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      • Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

        This FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease SymptomsWhat testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease ScreeningInterpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test ResultsCan I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful?The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-FreeIs celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic TestingIs there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and DisordersIs there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)Gluten-Free Alcoholic BeveragesDistilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free DietFree recipes: Gluten-Free RecipesWhere can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Store.For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity
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    About this blog

    Learner plates no more

    Entries in this blog

    We all have our secrets, some big some small, some we would like to share, and others we just want to hide away from.
    Bolts come out of the blue when least expected and can have the most profound effect on you.
    Sons are for keeps and sons keep me going, I would hate to think where I would be without my sons, all four of them. I would like to think we are close, but I would like to be closer.
    Life is pretty interesting and life can be tough, but life is what it is all about, and the strength of our character to keep us here on this mortal coil.
    Yesterday was disasterously tragic.
    The first tragedy was the fact it was the first day at work after the holidays. Not so tragic you reckon? No, not tragic, but it all went downhill from there!
    First thing at work I was told Mrs R had died. "Mrs R, who is she?" I asked, I had a fair idea, I thought the teller had got it wrong because the person I immedately thought of is not Mrs R, but Miss W-A. It turns out it was who I thought it was, Miss W-A, but pretty much all the staff knew her as Mrs R. That is tragic, but the other tragedy is that she was nearly nine months pregnant and the baby died as well. Her 13 year old son had found her at home. There is speculation about maybe a fit, but we can't go by that until it is known for sure. My heart goes out for her and her family, and all their hopes dashed in a single instant. Her oldest son was a student at the school I work in a couple of years back. I only saw him the other day, said hello, and he walked on right past me. Aye, 13 is an interesting age. I will go to her and her unborn baby's funeral on behalf of the school.

    Further to this tragedy is another one, not so close to home, but no less tragic. One of my older sons school friend's mother died the other day from cancer from what I gather. Every-time I saw her or thought of her family it reminds me of the time our sons got into a bit of strife quite a few years back. Painful memories, but they have grown up since. It makes me feel old she was only 3 years older than me, where-as Miss W-A was a full 11 years younger.

    I don't know if the next bit of news fits into the same tragic arena, but putting it into perspective, it is the lesser tragedy, but it will have far more reaching effects for me and my family. My oldest son rang up last night, chatted for a few minutes sounding quite chirpy then said he had something to say, nothing too bad, but are you sitting down mum? I knew what was coming. Mothers just know what is next. Then he told me, that he and his wife have decided to give up on their 5 year old marriage. I should've been shell-shocked distraught and everything, but I think I was too numb from the earlier bad news, to even think about it too much. It is sad, and we all want what is right for our kids, and we want them to have perfect lives etc etc. Now he has/they have really mucked things up. There will be a lot of anugish and toil in the future as they settle things up. I don't envy them, but I give them credit for making this big decision and going through with it. I do not want them to keep up the pretence of a happy marriage if that is not what it is. I would rather them be happy even if it means making fearful decisions. But I would rather them be happy, whether together or apart. It take two to make a marriage work, and I have been there and done that and picked myself up again after his father and I separated. He realises he had made mistakes when he got married, he admits there were signs. She was a girl from Vietnam living in Sydney and my son was from NZ in Sydney. They met, fell in love and got married. It is not that simple, there was a bit of pressure they felt for them to get married at 21. She was faced with having to go back to Vietnam after graduating from university, but they felt they wanted to be together forever and marriage was the only way they could see that happening. They seemed so very happy at the start. But I guess they were really too young to get married.

    I must go, this is just a little bit of how my life is going these last couple of days, bolts out of the blue and lots of heartache. I feel like packing my bags and going to Sydney to give him a big fat hug. I haven't seem him for nearly 4 years.

    I must go


    Getting Warmer

    By Kaycee,

    Life hasn't crumbled.

    Summer is just around the corner.

    My second son Andrew came home from Australia. He has adapted to my gluten free life quite well. He is a bit hesitant to eat what he perceives as my food, but I tell him to help himself, the only things he can't touch would be my tuna, bread and mueslis. The rest I eat is not typically marketed to be gluten free, but is gluten free non-the-less, so it is not expensive. The last thing I want to do is be a drain on our finances, so I try to go mainstream as much as possible. He has been back for a couple of months and is now employed so all is sweet. I get a text from him most days about lunchtime asking me what is for tea! As you can tell he is a natural born eater.

    Another son has now joined the glasses wearing group, He was a bit reluctant at the start, he did not like the idea, but he felt he needed them, and he did. He has adapted to them, and being nearly 18 it would be quite something to all of a sudden have to face up to, glasses. Which reminds me, my husband is going down today to have his eyes tested. He is all of 52 and has never had an eye examination in his life. How do people get this far without ever having eye exams? I guess not everybody is short-sighted like me and my family.

    I have been to the doctors recently. I had managed to loose a bit of weight as was requested on my previous visit. All the blood that was needed was taken and sent of for analysis. I wasn't quite prepared for what came back. I was thinking my cholestrol would be fine, and my coeliac markers will be down even more. But then the doctors nurse rang and left a message for me to ring back. My first thought was my cholestrol was sky high. So I rang back, it wasn't that and had gone down to 4.3, down from 5. I was pleased, but my B12 levels were down, just a little bit below normal, and I was recommended to take a supplement and be back in a couple of months for retesting. I was quite upset, and thought if they were down, it would've been sooner, not now, not now when I have been gluten free for nearly 2 years. It is not that I don't eat meat, I do, so I am a bit bemused, and am now thinking about jabs in my bum for life. And my coeliac markers are going down down down. I asked the Doctor what would be a good level to have, and he said 0, I'm not sure if that is feasible, but they were 100 to start with and are now down to 28, I can see a zero looming on the horizon. But it does worry me that one day they might be on an upward trend. What would the dr say then, would he look at me and wag his finger and say you have been naughty!

    I have been to the eye doctor too, well the optometrist, and he is monitoring my eyes for glaucoma. The pressures are a little bit up, but all the other testing seems to have been okay. It runs in my family as my dad has it, so it is better to catch it now rather than too late.

    Also just recently I have been getting migraines.

    I am also starting to go through menopause. I seem to get hot flushes everynow and then. I could just be sitting here and feel the heat come on. Especially at night, I am in and out of the blankets, it is rather annoying especially since summer is on its way. How will I combat it? I am lost. A work mate says wine is bad and so is sugar for hot flushes. I will have to have a wine free chocolate free life from now on. I am asking you, where is the fun in that?

    I get the feeling I am falling apart, I know I am falling apart, as I was listening to talkback last night and the hbost was saying at 25 your body slowly starts to shut down, a bit like the younger doctor I had when I turned 30 she told her friends were saying it was all downhill from there. I started off on this entry quite happy with things, but now I am wondering if deep down I am not happy.

    Well I am quite happy with things

    Back Again

    By Kaycee,

    Life is crumbling.

    Funny how when you think things are peachy, things all of a sudden end up pear shaped.

    I have two sons in Sydney, Australia, they have been there for coming on 10 years. Their father, my ex husband has been a major part in their lives over there. I thought things had been fine, they have both been working, one son even managed to set up a business on his own.

    But life gets tough even for them. It now seems the youngest who has been unemployed for a little while, maybe 2 months wants to come home. He has had enough of his father and just wants out. I'd love him to come home, but I feel he is probably a bit more than just unemployed, he could be suffering from depression. I just want him to come home relax, get all the cuddles he has missed, dust himself off, and find himself again.

    Then over the last couple of days I have heard that the other son, who is married, and has recently disbanded his business and is now working for someone else could be depressed. It breaks my heart to think that things are not so good for them. It gets right into the core of me and I feel I have failed them, could I possibly have brought up two sons who cannot cope with life, and yet I still have two more sons at home who I am beginning to wonder whether I am failing them too. I carry the weight of my world on my shoulders and it is oh so heavy.


    Doubting Thomas

    By Kaycee,

    Went to the doctors today for a general health check.

    I did ask him if he could be 100% positive that I had coeliac, and he had to admit that he should've done a biopsy earlier on, as when I had the biopsy done it had been a whole year since I went gluten free. But he did mention that the blood results pointed to problems with gluten. He did say I had coeliac after the blood tests. It's on my records I guess, so I should leave it at that.

    I guess today I am just being a doubting Thomas and looking for a reason to test the diagnosis. But really do I want to test it? if I look deep down, no way. I have to admit my health has improved, my diarhoea has disappeared, no more fatulence and I am never embarassed after I exit a public loo anymore. I am happier, less depressed and I sleep a lot better. One reason I would not go back to gluten is because of the health benefits, it still means I have to think about everything I eat and that means being more aware about what I put in my mouth. All good reasons to stay gluten free.

    If I leave this path, I will go back to being unhealthy as I probably would not care too much about everything I ate. And if I leave this eating pattern, I am sure I will go down hill with my diet, it will be a bit like taking up smoking again and having to handle the guilt that goes with it, and I don't think I am that strong. It took me a whole year to reach a place where I am happy with the diet, I do not want to undo my progress and enter into another phase of adjustment.

    But, and it is a big but, I am left in a kind of never never land. Have I got it, or have I not. Can I cope with that and not go back to gluten? Will I still be just as careful with cross contamination issues? Deep down I do know I have issues with gluten.

    I will just have to give myself a bit of a pep talk. No gluten. I have not slipped and if crunch came to crunch, I think I would give it a miss. Tomorrow I will wake up and say, yes I have coeliac. But not having a 100% diagnosis is a bit hard.

    My blood pressure is a bit up, and the Doctor has given me a challenge to loose a bit of weight and that way it should go down. So I will do that, I did ask for a prescription for the gym, but he said even if he did, I would still have to pay! There goes the gym, I will keep on walking thank you ta. For all that he is a good doctor, I am only his second coeliac patient, so I guess he has been learning as he goes.

    Must go and dry some dishes before my better half starts to throw them at me.


    Been A While

    By Kaycee,

    Yes it has been a while since I've blogged.

    Not much has happened, just been working hard and trying to get on.

    A couple points of interest this week:

    1) a fellow worker looking over my shoulder and saying "you can't eat rice, it has gluten in it." So I proudly pointed out that I was eating sausage as well! She is just one of the mis-informed who should know better. She soon cottoned on and then said with a laugh "there must been oodles of gluten in the curry." This is one thing I hate, people looking over my shoulder, and dissecting what I am eating. I do not like people taking too much interest in what I eat and then pass comment. I don't do it to them, so what gives them the right to go on about what I eat!

