So since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the most frequent question I get asked is....drumroll please...ok, it's not that exciting of a question....alright...here goes... "What do you eat?!" Ha ha ha! I know seriously right?! Well, actually, that was one of the first questions I asked myself. What do I eat.... Honestly getting diagnosed with Celiac was a HUGE blow to my bread loving person! I am a huge huge huge bread, pasta, cracker lovin chica! I'm not going to sit here and lie and say that it's been an easy adjustment, and that I've had such an easy transition, from being able to eat whatever I want, to strict meal, and snack planning. It's been a GIGANTIC pain in the derriere! But once I took the time to stop sulking, and really look at the options I have, and the healthy food options, and lifestyle I am learning to live, and to be able to pass on to my boys, it's actually a really awesome thing! We haven't eaten fast food in 2 months! I do miss certain things, like Papa Murphy's, Subway sandwiches, and as grossed out as I am about admitting this, I still sometimes crave crave crave McDonalds! Oh well! It can be a little troublesome occasionally like when Ryan and I went to Olive Garden for our anniversary(yes, they do have a gluten free menu there), and they tried to poison me with gluten filled breaded chicken...ok I actually didn't take a bite, luckily I saw the light breading first, and on the plus side it was comped, and they made me a new meal, but it's the principle of the thing!
Well, what do I eat? A lot of fresh fruits, and veggies. Gluten free brown rice, and white rice bread. I usually eat that for breakfast as toast. Chex! Oh, my yum chex! I love them! So versatile, you can turn them into many delic, and easy gluten free treats! A lot of salad with tons of fresh veggies, gf deli meat, and gf salad dressing! Or leftovers from dinners nights previously past. I snack a lot too. I usually eat 6 small meals a day, some of those are just snack-ish. Rice cakes, love them! So many different flavors! Popcorn, and nuts! Ooooo! I love to snack on gf almonds(I say gf, because some have salts or ingredients that contain gluten), peanuts, love pumpkin seeds, light string cheese, yogurt. You get the idea. So that said, here is a little peaky look at the menu we've got planned out for dinners this week:
Monday: Squash Soup(with squash from BB), with rolls(for the wheat eaters), and grilled chicken.
Tuesday: Homemade Pizza(gluten free crust for me, but also making reg crust for the wheat eaters) this will be top your own pizza night, the boys love it!
Wednesday: Turkey Taco Wednesday! (we eat ground turkey taco's every Wed, usually with olives, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, and cilantro lime ranch dressing! Yum!)
Thursday: Roast and Potatoes(plus veggies on the side from BB)
Friday: Chicken Enchiladas and Cilantro Brown Rice(made with gf corn tortillas, gf cream of chicken, you get the idea)
Sunday: Well usually I don't make a big deal about dinner on Sunday because we get so busy, and try to visit and eat with our families, so if we are home, we usually just make something we have around the house.
I get a Bountiful Basket every Saturday, and usually plan our weekly meals around the booty we get, we pick up our basket, plan dinners for the week, and then grocery shop for what we don't have. It's definitely been an adjustment, but I love to cook, and I love making new recipes, or making old ones shiny new and gluten free!
Nope. Plain and simple! I love love love being married to Ryan. We are total and complete opposites. And when I say we've got next to nothing beside our stubborn-ness, and out-going personalities I mean it. But somehow, through all the chaos that is being married, plus having three beautiful and crazy boys, we are ment for eachother! So Ryan, I wouldn't rather have anyone to share the good, bad, crazy, scary, exciting, joyful, heartbreaking, and amazing life with than you! You are truly my other half, the cheese to my macaroni, the yin to my yang. You complete me! Ha ha ha, but seriously you do! So here's to 7 years, and to a whole lot more!
I have felt like a lot of things this past year. I've felt great anger, great disappointment, great sorrow, great fear, a great sense of loss, but most of all I've felt a great deal of failure. Failure and loss of faith in doctors, and modern medicine. Failure as a wife. Failure as a mother. Failure as a daughter. Failure as a sister. And failure as a friend. The last two years have been especially painful, and simultaneously especially joyful. The times of feel-good, and light-heartedness were coming fewer and farer between, and then to almost non existent. I am ashamed to think back and see just how "gone" I've actually been.
I have ALWAYS wanted to be a mother, and at the tender age of just 16 I was informed that for me, the conventional way just wasn't going to be enough. So I cried,worried, and eventually got somewhat past it. Then I met and married the best man I know, and all of those past fears and angst about not being able to bare my own children came crashing back down on me. But being married to the most positive man on the planet, he soon made me realize that giving birth to your own children isn't the only way to have a family, and being assured that even though I may be unable to give birth, he wouldn't love me any less. Alas, all those conversations, and tears were for nothing, and we have since been able to have 3 beautiful and energetic little boys! Were the pregnancies easy, HECK NO! Were they more than worth all the suffering, HECK YES! But my declining health has been such a fear and issue, getting worse after every pregnancy.
This last pregnancy with Jett was by far the worst, and by the end of it, we were lucky to have only had him come 4 weeks early, and completely healthy, and I only had to stay in the hospital after his birth for a week to make sure I wasn't going to stroke out, or go into complete kidney failure due to the fact that I got super fast acting preeclampsia the last month I was pregnant, and it decided to carry over to eclampsia after Jett was born. Awesome times....
