With this revised post from February 2012, you can see why:
The state of our own health doesn't impact just us, does it?
There are several links in my fence of life that come under the label of celiac: lack of diagnosis, post diagnosis, the gluten free transition and lifestyle. And many many more links are connected to those general headings.
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 my un-diagnosed celiac.
I choose not to be bitter over those years when my health (my life) could have been oh-so-much better had I been gluten free. It is what made me the person I am today---passionate about education and awareness, about celiac testing (and now, safety in hospitals for patients who need to be gluten free---because all too often they cannot accommodate gluten free).
Sadness does, however, creep in a bit when I wonder about the impact my "less than" health had on my kids' lives.
‘Post diagnosis" link: renewed health, creating a support group that impacted many, many others, divorce, back to school, new career, new love. My-oh-my has my life changed since I went gluten free. The chain reaction has been profound! A roller coaster 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 (all grown now). We even discovered that my youngest has NCGS (nonceliac gluten sensitivity). Being gluten free has impacted his life in such a positive way.
My kids. They are why I wanted to be the best me I could be. I hope that my journey following diagnosis offered the statement, "It is not our illnesses, (or our faults, or our mistakes) that define us, but how we choose to improve and move forward."
Is it ALWAYS about Celiac?
So this is what my blog is about: My Celiac Chain Link Fence. (I have since changed the name.) 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 this disease as a young girl) would surely have resulted in a different life, without doubt. But remember, different doesn’t always mean better. There are so many many things I’ve learned about myself along this path. This is – my journey.
Those whose lives that have been positively impacted by my lack of diagnosis and by my passion to make others' journeys better ones, makes it all oh-so-worth it. While I haven't reached near the amount of people I've hoped to by now, I know I've helped some (many, actually). And this is what drives me.