    2) Another work colleague this week wanted to know how I felt a year on gluten free. That had me stumped, I would've liked to have said, fine, wonderful, like a new woman. But I had to admit, I am probably just as tired, just as grumpy and with about as much energy as before. This is not all bad, I don't think I was particularly too bad to start with. There are positive things to add, and I do not have problem with my bowels any more, I am happier and occassionaly I have a spring in my step. I think I get that spring thing when I eat food with as little additives as possible. One of the negative things is the fact that everything I eat seems to stick and trying to loose weight, seems nigh on impossible. I am sure that if I ate nothing the weight will still not budge. I will just have to accept that there is not much I can do about it.

    A lot happens in a year
    In a year, I've gone from food ignaramous to foodie.
    Junk food eater, to food nut.
    I used to read labels on products to guage the fat and calorie content, but now it is more for the ingredients. Last week I found out that food labels contain the amounts of protein and carbohydrates in them
    My favourite reading went from bestsellers to food labels. Lol
    I've gone from unhealthy to getting better.
    I have found a new passion. Can you guess what?

    It has been quite a year. A growing year and full of discovery about me. I started of with a feeling about being gluten intolerant, that will be fine, piece of cake I thought, doing this gluten free diet can't be too hard. A bit like when hubby takes over looking after children for a week, he claims that was easy. It was easy those first few weeks, I noticed changes and took stock of them and did a major panic thinking if I ever want this to be diagnosed, I had to move quick before all the gluten was out of my body and undetectable which would mean non-diagnosis. So I took up all my courage, and waltzed into the doctors surgery to talk about bowel habits and food issues. Actually that was the easy part, yet prior to thinking I had a gluten problem I wasn't looking forward to seeing a doctor about something so personal.

    Diagnosis came back positive, and I went yay, at least there are no drugs to take, and my wellbeing is all dependant on diet. That is when the real panic started. It was all too much to take in, my health is in my hands. What did I know about food apart from calorie content?

    I guess the first few weeks were a mental blur, I was stressed, I was tense, I was grumpy and I felt all alone. I kept repeating myself and my son pointed that out, but I used that as a guage to see whether I was coming back down to ground. Once I stopped obssessing and repeating, I knew I was getting there, and on top of that I knew I was getting comfortable with the diagnosis and diet. And the hubby knew by then that everytime we went walking the dog, I was not going to give him a run down on all things gluten. Maybe everyone had a sense of relief then?

    My fears were that I would be eating gluten unawares, but that did not happen, as I was so scared of food the first few weeks, I avoided anything that might look risky. But then I got to the stage where I trusted labels too much, not realising that a flavour or a colour could have a gluten base. If a food had gluten legally in NZ it had to state that. I tried so hard to keep eating the same sort of things, apart from bread. But I came unstuck quite a few times especially when I thought bacon and ham and corned beef were fine, as well as a lot of chocolate, muesli bars and alcoholic drinks, I did avoid beer, so there should be some brownie points there. I just became a mess, the changes I initially noticed disappeared and I was back to the loo more than before, and talk about stomach pains, they were not a problem previously. So I had to re-evaluate what I was doing wrong? I believed that I was eating too much processed foods and if I was having a problem with something I would not know what it was, there was just too many things it could've been. As I knew all food and veges and unprocessed foods were fine, I went back to eating unprocessed food. But then I guess I have been eating processed food all my life, so how can I say going back to it?

    I did do better with unprocessed foods, but then I would rebell and the same problems came back. So over a few months I eliminated most processed foods, learnt how to cook from scratch again and felt better, and when I did eat something I was not sure of I kept an eye on it.

    I've gone from thinking I had intolerances to peanuts, soy, legumes and dairy. The elimination diet for those was hard, as I did not make any progress even after I wasn't eating any of those things. I was lost as to what it was, until my sister said something about water. So I made one change and that was to not drink the water out of the zip at work, and I just would not have believed it, but that appears to have been the thing that kept giving me dairhoea without the stomach issues. So I had reached a stage where I could comfortably bring back suspect foods, and now I am eating everything except the soy. Soy in moderation, but being on such a low food processed diet, there is not much soy there, so I won't worry too much about it at all.

    I have stomach issues occassionally, but it is more when I indulge in cola drinks or coloured fizzy, or it usually is something I never can figure out. It is probably something like touching a bread bag and not washing my hands.

    But that first year has gone, and I am looking forward to this year. I intend to loose weight and this morning it said 80, so that is two kilos down from Jan 1. Way to go!


    Then I Go Wow!

    By Kaycee,

    Today started off bad, at 8 am the phone goes, and it is the hospital telling me that they have booked me in for a gastroscope next Thursday at 8am. I know I need it done, even if I have been gluten free for over a year, just think it took a year for the appointment to come through. The doctor said it would take a while and that by the time I got it done I could've healed, and that it was more to make sure that nothing else was wrong with me. So I will go and do it, but I am nervous, what if they do find something else out?

    Then I noticed an hour later my mail on the dashboard of the car, I asked Jim, :blink: when did that arrive, as it looked like a bill from the optician saying I still owe them over $500 for my new glasses, which I knew and I still have got two months to pay it off. :unsure:

    I was a bit frustrated :huh: by then, as it is going to be paid, just maybe not this week.

    So I opened it and the first thing my eyes saw was congratulations, :rolleyes: oh yeah I thought, they're congratulating me on making a good choice by getting my glasses from them,

    but no, I read further on and they said they'd enclosed a cheque for $233, :) I thought maybe they'd overcharged me as they cost over $1200 and I thought they could've put that towards the amount I still owed them

    and then I looked further and it looked to me that the bill had been wiped :lol: and it was beginning to look [size=3]more like I had won the [/size][size=4]December draw for the cost of my[/size] [size=5]transition lenses to be re-imbursed.[/size]

    [size=6]THEN I GO WOW.[/size]

    I just couldn't believe it, all up I had won $821 being the cost of my lenses! Wow, I have been grinning from ear to ear all day. That means I haven't got $588 still to pay on them. I am going to thank them profusely on Monday when I have got my wits about me back.

    Life is sweet.

    So sweet I decided to make a gluten free date loaf from a recipe I used when I was at school, I just changed the flour. It worked out, it worked out and it is yummy

    But then later Jim had to go to the dentist to get a tooth pulled, and I had to drive back, and before I even got out of the street that the dentist was on I had made a couple of glaring mistakes, but we got back in one piece. Whew.

    On top of that, the diet is going well, so well, have probably lost two kilos since the 1st. Wonderful

    Can't believe it about the $821, probably the most I have ever won. (I was just a bit slow Jim was going to pay the $588 and if he had, I would've got a cheque for $821 and not $233, but I guess Jim would've been demanding it back!)
    I guess I am lucky, I struggled to loose nearly a couple of stone a few years back (was 90kg/14st), and even adjusting to the gluten free diet in the beginning, I did not gain it back. I was really chuffed and told myself that no way was I ever going to get over 80kg, but look at me now, one year on and the weight is creeping back up, I am now 83 kilos, which is 13 stone! It is all the Christmas extra eating that is doing it. Not so much chocolate, but in general just eating more.

    :( I feel I have been dieting or in need of it, all my life. At 16 I lost a stone as I was just over ten stone. But that went back on, and maybe a little bit more. I remember just after getting married I was about 9 and a half stone. Good. Then the children arrive and with the first one I put on a horrendous amount, and the doctor put me on a diet while I was pregnant! But it was so so hard to do that, I was excessively hungry. My son was born, his placenta was small and I was asked if I smoked. Not I had given it up the moment I thought I was pregnant. But you know what, the weight just slipped back off. I was chuffed and I guess I rested on my laurels with number 2 son, the weight went on, same problem excessive hunger (Is that a symptom of coeliac while pregnant?) I know I got excessively hungry the last year before I was diagnosed. And I got the same questions about the size of his placenta and whether I had been smoking. But you don't need to guess what else happened, the excess weight did not fall off. So another diet, I lost a heap, then I got sick with a cyst on my ovary (the pain was worse than childbirth), which needed surgical removal in 1986. and I sort of related dieting to getting ill, which really is a bit lame, but the connection was there and yet a few years later another diet and another health connection! Tell you about that one soon.

    So from this point, I have had two more children gained another few stone to bring me up to that awful 14stone which put me into the obese catergory! I did not like that, never have, but I was a bit reluctant to diet, I would walk and walk and keep active, but I could not push myself to diet until I reached that magical 14 stone in late 2004.

    Then into the diet. What amazed me (as I already had signs of coeliac, that I didn't relate to anything), upon increasing my fibre as in fruit and veges, my diarhoea almost cleared up in the first couple of weeks. I thought fibre would've worsened the problem! In hindsight it cleared up because I had drastically reduced the glutens in my diet. But that phase did not last long and the d came back as there was still gluten in my diet.

    By March 2005 I had lost all the weight that that diet was going to give up. I was 77kg 12 stone 7? and quite happy, and still trying to diet, but this is where I got hungry hungry again, and there was no way I could even seriously try to loose more weight. But at least the weight had stabailised and now I was thinking about finding out what was wrong with me. I was a bit embarrassed thinking about going to the doctor, I thought it would be awful complaining about my bowel habits. From about March I realised that what I had was serious, I realised, (always have really) that it is not normal to have diarhoea everyday of your life (for the last 10 years) and I was having problems with emergency evacuation of my bowels whenever I had anything that was yummy, as in shouts at work, or going out for a meal. Food was a problem, I was starting to get heartburn and that was horrible. My health was going downhill and was starting to impact on myl life at work, at home and everywhere. I was getting grumpy. :angry:

    So I more or less diagnosed myself, which is not hard, as it was something I ate everyday, and as my sister suspected gluten intolerance in herself and got a result that was borderline, so I took the bull by the horn, tried gluten free, then realised more or less immediately, hey, this is really improving my life, hot trotted to the doctor (it was not hard to do as I realised it wasn't something embarrassing like worms!) and told him what I thought was wrong with me. He listened and took the tests and the results came back weakly positivie for Coeliac. I felt like yelling, I don't want that, I want the gluten intolerance!

    So there you are, another diet only to find out that I was ill.

    But I do want to loose more, especially what I put back on! New Year is just around the corner, and I will seriously get back into the weight loss diet, (I am 99.9% serious with gluten free). Notice just 99.9%, sometimes it gets so frustrating that like last night I will grab a couple hot chips from my hubby's plate. He reckons it is not worth telling me off, as I won't listen. I should listen I know, as there was gluten in there, but this is one risk I am willing to take once in a blue moon, maybe once every couple of months, as the gluten will be neglible. Go on tell me off, I know it is wrong for my health, but it is no worse than those accidental glutenings that I get from sources unknown, only difference is this way it is a calculated risk, as it is anytime when you eat out.

