Sick for a Cause!

ImageBeing sick is never fun. However if it leads you to discovering something that can change your future for the better, I guess it is necessary. I don’t know how often that is possible. Some people discover more sickness through small sickness, but for me I discovered a new, although difficult freedom. 

A little more than ten years ago my wonderful diet of Cherrios, oatmeal and tacos on whole wheat tortillas began fighting me back. Kind of like those commercials with the food slapping the person in the face. Unfortunately the places it was slapping me, was not my face. It was seriously interrupting my daily routine. SO, I quit the Cherrios for breakfast, moved them to lunch and ate pancakes for dinner. Big mistake. For three weeks I tried to figure out what the problem was.  These foods are good for you, high in fiber and heart healthy. I added more water to my diet. It only got worse. 

After a few weeks of making several late night trips to the ER with no success I figured I was dying. I did not have high speed internet access in 2002, I barely had a working computer, so researching online was almost not an option. I did what I could though. I talked to people, did a little online research and kept changing stuff in my daily routine. The ER was getting tired of seeing me. “Go to your primary doctor in the morning” that’s what they said. Being a young, single, private school teacher with very little money and no benefits meant not having health insurance. Meaning: no doctor and no money for one. 

I caught a break with some information to cheap personal insurance and some cash from my parents. Off to the doctor I went. After a lot of uncomfortable test and a visit from my mom I sort of had an answer. The doctor was so nice telling me how he felt that  wheat, more specifically gluten, was the cause to my issues. Then he kindly said there is a disease commonly related to this issue that is exclusive to White people. Next he reminded me that Black people are lactose intolerant so I should take milk out of my diet as well. WTH! (that’s what I said)

That began my Gluten Free life. Its been rough. I have since learned that I am not the only other African American that has Celiac, the disease I couldn’t have because I am not White. And although I can eat dairy again I have lost a few other foods: nuts, oats, avocados and soy. Being sick was bad but finding out why I was sick and how to fix it made life better. In the last ten years more and more GF, DF, NF, SF products have popped up. Although many are not very tasty, its nice to know I am not alone. 

Do I ever sneak a non gluten free item into my diet? NO WAY! Living in a Gluten fog is not the life for me! 

4 thoughts on “Sick for a Cause!

  1. Gluten sensitivity is something that totally fascinates me… My partner just recently found out she is sensitive to it, so we’ve had a major lifestyle shift. You’d never even think to check for it in some things, but it’s there! And even though I’m fine to eat it, I feel so much better now that I’ve cut down on it. Crazy! Also, I have an insane GF Banana Nut Bread recipe I found online if you’re interested….

  2. Wow…I feel like I better understand your dietary struggles. I’m glad you finally got some answers to your health concerns. I often think of you when I’m in Kroger and see gluten free items.

  3. Tiffany,

    Great personal story that pulls us in. Good job. I know there is information out there about your struggle – the relationships between food and illness, etc. Just integrate and connect to your research more next time.

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