As a sign language interpreter, I am often asked, “So, how did you get into the interpreting field?” It had become the most common question I got. Until now.
These days, my “real” job seems to be on the back burner. I still love my job, there is no doubt about that, but since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in February 2008, a whole new conversation has taken over.
The moment people find out I have Celiac Disease and am on a gluten free diet there is a chain of questions to follow. People are curious. They want to know what I CAN have, which is a lot really. I am never suffering from lack of food. It’s the opposite really. (which makes Kim a great motivator with all this running going on!)
Most people understand that I cannot have wheat, barley, rye or mainstream oats, but have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that it can hide in things like salad dressing, salsa, soy sauce or yummy dessert-like drinks at coffee shops. I had a hard time understanding at first too.
After mentioning to my doctors each year at my check up that something “just wasn’t right” with my stomach, you would think someone would have caught on. No luck. I was seen for headaches, IBS, spastic colon and still not one doctor ever mentioned Celiac Disease or any type of allergy or intolerance. Lucky for me, my sister (who also has Celiac) had been doing research and told me she thought she had Celiac Disease and that I might too. At that point, I was willing to check into any option that would help me feel better.
My doctor was hesitant to test me, just a simple blood test, because he knew that a common symptom was weight loss and I quote, “Sarah, I just don’t see that with you.”
Ouch. So he was calling me a big-fat-liar.
I then told him that I wanted him to test for it. And you should have heard how embarrassed he sounded when he called to tell me the test was positive. Then I hit the books and internet to find out everything I possibly could about Celiac Disease and the gf diet. Shortly after the blood test, I underwent the endoscopy procedure to be absolutely sure. (Give up pizza AND beer? I had to be sure.) My gluten free adventure started that day, and I have never looked back.
Determined to maintain an active social life without feeling held back by Celiac Disease, I started my blog “Celiac in the City“, began to experiment in the kitchen, and made phone calls to get gluten free items at my favorite restaurants, bars and ballparks. Just last month, I set up a Gluten Free Get-Together group for gf friends in Milwaukee. Loving it!
As I mentioned, there is no lack of food in my world. I have been around the gluten free block vand here are some of my favorites:
-Glutino pretzels – My friends and family are converted over to these. Crowd favorite.
-Kinnikinnick personal size, frozen pizza crusts – Gluten-eaters like these too.
-Bread- Udi’s, Molly’s GF Bakery French loaves or buns and Elizabeth Barbone’s Easy Sandwich Bread (once I got over the fear of making gf bread, I realized how easy it really is!)
-ANYTHING from Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery- If you are in the area, go there. They are hoping to start shipping soon. I’ll even go pick something up for you and mail it. That good. Seriously.