    Christmas has all but been and gone.

    A lovely day, slept in a bit, thankfully the boys are old enough to not jump on our bed first thing in the morning demanding to be allowed to open presents. Thankfully they don't since they are 6 ft tall!

    No 4 son gave me a book called Smitten, with oodles of photos of cute little kittens. They are so adorable, I will have another kitten in a flash. No 4 son got from me The Beatles Anthology as he is so into the Beatles. He makes me feel like I have gone back in time to the 60's. I thought Ringo was the one then! Now I would go with John Lennon. No 3 son gave me a DVD of U2's 18 videos. Awesome, just what I wanted. I have loved U2 since the 80's, and then more recently got into Robbie Williams, but U2 will always be a favourtite.

    I rang my mum and dad, mum was in the process of baking bread, so every now and then I would hear the whirl of her breadmaker as she checked to make sure it had enough flour etc in it. Dad was just chilling out, wondering if I was on top of it all. And yes, I could tell him I am getting there at last. I know I am getting there, as I told my hubby yesterday morning that I couldn't wait till Christmas was over and I could get back to eating normal food. That is great coming from me, as it means acceptance of my diet and best of all I even subconsciouly call it normal.

    I rang my oldest son and his wife in Sydney and they were getting ready to go to his father's and brother's place across town for lunch. I will have to ring him again soon, as he will be 26 on the 1st. Told him not to get older, as it is making me feel old, and he agreed, and would be pleased to go back to 24.

    No 3 son got a call about an hour ago from me. He is fine, in a new job and thinking about coming over here for a holiday this year sometime. I miss them all, but they are only a phone call away, but at Christmas even that is too far away. I talked to his dad, my ex husband. He seems fine, he is on his own with two young sons, and he has more of a battle than me. His youngest at 4 has diabetes and the older one at 8 has Aspergers. Thankfully our sons the older ones are okay. I can relate to Aspergers as a friend of mines sons has it, and I remember when teacher aiding that he was into everything and wanted to know everything and asked me questions I could not answer, he was very focused on electrical gadgets, especially fans. He has grown up, not really as he is only 13, but he is a honey, and still has a determination in his mindset.

    Stupid moment of the day yesterday. I told hubby that he never put the dog food back in the fridge. He came back to me and said, but they are your crackers. Yes I got called crackers for the rest of the day! Duh!

    Grumble. I did everything right and ordered a special meal for me from the caterers for our work Christmas lunch a few days beforehand. You know what happened on the actual day. Plates full of food arrived, and I asked what was gluten free for me, and I got a dumbfounded look from the delivery people saying probably nothing. I just can't believe how close to tears I got. They were welling in the back of my eyes, and my first thought was to run, go home and scream.

    But I pulled myself together and managed to ring the caterers and ask for the person who had taken my call previously. Unfortunately she was on holiday, but the person at the other end was quite prepared to send something up for me. So I went with that, but was still pretty miffed, but pleased that I got a meal, even if it was toasted ham sandwiches with brie avocados etc and a selection of fresh fruit and cheese and rice crackers and a chocolate chip biscuit for desert. I was miffed as everybody else had festive fare, and me something quite unfestive. Not even a strawberry! And even more miffed as I had told the person previously when I first made contact that I did not care for gluten free bread, and what did I get 4 slices of it.

    I lived, but a workmate was holding onto her stomach about an hour later, and I had a case of dejavu, as that is precisely how I felt after last years Christmas lunch at work. But this year, I could get up and clean the staffroom and still manage to walk the dog without thinking I ate too much. I rang up the next day and thanked the caterers for bringing my lunch up.

    So I have nearly come up to my first anniversary of being gluten free, it is an achievement. Just another week away.

    People say the first year is the hardest, and I will agree with that. There is a lack of litrature out there, but I am noticing more cookbooks appearing and more general knowledge about the disease.

    I will recap on my first year soon, but for now it is nearly 10pm and I have eaten so much, that I feel like a blob.

    Christmas for one reason or another is not always the most joyous time of the year as we expect and always hope for.
    Sometimes for one reason or another, it can be the worst time of our lives.

    I have had one of those awful Christmases, but I hate calling it awful, as there some wonderful and not so wonderful memories, but by calling Christmas 73 awful, would belittle the memory of my brother.

    This is sad, but probably not as sad as it can get.
    My brother was 19, I was 16 and this was 33 years ago. Time heals, yes, but memories thankfully, are always there and I will never forget.
    David, had just gotten married and he had just welcomed his new son into the world a few weeks before. They were both young, his wife was 17.

    It was the build up to Christmas, school was out and we had just moved from the country into the town, and I had just started my first job in a bank. It was the beginnings of a new start, as in everything had changed within the last couple of months.
    I remember riding my bike, I remember thinking about my family, of three sisters and four brother. A big family. But I was out on my bike riding around the streets thinking things about Christmas and family. I don't know where the thought came from but I was thinking about my brothers and how I didn't really know them, as they were all older than me, three of them anyway. Somehow I got to thinking how sad it would be to loose someone at Christmas. Those memories haunt me, as I do wonder if subconscioulsy I knew something. That scares me, but I do wonder.

    A couple of nights later, Friday the 21st, 1973 I had a friend around home and he left early, and I had for the first time in my 16 years that I could remember the most awful nights sleep. I tossed and turned, especially when I was trying to get to sleep. But I was not overly concerned, and left that in the back of my mind.

    But next morning at about 10 o'clock people were out looking for David as he had not come home. Still no alarm bells for me as it was Christmas, he could be at a friends house. I never expected the worst. (I do now in those circumstances! I am a worry wart, usually for no good reason)

    But then a couple of hours later, my father called us girls around, and shuffled us into a room, and probably had to tell us the hardest thing he had ever had to tell anyone before. They had found my brother and his motorbike off the side of the road. Dad said Mum did not know, so dad still had to go into another room and tell my mother. I wished I could take those words back. My world fell apart, our world fell apart. My brother dead, my new sister-in-law a widow at 17 and a three week old baby boy fatherless! They estimated the time of the accident about 10pm. Can it get much worse than that at Christmas? I know it can.

    For some reason or other, I was sent out on my bike to look for Bill my sister's husband who had been partying the night before at a friends house. I found him, he had a sore head, and told him that he should come up to our place. But he didn't want to, I kept pleading, but I didn't want to tell him why in front of his friends, but I couldn't help it and blurted out that David had died. He did go home, pronto!

    So the lead up to Christmas had changed. Funeral arrangements to prepare, the sheer tragedy of loosing someone so young is so hard. I went to my grandmothers place to stay for a couple of nights. I did not really want to be there, as I wanted to be with my family, but my grandmother was besides herself, saying it should've been her that died, and yes she did need someone with her for a few days, but me being a bit of an immature 16 year old, was probably not the best choice, but I hope I did help her.

    David's funeral was Christmas Eve, on a bit of a wet day, it was so sad. My eyes were full of tears, and I think they played at the chruch morning has broken, but definately they played Amazing Grace, and I sang that through tears. Acutally the tears are not too far away from me now, they have been kept in check for a long time, but this year, David is in my mind more than ever in the lead up to Christmas.

    For months I could never count on anything being permanent ever again. I was waiting for the next tragedy. People who I would bump into in the street, would ask how my parents were, they did not ask how I felt. I think I was slightly depressed as my whole world had changed and nothing was ever the same again, I had lost my innocence, and was thrust into the world whether I was ready for it or not. Welcome to adulthood!

    Christmas 73 was hard, and bitter sweet. There was the weak cheer of Christmas time, we all as a family went through the motions. We were all together, not wanting to celebrate, but tradition went ahead through the tears. I remember that Christmas with all its mixed emotions. It was so sad, but now years later, I can accept it happened at Christmas time. I don't accept the fact that he died, but if he had to die, Christmas is not such a bad time to die. Macabre? No, just that Christmas brings David's memory back for me. It keeps the Chistmas spirit in my family, for me anyway, in that David is still with us in spirit on Christmas, and he will always be part of my Christmas, which is the day for togetherness and memories.

    My brother David (three years older than me), as I remember was a bit of a rebel. He was a tough boy, if I was scared of one brother, it would be David. I unfortunately had night terrors when I was young and he, being the nasty older brother told me that one day I would faint and never wake up again! Lovely boy. So as you can see, I was a bit of a scaredy cat. But he was tough. In some ways it was a bit like growing up with a gang of brothers. The three of them were all close together in age, and would do everything together, even get on my tricyclye and wreck it! David had long blonde hair, and my youngest son, now has the same long blonde hair and does look a bit like him, but he is not a rebel. David married young and at times you can't help but wonder what life would've held for him and his wife and child. I will remember him being told by his mother and family to give up smoking, and he turned around and said no, because he might be run down by a bus tomorrow. He lived for the day, whether it was smoking or not, and did not concern too much about the future, but how many of us do think about the future being so young?

    I have had other hard Christmases, as in marital disharmony, financial worries. But I would rather remember my brother along with the time my son spent Christmas in hospital, instead of those. It is these times that bring families together, and are what memories are made of. It is in these circumstances that the true nature of Christmas is experienced. It is not the financial side, as in gift giving that is important to me, but the being together as family.

    But I know there are others out there with equally sad Christmas stories, and I feel for you and my thoughts are with you. At first the emotions are so raw, and so hard to deal with.

    I think I have mainly written this for myself, and it does not matter if nobody else reads this, as Christmas should be a happy time, and not a time for grieving, and I do not want to depress anybody, that is why I have put the warning up top.

    So if my Christmas threads have been tinged with sandness, this could be the reason, or else I am just a sad old sock.

    I wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year.


    Bergs And All

    By Kaycee,

    Well, I brought on the licorice, and surprise, surprise, I did not get sick. It is five days on and I did not get sick. But there have been niggly things, like more wind, grumbly stomach, bloatedness, and today I am not really thinking straight, having one of my bad thinking days.