Then, that was when the real trouble started. I started to feel really awful. More so than I've ever felt, and that's saying something, because I have had loads of kidney stones, and let me tell you, they SUCK! So the doctors decided that I had a bum gallbladder, and decided to take it out. ( funny side note to this particular tale is that at the exact time I was having my gallbladder yanked out, Garrett decided to crack open his head at my parents house, and was in the ER getting it taken care of while I was in recovery, and Ryan had to bounce back and forth from the surgery center, and the ER with a 2 month old babe in tow.) So anyway, got the gallbladder removed, and then was back in the hospital with the same extreme pain and awful illness just 2 short months later. At that point, they noticed my liver levels. So just to give you a little back story on liver levels, the norm for your ATL is 39, yeah mine was over 1800. So they immediately admitted me to the hospital for the next 4 days, and outdid themselves on number of test they performed. I got tested for Hepatitis, which erked me a bit, because, honestly peeps where the heck would I get hepatitis?! But those poor docs just couldn't figure out what to do with lil ole me. So they sent me on my merry way with a piece of paper with instructions, and a baggie full of narcotics. I suppose at this point I should have stopped and evaluated the situation, and made a different plan, nope not stubborn old me, I had to wait almost a year before I finally got a clue. So this pattern went on for the next few months, get super sick, call my doctors, end up in the ER again, occasionally getting admitted to the hospital again, and the getting sent on my way with a sheet of instructions, and a baggie full of narcotics. The hardest time was when I had to be admitted over Mother's Day. Ryan was SO sweet, and tried so hard to make the best of it for me, but I just couldn't stop crying. I had been keeping it together ok, until the boys' pediatrician noticed I was in the hospital while he was doing rounds, and came to see if I was ok, I.LOST.IT. Luckily for me he's such a wonderful man, and knows me well, and was so encouraging, and helpful in his advice. I will never forget his gentle kindness, and toughtfulness in thinking of me, and doing his best to let Ryan and I know that everything will turn out in the end.
Shortly after that incident I was told that they'd FINALLY figured out what the problem was, and that they wanted me to get yet another surgery. (At this point in my life I had already had 13 previous surgeries, so imagine my despair.) I said well lets do all the tests we can do to make sure this what the real problem is, and then we'll talk surgery. So over the next 3ish months I was poked, prodded, had all my innards examined over and over again, inside and out, then had the app. to decide if I would have yet another surgery. That appointment was when I started loosing faith in modern medicine. I was sat down, and told that in all their bank breaking tests, they could still not definitively say what the problem was, and that what they thought I had didn't show up positive on any of their tests, but that they thought I should still get the surgery "just in case", a surgery that had only a 40% success rate, and we would have to fly to Seattle to have it done. At that point I finally wised up, and said NO WAY, I want a second opinion.
This was when I thought that things would finally turn around for us. We got set up with some doctors from the U of U, and I thought we were set. I couldn't have been more wrong. After 3 trips down in less than a month, 3 hotel stays, and 3 biopsies later, we still didn't have the answers we have been hoping and praying for for SO long. I thought at this point that I would just shrivel up and die. We did however find out that I have Celiac Disease, and changing to a gluten-free diet, has greatly changed my life, but that's another story. We still had no answers as to why my liver was dying a slow and very painful I might add, death. I have never felt so low in my life as I did at this point.
Then my parents got the best idea in the world. See my mom and dad work at a place,Time Labs, they make and manufacture all of their own herbs, teas, tinctures, and such. And my mom knew a little secret I didn't. The doctor who delivered Jett, and had been my advocate, and more than I can recount over the past 2 years was quiting her job over at the BMC, and was going to become the endobiologist and expert in all things naturepath, over at none other than Time Labs. So my mom and dad got it all set up for me to go see her there. Ok, I'll admit I was EXTREMELY skeptical, and not too pleased that my favorite doctor (pertaining to all things to do with women including birth) was not going to be my doc in that sense anymore, but I trust her whole-heartedly, and that was probably the biggest reason I decided to go see her in the first place, had it been someone I didn't know or trust so well, I probably wouldn't have gone willingly. So long story short, I did the test, she showed me the results to my body chemistry's, and hormone levels, ect. all which were abysmal by the way, and got me on an extremely intense herb, tincture, and herbal tea regimen. It's crazy how many I take, but I feel like a new woman! And since come to the conclusion, that I was a victim to over-medication, and under doctoring. I don't take my meds anymore, and my liver hasn't been malfunctioning, and I haven't been super ill, or had any pain (besides kidney, I'm going to always have that).
So to wrap up this long tale, the last 2 years have been horrible. I have been horrible. I just stopped living. I'm embarrassed to say that I've barely cleaned, barely cooked, and done the bare minimum required of me in my wifely, and motherly duties. I don't write this for any one's sympathy, believe me when I tell you that I've felt sorry enough for myself than anyone has the right to. I am writing this mostly for myself, and for those of you who've been hurt by, or didn't understand my actions. I am not excusing myself in any way, I just want people to understand. After I started taking my herbs, and started feeling better, it was like I woke up from the worst nightmare of my life...Ryan came home from work one day, and I was sobbing, he was so confused. He said "what's wrong, I thought you were feeling better?" And I just cried and said to him, that I do feel better, but I just feel like I woke up, and really didn't like what I remember, or how I've acted, and that I just feel so lost. Lost in the sense that I forgot who I was. So, if you've been hurt by my actions, or non-actions in especially this last year, I am deeply regretful.
So my New Years resolution for 2011? To be happy. To love passionately. To pray harder. To give more. To be more thankful. And last of all, to learn to love myself, because what I've gone through isn't my fault, I can't change it, but I can move forward and be the best Nanci I can.