A Celiac Attack

So I’ve been debating for a while now about what to write about next or what recipe to share, but there are days like this that I feel I should share with all of you. I stumbled across a challenge today. A gluten-free challenge being put on by the Gluten Intolerance Group challenging people who don’t live a gluten-free life to experience it for one weekend. This couldn’t have come at a better time.

Today was a day that I feel I should share since I have gotten at least one person to join this challenge. If you already live a gluten-free life and join this challenge, in a way it’s unfair. While yes you get to feel what it is like on a day-to-day basis for those of us unable to consume gluten, you don’t have to worry about the repercussions once the challenge is over. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a wonderful challenge and one that I hope a lot of people get on board with. I signed up even though it’s not a challenge for me but I get to share tips and tricks for this.

Lately I’ve felt very tired, bitchier than usual, unable to focus on the simplest things, etc. The worst is the dizzy spells. I had the first one the day before my birthday in February while we were at California Adventures and my mom and I were on Soaring Over California. My brother found out a few days ago that one of my favorite Mexican restaurants have fried flour tortillas in the same oil as the corn chips, even throwing a few chopped up flour tortillas in with the chips as they are served to the customers. I know that I’ve never eaten one of the flour chips myself, but what quite a few people don’t realize is that gluten can be transferred to other ingredients if cooked on a pan/grill that has not been properly cleaned and sanitized. It’s the same thing for any grease or oil for fried foods. What I have been experiencing the last few days makes sense. The majority of it hit today while I was at work. I was miserable but managed to make it through the entire day (I have a hard time asking to go home sick or call in. Long story. Don’t ask.) but I knew what I was feeling was what my mom and I have named a “Celiac Attack”. We call it that because most of the time the symptoms come out of nowhere and knock you on you ass. Mine has been a minor one but I know I’m going to hurt for a few more days and suffer the consequences of someone not knowing what they are serving to their customers.

I don’t blame the restaurant. It’s a challenge to eat out because you are completely unaware of how your food is being prepared. I will give it a while and go back to that restaurant because, quite frankly, I enjoy their food. I do love to cook but there are times when I need a break. Most of the people in my hometown know me and know that I have a lot of food allergies. I have to be picky. I have no choice. It’s either be picky and be safe than to “go with the flow” and spend hours to days in the bathroom with the worst stomach ache of your life. The abdominal pain that I usually get with a Celiac Attack makes me feel like I’m in the movie Alien that has a creature clawing its way out of the middle of my stomach.

I still have the slight aching of a migraine that’s attempting to reach the surface and really make me suffer (if you’ve ever had a migraine, you know what I’m talking about) and I still feel weak and dizzy. Thank God I’m sitting down while writing this. I’ve tried everything when I’ve gotten a gluten-induced migraine, from Tylenol to Vicodin, nothing works except a dark, silent room and sleep. I have, however, been forced to darken the screen on my laptop and lower the volume on my music.

Yes I have adapted to living a Gluten-free life, but days like these makes me really, really hate my disease. I don’t have any control over it and until scientists and researchers find a cure, I’m kind of screwed, dealing with the repercussions of living a life in a gluten-filled world. So I encourage you to take the challenge and if you really want to feel risky, don’t stop after the one weekend. Try a week, two weeks, a month… whatever you feel comfortable with. Then you would really get to understand what so many of us in this world go through every day of our lives. And who knows how many eyes this experience will open to the ever growing need we have to raise the awareness of Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance.

“The glass is not half empty, the glass in not half full, there is the perfect amount of liquid, the glass is just too damn big. We should be thankful for what we have been given and want for nothing more.” ~ Dustin Pari, TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International