When I was a teenager, I spent most of the time in bathrooms. At the time, I was so skinny that I was eating to stay alive and my mother and I spent many hours between the doctor’s office and a nutritionist. Back then, I was told to drink three Carnation Instant Breakfasts a day along with three square meals and as many snacks as I could handle, and trust me, that’s a LOT of food. I ate everything in site, but my favorite was bread of any kind and I usually devoured almost a whole loaf of bread just making toast.
Many people, including two doctors, tried to convince my mother that I was secretly binging and that I suffered from an eating disorder. Years and years of being watched, spied on and basically mistrusted actually ended up hurting our relationship, because according to her: doctor’s don’t lie. Well, neither did her daughter.
When I became pregnant with my first daughter, I was sick the entire time. It wasn’t morning sickness at all, it was morning, noon and night sickness. I was put on medication because it was impossible for me to hold anything down and I felt like I had a horrible flu that just would not go away, every day. Every single day. It was then that the pain in my legs and feet really started and I would get up in the middle of the night and walk a few miles in the dark before I could settle down and finally fall asleep. After delivery I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, a thyroid disease that came with a goiter. I hate that word.
When I became pregnant with my second daughter, the pregnancy had a new partner: gestational diabetes. I can’t tell you how awful it was and although I ate as best I could, I still had a nine pound baby.
My third pregnancy came with gestational diabetes that didn’t go away. I started medication for it then, and that eventually led to insulin dependence. Diabetes wrecked my life.
As the years went by, my stomach never got better and eventually I ended up with multiple stomach ulcers. Lovely. The indigestion that I had suffered with literally my whole life became GERD (gastrointestinal reflux) and since I couldn’t lay down to sleep, insomnia reared it’s ugly head.
Basically, I was sick and had been for most of my life. Sick. Always feeling bad, tired, achy, refluxy, constipated or diarrheay, you name it – just SICK all of the time. Eventually, I learned to just not complain because I was accused of being a hypochondriac. Nice. I pushed it all down and kept on movin’.
The emotional problems got worse every year and eventually I was told that I had depression and anxiety. I was told to get over it, to let stuff go. I was told that I was unreasonable and just plain crazy. It made me mean, irritable and just ugly in more ways than one.
This is what gluten does to me. It makes me sick. Sick like a violent onset of the flu. Sick like that crazy woman everyone avoids. SICK. I simply cannot have it. PERIOD.
I called this post “The Gluten Flu” because that is what it’s like for me if I get contaminated, but the longer I ingest it, it gets even more horrifying. I don’t want to be sick and crazy. I want to be normal. I want to get up and face the day with a smile and look forward to life, not plan my suicide. Is that too much to ask?
I got “glutened” a few weeks back and I have had the “flu” ever since. It takes me weeks to get over it and get back to normal, and who wants the flu for weeks? I don’t.
When you hear someone talk about gluten and how sick it makes them, understand that it’s REAL and it’s worse than any flu. How do I know this? Last week a stomach bug ripped through my house and because we love each other so much (lol) we shared it, because sharing is caring, right? I told my husband that as bad as I felt, it didn’t hold a candle to getting glutened. That’s when we decided to name it the “Gluten Flu” because it’s way worse than any flu I’ve ever had.
[Tweet “The Gluten Flu – way worse than any flu you’ve ever had and twice as dangerous.”]
Remember that, write it down, take a picture and be mindful to us who can’t go have pizza with you, or can’t come over for cook outs or dinner. We want to, but who wants the flu?