Fighting the good fight

A lot of what I do is education:  education on eating gluten free, education on what Celiac disease is and education on why it’s important for me to remain gluten free.  There have been many people lately that have taken stabs at those eating gluten free (one of my earlier blogs speaks to the ignorant Joy Behar) and the most recent is NBC.

As a news agency, along with an entertainment portion, they have done stories on eating gluten free, on Celiac disease and why the sudden boom in the gluten free food industry.  They have done studies on why the importance and, as someone who once worked for the local NBC affiliate, I was embarrassed and saddened when this Super Bowl ad made an appearance online.

Luckily, a fellow blogger by the name GlutenFreeDude took matters into his own hands and started circulating a petition that would remove this ad from TV.  Kudos to him for doing this as it caused a ruckus and the ad was edited.

For all the education I try to do in my community, it’s things like this that seem to be a set back…or is it?  Maybe, in some weird way it’s actually bringing the topic, the reality, to light and gives me a platform to be able to talk to people about WHY it’s important to be gluten free.  Why it’s not a funny topic, just like other medical condition aren’t.  You wouldn’t joke about cancer so why joke about this?  Celiac disease can be deadly, ask my dad who nearly died before being diagnosed.

As frustrated as I was when I first saw the ad, and as frustrated as I was today reading how those who reacted to the ad were “pansies” among other verbiage, I see an opportunity to give reality to what some people think is “all in my head”.

So I will continue with what I feel has been given to me, a torch to carry.  And I will continue helping people through struggles…this is how I feel, this is only the beginning, just one battle.

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What is going on?

I haven’t felt like writing for a while, which is evident since my last post was a while ago.  I’ve been busy, that’s for sure, but I typically take some time to write though, it’s my therapy.

The weather here has been up and down, sunny and cloudy.  I’m a sunshine girl, need the bright rays, or my mood goes downhill quickly.  It’s the reason that I couldn’t live in Washington or Alaska, at least not in the winter.  And lately we’ve had more clouds than normal, so I’ve probably been more cranky.  I know that it affects my sleep.  Right now it’s not even 8:30pm and I want to go to bed.  Maybe it’s a good thing that I have pictures to edit, keeps me up.

They say that one of the symptoms of Celiac Disease is depression.  Although I am not depressed (I’ve been there and this isn’t it), I wonder if having these cranky moments is a part of the Celiac Disease or the weather.  Well, I know some of it is the weather.  But does this come with the Celiac territory?  Am I being accidentally glutened?   There are certain things that happen, like being super tired, that make me wonder.

This is largely a therapeutic type blog, mostly just to get my thoughts out.  But, if anyone else has experience with these things and Celiac Disease, I welcome your comments.

One of the lucky ones…

I hear all too often that people are “blacklisted” or are the “black sheep” of their family or social circle.  It makes me sad that there are people out there that don’t want to take the time or effort to understand WHY someone may not have the option to not be gluten free.

I am one of the lucky ones.  My friends, and certainly my family, take time to understand why I now live the life I do.  There are lots of questions and it still may be hard to understand all that is involved with Celiac Disease.  I realized that today as I spent time with my “family away from family” as we went to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

I made my way to the restaurant on top of the hill quicker than the rest of the fam as I knew I would have lots of questions for the staff and would have to think a little more on what I would have to order.  Luckily, they were familiar with gluten free at the restaurant so it made me more comfortable.  The best part was that they had buns for the hamburgers and other sandwiches and they could leave the seasoning off the fries, which were by themselves gluten free.  Now, a note…I don’t know that there was a separate kitchen for my food nor do I believe that there were separate fryers for the fries.  Cross contamination was almost certain.

Well, this brought a question from my friend Brad.  He was kind enough to double check that my food was gluten free.  Bonus point for him!  But it brought up tons of questions which makes me super happy.  Questions on whether the fries were truly ok (probably not).  What happens when I’m, in my words, “glutened”?  (diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating). Why does this happen?  (No absorption)  He had many more questions and, I hope, I could answer them so that it made sense.  Celiac Disease is a crazy weird disease.   The ride home, and the drive thru at McDonald’s, brought a whole new set of questions from  Brad and his wife, and one of my closest friends,  Jammie.  Fast food is not the best friend to a Celiac but when a kid wants a Happy Meal, it’s pretty hard to argue with that!

But it makes me realize that I’m super lucky.  That I have support from my family and my friends and that they WANT to understand not only Celiac Disease but want to keep me healthy and watch out for me as well.

Do you have a great support system?  Tell me about it.

Jammie and I on the Canyon Swing at the Adventure Park.

Jammie and I on the Canyon Swing at the Adventure Park.