    But I know I shouldn't have eaten it, and it will just make it harder for me to say no again. I was walking the dog with Jim and asked him if he had some money so I could go to the dairy, not saying what I was going to get. So he gives me the money, and before I am out of that shop, I have a gob full of licorice allsorts. Did he tell me off? No, probably too scared too. We sat and we waited, convinced I would get sick, but no, not even that. Luckily, the licorice allsorts did not even taste like I remembered, they weren't that great. I have learnt something, maybe I am not such a senstive coeliac after all, but other things do bother me, I will just have to find out what. But I must not get away from the fact that my results were positive, so it doesn't really matter what symptoms I have after gluten, I should really keep away from it.

    There is nothing ever black and white with coeliac. It makes me wonder if different things have different kinds and levels of gluten. Quite easy to have different levels I must admit, but maybe there are different grades of it. Maybe the longer it has been packaged as in lollies, the less potent it is. Just a thought. I remember once in the beginning I ate a sandwich, with no untoward symptoms, but a week later I had a burger from Burger King, and I was real crook within two hours.

    Now to change subjects.

    It is quite interesting in that off the coast of NZ, as there are icebergs making their way up the south island. It sounds so surreal and bizzare. There are helicopter crews out there, that are making a mint by flying out tourists to see the bergs. They look fascinating. There have not been icebergs up that far since the 1930's. I will not mention anthing about global warming.

    Here I am, nine months gluten free, and I want to eat something that makes me sick.

    Why would that be? It is like a craving, I have to have it, and I do know it will make me sick, but I feel I have to have it.

    It is not a plain sandwich I want, nor even a hamburger, or a cake or a biscuit.

    But I want a piece (or a bag) of licorice allsorts!

    What scares me, is that I think I will give in. I am even planning the experience. I know I shouldn't, but I try to reason with myself, and then I tell myself that if I eat it, that will be that, I will get sick and I will be over it. But what a way to get over my love affair with a licorice allsort. But this is another hurdle to get over. They are my absolute favourite sweets. I should really forget about them and buy a box of chocolates.

    It is now I need support from those closest, but I feel nobody in the family really appreciates what I have given up and if I say I want something naughty they just give me a funny laugh and say no. It's like for them gluten would be the easiest thing in the world to give up. And I am guessing if I eat the no-no food I will get no-no sympathy at all. So instead, I should just mooch around and sulk with the biggest chip on my shoulder! They will really love that.

    Well our pet Mintie was put down. It was so hard as me and Ryan were there. My big boy bawled his eyes out at the vets, and I was no better. But I can think of Minite and it puts a smile on my face, but I miss her so much.

    Must go, and keep busy and think about what's for tea.



    By Kaycee,

    It has been a difficult couple of days.
    First my husband had to go to the High Court to sort out the will his father had left in trust for him and his stepmother. It is a big long story, and it has gone on for quite long enough, about four years. So on Friday, it was all sorted out and both parties seem relatively happy. But it has cost quite a bit in the process, if only people would do what they should. So he has had his day in court.

    We had to travel into Auckland, and as that is about 3 hours away, we had to stay the night there. That is quite nice, to get a day off work, and a day away from home. I had to make sure I packed enough food so that I would have no chance of starving.

    We get up early the next morning so that we would have plenty of time to get to court. And that is when my 17 year old son rang, I hate that when you get phone calls from home. They usually mean bad things, especially early in the morning. My son informed me that the cat was not too well, and sort of kind of can't use her back legs. That so upset me, here I was miles away, and there was a disaster going on at home. Poor cat, all of 15 years old, and there was nothing I could do. There was not a lot they could do either. No car, and both had to go to school or work. I don't know if we made the right call, but they had to go do what they had to do and leave poor old puss at home. As far as I could tell, the cat wasn't too disturbed by the fact, but we had to put her on hold for a little while.

    Here I was,I had the chance to do some serious shopping in Auckland, while Jim went to court, and I just wasn't in the mood. My mind was on our cat. I did manage to find a copy of gluten free for dummies, and bought that. The thing I found terrible about Auckland, and it is probably the same world wide, is the smell of food that is everwhere. And you can't walk 20 metres without cafe's. I was not hungry, but my senses were being assaulted. I thought I would have to find some food, so I did try. All that I seemed to find was muffins, or coconut macaroons! Nothing really wonderful, but I settled on a muffin about lunchtime, and that was it. It seems all the food places think if they make a cake or muffin for us that is fine.

    I met Jim at 1pm when they broke up for lunch. We went to a cafe and there was nothning for me, not even a banana! So I settled for coffee, while he had a meal. I'd had a muffin previously, and that sort of settled heavily in my stomach, and I was too stressed to eat really. I just was not hungry!

    So Jim goes back to finish off the proceedings. By 3pm we were on our way home. I wanted to get home to check on puss, but I didn't want to go home, scared for what I might find. My son had got home extra fast afer school and checked on Mintie. She was still unable to move, and we were about an hour or two away at that stage, so we keep going. But my son is a real hero, he cleaned Mintie up and made her comfortable till we got home. He should be a vet, not the pop musician his long hair would have him aspire to!

    So the minute we got in the door, we were more or less out and away down to the vet. 6pm and luckily the vets were still open. We had to wait at least an hour before being seen. We were told, it could be a tumour, or she's been hit, or else it was a slipped disc. An xray would show more. So we left Mintie for the night. She seemed totally un-upset by it. At the best of times, she absolutely hates the vet! So do I, they belong in the same catergory as dentists!

    So we got home, fed everyone, fish and chips, but I just wasn't hungry, couldn't eat. It was a hard night sleeping. We could not ring till 11 am this morning. But they still had no word on her. So we still had to wait, and it is so long and hard waiting, and waiting. I was walking around the shops, as we had to go down for a couple of things like a zompbie. But I got the phone call I wanted. Yes she had been xrayed, and unfortunately or fortunately nothing has shown up, but she appears to have feeling in her legs again, but still can't use them. I think they have been pumping in steroids. The vet thinks it might be a prolapsed disc. But this is where it gets tricky. We could send her to Auckland to have I think it is a mono xray for $500 and this might point to surgery which could be at least $2,000. What do you do? It is hard, on the one hand as she is at least 15 years old, and there is no guarantee that surgery would do the trick, or even if she would survive it. Do you just say, she has had a good life, and let nature take it's course, or even dare I say, help her out. But then she is a very much loved pet, and I remember why we got our cat, and that was because, my 17 year old son at 2 was a bit wary or scared of harmless cats. Every child needs a cat or dog. And Mintie was at the vets and we just fell in love with this little bundle who is a light ginger and has a flat face, and the vet called the colouring cameo and her looks as exotic. She was not in such a good way at the time 15 years ago, as she had a broken leg and was at the vets coming right. Her original owners could not afford the cost of the vets bill, but the vet at the time thought she was worth putting money into, and then to offered her to a good home. So we hopefully have been the good home that that vet had imagined.

    We went to see Mintie this afternoon, and she still seems quite happy where she is, purring away she doesn't appear to be stressing out. Meanwhile,Poppy the dog is a bit stressed, but I think that is because there is fireworks going off as I write this. She just hates the bangs that they produce, and will worm her way inside if she can. They should ban fireworks!

    So Mintie is still down at the vet's, as it is, we will wait till Monday and see if there is any improvement. Unfortunately, I can't see us being able to afford $3,000 in surgery. But hopefully, as she has shown an improvement, she might be on her way back. Time will tell, and it is tough. The dog Poppy will miss her, as after her daily walks, Poppy comes inside to eat what the cat has left behind in her bowl. But the bowl today is empty, so Poppy is missing out!

    Must go, it has been hard,


    Sugar Hater Me

    By Kaycee,

    There is nothing worse than a drop of rain (it was a big drop) in the middle of the night to remind me that I have washing on the line! And then, this morning, my son, the big 6 footer can’t find any jeans. Guess where they are? On the line!

    I wake up this morning feeling like a truck has run me over. I only had a small glass of red wine. Usually not a problem. But then the sugar hater me, indulged in 2 cans of orange fizzy. How could I do that? That was easy. It might be the sugar buzz making me feel hung over, but I did feel a bit rough during the night. I will deal to that last can of fizzy quite ceremoniously later on, maybe after I get out of bed.

    At work yesterday, a fellow colleague commented that I must have half my pantry at work, as I have pottles of this and that. Ha ha ha. Well it is a bit hard to spread my crackers before work, they go soft, so I usually bring it all in along with my lactose free milk. I just so hate making my lunch in the morning. I try to use as little preparation as possible for foods, or else it could be an all day thing, and I need to work, and have time to read this forum. So it is either left overs or crackers. Just think I will have to get into making salads soon when it gets hotter. They take just about as long to make, as to eat.

    And then a couple of other workmates come to me with their food issues. One who can identify with coeliac and was wondering whether she has it, but the tests came back negative. But there could be a chance, I did say there could always be a false negative. The other was questioning me about fibre and how to get more. Wrong person to ask I am, as it is hard for me to eat a lot of fibre, (do I need much?) but I do know where to get it, so I try to help her. Do they see me as a bit of a health guru, which is so totally not who I really am. Once I used to eat anything I wanted, just worrying a little bit that there might be a bit too much fat in it, but not overly concerned. But now fat and sugar and gluten are dirty words for me. Someone said, with what I eat, I will be fading away soon. I wish it was that easy, so far, not fading away. But I do think my tum is not as big, that is until I eat or drink milk, when it becomes a bit bloated, and hey, my jeans aren’t quite as comfy.

    Later, much later today. We went down town, and it has been awfully wet all day. Yuck, and it is still raining. I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for ages, and she kept going on about me having lost weight. That made me feel so wonderful, as I haven’t lost any for nearly two years! She was telling me that she has diabetes. I know which disease I would rather have, and that would be coeliac, as I think in the long run it is easier to manage, but I guess it is harder than others, because one little slip up and then I will be crook. That is why I have to be so vigilant with what I eat and unfortunately, drink.

    Still life is great and I am happy. I feel the fog is finally lifting and getting on top of everything.

    Another episode in going gluten free. As you can see it has been a battle and a long journey, and now six months later I am still getting there with my food woes. I do embrace the diet, but it has been a slow journey to get to here.

    1 Feb
    Hot night. Jim is relaxing as after yesterday, he is totally whacked. He gets impatient about not coming right.

    2 February, 2006
    Went to Dargaville with Jim. He kept going on about not feeling right. So I told him to go to the Doctor, and he did. He is still recovering from heat stroke, so he needs another week off work. He worries so much and makes me worry. Apparently otherwise he is fine!! Come next week he will be worrying again!
    Have not got my results back from blood test. Went to Burger King and I had a burger (What was I thinking?) Now three hours later, not feeling too wonderful but coming right. Ryan still goes on about his health, he should go to the doctor.

