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9 Months Gluten Free

Posted: January 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Celiac | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

This month marks the ninth month since I was diagnosed with celiac and began the required gluten free diet. It also marks a full year since the physical which revealed iron deficient anemia and began the testing process that ultimately led to my diagnosis. I have a few more doctors now than I did a year ago. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.

I do know that I feel much better now than I did a year ago. I’m not exhausted all the time. My fingers and toes (and hands and feet and arms and legs) aren’t constantly going numb, tingly, or even hurting. My digestion is slowly improving. As much as the physical improvement, though, the mental relief has been a blessing. Simply knowing why these past few years have been so extremely rough has lifted a weight. It’s horrible when you know something’s wrong, but you can’t figure out what it could possibly be. I wondered at times if I was just losing it.

My wife and I have adapted pretty well. I won’t say it’s easy. It’s many things, but easy is not one of them. Still, it would be a lot harder if we weren’t both pretty good cooks and if product labeling was still as bad as I read it was a decade ago. It’s a hard change, but it’s manageable.

I’m sometimes asked if I’m ever tempted to “cheat” on the gluten free diet. I have to confess I’m always bemused by the question and never quite sure what to say. If you knew that eating something was going to make you sick and seriously damage your body — not in the long-term, but in fairly short order — would you be inclined to eat it anyway? Would any sane person? So know, I’m not tempted to “cheat”. I want to keep getting better. I would love to actually reach the point where my body recovers and I can say I’m truly in good health again.

That does not, of course, mean that are not foods I miss and which cannot easily be replaced by anything else. There are. And there are times when I grieve their loss. But that does not translate into a desire to actually eat or drink them. Yes, it’s annoying to always be on guard and always checking the ingredients in anything and everything before I put it in my mouth. It does get tiresome at times. But it’s a small price to pay not to be sick.

2 Comments on “9 Months Gluten Free”

  1. 1 Elizabeth (The Dallas Celiac) said at 8:03 am on January 15th, 2010:

    One of the worst things about Celiac is the excessive amount of time it takes just to get diagnosed. I know exactly how you felt – I was that way, too.

    Congrats on 9 months GF! It gets easier every year.

  2. 2 Scott said at 8:46 am on January 15th, 2010:

    Thanks for the encouragement! The resources online and the experiences people post have been a big help.