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Nightingale8472

I Don'T Know If I Can Do This...

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My doc thinks I might have celiac.

To start, I get migraines about 5 times a week...a couple of weekdays and then usually friday and saturday. My neurologist looked at my headache food/trigger diary and said "so basically, you get migraines from breathing." Yeah, that's what it feels like. A day without a headache is an amazing gift.

Gluten is something I eat every day. It never occurred to me to track it, because it's in so many things, in every single meal I eat. I don't think I've ever had a gluten free meal in my life.

A friend at work asked if I'd ever been tested for celiac. She'd had chronic migraines and when she went gluten-free, her headaches were gone. Like me, none of the preventative medications for migraines helped her. I think I've been through every common preventative, some of the uncommon ones, and at least one from every class of preventative out there. None help any, and the side effects are awful.

I looked up the other symptoms of celiac, and started thinking "damn. This is me." The stomach aches, the intestinal upsets, gas, bloating... I'd thought it was from all the migraine medications I'd been taking, because they all list stuff like that as a side effect. I asked my sister (I'm adopted, just reconnected with the bio-family last year) if anyone in the family had ever had celiac, and she told me that my aunt avoids gluten, though there's never been a formal diagnosis.

Part of me really wants this diagnosis because I'll finally have an answer. I've had headaches for fifteen years and nobody can tell me why. My life is an endless cycle of medications that don't work and painkillers and triptans I have to rotate through to keep them all working and to keep from getting medication rebound headaches. I've got six bottles of pills in my purse that I can't go anywhere without and I'd love to just throw them all off a cliff.

Part of me really doesn't want this diagnosis, because then I'll have to change everything...

I love to travel...love to take off not knowing where I'm going to end up. I went to Ireland with no hotel reservations and just a rental car and stopped for food whenever I was hungry and ate wherever was nearby, or wherever the locals recommended. I love trying new foods. For me, that is huge. My dad never wanted to eat anything new or different, and I've taken my life to the opposite extreme... If I've never tried it, I want to. All those strange foods you see on the travel channel...I wanna eat those! And I don't just want to eat them, I want to go there and eat them! But with such a restrictive diet, going somewhere and trying new things where I don't speak the language... Even getting my own family to understand what the doc was testing me for was difficult and they speak English! How could I go to Thailand or Morocco and tell someone there what I can't eat? I'm supposed to go to Italy with my choir this summer on tour...land of pasta! Can I even go at all?

I hate planning the little things in my life in advance, especially food. There's never any food at all in my house, because I always eat out. Mostly healthy eating out, but eating out. I think the only things in my fridge are beer and a half-empty bottle of ketchup that's about five years old. I hate even thinking about food. I don't cook. Ever. What to have for dinner is something I decide looking at a stack of take-out menus. Food is something I go and pick up, or something the delivery guy brings to me. It's not something I plan out, shop for, and prepare. It's this amazing mystery like plumbing or car repair. Awesome to know how, and I'm amazed by those that can do it, but I'm not one of those people and I don't want to be. I haven't seen the inside of a grocery store in something like two years. Some mysteries should remain unsolved. I've burned water. Seriously.

So... do I want an answer, if it's this answer? I don't know... Do I want to keep going like I have been? No.

I find out the results of the blood test sometime this week.

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Welcome Nightingale! We've all been where you are now. Getting this diagnosis is a life changing event and can be a difficult adjustment but it beats suffering every day. There was a time when I did not know a day without pain. Now I rarely take a tylenol. Changing my diet was a very small price to pay to get my life back. You can travel and you can eat out. Italy is one of the easiest countries in the world to find gluten-free food.

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I can't help with the traveling but as far as new food experiences, I find myself branching out more and more (I did to an extent before but now am really gung-ho). Of course, we make most everything at home. But a change in diet for no migraines? I'd gladly do that. I don't get as many as you but I have/had enough to know I wouldn't want to!!! Good luck!

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My doc thinks I might have celiac.

....

