Yep, I’m a Celiac…
It is quite traumatizing, to be eating dealicious Christmas cookie one minute, and 5 minutes later find out, you’ll never ever in your life, will be able to enjoy that cookie anymore. For someone like me, who was having cakes for breakfast, basically most of her life, to find out you can’t have any of your beloved bake goods anymore is really devastating. It’s not so much about the cookies off course. Google search was very scary that day, but after half a year of dealing with utterly horrible health care system, internet was my last resort to find out the truth. Overcoming the stereotype thinking that Google only gives you cancer as a result to all symptoms, I started my search that turned my whole life completely around in just few minutes. I found out I have Celiac disease.
At first, there’s not really time for shock, rather a huge determination comes in, to demand the right tests and treatment from doctors – you start the battle with the ignorance of health care nowadays. I haven’t dealt with so many problems at doctors, well – ever. Sadly, where I am now, no money or tears speed up the process, and the doctors keep sending you home suggesting to drink tea and rest, or to eat a lot of gluten, or prescribing anti allergy medicine that gives you even bigger allergic reaction. My battle with the doctors is still pretty much happening, as I get new appointment once in two months, and every single time they find more problems, but to find out about the treatment or get medicine I have to wait another few months. I have no understanding how can people who decided to dedicate their lives to save other peoples lives, be so ignorant and how the taking care of people became pure bureaucracy, but I am way pass the complete disappointment and unbelievable anger. Now, I am just going along with whatever I can get from health care institutions. But the battle with health problems I started on my own and I’m thanking for internet every single day. Thankfully we don’t have to rely solely on doctors opinion now and can find out on our own problems and solutions.
I used to have flower pots on my stove, now – my favorite part of the day is spent in the kitchen, experimenting and inventing new delicious meals and desserts. Suddenly there’s so many new flavors and ingredients I never considered trying out before. The fact is – you have to cook, every single time – you have to, because I don’t know how it is somewhere else, but there’s no place to grab quick lunch or breakfast, without me getting sick.
Suddenly your whole world is about ingredients and how to turn them into food.
Every single time you tell someone what you have, their first response is “oh so you can’t eat bread”. That was kinda my first though too. Sadly with every single day I find out even more, how awfully complicated life becomes with this diagnose and how much it changes. It changes you, your surroundings, your habits, your friends and relationships. It even can make you loose a loved one, with the acke of knowing they chose candy and burgers over you. But despite all the difficulties and repeated frustration about symptoms that keep coming back (even though you seem to do everything right) – despite it all – I am honestly greatful for this to happen to me and to happen now. Kinda making “lemonade out of lemons”.
My body is forcing me to do now something that my will power and my heart couldn’t. My body is fixing my life, while fixing it self, it is molding my plans and goals, it’s removing all that’s unhealthy and bad for me, including people….my body is giving me my second breathing, after an overly long spiraling down a black hole without seemingly a way out. Turns out the deep and desperate depression that I struggled with for many years, was also part of the disease and when I was on my very last centimeters of edge, it all changed around when I changed my habits. It also gave me a sense of direction and belonging, having something full time to focus on, at the same time giving million ideas what can I do with this new life style.
One of the things that I strongly felt I should do is to spread awareness. After seeing how little people know about it, but how many actually have it, and even more are not even aware they do, I feel I should get involved as much as I can to make at least some changes.
Look at our digestive system as a car engine – if you put the wrong gas in, the whole engine falls apart, and without engine – the car is nothing but an empty, dead shell. Our digestive system is what keeps us alive and healthy, so when it starts falling apart, it’s not a joke and it should be taken seriously. Besides me talking endlessly about it to everyone I know and spreading healthy life style importance, I have many other plans on my list and one of them includes spreading awareness and as much help as possible – here, on this blog.
I believe it might also sound more convincing coming from me – girl with cake for breakfast – from someone who hasn’t been on strict diets and exercising all her life and rather enjoyed nacho’s saturdays too often. If I managed to change my ways and honestly notice the big difference and benefits – then anyone can… and should!
The most affecting realization for me was – we spend thousands on different skin care products, diets pills, different methods of loosing weight, hiding wrinkles, calming stress with chemicals etc. and all we need – is in nature, all we have to do is just watch what we eat. Your skin will be perfectly happy and flawless with natural oil on it, and eating well and balanced will fix your weight and your health. You also start seeing more than ever the difference of organic, natural and cruelty free products and realize the importance of choosing them. I though I understood all that always, but I see there is much deeper level to that. I also don’t really care anymore neither about my weight, nor many other things I was constantly worried about. Now my goal is to be healthy, feel good – that’s what I’m focusing on and that really resets your priorities in life strongly.
I can see this is turning into pretty long introduction to this new category on my blog, but hopefully to some of you, all I wrote, will feel very relatable and to others maybe will help in some ways.
I won’t lie, it is many differently difficult levels and stages of life, sometimes all at once. It’s sad, it’s incredibly scary, it’s difficult and totally frustrating, too often. You seem to do everything right, and to be out of the dark one day, and it can all come crushing down the next day. Then you have to revisit every single step to find where you made a mistake. You have to be on alert 24/7, overly paranoiac and accept that probably no one (unless they are celiac too) will understand you. It is also hard to see your body fall apart and not really being able to do much at times, cause it takes time to repair damages and not everything depends on you, so harmful mistakes do come along, specially every time you are not at home.
For me, along with celiac disease came milk/lactose allergies, egg allergies, skin allergies, hernia, GERD, many replaced or simply removed teeth and I’m still not sure about quite many things. My bio. father died from stomach cancer, so this kind of cancer in direct family history, considering my only recently discovered disease – gives that extra special concern. Since the tests at doctors are coming very slowly, all I can do for now is just be extremely aware of my body and keep journal on reactions to everything, eliminating things one by one.
I already went through blood tests (half positive, half not – because I was already on gluten free diet), endoscopy (biopsy) (also positive). I was supposed to have more blood and other tests last tuesday, but was rescheduled one more month later. Another month to wait and discover what else is not letting me to get better.
I was prescribed medicine for GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease), which I couldn’t take because they contained lactose and no replacement was found, so I had to do a research and lower the symptoms all natural way – avoiding certain food, all alcohol and lowering visibly, amount of food I ingest.
I made my home gluten free, replaced everything possible – from kitchen equipment, to skin care and cosmetics – and still figuring out new things every time, that should be replaced.
The journey is hard, but I’m embracing it with surprising strength I wasn’t sure I even had in me anymore – that makes me proud of myself. I really hope that my experience and all that I will share here, will help at least someone.
Stay happy, stay healthy, stay strong dear readers and please share if you’ll find something useful.
Thank you for reading!