Seek These Things

a blog discussing Celiac Disease, & the Gluten Free Diet, Books, Parenting, Politics, Religion, Pets, Product Reviews, and whatever else catches my interest

Disjointed August 13, 2009

It’s been so long since I added a new post I feel like I am going to explode. I’ll try not to trip over myself as I jump from item to item.

Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, and Narcolepsy, Oh-my!

First, that lack of energy I’ve been feeling for a while that makes me sleep more hours than my baby; well it turns out it might be some kind of sleep disorder. I’ve worn the Oxygen monitor and slept in the just-try-and-sleep-with-all-these-wires-glued-to-your-head bed and waited a week and called my doctor and they “just got the test results this morning and we haven’t had time to review them.” Okay, I said, call me as soon as you review them. That was days ago, and in the meantime I’m supposed to take an anti-depressant that makes me super sick just so I don’t fall asleep in the afternoon. I’m a bit frustrated.

Disaster at the Outback Steakhouse

Second, C. and I went to the Outback restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. Let me warn you that if it is not on their GF menu, it is NOT Gluten Free. Our waiter made the mistake of telling us that because the Thunder Brownie is on the GF menu, the Thunder Brownie Drink was also GF. That was a big fat LIE of ignorance. It must be cross-contaminated the way it is made because it made C. sick. Also, despite the fact that C. ordered a GF meal, without the sauce (as specified on the GF menu), and the waiter claims to have punched in GF twice when he put in our order, the gluten-sauce still came out on C.’s plate, spilling over the sides of the cup onto his meat. And the waiter, to my astonishment, just picked up the sauce cup like that made it all better. He must have admitted the mistake to his manager when we started trying to clean the sauce off C.’s plate with one of their good napkins. The manager was very nice. She had her staff prepare another entree for C. But by the time it came out, I had finished my meal, which would have been cold if C. hadn’t insisted I eat it.

Read Any Good Books Lately?

As a matter of fact, yes I have. I am just finishing the Enola Holmes series. It’s considered teen fiction. I consider it grown-up without being vulgar. It has a definite feminist undercurrent, not to the detriment of the novels. All preaching regarding a woman’s place is done in character by the characters themselves.

I’ve also read How to Write a D*** Good Mystery Novel by James N. Frey (rhymes with guy). In it he talks about writing a journal entry in the voice of your character to understand their motivations better. His workbook heroine was sentenced to hard time for a crime she didn’t commit, on the testimony of her boyfriend who got a plea deal for his testimony against her. In prison she found a higher power, and is trying to live a peaceful life. In the journal entry she tell us what she would do if she ever ran into her x-boyfriend again. She answered honestly that she didn’t know what would happen and she hopes to never find out. I was amazed by how well Frey knew his characters limitations and I plan to use many of his techniques in my own writing.

Another Personal Note

This time about living arrangements. I am still with the in-laws, but there is an end in site. Recently we took our house off the market. We are in the middle of a refinance. And once we do, we should be financially capable of paying for food again instead of spending all our money on credit card debt. I admit I have mixed feelings about this. I’m going to miss living with my Mother-in-law. Unlike the stereotype, she and my husband have very similar personalities so we get along swell. And it’s nice to have her offer to spend 10-20 minutes with the baby while I fold laundry or take a shower.

Pro Term Limits

Also, I heard someone, I’m almost positive it was Dave Ramsey, on the radio say that the only way to get the Fair Tax Passed is to get Term Limits passed first. I am so ready for tax reform. I hate April 15th. So now I’m pro Term Limits. I hope you will be too. We so badly need tax reform.

Social Poverty & My 22-cents on Nationalized Health Care

So we got a letter from the Social Security office letting us know that for every $1.00 we are contributing to Social Security, we can expect to get $0.78 back. How about I let the govm’t just take the $0.22 cents now and let me invest my $0.78 in my Savings Account at 0.5% interest and at least I’ll have made my 22 cents back in 50 years. I could use that money when I am 80.

My grandmother attended a centenarian celebration at the state capitol and I plan to attend one there, too. Hopefully without Nationalized Helath Care, because if I cannot trust the government with a $1 for 30-odd years, how can I trust them with my health?

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Finally a Stay at Home Mom July 31, 2009

Filed under: About the Author — seekthesethings @ 12:48 am
Tags: , ,

Due to my husband’s crazy hard work and only slightly less crazy school schedule, I turned in my notice to my employer and am now a blissfully happy full-time mom.

For me, nothing really has changed except I no longer feel an ounce of stress about work anymore. I also think I change a lot more messy diapers than I did when I was working, but maybe its in my head.

Speaking of something in my head, my doc changed my depression medication because I was having sleeping issues. It works, but it makes me fuzzy and some days (like today) I feel like the side effects are not worth it.

 

This Post is for Frankie May 24, 2009

Dear Frankie,

Thank you so much for your comment. I was beginning to think that only the spammers read my blog.