I hate planning the little things in my life in advance, especially food. There's never any food at all in my house, because I always eat out. Mostly healthy eating out, but eating out. I think the only things in my fridge are beer and a half-empty bottle of ketchup that's about five years old. I hate even thinking about food. I don't cook. Ever. What to have for dinner is something I decide looking at a stack of take-out menus. Food is something I go and pick up, or something the delivery guy brings to me. It's not something I plan out, shop for, and prepare. It's this amazing mystery like plumbing or car repair. Awesome to know how, and I'm amazed by those that can do it, but I'm not one of those people and I don't want to be. I haven't seen the inside of a grocery store in something like two years. Some mysteries should remain unsolved. I've burned water. Seriously.

So... do I want an answer, if it's this answer? I don't know... Do I want to keep going like I have been? No.

I find out the results of the blood test sometime this week.

Well, you may want to get a water cook book then! It's really not bad stuff if you add some veggies, meat, and spices to it and boil it for a while. Some people call it soup. :D Just kidding! LOL.

Well, I wasn't as dependent on eating out as you. But I had gotten in the habit of buying my food in little frozen boxes at the grocery store and micro zapping it. When I went gluten-free of course I stopped that mode and started slowly learning how to make rice dishes. Then I got a pressure cooker and made some soup in it. Now I make gluten-free cookies and muffins and cakes. For the cakes I use the Betty Crocker mixes since they are so easy and not expensive. There is a thread on here about microwave bread that works real well too. In fact there is a whole forum section on gluten-free cooking and baking tips. There is another section on gluten-free travel too. There's no doubt being gluten-free will change your life. But you could look at it as an adventure in discovering new gluten-free foods also.

Celiac is a serious condition, and if left untreated the consequences can be, well, not good. Your doc will probably draw a little blood for antibody testing. Just stay on the gluten until that is done though because the tests aren't reliable if you aren't eating gluten. If you do have celiac then changing your diet is a necessity, not an option. That's just the way it is for us. It is doable, and it is easier after you get used to eating different. And you will probably end up eating healthier food than most of the people you know.

It can be done, there is a whole forum full of people here who do it after all.

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Do try the diet even if the test results are negative as there is a high rate of false negatives. A positive is a postive though even if the level seems low.

You will get used to it and travel and adventure are still going to be possible. You can get multilingual dining cards that will let places know what you need to avoid. Also many European countries are much more gluten savvy than we are. It is not unusual in some places to be able to go and get a gluten-free burger or pizza with no issues at all.

It will take some getting used to but if you need the diet those headaches and stomach issues may just be the beginning. Some of us were severely impacted by the time we were diagnosed. Some so badly that they have never been able to fully heal. If your diagnosed and following the diet you may well find that you are healthier than you have ever been in your life.

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We all go through this grieving process in one way or other. The loss of freedom to just eat whatever and whenever you want is HUGE. I am only 3 weeks in and I have had my share of sobbing over never having Guinness again or not being able to go to Ireland and have Irish stew in a real pub. I know what you are feeling!!

But if you do have celiac disease you WILL lose your freedom to illness. If you have it then your body is literally being destroyed by your immune system to protect you from what it perceives as POISON. Celiac disease untreated causes devastating and deadly illness from cancer to other autoimmunes disorders, which if they aren't deadly can debilitate you. Migraines are debilitating in and of themselves.

You CAN travel. You can do all the things you love to do. You will have to plan more. You will have to make big changes, but you will be healthy and have the energy to do those things and that is the payoff.

Look at the travel forum on here and you can do searches for particular places. Every country has meat, vegetables and fruit, rice, beans, etc. that are naturally gluten free.

I think that you might be someone who needs to have full confirmation from lab work and biopsy to comply because of the eating out and traveling. You need to remember though that the tests are not all that accurate. If all of your tests come back negative you may choose to do a gluten free trial for a month and see if your symptoms go away. For the tests you need to be eating gluten though.

If this is your diagnosis, you will be gaining so much in health, that the losses are worth it. It won't always feel that way, but in the end it is the truth.

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I have had my share of sobbing over never having Guinness again or not being able to go to Ireland and have Irish stew in a real pub.

