Two Sides of Celiac Freedom
|Throwback to post hospital swag!|
One of the benefits of two years celiac experience? The information I tell my waitress, the requests I make of the chef, and the scrutiny I place over my meal transforms into a memorized script. Sometimes I forget that I ever walked into a restaurant without researching gluten free options ahead of time. And ordering fries without asking about fryer cross contamination? It feels like a memory filed away with my short-lived McDonald days.
|Replace with "celiac disease" and that's my jam!|
I embrace my celiac disease as part of my identity. But sometimes, like having brown hair or boasting a 4.0 GPA, it fades into the whole that is Casey. For all those newly diagnosed with celiac disease, I can say this: it (living with celiac disease) does get easier. As celiacs learn to feed themselves safely, they also learn freedom from a disease sitting constantly on their minds.
|A few parts of Casey|
Living in houses that are more gluten than gluten free has its benefits. It's a reminder to be grateful for my family's (gluten) sacrifices and dedication to cleaning. It's a reminder that I'm not invincible or normal or able to eat like everyone else - but that I can handle the challenge. And, in a strange way, it's empowering. Because it's made me realize that taking such strict precautions leads to another side of celiac freedom. Instead of being free from celiac, I am embracing freedom for it.
|All gluten free?|
As I watched the fireworks explode over my head a few nights ago, I could barely believe the variety. Different colors. Different shapes. Different techniques that made us ooh and awww from the truck bed. But each one celebrated the same holiday: American freedom. In a similar way, celiac disease can be celebrated in life through two different ways. By becoming ingrained in routine to such an extent it becomes nearly invisible or by being embraced as an impactful part of life and identity. Or a mixture of both.
|Out with a bam!|
Do you ever "forget" about your celiac disease? How did you celebrate the Fourth of July? Comment below!