Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Affirmation Project: Day 4

My Positive:  I have Celiac Sprue Disease.  Sounds like an odd Positive, but I've met so many people because of this and have learned so much about food. 

When I was pregnant with my first son, I had severe anemia.  After adding iron and rechecking, I was sent to a gastroenterologist.  He did some blood work and another invasive 'exploration', determining I had "Sprue".  I'll never forget the call.  We were in Chicago, I was working in our baby's room when the phone rang.  It was the doctor and he said, "You have Celiac Sprue.  You need to follow a strict diet."
"So, what does this mean?" I asked.
"No bread, no pizza, no donuts.  Nothing with wheat, oats, rye or barley."
"Oh, nothing that tastes good?"
"Well, kind of."  he said. 

And that was it.  I never spoke to him again, I never got a piece of paper diagnosing me, and I never got a bill.  Perhaps that was my consolation prize, no bill for such devastating news.  At that time, January 2003, it was devastating.  No one knew what Celiac or Gluten Free meant.  My, how things have changed.  Because of the people before me, demanding more options, telling their story and encouraging doctors and scientists to learn more about this disease, I have it better.

People I know and friends of friends can ask me about being gluten free and I can help.  Whether it is talking through symptoms, recipes, or my favorite Gluten Free foods, I can help.  I enjoy it.  Sometimes too much, just ask my cousin Chris.  I was sad when he did NOT have Celiac.  I wanted a GF buddy in the family.

My Affirmation:  I will not let other people bother me.  (Sound familiar?  Having a rough time making this one come true.)

My favorite Gluten Free Blogger and author, Shauna James Ahern posted this on Twitter:  Do you know someone with celiac? Urge that person to tell her or his story. Someone else will get diagnosed thanks to that generosity.

She is right, and I just did.

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