In 2010, I went to bed at my normal time. At that time we had a newborn and a 3 year old so bed time was 8:30. While laying there I had an amazing distinct pain that started on my right side. On a 0-10 scale I was around an 8. I told my wife that this was the worst pain I had ever felt and we might have to go to the hospital. The pain lasted for about an hour, it felt like someone was stabbing me with a 2000 degree fireplace poker. Needless to say we didn’t go to the ER that night but the following day my wife was making an appointment with a Gastroenterologist.
A couple weeks went by and absolutely no pain or problems. Kinda like hearing a clank on your car then taking it to a mechanic and they don’t find nothing wrong. Well, the day finally came to get consulted and scoped. After a quick, painless, and unmemorable procedure. The Doc ended up taking some biopsies, blood work, and tons of pictures with a diagnosis to follow.
About a week later, I finally got the call from the nurse. Biopsies were negative, blood work was normal (no gluten panel). But, the Doctor said I was hypersensitive to Gluten with the chance of Celiac, of course that was the first time I had ever heard something like that before. The Doctor ordered a clear liquid diet for the first 3 days and a Gluten Free diet for the next month and come in and take more blood. Staying positive, I thanked the nurse and called my wife (which is also a nurse), lol. I told her the good news still not knowing what the heck Gluten was. My wife was happy to hear that everything was normal except the hypersensitivity part. She proceeded to actually give me the life changing bad news. After the news, I tried to stay positive, of course I was at the fire station, so I decided to start the diet the next day. Plus, it was homemade pizza night at the station and I wasn’t missing that, lol.
Next day, it was game on. I never knew I was gonna drink so much water, chicken broth, jello, etc. What’s crazy, by the end of the 3rd day, my acid reflux was gone. I was 30yo and already on prescription Anti-Acid medicine (weird, huh). One of the biggest changes besides the reflux subsiding was my energy level was increasing. It was like someone turning the sound up on a stereo system, I was feeling GOOD. Day 4, time to start eating real food again, I stuck with the whole food approach, nothing processed per say.
After the first two weeks, I was absolutely feeling great. Zero problems, working out, feeling young and productive. Had to be a little more cautious while out to eat but didn’t have a problem with it for the most part. Fire Station meals where creative but doable. At the end of the 2nd week, I tried my first “normal” sandwich. Regular white bread, peppered turkey, and pepperjack cheese with some mayo, Yum. It might have been the best sandwich I had eaten in two weeks, lol. But, within about 2hrs I started feeling bad. Stomach started cramping horribly, nauseated, cold sweats, etc. Miserable, worst I had felt in weeks. My immediate thought was stomach bug, then it hit me, I had regular break. I thought to myself, that I’ve eaten this all my life and how can it be making me ill. Told my wife the experience and we both decided that I needed to go GF for the remaining two weeks out of the month.
The end of the month, I finally made it. My awesome sandwich experience still in my memory but was willing to take the chance for freedom and to dive back into the world of Gluten everything. Growing up in Texas people understand what a B.O.B. (Breakfast on Bun) is from Whataburger. Well, of course go big or go home is a pretty common moto, so I did. Go figure that dang sandwich was Heaven, “Slap Ur MaMa” Good, if you will. I felt great afterwards, no pain, no sweats, no nausea, no nothin for about an hour. Then, I was reminded why the Dr. told me a month and here came the sweats, nausea, pain, cramps, and now the vomiting. Oh dang did I get sicker than a dog. Luckily the fellas at the fire station took care of me that day. This time all the signs and symptoms stayed around for a couple days. Good Heavens that was rough but that was the day that I realized that I had Celiac and one of the worst forms of it.