Gluten-Free Love Story: To Infinity and Beyond…Celiac

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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.

Many thanks to everyone for sending in your Gluten-Free Love Stories so far. While February is officially the “month of love”, I’d like to think that we can celebrate love all year round. So keep those stories coming and I’ll make this a regular series. Click here to submit your gluten-free love story.

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17 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Love Story: To Infinity and Beyond…Celiac”

  1. What a little Champion! What a story to kick off your love month GD ~ so touching.

    That is seriously the most amazing love story I have ever read …
    Hugs

  2. Absolutely beautiful. Love in all forms can conquer even the biggest challenges. I am sorry they experienced those chalelnges but I am so happy to hear of such a loving relationship between mother and son.

  3. Andrea, you and your son are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story. Your little boy is so fortunate to have you as a Mom. Best of luck with your health!

  4. I have Lymphocytic Colitis too. Goes hand in hand with celiac and gluten intolerance, but few docs recognize the diet connection. Frustrating!!

  5. Right there with Kathie. Tears welling up in my eyes as I read and then with this amazing boys comments, I can’t help but to laugh out loud a bit. What a sweetheart! And such a strong mother.

  6. Andrea,
    You are an astonishingly courageous woman and an amazing Mom!!
    Your little guy is so special and sweet, I can only imagine how much joy he brings to you. I am so sorry you lost your husband yet, I imagine that he watches over you both— and most assuredly, he lives on in your son. Blessings on you both!

  7. Andrea,

    Thanks for sharing your story, your boy is awesome, and IH is right, your husband lives on in your son, can’t say it any better than that.

    Best wishes to you.

  8. Thank you all for your kind words. I do consider myself blessed. I know my husband is with us every step of the way. And I know my son stands strong by my side at such a young age. Also, I have been diagnosed, and now know what I am dealing with. I am lucky for that. So many people never get that gift. Now, onto creating happier and healthier memories. This life has much more “good” in store for us!

    Wishing you all the very best of health!
    Andrea

  9. The most touching story I have ever had the pleasure of reading on Gluten Dude blog. I was a single mother for many years and know how important and special that connection can be. Kids are amazing and so are you for being so strong. Thank you for sharing Andrea and I wish you and your family well.

  10. This is an incredible story–I have tears of both heartbreak and joy in my eyes. Andrea, I wish you only the best on your promising road to recovery. And to your son, what a wise and wonderful little man he is. You’re doing GREAT!

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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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