It is quite unfortunate and almost impossible to prevent accidental ingestion of gluten, no matter how hard I try. In a world where gluten is literally everywhere and in so many things, even nonfood products, really it’s unavoidable. This leaves me feeling so helpless and for those who know me, this is not something I often feel in other areas of my life.
Gluten is a sneaky booger and can be hidden deep within listed ingredients that aren’t required to be labeled, have a “new” name, be in/on a random whole food product that normally would never have it or the food item may have been contaminated from exposure; just to name a few ways I’ve been accidentally exposed.
Try as hard as I might, even to the point of feeling and being teased about being excessive or obsessive, it happens that this gut-destroying, villi-killing little devil finds its way into my small intestines and does the dirty deed of making me violently ill. It is my ill-fated lot in life that I am one of the one’s to have a horrible, physical reaction to gluten when so many others with Celiac disease never have a clue they have even ingested it. Most of the time it is no one’s fault and it is simply something I have to live through and wait out until I recover.
I can write all of this out very matter-of-factly but truly, it is really hard to express how helpless this makes me feel. Unless someone has experienced this or like my family, has firsthand knowledge of watching me struggle through this I feel like it’s incomprehensible to non-Celiac sufferers. It’s frustrating and aggravating and I don’t always know it’s happened until a little while later and I’m doubled over in extreme pain. I feel so helpless knowing I’ll be home for the next three days, having cleared my calendar, until the worst passes and I can reasonably function again. It takes another week before I feel more “normal” and back to myself. It will still be several months after that until my intestinal villi are happy and dancing again. This process happens every time I ingest gluten. Talk about feeling helpless!
To live life to the fullest is to take risks. I refuse to live victimized. I refuse to hide away in my house and not have any sort of social life. I refuse to let this disease dictate my ability to live and thrive. I try to be strong and courageous. I try to take charge of my health. I try to accept the good with the bad. I try to be mindful of the moments and experiences in my life. I try to acknowledge my good days and take advantage of them. When the bad comes, I try to maintain even the slightest silver lining in a day and I allow my body to process through the illness and not push it. I try to rest when I need to and relish times with those closest to me while they offer encouragement and comfort.