Monday, April 10, 2006

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a bit. Since returning from vacation things in our household have been kinda, well, tense. I’ll do a post later on the vacation itself, particularly on getting to meet the gracious and charming Donna, but for now I need to write about our current situation.

Last Wednesday D found out that he has Celiac Disease. He is not taking the news well. I don’t really know what he’s thinking or feeling because he won’t – or can’t as of yet – talk to me about it, so I can only surmise what he’s feeling. And I don’t think it’s that he’s just upset about never drinking beer or eating a bagel again – from short quips that he’s made I think he’s not doing well with thinking of himself as being sick. He doesn’t suffer from any of the digestive symptoms of celiac, so in his most pessimistic moments he thinks that switching to a gluten-free diet isn’t really going to help him feel physically better. But the more I think about it, I think D’s going through a kind of identity crisis.

He has almost always prided himself on being healthy; he became a vegetarian when he was 18 because he thought it was healthier. He reintroduced fish and chicken into his diet in the last couple of years because he thought it would be healthier for him. He exercises regularly. So I think between his eventful visits with the urologist, and now the internist deducing he has this hereditary disorder, he’s feeling like someone else. He’d already been complaining about feeling too old, so if you add in all these pills he has to take and the large number of doctor appointments he has to make, I suspect he’s feeling like his body is acting like that of someone much, much older than his 35 years and he’s feeling cheated. And now that I write all of this out, I suppose I can’t really blame him. Which is a bit of a surprise, because for awhile over the weekend I definitely was.

My poor D.

And none of that even takes into account the possibility that our infertility problems lie within him. It’s no wonder he’s retreated far, far into his cave. I just hope he comes out soon.


Blogger Avonlea said...

Mellie, I'm sorry, you must feel so helpless about how D is feeling. I'm sure he'll work it out in time.

April 10, 2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger MoMo said...

Oh Mellie,, I am so sorry to hear about D. I actually have a friend who suffers from the disease and with a change in her diet she is doing pretty well. I hope D will find a way to get thru this. It is hard to deal with this and all the IF stuff.

In another front, welcome back. I hope the vacation was what you guys needed!

April 10, 2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

I'm sorry, Mellie. Hope D is feeling more like himself again soon.

April 10, 2006 6:09 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I am so sorry to hear that D is dealing with celiac. I hope he is feeling better about it all soon. I can't wait to hear about your vacation.

April 10, 2006 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm sorry D is dealing with that. With my GI issues and infertility, I asked for a test for celiac, it was positive and I had to follow the GF diet until I could get in to see a GI doc. Eventually the tests the GI guy did said I didn't have celiac, but following that diet is TOUGH. *hugs* to both of you.

April 10, 2006 7:00 PM  
Anonymous jessie said...

I'm a total lurker but I had to out myself on this one. I have first hand experience with Celiac in that my son has been diagnosed and gluten free for 2 years. I have SO many resources if you are interested...websites, the good cookbooks that you'll actually use, the mixes that don't taste like crap and even a place online where you can buy gluten free beer. It's not as hard as it seems once you get your brain around it. There are a ton of mainstream foods that are gluten free and labels are starting to list "gluten free" or "not gluten free" more and more. In fact, there is legislation in place now that says labels have to show it by 2008. Please feel free to email me with any questions. I've done the research already for J. and would love to pass it along.

April 10, 2006 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Z said...

i'm so sorry to hear about D's condition. i know you guys don't need something else to worry about these days. {{HUGS}} to you and D.

April 10, 2006 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

I'm so sorry that D is facing such a hard time on 2 different fronts. I hope he's able to process it and come out of his cave.

April 10, 2006 8:34 PM  
Anonymous thalia said...

It sounds like an awful shock for him, and it does require a real change in habits. When you or he feel up to it, there is a link on my blog (under "too busy eating") to gluten free girl, who has great recipes and lots of discussion about how she is living gluten-free.

What problem did the urologist diagnose?

April 11, 2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger Chee Chee said...

