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Marlene

So Discouraged

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Hey,

I am just really feeling very down right now and need to "talk" to someone. After having been very sick for the last 4 years, I finally found out 4 months ago that my problem is gluten/casein intolerance. I have been gluten/casein free ever since but as you all know, we don't heal overnight. I have been so overwhelmed with trying to figure out what I can eat, what to cook, etc, etc, -- all the while working full-time, taking care of my family (hubbie and 4 kids between the ages of 11 and 19 -- yup, 3 teenagers) and getting things done at home. I know you are going to think I am crazy, but I still end up cooking 2 separate meals some nights although I try to combine things as much as possible.

Anyway, I got to the point where I just felt I could not keep working. I am so stressed out. I am tired of always being tired, fed up with having to deal with gastro/bathroom issues at work (even though that has improved since being on the diet). I work in a small office and share a co-ed bathroom. It's not very private and the whole office can hear if someone farts in there. I got sick about 5 months after I started working (I had been a stay-at-home Mom for 16 years before that, homeschooled my kids while we moved numerous times and also lived in Latin America as missionaries) so it's been really hard for me.

We thought we had found something that would work with only one income. It's a long story so I won't bore you with all the details. Bottom line, I found out last night that it is not going to work out. I am going to have to keep working. I am so depressed right now it's all I can do to keep from crying. I know as I get better, I will be able to handle working better. But for right now, I just want to be able to stay home and deal with this there. I never have time to really take my time when I am grocery shopping, never have time to check out recipes that don't take too long to prepare, never have time for anything anymore. Somedays I just feel like I am at the end of my rope.

I know this is becoming a very long post and probably kinda boring for you to read since you don't even know me but I just had to get this off my chest. My family is very supportive, BTW, which I am very thankful for. I just want to stay home, sigh.

Thanks for listening,

Marlene

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Marlene...

I am very sorry that you are in a tough place right now! I am also sorry that you will not get to stay home. I am also a stay at homeschooling mom of 4(mine are much younger than yours). I hope that things will turn around for you with your health and healing. In the mean time..I wil be thinking of you and your family!

Dallas


Mom to:

Riley 8 -Tourettes, OCD, ADHD

Cooper 6 -Celiac dx'ed Dec. 2005

Jake 4- Resolved Verbal Apraxia, Coordination disorder and Sensory Integration Disorder

Sutton 3- Speech issues and sensory integration disorder

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I'm sorry you can't quit working. I used to homeschool, too, for 10 years, but couldn't take it anymore, probably because of my declining health. It would be easier for you to handle at home, but there's a lesson God wants to you to learn somewhere in all this. (I mention that only because you said you were a missionary). I know there have been many lessons in all this for me, and I've actually grown as a person through all the suffering. Hang in there.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Can you maybe work just part time? I'm so sorry...I have been struggling to work this entire last year and I'm just so exhausted, so sort of know what you mean! Just really sending hugs since I haven't figured out yet how to make it all work...I don't have kids or hubby so fortunately if I don't feel like doing anything when I get home, I don't have to...also only have to worry about feeding myself. I am just in awe of any of you who can do it for even a little while!

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I'm sorry your going through this tough spot, Marlene. :(

What do you do for work? Is there something you could do from home? Maybe we can help come up with creative ideas to help you out!

Michelle

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I can tell you what I've done. For one going to the store is no easy task, especially if your going for the whole week and your a label reader (and you have to be). I would come home from the store and be so beat my head was swimming. So I asked my husbands help. He was really good about it. We go on saturday mornings and we have quite a lot fun joking around and just being together. There isn't a lot of things we both do together and so this turned out to be a good idea. I see a lot of couples shopping together.

Then for supper I would simplify. Make your meat, veggie, and potato or rice. If they're wanting pizza and spaghetti then compromise with them and get them to help. Then the ball is in their court they choose.

My son does the dishes, that's easy he's still living at home and he's 21 so that's part of the deal.

If you going to work try and get out of the kitchen as much as possible. You can't do both.

Don't feel bad about standing your ground. You have to take care of yourself.

gail


Gluten Free since Jan. 06

Gluten intolerant. DQ 0301 DQ 0602

Lactose intolerant.

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Thanks to all of you for your concern and words of encouragement.

I work as an administrative assistant and can't do this job from home. I have to work full-time because my paycheck takes care of the mortgage and another loan. As I stated in my first email on this post, we have lived in Latin America as missionaries so we had sold our previous home, got rid of all our belongings that we did not need and moved down there, not expecting to come back here. However, things did not work out done there (long story - broke my heart) and we had to move back. This meant starting all over again from square one which is not easy to do with a family of six. About a year after we came back we went through a major family crisis and my husband was off work for 3 months because of it. So that put us even farther back.

