Glutened AGAIN with Celiac Disease

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Anyone who’s known chronic illness knows it’s nothing easy to deal with.  Life’s fine one day, maybe you even feel on top of the world, but then, “Bam!”  You’re knocked down again with gusto, and you’re either forced to drag your butt out of bed and go to work, or lay down for the next who-knows-how-long.

I have never been officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I was recently told by a doctor that I would need to begin eating gluten regularly for them to get an accurate result.  My thought:  he must have no clue how bad my life becomes or he would never suggest such a course of action.

This time I’ve been fortunate: I have a wonderful boyfriend who goes to the grocery store for me and cooks us allergen-free meals (thank you for being awesome, Kevin); I also have some time off over the holidays to sleep and lay on the couch. Thank goodness!

To fill in this picture, I must explain that gluten is not my only allergy or health issue.  Thanks to Leaky Gut Syndrome, I’ve also been diagnosed (by a blood test) with allergies to dairy, eggs, beans, ginger, coffee, quinoa, stevia, nitrates/nitrites, etc.

Anyone with intestinal issues is probably familiar with Leaky Gut, but if you’re not it’s helpful to know that it is characterized by tiny holes in your intestinal lining that allow small bits of food into your bloodstream which your body then attacks as foreign invaders – hence the additional food allergies that can come with Leaky Gut.

I’ve found that when I’m “glutened” (when I accidentally consume gluten), I not only have awful symptoms from eating gluten, such as severe fatigue, brain fog, abdominal pain, anxiety (yes, anxiety!), slurred speech, bloating, constipation, etc. On top of all that I often seem to develop Leaky Gut and Candida Overgrowth (an overabundance of yeast) at the same time.  So not only am I sick from the gluten, but my immune system is on high alert with any food intake and I have to avoid as much sugar – even natural sugar – as possible to not feed the yeast that so quickly populate my gut due to the imbalance in my intestinal health. Furthermore, sometimes it takes me MONTHS to feel healthy again.  Months!  Ugh.  I’m sure some of you know my pain.  And if so, I am so sorry!

To heal as quickly as possible in times like these I have to eat an anti-inflammatory, allergen-free, low-sugar diet that typically consists of bone broth, cooked (and sometimes raw) veggies, NO grains, occasional low sugar fruit, fish and tea.  OMG – this sucks!

HOWEVER, I am deeply grateful that after having been gluten free for 12 years that I am privileged to know what good health is and how to find it without prescription medication.  I am so grateful that I’ve found natural ways of taking care of and healing my body:  making good food choices, visiting affordable community acupuncture clinics, giving self massage and stretching, meditation, sleep, and being surrounded by positive people and things (my cat – LOL – is in fact a huge help).

That said, this is such a pain in the a**!!!  I can’t believe I’m sick AGAIN.  And I would love to feel better, like now.  I keep sending my body love and light, thanking it for taking such good care of me, and imagining that the illness is lifting from my body easily, gently and quickly.  I pray that it is so.

In the meantime, I’m posting this blog in case anyone out there deals with chronic disease and wants to chime in.  It’s always so nice to know that I’m not alone and we’re not alone.

So, do you struggle with illness or disability?  Perhaps it’s something that most people don’t even know you deal with… If so, I’d love to hear what you’re dealing with and how you keep your chin up when it can take so long to feel better.  Please add your comments below.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

With love, Kimberly

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Beginning Again

ecstasy

Note: I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to share it to be able to connect with others dealing with the discomfort of things ending and beginning – something we all know well.

Fiery flame,
oh burning heart,
will the sorrow ever end?

I cry,
I move,
I seek,
I uncover.

The sound of silence cloaks me in comfort
yet I am moved to tears –

To fear, to memories of embarrassment and loss.
Do you think this torture will end?

I am hungry
for life, for hope again,
for a deep trust in myself.

The journey has just begun anew
and though I am scared, and aggrieved beyond measure,
I will not be deterred by this fire.

I remember a time when
life flowed and I was positively sparkling with joy…

Though enfolded and encumbered in loss
I choose to not be afraid to begin again –
To peek around the newly opened door
and let the Light expose my curiosity.