    3 February
    First day back at work, teachers only, cool.
    Meetings all day till about 2.30pm
    Morning tea and lunch were put on, but could I eat any? No way.
    Jim took us out to tea. Just to show me how hard it is to avoid flour, I am sure. I did ring up to find out my blood test results. Everything fine, I was told. I asked even for the gluten intolerance results, but was told, oh, they’re not back yet. Maybe next week.
    It is hot, not feeling too great. Worked too hard? (I worked out it was the hapuka steaks (Fish) we had eating out, was probably coated in flour, I was still learning.

    4 February
    Tired today. Felt so worn out, and that is only after one day at work.
    Went to supermarket in town and you know what, the bread smelt yuck. Not very inviting at all. Thankfully.
    Had a lot to drink, but it don’t seem to have gone to my head.
    I feel my problems are not being appreciated by Jim. I need support. It is not easy having a sore head for a month. It is getting to me. But Jim is sick as well.

    5 February
    Went to Hot Rod car show. It was hot but good. I’m still moaning about everything. Jim is much better.
    6 February

    According to Jim, did not a lot. Cleaned our room out. I am a bit better. Had a hard night trying to sleep as it was a bit sore (jaw).

    7th February
    A long day, right into work.
    Still no results and it is getting to be a pain watching all the bread going down people’s throats. Ear, or whatever still annoys. Feeling sorry for myself, that I am.

    9 February
    Still no results. Pigged out on 4 biscuits and got crook. Burps and sore stomach.

    11 February
    Me thinks my head is getting better.
    Me felt sorry for myself this morning.
    Rang my sister Liz and she thinks her problem was the water, but considers herself a bit intolerant to gluten. I still think I am intolerant. I feel so much better without it. But I felt low today.

    12 February
    Lazy day.
    Noticed a rash I have on my leg has disappeared . A bit like my wart on my thumb, nearly gone. But the rash is an interesting one. It was more red than itchy, and no problem. Lack of gluten killed it. Or lack of yeast. Getting used to no gluten. Stomach is good, unless my head has got good powers of persuasion.

    13 February
    Jane, Dr’s nurse rang up to say my test came back as weakly positive for coeliac. Made an appointment for tomorrow. (I initially thought, I was only looking for an intolerance, not coeliac! Okay weakly positive is not too bad. But then I thought hell, that means the same results, no gluten ever)

    14 February
    Went to Doctors and it is all positive and no mention it might not be. So I have had my last sandwich, and I have learnt how to spell a new word and that would be coeliac.
    Most well, a few know at work. (The boss has had stomach complaints and has been checked for coeliac but his results have always been negative, so he knows what I am facing)
    Feeling a bit like I am running around in rings. Nearly cried at the doctors, had to pull myself together.

    15 February
    First day of the rest of my life. It is quite time consuming and mind blowing. But I got to eat. But I don’t get nearly as hungry.
    Rang mum and dad this morning and Liz this afternoon. Hopefully they will check themselves (So far only dad has)

    16 February
    Another day, pretty tired. Off to work. Slept better last night.

    17 February
    Tired tonight. Coping okay with diagnosis. Just think poison. I’ve been trying to kill myself for year. Suicidal.
    I was all ready to have a nasi goreng after talking to the guy at the Chinese, but I’m too scared to eat something I can’t read a label for. Silly I know, but I am scared of food.
    Am on my second rum, but I have not really had tea, unless you call 4 pieces of chocolate tea.

    18 February
    Not much sleep last night. Walked dog.
    Went to Burger King, thinking I will be fine while they ate, but no, I could not sit there. All of a sudden it got too hard to sit at BK, not that I was hungry or felt I was missing out. But I was going to cry so I had to go. Still wanted to bawl when I got home, so once Jim went to have his nanny nap, I took off and walked for a couple of hours. I probably shouldn’t have as I was tired and hardly ate all day. Weight is just dropping off. My relationship to food has changed. It is more an enemy than a pleasure.
    Ryan says I repeat myself. And I am so sure I do. It gives me a chance to adapt to this and all the woe is me stuff. Then I will be able to think about something else, apart from me.

    20 February
    I think everyday is getting better. Still probably tired, and a bit foggy.
    Leewyn asked if I could do Oscar (after school care) every Friday night. I probably won’t do it. Need to put myself first. Maybe next term I can take on more. But I think my new diet and circumstances are about all the extra I can handle Emotions are pretty raw at present. Just need time to get back up. Working 6 hours a day, is plenty long enough.

    21 February
    Good day. Still tired and not sleeping as well. Keep with the walking.

    22 February
    Still sleep problems. But no overeating problem. Food no problems. Bread still stinks.
    Worrying about Ryan and Brad’s results. Got to stay strong for them, even if I feel like falling over.

    24 February
    Worked late.
    Was going to do the nasi goreng thing, but still not ready.

    25 February
    My library commitment day. Once every 6 weeks at the community library. There were two books sitting on the table beside me, as if waiting for me, about coeliac. They belonged to another library and needed returning. Barb offered to take them down and have them issued to her and give them to me. So I have read all of the relevant pieces. They were so good. Fog is lifting and I am sure, and I am no where repeating myself as much. So they can’t take the mickey out of me as much.
    I actually made a gluten free chocolate cake that Ryan loved. I’m getting good.

    26 February
    A good day yesterday. A bad day today. Been to the toilet a bit. Feel seedy. Pondered on what I had eaten.

    27 February
    Felt sick after I got to work. What from I don’t know, only for about an hour, then right as rain.
    Got Ryan and Brad’s results back and they were normal. Brad is yay, Ryan is “Oh my god, what is wrong with me” He was convinced he had coeliac, but he doesn’t have.

    28 February
    Not the greatest day. Still a bit off colour. No diarrhoea, just my stomach, well intestines, just know it is there. Probably seedy. But not nice. Will have to change to more foods from scratch. And I was doing so well, but something has crept in.

    1 March
    Under 12 stone, just lovely
    Bad day. Since Sunday not been tip top. Feel like I want to go to the loo, as in diarrhoea, but nothing much to show for it. Came home early after lunch as felt rotten. Had to let Leewyn down as she wanted me to do after school care, but I just couldn’t Probably was the lentils. (I am looking into peanut allergy, and watching legumes now as well)

    2 March
    Another day. Still trying to eat right so I don’t feel yuck. So hard, so hard. Bowels still not right after Sundays food. I’m a worry. If it don’t come right off to docs.
    Went to see Lil. She has her health woes too and needs to loose weight, have her blood pressure go down and same for her cholesterol.
    Spent an hour at the supermarket and got totally depressed. Woe is me. Roll on weekend. Do the beach to basin walk on Sunday, so I best be well.

    3 March
    Bad day today. Must’ve been a Friday. Feeling a bit under the weather. Things, are getting better, but I am feeling as if a cold is coming on.
    Felt a bit low, worry about myself.

    4 March
    Walked Poppy. Went to Dargaville field days with Jim. Saw a few people we knew.
    Went to see my Aunt. Good to see her. Told her about my health and she quite understands it and is quite sympathetic. Frances called me a little bit queer. An endearment I am sure, especially from a nearly 80 year old.

    5 March
    Did the beach to basin walk, took 49 minutes. Proud of myself. Am getting a cold, but it did not make any difference to my energy. Tired now though. Been on my feet all day. Stomach has settled down.

    6 March
    A bit croaky, but workable

    7 March
    Still croaky, but had a bit of a cough last night and again at work. So went to chemist to get a cough mixture, without gluten. Think I have got the right one. But is was amazing how many have gluten in them.
    Boss tole me off as he don’t like the coffee I had bought. Tough I told him.

    8 March
    Still croaking. Was worried about a spot on my left cheek. So much so made an appointment with Dr later today.
    Spot will come out. It is probably a cyst or something. Out next Wednesday. Ouch. Well I could’ve left it but then that would bug me. What is a scar?
    I actually had a steak fried rice from the takeaways at the roundabout. It was yum and I felt rather brave. Still fine so it must’ve been okay. But that has been my first takeaway meal in about 3 weeks.

    9 March
    It must’ve been okay, no reactions.
    Thinking whether doing right thing about getting spot removed, Well it has only been around 4-5 weeks and quite noticeable, so I would rather take it out now rather than see if it would grow bigger, Better a small scar than a larger one.

    Jim’s birthday, 51 today
    Was a good day until I got hungry. Hungry all day actually. But more so at tea time, supper time. I just wanted a chocolate biscuit. I’d had enough of not being able to eat this nor that. But I held off and just ate everything else!

    25 March
    Went shopping
    Bad mood. Bad mood. Grumpy and angry.
    Jim been torturing me with food. When I say I’m not hungry, I don’t want chips waved in front of my face.
    I had some flour tonight. A little bag of grain waves and a little bit of KFC I waited. I shouldn’t of had, but sooner or later I would have.

    26 March
    I am fine this morning, wasn’t too great last night. My stomach is a bit off, but only a little

    27 March
    Bad day. Down in dumps.

    Cry baby.
    30 March
    Needed to get out and walk. So I left the dog and walked for about 2 and a half hours

    31 March
    Things like food choices are getting narrower and narrower. But that didn’t stop me grabbing a chilli philli pour over and scoffing the lot!
    25 July 2006
    Well the Irish Coffee was a hit with my stomach, and not a problem. So it was a well chosen anniversary present for us both.

    This is the continued journey to being gluten free. Excerpts from my diary, and food journal, it is probably just as boring as the previous entry, but it is helping me a lot with where and how far I have gone in six month. I am so blown away, I is a new person.

    1 January 2006 “One week out from Xmas. Back on track. Feeling better.”
    Still on my diet, even thought I have had a couple of weeks off it. Starting to feel a lot better. No eating to excess

    4 January. “Have to do something with diet. It is making me sick!”
    Jim went back to work. I will miss him. I missed him!
    Bad day, ate a bit. By the time I walked the dog later, my stomach decided hey I want to play up. Needless to say, I spent a bit of time in the loo and have absolutely not appetite for tea. It is getting to bug me, I think it could be bread. But what should I do, stew and wonder or go to Dr’s and try to find out why?

    5 January. My sister Rosemary rang up to say that she will be over to see mum and dad from the 30th and wondered if I could come down to Waimate, to see them all. Would love to.
    Still thinking about my diet and allergy. Should go to the doctor find out once and for all what causes it. Walked the dog, did my steps. Doing good. Wish I could say the same about the diet.

