We didn’t find out about the diagnosis during a doctor visit or even at a doctors office. We found out sitting on our back porch enjoying a day off. Just like that, Tyler gets an e-mail notification and sees that the Quest results are in. In the blink of an eye we’re scrolling through the large number of tests that had been ordered looking for any that are highlighted in red. Normal, normal, normal, and then, bright red. There it was, the celiac test, and the numbers were off the chart.
Getting the results.
I remember feeling a wave of relief in that moment. We knew what it was and what we could do to help. My first reaction was to grab my phone and text close family and friends who had been walking through this journey with us. Fast forward through several more doctors visits and an endoscopy to confirm and we had the results — we had answers — now what?
Cleaning out the house.
Nap time the day after the endoscopy consisted of a garbage bag, an open pantry door and my phone as I Googled items for gluten information. Things like flour, pasta, cereal, bread, tortillas, crackers, and pretzels were easy; but, I knew there was more. I Googled and read other blogs seeking out information so I could properly purge my fridge and pantry. Next up, the bathroom. New toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hair detangler were all needed. A lot more googling happened as I looked up shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and bubble bath for gluten disclosures.
Car Set, Couch Cushions, Microwave. Oh My!
In the days that followed, the cleaning and Googling continued. The car seat and my car needed to be fully cleaned because there were so.many.crumbs. The stroller, my diaper bag, under couch cushions, the oven, the microwave, the silverware drawer and all the kitchen cabinets. And once all of that was done, I started reading about the importance of replacing certain kitchen items (colanders, cutting boards, scratched pots and pans) and I couldn’t even believe it.
It was a lot at first. I was a mom on a mission though and it got done. Once our house was fully cleaned out, I felt such a sense of relief. N could go back to grabbing her own snacks and I didn’t have to worry. Home has become the only place she doesn’t have to ask if something is gluten free. It’s become our safe haven and I am glad we made the decision to go fully gluten free. With a very young child, it provided peace of mind for me. I know this isn’t possible for everyone and every family though and I fully respect everyone’s right to make their own choice. It is a personal one after all!
It’s all a journey. Getting the diagnosis is a journey. Finding out the results and initiating major life changes is a journey. The early days of a celiac diagnosis involve a lot of reading and cleaning and educating yourself. It can feel overwhelming at first but remember you don’t need to be an expert right away. Take those first steps and start moving in the right direction. The direction that leads to healing. You’ve got this!