I was afraid that I'd accidentally eat something I shouldn't while at camp and get sick. Well, I did eat two hamburger patties that had wheat in them. Am I the only one that finds it strange that a hamburger patty would have wheat in it? But thankfully I didn't get sick :-) Everyone in the kitchen were so kind about making sure I had food to eat! Moma sent a lot of food for me to take and there were one or two meals that I could eat that the camp staff had prepared. I really don't like having to ask people to go out of their way, especially when they're busy, like working in a camp kitchen feeding over 200 people, to prepare food for me. I'm perfectly content preparing the food for myself because I know that I'm "picky." :-) At the same time, I feel so loved when someone goes out of their way to make sure I have gluten free food to eat!
Living with Celiac Disease has gotten easier over the years. Moma was diagnosed in 1996 and I was diagnosed six months to a year later. 15 years ago you couldn't just go to WalMart or Winn Dixie and find gluten free food. If you wanted gluten free packaged food you had to go to a health food store, and a lot of it wasn't good! We've tried our share of really bad gluten free food! Now, you can go to pretty much any grocery store and find a decent selection of gluten free items. Our WalMart has a small gluten free section in the baking aisle.
Awareness has really gone up! More and more people who have had health issues their whole life are now finding that the underlying cause was Celiac Disease. It runs in the family, so if you have a family member with Celiac, please get tested! My doctor didn't want to test me because he didn't think that it would be likely for more than one person in an immediate family to have Celiac. I'm thankful Moma insisted because I have it. Last year my brother was diagnosed. If your doctor doesn't want you to get tested, insist on it! If they still don't want to test you, change doctors!
Sometimes it's really hard when people just don't understand that Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disorder, that even though you stick to your diet, you still get sick easier and stay sick longer than a lot of people. It's been hard for me anyway. I've had friends judge me and tell me that I could get healthier if I wanted to, I just had to have the right mind set. If you're dealing with people like that, don't let them get you down! They might mean well, but they are speaking out of ignorance. Not everyone is going to understand what it's like. That's just part of life. We just have to take their comments and move on.
I know this post hasn't really had much direction. It's just been a bunch of random thoughts, but I hope that it has been encouraging to ya'll who have Celiac or know someone who has Celiac. In the future I do plan on doing posts on Celiac Disease with a bit more direction :-)
Here's some more information on Celiac Disease:
National Foundation For Celiac Awareness
Celiac Disease Foundation
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
The Best Book I've Read About Celiac Disease! Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic