Tuesday, September 28, 2010

“Wow, that sucks.”

I’ve heard this phrase a few times since hearing my “diagnosis” and sharing with others.  But the truth is, unless you’ve experienced what I have over a period of 10 years, you wouldn’t really understand how this does not suck AT ALL.  Just because the word “disease” is involved in the name of what supposedly “is wrong with me” does not mean that I’m wasting away or missing out on something in life.  It’s quite the opposite now.

Now that a couple of doctors actually PAID ATTENTION to what I was telling them and diagnosed me correctly, despite what a few others have done in the past, I no longer have to live with one or more of the symptoms that I’ve faced on a daily basis.  By labeling me with CD, I can now move on to eating food that:

  1. makes me feel good
  2. aids in healing my body
  3. makes me a healthier individual
  4. tastes better than any food I’ve eaten in my entire life (yea, that’s right, you’re missing out!)

I know there’s the wonderment of what this means for my future seeing as how there’s a minimum of 10 years damage done to my digestive system, but this has hardly been a thought in my mind.  I think this has to do with the fact that I’ve been diagnosed “young” and that Dr. Flax and his nurse seemed to be so positive after hearing what I knew not only about CD but how it affects my body and my knowledge on how to prepare the right foods.

I truly am thrilled at the challenge thrown my way to create delicious food in a whole way; it was getting a little monotonous ;)  You’ll be able to see Krista Kooks for more details on the food coming out of my kitchen these days.

All that said, my concerns come when thinking about the times Henry or I do not have control over what my meal selections will be or how they are prepared.  Eating in Houston isn’t so bad thanks to an amazing Celiac group here in Houston as well as a decent amount of knowledge by chefs in this city.  Our concerns come for when we travel to other cities or countries as well as when we eat at other people’s homes.  That might sounds harsh, but, when it comes to your health, etiquette gets a little less important.  This past weekend, we traveled to San Antonio.  Because we stayed in a hotel (Homewood Suites), I was able to bring food I’d already prepared in order to make sure I stayed within the diet I’m supposed to.  Nevertheless, we know that we’ll be able to work it out in most situations, obviously.

Overall, I’m LOVING the food I’ve been eating since the start of my diet, I’m so happy to see my body regain it’s strength, I’m thankful I FINALLY know what’s wrong with me, and I’m so glad I know how to handle all of this.

Most of all, I’m thankful for a husband that reacted in a way like no one else.  He was there for me in a way that I never expected and in a way that I didn’t know was part of him.  I saw a whole new side to the man I married.  I can only imagine how other guys might have reacted, but he just showed me a whole new reason why he is the one God chose for me.  He was there at every appt with me, asked more questions than I could think of, and never cared ONCE how this affected him.  He still constantly cares to make sure that what I put in my mouth is the right thing.

Ok, I’m sure you are ready for the gushy stuff to be over ;)  Next time, I’ll share how grocery shopping is a whole new world!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A CORRECT diagnosis

We have a new development in our household that forever changes the rest of our lives, although it directly impacts my life.  While there is much to discuss on the new subject, this particular post will be on the facts and science alone.  Opinions, feelings, outcomes, future happenings, etc. will come in later posts.

In early August (I believe the 11th), I got cold/flu sick and went to see a doctor.  Henry ended up having to drive me because I was SO SICK.  Thus, he missed work that day.  While there, I …for some strange reason…decided to bring up my history of digestive issues, which obviously was a totally separate issue.  I’ve been dealing with numerous symptoms for 10 years now.  I explained to the doc what I’d been through in regards to previous docs, GI docs, testing, MISDIAGNOSISES, etc., and she decided she wanted to test me for something new.  I knew what that something new was, and I insisted (somewhat rudely) that she was wrong.  She tested me anyway.  I had to do a blood test, and thought nothing of it when I did not hear anything within 72 hours as the lab technician explained.

One week later, THE DOCTOR called; not her nurse, not the lab…THE DOCTOR.  She told me that the panel she had run on me was positive. “Krista, you have Celiac disease.”  Stunned…I thought of nothing better to say than, “You just turned my cooking blog upside down.” 

She referred me to a GI doctor, Dr. Ira Flax.  On August 31st, Henry and I met at Dr. Flax’s office and spent 2 1/2 hours with him, his nurse Helen, and a small amount of time in the lab for yet another blood test.  I was being tested this time for liver damage and anemia.  Both turned up negative.

Furthermore, Dr. Flax wanted to biopsy my small intestine as well as get some photographs of them.  I was scheduled for an endoscopy for September 8th.  Henry and I both had to take off of work.  I was put under, they photographed my intestines and biopsied them as well.  The results of this biopsy were no different; I still have CD.

In order to better understand what Celiac Disease is, I would highly encourage reading one of the three links below.




What all of this means for me now is that I will be eating gluten free for the rest of my life as there is no pharmaceutical treatment for this diagnosis; the only treatment is to eat gluten-free.  I’ve been on this diet since my biopsy was over (I was required to continue eating gluten until testing was over).

While this is not a beautiful disease to hear about when you read about the symptoms, here are the symptoms that I specifically was suffering from (that we know of, and that I’m willing to share):




-Gas/Abdominal Cramping

Possible symptoms that could have been a result of this are as follows.  We won’t know for sure until after being on the diet for some time.


-Vitamin deficiencies

-Weight gain (I HOPE THIS IS A SYMPTOM ;) )

Anyone can read for themselves, so I’ll just go ahead and put one thing to rest right NOW.  Infertility is not a symptom we know was a problem for me or not as we did not try this path.  For all we know, it could have been (and therefore built-in birth control) or could not have been (and we are just that talented).  So no suspicions are to be made regarding that symptom ;)

Other facts and figures I think are necessary to have a look at:

  • One in 133 Americans have celiac disease.
  • Three million Americans across all races, ages and genders suffer from celiac.
  • 95% of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
  • 10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. This is EXACTLY how long I lived with symptoms before being CORRECTLY diagnosed.
  • 17% of celiac patients have an immediate family member who also has celiac.
  • Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility (see my note above), reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
  • $5,000-$12,000 is the average cost of misdiagnosis per person/per year of celiac, not including lost work time.
  • There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.
  • A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac today.
  • A positive attitude, 100% of the time, helps celiacs create a gluten-free lifestyle for themselves and their affected family members.
  • 500,000 new celiac diagnoses are expected to occur in the next 5 years thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of celiac disease.
  • The gluten-free marketplace is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2010 thanks to new vendors manufacturing better tasting and more affordable products.

That is all for facts and science.  As I said, there will be more posts to come on other feelings/developments/how it’s going/ etc.  However, for now, this is more than enough info.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Say Grace

Think I should teach Ember?!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Ashlee!

 Pre-Ceremony-0309 Happy Birthday to the best cousin (aka sister ;) ) a girl could ask for!