10 and Counting: My Journey of Learning to Live Life with Celiac Disease

25 Feb

I have been gluten free for about 10 months now. Like a lot of Celiacs whose blogs I’ve been reading, I don’t know the exact date that I was diagnosed and subsequently went on the gluten free diet.

What I do know is that I put myself through an excruciating few weeks of trying to “enjoy” all of my favourite foods that I would no longer be able to have. $3 bags of perogies. Panago pizza, where the staff knew my name and order. Pancakes and crepes and cakes and whatever I wanted to order off of any menu at any time.

So what did I eat at the Olympics? Glutino burritos and Thai Kitchen noodle bowls. And lots of delicious coffee. Thank goodness for those!!

My have things changed! For the most part, I am relieved that I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, instead of some kind of disease that can’t be controlled by diet. And I’ve tried to embrace my gluten free destiny with open arms.

I’ve tried every gluten free food that I’ve been able to get my hands on. I’ve started the journey of learning how to cook. I’ve started this blog as a motivator to keep me cooking and not eating peanut butter on rice cakes twice a day. I signed up for the Canadian Celiac Association, although I haven’t yet heard back from them.  And I’ve gotten involved in the social media world of other Celiacs for support, ideas, friendship, cooking tips, foodspiration, and of course, comic relief.

But I still occasionally have my moments.

Of frustration in getting sick most of the time I eat out. Of feeling robbed of one of my favourite pastimes because I just can’t eat out. Of going to office parties with cake, or functions with lots of great smelling party fare, and not being able to partake.

Of having to explain to people why I can’t eat that and yes, a tiny, miniscule amount of gluten or the potential of cross-contamination really will hurt me and not just get me sick to my stomach.

Of working at a resort that has amazing food and having a staff discount to get that amazing food, and not being able to eat any of it.

And my most recent frustration, being at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics for the weekend and not being able to eat.. much at all. I walked longingly paste my old favourite crepe restaurant and felt bitter. And I didn’t even try getting into the two hour line ups at any restaurant because everywhere was so busy that I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy about accommodating my specific diet, and even if they did, cross-contamination would have been a sure thing.

But, I have to make the most out of what I have. I live in a beautiful city and province and country, with lakes and trails and breathtaking scenery at every turn. I enjoy my job and always have my camera with me because my commute is stunning. I have a great boyfriend and we just bought a great house together with a huge backyard and 7 fruit trees! I’ve been in a new city for 10 months and I’ve already made some great friends. I’ve discovered a new found passion in food and living in wine country has its benefits too.

So although I sometimes wish I didn’t have to constantly think about what I’m putting in my mouth, life is good, and I’ve been learning to enjoy every minute of it that I can.

C’est la vie!


4 Responses to “10 and Counting: My Journey of Learning to Live Life with Celiac Disease”

  1. sarahjam February 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Yay MaryBeth! What an expiring post. I’m proud of you – you are a strong brave woman 🙂

    • mlaff February 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

      No, I think you’re the stongest, bravest person I know! In the grand scheme of things, Celiac disease isn’t close to the worst thing that can happen!!

      PS I thought you might like to know: March 1 is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day!

  2. sarahjam February 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    INSPIRING post. Not expiring. Ha.

  3. Kelly Stanchfield March 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    This past week I decided to go gluten-free after reading about a few people with Fibromyalgia having relief from their symptoms by avoiding gluten. Like you I tried to get my fill of all the things I was never going to get to eat again, and I felt terrible!

    I’m feeling better now that I am gfree. After the first day I had so much more energy. I can’t wait to see how I feel in a month. If I could just stop accidentally exposing myself to gluten, that would be nice. I had an incident with lip smackers chapstick today…..Ugh.

    Anyway, I’m not much of a cook….and I am missing convenience foods. So I look forward to hearing more about your experiences.

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