Leaves are brown, and the sky is a hazy shade of winter.

It’s interesting how a simple change in weather can change/effect so many aspects of our lives.  The temperature can go up or down a few degrees and all of a sudden we’re dealing with a new wardrobe, new daily activities, a possible change in transportation, and at times an entirely new diet.  For the most part, I love these changes…and in Dallas, I’ll admit, we drive everywhere, so my mode of transportation doesn’t really change like those who walk to work in the city, or those who have to hitch their dogs up to the sled.   Aaaaand for that matter, we don’t get much change in weather either – the heat is almost year-round except for that one weekend in January when a few rogue snowflakes shut down the entire city.  So, let’s go with the hypothetical.  Work with me here.

Where were we?  Oh yes, this supposed “change in seasons” I hear about… so, for many, when a new season is upon us, our food changes too.  Some fruits and veggies go out of season and we either start eating more “soul food” to bulk up for the winter, or lighter foods so we can look bangin’ in our new bikini.  If you have Celiac, some of those changes turn out to be a bit more limiting than you’d expect.  (Check out this funny remake of “Royals” joking about our g-free selections.  LOL!)  Thanksgiving dinner brings on a brand new menu – no more hot, steamy rolls or stuffing, and those leftover sandwiches the next day?  Nope.  Forget about trying all those awesome looking new fried foods at the fair…almost all of it is breaded!  Eating anything at the fair is like playing a game of dodgeball… you have to bob and weave your way around the vendors to find which ones are truly safe with no cross-contamination before you can dig in.  And the chili and soup you’d normally just heat up from the store?  Almost ALL of them have gluten as well.  So, we have to make our own… which, truth be told, is probably the best type of chili anyway, but the convenience of being able to heat up a quick bowl in 10 minutes versus 3 hours of dicing, stewing, simmering and cooking your own is a pretty big deal breaker when you’re tired after work!

Gluten Free no flavor

It’s this world of soup that I’m trying to dip my toe into.  I’ve never been a big soup person – a liquid diet has never appealed to me.  I need substance.  Now, a chili or stew I can can do…there’s actually something of a meal there.  However, I have friends who LOVE soups and go out for soup lunches almost as frequently as some eat sushi!  Since it’s getting colder out, I’d like to jump on that bandwagon and try to love it too!  However, I get nervous about the 20 questions I have to ask every time I go out to eat and try something new… what’s in the ingredients?  How do you prepare it?  Is the chicken stock made from scratch or bought from a mass producer?  Do you add any thickeners?   So, next week, I’m going to just suck it up and try Pho for the first time.  I’m hoping it’s made from scratch…that and the fact that I have absolutely no clue what ingredients go into Asian cooking make this a fun puzzle to solve.  I’ve called to check with them ahead of time but they haven’t returned my calls.  Nice.

In the meantime, I read an article recently that was so on-the-mark with some thoughts I’ve had recently, it freaked me out a bit.  It was about the fact that many Celiacs still have symptoms even through they’ve gone 100% gluten free, and that maybe a gluten free diet isn’t enough to solve the problem.  I have constantly wondered that since I constantly deal with major symptoms even when I might have only had a glass of water!  Knowing our medical community is still on the horizon of this issue, there is still a lot to learn about it, and lots of improvements and discoveries to be made.  In fact, there’s already a group of doctors who are researching some medications that might help!  (Anything you currently see in the drugstores that say they can help, might help the gluten intolerant, but not those with Celiac.)  So, I have signed up to volunteer for this medication research, and have already qualified!  I’m just waiting to hear from the doctor to see when I can meet with him.  I’m kind of excited and nervous at the same time!  What if these meds make my symptoms worse?  (God forbid… it’s already bad enough at times!)  If they work, though, how fun is it that I’d be able to contribute to science and help us all end our gluten free misery!  (I’d dare to insert the Braveheart reference here again, however maybe once is enough.  hee)

As for the beans…the ones in my body, not the ones we eat, I forgot to post an update on Friday, but there wouldn’t have been any news anyway.  The transplant committee decided that they wanted to have a liver specialist take a closer look at my CT scans before they could discuss the transplant.  I did get frustrated with my coordinator and argued that I felt they were splitting hairs at this point and when was it going to be “enough”.  She pointed out that they needed to do “due diligence” before moving forward…what can I do?  Since then, I’ve learned that the liver specialists has gone out of town for the week, so was never able to look over my scans.  Lovely.  The transplant doctor told me that he was going to go ahead and present me at the committee tomorrow anyway and see what everyone says.  So, hopefully, I will be making a quick post tomorrow with good news!


Things I’m thankful for today:

1.  My friend Elissa and her family for giving me and my mom tickets to the Texas/OU game last weekend!  What. A. Game!!!  I had so much fun…thank you so much!

2.  My mom – for taking care of me when I got gluten-ed after the fair.  We looked like quite a pair walking back to our car!  LOL!  Helping you helped me stay focused.  I’m glad you were there!  🙂

3.  I don’t say this often, but my faith in God.  I truly believe we are given these challenges to build our strength and character.  All of this crap that’s going on with me right now is for a reason, and knowing he’s holding my hand through this is making me into (hopefully) someone He’d be proud of.


4 responses

  1. Berts, of course he’s proud of you but most importantly you should be proud of yourself. You’ve come a long way and the light at the end of the tunnel is oh so close now. Keep the faith!
    P.s. I got a match on the donor exchange program. I found out today. A lot of tests still to be done to confirm but it’s hope! I’m REALLY happy x

    1. Thank you Maria! I’m soooo excited you got a match!! You have to keep me updated when your surgery will take place! That’s amazing news! 😀 That light at the end of the tunnel can’t come soon enough for both of us! 🙂

  2. You know what makes Fall so great (for me, anyway)? Summer. As you know, I despise Summer. Every year, Summer- for me- is a brutal trial of surviving. Then the cool air returns, a bit of rain, some beautiful cloudy weather, football, my favorite holidays… and I appreciate just how wonderful Fall is! So it is with all trials- when resolution comes (and it will), the amount of pleasure we get from our deliverance seems to be proportionate to the depth of the misery.

    I am supremely confident you will prevail, and I look forward to the day when you are looking back on all of this as a stronger person for having endured it. I’m proud and fortunately to know you- and am often humbled by how well you handle adversity!

    1. Thanks Pete! Your comment means a lot to me! I can’t wait to laugh at all this too… it’ll be long, hearty, and heard from China when it happens. 🙂

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