Tuesday, April 2, 2013

HAWMC Day 2: Getting to Know You ... I Mean, Me

All through April, I'm participating in WEGO Health's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge. In addition to my usual posts, I'm going for 30 days of activisty content. Today's prompt: Introduce your conditions.

Today's prompt is "introductions," and let me tell you, I'm totally singing the song "Getting to Know You" from The King and I in my head right now. Maybe it's the topic, maybe I've got Yule Brynner on the brain from our annual marathon watching of The Ten Commandments this past weekend. Either way, I've a song in my heart, so let's get started. I apologize to anyone who's been around the blog for a while - you're probably not going to learn any new deep, dark secrets about me. Sorry. But I probably will talk about pooping.

Hello, my name is Alissa, and I have celiac disease. What's celiac disease? WHAT'S CELIAC DISEASE?!? ...Okay, I don't blame you. I had never heard of it either. Here's the dime store version (aside: are there dime stores any more? There should be): Celiac is an autoimmune disease that basically tears apart your small intestine. It's sort of a sucker-punch to the gut. For a lot of people, the digestive symptoms can get pretty nasty (yay! Poop talk!), but it can affect pretty much any of your body's systems, so some celiacs have neurological symptoms, joint issues, so on and so forth. We're usually pretty depleted on vitamins, too, since the disease messes with the body's ability to absorb nutrients. It's class A fun stuff here. There is no cure for celiac, and the only treatment is a life-long gluten-free diet. For someone who once considered a box of Froot Loops and a banana a well-balanced meal, originally this diagnosis was somewhat ... off-putting.

But, you either get over it, or you get under it, and I decided to make this lemon into some gluten-free lemonade. This blog has been chronicling my journey. Sometimes, there's cupcakes. Sometimes, there's crying. A lot of times, there's both.

So, that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for stopping by. You can read more about my wacky celiacky here, or here, or even here. And check out some of my favorite GF bloggers here, and some wonderful resources here.


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