Thankful Thursday…Only 41 Days Until Spring!!

It's Thankful Thursday!! 

Today, I am thankful that Spring is only 41 days away!!  February has only just begun but, it feels like I'm living in a frozen tundra!  I am so OVER the snow that seems to be falling every single day!  I do, fully realize, that just because Spring arrives in 41 days, that the weather may still be cold and snowy… I would be happy to see 40 or 50 degrees! I am honestly counting down the days!  I am willing to bet that I am not the only one that is feeling this way.  Its beginning to feel like I'm in that movie, Groundhog Day…where Bill Murray wakes up to the same day over and over and over.  Sounds familiar, doesn't it? 

Besides for the warmer weather, green grass, and leaves on the trees, I am looking forward to Spring because I should be feeling much more like myself again.  A couple of months into my gluten-free life should allow my intestines to heal and my body will be able to once again absorb all the important nutrients that its been missing for all too long.  I know, for anybody else besides myself, this isn't all that exciting.  For me, it is HUGE!  Perhaps, even more exciting than this winter wonderland disappearing!!  

I have now been completely gluten-free for 10 days!  Some days are most definitely easier than others.  It is absolutely crazy how careful I need to be in avoiding it.  I am back to the reading of every single label on foods routine again.  Gone are the days of just trying a bite of something new that Emma may be snacking on after school.  Just as there will no longer be any sneaking a slice of deli meat as I prepare her sandwich for lunch.  Making a simple lunch for her to take to school, now requires washing my hands before and after I touch anything.  Who would have ever thought that I could feel sick from touching some bread and unconsciously touching my lips or snacking on some of my safe, gluten-free snacks, right after I touched the bread.  Cross contamination is ridiculous!  I know it will get a bit easier over time but, right now, I am completely paranoid! I'll share a perfect example on why I have this paranoia now…  

Last weekend, I was all excited to make some homemade caramel corn.  My recipe is completely gluten free!  I was excited to still be able to indulge myself, on occasion, on this addictive sweet treat. Well, as a newbie in this gluten-free life, I learned, literally, within minutes that cross contamination is a big deal!  Bigger than I could have imagined.  I used a silicone spatula that had been used on gluten filled foods, in the past and it was a mistake. As soon as the caramel corn came out of the oven, I had to try just a taste.  Not more than 5 minutes later, the stomach pains hit.  Just like I had known for as long as I can remember.  The ones that come and I hold my breath until it passes.  Not fun, my friends!  I guess it was good that I learned that lesson right off the bat!! I will not attempt to stray from the gluten-free diet intentionally. There is no food that I love enough to endure the stomach upset and pains again.  No thank you. 

I actually am feeling quite proud of myself and how I am handling it thus far.  It definitely takes planning at all times.  Last weekend, Chris and I and the kids were out running a few errands and lunchtime rolled around. We went to what once was a place I frequented, because its Mexican, of course.  Taco Boy.  Well, I was too afraid to eat anything because I wasn't confident that it was safe to eat.  Ugh!  I LOVE Mexican food!! After we went luging on Sunday, I wasn't able to have hot chocolate or coffee!  For the love!  I just keep reminding myself that I CAN DO THIS!!!

I did learn that I can eat plain baked potatoes, chili and frosty's at Wendy's.  Who would have thought?!  Needless to say, I have enjoyed this already.  Tonight, Emma was with her dad for dinner and I tried a freezer meal.  It was organic and gluten-free and actually tasted very good.  Check this out….tortilla casserole and black beans.  
I've learned quite a lot in one week.  I have had my face in a book much of the time that I am home with only myself.  My brain is actually almost overloaded with info about celiac disease and gluten.  I have even had nightmares about gluten because its been on my mind 24/7 these days.  So much information to soak up.  I look forward to meeting with the dietitian next week. Here is just a small sampling of the books that I have been reading….
Although my stomach is feeling much better since I have eliminated gluten from my life, I still can't wait until I wake up one day and have my energy back again.  That will be a most beautiful day in my future.  Until then, I will just remain positive that with each passing day, my body will continue to heal and I will slowly keep feeling better and start living more of my life.  As the diagnosis and life change are, at times, overwhelming, I am very thankful to know what it is and that as long as I eliminate gluten for the rest of my life, it is not something that is going to take me from this life before I was ready.  I am thankful that there are support groups, dietitians, countless books, family and friends to help and support me as I begin this change in my life.  

One last thing I learned this week…I can still eat Skittles and Butterfingers!  :)

What are you thankful for on this Thankful Thursday?


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