Ireland is the most celiac friendly country I've been to - every pub, restaurant and cafe has a gluten-free menu.

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Ireland is the most celiac friendly country I've been to - every pub, restaurant and cafe has a gluten-free menu.

Are you serious???? I have never been there and I can't wait to go. I was watching a travel channel show about it and crying my eyes out when he was going on and on about having a "proper pint of Guiness in a proper Irish pub." That is awesome!!

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Are you serious???? I have never been there and I can't wait to go. I was watching a travel channel show about it and crying my eyes out when he was going on and on about having a "proper pint of Guiness in a proper Irish pub." That is awesome!!

I am serious. In fact, I would recommed Ireland for a first trip because it's that friendly. Most menus have celiac notations and if they don't all you have to do is ask and they can tell you right away. There is very little processed food there so when they say it's OK it's OK. I walked into a fish fry in a small coastal town and the owner steamed fish "just like she does for all of her celiacs". She even said I shouldn't eat the fries because the fryer was right next to batter fryer and she was concerned there might be contamination. I ate soup and stew two or three times a day and only ran across one that had flour.

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Sandsurfgirl-

I think you're right... I think I'm going to need the diagnosis. The diet and changes are going to be so hard that without that data, I don't think I could do it for long enough for it to matter. I'll give in on the first day. I tried being a vegetarian in college, which lasted all of four hours, until I forgot that beef jerky had meat in it! Yeah, I gave up after that. Reading labels on everything and memorizing "hidden sources" and all that... and another thread mentioned worrying about my boyfriend's chapstick!

Hopefully I can get the diagnosis from the blood test and not the biopsy... I'm really not liking the scope down the throat idea (I'm a singer...don't want anything poking anywhere near my vocal cords...they're kinda important.). My doc has referred me to a gastroenterologist. My appointment is on Friday.

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Seriously, it's just food.

Imagine all the places you can go just in a snap if you don't have to worry about stopping at the pharmacy first for all your medications. And won't have to worry about stopping a trip mid-way because you're curled up in a ball on the floor with a raging migraine.

Seriously, it's just food.

There are gluten free alternatives to probably EVERYthing you're used to eating. And cooking really isn't such a mystery. It's really quite easy.

You can either get well, or you can continue on the way you are. I honestly don't understand why anyone would choose to continue to be sick all the time. But, some people do.

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Are you serious???? I have never been there and I can't wait to go. I was watching a travel channel show about it and crying my eyes out when he was going on and on about having a "proper pint of Guiness in a proper Irish pub." That is awesome!!

You might not be able to have Guinness, but as I recall, most pubs have cider, and nobody will look at you weird for ordering it or asking for it. The bartenders there suggested it to me often, because in their experience, the "yanks" knew about guinness, but the cider was something new to share!

Bulmers is one of the more popular brands, and they confirm on their website that the pear cider is gluten free... they don't mention the others (the pear is new, so their FAQ is all about it), but various places on the web say it's gluten free.

* Bulmers Original Cider

* Bulmers Pear Cider

* Bulmers Mid-Strength

* Bulmers Light

* Linden Village Cider

* Strongbow Cider

* Samsons Cider

* Ritz Crisp Dry Perry

They're sold outside Ireland under the brand name Magners. I can confirm that the original, the pear, and Strongbow are all really good! A lot of the pubs here in the US carry Strongbow cider.

Also, cider sold under then name Bulmer outside Ireland (the name is owned by Heineken outside Ireland...Bulmers Ireland uses Magners outside IE) in original and pear is gluten free.

I guess when my friends are all having a beer I'll have to have cider instead. I'm a skydiver...that's going to be tough for me. Beer is part of our culture. Whenever you do something for the first time (get your license, have a parachute malfunction and use your reserve, do something really cool), we say you "owe beer", which means you bring beer for all your friends so you can all sit around the bonfire and share the beer and the story. My headaches have pretty much kept me on the ground for the last few years. Maybe going gluten free will get my butt back up in the air. I'll just have to be sure to keep some cider in the cooler.

