My Celiac Story

About 15 years or so ago I started having symptoms. They showed up in everyday life and has caused a slow deterioration of my health. I didn't know at the time what I know now. I'm just thankful that I know what I know now and can make the changes to a healthier life.

Back then I started getting tired all the time. It got to the point that when I watched a movie (at home or at the theater) I would fall asleep about 30 minutes into it. It didn't matter what time of day. I distinctly remember my (now ex) husband wanting me to watch Braveheart. It took us about 5 times before I actually saw ALL of it.

It also became this joke that I would puke after I ate. In the sense that I couldn't help it, not in the bulimic sense. One night we went to an all you can eat KFC. I wanted the mac & cheese and I jokingly said 'I will eat it till I puke' and I did. We thought it was funny that I could predict that.

I was diagnosed with gallbladder disease and it had to be removed. It took 6 weeks, two surgeries, and several procedures before I was free of gallstones. I was still getting sick a lot. Eventually I was diagnosed with IBS. My body just did not want to function properly.

My (ex) husband and I were fighting constantly to the point I went into a dark depression. I was bi-polar and didn't know it. My stomach was giving me fits and we weren't getting along. Our relationship went completely south and we divorced after being married four years.

After the divorce I started having sinus problems. I ended up having a sinus infection for 4 months solid. My one and only grandfather died after a long fight with Alzheimer's and I was so sick I couldn't go to the funeral. I was miserable and mourning at the same time. I missed a lot of work during this time because it seemed the sinus infection was also causing break outs on my skin. I had skin biopsies done and nothing came out of that. I was put on Bactrum which caused a huge allergic reaction that looked like chicken pox. The dermatologist said 'An allergic reaction to Bactrum looks just like Chicken Pox but you have Chicken Pox'. WHAT!? Again, they took samples. Because of all of this, I have scars on my arms and legs from it. They finally performed the sinus surgery and I felt better but because I had been sick and missed work SO much, I lost my job. I was unemployed, again.

I got another job not long after that and I was so sick with my IBS that I would have to go to the restroom within an hour after I ate. I worked in a call center so being off the phones for any length of time was a huge deal. Sometimes I would be in there an hour. The manager actually said I was getting off the phone to have a 'party' in the restroom. I don't know what kind of party you're thinking about but crapping for an hour is not fun. So, I lost another job.

About 2004, my doctor increased my medication to the point I was taking 2.5x the recommended dosage. I was working at a different call center and still had the same problems. I was doing a really good job even through that. I did a good enough job to make my bonus but they wouldn't give it to me because I had spent so much time off the phone. I got transferred to another team manager and he ended up yelling at me all the time. I got so stressed out that I quit. Another job down.

So, I went to another call center. It was a different center but I did the same thing I had done before, same company, so I thrived. I got employee of the month but the day after my month was up, I was fired because of how much time I had missed. Yet another job... gone.

After that I pretty much gave up. I was sick, in a dark depression, and couldn't hold a job. My meds were so high that I was a zombie and basically didn't move.

It took four months of that before I finally realized I need a change. I committed myself. My depression was so deep that I wasn't doing anything but watching TV and getting on the computer and sleep. In my eyes, I had no reason for living. That was when I found out my meds were way out of control. I got the help I needed and started to move in the right direction.

I was still sick, though. Throwing up for no apparent reason, IBS, depression, anxiety, bi-polar attacks, sinus issues, and many more things that I didn't realize I had problems with until now.

Not until July 16th, 2011. I will always remember this date because it was the day my best friend asked me to go on a 60 day gluten-free diet with her. I said 'sure, why not' and she began to tell me about the training she had just had that day and how when they told her of the symptoms of Celiac Disease that she immediately thought of me. The bi-polar and IBS were the ones that clued her in. She said that if I went on this diet that I might feel better and even if I don't notice it, that I could eat gluten after 60 days and see if there was a reaction.

The next day I went gluten-free. I immediately saw a difference in my health and it just keeps getting better. My depression is so much better already and I am sleeping less and feeling more rested. I've gone from sleeping 12 hours a night and waking up groggy to sleeping 8 hours and waking up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I know it will take awhile longer before I'm fully healed, at least 60 days, but I feel so much better after two weeks. I wish I had known all this 15 years ago. I could have saved myself heartache, headaches, and a number of surgeries. All I can do is move forward from here.

Note: 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease and 95% of them have not been diagnosed. There are 300 symptoms of CD and you could have ONE symptom and be gluten sensitive. Please see this link: 300 symptoms and go GF if you have them. There is no such thing as gluten deficiency and it is so easy to go GF now. It will save your life!