I turned 32 yesterday. Every 6-7 years my birthday falls on Grouper Mole Sunday, which isn’t ideal for getting friends together and not being distracted by TV. So instead, I opted for a night out drinking Saturday night with my friends. We had a good time, and I imbibed liberally, thus leading to Grouper Mole Sunday hangover of death. Even so, we had an awesome time and I again remembered why I only drink like once or twice a year. Oof.

Still no news on the house front. The hubs and I are heading over after work today to walk through it again and take some better pictures. Hopefully we’ll get some news someday, haha. Otherwise we’ll eventually find something else. At least we know the local housing market hasn’t completely bottomed out. The house two doors down from us is currently for sale. It’s a beautiful brick Tudor with the world’s smallest kitchen. They had an open house on Saturday, so we checked it out. Cute place. Too bad it’s about $160k above our price range. And this is why we can’t buy in our neighborhood.

I’ve been having some tummy trouble lately, but I think it’s due to lactose intake. I have been a very bad girl and I’ve been eating as much cheese and other dairy as I’ve wanted. Time to cut that out again. It’s just that I love cheese so much! And sour cream. And butter. Oh for the love of dairy!!

And I got a new betta fish! Well, sort of anyway. I bought him from a breeder in Arkansas and he will be shipped to me this week. I can’t wait to see my new fish friend! I opted to go with a fish from a breeder this time for two main reasons:
1. I would know exactly what I was getting. The fish (theoretically) will be healthier, and the breeder can give me specific info about the fish (how old he is, etc.)
2. I didn’t want to “reward” a big chain pet store for treating their fish poorly by buying another fish from them. On the one hand, I want to rescue every betta from a miserable life inside a small container with dirty, toxic water and no quality of life. On the other hand, buying a fish from one of those places makes me feel like I’m condoning their stocking/selling behavior and I definitely don’t want that. It’s like buying from a puppy mill vs. a reputable breeder (although I’d opt for the shelter every time).

So I went with the breeder. And yes, I paid a bit more, but it’s worth it to me to get a happier, healthier, better-quality fish that will hopefully live a very long time. I’ll post pics as soon as he arrives and gets settled in his new home!


More changes.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m growing ever more impatient with my lack of progress toward feeling better.  So I’m taking another step: I’m giving up lactose until further notice.  Today was my first day lactose free and I’m hoping to start seeing a difference within a week or so.

I didn’t eat breakfast this morning (bad, I know), but I ate a bowl of homemade black bean soup (dry black beans, chicken stock, bay leaves, cumin and salt, simmered together for 8-10 hours in ye olde crock pot) and a small fresh side salad.  For snack, I ate some dried cranberries.  After work, I hit up the local grocery store, and recommitted to eating fresh, healthy food.

Dinner was the last of the dolmades I cooked up on Friday (so. good.) and a delightful mixed green salad with carrots and cucumber. 

I also found these effing amazing almond “ice cream” bites.  So yeah, totally got those.  I also picked up lots of fruit, veggies and some soy yogurt.

Tomorrow’s breakfast will be gluten-free oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans, and possibly a banana or an apple. Lunch will be black bean soup and a side salad. Snacks will be soy yogurt and some raw almonds.  Dinner is yet to be determined, but it will definitely involve fresh veggies.  I’m aiming for one-third to one-half of my diet to be raw.

I’ve been really down and frustrated the last week or so.  I know I’ve been cranky, because my body hasn’t been feeling good.  I’ve been letting this get on top of me instead of just freaking handling it.  So tonight, I’m pulling myself back up by the bootstraps and committing to beating this damn thing. 

I will eat the way that my body needs me to eat.  I will be healthy and strong.  I will not dwell on minor setbacks.  Most of all, I will listen to my body and respond to it when it tells me something, instead of trying to dictate to my body and make it do what I think it should do, when I think it should do it. 

And tomorrow, we’re looking at five more houses.  Let’s do this.

24 days and counting

I’ve been gluten-free for 24 days now. I think I expected to be feeling 100% better by now, so not feeling 100% better has been a bit of a disappointment to me. I now realize that expectation was likely unrealistic, but so many people start feeling better immediately! Not me. Lame.

Last week was utterly brutal. I wound up working from home much of last week, as my GI issues were out of control. The weekend brought more of the same, but I am very glad that this week has been much better. I’m still exhausted, but I expect a great deal of the fatigue is actually due to my annoying inability to fall asleep/stay asleep this week. I’m not sure what’s causing it, but it sure is sucky.

