I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2002. I have had several misdiagnosis as the cause of my chronic fatigue, depression and pain. I was given drug after drug after drug and I had severe side-effects to them or they didn't work. I was tested for celiac disease in 2005 and it came back negative. On 8/18/11, I saw a doctor at a clinic while out of town with a sinus infection. He recommended going gluten-free to see if that helped. I intend this blog as a diary of this journey.
Highlights of 2 months GF life
- By Pat Koehler
- Published 10/10/2011
Almost 2 months of GF and here are some highlights. I’m finding it hard to tell if being GF is helping. I had a sinus infection when I began my GF diet, and now have had one for almost 3 weeks (thought it was a migraine for the first week). I believe my body is reacting to the nasty antibiotics and my mind is more focused on fighting off the discomfort than appreciating any benefits GF might be providing. Unfortunately, I can’t separate the discomfort from fibromyalgia, sinuses/migraines, and reactions to medicine to pin point the culprit of my pain. I move forward believing that GF is not hurting me, so it is worth continuing.
I have my fiancé’s support and have been educating him. He was so excited when last week he found a whole section of GF products in a local grocery store. He had ventured out on his own to purchase some GF pasta to make for our dinner. Needless to say, he came home with several bags full of items that we both have tried and enjoy, some better than others. He even had me stop later and buy more of some of the snack items for HIM!
When I first started this, he had gone to the store to purchase items for dinner. He called me to give me the lowdown on what all he’d bought. Most items were perfect – GF soups, pasta, fresh meat, frozen vegetables. But, there was one exception, he had bought frozen broccoli with cheese sauce. He could not imagine cheese (dairy) and broccoli (vegetable) having gluten. After I insisted several times that these were not GF, he finally read the label. To his dismay, his bubble burst. We would not be having broccoli in cheese sauce for dinner after all. He now reads labels when making food purchases at the store.
I’m finding that when I don’t have my meals planned or when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to stop home, I still head for fast food restaurants. I know what few items I can have at the various places and try my best to stick to that list. I take food with me to work to avoid having to scavenger hunt for something to purchase.
When the option is to eat at a sit-down restaurant, I am pleased to find that many chain restaurants (Olive Garden, Chili’s, steakhouses, just to name a few I’ve tried) have GF menus. I ask for a GF menu when we are being seated and explain to the waiter/waitress immediately upon ordering that I am allergic to wheat and to please inform the chef. I use the term chef, never cook, as I don’t want to insult the person preparing my food. Sometimes, the message is not always conveyed to all preparers of my food. I have had salads show up with croutons (after specifically requesting no croutons), bread placed in front of me while we wait for our meal (but my fiancé gets to enjoy that), and fries at a restaurant that stated on their GF menu to exclude them. I had a manager bring out a new burger (both times without the bun as requested) without the fries for me and apologize profusely over the mishap and the time it took to cook the fresh burger. I was grateful that they didn’t just remove the fries and bring the same burger and plate back to me.
Although I get tired of saying “I can’t eat that”, I’m adapting. What I wasn’t initially prepared for was the “it’s only a little bit of…” (bread crumbs, or whatever). I now turn the tables back on the person who says it by asking, “if someone had a peanut allergy, would you tell them to eat just one little peanut?” It took me awhile to come up with something that a typical person could understand. I’ve also run into someone offering me organic bread thinking that it’s so healthy it hasn’t to be okay for me to eat.
So, the learning continues and so does the eating. ..GF eating that is.