Life Interrupted, The Family Battle with Cancer.

brain-cancer

The playwright wrote in “I Never Sang For My Father” – “Death ends a life, but not a relationship…which struggles on, seeking its own resolution.”

Cancer is the ugliest thing around. It doesn’t just hurt the people who have it, but also the ones around them. Right now I hate Cancer more than I have words to describe.

grandpa-and-ash
The picture on the left was taken almost a year ago, January 20th or so. My son would have almost been 3 and my father in law who can never sit still for long, decided to indulge my son desire of going on a wagon ride.

I’m not going to go into details because honestly, it’s just too heartbreaking. But here is the condensed version: My father in law had his first seizer mid September. That day he was diagnosed with brain cancer. From there they told us he had at max 11 months to live. After surgery they came back with 5 to 11 years to live.

You can imagine the emotional rollercoaster that must have been…

emotional-roller-coaster-ride

Within the last three months he has had brain surgery, went through radiation, and completed two out of 12 months of chemo. One week after he finished radiation, the mass on his brain grew back to almost the exact same size. Yes, you read that correct- 1 week. We discovered the growth on his brain because despite the fact he is on seizure medication, he had another seizer and the MRI confirmed.

But the worst part is the news we received this week from his neurologist- he is at the end of his options. Surgery isn’t one of them. More radiation isn’t one.. The only thing he has left is an experimental treatment that would be performed at Mayo in Minnesota.

heart-breaking

What does that even mean, experimental treatment??? There are so many questions and no answers. It could drive a person mad…

Trying to have an optimistic conversation with my husband is one of the most difficult things I have tried to do. Pushing the words out of my mouth that I am not sure I even believe… Pushing the words past my throat, a throat that felt on fire and painfully squeezed with each word that came out.. But I push the words out because I have to be my husbands rock.

As you can imagine, to say my husband is a mess is an understatement. At 31 years old, he is watching the man he has looked up to for all his life suffer and be told the possible outcome is far worse than grim.

tears

I mourn the loss for my husband. I mourn the loss for my children because they are so young they might not remember who their grandfather is, what kind of man he was. And I am selfish and mourn for myself.

What does it feel like to be on this rollercoaster? It feels like depression and hatred and pain. It pulls you down to were moving through life feels like walking in molasses. I lay in bed and I can’t stop the tears from falling. I blink my eyes and realize I must have fallen asleep because it’s the next day. But I don’t feel like I’ve rested. Reading feels like too heavy of a task so I watch netflix. But even then I feel like I am just staring at the screen. I want to point my finger and blame someone.

cancer-quote2

I want to hit, scream, and cry. But I am the rock my husband depends on and rocks don’t do that. So I stay calm, I push the tears away, and I hold my husband. When I am alone and I don’t feel numb, that is when the tears come.

gary

 

You see, I am charged with keeping the house together. I don’t go to the doctors appointments, I don’t see my father in law.. because I am the one holds everything together while my husband is gone. It’s not an easy job. And deep down my biggest fear is that I won’t get to say goodbye.

As you have probably gathered from this emotional mess I am writing, it takes a strong and wonderful man to pull this kind of emotion out of someone. He is not even my father and he is far from perfect, but he is a great guy.

I was asked what I want for Christmas and I said time. This is why I want time. If I could give you one piece of advice going into the holidays and new year, it would be to love your family and put aside your differences. You always think you have forever but sometimes father time changes his mind.

cancer-quote

Liebster Award

liebster Award

This is the second time I’ve been nominated for this award and honestly, I am just as excited as the first.

My fellow bloggers over at closetreaders nominated me this time around. This blog is written by two sisters. If you want to know more about them, they recently did a Introducing Us post that is fun to read.

For those I nominate, here are the rules:

  • Thank the blog that nominated you and recognise their blog
  • Nominate 5- 10 bloggers you admire by tagging them in a blog post 
  • Create a blog post answering the 10 questions you were asked by the person who nominated you
  • Put a list of the rules in your post
  • Give 10 random facts about yourself
  • Ask 10 questions for your nominees 
  • Add the Liebster Award badge to your post/blog

Kind of simple, right 🙂

So before I get started, I want to nominate some really amazing blogs I enjoy. These people might not be ‘new’ to blogging but they have amazing content and a real voice to their writing. I nominate:

TheTattooedBookGeek

rakioddbooks

deepthiunnikrishnan

ravenandbeez

ladieswholunchreviews

I am really excited to see your answers. I know this might seem silly but if you think of it, would you let me know when you post. I’m curious about what your answers are going to be 🙂


10 Random Facts:

  1. I love running so much I might actually be addicted to it. On the the days I can’t run, a part of me (mainly my body) is relieved, but a bigger part longs for the trails and running.
  2. I refuse to accept my post baby self- Although I know I will never look like I did prior to having kids, I know one day I will be able to wear a two piece swimsuit again. Heck, I’m not that old and I refuse to fall into the stereotypes of the soccer mom who has to dress a certain way. Maybe this is why I am struggling to make friends with some of the moms in my sons class.
  3. To piggy off that idea, I am really big into health- healthy living, healthy eating, and emotional health. Emotional health being the biggest became that is what drives and affects the rest of your health.
  4. This years political election scares the heck out of me!
  5. I have Celiacs Disease which can at times be frustrating but I think I am a healthier eater because of it.
  6. I am returning back to work as a Special Needs Teacher. If you ever need help or advice advocating for your child, I’m your gal.
  7. I love coffee. I think love might even be an understatement. There is need there, I need it. Even before my early morning runs, I drink at least half a cup before heading out.
  8. Chocolate is a big weakness of mine. Which usually translates into cookies, brownies.. you get were this is going.
  9. I love debating with people or talking about different topics. That’s mainly why I created Tuesday Talks- to connect with others.
  10. Fall is my favorite season. I love the change in color 🙂

Questions I was asked to answer:

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Besides clutter, I would say my biggest pet peeve is when things aren’t where they are supposed to be. Things have a spot and that is where they go. It drives me crazy when I go to get something and it isn’t there. I think this is pet peeve of mine because I feel like it wastes my time. And I hate having my time wasted.

What is the last movie you watched?

What can I say, I am a sucker for good action, Marvel, and I love the attitude!

Who did you last text?
My husband. He is has been gone for a week due to work. I sent him a picture of the boys

How many books are on your TBR list?
122 but I’m pretty sure that is all of them… Wow, that’s kind of a big number

What height are you?
I am 5’5

Who do you admire most?
My husbands cousin- Regardless of the family  dynamic, they are raising an amazing girl. She knows what she wants, she’s independent, strong, and her own person. She isn’t afraid to dress how she likes and when posing for pictures, she is full of attitude. And I’m not talking about the spoiled kind, she is already a confident strong girl. And she is only 4. She is this way because of her parents and they are amazing people.

When was your last holiday and where did you go?
4th of July, and we had family over at our place. We did a water party in the back yard, grilled, and had a nice time 🙂

Who’s post did you last like on instagram if you have an account?
I don’t have instagram but the last post I liked was: I am a Feminist

What is your biggest habit?
My biggest habit that is good is that I always lock my doors and I am aware of my surroundings.

Funny story- when I was in college, the last two years I lived in an apartment complex. I would get home really late from work, around 11. And for a couple nights in a row I would notice this guy sitting in his car with the lights off. Every night he would be in a different  parking spot but always in the same area.  If I wasn’t actively looking while walking to my apartment, I wouldn’t have noticed him. After the second or third night, I called the police. Come to find out, the guy in the car was an undercover cop looking into something. The next night he was gone.

What song did you last play?
Into the Wild by LP

Bonus: Recommended blogs?
Wow, I think I would recommend any of the blogs I nominated. I mean there is a reason I follow their blogs, right? 🙂


10 Questions for those I nominated:

  1. Describe a recent nightmare and do you think it means anything?
  2. What’s a goal you hope to achieve?
  3. Regardless of responsibilities, time, money, etc. If you could go anywhere and do anything right this moment, what/where would it be?
  4. What book would you recommend that is a must read for this summer?
  5. If you could take a pill like in the movie/tv show Limitless, without any negative side effects, what would you do or try to accomplish before the pill stopped working? Remember, you only have 24 hours before the pill wears off.
  6. What is one thing you look for in other blogs before you decide to follow them?
  7. If you could travel back in time and give your younger self advice, what time would you travel to and what advice would you give?
  8.  What is your favorite dish/food you like to make?
  9. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  10. If you could ask your pet three things, what would they be? And for those who don’t have pets, same question but if you could ask your house/rental.

