Just when you get used to the limitations of the living gluten free;
just when you realize that in the grand scheme of your life, the dietary limitations are a small thing, especially in the face of millions who can’t see, hear, walk, think clearly;
just when you figure out which parental bloodline the Celiac disease came from;
just when you release the irrational guilt of being the DNA carrier that passed the disease to your daughter,
you find out her 17 month old son has the genetic marker for Celiac disease.
History lives on.
Honestly, every time the gene I carry gets transferred through my family, I literally feel like a horse has just kicked me, hard, in the stomach. The angst and sorrow I felt as the one who caused and would continue to cause my daughter extra hardship in her life lived in me like a continual flagellating whip for months. Because of this disease, I watched her lose nine inches of her colon in a desperate last ditch surgery to find out why she was so sick and in so much pain. (No mother wants to hear the word MASS from the surgeon after a surgery has taken twice as long as he estimated.) Then, I watched her go through a horrific two year recovery process of not being able to eat much followed by a scary I-am-starving weight loss. Guilt, guilt, guilt. Gradually, as she recovered and regained not only weight, but her normal happy disposition and an ability to handle the gluten free diet and lifestyle with a sense of ease, I let go of my guilt. I finally realized that no family gene structure is perfect.
“Hey, we all have genes, right?” to put it more glibly.
Now, this. My grandson, a tiny, laughter-filled, run-around-the-house-screaming-with-delight-over-just-about-everything innocent has this disease overlaid on his journey through life. It saddens me.
And yet…the world is much more aware of gluten in foods and the environment than 15 years ago when I was diagnosed. The grocery stores carry more GF products than ever before. Most restaurants have gluten free options, if not a whole gluten free menu. The government has recognized gluten as an official food allergen. Food labeling will reflect this new status. So…this delightful little boy is coming into a world where it is much easier to navigate through a gluten free lifestyle. Plus, when he comes to visit Grandma, he will be entering a no gluten zone, a worry-free environment. Everyone, gluten free or not, gets gluten free food here.
I make it my pledge, here and now, to help and support his GF journey in any way I am capable.
Entry is dedicated to my youngest daughter.