Monday, June 22, 2015

Portraits of my Boys 25 + A Prognosis

So, I have Celiacs disease.
I am currently feeling overwhelmed with a combination of grief, gratitude, and determination (with some other emotions mixed in there, too.)
Grief for the foods that I cannot eat ever again. Like, never ever. Smore's. Crusty bread. My grandma's cinnamon rolls. Peanut butter M&Ms! Cap'n Crunch! Anyway. That list doesn't look that pathetic, but it's much longer than that and includes things like all take-out Chinese food and fluffy, normal pancakes. 
Gratitude that I finally know what's going on and can start the journey towards feeling better. Even if I don't eat a single crumb of gluten for the rest of my life, it will still take my body months (possibly even years) to heal from the gluten I've been ingesting for so long. I will probably have this never-ending headache and brain fog for weeks. Irritable bowels for months. Sleep and weight problems, struggles with depression, lack of menstruation. All of these things are to blame on my newly-diagnosed disease, which is so much worse than an allergy or "intolerance." And even if I am super careful forever, I will almost inevitably take in gluten regularly for the rest of my life. 
But again, I feel gratitude, that maybe this can end. (As I told a friend this week, I love bread, but I hate being sick. It's close, but I think I hate being sick slightly more than I love bread. So I'm going to make this work.)
I am also grateful that I love to cook. While this disease is inconvenient to my love of baking- my love of baking is a convenience to my Celiacs.

Over the weekend, I was able to make myself food with relative ease, including a tasty apricot crisp in which I could easily substitute gluten free flours and oats for the flours and oats in my kitchen.
Travis and I also began to de-gluten the kitchen, a project which is going to take a while.  Gone are all my beloved cake pans and cookie sheets, anything wooden or plastic, and about 15 half-eaten boxes of cereal (to be replaced with kitchen supplies that have never touched gluten and all the Rice Chex.)
My new least favorite words in the world are "This product was processed in a facility that also processes wheat."
Good bye chocolate chips, raisins, corn chips, oatmeal and many other things that ought to be gluten-free. I will go to the store and buy more-expensive versions of you. (Anybody got tips on where to find such things for not a bazillion dollars?)
Going to the grocery store right now takes about a million times longer, since I have to spend all my time reading labels while my children hide from me or beg for fruit snacks, and I spend half my time on my phone Googling things like "What hotdog brands are certified gluten-free?"
But we will do this.
People keep saying to me, "Oh Becky! This will be so hard" or worse! "But you were such a good baker!"
Excuse me. I am not dead. I am still a really good baker. And yeah, this will be hard- but life is hard, and I would like to continue to be alive. I'm really good at doing hard things (unless those things are running or pull-ups). In fact, it was so hard to function and care for myself and family over the last year while I was so sick, that I think this is a challenge I'd much rather face.
So now I will continue to be the exact same human being as before, except I will not get to eat gluten. I still love a good book, I still get giddy when a shipment of fabric or cookbooks arrives on my doorstep. I still relish in making meal plans and grocery-lists, and I spent a long time scrolling through Pinterest desserts on Saturday night. I still think my kids are cute, I try to budget, I am excitedly planning costumes for my family for the upcoming Harry Potter Birthday party, I still use cloth diapers on my baby, and buy organic meat from a local farm.
Celiacs is a footnote.
Next time you come over for dinner, you will eat a gluten-free meal off of my gluten-free plates and you will not think "This tastes really good for a gluten-free meal."
You will think "This tastes really good! I want the recipe and you're amazing, etc."
Thank you. I am. And I will continue to be.
And now, here are some pictures of my kids- because they are also amazing and I really like them:



(Just doing some Star Wars Yoga)



-Danica- said...

Thank heavens you have an answer! If I know anything about you from reading your blog, it's thank you are strong and you are up for the challenge. From my own experience with some health challenges recently, its a lot easier to find the things you will need in a regular grocery store/costco. I find a lot of my gluten free flours in bulk at winco for an awesome price. Try checking out Danielle Walker's recipes. She has two cookbooks, and I have the second. Also, there is a gluten/dairy/soy free chocolate chip cookie brand... I think its called enjoy life??

Good luck! Please post recipes you find that you guys love :)

Rebecca Orr said...

I am super glad you have an answer. A fun one? Of course not. But one that is manageable. There are tons of resources for you and I know you will succeed! I will pray for a quick (although, like you said it won't be quick)recovery of all your current issues and pray that you don't have any issues down the road.

Teeners said...

Oh, Becky. Like you say, good to have a prognosis. It stinks, but it is better than being sick! Chris's brother has Celiac's disease. He seriously looked like death when we got married, but then got diagnosed, and is now a lot healthier! Good luck with it all! Enjoy Chex cereal and corn chips, and everything else that is gluten free!

Elizabeth said...

Costco has a great selection of gluten free foods. Better Batter Gluten Free Flour is a great all purpose gluten free flour blend- There pancake/ biscuit mix is a great bisquick replacement. I love Pamela's gluten free pancake mix. Best pancakes ever. Cheerios will be going gluten free is July- yeah! Nichole Hunn at is a wonderful resource. She's a stay at mom and a baker. She has lots of great recipes. Almost everything she makes is homemade and 90% of her recipes are baked goods. Cup4Cup is super expensive and only at Williams Sonoma but is a wonderful flour for cakes and pastries- I use it for special occasions only. Barilla's gluten free pasta is the best! Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bread is hands down the best store bough sandwich bread you will find. All P&G products- dish soap, laundry soap, dish washer soap, hand soap- are gluten free. I don't know how much make-up you wear but there are several brands that are gluten free, here is a great list-
Check out my Pinterest page for lots of stuff. We will have to talk soon. Find a local celiac group. It's nice to have those who understand around you. Love you my dear cousin.

Elizabeth said...

Oh. Stephanie O'Dea at meals are all gluten free. She has a child with Celiacs and Erin Chase at has gluten free meals because her children need gluten free diets due to medical conditions.

Sarah DeVore said...

Cheerios will be going Gluten Free in July as well so you will have some more cereal options!
The article is below on the process they are going through.