Oh, hai. You guys, I have to say I’ve been feeling a big neglectful lately. When I was all up in the Whole 30 I was posting every damn thing I was cooking up. When I’m being normal, I’m all “Ohmygoddidyouseethis???” But I’ve had a rough week. A week that I’m pretty sure started with me getting gluten’d, and then I thought maybe some gluten-free fettucine alfredo followed by ice cream would be no problem, but guess what BIG ‘EFFING PROBLEM. Because apparently dairy is lining up to bite me in the ass. And then, I was so totally 100% pure eating that I can’t figure out why I’m still sick. Oh, right, it’s because you don’t get slipped gluten then go back to a normal life after you’ve pooped it out. Which is why I’m writing this post. Because, you know what? I don’t really think people get it when you say you have celiac and you can’t have gluten. I think people don’t get that this is a disease, and it has serious consequences, and those of us with this stupid sprue are actually sick. Like, have a disease. Which is why it’s called celiac disease.
I had a good friend tell me once that someone’s amazing dessert was “worth the tummy ache.” Sure it was worth a tummy ache. Going on an insane loop-de-loop is way worth the tummy ache. What it was not worth was an initial burning pain that is followed by a race to the bathroom, followed by getting up every few hours as if you had a newborn, and cleaning up poop, but this time it’s YOU pooping and wow, does it burn. Followed by eating every single gluten-free, whole foods, healthy, meal for a week and a half yet having that meal go down the pot approximately 45 minutes after you eat it. Oh, and the pain. THE PAIN. Did I mention the increased risk for cancer? No? I didn’t talk about CANCER?
Then comes the headache and the dehydration because, you know, YOU HAVEN’T HAD FOOD OR DRINK FOR 3-5 DAYS, and wow, your body does not feel good. Funny, how that happens. If you’re lucky enough to get joint pain then you can plan on trying to appear normal, while actually being in serious need of a walking stick. And you don’t even live on the prairie, nor wear patchouli oil. Oh, hey, do you have a weird rash? I hope you’re not getting your picture taken, or going on a new J-Date! Because that shizzle looks like the herpes. Oh, and if you’re a lady and you go out in public during this time, just be prepared for the inevitable question, “When are you due?”
So yeah, I got gluten’d pretty bad this week. And perhaps it’s partially my fault for making jokes about my condition all the time that people don’t really take it seriously. And perhaps instead of going to work, and taking care of my two adorable yet insane children, I should have dropped everything and stayed in bed. But life doesn’t really work that way, does it? Plus, who will feed the children?
I never want to address someone who is honestly trying to sort out this gluten thing in a negative manner. Even more important? Someone trying to figure out what to serve up to someone in their life who can’t eat gluten. I want us to all get along. And there is no reason why we should not. Yet. As someone who always tries to play it cool with the food stuffs, who acts like it’s no big deal going gluten-free, can I just stop for one minute and scream out, “MY INTESTINES ARE RIPPING THEMSELVES APART!!!!” Because, basically, that’s what celiac disease is all about. Oh, and the cancer.
It’s super easy to say, “Take care of yourself!” But when you actually have to work for a living in America, it’s never that simple. I do not mean to imply that someone like me, a creative professional, has it worse than someone who has a much more regimented work schedule. What I do mean to imply/say directly/shove down your gluten-free throat, is that celiac disease is really fucking serious. Getting sick from gluten, can debilitate you whether you’re intolerant, celiac, or have some weird-o allergy. I work for a website where I get to read, write and edit all day. I’m lucky! Except when when my brain is collapsing in on itself and I need to sleep but you know, I’ve already used my vacation days because we live in America and shit, and I’ve got to get this story live ASAP! Work is work is work.
So while it’s kind of cute and funny to talk about gluten-free, shit is real. And it hurts your body. And it fucking sucks.
How was your week?