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I guess when my friends are all having a beer I'll have to have cider instead. I'm a skydiver...that's going to be tough for me. Beer is part of our culture. Whenever you do something for the first time (get your license, have a parachute malfunction and use your reserve, do something really cool), we say you "owe beer", which means you bring beer for all your friends so you can all sit around the bonfire and share the beer and the story. My headaches have pretty much kept me on the ground for the last few years. Maybe going gluten free will get my butt back up in the air. I'll just have to be sure to keep some cider in the cooler.

I still buy the beer because they expect it. I drink tequila and never had anyone pass up a shot. :)

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Seriously, it's just food.

Imagine all the places you can go just in a snap if you don't have to worry about stopping at the pharmacy first for all your medications. And won't have to worry about stopping a trip mid-way because you're curled up in a ball on the floor with a raging migraine.

Seriously, it's just food.

There are gluten free alternatives to probably EVERYthing you're used to eating. And cooking really isn't such a mystery. It's really quite easy.

...

I know... In the last two weeks, migraines have kept me from poker games, wakeboarding, skydiving, helping a friend move, and getting work done. And that's just what I can think of in a few seconds.

How do you find time to cook? I feel like I don't even have time to shop... I get up at 5:30, commute to work, work, get home at 6:30, take care of the dog, do homework, and crash. I usually eat while I'm doing something else.

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I still buy the beer because they expect it. I drink tequila and never had anyone pass up a shot. :)

Hehe, yeah, I can't picture most jumpers turning that down.

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Hehe, yeah, I can't picture most jumpers turning that down.

Most? Try none :) Especially when the Patron comes out. Life is too short to sit on the ground with migranes. Give it a whirl and get your butt back in the air! The gluten-free thing is really as easy or hard as you make it.

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Thanks for all the cider info. I could go for that! I'll pass on the skydiving though. I am pretty adventurous. I love to surf, go backpacking, and all of that stuff but jumping from a plane I just can't bring myself to do.

Not being able to do the things you love because of illness SUCKS. I haven't surfed in a long time because of constantly not feeling well enough. You have to surf regularly to keep up that strength and I'm sidelined too much from this or that or the other. Imagine how amazing it will be to get healthy and do those things without fear!!! Imagine being able to get out there in the water or up in the sky as much as you want without headaches. You CAN do this if it ends up being what you need.

There are so many prepared foods out there that are gluten free. You will find the places near you that can accomodate. Lots of fast food places have info on their websites and some like McD's and Wendy's have printouts you can carry with you so you don't have to remember. If you have a blackberry or iPhone you can also bring it up on that in a pinch.

Healthy food is so easy to cook. Put some seasoning on chicken or pork chops and throw them in the oven while you steam some veggies. Get a rice cooker so you don't have to watch the rice. Jar pasta sauce and rice pasta is a good quick meal. Cook some hamburger and some corn tortillas and you have tacos. We are all here to help you with that.

I wanted to also tell you that if your gut says that you are celiac follow it. I was told by my OB seven years ago that I had celiac and needed testing. I KNEW that's what it was. The GI doc had other ideas and gave me a laundry list of reasons why I was NOT celiac, all of which ended up being classic symptoms proving he was an ignorant moron but I digress. He didnt' test me and I walked out of there believing him and saying "Thank God I don't have THAT!" I mean who wants to have celiac right? I was SO relieved. But I wish I had known more and dug for more info because 7 years ago is when I started having kids and this has been the most difficult years of my life health wise.

Even if your tests come up negative, there are lots of false negatives. After your tests, I urge you to try the diet. It's hard and it sucks but it's not as hard as being grounded or having to stay out of the water because you are sick. Maybe your tests will be positive and you will have your answer. I went by blood tests only. Some docs accept that. Some want a biopsy. It's my body and I said no way would I do the 6 weeks of gluten. I was already SOOOOOO sick. I would have ended up in the hospital.

Good luck with the tests. I got blood results within 3 days of having it drawn.

