This post goes out to my family, friends, and all of those who have taken me in as their own.
Last weekend I went to a gathering with my Godmother and her boys. It was a small group gathering of others from their church. They regularly gather and visit with each other and share a meal. The restaurant had a gluten free menu so I decided to tag along.
They were asking me many questions about why I was in Texas and what my career goals are and how being in Texas all fit in with my plan. I should have shamelessly mentioned the blog, but did not…next time though.
I explained that I want to be a dietitian. Then I discussed a bit about my Celiac journey and how changing my diet has significantly changed my life. As I sat there talking about all of this with them actively listening and trying to take it in it made me think of all the people that have done so much for me to help me keep living as normal of a life as I can with this crazy autoimmune disease.
So here are some things I want to thank you for that I know I do not say nearly often enough.
First off I want to say thank you for sticking with me. Autoimmune diseases are hard on the body physically and mentally. Until recently I never thought of how that affected the people around me. Partly because some of them are living with the disease themselves, my dad and sister. But mostly because they are so awesome and never act like it affects them, but I know it does. I appreciate you loving me on the good days and the bad. I could not make it without all of you.
Thank you for picking restaurants that have safe food for me to eat. I know you all have your restaurants you love, which may or may not have great gluten free options. So thank you for picking places I can eat. Whether that means it is farther away, or not the specific food you wanted that evening, etc.
Thank you for buying and preparing me safe food and taking all the precautions you can to keep me safe. Gluten free foods are not cheap and I have had many people that bought me gluten free products they saw, or had some staples in their pantry’s when I got to their houses. Shoutout to my best friends family members for making some of the best gluten free treats I’ve ever had. I mean her grandma has made multiple batches of cookies in the past to make sure they were just perfect. They were great! She left some uncooked and I had cookies for many months after that.
Thank you for not making me feel like I am a burden to you. You all have done things to keep me safe and never make me feel like I am burdening you. If I felt that way I imagine I would be in a much worse place mentally regarding my diagnosis.
Mostly thank you for taking the time and effort to learn about my disease.Being educated is one of the most important things when dealing with this disease. You need to know what to look for on food labels and the right questions to ask at a restaurant. All of the people in my life have made the effort to learn these things. Sometimes they question restaurant employees more than I do. This happened at Jeni’s Ice Cream when I first saw they changed many of the ice cream recipes. The sign said the cookies and creme ice cream was gluten free. My friend intensely interrogated the employee to make sure it was actually safe for me.
Lastly thank you for teaching others about my disease as well. Without all of you helping educated on my disease I would have such a smaller reach of people I could teach about my disease.
So I cannot say it enough. To all of you in my life THANK YOU! Thank you for all of this and so much more. Without all of your love and support regarding my disease and life in general I would not be where I am today.
If you have celiac, I hope you have a support system like mine! If you do please share this with them and remember to thank them every once in a while, they do so much to help you stay safe and healthy.