    6 January
    Walked the dog. Tried to do a sudoku but it was too hard and too challenging. It was an easy one. Had to give up on it.
    Still trying to sort out my food problems. Think it is the gluten thing, but there are so many foods with gluten. In the frozen chips, baked beans, liquorice all sorts.
    I’m in the middle of drinking a bottle of wine, cause I am feeling a little down. Have to go see the Dr and find out what really is the problem.
    Tried to avoid gluten, but notice it was in the canned tuna!

    7 January. There was gluten in the vegemite.
    Rang Liz and mum. All are fine in Waimate. Have done nothing to sort out going to Waimate. Will tomorrow.

    8 January. Still trying hard to avoid gluten. So grocery shopping took a bit longer.
    Checked out airfares to Waimate. Quite expensive. Maybe I won’t go. Too many other things that need to be seen to. I am so obsessing over gluten. Poor Jim he doesn’t need it.

    9 January 2006
    It was hard to get up this morning to get Jim off to work. Walked Poppy, cleaned out the pantry and blobbed. Feel a bit washed out. Still obsessing.
    Feel my get up and go has gone!! Is it withdrawal from gluten? Still not craving for bread. It has only been a total of one day without gluten. So begins my journey.
    Feels like withdrawals.

    10 January 2006. Getting right into my sudoku. Ryan’s way of solving is the best way. No mess, but this is only working on the easy puzzles! Harder ones might need a different strategy.
    Still not right. Think I feel better, but still rather loose.
    11 January 2006. Good day diet wise, until I had chips tonight, that I knew had a bit of flour in them but thought they would be okay. But now a couple of hours later feeling bloated with wind and a churning stomach. Could it have been the flour, we will see.
    13 Jan
    Still avoiding gluten.
    14 January
    Had Chinese for tea. My ear was pretty sore when I sneezed. Might be time to get it checked as it has been a bit sore for a week. Getting worse.
    15 January
    Went to Dargaville so that Jim could get some soil samples for his rye and clover fields. So we walked through them, punching little holes in the ground and collecting smaples. (I noted that a couple days later I had little sores on my legs, probably where the grass had got me. These took a good week to disappear. Could’ve be reacting to the rye?)
    Been feeling a bit out of sorts. My ear still a bit sore, but feels a bit better now. No need for Panadol

    16 January
    Busy day felt a bit sick. Ear not so bad. Think I have hayfever so take a tablet, sure I feel better.

    18 January
    Took my son Bradley to get his Big Day Out ticket. What are we doing, I feel he is old enough. Ryan the older son, is doing more worrying than me. Big Day Out in Auckland on Bradley’s own, so that he can see White Stripes etc etc.
    Ear is much better.
    Getting into my puzzles. Sudoku and another one called Kakuro or something. That one I really have to get into the mindset. Ask myself is this not too much for me, as I could be getting beyond it.
    Reading my book “Summer Garden”

    20 January
    Well we left for Auckland at 7.30am. Got Bradley to Big Day Out and now in Albert Park with Jim drinking a Mountain Dew. It is hot.
    We then went to the museum. But I think I pushed Jim too hard, and by the time we left the museum he was not feeling well. Brad had a great day. We all had a long day. We were boxed in by other cars, so never left Auckland till about midnight and it was a long slow drive back. Got to bed about 2.45am. We will be stuffed.

    21 January
    Got up early, told Jim to stay in bed while I walked Poppy. Felt better after a walk. Computer time and Jim pretty much stayed in bed all day. I did some reading, awesome book.
    Bradley is looking a bit red
    Jim is feeling better. Could it be a bit of heat exhaustion on Friday in Auckland?
    22 Jan
    Jim had an easy day. He got waited on hand and foot.
    Was not really in mood for getting groceries. Ryan is now worried that he has a gluten intolerance as well, so he is going gluten free.
    Good week. Quite possibly no gluten. Feeling lots better. Nearly constipated which would make a change, or should I say I am “nearly regular.”
    23 Jan
    Jim back to work. He’s made an appointment with Doctor. He came back happy after having an ecg. All he needs is to get good blood results. Dr thinks it probably was the heat.
    So I walked the dog twice. Ordered in tea. Now feeling sick. Been to the loo twice. It all went through me. Could be volume, or something with gluten or just stress over the last few days. But my stomach felt all bloated straight after tea.
    24 Jan I had to finish of the Nasi goreng from last night, and now I do feel a bit yuck, bloated. So maybe it is the nasi. Tell myself I must go to the dr, but I am just a chicken.
    26 January
    My sore ear, or whatever, could be jaw, kept me awake a bit last night. So I made an appointment for dr, but can’t get into see him until Next Tuesday. But if it gets worse, I will go to White cross. Quite a bit miserable, and the bossman (Jim), seems to tell me that I am having too much Panadol. Like hell I am. Have only had 6 today. But I need them.
    27 Jan
    Had my bread, but so far nothing untoward. Now what does that tell me?
    28 Jan
    Still nothing untoward with the bread. A bit of a bummer, so what is it then?
    29 Jan
    Bad night, sore ear. Did not much today. Fed up with this sore ear thing. Fed up with everything.
    31 Jan
    Went to the Dr’s. He thinks it is probably my jaw giving me hell, not my ear. Being checked for gluten intolerance, so gave blood. (Wasn’t I brave, I did it. Doctor listened and wanted to know how I was feeling being gluten free. Good I told him. He said, that is probably the answer, and to keep off gluten. He listened to me, not like another doctor who thought years ago, the pain in my stomach was all in my head, but it was a cyst on an ovary, a big one too, the size of a grapefruit! How could he have missed that?) Then the doctor had to tell me the diet is worse than being diabetic.
    Jim got hot and stressed. Too hot today anyway.
    15 July 2006
    Congratulations to me, we have been married one year today. One wonderful year.
    Unfortunately I volunteered last night to do a stint of volunteering at the local library today, forgetting what today was. But Jim forgave me that indiscretion, it was only for 3 hours. Which gave him enough time to walk the dog, and check out a few cars, or whatever men do when on their own.

    We went shopping later on, and bought ourselves a coffee plunger, and a new frying pan for me. Very romantic. Love the coffee plunger, it is a stainless steel one, insulated and quite heavy too. So I went out and bought some coffee to go with it. Irish cream would be my favourite, so I bought it, only to find out later it contained a flavour in it. Since when has coffee not been pure coffee?!! Panic stations for me, as I have been trying to avoid all flavours, but I gave this the exception to the rule, and decided to try it, and so far, 4 hours later, nothing untoward, so hopefully it is an okay flavour. If not, I dare say, I will let you know.

    I was not going to bother to have something special to eat for tonight, as I did not want a meal out that could put a damper on such an important day. It would be just so horrible to have that meal out and to have to pay for it later. My memory of my anniversary, birthday or whatever would be marred by a sick stomach. And that is what I got on my wedding night, a year ago, a sick stomach. So we, Jim and I had leftovers from last night. But my two boys had takeaways, and everyone is happy, happy, happy. The wine is good too. I feel good.

    I have been doing a bit of looking back over the last couple of years, and have traced my path to this far.

    Below is the first half of the trip. It might be a bit messy, and a bit boring. But by reading my food diaries, I am only beginning to realise how sick I was getting. Not as bad as some people, but over Christmas it was really telling, as I was not a happy well person. I was worried about myself, and that was the stage where I realised I had to do something.

    This is how I got to here, with the gluten intolerance coeliac battle.
    For years now I have had stomach issues, but always thought, as my mother had issues too, it was just part of our physical make up, and I did not become concerned, as my mother never was overly concerned with her problems. To start with she blamed chocolate, and I followed suit and gave that up, and that made a difference. I should say, the difference with giving up chocolate, was that I did not get the horrible stomach cramps, but still had diarrhoea. Then mum blamed coconut, but that didn’t make a lot of difference to me, her latest allergy/intolerance is palm oil as well, which I now would not know if it bugs me or not, as I do not seem to eat any palm oil that I know of. My mum not too many months ago put the gauntlet in my court and told me to find out what our problem was, so I found out what my problem was and went back to mum about it, but it was at that stage she clammed up and did not want to know, and refused to believe this could be her problem too. I must add that my parents have had no problem accepting the fact that I have coeliac, as they have been very supportive of me, especially over the last week when I was visiting them.

    Like a lot of people I have always battled with my weight, and late 2004, I began yet another diet. After my first successful diet way back in 1986ish, I decided that I was not going to do it again, as at the end of that diet I found out I had a cyst on an ovary, and I couldn’t help but blame the diet for the outcome. I know it wasn’t the case, and I had had the cyst for probably a long time. It was removed and I managed to have two more sons since then, and of course I gave up smoking and then put on weight. I had always been a bit weary about dieting, but no matter how much I walked I could never loose the weight, so I decided it was time to do the diet thing again. So late 2004 it began, and ever since I have been writing in a food journal all that I eat and the calories, and the more I got into it the more I noticed relationships with my food. I think the biggest telling thing, was that when I over ate, especially in rich food, I seemed to have the stomach cramps and the urge to go to the loo in the wee hours of the morning. It was through my diet that I was not able to handle the rich meals I would eat on occasions. So for birthdays and Christmases, I would suffer quite a bit, and I would get a bit of heartburn, but by sticking to a diet to loose weight the heartburn would disappear. So I felt doomed to diet forever. It must be noted this was not a coeliac diet, but just a diet to loose a bit of weight. Even so, to start with I did eat a lot less gluten, and for a while my diarrhoea abated, but slowly came back. I was like an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand. A bit worried to see the doctor as I thought it would be something nasty.

    Looking through the before coeliac diagnosis food journals, I am realising that even though I was dieting, I was still eating a lot of rubbish.

