Dude note: To help celebrate and promote Celiac Awareness Month, I will be writing 30 blog posts over 30 consecutive days (weekends excluded) with the theme “30 Days of Helping 30 Celiacs”. Each post will be aimed toward helping one specific person or group of people. If you or someone you know needs help, guidance, advice or a shoulder to cry on, please contact me and I will do what I can to help. On the 31st day, you’re on your own. Totally kidding.
Today’s 30 for 30 blog post is for: Wendy, who is struggling with the thought that she may never be able to sustain a pregnancy.
Thank god for this blog. Not in a “pat myself on the back” kind of way AT ALL.
But if I didn’t start this blog, I would have had absolutely no idea the extent of the havoc celiac plays and how it affects so many people in such a variety of ways. I would have been among the clueless who figured everyone had the same symptoms as me. It has been absolutely eye-opening and I’m beyond grateful people have shared their stories, as hard as some of them are to hear.
Today’s email comes from Wendy who had a life-altering conversation with her doctor after her celiac diagnosis. She is not specifically asking for help, but I wanted to share this story just the same. I’m assuming she’s not alone in this.
Here’s the email…
Still at 27 the words and their potential implications for my future stung. The malabsorption from Celiac was wreaking havoc on my body. I could barely keep myself alive, let alone carry a baby at that time.
Now fully committed to a gluten free lifestyle and much healthier then before, I still hear the doctor’s proclamation and wonder if I am now, or will ever be, ‘healthy’ enough to carry my own children. In addition to Celiac I suffer from an additional currently ‘unspecified autoimmune’ disorder that is causing me small fiber neuropathy and tremors.
Doctors have told me they really don’t know and can’t know exactly how my body would react to a pregnancy. I’m in a position I never imagined: 29 and dating and in the back of my mind already knowing that a biological family may not be possible for me.
I wonder when one shares this knowledge with a significant other, if I could marry someone who didn’t feel adoption was a choice for them (as adoption is a very real possibility when I think of my future); if I could be okay never having a family of my own.
It is amazing to think that something I ingested multiple times a day for the vast majority of my life would literally eat away at part of me and leave me questioning my future in such major ways. [Dude note: This line speaks volumes about our disease.]
Whatever happens I know that it will be alright in the end – but I cannot help questioning what it means to know my body may not allow me the choice of carrying my own children…and how I best approach it with those around me.
Since I am so not qualified to offer any kind of advice here, I’ll put it out there for the community.