Sunday, July 29, 2012

Consequences & the Unknown

Having Celiac Disease and being gluten free has many challenges. It's a big change & challenge just to go gluten free. It takes some time & will power to adjust to the major life change. I say life change because it really is a life change.

My life was drastically changed. I went from eating out, whether it was fast food or sit down food, almost all week long to eating out a few times a month, maybe. I went from not really cooking at all to cooking half or more of the weekly meals. Not to mention the weight changes.

I am not going to tell you that it was super easy because the only part of the entire process that was easy was losing the weight. Just eating gluten free made the pounds just drop. I haven't really lost any weight in the last few months but I'm happy where I am at, though of course I'd like to lose some more.

The point is that it's not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice & determination. I'm lucky enough to have a good support system & people that understand & try to do what they can to help. I'm not going to tell you that I'm not tempted to cheat at least once or twice a week or that I haven't cheated because I am often tempted daily to cheat & I have cheated several times. I get an ugly reminder every time I cheat though. Celiac Disease is such a messed up disease though in that the variety of symptoms are so extreme that sometimes I get by with minor symptoms but other times I pay for it big time.

If I'm going to cheat then I know what the consequences are & I am willing to accept it (for the record I have not willingly cheated since March). The most frustrating & upsetting part of having Celiac Disease though is when you have a gluten reaction & have absolutely no idea why. You not only have the symptom to deal with but then if you're like me you're constantly trying to analyze every single thing that you touched & anyone else eating the food touched. If you or they washed their hands etc. It's mentally exhausting. You don't just want to say, oh well & forget about it because what if it was an ingredient in the food that was contaminated, what if it was a particular item of food & you have leftovers of it in the fridge?

This exact same process is how we figured out that I was cross contaminated by the BBQ from my in-laws cooking food with a marinade containing gluten in it. This is the same process I'm stuck in right now except that I am not sure I will come up with a solution. We had dinner the other night & did everything right but by time I was almost done eating I was in so much pain I had to stop & go lay down. For a while I was moaning & groaning & writhing around on the bed because the pain was so bad. It eventually eased up but I still don't feel quite right today.

I'm suspicious of the brown sugar that we used to cook our carrots in. The bag was over half empty & I have not used brown sugar in any gluten free recipe in well over a year but I know that Jon & his mom have used it on some things they've made such as cookies. I can't help but wonder if while they were cooking whatever it was that they transferred gluten back into the bag on their fingers, hands, utensils, whatever.

Whether it was the brown sugar or not I will be purchasing a new bag on my next shopping trip. I have a drawer full of carrots & we all love to eat them this way. Even Kaden ate quite a few of them last night.

I wanted to share this because if you think you might have a problem with gluten, have recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or know someone who has these are very important things to think about. The tiniest traces of gluten can cause a lot of harm. I wish that I was able to live in a completely gluten free household but since right now I'm the only one with a known problem to gluten it's just not possible. It's about to get even worse for me because now Kaden is starting to eat finger foods as well & it won't be long before he's eating or wanting to eat all the gluten filled foods that Keegan eats.

In the end all we can do is the best that we can. I may end up a twitching paranoid with crusty dried out hands in the next 5-10yrs but as they say, "It is what it is".

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