Wednesday is usually the day I will post a new recipe of something, and write a snippet about it where I try to use my comedic skills so people can laugh at me, AND have cake too. But I’m feeling pretty emosh lately and I can’t come up with anything to write about. THEN I looked on my Time-hop app (Which I’m getting bored of anyway, because I used to be a complete a-hole) and it’s been TWO YEARS since I came from the hospital with the news that I was a coeliac. It feels like I’ve been gluten free for my whole adult life, but in two years, gluten free food has come such a long way, and I feel like I have too.
I remember all the months I was going to the doctors with the same complaints, especially about vitamin deficiencies. I’d just started eating super healthy because I wanted to spend a September at uni NOT catching freshers flu because if I did, I’d be poorly for months. Then the haemotology appointment came and I had what I thought was a routine blood test before I had to attend, not knowing what the tTG meant, I assumed it was testing ALL OF THE BLOOD. So the day came of the appointment, and the doctor asked me about the symptoms and odd questions about things I never thought were an issue. Like pooping. I thought everyones poos were rubbish, it’s poo for crying out loud. And me and my housemates had a wall in the bathroom where we would rate every one we did out of ten and put a comment. SORRY NOT SORRY. Nevertheless mine were always the lowest rated.
She told me the blood test was indicative of Coeliac Disease, and explained it to me further and all the usual medical jazz. And then January 23rd became the worst day ever.
I came out of the hospital to the bus stop, and googled it a bit more, because you know, the word ‘disease’ makes you think you were going to die at 22 years old. I also wasn’t expecting this to be honest, I thought it would just be me being underweight which was the problem. I’ll be honest, I cried, not like Sadness in Inside Out does, but more like like the sad frog meme. A tiny bit of relief, but also a tiny bit of worry over what people will think of me.” Being mocked for being thin, a hipster AND now gluten free did not bode well for me. BUT at least there was something I could do about my illness and my health was way more important than the opinions of people I didn’t really get on with.
So the first thing I did was go to the big Tesco, and find the gluten free aisle. Boy, that sh*t was expensive for a student. The bread was reduced at the time from £2.80 to £2.50 – what a bargain(!) I purchased a lot of pointless random crap that I never even bothered to eat before, like energy bars, and seeds, gluten free ketchup. And it cost me a fortune. I got home, complained about it on the internet and also declared my status as a coeliac online so as people didn’t think I WAS full on hipster doing it for the health fad.
The first bread I tried, white bread, was the texture of a fire brick, tasted so bad of baking soda. As I tried to toast it, it smelled like burning, and ever since, my housemates always complained that something was burning EVERY time I made toast. It was nasty.
The evening of the diagnosis, I went out partying with friends. Me and my best friend would head over to the water machine in the club half way through to refresh because we were lightweights. And on the table opposite it, in the quiet area of the place, were two large boxes of Dominos Pizza that had just been delivered. We asked if they were anyones, but nope, we decided to take them. Being the drunk I was, I said f**k it. I enjoyed those pizzas with her, and savoured the last bit of drunken gluten consumption, it was hilarious. Almost like someone had sent them to me to enjoy it and start tomorrow afresh, and fully gluten free.
The day after came, and my housemates had ordered Dominos Pizza. I was upset, jealous, hungover, and had the worst stomach. They also ordered the doughnuts. My housemate, not knowing about my CD yet, but the main provider of banter in the house asked me if I wanted a doughnut. I didn’t know if it was some sly banter cos I was the source of it, being the only girl in the house and the only gag was about my gluten free toast smelling like burning. I screamed so many swear words at him and stormed off upstairs to my room. It still makes me laugh because we became really close friends after that. And he used to work for Sainsburys, so he would drive us there when all of the food was reduced so I could get bread at a normal price. And my other housemate found gluten-free bourbons for me, yay!
Looking back now, I was so silly thinking all of the rubbish thoughts, but everything ended up making sense in the end. I made a good friend, I felt positive, I had another reason to dislike Jennifer Lawrence because she called coeliac disease a cool new eating disorder, I even bought a whole chicken for cheaper than what a loaf of bread would cost and started eating broccoli. AND I have a great support network and social media groups galore dedicated to it, so I don’t feel alone, plus lovely followers. Supermarkets have expanded their ranges so much since I first did my gluten free shopping, eating out is still a pain in the butt sometimes, but still, they have improved too!
So anyway, that was my little story about the day/weekend I started my gluten free journey. Hope you all enjoyed. Please subscribe and follow my social media channels for updates @thecoeliacsloth