School of Hard Knocks
Well I have spent the past month attempting to follow a strict gluten-free diet, and I feel like I have been on a roller coaster, physically and emotionally. This past week I hit rick bottom. I should have been celebrating my health and the birthday of my three year old son, but instead I found myself sitting on the porcelain throne hugging a trash can, thinking “Oh God when will this stop? What did I do to deserve this?” I finally told my husband that I needed to go to the emergency room because the stomach pain and nausea were so terrible I just didn’t know what else to do.
After being given anti-nausea medication, pain medication, and fluids the hospital released me. I went home and threw up at least one more time. After managing to finally fall asleep, I woke up stiffer than I had been in about a month. The next day, my husband started feeling nauseous, but the flu didn’t hit him quite so hard. He only tossed his cookies once; I threw up three times (not counting the dry heaving). It has been almost a full week and I am still moving slowly, feeling pain and muscle stiffness. James didn’t even have to go to the doctor. It only took him about 3 days to be back to 100% functional. Why would he recover so much more quickly than me, besides the fact that I am a wimp?
A few days before my trip to the ER, I was happily baking a cake for my son Corbin’s birthday. I made a regular chocolate cake for the family, and made gluten-free cupcakes for myself. I almost licked the chocolate cake batter, but I caught myself and washed my hands. After mixing the chocolate cake, I noticed flour everywhere and the “Gluten Headache” setting-in. My hands started turning deep splotchy red. I’m not sure if Benadryl helps or not, but I took some since my hands were splotchy and called it a night.
On Sunday, I was constipated, but felt well enough to host a family birthday party for Corbin. We went out to eat at Monical’s Pizza where I had salad and a gluten-free pizza. Monday morning I woke up feeling nauseous, but thought it was probably because of being constipated. I went to work and made it through the day, but got really sick later that night. I didn’t really eat much until Wednesday when I had a banana.
On Thursday I had a lunch meeting at a Mexican restaurant where I learned that cross contamination is hard to avoid in this type of restaurant. No corn chips for me because they fry everything in the same oil. I must stress that I did not eat even one delicious freshly fried corn chip with the yummy salsa. Instead I ordered beans, rice and eggs and still got a Gluten headache. I assume this is from the fact that they make quesadillas on their grill.
At lunchtime on Friday I ordered a baked potato from the students in the life skills class. Of course I had to ask if the butter and sour cream were gluten free. The teacher of the class was just diagnosed with Celiac’s, so I felt confident that they would be able to answer the question. The butter and sour cream were brought on the side and I was told that the container for the sour cream said, “May contain trace amounts of wheat.” Now I know this is really stupid, but by this point in the week I was starving, and I just wanted sour cream on my potato….so I ate it anyway. The day before I managed to deny myself fresh chips and salsa, but I couldn’t pass on a little sour cream. Big mistake.
So today is Sunday, and I am hoping to get back to more normal bowel movements soon. Maybe in a few days the muscle pain will leave again. It has been a rough week, but sometimes we learn best through the school of hard knocks.