What do I know?

Today I know two things. I know that yesterday I finally went and had blood drawn for the Celiac test.  I also know that the results don’t matter.

On Monday, February 7th, my internist and I decided that I should be tested for Celiac Disease.  After 2 years of being mostly gluten-free (or gluten-lite), I left her office, drove to Uncommon Grounds, ordered and ate an Everything Bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato, red onion and capers.  I ate it as if it were heaven in my mouth.

That night, for dinner, we ordered in a pizza.

See, because I was going to be tested, and the test depends on an antibody response, I needed to load up on gluten, the previously avoided protein found in wheat, rye and barley (and hidden in so many foods, medications and Health & Beauty products it can make your head swim), I was like a shark dumped into an ocean of bloody chum.

I learned a lot about deprivation, but that’s for later.

Since then I’ve been eating gluten at almost every opportunity.  Within 2 days, I had really bad pain in my hips.  Within 5 days, my energy really started to flag.  Now, 10 weeks later, I can barely move.  The fatigue that I’d pretty much thought I’d beaten has come back with such force, there are days that I literally cannot get out of bed.  When I do, the pain in my joints and muscles and especially the layer of fascia between my muscles and my skin, is so bad there are times I am driven to tears.  And other times I would like to cry, but don’t let myself.

My, doctor prescribed, pain meds have increased five-fold, and still sometimes they take the edge off, and other times they don’t.  Sometimes I just have to lie down.

If I wasn’t also doing restorative yoga and meditating regularly during this period, I don’t know where I’d be.  Seriously.

So, if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last 2.5 months, that’s where.  Living in a world of hurt while testing “to be sure” that I can’t eat wheat.  I’m sure.  I can’t.  Really.  Regardless of the test results.  I know.

The crazy part…the addicted part…knows what the results are, but won’t stop until next Thursday, the day after I come home from a Passover visit with my family.  I’m entitled to one last gluten hurrah and by God, I’m going to have it.  Even as I write this, and know how crazy this is, I’m going to do it anyway.  No, I won’t complain for the next week because I know I brought it on myself.

However….

Starting next Thursday, as I begin to recover, expect to see a lot more food related posts because I intend to resume my love of cooking.

See, something strange happened.  When I gave up gluten, I started to believe that cooking gluten-free was too much work, and that if I couldn’t cook the food I loved, then why bother?  Makes some weird kind of sense.

As I’ve been eating gluten, I’ve been cooking again (more earlier in the process when I felt better, than the past few weeks).  I adore cooking!  I adore feeding people.  Let’s face it, I adore eating.  And I hate depriving myself….and this is where it gets even stranger.

I learned that I don’t have to deprive myself of gluten containing foods.  I can choose not to eat them.  Maybe the difference is semantic, but it means so much to me.  I choose not to feel like crap.  I choose not to have shooting pains inside my muscles.  I choose not to have joint pain so bad that moving is unbearable.  And I choose to cook and eat delicious food and enjoy serving that food to my friends and loved ones.  It’s all different now.

I’m excited to start experimenting with gluten-free recipes.  I’m excited to get back into the garden and the kitchen.

As always,

Stay tuned….

 

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