Two dates that will forever be burned in my memory.
November 27, 2002 – the day before Thanksgiving – I was diagnosed with Lupus. It felt like a death sentence. In many ways it still does but 10 years later I have learned to deal with the pain – both physical and emotional.
Then here comes April 30th of this year and I’m dealt another blow. Celiac disease. I get it. Life’s not fair but come on. On top of the daily hell that is Lupus I now have to face life without donuts? How much is one girl supposed to take?
I didn’t have a lot of the ‘main’ celiac symptoms so I truly didn’t believe my testing would come back positive. I have however suffered from digestion and absorption issues for the longest time. I also suffered from serious brain fog. In my mind I’d chalked it all up as just one more Lupus related complication. Until my iron, magnesium and potassium started and continued to fall into dangerously low range. There had to be a reason why no matter what I ate or took to bring those levels up they stayed really low. Sometimes I’m so bruised up I look like I’ve been in a fight. And don’t even get me started on the fatigue. I’ve got a double whammy there from both Lupus and the absorption issues.
I never made the connection to food. Now that I’ve had to remove gluten I can see a clear connection. I’m lucky (if you can call any of this lucky) that I don’t seem to be one of the uber sensitive sufferers. So far I’ve eaten out a few times and even though they claim things are gluten-free you know there’s at least minor cross contamination when using the same kitchen and I haven’t had a problem so far. And believe me I’d know if I was reacting because while I don’t have some of the most obvious signs of gluten ingestion my stomach does bloat instantly. Seriously, 10 months pregnant type bloat. I guess the reason I never made the connection PRIOR to removing gluten is because I was always eating it. There was never a chance for the bloating to go down since I was eating a continual dose of it all day long.
The Dr’s say that given the double shot of autoimmune problems I’m dealing with it could be many YEARS before my gut heals and that I shouldn’t get discouraged but I have to admit I was truly devastated with the diagnosis. I’m the cook and the baker in my family. It’s something I enjoy. All I could see was a life filled with tasteless cardboard treats and boring meals. Thankfully so far that hasn’t been the case. Thanks to so many suffers before me there’s an abundance of resources out there – lots of invaluable product reviews, tried and true recipes and really great support. It’s still early in the process for me and I’m still sad and want to cry every time I pass a donut shop but the idea of having to be creative and coming up with new things is also exciting.
When I was searching for information I came across this blog post that has a list of resources so I’m going to close with it incase anyone else needs them.
Thanks for reading my story. 🙂