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Even if your tests come up negative, there are lots of false negatives. After your tests, I urge you to try the diet. It's hard and it sucks but it's not as hard as being grounded or having to stay out of the water because you are sick. Maybe your tests will be positive and you will have your answer. I went by blood tests only. Some docs accept that. Some want a biopsy. It's my body and I said no way would I do the 6 weeks of gluten. I was already SOOOOOO sick. I would have ended up in the hospital.

Good luck with the tests. I got blood results within 3 days of having it drawn.

They said the celiac panel could take up to a week because they have to send it out. The doc ordered a bunch of routine blood tests because they were stabbing me anyway, so they might as well check the usual stuff. Everything else should be done already, or by tomorrow at the latest.

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How do you find time to cook? I feel like I don't even have time to shop... I get up at 5:30, commute to work, work, get home at 6:30, take care of the dog, do homework, and crash. I usually eat while I'm doing something else.

I'm up at 4:15, and home by 7 some nights, 9:00 on others. I do all my shopping and cooking on the weekend and freeze meals. I eat a lot of crockpot food because it's so non-time-consuming. Just throw some meat in the pot, fill the rest with veggies, turn it to low, and come back in 10 hours or so. I get three runs done and end up with enough food for the week and a few extra for when I don't cook.

Breakfast is either one of these meals, or scrambled eggs. I take a frozen meal for lunch, and have one for dinner (ok, on the late nights I have a glass of wine for dinner). :ph34r: :ph34r:

It's just a habit, like everything else in out lives.

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A great big 'I hear you' sympathy pat on the back!

I'm only 6 months into the diet, and my life has had to change so much, it's crazy. I don't really enjoy cooking all that much - it's something I did because eating out all the time with 4 people and one income was too much to afford. And even then, we still ate out a lot. I'm not a good cook, I didn't know about lots of 'alternative' foods, and going out for food has been a big part of my family's culture, as well as lots of travel I wanted to do, and trying out new foods and...lemme just say, I can TOTALLY feel your pain. :-(

Also...be prepared for the possibility of other food issues. They are common in celiac patients. I ended up with a ton of food issues I never knew I had, but they did a lot of things to my body that used to keep me from doing what I wanted to, too. Earaches, migraines, severe back pain, carpal tunnel - all gone once I went off the foods (I was told to keep a food log of what I ate and how I felt, and just had to be really careful not to eat the same food two days in a row, so I could tell when I reacted, ya know?)

Here's things that have helped me, though, with some of this. Advice from other people, things I've found on-line, things I've tried

1. Frankly...having someone you can cry to every once in a while helps, because sometimes, it is overwhelming and frustrating when you see foods around you and you can't even touch them. Just...hard sometimes. And it's good to have that same someone who can remind you to stick with it.

2. If it's gluten that's the issue, reminders of how bad it is have helped me. I read off one blog where a celiac's doctor gave her this analogy: to us, gluten is like a bowl of ground up glass. It will HURT us. If someone put that bowl in front of us, would we take 'just one bite' or 'cheat just this once,' or would we keep that stuff away from us? That thought has helped sometimes when I'm thinking of having food I shouldn't.

I made these silly little notecards with warnings and reminders on them, all over the house, especially where the food is. Like, "getting to go out at night is worth all this." It really feels cheesy, but it has helped when my will is weak, to remember WHY I'm doing it.

3. Travel - oh, they so got you covered! My father is celiac, too, but my mother's relatives are in Europe, so he's been there a few times, and Europe, at least, is much more gluten aware than here. They have gluten free stuff all over the place. And on top of that, there are places you can find on-line that sell a collection of cards for you to use at restaurants. Cards in different languages that explain your condition, what you can't eat, what would contaminate food with gluten, and also some common foods in that culture that have gluten that would be bad for you. I have known people who used these and said they were VERY useful! So travel is totally do-able.

