The Wheat-less Fool's Blog

August 5, 2009

Wherein… I begin

Filed under: celiac — Jenna @ 1:19 pm
Tags: ,

Hello, all. Yup. Another blog, another person danged and determined to share their life with the rest of the world. Why am I writing this? Well, first of all.. I’m a writer. It’s sort of what I do. I natter on, playing with words, feeling the shape of them in my brainpan, and than I attempt to share them with the rest of the planet… whether the planet wants them or not. Secondly, well. Twelve weeks ago I first started getting the words “celiac” and “gluten” shouted at me from what felt like every street corner. Articles plastered on magazine covers, segments on television, hades… the radio started nagging. And… I started to wonder.

I’ve suffered from unexplained health “issues” since I was a kid. A few allergies got identified when I was younger (I’ll talk about those later), but for the most part – the doctors I went to were stumped. So were my parents. Diagnosed at different times with – IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerated colitis, ulcers, and the one fun month where the doctor was convinced I had stomach cancer (yay). But with each diagnosis came the shrugged shoulders and a weak “well, we think it might be” but no results, no relief.

I’ve spent more than a third of my life either looking for a bathroom, running to a bathroom, living in the bathroom, or recovering from the bathroom. To the end result – I don’t own magazine racks, I’ve got bookshelves in my loo. And a wireless router for my laptop. And its not completely outside the realm of possibility that I might possibly have chosen at different times to keep a cooler in the corner of the linen closet for the days I was in there for more than 6 hours at a shot. I’m the girl who could tell you within 5 feet where the closest bathroom was (sometimes without ever having to actually enter the building myself. I have MAD toilet-fu skills). I’m the person who has had to pull into a complete stranger’s driveway, walk up to the 85 year old woman weeding her rose bed and ask, rather bluntly albeit politely, “Ma’am? I’m terribly sorry, but I need to use a bathroom… now. Here’s my wallet, my mother’s phone number is in the front, I swear I’m not a serial killer, ask her if you like… but at this point – your bathroom or your rose bush, and there isn’t much time to decide.”

Heaven bless the woman for believing me and waving me towards her upstairs restroom.

The lemonade after was nice too.

By 25, I’d just learned to deal with it. I just was going to be a : tired, drained, cranky, nauseas, gal who ALWAYS put the premium toilet paper ahead of any other purchase. I managed too, more or less. Even with my inability to work “normal” jobs – due to never knowing if today I was going to be fine… or would I spent 8 hours in the bathroom – I managed. On the days I was okay, I worked my tuckus off, always fighting to get done not just the things that needed done now, but also to catch up and get work done ahead… so I could be prepared for the next time my stomach would decide to kneecap me. Not great, but I kept it together, for the most part. Hades, I even managed to : find a great guy, make friends, travel, live a life just a wee bit outside the lines of “normality”, and 3 years ago… get married to said great guy. The health “stuff”? For the most part I just tried to ignore it. I also have a slight heart “issue” (it gets bored and stops for a few seconds on occasion. But, to quote the great Python “I got b’tter!”) as well as a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (which in my case – translates to the first half hour of the day sucking as I try to stretch everything out to working order… than I shove it to the back of my mind and go about my day. My system is too wonky to take many pills, so a couple Aleve and I manage.) so I already had a standard line of attack when my body would crap out. Deal… and ignore.

Yes. I’m aware that’s not the most… mature way of handling the issue. But it worked. For a while, anyway.

And that gets us to now. Now, I’m staring down the barrel of 30 (fast approaching in October) and my husband and I are starting to have scary conversations involving children, the future, and all the things we want to be when we grow up. Things, that to be honest, I’ve always avoiding looking at too hard. Mainly, because its dang hard to see the future through a bathroom door. All those things I had just jammed my fingers in my ears and ignored over the years… might be time to deal with them.

So I made the mature and adult decision, right? Of course that’s why I restarted my attempts at trying to find answers. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the shouts heard round the nation when my friends and loved ones found out:

A) In the last 15 years I’ve never gone more than a week without my stomach bleeding.

B) My stomach will go into cycles of misery (and bleeding) for up to 6 months at a shot.

C) Did I mention all the bleeding? Possibly coupled with days I passed out after a round in the bathroom.

Okay… fine. The screaming, yelling, and threats from my husband to “taser your butt, and drag you caveman style into the hospital” might, maybe, have had a wee bit to do with my sudden burst of adult responsibility. But only a little.

I can be a mature adult. If I’m forced to.



  1. This post will resonate with so many folks, Jenna. It certainly did with me. After “knowing every bathroom on the east coast” (per my husband … and actually it was more than that) and spending way too much time in them all, not long after going gluten free in 2003, that issue went away. That was a huge part of getting my life back. And, while I remember several of my worst experiences reading your post, it seems long ago now. But, again, I so identify with you. The good news is you do not have to live this way. You will get better slowly and surely and then one day you’ll realize you haven’t had problem x in days, and eventually you won’t have it at all. Lesser issues will also disappear and you’ll think, “wow, that was a gluten issue all along.” Your healing will be phenomenal. I really look forward to following your blog to read about your progress and supporting any way I can! 🙂

    Hugs to you,

    Comment by gfe-gluten free easily — August 6, 2009 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

  2. Wow; I understand what portions of this can be like. Your honesty will be a great help to many. It’s already made me feel less bad for having health issues, namely celiac…Or am I the only one who sometimes feels ‘guilty’ for having a body that likes to rebel against its own indweller?!?! Ha. I look forward to reading more about your journey!

    Comment by cinnamonquill — August 7, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  3. You sound like a perfect candidate for SCD (specific carbohydrate diet). When a gut is as damaged as yours, it often can’t cope with grains or sugars full stop – never mind just the gluten part.

    This was a moving and honest post – I look forward to hearing how you negotiate that tricky path back to health.

    Blessings x x x

    Comment by naomi — August 7, 2009 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  4. Good luck to you! Most of us have been through challenging times, wondering what in the world is wrong with us. It’s a relief to finally find out. But I am a bit confused, have you been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or are you getting tested for it?

    Comment by Heather — August 8, 2009 @ 11:35 am | Reply

  5. Just glad you got it all sorted out and are feeling better!! And glad you started “yet another GF” blog: it’s good getting your thoughts out there because we all learn from eachother — no exceptions.

    Enjoy the journey 🙂

    Comment by dana — August 14, 2009 @ 2:37 pm | Reply

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