Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wheatless home on the prairies

Since my sister Ky announced in February she was diagnosed with Celiac's disease, we knew it was a matter of time before the rest of us had to get tested.  We all have similar symptoms and have been going to doctors for years with limited success.  Now that we know it exists in our family, we can get tested.

I got home from Victoria and immediately went to the doctor to get the test underway.  One big blood test later (seriously, I don't think I had blood left when they were done) I had to wait for the results.  Since I've had numerous other health issues going on, the one week waiting period turned into three in order for all the results to come in at the same time.

Wednesday was that time.

I walked into the doctor's office, got into my paper gown (the physical was that day too, oh joy) and waited.  I've been a bit anxious about what the results of the Celiac test would be, so finally being so close to an answer was a bit nerve racking.

My lovely doctor came in, sat down, told me the results of the test and immediately took my blood pressure.  Not such a good choice it turns out.  Perhaps she should have reversed that?

I have Celiac's disease.  My levels were far and beyond the highest of the measurable scales.  The levels that were "extremely high" were left in the dust by my results.  For once, I'm an overachiever.  Yay me.

It means going on a gluten-free diet.  No wheat.  No bread.  No pasta.  No cereal.  Forever. 

I've had a month to digest this (pardon the pun) but it was still kind of a kick to the junk.  I know I will adjust.  I will be forced to eat healthier and this is awesome.  However, I have to admit, I am in mourning.  It's going to be a big adjustment.  I'm going to have to learn how to cook healthier, want to cook healthier, eat healthier, want to eat healthier.  I'm going to have to stop eating a family sized box of Mini Wheats a month.

I know it will be good for me.  I will likely lose weight (Dr. figures my body can't process the gluten so it stores it -- just in cases).  I will not be as tired.  I will not be as irritable.  I will not be as gassy.  (The world rejoices at that one.  Especially Monty and The Guy.  Dutch oven gets old fast.)  I will feel better. 

Really, I should be looking on the up side of this.  It will be nice not to have bi-polar intestines with the emotional stability of a pubescent teenage girl in the hysterics of unrequited love. 

But I will really miss Mini Wheats.


  1. glad you found out! a friend of mine is extremely celiac and can't even eat meat that has been fed on wheat grain. you might want keep an eye out for that, she has to buy directly from a local farmer. sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear!

  2. Sorry dude. I know it sucks right now but you're right, I know a few people with Celiac's disease and, after they made the changes and got over the adjustments, their lives were SO much better. You can do it!
    (There are also a lot of good gluten free products out there now that people with Celiac's disease can eat. Even cereal and bread. Check out the health food stores. They're a bit more pricey but I've found some that I really like - Why am I eating gluten free food? I don't know.)

  3. Go to Shoppers and buy a bag of Salt and Pepper Gluten free Cheecha puffs. So yummy!

  4. Dude, dude, dude. Do you know how many kinds of junkfood you can still have?? Mini-eggs? GLUTEN-FREE. Hawkins Cheezies? GLUTEN-FREE. Skittles? GLUTEN-FREE. There is no need to mourn. No need at all.

    Well, except maybe the cereal thing. The only gluten-free cereal I've found that is reasonably priced is nature's path gf corn flakes, rice crisps, etc. Definitely no Honey Combs, them, but they do the job.

  5. I am sorry. I have been having issues myself and have been scared to be tested. I think I am going to learn from your example and go get tested. Elizabeth Hasselback has a new G Free diet cookbook out, which looks pretty good. There is also a gluten free bread at Extra Foods that is awesome. It is $5 a loaf, but it is dense, so you really only need one piece. Keep us updated!


  6. Once I finally have time/am in saskatchewan to get tested, I'm going to spend the week between having my blood taken and getting my results back eating EVERY SINGLE GLUTENY THING I CAN THINK OF.

  7. I do a lot of baking with coconut (oooh, mix up the letters of THAT word and you get a naughty post!)flour. It is delicious!! Adds a yummy coconut taste to anything ... particularly good in brownies. We are not totally gluten-free in our house but are slowly travelling in that direction. Wheat is the MOST genetically modified good in the world. That is why we are hearing of more and more people having difficulty digesting it. We just try anything and everything to see if it will help keep the seizures to a reasonable level. There of tonnes and tonnes of delicious G-free things to eat. Have fun experimenting!!

  8. I forgot to tell you: there are rice or corn-based, gluten-free pastas that taste so close to wheat pastas, there's hardly a difference (except in cost...). They're available in most grocery stores out here, but I don't know about out there. Mrs. Leeps is the brand I have bought, and really liked.

  9. I'm glad that Ky mentioned the unhealthy foods you can eat. Because seriously? A whole bunch of Old Dutch's stuff is gluten-free! And a lot of Dairy Queen's stuff (you know, except for like the cones and the cookie dough stuff).

    (But I'm also sending you hugs. Because Celiac's disease sucks.)

  10. I'm glad that you're all being so brave and talking about how GOOD having a diagnosis is (I know it's true, diagnosed SAD is so much better than undiagnosed SAD!) but Ky's optimism over this had been driving me nuts! (Ok, it's really that I know that I'd go crazy sad and keep eating bread if *I* got a diagnosis like that... but Ky has filled me in on ALL the side effects... So, I'd deal if I had to, but let's face it. I don't even like whole wheat pasta 'cause the glutteny-goodness is not the same.)

    I'm sorry that you have to mourn the loss of gluten... but I'm glad that you are. (It just feels more normal to me than Ky's reaction. :oP) As I told Ky on the bus this morning... me not being able to eat bread would like her not being able to eat potatoes! I'd feel betrayed by my German genes!

    I'm glad that there are so many good (I say hesitantly) alternatives out there these days and I wish you the best. But I still say, I'd rather give up chocolate!

    Ky's Bus Friend

  11. Thet will pry the donut out of my cold dead hands, before I ever get checked for this.

  12. I tend to fall on Number ONE Son's side on this. At my age, I am not sure I want to know.

    Well, I do know but not officially. ALL the symptoms listed I pretty much have.
    Tired, over weight, depression, all the rest.

    You guys are young enough that it pays to be healthy as you have 60 years ahead of you. I am cheering for you.

  13. prairie nymph27/03/2010, 20:02

    by the way, a while ago you were posting about auntie B's homemade donuts. which made me crave donuts. but i couldn't make it to Timmys, so i made some gluten free donuts. yum.
    no need to give up donuts. just line ups at tim hs.
    get a deep fryer.



Crap monkies say "what?"