I have a hard time with ignorance.
I can deal with a lot of things when it comes to other people: anger, jealousy, pettiness, etc.
The fact that we’re all so different is what makes the world go round.
But ignorance? Simply not believing something because it doesn’t fit your definition of truth? Drives me crazy.
Which leads us to today’s celiac rant.
So many people, doctors included, simply refuse to believe that gluten “may” be what is causing many of your health woes.
Picture this. Your 7 month old baby has watery green bowel movements more than 10 times a day. She doesn’t sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time. She screams. A lot. For 7 months you’ve been told you’re a nervous first time mum who just needs to calm down. 12 doctors have told you it’s your fault.
Then your baby starts to lose weight, like really lose weight, and then you’re sent for pathology tests for parasites, and then told it’s probably normal. Oh, and of course you need to calm down and trust the doctors. You ask another 4 doctors whether it could be a food allergy. Ha ha, of course not dear, that’s very rare. Uh huh.
So you follow it up further, and find a dietitian who specializes in food intolerance and breastfeeding. At 9 months old, you cut gluten, amongst other things, out of your diets. Three days later your baby sleeps for two hours (I have a picture of that moment). Within three weeks the bottom end is back to normal and the top end has stopped screaming. Within 6 weeks she has gained a massive amount of weight and is back up to normal weight.
And then my doctor told me it was a coincidence.
But three weeks after giving up gluten to provide my daughter with gluten-free breast milk, some strange things happened to me, too. I had my first pain-free day since I was a teenager. Arthritis gone. My skin cleared up. Eczema gone. My migraines stopped. I lost 20 kg in two months. That’s only the start of the list. A year later, every health problem I’ve had since I was a child has now gone.
And then my parents told me it was a coincidence.
On the recommendation of my dietician, I did a gluten challenge. A tiny amount of gluten hit me like a bus and laid me low for three days. And my daughter only got it through breast milk and that was enough to bring all her symptoms back too. That’s enough of a diagnosis for me.
I’ve spent 20 years sick but just by avoiding gluten I can be well again. I was pretty bitter about lost time and I am angry at my parents for refusing to acknowledge that this is real. It is hard learning how rude, ignorant, and lacking in compassion people can be. It’s worrying learning how rude and ignorant many doctors are.
But at least my daughter can grow up healthy right from the start.