Tuesday 16 August 2011

Can you hear the dramatic Soap Opera Music? It's time for......the Diagnosis!

Fast forward to October 2010, and I get sick. Really, very sick. It starts off like a tummy ache, Laurie ate too much……. shocker but then it gets worse. Way worse and it’s not going away. EVERY time I eat I get this stabbing pain in my stomach, it continues for days until I begrudgingly seek the assistance of my doctor. I will spare you the lengthily, painful details but it was December before things got figured out. I have now lost 15 pounds, I can barely function, I have no energy, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I am pissy and cranky and in a great deal of pain all day everyday. It sucked. The doctor has exhausted himself and me trying to find a reason for my sudden onset of pain and illness. Despite the many diagnostic tests he sent me for, the meds he tried, he could not find a cause for my sickness and I could tell, he was running out of options.

Now, I have a friend named Erin that I worked with when I was at Moxies and she has Celiac. I am very surprised that I can still call a lot of people friends after those several weeks that I was sick because I was stunningly horrible to be around. Like, really annoying. But they are all still my friends so I guess they just have pretty low standards. So anyway, I am once again bitching to Erin about how bad I feel and she says, "I wonder if you have Celiac Disease." I nodded and thanked her. I said I would ask my doctor and then I thought she was a crazy person and I walked away. (Erin, I am going to need a mulligan on that convo please. Love you, sorry I was a bitch.)

At my seventh visit to the doctor, I was in a horrific mood.....yes again. I had actually not eaten yet that day because the pain was so bad after I ate that I would have been unable to drive to the appointment. I sat brooding in his examination room, knowing that on some level, he had to be sick of seeing my pathetic self. I knew that I was sick of seeing the ugly loon picture on his wall.  So when he came in and suggests a diet change, I totally freak out. I inform him in something akin to a wailing child that all I have been eating is toast for weeks. How more bland can I make it? Toast, is what people eat on their death beds for fuck sake. Bread is my go to food, and it would never ever hurt me. He remains quite calm despite his most likely burning desire to strangle me and tells me to stop eating wheat, so no bread. I literally, rolled my eyes at him, this is how much of a shit I was being at the time, I rolled my eyes at the man who let me hear my children’s fetus heart beats for the first time. I was such an ass during this visit, I cringe to think about it. But I went home and didn’t eat wheat for two days.

That’s how long it took, two days and on the morning of the second day, I woke up a whole new person. I felt FANTASTIC. Now, I don’t know if I have never felt that healthy and well and awake or if just in comparison to the past several weeks, it just seemed that way but really it was splendid. So of course, I am healed, all is well and I bound down the stairs and make myself a bagel for breakfast. Horror of all horrors, I am dropping the kids off at school and double over in pain. I head back to the doc and tell him my tale.

            “Well, then you most likely have Celiac Disease.” He says to me and he DARES to have a glimmer of happiness in his eye, he’s solved the mystery hasn’t he, aren’t we pleased? Not so much on my end of the paper sheet, this sounds like a death sentence. I immediately begin to barter, telling him that I can go back to bread after a few weeks right? This isn’t forever, this CAN”T be forever! To which he responds with a small smirk, “you can try to eat gluten again but the longer you are away from it and the more healed your body is, the more damage it will do to your body if you consume it.”

 I stared at him blankly, shaking my head and nodding it at the same time. It was wretched really, I was a totally baby about it, I admit. I started to cry a little. Now the doc certainly put it into perspective, I don’t need a surgery, I don’t have to be on some random med for the rest of my life, I have to change my diet, no more bread, so what? Big deal! Who needs the stupid bread and cereal and cupcakes and cookies and gravy and ……….. I sniffed back my tears, nodded, took the offered pamphlets, and the requisition for the official blood test thanked him politely and smiled at the receptionist on my way out…. and then bawled more like a baby in the car.

That’s the way it started.

I stopped crying obviously, despite how I am presenting myself, I am not a sniveler and it’s not in my nature to be a total whiner so I pulled up my socks and got to work on having Celiac Disease. I thought at first that it would be a minor change but over time, Celiac has become a member of the family, sometimes welcome, sometimes despised but always there so I have come to accept him as my constant companion.


  1. I love this. What you have decribed is horribly familiar and sounds like what I'm now experiencing on a daily basis. I'm waiting on my own results, but each day in the mean time is a hellish experience of pain and exhaustion.

  2. Still not totally out of pain after three months! But it is better (the pain not the bread). Didn't notice a lot of the other symptoms (fatigue, etc.) until I stopped all gluten foods. Never got the weight loss though-that I could have used a little of! Found polenta a great substitute for pasta when we make meat sauce.

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