4th grade was a turning year in my life. I was sick. Doctors treated me like a pincushion trying to diagnose what was wrong. My Mom mentioned I might end up at University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital for observation. Doctors wanted to take out my spleen, but that ended up not happening. They eventually chalked it up to being some type of mono. That same year I found 4-H club. This was where I started discovering I loved to cook. We had specific recipes we had to conquer each year. 4th grade was peanut butter cookies. My cookies won 2nd place in the state fair.
This began the journey of wanting to pursue cooking yet still living life as one who constantly was sick. Every Christmas I had chronic bronchitis. When I moved to Nashville in 2004 I was allergic to everything here. I lived on antibiotics every six weeks. In 2010, I was diagnosed with a couple of autoimmune diseases that explained a lot of my health up to that point. I started on medicine and seeing doctors more frequently.
In 2010 & 2011 I traveled to East Asia with my church. Overseas I felt better. My skin issues were slowing down. My stomach was not as bloated. The last night in Thailand, I fell in the street market. My ankle bruised and swelled to a pumpkin. Our flights lasted a total of 48 straight hours. When I arrived home I had a nasty bruise. When I had to go to the doctor for a new sinus infection my doctor was concerned with the bruise. She thought I might be anemic since I didn’t have a blood clot in the time we flew. Tests came back borderline anemic.
So I did what every American does, googled my way through not taking iron pills. My autoimmune diseases and anemia pointed to celiac disease. My sister was allergic to wheat when she was little. I never thought it would be making me sick.
With the doctors orders of taking iron pills for 30 days I thought my stomach was going to give up on me. I decided to go gluten-free for three weeks. The first few weeks I cried at the grocery store. Between sticker shock and just wanting to emotionally eat I lost it. The first gluten test after the three weeks was my Grandmama’s peach shortcake birthday cake. My throat started scratching like it does with cat hair. I was having allergic reaction to gluten. I knew then something was going to have to change long-term.
As of July 2015, I’ve been gluten-free for four years. In those 4 years I have only had to have one antibiotic per year. I”ve only missed one work day for sickness. It has completely changed my life for the better.
Welcome to the blog Emily Gluten Free. Hope you stick around for easy & delicious recipes.