I can almost feel the shock when I think back to the moment in 2008 when I learned our glutenous lives were over.  Well, at least Bryan’s was.  We were sitting in a hospital room in Bangkok, Thailand and the results were in:  Bryan had Celiac disease.

I was thankful he had a diagnosis.  For months I had watched my husband waste away to the point he was losing another pound every day and barely functioning.  I would wake him up at night to make sure he was breathing.  It shouldn’t have gotten that bad.

This picture is the moment I knew he would be okay.  He started acting like himself and goofing off in the hospital room.  I remember crying in thanks to the Lord over “the robot” dance.

So, there we were with a diagnosis and I thought, “Okay, sure, we handle that.”  In light of the fact that a few days before I thought my husband might die, anything sounded like a great solution.

Bryan was released from the hospital on his 29th birthday.   Bryan, feeling much better, wanted beef for his birthday.  We lived in India at the time so we ate very little beef. (We had flown to Bangkok only for emergency medical care.)  So, we went to Outback Steakhouse.

Bryan’s mom and I looked nervously at the bread delivered to our table.  One of us told the waiter he could take it away.  I loved bread!  But I loved my husband more.

Over the next months, as Bryan had cravings, I would experiment in the kitchen.  I like to cook and love to bake, so that was going for me.  But back then, there were no Betty Crocker gluten free mixes or even gluten-free all-purpose flour mixes of any kind!  There was no gluten-free pasta!  You had to take a little rice flour, mixed with tapioca flour, mixed with potato starch, add a little xanthum gum, etc.  Sometimes I felt like I was working in a laboratory!  But it was a labor of love.  I wanted to provide for my husband those things he loved but couldn’t have any other way.

Here’s Bryan a week before his diagnosis then 1 1/2 months after:

After many years of failed recipes and excessive experimentation, the gluten-free lifestyle is finally very easy for us. Plus, there’s an excess of gluten free goods even here now: pastas, flour mixes, bread mixes and cookies!

If you’re just starting out on the gluten free journey, be encouraged!  The start might be rocky, but you’ll figure it out.  And when you do, you’ll be able to manage your diet happily and healthily.

I’ll write later about why I’m now exclusively gluten free as well.

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About ohappydaisy (Leslie)

I love happy things. That includes my silly husband, giggly daughter, polka-dots and daisies. We used to live in India, a land far away from the familiar, but we're back in the states. I cook a low-processed, gluten-free, sugar-free menu. I've struggled with my health since childhood. I learn a lot as I journey through my life and hope that readers with parallel paths will be encouraged and inspired towards happiness.

5 responses »

  1. Georgia says:

    Wow. That is crazy. What do they think causes celiac disease? Do they think it’s always existed and people just suffered or that it’s new? I can’t wait to hear why you’re gluten free too!

    • The exact cause is still unknown. We were told by the doctor that it’s a genetic disease and can lay dormant until something, such as a stressful experience, sets it off. I guess moving to India was a little stressful! It the past, it was more commonly known as sprue or celiac sprue. It existed but was diagnosed less frequently. Perhaps the increased use of refined flour in our diets from childhood is causing the increase of the disease diagnosis now, but that’s just me speculating.

  2. MaryKay says:

    More and more I really believe he had it all his life and we didn’t even know it. I Praise God we found out what it was before it was too late! Keep up the good work, so enjoying your blogging. Love ya:)

    • Thanks, MommaKay! I enjoyed looking back through the Thailand pictures while I was looking for the ones I used. I was SO THANKFUL you were there. You surprised me by how well you adapted and I was just happy you were with us. Plus the pictures of you with all of the mango smoothies made me laugh!

  3. Morgan says:

    Oh, man, I remember that “before” time so vividly. We were so worried about both of you guys when you arrived in CM! So thankful you got concrete answers in time. And that Blue Bell is gluten free. 🙂

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