Life is a series of chain reactions. It is not, however a single chain where one event loops through another. Each event, spoken word, smile, look or even lack of response loops together to create not just a long chain but a chain link fence. There are several links in my fence of life that come under the label of ‘celiac’: lack of diagnosis, post diagnosis, the gluten free diet. And many many more links are connected to those above. ‘Lack of Diagnosis’ link: either myself before I discovered I had celiac, those affected by me before I went gluten free, family members who were never diagnosed, and many who have been connected to my life in some way along the path whose own lives were affected by undiagnosed celiac. ‘Post diagnosis’ link: renewed health, divorce, new career, new love. My oh my has my life changed since I went gluten free. The chain reaction has been profound! A rollercoaster of events, actually. Peaks and valleys. Oh so so many. And then there are those impacted by these events since their own birth – three incredibly influential people have impacted many of my own decisions – my children. But as I go through my story, I will refrain from discussing their own private stories out of respect for their privacy – as it is my choosing to discuss my link fence, not theirs. That ‘gluten free’ link has so many other connections: support groups, new friends, a strength and assertive side of myself that I didn’t know existed.
Hmmm… am I making it sound like my whole life is linked to celiac? I think I believe that sometimes (too often, actually) – Of course there are many links in my fence unconnected to celiac (I guess?,haha) But this blog is celiac related, thus….. those are the links of discussion.
So this is what my blog is about. My Celiac Chain Link Fence. It’s my story of events connected to those ‘celiac related’ links in my life. That “What if” story (meaning what if I never had celiac or was properly diagnosed when I was first impacted by the disease as a young girl) would surely have resulted in a different life. Without doubt. But remember – Different doesn’t always mean better. And there are so many many things I’ve learned about myself along this path. This is – my journey.
I have lots of passions in life – yet time restraints and obligations don’t always allow me to feel that I’m able to give each of them all of myself. My family! BIG! They are my life. Three amazing adult children and a wonderful husband – and now – being a grandma – BONUS! Ahhhhh…. I love my family. Celiac Awareness. Since being diagnosed – and the changes that transpired – gotta talk celiac – all-the-time. I look back through the years of my life and think – wow! No wonder I don’t feel settled. I keep thinking a timeline will help me put things in perspective – to show others “Look what I’ve been through” – and then of course – Haven’t we all! Isn’t that what life is? Going through things? Talking with someone I had never met recently and hearing from her “You’ve had an interesting life” – and the fact that she was genuinely interested allowed me to think that maybe I am entitled to feeling the ‘struggle’ I’ve felt along the way and that maybe I do have a story to tell.
My passion for celiac awareness led me to founding a support group and then cofounding a larger support group (which I’ll discuss later). My celiac diagnosis and return to good health led me to the end of a 20plus year marriage (which I’ll talk about later). My divorce led me back to school to acquire a career (which I’ll talk about later). My path to a degree took time away from my support group - but didn’t stop the wheels turning in my head – which is how ‘Adam’ (my book, Adam’s Gluten Free Surprise) developed (which I’ll talk about later).
This morning I woke up with one of those odd feelings you have when you had a dream but just can’t quite remember it. But as I lay in bed wondering how to develop my blog – and trying to capture that dream that kept giving me goose bumps – a small part came back to me. I hugged my mom – For the first time since ?? whenever I visited her last before July 1997 – when my sister, my three brothers, my dad and myself sat by her side as she moved on to a better place. And that ‘hug’ has me sobbing right now. I have not cried over the loss of my mom in a long time. But it sure was nice to hug her – or – as it was in my dream ‘someone who looked like her’ but in a picture (in my dream) I thought it was me. I know this makes no sense to whoever reads this, but maybe it will help me to remember the dream and to hang on to that hug that means so much to me during this moment of dawn when dreams still have that impact on our state of mind and being.
And so – after lots of wonder over how to proceed – in comes my mom to assist me and give me focus and direction with this new quest – with my blog. And as a mom myself – who takes this position seriously – sillyously – and joyously – I wonder if I would still be here to give my children the hugs I so cherish if I had not been diagnosed properly with celiac in September of 2000.
Like I said - time is an issue. I should be getting ready for work right now - but the need to write has been overpowering. How often will I write? I don't know - but I hope I find the time to keep on going. The sun is coming up and that dream is slipping - and my job is waiting.