    The first comment, that came in my diary, about eating too much and being quite ill, (but that had happened on and off for years without mention) was on the night of my birthday in June 2005, when we had gone out for tea. The words were “Well I ate and ate. Sick next day.” I remember exactly being caught out that morning while walking with a friend, and the fact that I had to take a day off work. I feel quite lucky that that was the only day I have ever had to take offwork because of coeliac.
    The next comment came on 4th July, 2005 “Reacted to something like chocolate or bread?” I could say the marble was dropping. Nearly nailed the answer.
    Then 8 July “Ate shout for me and Chrissy who is leaving, felt yuck”
    15 July 2005 mentioned what I had for breakfast and then I wrote “Then got married, then ate and ate. It was nice. Paid for it later” So I suffered the night I married. Thankfully that did not interfere with anything.
    I must make a note that at this stage I had been talking to my sister and we both felt that we had an intolerance to gluten, but we still had not gone into it in depth, and I decided I will try to avoid gluten soon. She now does not think she has a problem, even though her results turned out to be borderline.
    23 September 2005 “Last day of term. Shout. Ate ate. Drank drank. Sick sick sick!”
    1 October 2005 “Too much chocolate, a bit of upset stomach that night and next day”
    5 October 2005 “Upset tum in morning. What did I eat yesterday? Wine?”
    8 October 2005 “ Straight after eating bread got burps - felt bloated and uncomfortable” I think this was in one of the weeks where I tried to give up gluten, but that exercise did not last long.
    17 October 2005 “Blowout. Bread, chips, choc. Felt bloated and yuckie next morning. Verging diarrhoea.”
    21 October 2005 “Pizza, scones, drinks, bread. Bad reaction, wind and heartburn. Too much”
    23 October 2005 “ Upset tum”
    28 October 2005 “Lot of bread, sally lun, nasi goreng, chips = fat. 2 drinks! Feel fine” That really confused me, sometimes I could eat and eat and be fine.
    3 November 2005 “Sick stomach”
    15 December 2005 “Sick at 12.30am. Could it be the wafer sticks with palm oil in?”
    19 December 2005 “Overate, would’ve eaten more, but I couldn’t. Didn’t feel too hot and didn’t really want my tea. Enjoyment of food will go!! Pull myself together” Was that a rambling comment?
    20 December2005. Because it was Christmas week I decided I would eat as much as I liked and ignore the diet. This could explain this comment “Breakfast. Still trying to eat. Had peanut butter with margarine and toast. Felt not too hot after. So I think I will give up this trying to have a eating week and stick to diet as much as possible.”
    21 December 2005 End of school year “Last day at work. Shout. Wasn’t too much food, but I didn’t stop eating. Polished off over half a bar of chocolate. Needless to say feeling seedy (hungover) feels like, and not a comfortable sleep. Bring back a feeling of hunger. Has not been a good feeling eating too much. Help I’m allergic to food.”
    25 December 2005. “Ate ate. Bad night sleeping. Burps. One week of not bothering to count, calories, cause I said I wouldn’t. Now I can and am looking forward to normal eating. Eating too much makes me fat, uncomfortable and my mood changes. I think dieting and eating right makes me feel better physically and mentally.”
    30 December 2005 “Still got this eating thing going. Was sick tonight. You know that toilet thing. Last day has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster.”
    Well that is the first half of this story.

    Is It The Water?

    By Kaycee,

    It was last day of holiday yesterday. Caught up with my little sister and had a couple of uneasy moments. I mentioned to her I had been feeling better while on holiday, and I mentioned it was probably because my eating had even changed down here, less and less additives etc. and more natural stuff. But she jumps on me discounting what I am trying to say, and says it could be because there was no stress from work, or even that up at home I could've been walking too much, or else it was our water! She is just about as bad as another sister who mentioned the same thing about stress. I am glad they did not mention it could've been the hubby giving stress. Who do they think they are? And I did ask the sister, if it is my water up home, and that was the problem maybe again I could eat gluten. She just gave me a you never know. This makes me angry. I know she said she was trying to help, but I have addressed these matters over the last six months, and we all know it is hard to get the balance right in our lifelong diet against coeliac. I guess I should’ve bit my tongue.

    Still I have only just arrived home tonight, so if she has got it right, I will be experiencing those stomach problems, about this time tomorrow night. What really gets up my nose is that she herself was convinced she had coeliac before I was diagnosed, and her results came back borderline, and she went on the diet, but now has decided it was their water that was causing her problems. I am quite confused by her attitude, I would’ve thought that she would’ve looked into it and realised that it is not something that would go away. It is quite funny, how her results convinced me to go get tested, and the blood test confirmed that I was weakly positive, and I have had two more tests since, and they are still weakly positive. But I know where I had been going wrong, well let me say, I think I know where I went wrong, and I have addressed that by being even more stringent, and getting rid of all additives, flavours, colours, gin, and have been avoiding soy and legumes. This last week I have succeeded on all counts, except a tiny bit of soy, as in chocolate and split peas getting through, and I have felt much better, as in only one day on holiday out of twelve with stomach problems, compared to a cycle of four days with and four days without, on average.

    I cannot see how walking is bad for me, it would be worse to stop. And my job is wonderful, and probably not challenging enough. I decided to give up two challenging hours a day at work (before my diagnosis) as those two hours were the ones that at that time created stress for me, as in looking after a group of children in an after school programme. They were not the best behaved children, and I had found it too hard to cope with their behaviour and the discipline. I will never willingly take those two hours back. Now I am back down to 6 hours a day, which is way long enough, in my little library, with my books, and not as much hands on with children, their teachers do the disciplining. But I love the job. But then again, maybe I should give up walking and my job, and be a stay at home wife. Never. If they give me the stress, I am happy to stick with it.

    So I am back from holiday, it went so fast, but am so pleased to see the family, and Jim my husband. I have really missed him, he is my rock, even if he gets lost in the middle of Auckland. But we worked together well and I got him out of there.

    I am tired, and might do more rambling tomorrow.
    10 July, 2006
    Well it has been a few days, I am still on holiday, but it is nearly over, two more sleeps then I will be winging my way back home.

    Holiday has been great, I have tried to make it relaxing, but dad keeps on thinking that I should be doing things, and not just reading or doing a crossword. But I am quite happy doing those things.

    I went dining at my sisters house on the Sunday. They were more worried about feeding me than I was about eating at their house. They kept joking about putting gluten in this and that. Love them heaps. But Liz has tried to be gluten free in the past, so I realized it would not be a big problem. They are very conscious of their diets and additives etc. So that was successful.

    We have been out for lunch a couple of times and I can say food wise they have been successful. The first meal, yesterday was where I ordered from the menu. The second one, today was where there was an array of food, smorgasbords style, and I could pick what I wanted of the serving dishes Emotionally the first meal was easier to handle. But the second meal was disastrous. I felt quite devastated, that there was all this food, and hardly any that would agree with me. So I went safe with plain spuds, pumpkin, meat and salads. I did not even look at the desserts, and mum said, you can have some fruit salad. But who wants plain old fruit salad without the extras. I would rather go without, which was what I did. It was hard, so hard. So I sat and watched all the old dears tuck in and have a right royal time. I was close to tears, and if someone said something to upset me, I would’ve ran out of there pronto. But I succeeded. Man it is worse than dieting.

    I have found that down here where I am holiday, coeliac seems to be in epidemic proportions. I have a few times explained, (well tried to) that I cannot eat flour, and immediately, they ask , have you got coeliac, and that they relate to me, that someone in their family, or a friend has it. Yet back home, where I come from, the same conversation would go with them asking me what is that? And then I would have to explain what it is. So weird, it is like living on a different planet here.

    We had a speaker at the luncheon we went to and he was a electrician from Calgary in Canada, who had found his way to little town New Zealand. He related that for all the years that he had lived in Calgary, he has never been snowed in, and just a few weeks back, he gets snowed in in the south island of New Zealand. Canada is colder, but in little old NZ he got snowed in for a few days and couldn’t move. That is quite bizarre weather we have had here, and all the locals have been surprised by the weather.

    He was very entertaining and had the whole room in fits of laughter as he related his experience of becoming a kiwi in New Zealand. One thing that probably differentiates our cultures, was when he was going on about the kiwi attitude of if it is broken, we better fix it, whereas in Canada, he says he never had to repair anything, as when things broke, they were replaced. We are slowly moving from that way of thinking, as things don’t last as long as they used to. And I like new things when they break, but sometimes I wait a helluva long time for things to break. Like my cell phone it has been in my possession for at least 5 years. Maybe I should encourage it to jump or something.

    I am worried about my mum and that she might have this coeliac too. I didn’t actually talk to mum about it, but talked to my dad. He said he had never thought that her stomach problems could be coeliac related, but agrees there could be a possibility, but he feels that mum might not be able to handle it if that was diagnosed. She is well into her seventies, like dad. She is quite capable of cooking cleaning and all those other things that we do, even reading labels, but she is a bit different, I can’t quite put my finger on it, fussy would be one word. Set in her ways another. Dad feels she could give up bread, but probably not the other things, need I say cake and biscuits. I am not saying her symptoms are major, probably a lot like mine were, more of a nuisance, but I am feeling a lot better physically and mentally for being on the diet. It is a bit of a quandary. Is it fair to just let her live without knowing, without trying to have her tested? I know I cannot do any more pushing and prodding, but it is my mum we are talking about, and I do worry about her health. I know I more or less get the same reactions from my brothers and sisters. None of the 6 of them have been tested. I feel they just do not take this threat to their health realistically, and that in not being serious, I feel they are belittling me, by their attitude. I feel like they are not giving the disease the respect that it deserves. But then they are more capable of living their lives, and I keep telling myself if they are willing to take to risk, so be it. At least I know I am doing the right thing for me. And I am confident that I will now live longer in the long run now. Lets hope it will be a good long life, as a lot of my fathers uncles and aunts lived into their nineties, and same with mum’s family. So we have got longevity in there, but a rogue gene has reared it’s head in my life. But it is a wonderful gene, which has given me a lot of food sense, and care about what I now put in my body.


    Another Man!