4.Time to cook - yeah, that one sucks. For all my food issues, I've ended up having one day that I have to stay home and just cook for the rest of the week, but that's a little extreme for a lot of people. I know many who live by crockpot. They find gluten-free recipes, set up the crockpot before they go to work, on low, and it's ready by the time they get back. Cooking things in big batches, so you have food for a few days in a row, has been a lifesaver, but again, it takes times. Gluten free blogs have had some GREAT recipes that are normally gluten free, with different kinds of grains and stuff. But still... time-wise, it does add time at first.

Seriously? I would take every free moment you have, right now, and start browsing websites with gluten free recipes. Make yourself a little beginner's gluten-free cookbook that has easy to make stuff, you know? Then maybe you won't be so overwhelmed if the time comes and you have to figure out how to cook and what to cook at the same time, yes?

5. Re: the grocery store - it is highly likely that you can still avoid this. :-) Most of the alternative grains and flours are cheaper if you buy them in bulk on-line. You can order meat on-line and have it delivered, or a lot of meat companies have a delivery service in most city areas. There are often local farms that will have a weekly delivery place where you sign up with them, pay a monthly fee, and they delivery a box of fresh veggies/fruits to the delivery location for you to pick up that day. Sometimes dairy too, if you find one. It's usually whatever is in season, so it takes a little time to find the recipes to use on these new foods. Some of the bigger cities have pizza places that have gluten-free pizza, or restaurants will have gluten-free menus. Some better than others, of course. If you ask when you go in, it's surprising how many places are starting to have gluten-free menus! :-D

6. I try to remember that everything's gonna be new right now. Yes, I'm losing foods. But I keep reminding myself that maybe I can use this opportunity to simply explore all those 'exotic' foods that I never tried because they weren't comfortable, or easily available. I can try foods from the countries where they eat more rice, more corn, more quinoa, more cassava, whatever it is. Like Ethiopia - the injera bread, if it's made traditionally, is made from a non-wheat flour, and their food is really yummy. So, thinking like that has helped me. It feels a bit like lying to myself sometimes, but at the same time, it really is true, yes? :-)

7. I have heard from many people that not eating ANYTHING that is 'fake' wheat products for a few months can help. No gluten-free breads, crackers, pastas, etc... The reason, they claim, is that this gives your body time to forget what the wheat tastes like, so the new flavors don't feel so strange and 'not like wheat.' Also, with regards to these products - companies tend to add more fat and more sugar to gluten-free products. When they refine the alternative flours, they DON'T vitamin fortify them,usually, unlike wheat. So less nutrients too. Another good reason to avoid them, eh?

Other than that - I wish you good luck! It IS a hard transition - at least it was for me - but even with all the frustration and difficulty and wishing I could eat something else? I feel so much better it's mind boggling. Stunning to realize just how much my body has been stomped down all these years, and I'm stilling coming to terms with the fact that I won't be having all this trouble later on.

Good luck!

My doc thinks I might have celiac.

To start, I get migraines about 5 times a week...a couple of weekdays and then usually friday and saturday. My neurologist looked at my headache food/trigger diary and said "so basically, you get migraines from breathing." Yeah, that's what it feels like. A day without a headache is an amazing gift.

Gluten is something I eat every day. It never occurred to me to track it, because it's in so many things, in every single meal I eat. I don't think I've ever had a gluten free meal in my life.

A friend at work asked if I'd ever been tested for celiac. She'd had chronic migraines and when she went gluten-free, her headaches were gone. Like me, none of the preventative medications for migraines helped her. I think I've been through every common preventative, some of the uncommon ones, and at least one from every class of preventative out there. None help any, and the side effects are awful.

I looked up the other symptoms of celiac, and started thinking "damn. This is me." The stomach aches, the intestinal upsets, gas, bloating... I'd thought it was from all the migraine medications I'd been taking, because they all list stuff like that as a side effect. I asked my sister (I'm adopted, just reconnected with the bio-family last year) if anyone in the family had ever had celiac, and she told me that my aunt avoids gluten, though there's never been a formal diagnosis.

Part of me really wants this diagnosis because I'll finally have an answer. I've had headaches for fifteen years and nobody can tell me why. My life is an endless cycle of medications that don't work and painkillers and triptans I have to rotate through to keep them all working and to keep from getting medication rebound headaches. I've got six bottles of pills in my purse that I can't go anywhere without and I'd love to just throw them all off a cliff.

