It has been just over a month since we have been GLUTEN FREE....I say that with a cringe, because I am sure we aren't completely gluten free. If there was a black light for gluten it would go off like crazy...But, we are as gluten free as we can get at the moment. It has been a struggle. Not impossible, and truly not extremely hard, just a hassle. It is a pain in the bleep. I am sure if I was one of those mothers who woke up every morning at the butt crack of dawn to make my children breakfast and iron their clothes, being gluten free wouldn't be that big of a change.
But I am not that mom. I have never been that mom, and for the last month I have been trying to channel that mom...it hasn't always been successful.
I sometimes think.."if we lived in a big city this would be so much easier!" I've lived in several big cities and have seen the greener side of the fence. My britches are too big for this tiny town. Yes, I admit, I have big city envy. But then I go to my local gas station and they ask about Avery, or I see a restaurant owner at Wal-Mart and she offers to order tiny packets of Ranch Dressing for me. Maybe being in a small town where everybody knows your name is a good thing in this situation. Maybe they will all learn exactly what gluten is and how to treat people who are Gluten Intolerant. It really isn't that uncommon! In my tiny town of 9,000 people I know of 3 people who have gluten issues. Two adults at Avery's school and Avery.
I will be stepping on my soap box now....
I have learned more about gluten in the last month than I ever thought I would need to know. I have learned more about cooking than I ever wished to know.
I have also never wanted to scream at people like I have wanted to in this last month.
This piece of information takes 5seconds to learn...the world NEEDS to learn this...
If a person has ANY form of GLUTEN INTOLERANCE coming into contact with gluten in any way is BAD. Gluten destroys the villi in their intestine, continued exposure can cause severe life threatening damage to the intestine.
How hard is that to understand? Why are people so asinine about something so cut and dry. NO CONTACT AT ALL.... Yeah, that means crumbs. So, no you can't cut your gluten cake and then use that knife on Avery's GLUTEN FREE cake.
People understand a peanut allergy. Is it because it is right in your face, you see the person's lips turn blue so you think...."oh, wow, I guess they really couldn't have peanuts."
Here are the symptoms that Avery gets when she eats something with gluten in it.
Gas & Bloating
Arm and Leg Pain
You are right. None of the above symptoms are detrimental to her health. IF, it was a ONE time issue. We have all had diarrhea once or twice. It is uncomfortable, we deal with it and move on with our day.
But, she has long term effects of gluten as well.
Anemia: unable to absorb vitamin B12 & iron.
Bruising: giant black ones worthy of a call to Child Protective Services, because she was not absorbing vitamin K.
Muscle Weakness: She has virtually no upper body strength and is constantly complaining of cramps in her calves.
So, no, Avery doesn't go into anaphylactic shock if she eats gluten. We don't carry an Epi-Pen, but I do know where every bathroom is in the tri-city area, also which ones are the cleanest. I have really scary pictures of a bruise Avery got when her brother was goofing off and pushed her into the door frame. And I can tell you that at exactly 3:30 she will be laying down in her room for about 20 minutes because she is soo tired from her day at school.
For anyone who is a tiny bit curious about Celiac Disease, there are really good resources to learn more information. You may not have it, you may think it is all hype, you may not give a rats ass, but I would be failing my daughter if I did not try to inform at least one person on what this truly is and how it affects her future.
Just a note...
Avery is diagnosed with Gluten Intolerance. After several failed trips to her pediatrician, I brought her along with me to one of my appointments. My doctor asked me several questions about her diet, what I thought her symptoms were, and then more specific questions about symptoms. We did not do any other tests. There are several that can be done. At this point, I do not see the need to have them. I have removed 99.9% of the gluten from her diet and I have seen a 99.9% improvement.
I am still eating gluten when I am not with Avery. I have a doctor's appointment in March and want to have the blood work completed. I have many of the symptoms that are listed on the Celiac Disease Foundation website. Tags: frustration, journal