Friday, January 1, 2016
My intention is to write a blog at least once a week. I apologize for falling behind due to the busy-ness of Christmas and New Years!!
But I'm back & I'm here to talk about a celebration of sorts. You see, I am celebrating my 3rd anniversary. As some of you know, I've been married to my wonderful husband for over 10 years now, but I'm referring to my gluten-free anniversary. I will forever remember this anniversary, as it has affected my life in a huge, huge way.
For anyone reading this that might be fairly new to the gluten free diet or considering embarking upon a gluten free diet: please know that the first year will be filled with mistakes, but with those mistakes comes learning & growing & most importantly learning how to minimize repeating those mistakes. In the future I hope to post some blogs to help with learning these things.
Before I embarked upon a gluten free diet, I was convinced that I was dying a slow & painful death. And in all certainty, I am sure that would have indeed been the case had I not launched myself into a gluten free diet.
I really wouldn't have cared, except that I had a very young son that needed me. I couldn't bear the thought of dying & not being there for him. That was the fuel that kept me fighting even though my body grew weaker & frailer with each passing day it seemed.
In all honesty I did not believe that I had an issue with gluten. And neither did my husband. But I was struggling with Interstitial Cystitis horribly & my health was, in general, declining severely & rapidly. My doctors had no answer for me. Being a nurse, I am very good at medical research & I was searching & searching for some sort of hope. It seemed that no matter where I began my search I kept coming to the same point in the search were I would quit that search & start a new one. That same point that I kept coming to was gluten.
My motto was "to leave no stone unturned" in my quest to save my life. So I felt I had to rule out this gluten issue before moving forward. I truly thought it was a waste of my time & so did my husband. It was somewhere in the first week of December 2012 I started my trial gluten free diet. I was planning to remain gluten free for a couple of months & then reintroduce gluten & note my body's response. In the last week of that same month we went out to eat at a restaurant. I remember it well, as it was my very first time trying to eat gluten free in a restaurant. The waiter even offered me couscous, which I was well aware was NOT gluten free. I did well, though, up until desert time. Then my husband had these creme brûlée mini tarts. I adore creme brûlée & my husband told me to eat it, just to leave the crust behind & only eat the filling. I knew nothing about cross contamination at that time & I went for it. And I was very soon in so much pain I couldn't believe it. I knew in that moment that I could never ever again eat gluten.
In January or February I removed gluten from my son's diet as well, since he had been struggling with digestive issues since he was a baby & he had stopped growing. He has been strong & healthy & thriving ever since.
In the past 3 years I sometimes can't believe how much I've learned about gluten, celiac disease, cross contamination, etc. I am forever learning about these things. I have also come to believe that my father had it as well. He died of pancreatic cancer at a fairly young age. I've learned that this is a common ending for undiagnosed (or diagnosed but non-compliant) celiacs. And I do recall him having chronic digestive issues & migraines when I was a child.
So if you're new to the gluten free diet or contemplating it--just do it, just go for it. Stay gluten free for a month or two & then reintroduce gluten & monitor how you feel. That is the basis of any elimination diet. It takes longer for gluten to get fully out of our system than some other foods though, so you do need to commit to a month or two at minimum.
And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me--here on the blog, or on Instagram, or you can email me at TheOilyNurse@gmail.com
Have a blessed 2016 my friends!!