Today’s post is all about throwing our support behind Casey.
She did not ask me to do this, but when I read her blog post yesterday (and please read it if you have a minute), I wanted to make sure she knew that there was an entire community behind her as she is really struggling with her celiac disease.
See those pictures above?
That’s Casey. She is in college.
But instead of enjoying the college life and all that it brings, she is in the hospital; with a feeding tube shoved up her nose that she now must wear for 30 days.
As Casey so eloquently states on her blog…
I should be in college classes right now, watching the second hand of the clock tick closer to the freedom of Friday nights out with friends. Tonight, I should be relaxing in my dorm room, shrieks from midnight surfing expeditions and volleyball games drifting in my window and urgings from my dorm mates urging me to abandon the homework and help pierce Sidney’s ears. My biggest worry should be whether or the not the cute sophomore in my politics likes me for my personality or my homework grade, not how everyone will react when I walk onto campus with a tube taped to my face.
As a celiac, I already eat gluten free while my friends chow down on pizza. I already dodge culinary social events with the footwork of a ninja. And now the doctors tell me a feeding tube will become my newest fashion accessory around my college campus.
That broke me.
When I reached out to Casey asking if I could share her story and if she had anything specific she wants us to know, here is what she emailed me:
Hey Gluten Dude,
Hope your day’s going well. I’m not feeling 100%, but I’m getting released out of the hospital in an hour or so, so I’m super excited about that!
In the beginning, my celiac story followed the same plot as most others. After suffering from stomach pain, nausea, and weight loss, I went to a GI who diagnosed me with celiac disease. She expected me to bounce back right away once I started my gluten free diet, but unfortunately I’ve always been a little special.
Since my diagnosis four months ago, I’ve lost 20 Ibs and am down to 88 lbs at 5’3″. I still suffered stomach pain, nausea and weight loss, even while on the gluten free diet. First, my doctor tried to put me on an all liquid diet of special nutritional shakes, but my stomach couldn’t tolerate even those so I was hospitalized for three days.
Basically, they discovered that I was extremely malnourished and vitamin deficient, both of which cause my stomach’s continual issues. Because my levels are still so low and I’m not receiving adequate nutrition, though, I have to keep the feeding tube in for at least a month until my weight increases. Via the tube, I will get calories during the night while I sleep and eat regular food during the day. The only bummer is that because I don’t want to take the tube in and out each night, I have to wear the tube all during the day.
I have hope that all of this nutrition will kick start my stomach as I begin to rework food back into my diet after surviving solely off of liquid drinks for two weeks. I’m so excited to get to share my story because, while this was being planned, it was hard to find others suffering the same symptoms. After I posted my story though lots of others began to share theirs. And that’s why I love the celiac community :)
Talk to you later Gluten dude! Go gluten free! And go no hospitals! :)
First of all…for all of those who think simply going gluten-free is the answer to all of your celiac health woes, let this be a stark reminder that it’s not always that easy.
Secondly…here is a personal message to Casey: Hang in there my friend. Life is throwing you a major curve ball right now. You have an amazing spirit about you that not only will get you through this, but that will allow you to come out on the other side stronger because of it. And if that cute sophomore in your politics has an ounce of common sense, he’ll ask you out…feeding tube and all.
Lastly…please send a virtual hug to Casey by leaving a comment below. Let her feel the power of the celiac community and what an awesome bunch we are.