For in this beginning
there is much love to be remembered,
goodness to be found,
new adventures to share,
and inside of all of it
there is the One:

Pulse beating,
life affirming,
treasure of my life and life itself.

And so it is with courage, determination, faith and love
that I will begin again.

May all of us find peace – a deep sense of satisfaction – as we begin again.

Desert Musing

desert

Sometime ago when I wasn’t crying,
when the world as I knew it wasn’t falling apart,
I heard a voice say, “We are the champions, my friend.”

Okay, maybe it was actually the band Queen;
But aren’t we?

Like the heroes from stories and legends of time past,
we seek, we fall, we leave home for a new land of silence and insecurity.

We battle ourselves, lose ourselves, encounter darkness and demons of all kinds,
fall again and finally withdraw into stillness
to know that we are and to drink from the waters of life.

I have sought and Grace has provided genuine teachers and profound teachings for the journey home;
and still I reside in the desert.

Pirates

Pirates have stolen my identity.

A world of chaos settles in,
a storm of my own creation.

The wind blows, the ropes creak, but I am at home on the sea.

Wind in my face, I am home on the sea.

Bravery’s Heart Song

[a heart beats]

What it’s like to be me?
To be me, to be me

Who is this me that flows through me?
To see me, to be me

I speak with words that aren’t my own in a pitch too high for comfort.
To be me, to see me

Why can’t I be myself?
Believe me, conceive me

Each interaction, every glance:
A scared me, unsure me

Every day, another chance
To be me, so lovely

For God is with me every step
Aware of me, within me

[heart stops]

But what’ll it take to stop the ego?
How can I live within the Flow?
How can I accept        resistance?

[heart beats]

How can I help you to see you?
To be you, to see you

Who is this you that flows through you?
Know you, be you.

Speak with words that are your own in a voice from deep within.
Be you, know you.

How can you be yourself?
Like you, believe in you.

Each interaction, every glance:
A better you, a real you.

Every day, another chance
To be you, so brave and true.

Thoughts fly in, feelings fly out.
Let them be – merely energy.

A heart on fire will soon blow out.
Don’t be afraid, to let it be.

Shh, Listen.

You can do this.
We can do this.

Let it be.
Just let it be.

I can do this.
We can do this.

Let it be.
Let it be.

Let it be.
Let it be.

Let

it

be.

The Hidden Talents of Gluten

Deviantart.net

I write this with the hope that if you or your child has any of the following symptoms, you seek medical advice about possible food allergies or gastrointestinal disorders:

depression, anxiety, brain fog, bloating, abdominal pain, digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation, a rash, neurological disorders, insomnia, restless legs, weight gain or loss, mood swings, crying episodes, etc. Visit celiac.org for more information.

I sometimes forget how absolutely crappy (and bitchy) I felt as a child who unknowingly was allergic  gluten products.  That is until I have an accidental exposure, and then it’s like the world turns upside down… I weep periodically throughout the day (today I found myself on the floor in the room next to a training at work – yikes!), I can’t think or focus my mind on anything, I’m so tired I could fall asleep sitting up, I’m bloated so bad I look pregnant (seriously, I once had a roommate who told me it looked like I’d made an alien baby), and the list goes on.

It can be hard to remain gluten free, even with the best of information. For example, this episode was from a box of Arco Cornstarch that said it was gluten free on the box. Ugh!  I’ve found I have to steer clear of anything that could remotely be contaminated, cornstarch included, as there seem to be conflicting food regulations of gluten.

About 10 years ago, before I had my I-have-food-allergies “aha” moment, traditional MD’s reviewed my symptoms (one with a kind of disdain for all of my questions) and told me that they didn’t know what was wrong with me.  It was only through naturopathic doctors and a chiropractor that my needs were met.

Dr. Tobi in Gardner, Kansas is now my go-to health guru. She not only believes my ailments, but has the best remedies to help me and my intestines heal after  “being glutened” (eating gluten on accident).

I hope to feel better asap.  Sigh…  Good luck to you as well on your dietary path!  Please leave a comment if you’ve also struggled with food allergies.  It’s always good to know other’s stories.