Heather’s Celiac Diagnosis: The Doctor Prescribed Beer and Pizza

Impossible! “It was YOU”, my husband said as he pointed his finger at me. Meanwhile, the thought “it was ME” circled in my own head. My allergist had just called to tell me that I have “celiac markers”.

If you’re unfortunate enough to be “into” celiac disease, that meant my TTG and EMA were both positive. If you’re not a celiac nerd, my blood test showed I may (with almost 100% statistical certainty) have celiac disease.

Miss E had been praying for this.

She wanted me to eat on the “gluten-free side” with her at restaurants. As I love bread, and as Miss E loves me (read: she’s 3 and has to touch me constantly), we invented the “gluten side” for CJ & me and the “gluten-free side” for Miss E and her daddy. Apparently, she was never a fan of this system. Her prayer was answered, and she can’t help but smile every time she reminds me that I will soon be joining her on the gluten-free side.

Since Miss E has the disease and the celiac experts recommend immediate family be tested, I dutifully and eventually (a couple of months after her diagnosis) got tested. I was in no hurry. I don’t have celiac. I don’t have symptoms.

My daughter having celiac disease was certainly my sensitive-stomach, GERD-suffering husband’s “fault”. I guess not. There’s no way to know when my celiac disease started or how long it would have continued, unnoticed, damaging my small intestine and other systems.

Thanks to Miss E’s celiac diagnosis and the Celiac Disease Foundation’s recommendation to test first-degree relatives, that damage is being stopped.

Not, yet, though. Tomorrow, I have my endoscopy and biopsy to confirm celiac disease. Until then, my gastroenterologist has prescribed beer, pizza, pasta, and lots of it! I’m not into beer, but the Italian side of me has been getting my fill of pasta and reminding my husband that it’s “doctor’s orders”.

As much as I will miss my gluten-filled favorites and as much as the gluten-free world is something we were unwillingly forced into, it is a big world. Navigating Miss E’s celiac disease has quickly taught me that I won’t be deprived of much. My home is already gluten-free, my purse is already always packed with gluten-free snacks, and I’ve already discovered many restaurants that serve gluten-free well. I am ready for this journey. The mother part of me even smiles when I think how happy my little girl is to have a gluten-free buddy for the journey. She may not care at 23, but it sure is important at 3.

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