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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com 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 Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can 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-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is 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 Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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Memories Of Nowhere

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I say that I am back from Nowhere. Actually I existed right here. I stayed mostly in a house. Everyday I woke up in the morning and felt as exhausted as when I lay down the night before. Throughout the day I dragged my feet and used my cloudy mind to think of ways to make life seem easy again. I placed my refrigerator on cement blocks. I could reach the lower shelves that way. I couldn't squat down like my friends did, because I needed to breath!

Nowhere overtook me during a bout with mono when I did fulltime college class schedule. Usually one is very run down to catch mono. I had enjoyed my classes, planned my schedule by the half hour, and hoped that I could get straight A's. Then I got sick and slept up to 20 hours a day, but remained tired. After a few weeks I returned to college. A few days later I succumbed to pleurisy. The doctors seemed incredulous and called it the Old-Lady's-Disease. One who is 19 isn't supposed to get it. I dropped out of college that quarter and tried to gain strength for the next.

It is hard to say how I managed to get to college that next quarter. I couldn't always walk between classes and make it in time. I noticed bloating and that I sometimes looked pregnant. Sometimes I ate lunch with one set of friends, and still felt famished. I would get another lunch and sit with a new group of friends. I kept my foggy fatigue trying without end to cast it off. Sitting and reading seemed difficult, but somehow my grades didn't suffer. I took a break from school and began a fulltime nursing assistant job hoping the constant movement would wake me up. On the weekend I sat in bed with my legs up for the sake of my aching feet.

Life went on like this. I married and had 5 beautiful children. Some days I felt that all I could do was to tell the children how they ought to do things. I became critical. I used to be the babysitter that liked to play with the children. Now, I lacked any energy for all but neccessities.

The summer of 2007 came upon me. My children worked in the garden while I couldn't seem to get much done. They would weed an English yard as I sat trying not to let them see my tears. We took a trip and I hated my life. I saw a sign by a house, I read "Hope for Sale." I thought I needed some of that. I went home and yelled at my husband. "There is NOTHING LEFT, NOTHING LEFT". I meant that physically, mentally, and spiritually I had reached an endpoint. My life really dragged, Finally, my husband said to see a chiropractor that helped me in the past.

The nutrients that I received were life savers. I had felt like crashing each time I stood up. The crashing feeling actually was my blood pressure plunging as I stood up. The supplements easily broke down and I felt the difference they made in my life. Somehow we missed that I had celiac, so I continued eating gluten until 2012. At that point I felt foggy fatigue again in spite of taking the supplements. I complained that every tissue in my body feels irritated. A light dawned on my chiropractor's face, "Are you still eating gluten?" she said. OF coarse, I am, I said.. We didn't say more. She had asked once before. I went home and looked up gluten.

That would explain a few things, I thought to myself. My iron count stayed borderline low while I took iron supplements. The bloating, the foggy mind, and the extreme fatigue. I knew I had those, because they had gone away a couple of times. We also desired more children, but they stopped coming 16 years ago with no explanations

How does a person go through 30 years of their life like this? My symptoms were difficult to track. I looked bloated, but after marriage, I thought I might be pregnant or putting on weight. My husband thought my symptoms were all in my head. He thought I obsessed about health and perhaps I would like to be super-woman. A friend and I marveled how I looked so skinny, but needed a very large pattern to fit my abdomen. My mind fogged over; much had to be done just to take care of a family and trudge through. I had been this way for so long; I lost my perspective of how bodies should work. My symptoms fit in to my perception of reality. Sure, I swelled, but I always had. I felt tired, but this had always been. I told the doctor that I got a little tired sometimes, but they put this off by saying, "You have five children, right?" No further explanation was needed for them..

A promise helped me to make it through the transition: Jeremiah 29:11: " I will restore onto you, the years that the locusts have eaten." Surely locusts had ate up years of my life! But it wasn't over. Thank God, I have escaped from Nowhere! I hope each of you will be delivered too.

[i]Dee (I felt like a more identifying name)[/i]
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