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Testing for Celiac Disease - From a Kids Point of View

Posted May 13 2010 12:00am

Since May is Celiac Disease awareness month, I thought you might like to read what it is like to be tested for Celiac Disease from the kids point of view.  Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that my daughter Alex was diagnosed with Celiac Disease the summer between third and fourth grade.  You can read more about this from my perspective on my websit e, but here is what it was like to Alex.  She wrote this at the beginning of this school year, as a memoir assignment for English.  

 A Summer to Remember

by: Alex  The Gluten Free Teen  

For most kids, third grade is one of the easiest years in school, but not for me.  I was just like every other kid, I loved to play with my friends, I had a family that loved me, but I was sick.  Altogether I missed 36 days of school.  My stomach felt like somebody was punching me from the inside.  My head was burning almost as if a heater was constantly following me.  

The sad part was that I was skinny and pale and never felt good.  

Of course, my parents got worried and that is when the first doctor visit happened. 

I stumbled into Room Two at Woodinville Pediatrics, I felt worried and sick, as usual.  I can still remember the smell of the antibacterial soap and rubber gloves.  The doctor strode in and did not know what was wrong, so he decided to draw my blood.  It was a completely painful and terrifying experience because I was so dehydrated they could not find a vein.  Ever since then, I have been completely terrified of getting my blood drawn.  When the test results came back, I tested positive for Celiac Disease.  

At the time I had no idea what that was and could not even pronounce the name.  We discovered later that Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that requires you to not eat gluten so you do not get stomach aches.  To figure out if I really had Celiac Disease, we had to go see a specialist doctor. 

On that summery day between third and fourth grade, I was terrified about what would happen.  I staggered through the automatic sliding doors and considered everything that might happen.  Children’s Hospital is made to look warm and cheery and happy, but all I felt was fear and nervousness.  

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