Part of me really doesn't want this diagnosis, because then I'll have to change everything...

I love to travel...love to take off not knowing where I'm going to end up. I went to Ireland with no hotel reservations and just a rental car and stopped for food whenever I was hungry and ate wherever was nearby, or wherever the locals recommended. I love trying new foods. For me, that is huge. My dad never wanted to eat anything new or different, and I've taken my life to the opposite extreme... If I've never tried it, I want to. All those strange foods you see on the travel channel...I wanna eat those! And I don't just want to eat them, I want to go there and eat them! But with such a restrictive diet, going somewhere and trying new things where I don't speak the language... Even getting my own family to understand what the doc was testing me for was difficult and they speak English! How could I go to Thailand or Morocco and tell someone there what I can't eat? I'm supposed to go to Italy with my choir this summer on tour...land of pasta! Can I even go at all?

I hate planning the little things in my life in advance, especially food. There's never any food at all in my house, because I always eat out. Mostly healthy eating out, but eating out. I think the only things in my fridge are beer and a half-empty bottle of ketchup that's about five years old. I hate even thinking about food. I don't cook. Ever. What to have for dinner is something I decide looking at a stack of take-out menus. Food is something I go and pick up, or something the delivery guy brings to me. It's not something I plan out, shop for, and prepare. It's this amazing mystery like plumbing or car repair. Awesome to know how, and I'm amazed by those that can do it, but I'm not one of those people and I don't want to be. I haven't seen the inside of a grocery store in something like two years. Some mysteries should remain unsolved. I've burned water. Seriously.

So... do I want an answer, if it's this answer? I don't know... Do I want to keep going like I have been? No.

I find out the results of the blood test sometime this week.

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I don't have to "commute" to work. I live only 4 miles away, so it's less than a 10 minute drive each way.

Even when I did commute though (I used to live/work in Toronto. Traffic there is HELL!) I usally made time to cook. I would rather save my money than eat take-away every day.

I know a lot of people who make a lot of good use of crockpots though! I personally enjoy a nice curry at least every other week!

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I don't have to "commute" to work. I live only 4 miles away, so it's less than a 10 minute drive each way.

Even when I did commute though (I used to live/work in Toronto. Traffic there is HELL!) I usally made time to cook. I would rather save my money than eat take-away every day.

I know a lot of people who make a lot of good use of crockpots though! I personally enjoy a nice curry at least every other week!

Wow, I'm jealous. I spend anywhere from 2-4 hours a day stuck in traffic, and that's with a carpool. The OC to Los Angeles commute is hell.

I'm kinda hesitant to try the crockpot thing... I never seem to eat leftovers. No matter how tasty the original dish, I always need variety to get myself to eat. That's why I tend to eat out. If I make a big pot of something, no matter how yummy, the rest just gets wasted sitting in the fridge while it's passed over for something more interesting. I just don't feel hungry usually, I kind of have to convince myself to eat, so if the food doesn't look really yummy or interesting, it doesn't get eaten. I don't know if that would change if I went gluten free, or if it's just me.

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I just don't feel hungry usually, I kind of have to convince myself to eat, so if the food doesn't look really yummy or interesting, it doesn't get eaten. I don't know if that would change if I went gluten free, or if it's just me.

I used to write myself post-it notes to remind myself to eat. Every single meal, every day for five years, from fifteen until two weeks after I went gluten free. Forget snacks; half the time, what I was eating was less than a snack-sized portion anyway. I don't write post-it notes anymore; I don't need to. I was ravenously hungry for the first time in mid-June; I stayed ravenous for weeks. It amused my friends; it baffled me. I still don't quite comprehend hunger, but I know that my body has no problem reminding me anymore.

And I went on an elimination diet. The results of that, combined with a history of celiac in the family (and with a possible diagnosis already under my belt), that told the doctors that there was a connection between the crippling migraines I felt and the gluten that I ate. I lived with daily migraines for two years--I can't imagine trying to live my life with them for more than that. I get a couple a month now, and it still frustrates me. I went gluten free when I realized that it was the only way that my brain wasn't going to explode.

