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Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Celiac Journey -- Part III -- It was Thursday

Just beginning the series? Here’s what you’ve missed.

Part I -- The Diet Contest

Part II -- “You look allergic.”

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Thanks for the comments last week. I hope you’re enjoying my story. This episode picks up where Part II left off: Tests and more tests. What was wrong with me, anyway?

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How is it possible for life to move too fast and too slow all at the same time? It was about a month from that first Thursday visit when I met Dr. Schultz before I knew for sure what was going on with my body. The time dragged endlessly before me, but now, remembering, I can’t recall having had the time to do a thing. Where did the time go?

I had returned for my follow-up appointment. The tests had come back negative, just like they always had. Dr. Schultz was sure I that I was experiencing problems from something in my diet, and based on our conversations he decided that it was wheat that was bothering me. However, he was not sure that the wheat problem was actually an allergy.

He decided to let me try eating wheat, to judge my reaction to it. It was quite awful - all the ickiness I had been experiencing returned after just a day and a half of eating wheat. So Dr. Schultz tested me for Celiac Disease: a simple blood test would check for the two antibodies produced by those with celiac disease. It would just take a little while to run the tests. I went to the lab. The technician drew more vials of blood. It was a Thursday.

One week later, I was standing near the phone, talking with my husband, debating how long it would be before the test results came back. I had spent the week researching Celiac Disease and its effects, and I was stressed. I didn’t WANT to have an incurable auto-immune disease. (Who does, right?) At the same time, I couldn’t deny that I had many of the symptoms.

I think I was hoping for a simple allergy. We have some weird dietary allergies in my family - what was one more? I could picture us all, sitting around the table, trying to one-up each other’s allergies. Yeah.

The phone rang.

We tensed.

It was the doctor. The tests for both antibodies were positive. VERY positive. I hadn’t eaten wheat for weeks, except for two days when I added it back it to see if it would affect how I felt. Two days, and the results were super high.

I don’t know what I said on the phone. I remember the sunshine in the windows. I remember the look on Jim’s face. I remember hanging up the phone and saying, “Well! … I guess … Aw, crap.” And then I cried. I don’t remember him moving, but suddenly Jim was there and hugging me. It was going to be Ok. It was. We could do it. We could do it together. We could.

There are very few moments that are frozen in my memory. This added one more to my list.

It was Thursday.

3 comments:

  1. Just stopping by to say hello!
    I am really getting into this story! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! What a journey you were on. Fortunately, you had loving support. Looking forward to the next installment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How awful! At least you figured out the diagnosis... but I too would have been hoping for a food allergy. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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