A couple of weeks ago our pastor told the story behind the song “I’ll be Home for Christmas”. It was written during wartime and the writer couldn’t get a record label to record the song. One day while golfing with … Continue reading
As you can tell, I’ve taken a little break from writing. Some of it because I’ve, honestly, not felt like writing because I felt like everything I would write would be not overly positive. Not because everything is horrible but because that’s when I feel like writing the most. The other part is that I’ve been busy and putting my brain to writing seems to exhaust me.
That brings me to this. I’ve been tired. Like sleep 10 hours a night tired. And thankfully I’ve had this weekend off so I’ve been going to bed at 9 after struggling to stay awake. I mean, six o’ clock and I could go to bed tired. Then I sleep until 7 or 8. I’ve been tired for a while but the last couple of months it has started to really bother me. I went to the doctor and they did a complete blood panel and everything came back normal. My T3 (thanks to my hypothyroidism) is a little off but nothing to be overly concerned about. Nothing to explain this feeling of exhaustion. Unless it’s mono, then all I can do is sleep it off. I go back to the doc in a couple of week to see if the new meds for the T3 are working and will have them do the mono test at that time.
Also, I know this is the time for people to go out to eat with their families and it can be a struggle. No matter how many times you ask if a meal is gluten free, ask the server to mark it on their order, mistakes can happen as can cross contamination. This happened last week, I went to a restaurant with a friend. I made sure the server knew it had to be gluten free (asked about each item on the list and requested it three times) and then when it was served I asked several times again. It wasn’t gluten free, my tummy told me that, and I spent most of the night with a tummy that tried to get rid of the food as quickly as possible.
Now, I know I take a chance when eating out. This is the first time in over four years that this has happened, people around here tend to get it right, to understand how important it is. But this was one time when care wasn’t taken no matter how careful I was.
I’m sure some of this contributed to my lack of energy this weekend. I did have an amazing Thanksgiving and had the energy to prepare the meal with the help of my mom and dad. I did have the energy to finish decorating the exterior of the house and it took all day on Friday to do the interior of the house.
So I’m taking little steps with the little energy I have. Thank you for your patience as I took some time off the radar. I will be better in the future.
It all began with my dad. It was June of 2009 and dad’s health had been going downhill for quite some time. He didn’t have energy, was looking pale and, as a good stubborn German man, refused to go to the doctor and had been refusing for months. I will never forget the Sunday that we had done a trip through the orchards and when mom and dad dropped me off, as usual, I invited them up to my condo which is on the second story. Dad flat out said “no” because he didn’t have the energy. I had gone over there a few days later and dad could hardly walk across the living room without stopping to gather his energy so he could keep going. He had turned into an old, old man in front of our eyes. My brother emailed me, asking if he needed to fly in from Washington state. I told him no…but I honestly didn’t think dad was going to make it. Later, he would tell us that he wasn’t sure he was going to live much longer.
A couple of weeks later I received a phone call while I was at work. It was my mom and my dad had driven himself to the ER from his part time job at a golf course. They had found a hernia and would have to do surgery. When they did the pre surgery blood tests, he came back severely anemic and ordered an upper and lower GI to find out where they internal bleeding was. Otherwise, why would you have such severe anemia? The gastroenterologist did the tests and told mom that they biopsied a portion of his upper GI but he was pretty sure it was Celiac Disease.
My mom is super resourceful so started doing research so when the test came back positive for Celiac Disease, she was ready to rock n roll. Everything got put into a box and I was the proud recipient of TONS of food. Mom started baking and cooking gluten free, dad was mad at the world. Here he was, in his 60’s. He was already a diabetic and had a thyroid condition…why this too? No bread, no pasta, no beer…Father’s Day was right around the corner so I did my due diligence as his daughter and found gluten free beer. It was no Bud Light but it worked!
We would later find out that all of these autoimmune diseases work hand in hand and when you have one, you are very likely to have another.
Mom’s research took her to find that if you have a relative with Celiac Disease, you have a 1 in 22 chance of having the disease too. A few months later I took a blood test and it came back positive for Celiac Disease. I spoke with my doctor and she told me that as long as I didn’t have the symptoms, to keep on living my life the way I was. (BTW, this is NOT correct. If you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease you must IMMEDIATELY start eating gluten free).
As time went on, I starting having symptoms. I had always been anemic but now I was having intestinal issues. I would eat and then head straight to the bathroom because it went through me so fast. I would have severe cramps and would go home and just curl up on my couch, praying they would go away. I was bloated and had no energy.
I finally decided it was time to go gluten free. Should be easy, right? My mom and dad had just gone through it and I was sure it would be easier for me.
