Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lots to Share

Geez. Where do I even begin? There's lots of news this week. I'll just dive in. So I apologize in advance if this post is all over the place. I'll just try to get all the news in.

This week, my mom was diagnosed with celiac disease. In short, that means she's allergic to gluten. And in the end, it means a HUGE change in diet ... and lifestyle. When you start dissecting everything that contains gluten, ... well, it can get you down. My mom does NOT like to draw attention to herself under any circumstances. {In fact, she probably wouldn't have given me permission to write about her if I had actually asked. So, uh, mea culpa, mom.} And this diagnosis means that, in order to do things she normally does, like eat out or enjoy food at parties, she WILL have to draw attention to herself or otherwise suffer the consequences. She's finding more and more things that she has to give up. I keep trying to remind her that the silver lining is that there are lots of gluten-free substitutes for her favorite foods (thanks to SarahK for talking about these on her blog). Sure, they're a little more expensive, they do require more time, but in the end, celiacs are in no way deprived of great food, like cake & cookies & pizza & all the foods we know & love. Right now, she's overwhelmed and a little blue about the whole thing. So keep her in your prayers as she adjusts.

{Please allow this sidebar related to celiac disease. Family, you should consider being tested for it and here's why.

Q: Why do my family members need to be screened for celiac disease?
When the diagnosis is established in one family member, their first- degree relatives (parents, siblings, and children) should have blood tests for celiac disease. This is because at least 10% of family members will have the disease, even if they are asymptomatic. Screening is also recommended for second-degree relatives (grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and cousins) as they are also at an increased risk for celiac disease. Family members who already have an autoimmune disease are at a greatly increased risk to have celiac disease (25%). The reasons to diagnose family members prior to the development of symptoms include the prevention of autoimmune diseases and malignancy.


In other health-related news, poor Dori had to go to the vet this week. I know I've mentioned before that she suffers from nasal allergies. And for you fellow allergy-sufferers, you know how bad it's been lately. She's had a runny, itchy nose & sneezing for quite a while. But recently her ears have begun to itch too. And pretty soon, they started to get scaly. And then she started shaking her head all the time. In the end, I think I waited a bit too long to go to the vet for relief of those allergy-related ear symptoms. So now, shame on me, she has a rip-roaring ear infection. Poor baby! We came home with a medicine cabinet yesterday - two new pills & two things to be dropped in her ear. I don't know if I've talked about Dori's aversion to anyone getting near her ears before, but let's just say that the drops are going to be a challenge. {Sigh} And on top of that, a side effect of one of the new meds is increased thirst & urination. Ultimately it means a weaker bladder so she tinkles a little bit when she's laying down. And this makes her lick, which makes her tinkle all the more, and ultimately she just sinks her poor little head in shame. {Sigh} Poor puppy!

In other news, I heard this morning that the youngest daughter of Dove-award winning Christian singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman was killed last night - tragically & accidentally run over by her brother in the family's driveway in rural Tennessee. Please keep the Chapman family in your prayers as they mourn this loss and comfort their son.


Ben & Kara said...

I don't know if you ever shop at Tom Thumb, but the one at Lover's & Greenville has a gluten-free aisle in the health food section. I think Central Market has something similar.

Susan said...

Thanks, Kara! That's super helpful. It's nice to know so many stores are now offering more selections to celiacs.

JanaRae said...

I was just doing a search on (which uses for searching) and noticed that under "Enhanced Search," you can check an option to narrow with one of the search Partners, "Gluten-Free Girl" when you're looking for recipes.

sarahk said...

It's a huge adjustment at first, but I am not lying when I say that I eat much tastier food now than I ever did on gluten.