Monday, January 31, 2011

The 3 Month Mark

January 9th was my 3 month mark of being Gluten Free!

It has felt more like a year. It's been an emotional roller-coaster, and a more intense coping process than I expected. I had to mourn the loss of a simple food lifestyle for the rest of my life (or until they invent an enzyme to allow me to digest gluten, which my doc says is likely to develop in my lifetime). Still, in order to accept my current status, I had to deal with the likelihood that I will never eat certain things again-- at least not in their original form.

Right around that point, though, I suddenly noticed feeling dramatically better. My digestion is just, well, normal. Better than normal, I think. Granted, I'm still avoiding dairy, soy milk, eggs and most coffee and tea. Still, it's nice to just be able to eat and run and know I'll be feeling good. The anxiety about food is going down, and as it does, I feel care-free again. It's a feeling I haven't felt in a long time.

I had my follow-up bloodwork and guess what? I'm officially gluten-free as far as my Celiac is concerned. I had 54 antibodies in my original test. Know how many antibodies I have now? Three. Just three little guys. That is a completely negative test. As far as my body is concerned, I'm not sick anymore. What a strange little disease.

My other nutritional bloodwork came back totally normal too, which is a shocking but great surprise. All the fatigue and dizziness turned out to be allergies. Once I started taking the right medicine, it helped a lot. And I'm getting started on allergy "drops", which is a new alternative to shots I take on my own every day.

Since seeing the nutritionist and eating a ton more protein, combined with cutting out difficult foods, it's been a rapid change. We've been getting more creative... we sort of had to, and I think I'm eating more well-rounded and diversely than I ever have before. I discovered almond cheese, which sounds nasty but is actually a pretty decent substitute for real cheese, especially shredded and melted into stuff like pasta.

So overall, things are stabilizing. Maybe the next step is getting foods back that I didn't have before. I thought I couldn't digest peppers at all, and this week I've had peppers three times with no issues whatsoever. I also had given up nearly all raw veggies for the same reason, but now I feel great after having salad. Amazing! It's like I'm re-learning how to eat. I've even had Chipotle twice... FYI, all their food is gluten free except the wheat tortillas. Both times I've gone and told them about having a wheat "allergy", and they've gone to impressive measures to make sure my food isn't contaminated at all. I'm actually becoming a bit less afraid of being contaminated, which is liberating.  I'm drinking about a 1/4 cup of coffee on weekends successfully, so hopefully I'll build up to tolerating occasional coffee when I have a long day. I don't really know how much better I can feel past this point, but I look forward to whatever comes of continuing to be gluten free!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Shayna, the Washington Post had a little blurb in their Health & Science section about DC winning an award for being the friendliest/most accomodating city in the U.S. for individuals with celiac. Not sure exactly how they came up with the results/what measures they used though. Just thought you might be interested! It's just one mroe reason to come back East!