Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rip My Guts Out: Other Than That, I'm Fine

Don't you hate it when you read someone's blog and they leave you hanging breathlessly waiting for the next post to give you a bit of closure. Like, "Hey Guys, my test results showed that my baby is sprouting wings and has antennas. I'll post tomorrow with the results and a picture." Fast forward and a month has gone by she hasn't bothered to take the time to update and you don't even care about that woman and her dumb magic double horned/pegasus baby anymore. All that being said, sorry I left you all hanging. My excuse is this, I feel like an old lady with all my new aliments and I'm just a tad depressed.

I had those awful tests done last week. Remember it's the one were they have your bowels run a marathon, all while drinking a gallon of this salty/lemon devil drink. When I picked it up from the pharmacist she handed me two samples of petroleum jelly and then winked. I took them pretending like I totally knew this inside joke. It all made sense later. Those tests confirmed lots of damage that years of undiagnosed celiac disease has done on my intestines. How long has my body not been able to absorb nutrients? Most likely I've had celiac sprue since childhood. They found a pre-cancerous polyp (that everyone assures me is not a big deal), and they found that I am b-12 deficient. (I had a bone scan yesterday to see if I have osteoporosis. Results pending.) And anemia. See, . . . old woman.

I have been on my gluten free diet for three weeks now. For the most part I haven't had many problems with it. (Before I only ate bread so I could eat butter with less mess and judgement.) We even have a great local grocery store in town that has yellow price tags for all g-free products. Makes it so easy. What I am having the hardest part with is having to become a fussy person. I, of course, have been doing a lot of research about my new diet and it is very clear that when you are not in charge of preparing your own food you are in danger of eating gluten because of cross contamination. All the experts out there talk about how just a dusting of flour or a crumb of bread is the same as eating a loaf. Weird, I know. So it's important to not just have wheat, barley, or rye listed in the ingredients but not even in the factory they process your food in.

I used to love the treat of eating out, but now I dread it. When the waiter asks me what I would like to eat, I still fumble and mumble my way through this weird, almost apologetic request of whiny needs. It sounds something like this, "Hi Kind Sir, I've just been diagnosed with celiac disease, (looks at me like I just told him I dye my armpit hair purple), and because of that I am intolerant to gluten. Gluten is wheat, barley, rye and all derivatives. If it's not too much trouble, would you please let the chef know that I'll need him to throughly clean the grill before cooking my plain chicken. He may use some olive oil and salt and pepper to season but no sauces or mixed seasons please. Also if you could, please, make me a fresh salad using clean utensils making sure that nothing touches anything I might have a reaction to, I would be indebted to you. If you could be so kind, good sir, to not add any dressing. See, I've brought my own in my purse. It's gluten free and tastes like horse urine. So I'm good. I really appreciate this and for my thankfulness I'd like to give you my firstborn. " See what I mean? Fussy. I'd rather stay home. That is unless we can go to PF Chang's. Mr. Chang really knows how to make this celiac girl feel special. I've eaten there three times in three weeks and each time I am thrown a flippin' party when I tell them my diagnoses. I am truly surprised when they don't gather the troops to sing me a "happy celiac" song just for me. They have a g-free menu and even bring my meal on a special plate so you know my message got to the chef. And at the end of my meal they bring out the traditional fortune cookies and say to me, "now these do have gluten in them but I thought you might like to read your fortune" And then I kiss them because of their kindness and then I play the read-your-fortune-and-insert-the-phrase, "in bed" after-reading. Good times for all.

I've had all the kids tested. Took them all (by myself) to have their blood drawn. It didn't even dawn on me that this could possibly the stupidest thing I've ever done. We practiced at home and I am happy to say that all of them did amazing. Jabe volunteered to go first and they had to dig in that boy to get the blood to flow. With Phoebe and Tobin watching on I was so grateful he didn't let on how painful it was. Phoebe raised her hand to go next and had the tiniest jerk to her arm with the poke but nothing after that. Tobin told me he didn't need to sit on my lap like the twins and he was so "manly" about the whole thing I was filled with pride. All tests came back negative. I'm still skeptical about Jabe. I've also campaigned for my family to get tested. I've even enticed them that if they get diagnosed we could start our own club and have t-shirts made that says, "Sprue You" funny eh?

What was the other thing I was going to say. . . ? Oh yeah. Hysterectomy surgery on Tuesday (the 23rd). I trust my doctor so much. He is going to be making lots of decisions once he's inside, so I can't give you any details yet about what kind of surgery I am going to have or how long my recovery will be. One thing is for sure, I'll have lots of time to blog and I'll be on pain meds, so should be fun reads.


