Celiac Rant: I’m 14 and Constantly Haunted by Celiac Disease

celiac disease haunts me

I’m only 14 years old and yet you’ve already ruined my life.

I spend my days panicking that I’ll feel your mighty wrath again. You are like……a dragon. You simply sleep for ages, until the slightest noise wakes you up and you destroy everything. You don’t only destroy my intestines, you’ve messed up my head. You’ve jumbled around my thoughts, you make me feel unnatural. As if I don’t belong. Although I know there are other people suffering from the same Dragon. I feel alone. I feel rejected because of you. I’m not afraid to say it’s your fault.

I ask you to leave over and over again but you don’t seem to listen; you’re too busy being nasty to an innocent soul. I’m constantly judged by the weird things I have to eat, it’s honestly unfair. You’ve made it hard for me to run, jump, smile, laugh, and enjoy life. I’m constantly haunted by you, like a ghost hanging over my shoulder. Instead of you being over my shoulder, you’re in my veins.

You……are……..me. You are everything I consist of. You are celiac disease.


My fellow celiac…my heart aches for you. I saw on a comment you left yesterday that you also realized that you may no longer be able to follow your dream of joining the Air Force because of your disease. You said “My grandpa and dad were in the Air Force, and I felt the need to make my deceased grandfather proud.”

I’m sure they’re damn proud of you kid. At 14, I was doing my best to talk to girls while not drooling on my corduroys and hush puppies. You have dreams already. You’re a 4.0 student. You’ve got a whole amazing life in front of you. I know it’s tough, but do your best not to let our disease get to you. It’s a pain, literally and figuratively. And I can’t place myself in your shoes because I was diagnosed as an adult. I just will say this. Like anything else, it gets easier with time.

Hang tough. You got this.

Need to Vent?

I hate celiac. You hate celiac. We all hate celiac. With all that pent up anger, people need a place to vent.

Well…I invite you to lie on the Dude’s couch (figuratively speaking) and spew away. There’s just one rule: Once you’re done venting, you need to move forward and put the negative vibes on the back burner.
Positive energy brings positive results.

Email me your anonymous rant.

Don’t you feel better already??

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9 thoughts on “Celiac Rant: I’m 14 and Constantly Haunted by Celiac Disease”

  1. Thank you for sharing. You have a gift – a talent to express the unexpressable. (Ever thought of being a writer?) This post reminded me I am not alone in this battle. I hope you can feel that too. You are not alone and though you may never defeat your dragon, one day you’ll tame that wild thing.

  2. Our 14 year old Friend, you published an incredibly accurate and very perceptive depiction of our disease, with one exception, you’re life is not already ruined. You, at 14, are facing early significant challenges but you are far from ruined. In fact, as you learn more about our Celiac Disease, you will become more disciplined and more healthy than most others around you and, as long as you strictly follow our mutual diets, much better equipped to excel in life in every capacity than if you didn’t have CD. Sure CD can be a pain, literally and figuratively, but there will most likely occur many other painful surprises in your future that may be much worse than CD and you’ll already be better prepared to meet all oncoming challenges head on because you will have already learned how to conquer such a significant challenge as CD.

    Our daily lives are all about perspective and it’s very important to maintain a positive and accurate perspective – challenges are very often not what they appear only on the visible surface and these challenges routinely strengthen us as we overcome.

    As Dude said, you got this and we’re all here together to help each other along the way thanks to our leader the GDude!

  3. Dear 14 year old,

    I feel for you. I also wanted a career in the armed forces, and it didn’t happen for me either. Aged 17, I felt my world had collapsed.

    I drifted into a junior position in a finance department (first job I was offered) and my employer paid for my training. A few jobs later, I got my CCAB qualification, and today I’m a CFO.

    The only way you will let your family down is to let yourself down. I know you can’t join the air force – but you will be able to do something productive with your life, and with any luck you will enjoy your career, even if it wasn’t the one you envisaged.

    Please do your best at school, and look after your health, as this will give you the best chance to do well in life.

    Best wishes (from someone who’s been there).

