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Category: Gluten Intolerance

Lupus POOPUS, Finding The Positive

Lupus POOPUS, Finding The Positive

I have to say, I would of never taking this many leaps in my life if it wasn’t for Lupus. Uggghhhh, You ever get tired of hearing the name of your nemesis?? In my case it’s Lupus POOPUS. I know..I know such a clever play on words. That’s what happens when you have three kids and have to explain the challenges of poopy Lupus. Damn! There’s that word again! Before I even knew why I was experiencing so many issues I decided it was time for my outlook to change. I gained the greatest gift through my hardest trial.

Just picture me, a mom of three, looks perfectly healthy (maybe even fit to some), slender, tall, active with my children. I take pride in my family and household. I chose to be an at home Mom from the time my oldest was born. I did ALL the daily tasks that makes a typical home run. I was vibrant and sassy. I played with my kids, dance parties in the living room, why not!? Playing sports outside, duh! Going to the park, always…

Then, a slow progression, that I desperately tried to ignore took over.

The active, playful, keep everything in order mom became the no energy, fatigued, always in pain, laid out on the sofa mom.

This is the woman that prided herself on a clean home and helping her kids with their homework every night. I became lifeless. It hurt to move, everything became a daily challenge.

I know it sounds dim. This isn’t for the faint of heart, for the ones that want to sulk. It will eat you alive if you maintain that perspective. I could tell you all about my hair falling out in clumps or being in severe pain after each shower (yes, all those movements cause pain), I can focus on my fingers hurting all the time (even as I type) along with every other joint, I can complain that I can’t sit anywhere for long periods (esp in vehicles), don’t even get me started about having to dodge UV rays (I’m basically a vampire), or lastly (for the sake of this post) how I’ve had to change my whole lifestyle including my diet. Yes, I could talk about all that, in great length actually but what the heck does that do for me, nada! If I am being true to myself and who I am all this has been the most twisted gift I have ever received.

The feeling of no control and not being able to live fully gave me the beautiful perspective of how valuable LIVING is (DUH! you’d think I already knew that concept). Not just being alive but actually living. Making conscious choices for my everyday and finding the good. Look, we all have things to be upset about. WE ALL HAVE A STORY. Who says mine is easier or tougher than yours? It’s up to me to say, Girl get it together and live yo life! (side note: I purposefully put yo not an error) I started to see things I took for granted. The smallest things made me so freakin happy.

As I am writing this I kind of giggle. One of the things that make me super excited is whenever I find out something I love is gluten-free. This can be make-up, food, hygiene products, whatever…. I never realized how much of our daily lives have that one ingredient, and that one ingredient can cause me a whole lot of being  in uncomfortable pain. Another thing is whenever I go to a Doctor’s office ( bc I am always at one) and they have comfy chairs. I get giddy like yeeessss my body is going to ache a little less from this. I mean, it really is the small things!

I was forced out of my norm. I know I was not doing my best, I know I was just going with the flow not pushing myself to achieve. I oddly feel I am more positive due to my experience. I see the value in easily getting out of bed every morning or being able to go grocery shopping, just being able to be active in any sort of way is a gift.

There has been a lot of trials but more triumphs. Specifically in my relationships with my loved ones. I have been able to love harder, my circle of people got tighter, I have MY tribe. The ones that refuse to leave my side. There’s no greater feeling than to know you are loved even when you’re in your most difficult stage of life.

I am amazed at how much Lupus POOPUS has changed my life. Not the parts of my body that hurt or the adjustments I needed to make but instead my appreciation for everyday. I fell in love with myself. I love my husband and kids more. I repaired relationships and let go of toxic ones. I put value into what I put my energy toward and refuse to waste on things/ people that don’t matter.

In a crazy way Lupus POOPUS has forced me to find what makes me happy. I am a blessed woman. Lupus is NOT my burden, it’s given me strength. I will LIVE with it every day with pride and awareness. I have forever been humbled but I am learning to handle this journey with grace. Lupus does NOT define me, I define Lupus. I am a warrior!

 

What People Need to Know About Gluten Intolerance

What People Need to Know About Gluten Intolerance

I was told the other day eating gluten-free isn’t very hard by someone that doesn’t have to avoid the protein. They explained seeing gluten-free foods everywhere and how it is easy. As they continued talking with their ignorant expertise, explaining to me why I shouldn’t have any issues, (talking as though I’ve changed my entire life for attention) I couldn’t help but be in complete awe. I didn’t start this conversation nor did I try to tell them why it was a must in my life. They freely decided I needed to hear their opinion. I never implied they had to adjust their needs for mine. All they knew is I’m gluten-free. I had the unpleasant realization just how insensitive some people can be. I wanted to express so many emotions to this delightful being, the feeling of frustration and hurt were difficult to convey in the moment. 

I wish I would have said I can’t tell you enough how much I want this lifestyle to be “easy”.  A huge part of me doesn’t want to be aware of gluten. I’d love the freedom to indulge in whatever I desire and not experience anxiety over accidental consumption.  Being gluten-free has had an overwhelming amount of unseen challenges. It is an immense undertaking to process what gluten is and what is does to my body. Looking at every label on foods, hygiene products, and cosmetics like a crazed person, and being in pain when you slip up is not the definition of easy. Only if there were no hidden ingredients and everything was clearly marked gluten-free.

I’d love to not think about the smallest things like my deodorant. Not to mention feeling like a burden to my loved ones.  Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do except try to maintain my health. Gluten is a nasty little ingredient that hurts so many parts of me.

Avoiding it seems “easy” but a large amount of products have hidden gluten. I’ve been forced to live a gluten-free life. It’s not because a celebrity did it or it’s the “cool”  thing to do rather if I expose myself to gluten I will become ILL. A short list of symptoms include body aches, migraines, anxiety, feeling sad, fatigue, throbbing and swollen joints, constipation, brain fog, migraines and so on. Simply put all of me is in pain.

This is not a choice, it’s a must. While I am at it, let me explain, I am fully aware things could be worse, I am thankful it is something I can manage.  I am not complaining about my intolerance but it has been life changing. I’ve altered the way I lived from my daily habits to the way I socialize. I can’t meet up and go out to eat with friends wherever I want. I can’t just stop and quickly get take out. I can’t eat freely at a barbecue.  I don’t get a chance to have a bite or a small taste of any desired foods. I don’t get to wear any make-up I like or sample perfumes. That’s not a choice for me, it my reality.

I have a disease that I CAN take control of. Although you view it as easy and no big deal this is my world. Until you experience what I am going through please do not give me your unwanted advice disguised as judgement. This is NOT for attention, this is my health, my life,  and the only way I can function at my highest capabilities.

One of the most difficult things about living with gluten-intolerance is the constant explaining to others about why I can’t expose myself to it. To you this is “easy” for me it is a daily task. You wanting to understand is valued your opinionated judgement is not. This is the only way for me.