I went through the purging process as well, taking food out of my pantry and donating it or giving to it friends. I then headed to the grocery store, Vitamin Cottage, actually. I will NEVER forget standing in the pasta aisle, looking at the mac and cheese and wondering which box of $5 mac and cheese was actually any good. Which $6 pasta was any good. I was overwhelmed and, before I could start crying, I bought a box of mac and cheese and went home. It was overwhelming and I cried all the way home. The mac and cheese sucked. It was expensive so I ate it all and cried more.
The next day I put on my big girl panties and went to City Market. I bought a few things because a girl’s gotta eat. I asked mom for help. I tried things and figured out which ones weren’t good, although I’d eat it anyway because GF food is EXPENSIVE. Most breads were only good for toast, buns were hard, eating out was horrible and still can be bad. It was FRUSTRATING.
But I’ve lived and I’ve figured out what is good, what isn’t, where is safe to eat, where make my tummy hurt and in this, I’ve found friends who are going through the same thing. It’s so much easier when you have people who know exactly what you are going through.
And that’s my journey, so far. I know there is more to do, this is my platform and there are many more people who feel alone in this world, or who haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac although they’ve been diagnosed with everything under the sun. And the true cause is Celiac Disease.
I ask that if you know someone who has Celiac Disease and feels alone in the world, share this blog. If you have a question for me, ask. I’m here to help, I’m going on this journey for a reason.
Where did 2013 go? It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year and now it’s just a few days from being over.
With a new year typically come those pesky resolutions. Many people will make the resolution and within a month will have forgotten about it. That’s why I challenge you to make a goal, not a resolution, for the entire year and make 2014 the year of “No Excuses”.
I can’t claim that this idea is mine; it actually came from the company I work for. They challenged us to not make excuses for things we “couldn’t” do and make them happen. They weren’t just talking professionally; they were talking mostly about personal goals and this all stemmed from Team Hoyt.
If you’ve never heard of Team Hoyt, Google them, it’s an inspirational story for all. The story goes like this: Rick Hoyt was born with his umbilical cord around his neck which resulted in him having cerebral palsy and being a quadriplegic. When Rick was younger, his friend, who was recently wheelchair bound was having a fundraiser race and Rick told his Dad, Dick, that he wanted to race. Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair through the race but Dick had never run more than just a few blocks. They did the race, and another, and another and to this day they have finished Iron Man Competitions (a triathlon where you swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles) as well as marathons and many other races. Dick does all of this WITH his son: pushing him in the wheelchair, pulling him in a raft and biking with him. Oh, and by the way, they have come in ½ an hour short of a marathon record.
No excuses. Dick just gets out there and does it because his son loves it. Dick didn’t know how to swim and learned to swim. He hadn’t rode a bike in years and got back on a bike. He couldn’t run any distance and got out there and DID it.
I had a “no excuse” moment about three years ago. I was having a rough time that fall and decided that I wasn’t getting any younger: it was time to run a 5k. My friend, Cheryl, had been telling me for years that I should run a 5k. I kept making excuses: I couldn’t run far, my knees are bad, etc., etc. But that fall something changed and I knew that it was now or never. I asked her when the next 5k was and there was one in eight weeks, the Turkey Trot. Upon the advice of my friend Gabe, I followed the training program of Hal Higdon, which was a good, slow start training program. I trained. I followed the program and even on days when running was the last thing I wanted to do, I ran. Cheryl took me under her wing and took me running hills with her running friends. She called and texted asking how training was going. And when money ran short and I couldn’t afford to pay for the race, my parents stepped in and paid for the race. They even bought me running pants so I would actually look like a runner!
So, when it came to the day of the race, I had no excuses. I was trained, looked like a runner and Cheryl even came and picked me up. My parents were there to cheer me on. Now, all I had to do was run. Was I fast? Not really. Did I finish? Yes. Was I proud, excited and sore the next day? Yes. I put all of the excuses behind me, had friends and family to push me and take away anything that could be an excuse and just did it. The best part is that running is addictive and I have brought another friend (Shawna) in to run with me too and I keep running races. My most recent Turkey Trot was my fastest time ever for a race and I plan on keeping on. No excuses.
So, make this your year of no excuses. What is something you’ve always wanted to do but “couldn’t”? What is something that you “didn’t have time for”? What is something you’ve been scared to do because it was new? Take the words “can’t”, “couldn’t”, “don’t have time” and other negatives out of your vocabulary. Make 2014 a year where you can say “I did all of these new things and I’m a better person for it.” Happy New Year!