“Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it.”
My name is Courtney, and I am glutenous. About 5 years ago, I began having terrible pains in my stomach. It was January of my freshman year in high school, and I was a mess. I spent the next 11 months visiting countless doctors until I found someone willing to help. All the previous doctors took blood, tested it, pressed on my stomach, and told me nothing was wrong. Enter Bonnie! Bonnie, my gastroenterologist, is amazing. My mother and I told her about all the doctors visits, and she was furious. Immediately she ordered blood work, a barium x-ray, and an endoscopy to make sure we covered all the bases. I was so scared, but very happy at the same time. Well, as happy as a 15 year old in massive pain can be. I was so thankful we had found someone willing to try something different. In December of 2009, just 3 days before my 16th birthday, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
At first, I cried. I’ll fully admit it. And those of you reading this with Celiacs understand, but food is important. Those of you who can eat anything, think about your favorite dessert. It probably contains gluten. Okay got it? Good. Now think about never being able to eat it ever again. You know how that dessert comforted you when you were down, or you celebrated something with it. Not anymore. Say goodbye! You’re crying now aren’t you? Thought so. So next time you judge someone for crying over an allergy, stop and think about that dessert. Okay, side rant over.
I posted about the diagnoses on my blog, I’ve had too many, and immediately my friend came and picked me up. We went to the mall for my last gluten filled meal. Chicken Broccoli Alfredo with Garlic Bread. Heaven. I still haven’t mastered a GF Chicken Alfredo… I paid for this meal later that night, but quite frankly, I didn’t care.
After that, high school became even more of a struggle. I tried eating at school as best I could, but I kept feeling uncomfortable. The lunch ladies would stare at me every time I asked for no bread. No I am not a weight sensitive teenager who is avoiding carbs. I’m avoiding cancer you idiots! I quickly started bringing my lunch to school. Yep, I was that girl. Luckily, my best friend brought her lunch everyday too so I was okay. I knew when I started looking for colleges, the one I went to had to be gluten free friendly. It seemed like they all were. They told me there was always a nutritionist on campus, and that there are always GF options. After a long process, I chose to attend Wilkes University.
I am currently a freshman Musical Theatre major. Second semester is almost over, and I thought every thing was going well, food-wise. When I went home for Winter Break, I was very lethargic and sick. I figured it was just because I was eating real home cooking again. I was sorely mistaken.
Upon my return to campus, I was feeling pain again because I was eating at the “SUB” (our cafeteria) again. I stopped and realized that there was so much cross-contamination happening in the kitchen. The staff is so careless and I was sick and tired of explaining things. Quickly, I stopped eating there and relied on my microwave for meals. A person can only take so much of that. I now eat at the SUB once a day, because everyone needs certain nutrients.
Next semester, hopefully, I will be living in an apartment with my best friends, one of which was just diagnosed gluten sensitive. It would be really nice not only to live with friends, but to have someone I could share food with, and who understands!!
Just the other night I found a few new GF blogs and recalled my previous attempt at GF blogging. I was struck with inspiration, and also hunger… those pictures make the food look so fantastic. I felt like now was the right time to start a different GF blog.
Long story short, my name is Courtney. I have Celiac Disease and I’m tired of explaining what I can and cannot eat. Here is a blog where I will test recipes I find, enjoy them or not, write about them, and occasionally tell you about my life.
Oh! Here’s my face.