UGH! Those are words I thought would NEVER come out of my mouth. I have been "trying" to give up meat for years - and all it takes is someone mentioning a cheeseburger and I forget all about how much the thought of eating animals disgust me and I chow down happily. #willpowerfail
But, the last year has been hard on me. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis almost 3 years ago and after a year of feeling like absolute crap all the time- I felt great for about 6 months once my medicine started to "kick in". Most doctors will tell you that if you have a thyroid problem - it's no big deal and all you have to do is take a pill for the rest of your life and you will be fine. Yay for those people. That is not the case for me. I have a full blown, miserable, multiple side effects autoimmune reaction to my Hashimotos and my body is basically attacking itself all the time. It's not pleasant and it's invisible - which makes it tricky.
You see, I don't "look" sick. You can't run tests and see what's wrong. I just feel different things all the time, hives, dry skin (I'm talkin' like Sahara desert skin that no amount of expensive face lotion tames), acne, stomach issues, weight gain and weight loss, random gnarly hives, depression, ridiculous mood swings (my poor husband), inability to think straight, confusion, anxiety, insomnia, night sweats, exhaustion no matter how much you slept. did I mention the mood swings and general just brain fog.
This disease is no joke. I had a good doctor (lucky me) who I always used to joke might die before I saw him next (he was super duper old) - well, thankfully he hasn't died - but he did retire with NO warning to me. The new doctor that took over his patients is a moron. The office he worked at is a disaster - so I thought - that's fine - I'll just find a new doctor.
This is the task of a lifetime. Doctors who know all about thyroids are few and far between. Most of them won't listen to you - or assume you are making up your symptoms - (how do you make up 6 straight weeks of visible hives??? )
To make a long story short - during one of my major thyroid freakouts (these are those fun days that group together where my body just does everything in it's power to defeat me - migraines, confusion, emotions all over the place, irritability, exhaustion, anxiety, insomnia, no appetite) I tried to find a new doctor. I ended up in tears in the office of the first one. (I had forgotten my insurance card because my brain wasn't working and they were very rude to me and refused to see me - I literally sat in my car and cried like I was 16 and my boyfriend has just broken up with me) The next one - the lady clearly had no idea what she was talking about as she asked the same questions 5 times and wasn't listening to me at all. She did take blood though and at my follow up visit she basically told me that I will eventually get thyroid cancer, but it's no big deal, but maybe I won't get it so nevermind and my medicine doesn't need to be adjusted but then again, maybe we should try taking less and that I should go see a therapist because there was nothing wrong with my bloodwork. All in about a minutes time. After that, I tried to get my prescription filled from her and she forgot who I was and how much I should be taking and it took 3 weeks for me to FINALLY get the prescription filled.
This brings me to today. I still don't feel great. I know that this is not how I'm meant to feel. I will not accept that this normal is my new normal. So - after doing initial research and finding research that backs up the initial research and joining support groups on FB - I have decided to suck it up and go Gluten Free. Apparently Gluten is very similar to what makes up your thyroid - so when you have the "bad" kind of Hashimotos - Gluten can make your body go insane. At this point, I decided it was at least SOMETHING that could help. Something I could do on my own and something that lots of others said have helped them immensely with all of my other autoimmune symptoms and flare ups.
So - today was day 1. Gluten Free. Here's the kicker - you can't just kind of go Gluten free - the way some "vegetarians still" eat chicken - you have to eliminate it completely so that your system doesn't get contaminated. Because it's not an immediate stomach churning, vomiting reaction - cross contamination for me would be bad. I have to get rid of this shit completely.
That means, new cutting boards, and cooking utensils for me. That means I have to watch my beauty products to see which have Gluten. (isn't it weird that gluten is in beauty products) Thanks to my wonderful FB family - I already have some amazing products in my pantry to help me deal with feeling left out or unable to snack. I have new flour, snacks, bread, about 3 pounds of nuts and 2 pounds of fresh fruit and veggies. So far, so good. It wasn't so bad. I ate all day - and didn't feel like I was really missing out.
The hard part will be contamination. Making sure I don't lick my fingers after putting my kids food on their plates. No more eating out for convenience because I run the risk of getting cross contamination at most restaurants.
Goodbye regular bread, crackers, bagels, salty snack foods, breadcrumbs, cookies, cakes, regular apple pies, oats, cous cous, flour tortillas and just about every other convenience - bad for you food out there.
Hello nuts and veggies and fruits and proteins and KIND bars and Tates gluten free cookies, and Nuthins crackers and gluten free tortilla chips, and new flours and quinoa, and seeds and gluten free pancake mix so we can still have breakfast on Sundays as a family. (good thing I like this stuff anyway and it's REAL food anyway- so super bonus)
This will be a journey. I will blog about it sporadically and let you know how I'm doing. I will be learning a lot and hope to share some of that here because I find it overwhelming just starting from scratch trying to figure out what has gluten - cause the answer is just about everything.
Goodbye Gluten - I'm not sure if I will miss you. I'll let you know in about 45 days when I've given my body enough time to recover from the damage you might be doing to it - from what I'm reading - once that day comes when I will wake up and just feel RIGHT again - I will never look back and miss the gluten that made me feel so sick. Here's hoping that day comes sooner than later cause seriously - my willpower sucks.
Wish me luck!
P.s. I promise to try hard not to be annoying about it and will supply my own food when we are together - but please understand that this is not a joke to me. I really do need to cut it out completely - so if you get sick of me saying I can't eat that - just think about the fact that I can't eat cheesy bread, apple pie, regular cookies, bread, brownies, McDonalds French Fries, girl scout cookies and more. This is not something I am going into lightly:)