I get to live my life again and stop putting activities on hold because all I can feel is the pain.

You sound like me, albeit an older version who actually got a life before things started interfering. If you need a firm diagnosis, then do all the testing. But give an elimination diet a chance even if the blood work comes back negative. I promise, you really do have nothing to lose.

(Seriously? Even if crock-pots aren't your friend? Keep pre-cooked vegetables in the fridge and add them to a variety of dishes. Add in different spice combinations and sauces, and you have an endless string of different meals to satisfy you.)

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You sound like me, albeit an older version who actually got a life before things started interfering. If you need a firm diagnosis, then do all the testing. But give an elimination diet a chance even if the blood work comes back negative. I promise, you really do have nothing to lose.

Thanks! Your post was really helpful! I've been having headaches and stomach trouble since college... they told me for years that they were tension headaches and I needed to stress less. The headaches got so bad that they kind of eclipsed the other issues. I finally switched doctors and got a referral to a neurologist who was able to help some. The thing is, I get migraines about five days a week, so I usually just go on with my life despite having a migraine...part of it is that I'm used to it. I'm in pain more often than not, but the bigger thing is that if I gave in to the instinct to curl up in a dark room every time I had a headache, I'd never leave the house!

I kind of internally rate my headaches on a 1-10 scale and treat them accordingly:

1-3 is annoying, and if I'm at work and need to go to court I'll take a triptan like imitrex or relpax to make the headache stop so it doesn't get any worse. Otherwise, I won't take anything if I'm at work and don't have court...if I'm doing something else that I need to be moving around (movement makes migraines worse), I'll take advil or aspirin. Doesn't stop it, but takes the edge off enough to do whatever I'm gonna do.

4-6 is moderate, and I'll take a midrin (prescription headache med, kinda like mega-excedrin...tylenol, a vasoconstrictor, and a sedative all stacked together), or a prescription strength advil if I have it. I've been trying to avoid advil recently, as I thought it might be contributing to the stomach aches. I take dance classes in the evening when I feel well enough, and I was also taking advil sometimes for those "OMG I totally overdid it and now moving hurts!" moments. Reducing it six months ago didn't seem to make a difference, though.

7-10 is severe, and I'll take a norco or vicodin, and if those don't stay down I end up in the ER on dilaudid or morphine. I get a severe headache on average 1-2 times a week, and end up in the ER once every six months or so. The neurologist has given me a new prescription for the nausea, Zofran, which helps a ton, so hopefully the ER visits won't have to happen anymore, since they only happen when I'm throwing up my pain meds...the vomiting makes the headache a hundred times worse, and then nothing will stay down to relieve it. Hospital pain meds are evil! They make me feel so sick and dizzy and throw up more, and I usually get stuck there all night because I'm too stubborn to call someone to drive me, but they do stop the jackhammer in my brain, which is what counts at that point.

My dad doesn't even bother to ask if I have a headache anymore, since I almost always do... he just asks "How's the head?" and I reply with a number, which tells him not only how bad it is, but what I've done to treat it.

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Wow, I'm jealous. I spend anywhere from 2-4 hours a day stuck in traffic, and that's with a carpool. The OC to Los Angeles commute is hell.

I'm kinda hesitant to try the crockpot thing... I never seem to eat leftovers. No matter how tasty the original dish, I always need variety to get myself to eat. That's why I tend to eat out. If I make a big pot of something, no matter how yummy, the rest just gets wasted sitting in the fridge while it's passed over for something more interesting. I just don't feel hungry usually, I kind of have to convince myself to eat, so if the food doesn't look really yummy or interesting, it doesn't get eaten. I don't know if that would change if I went gluten free, or if it's just me.

We're on OC and my husband drives to L.A. Some days it's not so bad and others it's a total nightmare.

If you end up needing to do the diet, you will make it work. If you can do all the things you do like skydiving, you can do this. Hang in there!

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