January 3, 2018

gluten galore

One of the bummers about the holidays for me is watching delicious desserts be devoured.  I used to be a MAJOR participator in the sport of dessert eating.  Holiday desserts were the bomb!  I was good at leaving room.  There was always room.  Ah, gluttony.  My former constant companion.  A sliver of this, a sample of that.  I never met a Christmas cookie I didn't enjoy!

Back in May of 2015, I had an endoscopy and found out I had celiac disease.  (silent sobs)  I've avoided gluten ever since.  My dessert days are drastically different now. 

This past fall was Hell for me.  It's a long story, and it has only been a few days since my 'I'll be brief' resolution.  I am not ready to break that promise yet.  Let me just sum it up by saying that I barely slept for 3 long months.  I could fall asleep easily, but I often would not stay asleep for very long.  I would be ready to drink Lake Michigan in the middle of the night. 

There were other issues.  You can connect the dots here.  It was a waiting game.  Waiting for my body to be ready to relax.  By the time I could fall sleep, it was usually time to start the day.  Days of sleep deprivation strung together were becoming my norm.  I was a mess.

I called my GI.  The person who answered the phone (who should be relieved of employment at that office) said my issues weren't related to celiac disease.  I would have to be doubled over puking and in pain to suspect gluten.  I saw my OB.  I saw an allergist.  I saw my general practitioner.  I was tested for thyroid and diabetes.  Nothing. 

I finally scheduled an appointment at the GI.  He asked about gluten, but I insisted that I wasn't getting gluten in my diet.  He and I discussed how my mind occasionally races in the middle of the night.  Anxiety and motherhood.  6 kids.  6 busy schedules.  Coach felt strongly that I just needed to stop worrying about things.  Stop waking up to pee and allowing my mind to take off. 

I HATED THIS MINDSET.  I bristled whenever Coach tried to convince me that I just needed to relax.  I am NOT a worry wart.

The GI doc ordered lab work.   A week later I got around to getting the blood drawn.  Dumb to wait, I know but there was a stomach bug, a kitchen remodel, etc.  Remember?  The day before Thanksgiving I called the doctor to see if they got the results from my blood work.  I was strung out.  Missing sleep and fearing I was losing my mind. 

The results were in.  Some number that starts with a TI was a 9.  It was supposed to be between 0 and 3.  My blood had 3 times the acceptable levels of gluten.  I was shocked.  How?  I thought I was so careful. 

Inadvertent gluten.  I saw a nutritionist.  I have learned to get better about watching my labels.  My oatmeal, that was once certified gluten free, was no longer certified.  Now that was just plain mean.  I did my homework back in 2015.  These food people get to change their labels, their equipment, their recipes?  BULL SHIT!

So food that says 'gluten free' like Cheerios, is really not safe for me.  It needs to be 'certified gluten free.'  Oh, don't get me started on the gluten free wanna be's.  Cheerios is catering to them, and messing with me in the process.  (Sorry, Cheerios.  You are not alone).  I wasn't even eating cheerios regularly.  It's just an example. 

My mom makes almost all
 of the desserts.  I will have
to be committed to making
one next year.  Then I can eat
most of it myself.  Ah, gluttony!
Christmas day at my folks house.  None of the desserts are gluten free.  I sometimes make one myself, because my mother doesn't want to make anything with 'goofy' ingredients.  (Nope, not making that up).  The cherry dessert just needs to be make with gluten free graham cracker crumbs in the crust.  The Rocky Road fudge bars can be made with gluten free flour without compromising taste, because the flour to decadent chocolate flavor ratio is like 1 to 80.  I didn't have time this year to whip something up:   1.  we hosted on the 23rd  2.  I was still coughing up a lung  3. my kitchen is only partially moved into.  I brought a carrot cake slice for myself from a gluten free bakery. 

Limits suck (like TRYING TO LIMIT BLOG LENGTH)- especially when it comes to dessert.  And no, this was not the family drama ordeal that I have dangled before you like a forbidden Christmas cookie.  That is another story.  Oh, the good news is I am sleeping again (except when I am on prednisone).   


Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Ugh to food allergies! I can only imagine how hard it must be to keep on top of all those labels. And what kind of mother wouldn't make at least ONE dessert that was gluten free if she knew one of her children couldn't have gluten??????

Also, I don't mind long posts. I normally read them when I'm eating breakfast or lunch and they serve as my entertainment!

Gigi said...

I can't even imagine how difficult life must be with allergies! Although, I generally refrain from any sweets I might make, I occasionally want a "taste". And would definitely make special desserts for those that couldn't eat what I usually make!

Ernie said...

Yes, reading labels bites. Especially now that I realize that even 'gluten free' doesn't always work for me. And it is a real bummer to have to start reading labels at my, um . . . advanced age. Now I need to pull out my readers in the grocery store. Would've been a lot easier to navigate say 10 years ago. But hey, think of all the sheet cake I've enjoyed over those 10 years.

Ernie said...

I bake a ton (when I have a functioning kitchen), and I'm quite well known for my chocolate chip cookies. The first few batches of cookies I made after I was diagnosed were tough. I kept ALMOST licking my fingers just before I washed them. AND it is ironic that for years Coach's family drove me nuts. Now I gravitate towards them (or at least most of them). They also tend to be very aware of my diet restrictions - ALWAYS making sure there is some dessert and entree for me. They would never refer to my food as 'goofy.'