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Back From South Of France
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Arrived home last night after three weeks away. Spent a day travelling from Scotland to South of England for an overnight then ferry to Dunkirk. We had two overnights (Le Havre and Millau) before arriving at charming gite in tiny village in Pyrenees. Stayed there for two weeks then overnights at Mont Lucon, Dunkirk and Lincolnshire on the journey home. Whilst there we went to Andorra and had an overnight.

Before I went I bought the Multi-Lingual Phrase Passportfrom the Allergy Free Passport Let's Eat Out Range. I got it for a couple of pounds from Amazon. It has French, German, Spanish and Italian translations for 10 food allergies including coeliac. I used it to check ingredients when I did supermarket shopping and when I was eating out. Really useful phrases for eating out including 'I have a condition called coeliac disease. I cannot eat the smallest amount of gluten which is wheat, rye or barley. Please ask the chef if the meal I've ordered is safe for me. Do you have a dedicated fryer.' I did not have a single problem.

My first time in the South of France since my diagnosis and I had a wonderful time with no stress around my diet. Waiters and chefs were very helpful. In case there was a problem with my pronunciation, as well as saying the phrases I also showed them the book.

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Navigator, thanks for the awesome trip report! So glad you were safe and felt safe. That is a big accomplishment. We are going to France next year and I bet by then there will be even more awareness! We are returning to Italy and Croatia in 17 little sleeps and this time I know I have nothing to fear (except my dumb wretched chronic back pain which makes the flights excruciating).

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Have a fantastic time! Our intention is to return to France next year but possibly do Tuscany the year after. Luckily my husband loves driving and although we could do the holiday in a fraction of the cost if we flew, I love the freedom of driving. It also made it very easy to take my own chopping boards, knifes,gluten free ciabatti rolls, blender etc. Also the added bonus of having 50 litres of local wine in the back of the car on homeward journey!!

We're off to Germany for a long weekend next month and I've already sent the hotel the transaltions from my little book so feeling relaxed about it. It was my first going to a non-English speaking country since my diagnosis. Although I was I bit anxious, I was determined not to stop travelling to the rural areas which we love - and it couldn't have worked out better. From previous holidays in France, I knew that I could buy wonderful fresh food but it was lovely to be able to have a few meals out.

I'm not a city person and I iknow our holiday won't be to everyone taste, but I can thoroughly recommend going to the rural areas of South of France rather than the touristy coasts. The Languedoc -Rousillon region is fabulous. Lasy year we were in the Corbierres region and this year the Pyrenees Orientalle. The Cathar castles are amazing - so much history and breathtaking. I'll try and post a couple of photos

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As promised, some photos from French holiday.

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First photo is one of the views from our rooftop terrace.

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How lovely! Where on earth is that chapel cut into the rock? I am such a castle fanatic. My favourite castles/stately homes in the world are in Scotland such as Crathes, Traquair, Eilean Donan, Fyvie, Linlithgow, Holyrood, Edinburgh, Tantallon, Dunnotar, Dunvegan, Campbell, Cawdor, etc. We have been to about 75 in Scotland.

Thanks for sharing! European travel so fascinates me.

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The chapel cut into the rock was really amazing. It's in the Galamus Gorge and you walk part of the way down the gorge to get to it. It's In Languedoc on the D7 past Saint Paul De Fenouillet. It sounds like we like the same kind of holidays. Apart from having a few meals out, I bought fresh produce and cooked simple meals which we ate on our terrace. Majority of days out were spent at Cathar Castles and Medieval villages. I thoroughly recommend a vist to the rural parts of the South of France rather than the coast for this type of holiday.

We're both members of Historic Scotland and National Trust for Scotland so our leisure time at home is ususlly divided between visiting their sites and going to car events with our capri.

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Gorgeous pics! Glad you had a good time and had no problems with glutens along the way!

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Thanks. It was my first time in a non-English speaking country since my diagnosis and my little phrase book made all the difference. It's good that it has 4 languages in it and is small enough to fit in even my smallest handbag. We went to Andorra so the Spanish translation was used. We're off to Germany for a long weekend at the end of October and it also has German translation. However, I'm getting my scope the day after we return so I'm currently back on gluten :(. I was diagnosed at the beginning of May and originally asked my G.P. not to refer me to GI as I didn't want to go back on gluten. However in July I accepted that it would be the best thing to do and saw the GI on 15th September.

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    • To answer some of your questions.... Non celiac gluten sensitivity does not cause any damage to the small intestine so that is not the source of the "little holes or bumps".  You need to get her records including the report of the endoscopy to see exactly what it says as well as the pathology report of the biopsies. You should always get medical records anyway & keep a copy for yourself. How many biopsies did he take? There should be a minimum of 4, ideally 6. The small intestine is very vast even in a small child. An adults is the size of a tennis court! That's a whole lot of territory so biopsies can miss damage especially when enough of them are not taken! She has 2 positives on the serum panel. This crap about "weak" positives should be thrown out of the nomenclature! A positive is a positive, weak or not! Her DgP IGG is way over the range and extremely telling. As far as my knowledge goes, there is nothing else that causes a positive DgP IGG other than celiac disease. False positives are really rare and to have 2 false positives would be astronomically rare! You are right & smart that she really does need an official diagnosis! IMHO, keep her on gluten for right now. Get a second opinion pronto & I believe you'll be able to get her a dx based on the 4 out of 5 rule if nothing else. I wouldn't think it's going to take more than a month to get to see another doc for a second opinion. Then you can take her off gluten. Kids heal up really fast, way faster than us old geezers! I'm sure as others  wake up & get on their computers they will be along to voice their knowledge. I am in the eastern time zone & rise before the birds so I was on here early. Hang in there mom! You're doing the right thing!
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