 

Gifts Ideas For Father’s Day

For the Dad who Reads:

1,000 Record Covers.png

1,000 Record Covers, by Michael Ochs

Record covers are a sign of our life and times. Like the music on the discs, they address such issues as love, life, death, fashion, and rebellion.

For the dad who still has a collection of records,this collection of album art will easily capture his interest.

This special edition of Record Covers presents a selection of the best 60s to 90s rock album covers from music archivist, disc jockey, journalist, and ex-record publicity executive Michael Ochs’s enormous private collection. Both a trip down memory lane and a study in the evolution of cover art, this is a sweeping look at an under-appreciated art form.
To BUY: $17.69 Amazon

Baseball

The League of Outsider Baseball, by Gary Cieradkowski

This book is great for any father who loves baseball. This book includes stories of baseball’s lesser-known players, as well as a look at great athletes before they hit the Major Leagues. Pages include portraits and vintage-style baseball cards.

I feel like the synopsis of this book does a better explaining how cool this book actually is:

Synopsis:
This book is a strikingly original illustrated history of baseball’s forgotten heroes, including stars of the Negro Leagues, barnstorming teams, semi-pro leagues, foreign leagues, and famous players like Shoeless Joe Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Joe DiMaggio before they achieved notoriety.

Shining a light into the dark corners of baseball history—from Mickey Mantle’s minor league days to Negro League greats like Josh Gibson and Leon Day; to people that most never knew played the game, such as Frank Sinatra, who had his own ball club in 1940s Hollywood; bank robber John Dillinger, who was a promising shortstop and took time out between robberies to attend Cubs games; and even a few US presidents—this book is a rich, visual tribute to America’s pastime.

Meticulously researched, beautifully illustrated using a unique, vintage baseball-card-style, and filled with a colorful and rich cast of characters, this book is a prized collector’s item and will be cherished by fans of all ages
To BUY: Kindle $12.99, Hardback $21.00 Amazon

Beer

Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew

If he is a beer drinker and wants to look into making his own, this book is the the one to start with. Looking over multiple beer brewing forums, this book has been said to be one of the ‘go to’ books that everyone started with.

To BUY: Kindle $11.99, Paperback $13.43 Amazon

 

 

 

Cooking with Fire

Cooking with Fire: From Roasting on a Spit to Baking in a Tannur, Rediscovered Techniques and Recipes That Capture the Flavors of Wood-Fired Cooking

My Father-in-Law loves this book and I would have to say it is pretty interesting.
Synopsis: Cooking with live fire goes way beyond the barbecue grill. Rediscover the pleasures of a variety of unconventional techniques, from roasting pork on a spit to baking bread in ashes, searing fish on a griddle, roasting vegetables in a fireplace, making soup in a cast-iron pot, baking pizza in a wood-fired oven, cooking bacon on a stick, and much, much more. Includes 100 recipes for everything from roasted rabbit and fish chowder to baguettes and burnt cream.
To BUY: Kindle $9.99, Paperback $15.02 Amazon

Meat

Meat: Everything You Need To Know

This book is guaranteed to teach Dad a thing or two. Written by one of Americas premier butchers, Pat LaFrieda, this book features tales from the meat packing business, tips on preparing beef, lamb, port, poultry, and veal, and 75 family recipes.

To BUY: Kindle $19.99, Hardcover $24.99 Amazon

 

 

 

StarWars

 

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, by Stephen J. Sansweet, Pablo Hidalgo, Bob Vitas, and Daniel Wallace

The three-volume Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia has everything he’s ever wanted to know about Jedi Knights and Sith Lords, including a timeline of major events and insiders’ skinny on the film franchise. May the Force be with him.