Carla, I believe that God wants me to learn some valuable lessons through all of this. I was becoming a stronger person because of everything I have been through but I feel like my illness is the last straw and is starting to destroy me as a person. I am trying to keep trusting God through all of this.

When it comes to meals etc, the rule in our house is that I make supper and my kids clean up and do dishes. As far as grocery shopping with my husband goes, that would be a great idea and it would give us some together time. However, right now my husband is working 6 days a week and doesn't have time. Sundays used to be our family or couple time but now I find that on Sundays I am busy preparing food for myself to take for lunches etc. (I try to make a pot of something that I can put in smaller containers to take to work.) My one daughter helps out with meals from time to time but she has a lot of homework. My husband doesn't get home until supper time and he is exhausted when he gets home.

I think I am just going to have to take things one day at a time for right now and hope for a better day. It doesn't help that I am in a lot of pain today -- partly from stress and partly because I think I might have eaten something that doesn't agree with me. My boss is cracking down on sick days and even though I am on salary as opposed to getting paid by the hour, he will only allow me 4 sick days per year and then after that he docks my pay for the time off. Nice, eh?

Marlene

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HI Marlene,

I am so sorry for all the things you are going through.

I know you have to work full-time - is there any chance you can get a different, more flexible job? You might investigate the options out there.

((hugs))


ELIZABETH

gluten-free (04.17.2006)

corn-free (03.27.2007)

xanthan gum-free

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Marlene, I hope you don't mind if I pick at a little thing you mention. Maybe it'll give you a different perspective on things. If not, remember that I'm not in your shoes and don't really know you, so just take it if it's useful and leave it if it isn't, it's meant in a friendly way anyway. :)

My one daughter helps out with meals from time to time but she has a lot of homework. My husband doesn't get home until supper time and he is exhausted when he gets home.
Are your other kids not capable of helping, or just not willing? Are there other things at home that they could take off your hands, so that you can get more rest?

Is your husband ill? Is he really truly even more exhausted than you are?

Thing is, it sounds to me like you're suffering from a really typical mom attitude of "everybody else first". :wub:

It's not going to do your family any good if you make yourself completely ill by not getting enough rest and not giving your body a chance to heal. Sounds like your kids are well old enough to significantly help at home. Maybe go grocery shopping with the eldest one, for example?

I know it can be hard to ask for help, even from our closest family. But it can serve to bring you all even closer together. It's not a bad thing. :)

Pauliina

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Is there any way you could take a vacation from work just for a week or so? That would give you some time to recoup and maybe do some research on labels and finding foods you like. Maybe when you make dinners try to make extra so that way you can just take that for lunches and you don't have to use Sundays to make all of your lunches. good luck!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Britni

~Diagnosed with idiopathic autoimmune chronic hepatitus at age 7 (1992)

off medication and in remission since 2002

~Diagnosed with ulcerative colitus age 10 (1995)

on medication under control

~Diagnosed with Celiac's disease age 21, no symptoms (August 10, 2006)

been gluten free since September 6, 2006

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Hi Pauliina

You make a valid point and it is something I am working on. Sometimes it's hard for me to give stuff over for other family members to do -- they don't always do it "right" meaning I have to be involved anyway so I figure it's just easier for me to do it the first time. My oldest daughter is working part-time and going to University so she doesn't have time for anything either. My husband is an absolute sweetheart but sometimes I think he just doesn't get it when I ask him to help me out more. He has taken over all the banking, paying bills etc.. and sometimes will throw in a load of wash. He does most of the outside work around the house as well. He also helps out by driving our younger 2 kids (the older 2 have licences) if they have to go somewhere. His job is extremely physical so he is pretty beat when he gets home. As far as cooking goes, he is hopeless. He used to bake quite a bit when the kids were younger, now I just buy baked goods from the store since it's so much easier.

Anyway, you have given me something to think about and I think we should sit down as a family and see what changes can be made.

I guess the bottom line is that even if we make changes at home, I still have to work full-time and deal with being in pain etc at work and that is not going to change.

Thanks to all of you for caring.

Marlene

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Carla, I believe that God wants me to learn some valuable lessons through all of this. I was becoming a stronger person because of everything I have been through but I feel like my illness is the last straw and is starting to destroy me as a person. I am trying to keep trusting God through all of this.