Another odd thing is happening. I had read on the interwebz (and was excited) that many Celiacs lose weight upon stopping gluten. Since I’ve gained about 45 pounds in the last decade, I was thrilled to experience this particular side effect. Of course, I also wasn’t a skinny Celiac, so again, my expectations may have been unfair. I’ve actually somehow GAINED weight, which I personally think is a total load of malarkey. I’m eating cleaner and healthier than before, with no fried foods, very little in the way of processed food or sweets and I’m gaining weight. It’s bullshit, and I have no idea how it’s physically possible.

I want to believe all this weight will start to disappear as my intestines heal, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

On the flipside, I’ve been poisoning my body for who-knows-how-many years by feeding it gluten, so I guess it’s asking too much to expect my body to repair itself in a matter of days or weeks. [sigh] I just hate this whole process and wish I could skip to the whole “look how healthy and awesome I am now” part.

I was relieved to get the diagnosis, but I’ve been really bummed out about this for the last several days. I try my best to stay positive and know that things will get better, but some days are harder than others, and maybe I don’t want to be strong all the time. Celiac sucks.

Here we go

So I had my follow-up with the GI doc yesterday. He is a celiac specialist, having studied under Dr. Peter Green at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia. He was young, energetic and deeply committed to treating celiac.

What he told me was that I am on the more severe end of the celiac spectrum and that it’s time for my new life to start. I told him I had stopped eating gluten last week (save for one flub on Sunday that I paid for all. day. yesterday). So I guess it’s on.

Since I’m completely compulsive about things, I know I will get through this with flying colors. The official diagnosis was not unexpected at all, but hearing it in black and white was still a touch overwhelming. Luckily, I have a great support system in place with a wonderful husband, amazing friends, and an incredible family that knows nothing about celiac, but wants to learn.

I feel really grateful to everyone in my life. You guys have been so compassionate and understanding and supportive as I’ve continued to get sicker over the last few months, and all through the trials of getting this diagnosis. And I’m grateful to all the restaurants out there who aren’t going to treat me like a pariah; who will hand me a gluten-free menu with a smile and tell me all about your amazing flourless cake, or your organic gluten-free soy sauce, and who will gently steer me away from that incredible-sounding satay skewer because you’re not certain it’s gluten-free and you don’t want me to get sick. Thank you all for making my life easier.

Everything changes

Day four of living gluten-free.  I’m finding myself feeling utterly grateful every time I find something geared toward celiac.  I almost started to cry when I found the GF cooking classes at PCC.  I almost teared up at Trader Joe’s last night when I found their little guide to TJ’s gluten-free shopping in the store.  I assume this bizarro emotional stuff will start to subside eventually… I’m guessing it’s all part of the process of coming to terms with this diagnosis.

You may have figured out that we didn’t wind up offering on the house in Bainbridge.  We still love it; it just needed more work (read: money) than we wanted to throw at it.  And so the hunt continues.  I’m still madly in love with our realtor.  I’m so happy we found him.  I’ll give up his name once our search is over.  I don’t want to get dumped for someone else mid-way through our process.

The hubs is officially out of work now.  Yesterday was his last day, so I’m not sure what to expect from him in terms of his mood and everything else.  He was a bit down last night, but three Netflixed episodes of The League helped tremendously.  I seriously think that might be the funniest show on TV.

I should hopefully get some great news tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’m just holdin’ it down, looking forward to my celiac symptoms clearing up in a few weeks, and gettin’ er done.

Rough Week

I’m working from home today, which means I’m trying to work around two of my three cats. I’ve got one in my lap, and one on the back of my couch behind me, resting his paws and his head on my shoulder. It’s almost like they know how bad my tummy feels today.

I’m almost midway through my wait for my endoscopy and small intestine biopsy to look for celiac disease. In the meantime, I’m pretty much binging on wheat, to make sure that any intestinal damage is visible and obvious. Unfortunately, this makes me sick. 😦 Tuesday was a *really* bad day and I could tell last night that today was going to be a bad one too. Luckily my bosses are awesome, and they are totally supportive of me staying home to work on miserable days. So here I am, on my couch with my cats.

Regardless of the way the biopsy turns out, we know gluten is out for me… My blood tests showed high levels of gluten antibodies, and it’s pretty obvious how bad my body feels when I eat wheat. 😦

Just 11 more days to go.