Faith and Illness: Living with Celiac

RevGalBlogPals | 1/3/2018 | Staff
aniki (Posted by) Level 3
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“Oh, you’re one of those gluten free people.”

“I’ll have EXTRA gluten on mine.”

Pie - Bit - Flour

“You mean you can’t eat any pie? I only put a little bit of flour in there!”

I cringe every time I hear myself ask if something is gluten free. I never wanted to be one of THOSE people. But in a process that has gone on for years, I’ve realized that I need to be one of those people for my health and preservation.

Tumor - Thyroid - Goiter - Doctors - Cancer

In 2010, I developed a tumor on my thyroid, usually called a goiter. The doctors kept telling me that it wasn’t not cancer, which is not reassuring, until I had the tumor removed along with half of my thyroid. I did find out that it wasn’t cancer, thankfully, and discovered scarves as a fashion statement so parishioners wouldn’t ask “What happened?”

Along the way, a few doctors recommended that I might want to try a gluten free diet, since wheat can sometimes act as a foreign invader to the thyroid in cases like mine. I tried it, and felt better almost immediately. My chronic migraines all but went away. My strange dizziness and joint pain disappeared. My stomach stopped hurting after each meal.

Summer - Iron - Stairs - Breath - Disease

Last summer after my iron dropped so low that I could not climb stairs without gasping for breath, I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease. I thought of migraines starting in high school, and of family trips where my stomach hurt the whole time. And I was relieved, frankly, to have this diagnosis so that I could more easily explain to my church people why I can’t eat their casserole.

I am a Lutheran parish pastor, and much of church life revolves around food. There’s communion, of course. My church ordered the terribly expensive gluten free wafers. My options were narrowed for potlucks. I had...
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