Remarkable Celiac Awareness Month

This year, the first day of May begins a month full of celebrations. The end of my freshman year at college. My sister's 17th birthday. The anniversary of my celiac diagnosis. And, starting today, Celiac Awareness Month!

This morning, my Twitter feed sported more tweets than the trees outside my window. Posts about #positiveceliac from Gluten Away. News about an ancient skeleton that shows many of the physical symptoms of celiac disease. More movements to spread knowledge about celiac disease, share gluten free recipes, advance medical research and improve a celiac's quality of life than I can count.

Let the celebrations begin!

As I stared at the screen, a single word inflated in my mind: Remarkable. How remarkable is it that the disease that has wriggled into my life - into my very identity - has a whole month dedicated to it? How remarkable is it that I was diagnosed in the same month that my diagnosis is celebrated? And how remarkable is the gluten free community that I've met along the way?

Pretty freakin' remarkable, if the waves of support, love, and acceptance constantly sent my way are any indication. Recently, life has been playing ping pong with my emotions. I'm super excited about the end of my freshman year in college in one moment and crushed about my struggle with self-image from celiac disease in the next.

Logically, I know that I am blessed, even with celiac added to the equation. I have shelter. I have (gluten free) food. I even have a gorgeous California backdrop to stare at when I walk to class. Yet, sometimes I struggle to look past the challenges of living with celiac disease

Being a permanent Debbie Downer doesn't end well...

A few days ago, though, a new mindset infected my brain. It stemmed from a blog post by Hands Free Mama that included John McGregor's quote: "If nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be remarkable?"

And like a virus, that question has spread from my brain to my eyes to my thoughts ever since. Because, I don't have an answer. And I don't care about trying to find one. Instead, I care about the discovery that:

Remarkable is feeling my leg muscles and tendons dance in harmony as I climb up Hendricks Hill.

Remarkable is seeing the sun play peek-a-boo between the leaves of a palm tree.

And remarkable is belonging to a community that joins together during May to celebrate the disease that connects us all.

But even more remarkable than that?

The fact that May is just beginning, and there are so many more remarkable things - about celiac and about life - to be said. And this Celiac Awareness Month, I'm determined to say every single one of them.

What is remarkable to you today? What do you think of Celiac Awareness Month? Comment below!


  1. For me it's remarkable that I can enjoy the little things in life. That I can honestly smile and not the fake smile I had on my face when I was un-diagnosed.
    The fact that I can do things in a day, without extreme exhaustion.
    Smile at little kids when I see them play outside.
    The fact that I learn to listen at my body and accepts her when she is a day extreme tired. I don't feel angry, I just take extra care of her.

    1. This is such a beautiful comment and so true!! I need to print this out and post it near my desk to remind myself to be thankful for my body - banged up or not - every day. :)

  2. Celiac Awareness months gives me a sense of pride, because like you said, we are part of this awesome community that's connected and has such love for one another, and THAT is a remarkable thing!

    1. SO TRUE! The doctors should give out a list of the top 10 gluten free bloggers/advocates when they diagnose. It's the best medicine there is!

  3. For me it's remarkable that I went so many years before I got active celiac disease (I'm 74 and I think it's been active for two to three years), although I'm wondering about some symptoms I've had for much longer and that some people attribute to celiac. And it's remarkable that a couple of pretty competent doctors got to a confirmed diagnosis (from suspicion) in about two months. And it's remarkable how a number of symptoms have been improved or eliminated by the GF diet. And how so many of the things I ate before going GF I can still have with either minor modification (e.g. gluten free soy sauce) or no modification at all-- some days I can be GF without really trying! My wife has been great about it (not very remarkable-- she's very bright and she takes "for better or worse" seriously), but it's remarkable that her brother and his wife have also been great about it-- we've eaten at their place several times since I went GF, without me being glutened once.

    As I read all the horror stories about years to diagnosis, relatives scoffing at the diagnosis, accidental glutenings, and on and on, I think I've had a remarkably easy time of it.


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