Hiya friends. Thanks so much for your patience, and still reading after my extended period of blog silence. I'm finally ready to share what's been going on. (And that title might be a rather huge hint, too.)
Several months ago, I started to wonder if I was having issues with gluten. This blog was never meant as a health confessional, so I won't go into details, but I knew that a healthy, active person in her early 30s should not be experiencing numbness in her hands and feet, or other weird symptoms I've gradually compiled over the years. So I gave gluten-free a trial run, discovering that the learning how to be gluten-free is super time-consuming, exhausting and at times depressing. Gluten is in everything. And even when it's not in food, it's on food, via shared manufacturing machinery or shared food prep facilities. And then there's the non-food you might not even consider. Think lip balms, lipsticks and lip glosses, as well as vitamins and medications.
After taking on the steep learning curve, I started to get the hang of it, taking the opportunity to eat a lot more fresh, unprocessed food. And when traveling for work, I started planning what hotels I'd stay at based on proximity to a Whole Foods, and started submitting expense reports for grocery store meals instead of restaurant meals. But I'd still have several "wop wop" moments every day when I'd look into the fridge or pantry and think, "What can I eat??" Or I'd contemplate going to restaurants I love, and have the same thought. And I didn't want to be THAT person, not only asking about the ingredients in the food, but also how it was prepared and if there was a chance for cross-contamination in the kitchen.
But it was all worth it. Because I felt amazing. All of my bizarro symptoms went away (symptoms which, by the way, hadn't responded to various meds over the years), I looked healthier and I felt way more energetic. People asked if I lost weight (I hadn't), and kept commenting that mountain life must suit me well. But the only thing I changed was getting rid of gluten (oh, and Splenda, too).
That all made me wonder if I might have a real, medical issue with gluten. So I made an appointment to see a gastroenterologist, and they told me that I had to eat gluten for two weeks before I could get any tests, or they could come back false negative. I didn't want to go back to gluten, but knew I had to, and I'll just say that the reintroduction was... unpleasant, which affirmed that there was something to my suspicion (and confirmed that it wasn't just that I felt better from eating more veggies). I was definitely counting the days until I could go back to gluten-free, although I won't lie and say I didn't enjoy the loads of donut holes I ate, just in case this was to be the last hurrah of wheat for me.
So now, here I am. Back to gluten-free, post tests, and just awaiting the results. My GI doc believes that I'm gluten intolerant in some form: worst case is Celiac Disease, best case is gluten sensitivity. But either way, the treatment is the same. Staying GF for good. I'll know for sure which it is in a few more weeks... apparently biopsy results are slow to come back in these parts. While gluten sensitivity is the diagnosis I would much rather get, I've already discovered that a lot of people think gluten sensitivity is made-up or fake, and having read a lot of Celiacs blog about not being taken seriously, I can only imagine it's worse if what's going on isn't even an actual disease. But either way, I'll figure it out.
There are about fifty thousand awesome gluten-free blogs, so that community doesn't need another one. But I'll be experimenting and offering tips for gluten-free entertaining... at least once I figure out what the heck I'm supposed to do with arrowroot powder. Who knows... I might even participate in a What I Ate Wednesday. Thankfully, a lot of folks have gone through this before me, and it seems a whole lot easier to go GF today than it was even five or ten years ago.
I hope you'll stick with me for the journey. Oh, and there's still going to be LOTS of DIY and home/garden stuff, just as soon as I can turn my focus back to that. (We do have a little garden going... stay tuned for pics!)
Thank you for reading!
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