Marsha Delaney: Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:52 AM
|For the last several weeks, I’ve nearly felt like a celebrity. I’m not one in the least (in case you were wondering), but it seems that everywhere I go, someone stops me or engages me in a conversation relating to gluten. When I drop my kids off at school and am walking back to my car, I inevitably end up in a gluten-related conversation with a parent who has seen the logo on my minivan but hasn’t, for whatever reason, approached me until now. When I get out of my car in a parking lot, people come up to me and talk to me about their parent or their kids or their aunt who can no longer tolerate gluten. The story is always the same: “We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with them until we took them off of gluten.” There’s an epidemic going on around these parts. Something tells me it isn’t just around these parts. Something tells me it’s a far bigger problem than any of us are aware of.
About a week ago I took my three-year-old to a McDonald’s with an indoor playground. We weren’t there for the food. We were there for her to play on a playground without her freezing her little tushy off at the park. We do this from time to time and it works out brilliantly. I buy a cup of coffee, we go into the playground and she climbs and slides with other small children while I work. Sometimes we stay there long beyond my cup of coffee. Last week we stayed for three hours.
We don’t normally stay that long, but there were so many kids my daughter’s age playing, that I just couldn’t pull her out of there. They were having a blast. I was also engaged in a conversation with a young woman who was telling me about her daughter. This lady is the reason I do what I do. She’s exactly the reason why I attempt to spread the word so emphatically to all who cross my path. When she talked to me about her daughter, I was seeing my daughter before we took her off of gluten. This poor lady has tried everything. Her daughter’s doctor keeps diagnosing her with acid reflux. Her daughter is underweight, has dark circles under her eyes, has just started getting migraines, she’ll barely eat anything and has constant digestive problems. She said that her daughter complains that her stomach hurts every day, all day.
Well, I had to tell her everything I knew. I pleaded with her to take her daughter back to her doctor and ask that she be tested for celiac disease. I also told her that even if the results come back negative, as they did with my daughter, take her off of gluten anyway and see how she feels. If she improves, keep her off of it. She’ll drastically improve her life.
Nora, if you read this, I sincerely hope that your daughter feels better soon. Keep me posted on her progress, if you can. I would love to know how she’s doing.
If the knowledge that I’ve learned over the last three years helps even one more person, then I’ll sleep well knowing that this is all worthwhile.