celiac sprue

Just when you think you've got it all under control, life jumps in the way.

But curve balls are what we do best here.  And since we were thrown one, we'll take it in stride.  Because we actually have no choice.

Rick has Lupus, and as of March 24, 2011, our then 19-year-old daughter has had Celiac Disease, also called Celiac Sprue.  She's 20 now and a whole bunch wiser.  We all are.  We have to be.

We are still learning all about Celiac Disease so we are by no means experts but here's what I do know.  Elizabeth is allergic to gluten.  VERY allergic to gluten.  It's all the rage now to eat gluten-free foods and try to stay healthy, but Elizabeth has no choice.  She can't just go along with the trends, she truly has to plan out every bite of food that she puts into her mouth.

So what is GLUTEN?  In short, it's a thickening agent.  It's in a lot of foods and also a lot of regular products.  But mostly it's in wheat.  If you were to take a drop of water and place it into some flour... that flour would become sort of sticky.  If you were to take that flour and little bit of water and swish it around in your hand, you'd have a gummy-like substance.  That's gluten.  The thing that makes the flour sticky.  Gluten is in SO MANY things.

So... Elizabeth is allergic to wheat.  And all types of flour.  And there's hardly a piece of bread that can cross her lips.  No cakes, no cookies, no doughnuts, no pizza dough.  Gluten is also in anything that needs thickening.  It's in soups, puddings, even sour cream.

Believe it or not, it's in toilet paper.  And that one I don't quite understand.

Elizabeth survives on lean meat, veggies and fruits.  'Cept she hates fruits.  So that limits her even further.

Elizabeth is also milk intolerant (casein intolerant) causing her even more difficulties.

But we'll get through this like we've gotten through Rick's Lupus.  We have to.  We have no choice.  But if ever a family has been pushed to its limits, I'd like to raise up my hand to volunteer.

There is a prize, right?