2 quick Dude notes before I start today’s rant.
1) This is my 500th blog post. That is crazy. Where does the time go?
2) I’m off to Minnesota today to visit with the Cheerios folks. Should be interesting.
Anyway, got a great email the other day from a newly diagnosed celiac who is handling her transition extremely well, except for one wee issue. Her rant is quite entertaining so I’m sharing it with you. That’s how the internet works…so they tell me. Enjoy.
Where to start? I’m 32 now and I’ve been sick since I can remember. Apparently I’ve been a celiac since forever but been diagnosed at the age of 31. For the last 10 years I’ve been going to one doctor to another trying to figure out what was the reason of all my physical pains, depression states, brain fog, stress, severe migraines since I was 8 yo and, please, don’t get me started on the irritable bowel syndrome I had experienced in the past 3 years.
The doctors’ answers to all that? That all my illnesses were NOT related AT ALL. But yet none gave me a proper answer to the question: “Why I am always so sick?”
I talked to different doctors about the possibility of being tested for food allergies. Once again, their response? NONSENSE. Even one of them told me to join a group for a experimental drug for migraines. (Believe me, the words “experimental” and “drugs” put together in the same sentence: not cool).
If all that was not enough I gained 55lb in ten years and being unable to lose a single pound. Once again doctors could not see a connection with any other of my illnesses.
A year ago, I started my own research to finally end up trying different alternative medicines and therapies; luckily, one of them pointed out that I should cut gluten out of my diet. I went back to my doctors to share the great knowledge! How naive I was! Their answer? That (and I quote) “alternative medicine was not enough reason to test a patient for food allergies” and that I’d better join the experimental drug program. One of them almost laughed at me.
But I was not discouraged and looked for a Nutritionist specialized on Diabetes and Celiac Disease who put me on a very strict diet, cutting all the food and reintroducing every item, one at a time, as if I were a baby. Non processed food. Not eating out. First I introduced veggies on my diet. Secondly, fruits. After a few months, I kept on with proteins and last but not least: cereals and dairy. OH LORD! Gluten and lactose rang the bell bringing back all my physical pains and illnesses and, after being blood tested, she confirmed me I was a Celiac and lactose intolerant. What a relief! What a great discovery! I could foresee a healthier and happier life!
I was once again very naive. I’m very happy and grateful because thank to being finally diagnosed I feel much better. And even when I get glutened by cross contamination or even when I get sick because a loved one promised me the food is celiac safe (when is NOT), even when I spent the whole f***ing day sitting (and shitting) in the toilet…even then: I am thankful because at least I know that I am a celiac and somehow it gives me peace of mind. Somehow.
But here’s the thing: **RANT ALERT**
– I can deal with the fact that I will not longer eat my favorite foods.
– I have come to understand that I will no longer eat those delicious donuts and pastries my coworkers bring every Friday to the office.
– I have made peace with the fact that every time I go out for dinner the struggle is real and the chances to get sick are 200%.
– I have accepted the fact that I should bring my own food to dinner parties (even I have accepted that there will be ALWAYS someone SO desperate to try my gluten free food JUST for fun, that I will have to share my expensive gluten free food JUST for fun).
I have accepted all that and the tedium that causes me explaining all the time why I cannot eat gluten, what is gluten, what happen to me if I have a tiny little bite of bread or what are the bowel consequences of being glutened by cross contamination. I have accepted ALL THAT.
But what I deny to accept is that every time I cannot find a gluten free or celiac safe dish in the menu, there is ALWAYS someone who says rudely: JUST ORDER A SALAD!!!!
JUST. ORDER. A. SALAD?!
(pause for take a breath and count to five Mississippi)
I DON’T WANT A F***ING SALAD!
I WANT A F***ING BAGEL!
I WANT A DELICIOUS CHEESY PIZZA!
I WANT A CREAMY ITALIAN PASTA!
I WANT THE F***ING WHEAT BREAD YOU ARE EATING!
YOU GO EAT THE F***ING SALAD!!!
So yes, I have come to accept so many things since I have discovered I’m a Celiac and though I feel much healthier, I still have to learn how to stop myself from smashing against the wall the head of the person “suggesting” me very rudely to order.a.f***ing.salad.
**END OF RANT**
My Dear Gluten Dude, thank you so much for your blog, the useful information and the opportunity you bring us to rant about the little things that make this disease even more difficult.
(You’re quite welcome.)