A couple of weeks of limbo

10 Aug

I found out yesterday that I had a positive blood test for celiac disease. It was definitely God’s timing, because the kids and I had all had blood work done 2 weeks ago, and never heard back. I finally called yesterday to see what had happened. But if I’d found out soon after, there are a lot of things that would have been difficult to do, so I’m glad. I’m also glad that the kids’ tests were fine. At any rate, I have a biopsy scheduled on the 27th which will either confirm or rule out celiac (CD). If it’s inconclusive, I’ll have to do a genetic test. woohoo.

So at the moment, I’m doing my OCD thing, and immersing myself in research about CD. I had a hard day yesterday as I got started. Strangely (unless you know our family, I guess) the first thing that really hit me hard was that Advil liqui gels and Advil Migraine (and Advil PM, but we don’t use that) all have gluten in them in the US. (Not in Canada.) This is a pretty big deal, but I do have an acquaintence in Canada who will probably send me some, so I guess it’s ok. Second was beer. I don’t drink a LOT of beer, but since I had to give up drinking wine, I drink beer. And I love beer. Most gluten free beer is microbrewed and not widely available, except one by Anhauser Busch. So that sucks.

Then I got into how little gluten it takes to cause a problem – 1/47th of a piece of bread. I am not having stomach issues, so I’m better off than most, but still, it will damage the intestines. So you have to be crazy diligent about everything. Soy sauce? Most has gluten. Candy bars? A lot have gluten. Ice cream? Some has gluten. Even someone using a spoon to scoop out something with gluten and then your food is bad. Even a crouton crumb on your salad is bad. French fries fried in the same vat of oil as breaded foods is bad. I am not an anal-retentive person. I am not one to grill everyone about how they cook my food! I read labels, and don’t eat a ton of processed food, but apparently life becomes somewhat of a minefield when one has CD.

And this is not how I live. I LIVE. I trust God. I live in the freedom He’s given me. Looking at my M&Ms to see if I can eat them (yes). Snickers? No. It’s crazy! I don’t have time for this! Nor does it suit my personality AT ALL.

I am going through “food grief.” If the biopsy is fine, it’ll be Christmas in August, but if it’s not, at least I’ll be prepared. I’m giving it to God, first and foremost – He’s not surprised, even if I am. He doesn’t give us more than we can handle, so I can handle this if I have to. Secondly, probably immaturely, I’m going to be eating pizza and spaghetti and enjoying my Stella for the next two weeks. Probably doing some baking, too, since gluten free baking is both a pain, and less than satisfying. Key lime pie with graham cracker crust? Oh yeah, it’s going to happen before August 27, let me tell you!

Are you living gluten free? A lot of people are. I’ve been reading that they estimate 1 in 100 people have CD, and more have gluten intolerance/sensitivity. Of course, many people have gone gluten free for no medical reason, too, since it seems to be kind of “in.” For whatever reason, if you’ve done it, do you have any tips? I’ve read some good ones on other sites about traveling, especially in airports (kind of discouraging, although airport food is always kind of discouraging!). If I don’t have CD, it’ll still help others, and if I do, I’ll need all the help I can get!

2 Responses to “A couple of weeks of limbo”

  1. Anne August 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Jennings, Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, hope the biopsy shows it was a false positive. If not, a ray of light is that in the past couple of years, there are many new good-tasting gluten free products on the market and many restaurants are accustomed to dealing with it. Our niece has it and is managing quite well. My son has several severe food restrictions/allergies/intolerances. While he doesn’t have celiac, we end up eating a lot of gluten free products because they also don’t contain things he can’t have. I’m out of town, but when I get home I’ll be happy to send you the names of a couple of brands we really like. We’ve tasted lots, some are quite good (including pastas and cookies) and some quite not! Amy’s (which is a great brand, usually in freezer section) even makes a few nice gluten free pizzas, so there’s hope?!

    • Jennings August 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks Anne! I like Amy’s products in general, and I saw they had a mac and cheese (you gotta have comfort food sometimes, right?!). I think it’s just a bit of a shock, and finding out how many dumb things have gluten in them is discouraging – soy sauce, teriyaki, some hard candies, Advil, just things you’d never think of. And I love to bake, so I’ll have to look at that as a serious challenge to overcome! I’m praying for the best but preparing for the worst. :o)

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