Living Gluten Free can be discouraging, but I hope you can take comfort from the experience of others.  Did you know 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with Autism? Well 1 in 133 people in the general population will develop Celiac Disease and I feel overall they are unaware of the warning sign, the treatments that are available, and the negative impact continued gluten exposure can have on someone with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance.

Two ingredients you need to buy for your GF food storage are Brown Rice Flour and Guar Gum. You can get both at any Health Food Store. (Like Good Earth Natural Foods.) You can mix Brown Rice Flour and Corn Starch in a 3:1 ratio and replace the flour in any family recipe. It won’t be as good as traditional recipes or the GF recipes, which often use a “featherlight mixture” of rice flour, potato flour, and potato starch, but it will get you through those times you need some homemade comfort food. Rice flour is heaver than wheat flour, Xanthan Gum (and Guar Gum which is similar to Xanthan Gum and less expensive) act as rising agents to make your breads lighter in texture.

I understand that your diagnosis is still up in the air, even specialists disagree on how much blunting of the villi constitutes a diagnosis of Celiac Disease (for more information read Gluten Free for Dummies). Lactose Intolerance is very common among those first diagnosed with Celiac Disease starting out on the Gluten Free Diet. You need lactace to digest lactose and the part of your body that makes lactace is located on the tip of your villi. When your villi become blunted due to your auto-immune response attacking the gluten in your system, your body may be unable to produce lactace and you will be lactose intolerant. However, many people living on the gluten free diet have reported that their lactose intolerance disappears as their villi heal. You could be able to stomach lactose within a year following the GF diet.

I am also lactose intolerant. I began experiencing symptoms of lactose intolerance after my gallbladder was removed in 2008. It is challenging to make Gluten Free meals for my husband and Milk Free meals for me. Each of us longs for the food the other is eating. I’ll add more GF/CF recipes ad I become more adept at cooking without butter and cheese.

CF stands for Casein Free and means the recipe does not contain that milk protein. Some people sensitive to Gluten are also sensitive to Casein, one of the many protiens found in milk.  Look for GF/CF recipes and you should be fine. I also encourage you to test your level of lactose intolerance, you might be able to stomach a certain amount of lactose in your diet, and only experience symptoms when you go over that limit. I have found I can eat lactose about once a week, but never 2 days in a row. Unlike cheating on a gluten free diet, where every exposure to gluten increases your risk of developing colon cancer, lactose intolerance has not been linked to cancer.

You mentioned that the list of foods you cannot eat keeps getting longer. That is the opposite of the reaction I hear from most people on the GF diet. Once their CD was diagnosed and they began treatment, their other medical conditions (diabetes, depression, food allergies- like to strawberries, and lactose intolerance) improved considerably or went away entirely eventually.

Regarding your sensitivity to beef and chicken, is it possible your food is being cross contaminated? The longer you are Gluten Free correlates to how strongly you will react to gluten when it gets into your system.

Additionally, some people are more sensitive to gluten than others. My father works with a man whose 3 children all have CD. One of his daughters is so sensitive to gluten that she cannot eat off of any plate or fork that has ever touched gluten. She has to have her own pots and pans to cook her gluten free meals. And she can just forget about ever going to a restaurant. She has the most severe case of celiac I have ever heard of.

My husband (thank goodness) can use a cookie sheet or fork that has been contaminated with gluten once it has been washed (decontaminated). However he sometimes gets trace amounts of gluten in his food from cross contamination. One time his dad made us all spaghetti but used the same spoon to stir both the GF spaghetti sauce and regular spaghetti sauce and my husband got sick. When we first started the GF diet years ago we bought a roast chicken from a supermarket deli and didn’t think to check the ingredients. It was just roast chicken right? Well after my husband got very sick, we realized the chicken was injected with seasoning that contained, you guessed it, flour. My point was if you are having celiac symptoms when you eat beef and chicken, look for hidden gluten -anything processed could be the culprit.

No one should go through this life changing experience alone. Check the GIG to see if they have a local support group meeting in your area. It’s free to attend a meeting and you can ask questions to any of the members. They have gone through what you are going through and they will help you through.

Best of Luck!

-A.K.

 

Coming Through a Fog May 23, 2009

Filed under: About the Author — seekthesethings @ 3:40 pm
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Psychologists note that writers suffer from a higher-than-normal incidence of depression. I have depression. I am coming off a really low low right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never attempted suicide, nor would I ever- I have too much to live for. When Iget low I shut down, I stop writing, or doing much of anything else. I do turn inside myself and I try to read more. Reading keeps me connected to the world without feeling like I am being judged by anyone but my Savior and myself.

I take a very low dose of medication, serotonin uptake inhibitors. They help. I respond very well to medication. But I read an article once about how most people with depression are able to go off their meds after a year and their brain has adjusted to whatever and they are cured. But not me. When I try to be “normal,” without medication, I slowly get worse and worse.

So, I am taking my medicine again, and writing again. Thank you for your patience during my down time.

-A.K.