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Living Life with Celiac Disease

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How I Get Myself Sick Every December

You would think that at 51 years old I would have figured out my body by now. I am usually great at seeing patterns all around me, but when it comes to my own life, I become oblivious. So here is how I solved the mystery of my annual December flu.

It’s really quite simple but it started with my 4-year-old grandson. Like me, his mom and his aunt, he has corn and wheat allergies. When he spends a day/days with his dad, he comes home glutened and then runs a high fever that night or the next night. It happens to him month after month, gluten=high fever.

So why, knowing this, would I attend three different holiday parties and risk eating food that is supposedly “safe”? Because I just want to be normal once in a while. I think that everyone on a special diet fudges once in a while hoping that “this time will be different.” That may be okay if you give up sugar or caffeine, but not when it comes to an autoimmune diet.

Those of us who have autoimmune conditions such as celiac disease or other food related allergies need to remember a couple of important facts before consuming something questionable.

  1. If you don’t make the food, it isn’t safe, realistically we all know that as a fact. I call it the onion ring in the french fry situation. No one cares about your allergic reaction as much as you do.
  2. If you eat something you are allergic to, you are going to get sick, and not just food allergy sick. It’s an autoimmune response…. if your body is sending all your white blood cells and defenders to your gut to kill the food, and everything around it, it’s not protecting you from viruses and germs in your environment. Basically, all your defenders left their post when you needed them the most.
  3. You’re going to lose 1-3 weeks of your life! Is that steak, salad or casserole worth it? At least one week will be with the fever, the potential cold or flu, the digestive issues, the nausea, and let’s not forget the fatigue. December is a bad time to have fatigue and it lasts three weeks for me. Now don’t forget to get out the Christmas cards, prepare for overnight guests, family dinners, wrapping gifts, shopping, etc.
  4. You are going to be emotional. As if bloating, diarrhea, constipation, hives, fatigue, a fever and possibly a cold or flu weren’t bad enough, you are most likely going to be moody. I am moody 2.0 otherwise known as irritable, short tempered and just all-around b!tchy. Since you most likely will suffer from insomnia with or without the cold/flu issue, your patience will be hair trigger thin. Add anxiety and depression to that and Christmas is not looking very merry.

So, on this first day of the new year, I am hoping that this will serve as a reminder to me, and maybe you, the next time you plan to attend an event or holiday party. This year, I am going plan ahead, make my own meal and pack it in my bag to eat next to my hubby. I am not going to avoid holiday parties, just the food that is poisonous to my body. So if you are like me, Christmas cards will be going out in the mail before Valentine’s Day and if all goes as planned, before Christmas 2018.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018 filled with family, friends and safe food!

Blessings,

Kate

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Lessons learned… so far

As I write this, I am at the tail end of a fever and cold, that my loving grandson shared with me. My first mistake in noticing he was sick was not taking care of myself. Knowing we are huggers, hand holders, and snugglers, I should have loaded up on my immunity boosters. Instead, I ministered to him 100%. As if that wasn’t bad enough, exhaustion when his mom picked him up, sent me to bed for 14 hours. My other mistake, not taking any supplements, vitamins, or immunity protection/boosters before bed. I understandably woke with a 101.5* fever. Now it was time to play catch up, lesson learned.

The problem with being allergic to wheat and corn is the inability to safely take readily available medication. I rely mostly on local raw honey, Himalayan pink salt, minerals, herbs, roots, spices and essential oils. Even herbs have their challenges like hibiscus and rose hip. They are very good at supporting wellness and immunity. Roots like ginger and turmeric are high on my favorite list for when my immunity has been compromised. I should have started my regimen of honey, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, lemon oil, peppermint oil, and thieves oil tea the minute my grandson made his first sniffle, lesson learned.

Today, three days later, I am confident that by the end of the week I should be back to my  normal wellness. Meanwhile I am using my raw honey, herbs, roots and essential oils solely to bring myself back up to that wellness line. This is the first time I am hoping to do it without help of a gluten or corn laden intervention. Am I willing to acknowledge that I might have to change my mind, yes I am. My daughter and son in law were here for Easter dinner. He had forgotten to take his daily allergy protocol and in my house of three cats, a dog, and an almond orchard across the street, he began to have respiratory discomfort. Not having a lot of homeopathic experience in respiratory issues, I looked it up. I found several testimonials on a protocol, I confidently gave it to him to use, and watched. What I didn’t expect was for his symptoms to appear worse. I didn’t realize that was even a possibility! Why? Because I didn’t stick to my experience, I “looked it up” and blindly used my arsenal of goodness recklessly. I am not a doctor, nurse, medical assistant, or even a medical receptionist. I am an advocate for wellness (wellness for everyone). That is no different than wanting “world peace.” Lesson learned.

I don’t have any experience in managing respiratory issues without using protocols that involve gluten or corn. It is a double edged sword because I have had to take some corn laden syrups in order to get a moment’s rest. The problem with syrup is it is sweetened with corn. Sugar free contains corn related stabilizers so I again get sick. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were just hives and bloating, but corn affects my breathing. In the past I have taken a syrup for a couple days only to need an inhaler for a week. I honestly don’t know of any other alternative when my cough gets that bad. What choice do I have? I am going with my gut, my experience, and what my body tells me. There are many other herbs, roots and essential oils that help with cough. I will safely try each in moderation to see how my body reacts to each. In the event that I am able to manage my cough solely homeopathically, I will then be able to tell someone what worked for me in this situation. Will that help my son in law next time he visits? No, because I don’t experience what he experiences. He will need to be his own advocate for wellness. Difficult lesson learned.

Sometimes having a “helper’s heart” means letting other people learn their lessons on their own.

Note: As I mentioned, I use local raw honey, herbs, roots, and essential oils in my homeopathic arsenal. There are several things to remember:

  1. Homeopathy is a choice for me based on necessity (when possible). I have an allergen to corn and wheat that cause stomach issues, leaky gut symptoms, internal hives, respiratory issues and probably more I don’t even know about. Homeopathy may not be the right choice for you.
  2. Be your own advocate for wellness and admit when it is not working. That doesn’t mean it will never work, it means you haven’t found “what works for you.”
  3. Use only high quality, natural, products. I use local raw honey, organic spices, reputable companies that you feel confident about. There are companies that will add ingredients to their product so that they can sell more. The essential oil business is the worst, I only use Young Living Essential Oils because of this. Their Seed to Seal process sold me when I was living way below the wellness line.
    1. I began a YL membership so that I could purchase at wholesale cost. I did not begin my membership to “sell” or to “make money” by “spreading the word.” However, because of changes that friends and family have seen in my wellness, they have began memberships using my membership number as enroller/sponsor (10152010).
  4. Do not offer advise, recommendations, products on here-say or literature contained knowledge only. Investigate, try, use, feel. Just because it works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you.
    1. For example, I might have success using a specific homeopathic remedy for a migraine or headache. Out of blue someone asks what the best remedy is for a headache or migraine. The minute you offer advise, you take ownership of their wellness. Don’t do that. You can certainly share “what works for me is…” and the follow up with, “but I know what the root cause of my headache is, yours might be something different.” It’s human nature to want to help, but what if their headache is the cause of something serious and urgent. Don’t learn that lesson the hard way.
  5. Never stop learning, investigating, finding a way. Be it because of food allergies or sensitivities or because of a natural, chemical free choice. Keep learning, keep seeking answers, keep looking for a solution. There are many good lessons to be learned.

Have a blessed day and may you be living above the wellness line!

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

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