Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We don't need no stinkin' wheat!

It is important that, while reading this post, you imagine me eating an entire box of Country Creme Organic Ginger Lemon cookies.  That is what I am doing while writing it so it only makes sense.  I bought a box of these cookies a couple of weeks ago.  I was saving them for a special time or day when I would need them.    After finding out that my daughter has Celiac disease and we must now rid our home of all gluten containing products, I feel like now is that special time.  And working with the timeless idioms of "waste not, want not" and "if you eat enough of something in one sitting and make yourself ill, you may never want that thing again" I plan to rid my house of these particular gluten offenders one cream-filled center at a time.  The vanilla ones I bought on accident, however, will be going to the chickens unless someone comes over to my house later this afternoon to claim them.
Although a diagnosis of Celiac is on the lighter end of the chronic malady spectrum (leukemia, Down's, etc. being on the darker end), I imagine the initial blow is somewhat similar.  My life will never be the same.  Everything will change.  And while in our case, those changes will ultimately mean a cure, recovery and a lifestyle we will eventually find normal, I still am in that first phase of shock and denial, so please, be patient.
It is hard to hear that there is something wrong with your kid.  Anything.  We all want them (even think them) to be perfect.  I still think Lily is perfect.  Except her gut, which is apparently all kids of screwed up! Since September she has thrown up every three weeks and has complained of almost constant and sometimes excruciating stomach pain in between.  After rounds of blood work she finally got fitted for a suit of Celiac, or an intolerance to gluten, the main protien in wheat (and several other grains).   While this seems at first horrific, it is really a solution rather than a problem.  The problem is Lily's constant discomfort, the solution?  Lay off the bread.  In a best case scenario, under strict dietary changes she may even be able to recover fully and eventually tolerate gluten to some extent later on.  For now, we just hope to stop the all-nighter puke-fests and stomach pains.
It is a little overwhelming when you start researching all that has gluten in it.  Playdough, soy sauce, shampoo, vitamins, the list is staggering.  I really feel like I am going back to school learning what is healthy and what is not.  I feel so. . .novice.  Novice, but determined to learn.  It is also amazing if you compile a list of all the things that don't contain gluten.  That list is more practical, at least for my sanity. Glass half full and all that.  Still, even though I can intellectually say "it isn't that bad.  I can DO this.  I like to make new recipes.  We love Asian food" and all the rest, sometimes I still want to cry because we can't go to Kneaders anymore.  Really!  I should be happy that all that is required to fix my daughter is a shift in diet and not lifelong medication or surgery, and I am.  However, I do love bread.  I really do.  And I will mourn it's loss from our home.  
I hope that my life won't be defined by our being gluten-free.  I don't want that do be what Lily or myself is all about.  However, I know that for awhile, it will be.  While we learn, while we adapt, it will have to occupy a big part of our brains, time and, unfortunately for those that know us, our conversations.  It won't always be like that.  I have faith that we will slip into a routine and living gluten-free will just be that.  Nothing complicated just life.  I am already grateful for friends and family that have been so supportive and helpful in the last week and a half.  It just proves what I already knew: people are good and gluten is bad.  Well, at least I knew the first part.

Today we tried Cherrybrook Kitchen's Gluten Free Dreams Pancake/Waffle mix.  I added an egg to the recipe and made heart shaped waffles for our snack at preschool.  They were SO GOOD.  I served them plain, no syrup or anything and the kids all said they were the best waffles they ever had (maybe the shape?).  We will definatetly try that one again.   Also for snack we had a fruit/rice milk smoothie and hard boiled eggs.  Yum!

13 comments:

Becky said...

So sorry, Meg! I saw your status on FB and wondered what was up. Seriously, what a huge lifestyle change! But if anyone can do it, it's you!

I have a friend who is gluten-intolerant and she makes these super yummy "cookies"

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Meringue-Cookies/Detail.aspx

(Just for when you need a baked-good fix!)

Hang in there!

MONSON FAMILY said...

You are an amazing person. Lily is lucky to have such wonderful parents!! I hope that things get better. We sure miss you guys!!

Beth said...

Sorry to hear that but great you know what has been happening to Lily. Good luck with the diet change. I used to work with someone with a gluten allergy and there were lots of different things that you can buy that are gluten free since it is more diagnosed now. Good Luck!

Adamo said...

That's rough Meg! Glad you know what's wrong with Lily, but am also feeling for you with the loss of bread. That would be difficult for me too. I, too, know someone in my ward who has kids with Celiac. I should ask her for some ideas. Also, check out your library. I see gluten-free cookbooks coming through the library all the time.

Adamo said...

Sorry - this is Claudia

Angi said...

Answers are good. Even what they mean stinks. I think you are amazing, I love your attitude. I wish I could face hard stuff as well as you. And most importantly where do I get the lemon ginger cookies.

Brooke said...

Yes, I agree, what a life style change, but hopefully will only take a while to get used to.
The Drs thought Spencer had Celiacs last year before he got tested... we started doing the gluten free diet, it is a little tuff, but there is now gluten free flour, noodles, cookies, cereals, pizza at some pizza places... What a blessing for Lily to have such a great cook for a mom that will be willing to try different things.
I am forwarding an email with a few recipes.
love you guys!

diana said...

Chinese food is hard for me to not mourn. There are some good breads out there. I really like Rudy's whole grain bread. I'm sure there are way more options out there for you guys. PF Changs has A WHOLE gluten free menu if you're worried about eating out and cross contamination.
Hopefully word will spread far and wide and it will not be so stressful to eat out or TRAVEL to new unfamiliar places. The hardest part of gluten is getting it out of your system. The reaction of gluten to your brain is equivalent to an opiate, it's THAT strong. Give it time and soon you won't miss it. I think the thought of it is stronger than the actual taste of it...... no, not really. Be strong! I know you can do it! You're amazing Meg and so is your family.

momwouldgo said...

Lily is so lucky that you are her mommy. I have seen you do amazing things with your diet. I know that you will soon be making to most amazing gluten free breads and chris will be rolling out GF tortillias in no time. Lucky we live in this day, when there are so many gluten free choices. Just find a good gluten free ice cream...Love you!

Andrea said...

You are the smartest most determined mom I know and I am sure that you will figure this all out. Lily is so blessed to have such an amazing mom.

April and Jared Fenn said...

oh, Celiac disease, that is NOT fun but from what I hear it is totally manageable. I am so sorry that you have to stress about this but I am so happy that you finally have some answers to her tummy troubles.

It could be worse...

We have a nephew who has severe allergies basically EVERYTHING. Wheat, rice, soy, eggs, any dairy, all nuts... the list is huge. Basically, the kid can eat meat, fruit and veggies.

Tami said...

Shampoo has gluten in it? So = is it a problem if not consumed?

Heidi #1 said...

This sucks. Talk to Eliza Smith for tips, and buy or make a lot of rice crispy treats!