To BUY: $81.35 Amazon

 


For the Active Dad:

headphones

Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless headphones

Let’s say your Dad doesn’t have a fancy watch with a heart rating monitor, but he needs new headphones. This is a way to combine both- Jabra’s next generation of heart rate monitoring technology measures your heart rate via your inner ear. Connect to Jabra’s fitness app to plan, monitor and evaluate your performance, and ensure you’re always training in the right heart rate zone. Control music and calls directly from the headphones in-line controls. IP55 Certified, drop, strength, dirt, temperature & humidity tested – US Military Standard. Works with most popular fitness applications on iOS and Android devices to provide pace and distance alerts
To BUY: Certified Refurbished $78.99, New 129.99 
Amazon

Golf

 

Zepp Golf 3D Swing Analyser

For the Dad who golfs- This device helps capture your swing from different angles, the Zepp Golf measures and analyses your swing and records 1,000 data points per second. Measure the speed of your club, the rotation of your hips, your tempo and backswing. Fits in the back of your glove, so small you won’t notice, and links to your phone.

To BUY: $129.99 Amazon

Watch

Running Watch

The picture is Garmin’s Forerunner 620, but I think any sports watch would be a wonderful gift. This particular watch has a slew of advanced features to suit all runners, including a heart-rate monitor, a built-in accelerometer, and a touchscreen that works even if you’re wearing gloves. Because these can get expensive, on the lower end is FitBits.

Buy Garmin: Amazon

 

Coaster1

Coaster2

Custom Running Coasters

Looking for a useful, inexpensive way to display his race bibs? Or maybe your Dad ran his best race and you want to help him remember that moment. Protect your coffee table and celebrate his PRs with sealed, stone/tile coasters made from originals or scanned versions of race numbers. GoneForARun will make a set of four for only $22-25.

 


Gadgets and Gismos a Plenty..

amazon fire tablet

Lets be honest, some people prefer reading a book an a tablet. Right now Amazon has their tablets on sale. Here are some of perks: 8 GB (or 16 GB) of internal storage. Add microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage. The device is fully charged in under 6 hours and lasts up to 7 hours. USB 2.0 port (micro-B connector) to connect to a PC/Macintosh computer. This device has an amber light for nigh time reading which is better on the eyes but still gives off enough light to see what you are doing. Out of 54,150 reviews, the average review on Amazon is 4.2 out of 5 stars.
To BUY: $39.99 Amazon

HyperChiller

HyperChiller Iced Coffee Maker

Ok, I kind of want this myself and this will probably be the thing I end up getting my husband. This chilled to perfection iced coffee maker is simple yet effective. It is able to chill hot coffee up to 130+ degrees in 60 seconds without deleting flavor. The container holds 12.5 ounces and when you are done, you just throw it in the dishwasher. Let’s say your dad isn’t much of a coffee drinker, well it can also chill whiskey, wine, and other liquids.
To BUY: $50.18 Amazon

Philips

Philips Norelco Beard trimmer Series 7200, Vacuum trimmer with 20 built-in length settings

The integrated vacuum system catches up to 90% of cut hair for less mess. The high-velocity motor and fan system creates powerful suction to lift and capture hairs. With innovative lift & trim technology, the trimmer effectively lifts and guides hairs for a more efficient cut. The self-sharpening steel blades are designed to effectively cut each hair perfectly, preventing skin irritation, and are double sharpened to cut more hairs in every pass for faster trimming. And with the 20 built in settings, Dad is sure to get the exact trim/shape he wants.
To BUY: $49.95-120.90 
Amazon

Shave

Dollar Shave Club

So, your Dad likes to keep things clean and shaves. This is an alternative that is reasonably priced. This company delivers high quality razors (and other creams and shaving necessaries) at a reasonable price. Giving this gift means Dad will receive replacement razors every month and won’t get stuck with a dull blade. There are three different razors to choose from, starting as low as $3 per month.