Marlene

My husband said just yesterday that God knew exactly what I could handle and seemed to be taking me very close to my limit for a long time. He said he'd have broken a long time ago. This IS making you stronger. We might not be able to imitate Christ perfectly in our vitues, but we come pretty close to being like him in our suffering. He didn't come down from his cross by choice, we can't come down from ours either. He's not destroying you as a person, he's only destroying that in you which is imperfect -- your being purified with fire, as scripture says. St. Catherine of Siena, known for her closeness to God through her deep life of prayer, once said to Christ, "If you treat your friends like this, it's no wonder you have so many enemies!"

Keep your head up. Try to do all you can to reduce the stress so you don't end up with fatigued adrenals, like I have! Then you won't be physically able to work. Get lots of rest. Delegate what you can.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Sometimes it's hard for me to give stuff over for other family members to do -- they don't always do it "right" meaning I have to be involved anyway so I figure it's just easier for me to do it the first time.

I know that so well! :) I've had to consciously learn to be happy with how my hubby does things when he does them - it's not fair to ask him to help and then criticize all the time after all I feel. You'll get physically better in time ...until then, maybe just choose to let thing get done "not quite right"?

I work at home so I can't help you with ideas about that. That's why I'm trying to think of ways of making life outside of work as restful as possible. :)

Pauliina

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Marlene,

Oh my, reading these posts have brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry that you are going through this right now. I just have a couple of quick things....

1. Although your heart was broken because you had to leave your missionary work, perhaps it was a good thing because you needed/need really good medical attention, proper foods etc. (I'm trying to find you a silver lining :) )

2. Sometimes I have found that through my exhaustion, nausea, etc that comes along with this lovely disease, having to get up and go to work gets me moving. If left to my own devices at home I'd sleep all day and get 0 accomplished only to have that make me feel worse. I'm not sure how your work situation is but especially at the time of my diagnosis my co-workers were wonderful. The would make me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry, and help me think my way through the early frustrations I had. Heck, there have been times when they have sat down and cried right along next to me.

3. Kids....well they are your heart and soul but will run you to the end of your rope. I feel your pain there and have nothing more to offer than this. I have had such true moments of pride and sheer joy when I see the wonderful compassionate kids I have raised and I don't think I would have noticed it nearly so much if it wasn't for this disease. When I have had bouts of real exhaustion and sickness they come and tuck ME in at night, or just simply give me a hug and tell me they hope I feel better soon. God will indeed challange us from time to time....but he also gives us those little glimpses of wonderfulness to keep going!


Amy

Diagnosed by biopsy with DH August 2005

Diagnosed with hypo-thyroidism December 2005

Diagnosed by biopsy with Celiac July 2006

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Sometimes it's hard for me to give stuff over for other family members to do -- they don't always do it "right" meaning I have to be involved anyway so I figure it's just easier for me to do it the first time.

This is something I've had to let go of completely. I'm so sick, I do stay at home and STILL cannot clean or do laundry. My 13 year-old and her 11 and 8 year old sisters do ALL our laundry. The kids (I have six) all spend 2 hours on Saturday cleaning the house. All I do around here is grocery shop and cook. Hubby pays the bills. Son takes care of the yard, trash, etc. Other son helps where needed.

It's hard to let go of things being done "right", but once you do your stress will lower significantly. And, I can guarantee you, life goes on even when stuff is not done well. ;) This was a VERY difficult thing for me to let go of ... I'm not suggesting this lightly ... this is also the stuff (letting go of pride, accepting humility) I was referring to before in my more "spiritual" comments :rolleyes: YOU are tired, YOU have too much work -- don't let other family members use that excuse!! They are no more tired or overworked than you are.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Marlene -

Can't remember if I've mentioned this to you before, but check out the cookbook "Saving Dinner". It has a lot of wonderful, naturally gluten free recipes that are DELICIOUS.

Also, and I'm sure you know this, if your children are old enough to drive cars, they are old enough to help with dinner! They are also old enough to do their own laundry. (Heck, I just had my 4 year old start a load of laundry (with assistance) because I am NOT the one who keeps wetting in her underwear!) It will be different for them to start helping . . . but they are going to move out of the house eventually, and nothing looks funnier than a college freshman who died all of his or her white shirts pink because he'd never done laundry and didn't realize it needs to be seperated! And their future spouses will thank you for teaching them that everyone who lives in the house needs to help maintain the house (as will their college roommates and their bosses at the fast food restaurants they work at to put themselves through college)!

