I Googled it I was quite sure that my life was over. My husband was supportive of everything we had to do to get me healthy. I’m pretty sure that if he could live off of pizza, he would, but he even went gluten free for a couple months. (Which was probably the single most awful experience of his life, but he lived and I love him lots for it!)
My husband is my biggest supporter. He understands when I’m in the kitchen cleaning everything obsessively before I cook. Or when I won’t eat something. He’s always ready with a joke about poison gluten. He lets me tastes things first if they’re gluten free but it’s his. He listens to every rant, brings me new treats to try and indulges every dietary whim and need.
For my birthday and Christmas he conspired with his mother to get me to the zoo to feed the giraffes. I’ve loved giraffes since I was three; it was love at first sight. My biggest dream, my whole life, has been to touch one, and he made that come true. It was so magical I cried. Over the past 5 years he has brought me dozens of stuffed giraffes. Still, I wouldn’t trade him for all the giraffes in the world, real or stuffed. I love him more than giraffes, and for anyone who knows me… that is really saying something.