To BUY: Dollar Shave Club


Lets Get Cheap and Real:

Letters

Letters to My Dad

A collection of envelopes, each with a different prompt for the letter inside. Prompts include: “the best adventure we’ve had together,” “my favorite memory,” and “one thing I love about our family.” What results is a time capsule of memories and letters that Dad can read and re-read for years to come. You can buy this or I think this can easily be made. If you are looking for writing prompts for topics to write the letters about, check these out: JournalBuddies Fathers Day Prompts or here are some that I suggest:

1) A special memory I have of you is…
2) From you, I learned the importance of…
3) One thing I’m glad we share is…
4) I always think of you when…
5) I love that our family is…
6) One thing I admire about you is…

OR you can Buy the pretty pre-made letters to Dad here: $10.88 Amazon

 Rite In The Rain Notebooknotebook

This is perfect for the dad who likes to be outdoors- whether that’s fishing, hiking, or even in the garage- this pen and pad is completely all-terrain proof. Ever been out in the rain and needed to write something down? Or left a note on a cars windshield wipers only to have the rain make it impossible to read? This waterproof paper allows you to write on it during the rain while the water runs off.  Inside the front cover are conversion tables, map scales, and short rulers in inches and centimeters. This model (the one in the picture) is not spiral bound (which they make), but memo-style, so it opens like a book. The pages can still be torn out, though, if you have to leave a note somewhere. Pens are sold separately but I have been measured, you don’t need the pen to write on this paper.
To BUY: $6.81-20.92 Amazon

Wine

Create Your Own Wine Label

Show Dad that you know his taste with a bottle of Josh Cellars wine. A special label with his name on it congratulates him for being the best dad ever.

$10 – $20 a bottle, www.ATributeToDad.com

.

DadDad2Time Together

Chances are, what Dad really wants is to spend time with his family. Even if you’ve already presented him with a thoughtful gift, spending time to him will mean more than anything. If your Dad is a runner, a nice run together will be the kind of bonus gift he remembers forever. If he is into sports, maybe sit down and watch a baseball game together. Maybe cook a meal together or just sit down and have coffee. What you do isn’t what matters, it’s doing it together that counts.

CookHomemade Meal- His Favorites

Sometimes for those fathers on the go, a nice family meal is what they miss the most. Surprise Dad by having his favorite dish ready, or try something new. This can be as complicated as you want- meaning, don’t make this more complicated than you need it to be. There are ways to make a nice meal on a tight budget. My husband loves raspberries, but he is also watching what he eats. So I will probably make him a raspberry protein shake and a nice big breakfast. Again, I think it is more the thought than the actual outcome.

BeerSix-Pack of Beer

Buy your dad a six-pack of his favorite brew, and raise a glass to an evening together with light conversation and maybe a couple hands of cards. This kind of goes with the spending time together with the exception of  beer.

 


 

I hope this helps! Let me know what you think of this list 🙂 Was there anything that stood out or you thought was interesting? Should I add something next time?

Happy Start to the week 🙂

Reached 100 Followers!!

followed-blog-100-2x

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve reached 100 followers. I first started this blog to help reconnect with myself. That quickly transformed into wanting to connect with you. Thank you for reading my blog and wanting to connect and share in my passion.

I especially want to thank those who participate in my silly Tuesday Talks or simply comment on my posts. I think sometimes it is easy to feel lost in the blog world. Wondering if there is meaning behind what you write and do. But your comments and likes prove that I must be doing something right. Thank you!!

If you have any questions you want to ask or anything you want to see in the future, post a comment and I will do my best to either answer the question or write a post on that topic.

🙂

The Celiac Diet.. ahem Lifestyle

Contrary to what I first thought when getting diagnoses with Celiacs, eating gluten free isn’t as horrible as I originally thought. The gluten free food available now is similar to what I consider normal food, aka wheat infested food. But there are just some things that can not come close to the memories. For example, beer. Oh, man do I miss beer. Deep dish pizza is another but it’s getting to the point that I don’t even remember what pizza is supposed to taste like. Which I guess is a good thing, considering I won’t be able to ever have it again.
CookHere are some of my favorite recipes and typical food I eat on a regular basis. I normally stick closer to a paleo diet. For some reason, my body feels better eating a lower glycemic diet. On the left are a couple of my go to cookbooks. As you can see, my Against all Grain one is falling apart because I use it so much. The little journal looking one on the top right is where I write down family recipes or my absolute favorites that I have turned gluten free. Which really, isn’t that hard once you know what to avoid.

CookDanielle Walker’s Peruvian-Style chicken. If you don’t know who she is, you are missing out! She is an amazing chef with easy to create meals that my kids even eat. This recipe is in her book: Meals Made Simple. The chicken is amazingly tender and the spices are great. This is one of those all encompassing dishes where everything you need is in that pan. I guess if you want fruit, you will have to add that on the side, but you get the idea.