I've got 4 little kids (2 of whom just turned 2), and I understand the desire to have things done "right" . . . but I also know that kids are smart. They sometimes figure out that if they do things "not quite right" often enough that Mom will do it for them. (Not that they are deliberately TRYING to be students of Machiavelli . . . it just works for them, so they do it!) And even if they aren't TRYING to irritate you into doing it for them, the result is the same. I always cook dinner because I get frustrated if I ask someone to cut carrots and they cut them the long way when I wanted disks. :blink::blink::blink: How dumb is that? Especially becuase I also get frustrated when no one volunteers to help! I want them to help, but I want them to help MY way, and I want them to be okay with it when I continually criticize their "help". Not surprisingly, I don't get all of those things that I want. So I'm trying to teach myself to let things go. It's hard, but necessary in the long run. Both for me and for them.

Okay. Down from my personal "I need to do better" soapbox. Kind of rude for me to be giving you advice that I don't always follow myself, huh? But I know that (when I do follow it) it works. It helps my children feel important, and it helps me feel less stress (both because things are getting done, and also because I don't feel like it is up to me to make sure that EVERYTHING runs smoothly - which takes a huge load off my mind).

And, hey, if they don't want to eat your gluten free meal, they are certainly capable of eating a bowl of cereal. And when they get tired enough of cereal, they'll probably ask to help make dinner! :lol: *Giggle*

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I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this Marlene. It sounds as though you're really in a bind. I hope that you can find a way out of it soon enough. At the same time, if your family must really rely on you to work full time, then you don't want to work yourself so ragged that you get too sick to do anything. It might not be a bad idea to look into alternative options, such as disability insurance. I hope this all works out for you. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck.


Diagnosed July 2004

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Others have covered a lot of ground regarding your situation. I'll add a comment about meals. The crockpot can be your best friend. Throw safe foods in it in the morning and you have dinner plus lunch the next day all prepared. (With your large family, maybe two pots would be better.) And any leftovers could be frozen to use when you need "fast food". I'm a firm believer that if one goes to the trouble to cook, the quantity should be large enough to do for three meals and a casserole.

I do agree that other family members need to take up the slack. If, for example's sake, you had a more disabling disease such as cancer, etc., and were bedridden for six months or a year, wouldn't they all pitch in then??? Sure they would. You could very well end up having to quit working if you continue to push yourself so hard trying to do too much - wouldn't they be willing to go to extra effort now for a few months to keep such a thing from happening by doing some preventative measures? Just a thought.


Valda

Enterolab results: ...two genes for gluten intolerance ...casein intolerance

other sensitivities: corn, eggs, soy, potato, tapioca

Hypoglycemic

Sensitivity to high EMFs [electromagnetic frequency] (limits my time in front of the computer)

Living a healthier, happier life.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.Psalm 139: 9,10

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Marlene,

I am so terribly sorry that you are going through all this! I could sense the desperation in your posts. Unfortunately, we can symphathize all too well. I am sorry we are all in this; but I am happy you have posted and maybe we can help some.

Please, please, PLEASE stop cooking two separate meals. There are so many naturally gluten free foods. This would be one EASY way to help decrease your stress.

Tacos: Many of the McCormicks brand mixes are gluten free (read carefully, but they are very good about labeling their food). Make the chicken/beef, serve with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, etc. Use all corn tortillas (which will make it easier!) or, if they want soft tacos, let them have flour torts and you use your corn torts. If you use sour cream, salsa, etc., make sure you have your own (so that they don't double dip and touch their tortillas if they are using flour torts). (You can also make enchiladas and fajitas. I use McCormicks for both as well)

Spaghetti: Many mainstream tomato sauces are naturally gluten free. Pick one that your family would like, and make the sauce (and I put ground beef in mine, with onions, and any other veggies). You could use two separate pots and make your own gluten-free noodles and then make theirs in another (but do not use the same utensils). (I understand...gluten-free pasta can be expensive for six people, but this is an easy way to serve a similar meal without "double cooking). Serve yours first, and then let them go to town.

Only buy gluten free dressings...many of which are naturally gluten free. Kraft, Hellman's, Newman's Own, etc many have ones that are safe.

Grill foods out and use safe barbeque sauce (many normal brands are safe)

For a recipe like a stir fry that uses soy sauce, use a gluten free soy sauce. Serve with beef/chicken/seafood, veggies, and rice.

You can always make things on the side that are easy to make (i.e., with spaghetti, buy some quick bake rolls in the frozen section, put in the oven while you are cooking, and serve). This gives them more options while not increasing meal prep time. Just be extremely careful about cross contamination.

You can make chilli naturally gluten free easily. Same with other soups (chicken, veggies, rice, and many of Swanson's (but NOT all) broths are gluten free).

I have all kinds of ideas :) Let me know if you have questions or would like brands, etc. Feel free to PM me as sometimes I miss posts.

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