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Guest Blog

To My Brave Celiac Friend on Mother’s Day

Just when her health concerns should have subsided, new ones arose.

In retrospect, Micheline now recognizes the progression of celiac disease symptoms over her adult life. Yet it wasn’t until her health began to significantly decline – with bouts of frequent and severe abdominal pain, bloating, skin rashes and irritable bowel – that these unexplained symptoms raised alarm bells.

During an agonizing episode in which Micheline was admitted to hospital, doctors did further testing including a gastroscope. Across a country, friends held their breaths and fingers were crossed as we anxiously awaited the biopsy results. I finally received ‘the’ call. “Celiac, it’s just celiac,” announced Micheline. “Not cancer, not anything else … JUST celiac!!!”

For Micheline this would be a cake walk (gluten-free). Why? Because she knew that celiac disease was manageable; celiac was livable.

In the days and weeks that followed, I flooded her inbox with gluten-free recipes, products and links to all the best and most reputable sites along, of course, with a subscription to Allergic Living magazine.

It took me a long time to adjust to the food allergy rollercoaster ride. There have been times when I sure wished there was an emergency brake to pull to get off.

But not Micheline, she got on, threw her hands into the air, screamed with laughter and continues to enjoy the ride. This Mother’s Day, I’d like to thank Micheline for teaching me that there is so much to be grateful for in a peanut-free, egg-free, soy-free and gluten-free life! It is still a very good life. At the end of the day, as she knows better than anyone, it’s all about perspective.

Related: What is celiac disease?

First published in Allergic Living magazine.
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