Category Archives: Celiac Disease

Road Trip, Anyone?

WANTED: Bold band of buddies to join me on the journey through 2011. The road will be fraught with frustration, fear, failure, but God willing, a treasure trove of triumph. Must have high goals, gritty determination, and no fear of hair-pin turns.

While it is admittedly cliché to make New Year’s resolutions for health and fitness, that’s what I’m doing nonetheless, and the road won’t feel quite so lonely if someone goes with me.

After going gluten-free in 2009, I began to feel so good that I took up running. Then a friend suggested doing a marathon. She said anyone could do it, and since I am the epitome of “anyone,” I thought I’d give it a shot.

I had a few goals when I began: I wanted to be able to do ten push ups, I wanted to get down to my ideal size, and I wanted to finish the marathon without killing myself.

While I fared nobly in the marathon by not dying, and I can indeed fit into my Misses size 6 jeans, I can not do a push-up to save my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to do great little things, but I also want to take control of my life in areas that are completely up to me. I can always control what I eat, and I can always control when (or if) I exercise. Therefore, my health goals for 2011 are as follows:

                –do my physical therapy exercises 4 days a week, along with weights

                –begin marathon training (just in case I see a tempting one)

                –start the Zone Diet full throttle (to lose enough body fat to ditch the Misses sizes)

                –do ten push ups (in a row)

What are your goals for 2011?

Whether your dreams seem small, such as completing a marathon, or big, such as maintaining your ideal weight, I would love for you to share your experiences with me, for mutual ego-boosting, condolence, and/or virtual happy dances.

I am not asking for a weekly weigh-in or embarrassing tape measurements, but I’d simply like to hear from those who are willing to take this road trip with me.

It doesn’t matter if we fly towards our goals at autobahn speed, become diverted on umleitungs, or get stuck in the occasional stau, together, we can find out where this new road leads.

Auf gehts!


Confessions of a Hypoceliac


The problem with being a celiac and a hypochondriac is you don’t know whether you’ve accidentally ingested gluten, or whether you’ve contracted a deadly incurable disease.

I was exhausted and dizzy after walking the dog last night. My mind immediately went back to the conversation my friends and I had about skin cancer. I checked my moles and freckles. Then I worried I couldn’t see them all.

When I got dizzy at the breakfast table this morning, I was certain I had developed insomnia during the night. I went back to bed and slept for three hours.

When I arose from the nap exhausted, and with pain in my lungs, I thought about how I felt when I had pneumonia three years ago. Was it coincidence I had become ill right after our trip to the Blooming Baroque Gardens in Ludwigsburg?  Can community-acquired pneumonia actually be acquired from the same community twice?

Part of this tendency towards hypochondriacism might be from those years of feeling generally unwell but not knowing why. It was only a year ago my life totally changed when I dropped gluten like a hot-cake.

The easy part of celiac disease is avoiding foods containing gluten. The hard part is knowing whether something has been cross-contaminated. It sounds like something only a hypochondriac would come up with, but I can tell when my husband has used the wrong pan or spatula for cooking. Our old Teflon pans, with the gluten-concealing scratches, are verboten for me.

People ask me all the time: “What happens if you eat gluten?” It depends on how much gluten I’ve consumed and what type. Sometimes I have headaches or nausea. Usually, I feel like I’ve been bingeing on thumbtacks. Other times I look five months pregnant. Large amounts of gluten make me feel like someone slipped Oxycontin into my Coke. It just depends.

I’ve been thinking about what I ate yesterday to determine if I’ve been “glutened” (it is a verb in our house), or if I’m just tired from the marathon training. It doesn’t seem possible I’m overtraining, since I reduced my mileage this week to begin my official training schedule.

Regardless of the cause of today’s medical mystery, my body is telling me to rest; and I am listening. I was supposed to run an easy two miles today, but I took a nap instead.

Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up cured. I would hate to miss another morning run.


Miles: Tuesday 0, Wednesday 4, Thursday 0

Terrain & Wildlife: I found a new route through the fields. I watched the sun rise as the deer bounded through the hills. I tried to take a picture, but the iPhone can’t possibly do the scene justice.

Weather: it’s been sunny and in the 60s to 70s. I ran at 5am on Weds, so the temp was perfect for running.