CookThis is another one of my favorite dishes. My husband hates it but I don’t mind. This is an asian rice or mock fried rice dish.

When I add meat to this dish, I like to use an asian marinade. But instead of using soy sauce, I use coconut aminos in the recipe.

 

Ingredients for cauliflower rice:
3 Tbs oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 or more gloves of garlic
a handful of: celery, carrots, broccoli
1/4-1/3 cup chopped nuts
1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
salt
coconut aminos or soy sauce

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium head. Sauté the onion and garlic for 8-10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the celery and sauté for 5 minutes. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it is the texture of rice. Grate or cut the carrot (in the picture I grated them). And cut the broccoli into bite size pieces. Add the cauliflower and carrots to the skillet, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and add the broccoli and however much soy sauce you would like. I usually add about 4-5 shakes. I don’t use much, just enough to get a good flavor. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the nuts and salt to taste.

Cook copy

Man, are these tasty but they are high in carbs so I wouldn’t pair any other carbs with this dish. These are really simple to make and the kids loved them. Plus the ingredients hardly cost anything, so that is a plus!

For breakfast and lunch I am kind of boring. For the most part I eat the same thing every day. For breakfast, I eat spinach eggs with half an avocado on top. I use two egg whites and two regular eggs, as much spinach as I can shove in there and some salt/pepper sprinkled on top. For lunch I either eat grilled chicken breast or a salmon burger with half an avocado.

Cook

For an afternoon pick me up, I will have an iced coffee with a scoop of protein powder mixed in.

CookOne of my favorite things to eat during the spring and summer are salads. I have taken Danielle Walkers California Chicken Wrap- chicken avocado, and bacon- and put it on a salad. I added cucumber and tomatoes. Her herb ranch dressing is to die for. Both of these recipes can be found in her book- Meals made Simple. Her blog is another amazing place to look for great recipes.

 

I buy most of my Almond flour online because of the price. Believe it or not, the texture of your almond flour makes a huge difference.

I don’t have a picture of these but these Cinnamon rolls are amazing!! And I don’t feel horribly guiltily for eating them.
I have a ton more recipes I can share with you if you are interested. But I won’t spend the time writing them up if no one wants them. So write a comment below and let me know if you like this or would like to see more.

May is Celiac Awareness Month

 

 

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.  Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.

CeliacWhen people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease.

What are the symptoms of Celiacs Disease?

Right now studies have discovered 300 known symptoms which may occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body. But what is really scary is some people with celiac disease don’t have any symptoms at all.

The most common symptoms are digestive symptoms, which are more common in young kids although some adults do experience these as well. Some examples are: Abdominal pain, chromic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, pale foul-smelling or fatty stool, etc.

 

In adults, the most common symptoms include: unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, fatigue, bone or joint pain, arthritis, bone loss or osteoporosis, depression or anxiety, tingling numbness in the hands and feet, seizures or migraines, missed menstrual periods, infertility or recurrent miscarriage, canker sores inside the mouth, an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis, etc.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are several blood tests available that screen for celiac disease antibodies. But for this screening to work, you must be eating gluten. Again, you must NOT be on a gluten-free diet.

If test results come back suggesting you might have celiac disease, your physician will recommend a biopsy of your small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.

Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease, which means that you cannot “grow out” of it. The treatment for both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet

My Story

Growing up, I have always struggled with canker sores. And my stomach has always bothered me. I hated when doctors would push on my stomach because it always hurt. I grew up thinking your stomach was supposed to always hurt. That was my norm, constantly living with mild pain. But it wasn’t until late 2010 and early 2011 that my real symptoms started to show up.

me It started with what I thought was weight gain but really it was my body swelling from everything I was eating. During the week, I normally ate soups and salads for lunch and eggs for breakfast. But on the weekends, I would splurge with pizza, pasta, beer.. you name it. And soon, every weekend I would spend 9+ hours in the bathroom throwing up and in the worst pain of my entire life. Then I would spend a couple more hours in the emergency room because I couldn’t stop vomiting. I would be shaking uncontrollably from the pain. The lightest touch of clothing or sheets would be painful.

