Starting a celiac diet was not on my 'to do list' in June 2009. In fact, I had only just discovered the term 'celiac', due to my sister-in-law.
Never in a million years did I consider my Doctor suggesting this diet for me!
Did he tell me outright?
Did he discreetly test me, among a heap of other tests, yes...
I had gone to the Doctors after having another bout of bad tummy, on the loo constantly, cramping, sickness, dizziness, I felt so rough.
What's worse, is work were being not the most supportive, thinking I was doing something to instigate this! I wasn't, I swear!
I hate being ill, and whilst I was in a job I wasn't getting the most out of, I am not one to 'throw a sicky'. It's just not in my nature.
So off to the Doctors I trot, to insist that there was something wrong.
Through my examination, he listened, checked out my tummy, temperature, blood pressure - the usual routine, and then dived to the computer.
He printed a list of blood tests that he wanted me to have, and also gave me some support information.
The support information was regarding irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
We spent a good deal of time discussing this; what that would mean for me, what I could do to ease the symptoms, and also how to put it to my employer. However he said, that I would be diagnosed with IBS only if all the blood test results come back negative.
I had told him of my underlying fear that it was something more sinister, having lost my Mother some 3 years previous. He was extremely attentive, and to this day, I feel I owe him everything.
I went for the blood tests there and then, and waited the stated time for the results.
I tried to push the thoughts to the back of my mind, I'd know soon enough, if there was anything wrong.
I had done all I could do for the moment, I just needed time for the results to come through.
When I did phone through, I was informed by the receptionist that all results had come back as "normal"; however if I needed to see the Doctor to help manage my symptoms, I needed to book an appointment.
I was shocked, pleased (I think!), but also not pleased, in a funny sort of way. I'd hoped to get whatever it was sorted, resolved, as I strongly didn't feel that what was going on was right.
I was a at my Dad's when my mobile rang with the GP surgery, wanting me to book an appointment with my Doctor. Thinking this was strange, I made the appointment.
I took my daughter with me on the day of the appointment. I was confident that I knew what I was going to be told, I had got IBS.
I'd read the information I'd been given before, and as there is no known 'cure' regarding IBS, I couldn't see what else he was going to be able to tell me... Or so I thought!
"Well, the results are showing positive for Celiac Disease, but you can treat this with a celiac diet." "...er....pardon? Not, IBS?"
The doctor turned, levelled me with his eyes, "No, Jenny, you are a Celiac, there is an endoscopy that needs to be done, but the blood results are quite conclusive. Once those results are back, you are to start on a coeliac diet."
Oh! Not a lot can be said about that really, I was numb, there was something wrong.
It could be controlled by this celiac diet, but I had to stay on a 'normal' diet for the time being.
I told my husband when I get home, and he looks at me dumbstruck, his sister had been diagnosed as a Celiac since a baby...
"Really? Well at least we know someone that can talk us through it all."
This was true, and I duly waited for the Endoscopy dates, keeping to the 'normal' diet, but noticing that with every sandwich, cake, cookie, there were some very strange sensations with my poor tum.
The endoscopy took place, in the same month that I found out that I was in fact pregnant with my second child, my son.
Confirmation came from the surgery, and with the help of my sister-in-law, Carol, I switched to my Celiac Diet.
Wonderful and that's no lie!
I do get days where some of that nasty gluten gets into my celiac diet, but I have found that with the help and support of my local Pharamcist, I seem to get everything I need.
The fact that this can be controlled with the celiac diet, no tablets, pills or potions, just makes life easier.
Having said that, it's no picnic, trying to find foods at time that don't contain gluten. In fact it can be a nightmare.
But I am fortunate enough to live in the UK, where I can get some of the basic foods on perscription, in fact I found these forms so helpful, I've included as a checklist here for you:
If you are not as fortunate as me, to have a sister-in-law to help guide you through your condition, I am happy to say that she's had the foresight to publish this information!
You'll find her website, helpful, supportive, and if you've just been diagnosed, one of the best supports around...