A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
When describing what I should expect, my doctor named three months as the magic number for healing celiacs. By that time, I would have a normal life. Or, according to my imaginative self, somersault out of bed with a racehorse's energy and tackle world hunger. Well, the three month mark has come and gone, marked red on my mental calendar. My symptoms are another story. I've always been special. Of course.
Throughout my gluten free adventure, I've tried to stay positive. I shoved worries about my upset stomach and Sleeping-Beauty-complex into the corner and focused on being grateful. At least it's not fatal. At least my little sister doesn't carry the gene. At least I have a support system that kicks gluten's bread-filled butt.
I try to see the positive side of things
Yesterday, though. Yesterday sucked because it blew all my "at leasts" and optimism out of the water. I walked into the hospital tired but relaxed: another check up, more questions and advice, and hopefully I'd be back home watching Top Chef reruns within an hour. Three hours later and three medical procedures scheduled within my last 16 days before college? Not so happy. More like pissed off. Crumbling. Resigned. As paperwork describing each ordeal piled up, I nearly laughed out of disbelief, thinking, "Nothing like a visual dissection of the intestines to gear yourself up for freshman year!"
The fact is, I'm sick of being sick. I'm sick of doctors and horse pills and having to worry about my stomach's reaction to everything I put in my body.
After hours of inner searching, though, I've discovered what I'm even more sick of: My waterworks and philosophical blubbering sessions; the sharp knives of envy that hit me when I read how others feel amazing days after going gluten free; basically, feeling badbecause I'm feeling bad.
Now, I realize that these reactions are natural and acceptable. Sometimes, a girl's just gotta have a good cry with a tub of gluten free ice cream, as I've talked about before. Today, though, after weeks on this emotional roller coaster ride, I've decided that even if I can't control the condition of my body, my mind's fair game.
Victory shall be mine!
In my fury and frustration over my medical setbacks, this morning I scrubbed my bathroom and shower clean. If porcelain and tile could bleed, be assured I'd be bathed in red for the strength I put behind each swipe. When I stepped away, my room sparkled. I want to do the same power-washing in my mind.
Wipe away the scum disfiguring my average college worries to celiac-focused anxieties. I have soared past academic challenges before - new schools, bullying, military deployments - and college will be no different.
Rearrange my view offood from an intestinal terrorist to a fuel worthy of enjoyment. I am still the foodie I was - just a gluten free cousin.
Bleach out the negativity, fears, and frustration towards these new health issues and medical procedures. Yes, the timing is about as wonderful as a restaurant appetizer of gluten-filled bread. Yes, they may be uncomfortable and invasive. And yet, I will survive. I've already experienced the intestinal version of Where's-Waldo; three more times won't hurt.
Any setback - physical or mental - because of celiac disease isn't easy to deal with (as shown by my full serving of teenage angst) but I am determined to make it over the hump. My kick-butt doctor and these extra tests will hopefully aid my physical recovery, but I am in control of my own mental rewiring.
Right now, I'm sitting - relaxing - in my backyard, near the pool. I just meditated with yoga and reflected on my day thus far. I forced down the biggest lunch in weeks and enjoyed most of it. And you know what? It feels pretty great.
I'm on the road to peace
Did you get better right after going gluten free? Did you deal with any mental frustrations? Comment below!