If you were a regular reader here, you have noticed that I haven't had a current post in close to a year! I don't know that I would have posted, except that I had two new cookbooks that I was asked to review. That has pulled me out of my self imposed hiatus. I needed a break. I was starting to feel like I had an obligation to blog and to find things to blog about.
Life has been a rocky road for me in the health department. I think it's that way for many people who are diagnosed with either celiac disease or gluten intolerance. There are so many health problems caused by it. This is an ever changing journey. Having been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 23, calcium problems caused by the surgery, years and years of digestive problems. Five years ago when I moved in the home where we live now, I had a major surgery which took a good 12 weeks to recover from. By that next fall, my digestive problems were so bad, I didn't feel comfortable leaving the house. That's when I found out gluten was not my friend. Like so many others, healing has been up and down. The following year I found out that I had multiple food allergies. The worst was having dairy issues.
The good thing is, with food allergies, sometimes after avoiding things for a while, you can add them back. You can NOT do that with gluten if you have celiac disease. That's for life unless someone finds a cure. Lucky for me, I can eat dairy and most things I tested allergic to now with an exception of a couple things. Giving up dairy was something I don't ever want to do again!
Last year, it was my spine. Apparently it's wasn't in too good a shape. First I had bulging disks and pinched nerves in the cervical and thorasic spine. I spent 6 weeks in therapy for that. It got better but I still had issues. By last fall, I had a numb spot in my foot and weakness down my right leg. Something going on in my lower spine. Back to therapy for 8 weeks. That did the trick. My therapist worked on my core strength and one year later I'm in better shape than I've been in a long time as I've kept up with all the exercises. However, I still have a numb spot in my back and I'm not sure what's up with that.
Oh, and I broke my foot this summer. Got to walk around in a lovely boot for 7 weeks. And apparently I have a vitamin D deficentcy. So now I'm taking tons of vitamin D. I know that this will sound so familiar to so many of you with celiac or gluten intolerance because I hear so many similar stories from others. When your body can't tolerate gluten, and you keep eating it, it takes such a toll on your health. The longer it goes on, the longer it takes to heal.
I've read in Dr. Green's book on celiac disease about how someone with celiac disease has something like a 40% higher chance of getting bowel cancer than the average person, and even after starting a gluten free diet, it takes 5 years for that risk to turn normal. Five years. That tells you it takes some time for the body to heal. It also tells you why compliance to the diet is so important. If you cheat, you are not healing.
I am almost to the four year mark and I can tell you I see a marked difference each year. I felt really good all summer, even with the broken foot! The paranoid me keeps thinking, what's next? It seems like yearly there is some type of health issue. Hopefully things will keep going well.
And, hopefully I am back in blogging mode for a while. I have another cookbook review that I hope to do in a week or two and some experimenting I've been doing with some recipes.
If you are new to this gluten free life and struggling, hang in there. It is a long road and there will be ups and downs. I can tell you at almost the 4 year mark, that it does get easier. And if you aren't feeling good, follow your diet. Let your body heal. You will feel better.