    By Kaycee,

    3rd July, 2006
    Another day, not as cold as yesterday. Forecast is for snow tomorrow, so that could be exciting.
    Me and dad went visiting a few of his friends.
    In the afternoon, we went to visit a friend of his who has coeliac, and has been living with it for 10 years. I was a bit apprehensive about going to see him to start with, as he is quite a bit older than me, about my dad’s age, in his 70’s, and sometimes I think, (I probably am being ageist), but that maybe they are not all up to scratch about the disease. but the minute I saw him, I was rest assured, he knew what he was talking about and takes it all so seriously. In a lot of ways he just backed up what I had been thinking all along. It was like two old friends meeting and having to catch up, and we both shared the same passion. Food! He was so lovely, while talking he showed me how he makes his bread, he loves cooking and knows what is what, and then gave me a fruit loaf and the loaf of bread he baked. Also gave me one of his homemade pies, which I will have one night soon. I was so blown away, he didn’t have to do that, but, I got stuck into both loaves later on when I got home, and they were both so awesomely lovely, a bit like having a bit of bread after going without for a long time, which is precisely how it is. The bread did not have yeast in it, so I guess it was more sconey, but the texture. Mm it was much finer than my attempts. I will definitely make it when I get home again. But for now I will have bread. When I get home it might be different, and I might not eat so much bread, but for now I’m on holiday so I will eat a lot of bread. And it is cold down here, I need the bread. My dad tried a piece of both, and he was quite pleased with the taste. Of course he preferred the fruit loaf.
    But it was just so wonderful meeting someone who I can talk to about coeliac and the food etc. Unfortunately we are both married to other people. Dad spent all his time talking to Lyndon’s wife, while I talked to Lyndon. I think dad is getting a bit bored about the constant talk about food from me. In some ways I want him to understand, but I just get a bit carried away with the talk. I will try to cut down on the food talk tomorrow and find something else to talk about.
    I have not come across any problems with the food down here. My stomach has been behaving. So far I have managed to keep away from soy, except maybe a bit that was in the frozen chicken pieces we had for tea tonight. Fancy that, frozen chicken pieces have soy and gum in them. Maybe that is what makes it chewy! Lol.
    2 July 2006
    It’s very early this morning, and it is very dark. Dad says about minus 2 degrees. Nice and snuggly inside, but rather crisp outside. When it is light I will be able to see the snow on this hills around. There is one hill here, more like a foothill, with a concrete shaped horse on the side at the top, that can be seen for miles. It should have a bit on, and there is a wonderful walk up that that I would like to climb, puffing of course, just to take a look around behind it and all the snow that would be there. I have climbed it before, going up is easyish, but going down gets one of my knees, but as soon as I am down, it is fine. I could drive up, but that is quite a treacherous drive at best of times. I might not be able to walk up, as it might just be too snowy, and nobody else might want to climb with me. But I will give it a go, even if on my own. Dad in his late seventies did it for the first time last year, and that was after his heart biopsy, he told me, he has now done it and now he doesn’t have to do it again. My thoughts precisely about a roller coaster ride I went on a few years back. Done that, but never again. I get my walking from my dad, he is up and away every morning with his sneakers on. I get this getting up early thing from him as well. No sleep in for me, not like my mum, she would stay in bed a lot longer but dad gets her up. Nicely of course, as mum is the boss.

    There is not snow on the hill with the horse, but there is snow a bit further along.
    Had to drive dad’s manual car, first manual car I have driven in over a year, and yeah you don’t forget how to. He uses me as a taxi when I am down.

    Went to see Liz and her whanau (family) and she has quite a few. Three grandchildren more than me and another on the way. I’m sure I won’t be a grandmother before I am 50 and she was 40 when she became one. We talked for a bit. Why is it that when we get older we talk more about health than anything else? Her husband has fibro myalgia and has his good and bad days, and can’t stomach a lot of the things I can’t. He feels he has a leaky gut, and that could cause a few allergy problems, and that I should look into that too. After holiday maybe.

    My sister rang from Australia and told me to try to relax and that stress brings on the disease. Of course my blood pressure goes up and I loose all sense of relaxation. But I am probably usually one of the most relaxed people around. So I told her that abdominal surgery can trigger it too, and that it is in me genes, and hers as well for that matter and that she should get tested for it as well. Don’t think she was pleased, but I do not like people telling me how or why I got anything. I haven’t seen her for 10 years, what would she know?

    Still I better try some of that relaxation she talked about. Grrrr.

    1 July, 2006
    Got up early and me and Jim off away to Auckland to catch the plane.
    It was a cold morning, a bit of ice around. Traffic was not too bad as far as Auckland was concerned. But once at the airport, the wait was terrible. Took three quarters of an hour to go through getting bags checked. Just as well we were early, as we thought we would have time for coffee. Wrong, just enough time to check in, and for me to catch the plane. I hate saying goodbyes, especially to Jim as he has been a rock for me, and I get all worried and stress out a bit about what ifs.

    Got to Christchurch and had to wait about three hours for a bus which took another three hours to get to my final destination.
    So here I am. Dad actually cooked me tea, which was wonderful, as I thought he was a bit worried about my situation with coeliac. But he came to the party and cooked tea, just something simple, and it was lovely, as I hardly ate all day, due to not being hungry and being stubborn I guess. Then he tells me there is a man in the neighbourhood that wants to see me. I do a double take, dad, don’t you know I am married! But then he tells me that this man has coeliac and wondered if I would like to talk to him about it. I think that is a damn fine idea, any hints whatever would be appreciated. But I usually only hear what I want to and then disregard the rest. But it will be interesting to hear someone elses take on the coeliac.

    Last night was a worry as my stomach did terrible things, and I was on the loo for a bit, so I did stress a bit about not being in a fit state to travel. I did not get much sleep last night, stress I guess, but happily my tum was fine, but I got real acquainted with the loos at the airport in Christchurch, as on the bus going south there is not much chance of a toilet stop. I am beginning to sound like an old woman here, with my toilet woes.

    There is some of that cold stuff down here, and there was some on the side of the road. I thought how cute, they make it into big piles in the paddocks, side of the roads etc. It wasn’t so cute when I thought of kicking a bit. It was solid and the guy beside me tried to tell me it was solid. So red faced I just said, well you can tell I’m from the north island. I is so dumb, and not know a thing about snow. I thought it was going to be soft and mushy, as it still looked like snow, but a bit dirtier.

    Dad is fine and looking good. I rang my sister who lives up the road, and she is the one that gave me the courage to get tested for coeliac, especially the time when she thought she had it. It seems like now she doesn’t want to go there, and is back to eating normal. But she has a healthy interest in all things healthy, and will be good to talk to her, and she is interested and most of all, understands. She could still have a chance of having coeliac, but she now blames her problems on their water.

    I am tired, and should think about going to bed, alone without my hubby, I will miss his warmth as it is freezing down here. I will miss my two sons as well, but I told them I wasn’t coming home until they had cleaned up their rooms. Maybe I will be here a lot longer than I thought.

    Another Allegy?

    By Kaycee,

    30 June 2006
    Tomorrow early, we drive for 3 hours down to Auckland, and I catch a plane and go to Christchurch, which will take an hour and then catch a bus and travel for another 3 hours to get to Waimate. It will be a long day! But worth it in the end to see my mum and dad. Gosh I miss them.

    I think I might have been stressing out today, trying not to think about that worse case scenario. When I stress, it goes straight to my stomach, so it has not been too settled today.

    So it has been last day at work, for two weeks, the usual morning tea shout, which probably equates to a lunch. Me I had to do it, get in the cake and the quiches etc, and I did not forget myself, I got some blue brie and some crackers and grapes. Boy did I feel full after that. Silly when really all I had was a few crackers and cheese and a grape or two. But it must’ve been all that other food I saw which made me think I am full.

    A nothing much doing day. As long as I cleaned up my office and turned all the heaters and lights off, and that will be fine. Never is much doing on the last day at work.

    I have being toying with the idea of maybe having a soy allergy as well. As you probably guess, I have not been progressing too well on the gluten free diet. I do not eat gluten, if I did it would be the minutest and by mistake. But I have not really improved much, as I still have diahrrea and tummy pains. It could be soy. I will give it a go and avoid it, which should not be too hard, as I do not eat very much processed food. I was wondering all but for a minute whether there would be anything essential I would miss out on by going soy free, but then I remember, years ago, us westerners would not have been into eating soy anyway. The only thing I can think off that I will miss out on would be the chocolate. Anyway I will give soy a miss, and hopefully, it will make the holiday much more pleasant. More time sight seeing, than wondering where the next loo is.

    Roll on tomorrow.
    Another freezing day, ice first thing, and frozen fingers. We are not used to this type of weather. Three frosts this year already, compared to none for us last year. I will have to harden up, as I will be in the deep dark cold south in a couple of days, where they have been having blizzard like conditions.

    Was a long day at work. 8.30am till 6pm tonight. All of two and a half hours longer than usual, but I have a headache now. Could be because I am hungry.

    The teachers who stayed late, because of parent interviews, got to have tea put on for them. I only stayed late at the last minute because we were having a book fair, and one person manning that just was not enough, so I put my hand up to say, yes I will stay.

    The boss showed his appreciation by offering me the bit of mushroom that fell on the floor off a pizza. Lovely man, again there was absolutely nothing I would risk eating. Not even that mushroom! I won’t say it doesn’t hurt, because it does, and I was hungry. But I am now cooking up leftovers. How exciting.
    Must go, mix the stew and get back on here after tea.

    One more week of work, then two weeks off for holidays. Six more sleeps then winging my way down to Christchurch, then further south to see my dad, and then my mum when she comes back from warmer climes in Darwin. She would’ve spent 3 weeks up there with two of my brothers and a sister. Funny how most of my brothers and sisters live in Australia, leaving just three of us here in NZ.
    Dad says it has been real cold down there, lucky if today they reached 5 degrees. Somewhere not far from him it was minus 16 overnight. Brrr. And I thought it was cold up here with only 11 degrees. Well the shortest day has gone, and now hopefully summer is just around the corner. Hopefully.
    Winter has been a little hard for me, well the thought of it was harder Was a bit worried that I would not have enough to eat of all things, well not enough good winter tucker. Do I sound like a squirrel that has been getting ready for winter? I have been feeling the cold more, but it has been colder, and there just does not seem to be enough stodgy food for me to eat. But that is cool, why should I eat stodgy food? I was a bit worried that I might not be satisfied with what I could eat this winter, but my stomach feels very satisfied. So maybe winter has not been as bad as I had envisioned. I have been making soup non stop, and freezing the excess for meals for work. I am coping.
    Other people might not be coping as well as me. My dad is a bit worried about me coming down, and said, he will have to throw out all the bread. I told him not to be stupid, I sit in front of workmates, and family up here who eat their sandwiches and not a problem. He is probably thinking more that I might be tempted or something. Maybe people think that having to give up sandwiches could be similar to giving up alcohol. I have not found any similarity. But believe me, I would not be tempted to eat anything suspicious.
    It will be the first time I will have seen my parents since my diagnosis and the first time I have been away from my comfort zone at home, where I know where everything I am eating comes from. I am a little worried about it all, but sure I will come through with flying colours. I will have to learn to speak up if I am worried about something mum is cooking for me. I guess I could offer to cook meals for them. Dad blood tests came back negative for coeliac, but the doctor thought there no symptoms present to test my mum. That annoys me, my mum if anyone has it, it will most likely be her. She has so many similar symptoms. I think she might be burying her head in the sand.

    My youngest two sons, have tested negative. My two older adult sons who dwell in Sydney were going to go get tested yesterday. I advised Alan to drink all his beer before he got his results back. There would be nothing worse than having to give his beer away. I hope they have good results back.

    Well it is bed time, and work tomorrow.

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