Meghan said...

Thinking of you Becca. Hope things go well on Tuesday.

jana said...

Thanks for the update! A fabulous restaurant in Salem that also has a g-free menu is Marco Polo...and trust me, Matt will love it too. They have great, great food!

Stefanie said...

You did it! Amazing!!!

I hope you got my card the other day...I have to say it again...you are so BRAVE.

I love you and wish I could give you my intestines - is that weird??!!!

Christi said...

I was just teaching my third graders about intestines and the important job they have and thought of you.

I hope that after some of these changes you will actually start feeling a lot better.

Has anyone started a meals list? Would that be the best way to help you out during your recovery? If someone has, please have them contact me.

Angela said...

Love you!

The Boyer House said...

Thanks for the update Becca! I've been thinking of you and praying for smooth sailing. ((hugs))

Jen said...

Jeremy wants you to know... as a waiter, he is NOT annoyed when lovely people as yourself with allergies and issues that order food at CPK. The kitchen has separate areas to cook food in it for people with allergies. LOTS of people have special requests and you, my sweet friend, or only more special, not more annoying. :) For reals.

Love you girl. Good luck on the surgery next week. We'll all be waiting to see how you're feeling. Take care of yourself!

Love, Jennyth

Crystal said...

Only you could face something so scary with such bravery and wit. Love you girl.

Rachel Clear said...

You are awesome.

I hope the colonoscopy went okay (and yeah, that stuff is icky delux, right?)

I know there are quite a few G-free places in Portland too, so if you're in this area, try them out.

The visual of little Jabe is so sad and cute all at once.

Dawn said...

Hi Becca, I came across a gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe and it is fabulous... can't begin to describe the wonderfulness!


Will be praying for you often

February Jill said...

Hey Becca,
You know I thought of something today. Remember when you and I and Stef traded baby stories and thought about what would it would have been like for us a hundred years ago? You, no babies, me, dead, Stef, might have had serious trouble with Maisie endangering both their lives...

I am so grateful we live in a time that allows us to have children and safely. As strange as it sounds, I guess we can also be thankful we live in a time that celiac's can be diagnosed and a uterus can be removed if need be. I hope that you are ever so close to a better life with less pain.

And also anyone who knows you would laugh at the old lady comment. You are one fun girl!


Dana Gay said...

Oh Becca this all sounds really hard. If you ever wanna get together to do some GF baking let me know. I too am on the GF diet. I will be praying for you and your surgery and recovery.

Brazenlilly said...

Hi Becca, I'm Jen, Jay&Sue's niece, Mike Bunch's sis and stranger who stalked you at NWKC and occasionally checks and less occasionally comments on your blog. ANYway, my bf was just diagnosed with celiacs on Jan 1, and if it's OK with you, I'd love to send her to your blog. I know she'd love to connect with another celiacs mommy! And I'd love to know which store has the little yellow tags! Thanks again for being willing to share your story!

momaof4 said...

Praying for you! And your comment about eating out sounds like Dee ;) But everyone we have had wait on us has been super sweet. We ate at the noodle place up at Bridgeport, near McCorm...and they are super helpful and even have GF items!!

littlecbsmom said...

That restaurant scene is hysterical! I can see why that might not be as enjoyable as it used to be!
I'm glad the kids came back negative.
Good luck with the surgery, can't wait to read those pain meds posts! I'll be praying for you!

red-headed Wilson's said...

O, I so hear you. I am still horrible at being assertive with the waiter. I am almost thankful I am gluten tonight as I am going out with girlfriends and I hate not being able to eat gluten with groups.
There is a pizza place in town to, Garlic Jims and I hear Papa Pizza has a gluten free oven now.

I am just glad there is a reason to our feeling crappy. Not eating gluten is better then thinking my body is falling apart and I will die early. :)

Thanks for sharing your trip through this stage in life. It is so nice to hear others doing the same. It can feel lonely.

Sue Joye said...

Surgery for your Mom's 60th birthday! Original and hard to top that one Becca ;) I'm praying for you!!

Have you tried quinoa? Gluten free, easy to cook, goes with just about anything!

Julie said...

I had a full hysterectomy last August...and 9 weeks later - I showed my horse for the first time is sidesaddle!

Enjoyed my visit!


www.equusgirl.blogspot.com (this one is full of stories..chapter by chapter..that might drive you crazy - by what you posted!