I am really sorry that D is going through this. I know how difficult it is to work hard and maintain a healthy lifestyle only to find out that you have health problems that are completely outside of your control.

I hope that he can open up to you about his feelings soon.

April 11, 2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger Pamplemousse said...

Poor guy. No wonder he has gone into his cave. With lots of love and encouragement, I am sure he will come back to his old self, albeit a gluten-free one. We all like to think of ourselves as those bouncy 20-somethings but the day has to come when it is clear we are not so bouncy any more.

April 11, 2006 3:42 PM  
Blogger fisher queen said...

Oh I'm sorry. Just give him lots of love and care. That's all you can do.

April 11, 2006 4:57 PM  
Blogger Mony said...

Gosh Mellie. This certainly is a learning curve for you, D (and your readers) Usually we talk about issues and emotions that we can all relate to in a similar way. We understand each other's "Women's Problems" and yet here you are with a completely new, complex heartbreak. (why are you so good at this?)
If only D knew how many 'friends' he has out here. We are all thinking of you both.

April 11, 2006 7:11 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Oh Mellie, I was just going to email you to ask you if you were OK...I'm so sorry to hear about your hubby. I so enjoyed meeting you and dragging you around the town for a bit. How was the surfing lesson?

April 11, 2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger the waiting line said...

Hey Mellie - so sorry about D.

(. . . we must be on the same page. My post is also "Back to Life, Back to Reality." I swear I didn't copy you. I love you man - but I didn't copy you.) ;-)

April 12, 2006 12:23 AM  
Blogger Lut C. said...

That's quite a blow. As if struggling with IF isn't enough!

April 12, 2006 2:40 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

I am so sorry to hear about D. I have a friend with Celiac too. Sometime finding others with the same medical issues is helpful. Just like us IF find in each other. I wish you both the best through this tough time.

April 13, 2006 5:14 PM  
Blogger Spanglish said...

Yeah... he is going through a crisis. I can relate.

Be patient. When he has the proof that the new way of feeding himself will indeed make him feel better he'll start to emerge. It's just a big adjustment. For both of you. Your poor D. And poor Mellie, too.

You're in my thoughts.

April 13, 2006 5:47 PM  
Blogger Fertile Soul said...

Mellie, I've been a lurker for some time. So sorry about the news of Celiac Disease. It's really hard to get news that you're not as "healthy" as you thought. That's really upsetting.

Having said that, I have gluten sensitivity, which basically means that if i dont follow a gluten free diet, i will probably end up with celiac disease or something. Since going gluten free, i learned that gluten causes a number of neurological diseases including MS, ADD, and infertility. Gluten is the second most added additive after sugar. It's all over the place, like ice cream (who woulda thunk!). There's also been a study that showed that children who were introduced cereals at too young an age and not breastfed long enough were more likely to have gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease.

Both dh and i weren't breastfed as babies and we're both sensitive to gluten. But like other commenters have said, it's not that difficult to adjust to. I've already come up with a fantastic gluten free dark chocolate brownie recipe and devil's food chocolate cake. There's a lot more options for celiacs because so many people suffer from gluten sensitivity (1 in 150).

I believe, though, that if you're off gluten products long enough and given your body a good break from a lifetime of it, you can occasionally have pie again. It's not like smoking, quit or else. But gluten laden products really are terrible. For me, i would get terrible food commas after lunch, be so sleepy, bloated, and uncomfortable. It's nice to have more energy in the day and no more stomach discomfort.

Good luck with the gluten free diet. Once you get over the shock of being diagnosed with a "disease," which needs its due, then the management of this one is much easier than being diagnosed with anything else. And, you can improve the quality of your life by following this diet.

I wish you both well.

April 13, 2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger k #2 said...

Oh Mellie -- It would be hard to know what to do to help D through this upsetting news.

So many of us know that when your body fails you and there is nothing that you can do about it, you do feel like a failure. I am sure that D will come around when he has time to deal with this new reality. In the meantime, offer him as much love, encouragement and support as he has offered you over the years.

April 15, 2006 11:09 AM  

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