This Gluten Free Love Story was lovingly submitted by Andrea
Our love story is not a conventional one. It is definitely one of love. But also a long, complicated, emotional, work in progress….our lovely life.
In 2004, I married the love of my life. A hard working, loving, caring, intelligent person who would help anyone at anytime if it was in his power. We did everything together. We loved our lunch time phone calls from work and our weekday meals. We looked forward to the little mundane things, like long walks and short drives, and tv shows on Tuesday and Thursday nights. We were so predictable. We thought we had a plan, one to last a lifetime.
In 2006, we were pregnant! We were having a baby due to arrive June 2007! I was very sick throughout the entire pregnancy. I was placed in the hospital 3 times with dehydration. Who would have thought, possibly Celiac was to blame. (I had been anemic since I was a young girl). I heard…“Keep eating the BRAT diet, it’ll help”. I’m sure that whole grain toast did me well.
We referred to our little bundle as “the Golden Child” all the time. (Fittingly, if you ask his hair color now, he will tell you it is spun gold.)
Just two and a half short years later, in December 2009, our world was shattered. My husband, and amazing father to our son, left for work and never returned. It was an accident. There are simply no words to describe this time in our life.
Every morning I woke to a bright blue eyed boy with and an amazing smile on my his face. That smile breathed new life into me everyday. And it became clear, though this wasn’t the life we signed up for, I have to provide a life worthy of this little person because he has already moved mountains in my world.
Last April, I became sick and had a high fever. I went to the Dr. I was diagnosed with pneumonia and lyme disease. Odd, as we are not outdoor people and it was April in Ohio. I was then placed on heavy antibiotics and referred to an infectious disease Dr. who confirmed it was a virus.
I decided to change my PCP. It was a great move. I found a very caring Dr. She took the extra steps, given our situation. She ordered a set of blood tests which showed definite malabsorbtion issues. Alot of blood tests later, it was confirmed; off the charts Celiac Disease and Hypoparathyroidism. I then proceeded to get 8 rounds of iron infusions. I went to a GI Dr., had a biopsy through an endoscopy and it was confirmed definite Celiac.
The possibilities that were running through my mind, were very scary. My son (age 5) said, “it’s just a food thing.” This is great! What a positive spin.
It was recommended to have my son tested for Celiac by the nutritionist, my PCP, and the GI Dr. So, we found ourselves in the lab, giving blood one more time. The nurse said close your eyes and think of the beach. My son said, “You forgot the rubber band on my arm and the ball for me to squeeze. There’s no need for me to look away or think of a beach, I am not afraid.” A surprised nurse asked if he would like a job.
Luckily, my son does not currently have Celiac Disease. Yet, he still checks every label. He knows to look for the words wheat, gluten, rye, barley, etc…all the important ones found on the ingredient label. And he is certain to let everyone know if they offer me food at a function, it has to be gluten free. He looks out for me in every way.
After following a gluten free diet and finishing the 8 rounds of iron infusions, my stomach issues were escalating. I went to a new GI Dr.; my son by my side through it all. He said to my son, “you will like me, I am going to help your mom.”
My son, skeptical, said “we’ll see.”
This already dedicated GI Dr. was even more determined to figure out the cause. I had a colonoscopy on December 23rd. And I was diagnosed a week and a half later with Lymphocytic Colitis. Since this diagnosis, and treatment, my quality of life has vastly improved. No more sleepless nights due to GI issues. I have yet to see my endocrinologist. The appointment is fast approaching. And I have to get labs drawn again soon to see if my iron levels are maintaining.
Whenever there is a down moment or I look like I am reflecting, my brave son tells me “chin up buttercup”, something my husband used to say to me all the time.
And I tell him “I love you to infinity and beyond”, something his dad and I would always say to him before bed. The last thing his father said to him.
I know I can get through anything as long as I have the love of this 5 year old little Golden Child.