Monday, November 19, 2012

My Celiac Journey :: Part One

I decided that I wanted to write up my story of healing from celiac disease and the journey that I have been on over the past year. However, as I began writing I discovered that the story of my past year and the struggles and victories is a fairly long tale. So, I have decided to split my story into three parts...
This Wednesday - the day before Thanksgiving - will be one year since the day that I officially discovered that I have celiac disease. As I think back over the last year I sometimes begin to tear up - it's amazing how something so seemingly insignificant as food can have such a huge impact on a person. The past year has been something of a roller coaster as my body has attempted to heal itself, as further health needs have been discovered, and as my emotions (remember, I'm an emotional person) have attempted to deal with it all.
The week before my diagnosis I was in my doctor's office for a yearly check-up when I worked up the guts (no-pun intended) to tell him about my digestive distress, my extreme exhaustion, bouts of insomnia, continued headaches, and unexplained weight gain despite healthy living. He asked for a variety of tests (that I had asked a former doctor for on several occasions and been denied) and suggested that while I was waiting for the results, I begin an elimination diet to determine if there were food sensitivities causing my pain.
I began an elimination diet and seven days later walked into the doctors office 10 pounds lighter. My doctor walked into the room and told me that he was very sorry, but tests had come back and confirmed that I have celiac disease. I was told that my gluten anti-body count was incredibly high and that it was very easy to understand why I felt so miserable all of the time. Surprisingly, I smiled and responded with "GOOD!" It felt good to know that there was a reason for my pain. It felt good to know that there might be an end to the physical pain in sight. I think that I took him by surprise.
After discussion of dietary restrictions and supplement needs I headed out of the office and to my car. And I sat there. And I listened to Gungor play a mellow, quiet melody. And I just sat...
So much was about to change; I had a lot to think about and do - but first things had to come first and we were leaving that afternoon to visit family for the next four days - I had to find a way to eat SOMETHING while traveling.

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