So, remember about a year ago when I had to have a camera go into my throat/stomach, just to hear that I have celiac, AKA I can’t ever have my beloved gluten again?
I painfully remember that.
Partially because the procedure, while not horrific pain, was still pretty uncomfortable to recover from. And partially because not being able to eat pasta or bread again made my heart hurt.
I essentially was the person whose blood type was rigatoni. The love was that deep.
I did everything I could in the beginning to discredit the diagnosis. “Pasta makes me feel better!” “Clearly my doctor didn’t know what he was doing.”
I actually went to my doctor and said, “welp…I don’t believe you.” He says to me; ” I respect that, but how about we try no gluten just for two weeks to see how you feel, if you don’t feel any better, we can try something else.”
I appreciated being placated at that moment.
I basically went gluten-free for the next two weeks to prove that he was wrong.
And yet, at the end of two weeks, I felt better than I had in months. Which made me angry again.
This time I was angry at my body for “betraying” me. I admit I’ve been dramatic about this. I suddenly have to change so much of my life because I got a stomach virus that seemed to cause all of this?
To this day, we’re still not sure how it started. My doctor doesn’t think it’s likely that it’s from the virus, but it’s possible that the virus activated something in me that was already there. I don’t know.
A year later, I accept it. I still don’t like it, but I accept it.
I’ve had people ask me what it’s like to be diagnosed with Celiac and for me, it was like a grieving process. Again, it sounds dramatic, but I’ve had all of it: anger, sadness, bargaining, etc. Grieving is the best way I can describe it.
I still remember the first time I went grocery shopping after I had to purge my kitchen of all the stuff I couldn’t eat anymore. Some things I left because Devon would eat them, but most stuff I donated to my school’s annual food drive (it was like 6 grocery bags worth of food). But, I remember being in Wegman’s, in the gluten-free aisle. seeing how limited it was and seeing all of these weird flours and starches and things that I didn’t want and knowing that it was all going to taste “gross”. And I just started sobbing in the middle of the aisle.
I was so angry and upset that I had to give up so much of what I enjoyed and now I had to buy stuff that was, not only expensive but not going to taste as good as my “normal” food.
I just stood there and cried for a good five minutes. After that trip, I left with a couple of things but I didn’t even come close to replacing everything I had gotten rid of, which made me even more depressed when I got home because all of my comfort foods were gone.
Needless to say, this past year with this has been a lot.
Maybe I was too dramatic about it, I don’t know, but this has been incredibly hard for me to adjust to.
Now that I am a year out from the diagnosis and have gone through a lot of the grieving and the anger and the sadness, I’m still not happy about it, but I’m not angry or (as) sad anymore. I live with it.
I still get annoyed when I ultimately have to spend like $5 on a box of pasta so that I can cook it in a special way so that it won’t get all mushy on me or when I have to send something back at a restaurant because it’s not the gluten-free option that I asked for and since this isn’t just a lifestyle choice, they have to re-do it so that it doesn’t contain gluten.
Celiac is annoying, without question. I don’t think there will be a time when I say it isn’t. Having to check all food labels, looking at restaurant menus before going somewhere new, not being able to participate in group lunches or dinners (or at least not fully participate); it’s annoying.
But I’ve accepted it. I’ve even managed to find some gluten-free food choices that I….like-ish. Some of it I like, some I tolerate, but it’s working. Next week, I’m actually going to share some of my go-to gluten-free food items that I keep stocked in my house at all times. So if you’re gluten-free, whether you’re new to it or not, check that post out, maybe it’ll give you some new ideas of things to try out.
If you are in the same boat as I am, feel free to leave a comment if you’ve found anything to make your life easier in all of this. While I’ve accepted it, I’m still open to new ideas and suggestions!