Once I had an emergency doctor tell me I was an alcoholic who needed help. But the thing was, I would only have one or two beers and that would be enough to set me off. Finally, at the beginning of 2011, I found an amazing doctor who helped me get diagnosed with Celiacs. I remember my doctor telling me I can to cut out all gluten from my diet. And believe it or not, I cried. I was a carb loving fool at the time and giving up my pasta and breads seemed unfair. When I told my doctor this, he looked at me and pretty much told me to suck it up and I would no longer be a carb person.

Fast forward five years later and some days I still struggle with a gluten free diet. And although my symptoms aren’t bad enough to send me to the ER anymore, they are still bad. When I eat gluten, not only is my body destroyed but so is my mind. And it doesn’t fix itself right away. I have to live with what feels like half of who I am for weeks until my body finally rights itself.

When I eat gluten, I have the digestive symptoms and the horrible pain. That pain usually lasts for about three to five days. But the mind fog is what lasts for weeks. It’s hard to describe but it’s like listening to a conversation but only hearing part of it. Then trying to make sense of what you heard and respond. But you can’t find the words you want and everything is out of range. Your mind is like walking through molasses. You can’t remember anything and you often have to ask the same questions over and over because sometimes you don’t even remember asking them but most of the time you just don’t remember in general.

It’s kind of scary. But what’s really scary is having to take care of my two boys with symptoms. If they are bad enough, I fear I will forget something important and my kids might get hurt. What is also scary is knowing each time I get sick, I might be that much closer to getting colon cancer or developing some other disease.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Do you have celiac disease or know someone who does?

Later this week I will write a post about what foods I eat, some of my favorite gluten free recipes, and whatnot.

 

 

Jurassic Park to My Front Yard

Hi everyone, I am sorry for my absence this week. I hated not being able to post and connect with you. Now that I am over the hurdle, I finally have time to write a post and let you know what has kept my attention this last week.

A year ago this month, my husband and I bought our first house. The house is a fixer-upper but we loved it and are not afraid of a little hard work. Which brings me to our yard. Welcome to Jurassic Park, I mean my front yard…

Pretty much if you could think of it, it was in our yard. Our house sits on half an acre but most of that was covered in trees, brush, random flowers, bushes, and ferns.. oh the ferns. It was a nightmare. Everyone know who we were based on our yard. The first thing all four of our neighbors said to us when we moved in was, “So, are you going to do anything to the yard?” It really is as bad and the pictures look.

Phase One:

Last Fall I just couldn’t handle it anymore. My husband and I spent all summer working on the back yard (which was just as bad as the front) and didn’t touch the front. There is just only so much I can handle and I was at my breaking point. I went out into the front yard with the mindset that I would just take care of the ferns. But once I got started, I just couldn’t stop.

After words I felt so much better! Our front yard no longer resembled Jurassic Park and you could actually see our house from the street. Even though this was a great improvement, there still was a lot of work needing to be done.

 

The previous owner not only brought in mounds of dirt, she also brought in piles upon piles of wood chips and rocks.

Phase Two:

So this brings us to this week. We actually weren’t planning on tackling the front yard just yet. But our neighbor across the street came over and asked if me wanted to use his skid loader, free of charge. We couldn’t afford to turn that offer down and got started. While my husband worked during the day and the kids were taking a nap, I was busy transplanting, digging, and moving the flowers/plants I wanted to keep.

House1

When my husband would come home, he would jump in the skid loader and start leveling, digging, and removing all the dirt, shrubs, tree stumps, etc.  from the yard. Then it got to the point while he was doing that, I was doing the same thing but with a shovel. Once everything was removed, we took to the rakes and had to manually pick up or rake the rest of the wood chips and rocks.

I can’t even begin to explain how much my back, hips, and hands kill. We added three perennial gardens with a boarder to keep the wood chips where they belong.

House1

I know the yard is not done and still needs some work. Today we are going to put grass seed down with mulch on top. But I can’t help but feel like the yard looks better. I know it’s a dirt yard right now but it’s better than the forest it was.

Again, I apologize for being away but I had no choice. Let me know what you think of the transformation. I hope we didn’t make it worse. All I want is to not be the disgrace of the neighborhood. And I think we are almost there..