Light at the End of the Tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel. Optimists say it's heaven; pessimists warn about the train storming ahead. For me, though, that light shines of flickering fluorescent lighting, moonlight walks on the beach, and late night cramming. That light shines of college: Point Loma Nazarene Unversity.

I've already scattered my complaints all over the Internet. Why does this have to happen days before I start collegeWhy can't I be the celiac who heals with every bite of gluten free? Why this, why that.  why everything, really?

I've had a lot of time to think these last few days. After all, after being pumped up with laxatives and refused food, what else is there to do but stare at a wall and philosophize? So, I've finally figured out, yep the timing sucks. But, at the same time, these gluten-filled rainy days will only make my college experience even sunnier

What do I mean? Well, honestly, like any other incoming freshman, the idea of starting college makes me want to puke. I have to feed myself? Wash my own clothes? Choose calculus class over the beach? 

After living as a literal vegetable for two weekends in a row, though, all these worries about college pale into a hopeful light: a light in the gluten-wrapped tunnel of celiac disease. No matter how hard the adjustment to college will be, this whirlwind of suckish celiac symptoms make it look easy. I've walked through hospital hallways, shivering in a flimsy gown that refuses to stay closed. I've been knocked out by anesthesia, handing over my trust to a team of doctors. And I've had dozens of eyes analyzing my intestines too closely for my liking. With all of this surrounding my home life, college looks like heaven wrapped in a stack of books. 

But as much as I've been suffering, my family has as well. They worry, they feel guilty, they would do anything to help me, but can't. One day, though, my dad came home from work and told me I should use my health problems as inspiration in my writing. At first I laughed, joking that I'd title my first book, "The Teenager and the  Pissed Off Stomach: A Love Story." But the more I thought about it, the more it called to me. 

Exploring the impact of celiac disease on my life is the reason I started this blog, the reason I dare to bare my soul to faceless strangers on the Internet. Writing is my form of therapy, but more than that, it is my core, my strength. The fact is, I've been through more than the average college freshman. Instead of exploring Europe or building an orphanage in Haiti, I've spent my summer adventuring with bottles of Miralax and rebuilding my intestinal track. And my progress will only continue in college. 

If I am weak now, by college I will be stronger. If I am sickly, frustrated and hurting, by college no aches and pains will ever squash my goals. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and I am it's epitome. 

How can I not see the light with family by my side?
After weeks of questions, answers have finally surfaced. Why now? Because tomorrow will be even better. Why me? Because this will strengthen my writing and my soul beyond compare. "Why" has no power anymore. Now, all the power belongs to me.

Did you ask yourself "why" after your diagnosis? Do you think celiac makes you stronger? Comment below! 


  1. Oh chicky, things will get better, I promise. It's incredible stressful the first few months in a new place, but atleast you know what your dietary restraints are prior to starting. Your new friends will be amazed at your strength and you will have them having your back in years to come!

    1. Thank you lots for the supportive reply! That's exactly the mindset I'm trying to maintain - it may be crazy now, but it will get better. And yes, that is my one blessing. At least I know what in getting into! :)


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