Thursday, June 12, 2014

Annoyance v. Damage

I realized last night that I haven't gone longer than 3 weeks without getting glutened. I've been diagnosed Celiac and on the gluten free diet for 3 months, still averaging almost a glutening every week or at least every two weeks. To me, this doesn't sound promising.  And for those that are just happening on to this blog, or know nothing about the Celiac disease,  a glutening is what an accidental ingestion of gluten is referred to in the Celiac community.

In the eyes of an outsider, this doesn't seem like that big of a deal.  I eat, I notice a rumbling in my tummy, and I rush to the bathroom.  What's the big deal? Go to the bathroom. These are examples of things I have been told when I realize I've been glutened. 

It's not that simple.

Yes, it's annoying. I never know when it's going to hit and I'm constantly nervous about being close to a bathroom.  When I go to concerts, I like to sit on the aisle.  Going for long drives freaks me out. I get anxiety when I'm invited someplace unfamiliar with people I don't know well.

But that's not the issue.  It's frustrating, but every one can deal with diarrhea every once in awhile. 

It's not just diarrhea to my body.  It's damage to the intestines. This can lead to a lack of absorption of nutrients that can lead to a host of other conditions. Anemia. Vitamin deficiencies.  Cancer.

So when I'm afraid to go out to eat, I'm not just afraid I won't be able to find a bathroom. I'm afraid of not feeling well forever.   I don't like eating out anymore. This doesn't mean I won't do it, but I'm going to be picky. Sometimes I'll eat at home beforehand, and just go for the company.   Don't take it personally if I don't say yes to your invite. Please understand when I prefer to have you over for dinner instead of going to your house. 

It's a struggle and three months in, I'm still learning to navigate.  I'd like to get past three weeks without a glutening. Any tips, please send them my way.

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