My life is taking a sudden drastic change. No, I’m not chopping off all my hair and changing my clothes style, we aren’t moving houses, and NO I’m not pregnant again. I am now gluten-free. I have Celiac Disease.
I had been feeling like junk for a long time, as in years. Some of my symptoms have included fatigue (all the friggin time), not sleeping well, poor digestion, brain fog, bloating, headaches every once in a while, and a few others. I always just assumed that these symptoms were from being very overweight for a long time. I went to see a doctor last summer with some of my concerns and he told it was time to lose weight. So I did. I lost a significant amount of weight.
All of my problems and symptoms were going to be cured and I was going to feel like a new woman, right? Wrong!
What I did gain is greater self-confidence and the ability to do more with my family. I am right smack dab in the middle of my weight loss journey and I am learning to love my time in the gym. I love finding yummy healthy recipes that my family enjoys, but most days I was still feeling sluggish and gross.
I always thought when you eat healthily and work out you should get all this energy and feel like a new person, but I didn’t.
So I went back to my doctor and told him that I wasn’t feeling any better. I was still tired ALL THE TIME. I was still having trouble sleeping and digesting food. I was having trouble with my memory and the bloating.
He then asked me what my stress level was like.
Now, I have five young kids, a husband who works from home, church responsibilities, and quite a bit on my plate. But I consider myself to be a pretty “low-key” personality. I “go-with-the-flow” and I “don’t stress until I have to”.
So I told him my stress level was just normal for me, nothing unusual and on a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 4 and some days it reached a 5 or 6.
Do you know what he told me? He said, “Let’s try you on some depression medication and see if that fixes some of your problems.” I was flabbergasted! I have had days and even weeks where I have been depressed, and I fully understand how serious and real depression is. I don’t discount it at all. I have friends and some family who suffer from chronic depression. I see it first hand on a daily basis. What I was going through was not depression. I politely told him no thanks and asked him to be tested for Celiac.
My sister has Celiac too. She was diagnosed about 7 years ago. In the back of my mind, I guess I have known for a while that Celiac Disease was always a possibility, but I didn’t really want to consider it or accept it. It just seemed too hard. Plus, some of our symptoms are different.
My doctor agreed to a simple blood test. A few days later this is the phone call I get.
“Hi, this is (I don’t remember her name). I am Dr. X’s nurse. I am just calling to tell you that your Celiac test came back positive. Dr. X recommends a gluten-free diet. To figure that out he suggested googling “gluten-free diet.”
Again, flabbergasted!! Had we been sitting in the same room I probably would have punched him in the face (not really). That took my stress level to about a 12.
Very politely, with a tinge of sarcasm, I said, “Thank you, you’ve been very helpful” and I hung up. And that was it. I immediately called my sister and asked her what to do. She gave me the number to her gastroenterologist (GI) and I made an appointment. I was not about to set the rest of my life’s diet and plan on google.
The GI was super helpful and great in sitting down with me and asking me what was going on. The next step was a scope and biopsy of my small intestine to confirm Celiac Disease. While I waited for that appointment, she told me to eat foods with high gluten content so that the results would be good, but that since Celiac Disease ran in my family, and because my blood work results were so high, she was 90% sure I would have it.
Before the biopsy, I pretty much ate every processed flour food in sight that I knew I wouldn’t be able to have ever again. My favorites? Donuts, pizza, cookies, and anything that was filled with white flour. I scarfed it. I felt liked the biggest pile of cow poop on the planet.
I was excited for the scope to come and to start eating gluten-free. I was so excited to start feeling better. When I got the phone call that we were all correct, and that it really was Celiac Disease, I was ok with it. At the same time, I was a little scared and nervous about how to make it all work with five little humans and another big human and three meals a day, but I was hopeful. Hopeful that through food I can feel like myself again, as weird as that sounds.
So here I am now Gluten-Free at 33. Where do I go with that? Where do I begin? I am fortunate enough that in my world I am surrounded by people who are gluten-free too. I am trying to learn all I can from them and soak in their wisdom.
I have a plan for my family and I’m slowly coming up with recipes. Some are my own, some are from people who I am surrounded by, some I have found online. As I learn all I can and find recipes that taste good and that my whole family will eat, I plan to share them with you! I plan to share tips and tricks and what is working for me along the way.
So be sure to visit this page often to see what I’ve come up with and learned!
If you have ideas or recipes for me I would love to hear them!! Email me @firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Gluten-Free @ 33.