Blogging Contest · Gluten · NaNoWriMo

#17 Relate A Recent Epiphany (er…”Aha!” Moment)

You look at this and see: wheat. I look at it and see: POISON! Image attributed to User:Bluemoose via Wikimedia Commons.

I love having an epiphany, especially when it comes to writing. I love when research pulls my plot into a new direction or adds a dimension that I hadn’t thought of before. But I’ve actually wrote about those epiphanies many times on my blog. So instead, I’m going to write about one of my most important epiphanies which also directly affects my writing; gluten.

So I’m going along doing the mom thing, when a friend of mine suggests a smoothie recipe. I go out and stock up on wheat germ, wheat bran, flax seed, frozen blueberries and yogurt. The first couple of weeks are like… POW! I was like a minivan with a turbo setting. That smoothie gave me so much energy, I didn’t get hungry till 2pm.

This was not the epiphany.

Then I felt miserable. Nausea, vomiting, cramping, extreme fatigue, etc. As if that wasn’t enough, my brain couldn’t seem to connect to my writing hand. I couldn’t remember things that had happened five minutes before.

This was obviously not the epiphany.

For a month, my GI “specialist” ran all kinds of tests trying to figure out my physical symptoms while I started seeing a psychologist for my mental symptoms. I was down to eating oatmeal and chicken noodle soup all day, everyday because I thought, at the time, that those were supposed to be the most gentle to the stomach. Then the specialist suggested that my problems were from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The translation for IBS is: “I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Stop clogging up my appointment calendar. Here’s a pamphlet. Good luck.”

The pamphlet told me to look for my trigger foods. I was thinking “trigger foods” meant peanuts, strawberries, or chocolate. Then finally, another friend mentioned Celiac Disease. Wait…what? My grandma has that. She can’t eat wheat.

Cue the epiphany complete with a bright light, gust of wind, and full choir. “Ahh!”

It totally explained my symptoms including the bouts of lactose intolerance that would come and go for no rhyme or reason. Cutting gluten has been the best thing I have done for my body, and I wish I’d known to do it sooner. I certainly would have been a better student growing up. I’m so thankful to both those friends for pointing me in the right direction. 😀

There are over 200 symptoms of Celiac Disease, including everything from fibromyalgia to ADHD. If you would like more information please go to

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: 16,624


5 thoughts on “#17 Relate A Recent Epiphany (er…”Aha!” Moment)

  1. Me too, Shea. Starting having severe stomach problems in may of 2010 and struggled with several months when I had the IBS symptoms for about 70% of the days. Finally got into the stomach Dr. and he ran blood work and scheduled my 2nd set of scopes.
    Even though I do NOT test pos. for celiac, the Dr. agreed that I — and many of his other patients with similar symptoms — have significantly lessened stomach issues while going gluten free. And I’ve been G-F for 747 days. Now my “bad” stomach days are around 10% or so. Quite a diff. from 70%

    1. So glad you figured it out too, Jeff! I wish my dr. had thought to look for celiac during my endoscopy. My blood test came back negative (done AFTER the endoscopy), so I’ve never really had closure about it since the most reliable test is the biopsy. What it really boils down to, official diagnosis or not, I can FUNCTION without gluten. 🙂

      1. It was my daughter who insisted I try G-F … because her bro-in-law had very similar symptoms to me and was COMPLETELY cleared up by going G-F. I haven’t gotten to “completely” yet, but I certainly have a lot more freedom and mobility than I did when about 70% of my days had uncontrolled symptoms.

      2. I’ve studied the list of 7 {?} most likely food allergies and I’ve definitely ruled out at least 5 — because I keep a food diary of what I’ve consumed. There have been several long stretches of 20+ days without a typical symptom and I can see numerous examples [in those stretches] of eggs, dairy, etc. The only one which is a mystery to me is SOY … and soy is in so much stuff, that I would have to totally starve myself for two weeks to mail it for certain.

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