For me, writing a blog gives me the unique opportunity to create a safe space on the World Wide Web where people can come together. It gives us the ability to relate to one another, share recipes, and hopefully make new friends.
This past Saturday I was finally able to meet some blog friends in real life:
I was giddy with excitement the entire time! Talking to blog friends in person just does something for your soul.
It fills me up to be around someone who knows exactly what I’m talking about when I say :
Ugh, my kitchen is always a mess. How can I have so many dirty dishes all the time?!
Why do people think there is gluten in potatoes?!
And then the waitress looked at me like I was crazy….
I couldn’t find a single restaurant to eat at and of course I was starving!!
And what always amazes me is when the conversation turns to when we were all diagnosed with Celiac Disease, everyone ALWAYS thought they had something else. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to had a misdiagnosis!
Others have told me that their doctor thought it was acid reflux, IBS, peanut allergy, and so many others.
These are the stories that are important to share. Out there, in this big, big world, there could be someone else who has been sick for years. Someone else who has no idea what’s wrong with them; all they know is that eating makes them sick.
That is why I was so happy when Thierry decided to share her story with me and all of you! So take it away Thierry!
My name is Thierry Mabry, I am nineteen years old. I’ve been gluten free for 4 years now and I wanted to share my gluten story.
People have always asked me why I don’t like to eat. I guess the real reason is because ever since I can remember, I get sick when I eat. I had all the digestive symptoms – I won’t go into the gory details. ;) It never failed, every time I ate something someone would look at me and say, “Are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!” People always told me I turned white after I ate.
I was diagnosed with Acid Reflux Disease by age eight. I hated eating breakfast, because I always felt sick after breakfast. But the doctors insisted saying, “You will feel better if you eat breakfast. Even if it’s not a big breakfast, at least have some *toast*” – (Toast? Really?)
By age thirteen, I decided I was going to start eating healthier so I would feel good and have energy to run and play. I started reading about nutrition and exercise. I ate my daily veggies and fruits – always being sure I got my proper amount of grains (sigh). And still, every day, I was sick.
I felt like a medical fluke, but I didn’t tell anyone. I started listening to Biggest Loser’s personal trainer Jillian Michaels on the radio. The very first episode I listened to Jillian had a segment called “Gluten Hell” – I had all the symptoms. I was ecstatic as I told my mum “I finally found out what’s wrong with me!” Little did I know, that was where my journey began.
Sometimes I felt as though things only became more difficult once I discovered what was making me sick. Mum would come home from work to find me crying on the kitchen floor because I did not know what I could eat without getting sick, as I also have sensitivity to bananas (and occasionally honey) due to a gluten similar enzyme they contain. It seemed like all my favorite foods were gone. This was especially hard because I come from a large family that connects through food – mainly pasta and my grandma’s homemade sourdough bread.
I started the journey through all the gummy rice breads and gritty cookie recipes as my mum and I slowly learned how to cook gluten free. Your blog has helped so much - from the recipes to just knowing someone else has been through the same things.
GLUTEN AND SKIN
I also wanted to share a story with you about how your blog has directly helped me.
All my life I’ve never had any problems with my skin, for the most part it was always clear and healthy. But when I decided to switch my cleanser I was hit hard with acne. Bad acne. I was going to the dermatologists, but still nothing seemed to help.
I began searching the Internet for any cure I could find, that was when I found a link to your blog about Cetaphil. Before I read your blog it had never occurred to me that gluten could be in my cleansers, I immediately checked my cleansers – Yep, there it was. I called my dermatologist and the topical they had been using on my face also contained wheat, they were literally pumping my skin full of gluten (I still cringe at the thought). I immediately changed my treatments and cleansers (Well, pretty much everything I use) to gluten free. It has taken over a year, but my skin is almost back to normal, I still believe your blog is what made that possible.
It may not sound like a huge deal, but the acne that I suffered from severely affected my confidence and self-esteem. If I had not found your blog, there is a good chance I would still be suffering from the acne, as well as the painful feelings of isolation and rejection.
Before I found your blog, I often felt alone and isolated about having celiac. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to you or tell you how much I appreciate your blog. It gives me support on the days when I feel like no one understands. Being gluten free is part of who I am, but it’s not all of who I am and you have helped me to realize that.
Thank you Thierry for sharing your story!!
Do you have a story to share? Email me – I would love to read it and if you would like, share it!