  4. I feel you, man! I spent 5 years trying to even find the darn dragon. Those 5 years were my last 2 years of high school, and all but 1 semester of college. My grades were ruined, it made getting an internship/job nigh impossible because my GPA was a 2.8 (was a 4.0 student before Celiac hit). Now, though, I’ve been GF for 2.5 years, I have a great job, really good pay/benefits, and I just bought my own place all on my own at age 23. It gets better! Just keep trudging, and you’ll make it out the other end just fine – maybe some bumps and bruises, but you’ll be ok.
    As far as the air force is concerned, is there a way to still be involved with it without being a pilot (or whichever role you were hoping for)? I had a friend who wanted to be a doctor for the air force. Maybe you could hunt around and see if there’s something that you would like doing that didn’t have the strict medical requirements that being a pilot has.

    Best of luck to you, friend, we’re all here for you whenever you need us!

  5. I don’t want to condescend, but I really want to hug you. You have spoken what I imagine my 14 year-old with celiac often feels, but will not share, least of all with me.

    Please do not feel that life is over; life has a funny way of putting you on a path that you never would have chosen for yourself.

    You are strong. You are eloquent. You are a fighter. You live a life with burdens unseen by others, but you are powering through.

    Celiac makes a positive outlook so difficult at times, when even the simplest action or activity is cause for worry, necessitates planning, sometimes excludes. But it is your reality, every bit as much as life is in your own skin. It is a part of who you are, and who you will be.

    You have the whole world in front of you. And though not everything about you is exactly as you want it to be, you now live in the knowledge of its existence. You do not have the power to banish the dragon, but you can tame it for the most part. That means that you can move forward, just as you would without this particular dragon.

    You are learning who you are, and you already know that you have some boundaries not shared by others. But everyone has his own boundaries, and her own dragons, and everyone has restrictions to either fight against or work with.

    Please work with your dragon, and create a life for yourself that is full, and happy, and healthy, and complete, and fulfilling. And that will make your dad, your grandfather, and those who know you, proud. Your path has changed, but it has not ended. Your path is only beginning.

  6. My heart aches for this 14 year old who is beyond her years in being able to express herself so beautifully and accurately. I believe the teen years are the hardest for any child with CD. Even those who are diagnosed in early childhood have a tough time, but those who are diagnosed as teens REALLY suffer. So how can we help? The comments preceding mine are all en point- so how can we go further? There are teen support groups on line (www.gluten.org, Gluten Intolerance Group) and perhaps CFO also has them Celiac Foundation). I am hoping a military person will also respond and let this young person know what her options really are- perhaps not as a pilot but in some other capacity.

  7. I just want to tell you that what you wrote resonated very strongly. I’m decades older than 14, and have been diagnosed for 9 years, but you nailed it for all of us, I think. You sound like a writer to me. I hope you zero in on that. I also have other chronic ailments stemming from celiac running amok for too long without understanding what was happening. So you have knowledge along with those horrible limitations that make everything harder than it should be, especially at 14, and in the end, it will serve you and your future health.
    Dude is right. You got this. You’re going to be even more amazing than you already are.

  8. I love what you wrote. So telling of the true emotions you are feeling…

    I know most people on here hated their celiac diagnosis. I loved mine. It finally gave me a direction to heal and a wealth of knowledge to amass. I was diagnosed at 44- the misdiagnosis started around your age. At 15 IBS- I remember walking home from the Dr with a pill bottle full of something to make the bathroom events go away. No chance. Then at 18 arthritis, dermititis etc… I was turned in by my college roommate for being bulemic. I threw up all the time. I was loaded with Mac&Cheese, ramen and beer was cheap to eat/drink. The time and the list of mis-diagnosis just kept going on and on in my life.

    My daughter started showing symptoms too. I wanted her tested but she said- Don’t worry Mom I will just eat GF and I feel fine. She would test it here or there with a birthday cake and feel like crapt and decide- yup- this food is not for me. She’s now completely Vegan. She is 17 and has taken more control for her health and wellness than any other youth I have seen or met. I am very proud of her. ( I wish she would have tested- but, we all know this is genetic)

    I encourage you to reach out to people. Stay focused on your health and your direction. Don’t be disheartened by people. I found the biggest objections to my disease were the people in my life who may likely have it too…but, they are too busy criticizing me and stuffing their mouth with immodium every day just to get out of the house.

    You got this! You can do it! You are not alone!

  9. Man, I felt that. I freaking hate celiac and I’ve known about mine since I was two years old, being 13 now. Back when I was little, I once asked my mom when we were at the store buying me food if “it will ever go away.” Sorry young me, it isn’t gonna happen. I certainly with it would though 🙁

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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