The whole situation I have described above is something that has been happening to me over the years since I was about 19-20 yrs old, but it has only gotten gradually worse. I just wish I didn't have to be in so much pain and discomfort every single day. I would give anything to be 100% healthy for just one day. There are days where I wish I could sit with friends and just eat what they are eating, so I can just be apart of the group. Being Celiac, whilst having IBS, and Colitis can be isolating. It does not make for a great social life through your teens and being a twenty something. On the other hand it does help me to quickly realise who are my true friends who will be there whether it be the good, the bad or the ugly.
It amazes me how many people find eating with a Celiac or someone with food allergies a total inconvenience. If I had a choice trust me I would eat with the group, but once again being Celiac is not a choice! New York was another eye opener for me. food with my best friends back home who would have loved it as much as I had. I will return to NYC with my best buds to eat it up, you can bet on that.
For others who do have friends with Celiac you just need to remember a few things that will make travelling together a little easier for you both:
- Fast food restaurants (e.g. McDonalds, Popeyes, Shake Shake etc) do not serve gluten free food. Some health places might, just ask first.
- Gluten is not just in pasta or bread. It can be in dressings, drinks, biscuits, candies and many other foods.
- Listen to your friend when they give suggestions of where they can eat. Or call ahead on the day to ensure the restaurant has gluten free options.
- Do not just walk into a restaurant and sit down. Ask the wait staff first if there are gluten free options.
- Take the time before travelling to read about Celiac disease. It honestly will take 30min of your time to understand the basic facts and then it will be easy for you both to eat out together and enjoy.
These are just a few things that if you are good friends with someone that are helpful to understand. Travelling is never easy with Celiac and it makes it that much harder if you are constantly made to feel like the group burden. If you are Celiac my advice is know your friends well you are travelling with or just do as I did and make new friends on holidays. It made for an incredible trip for me that now I want to go and live back in NYC in the near future.
Onto the other side of things I wanted to throw down on this post was my newly diagnosed thyroid condition. A few weeks back I had blood tests, which for over a year now have shown that my thyroid is borderline under active. This is not surprising considering that on both sides of my family there is a track record of thyroid conditions. Due to the state of my health and how I had been feeling I pushed the doctor to look further into this. I wanted answers for the pain and I wanted them bad. After taking an ultrasound I was sent to an endocrinologist who explained to me that my thyroid had about twenty percent damage. The weird thing was that my antibodies came up negative in the blood tests. So I have a damaged thyroid, with high TSH levels but great antibodies. Are you kidding me? My results are always considered to be weird, which makes life difficult. However, the endocrinologist decided that to be sure I would go on a low dose of thyroxin for six months to see if there were any changes. Well, guess what? After six weeks I am going to the bathroom regularly, there is no bleeding and I feel alive again. In all honesty it is not 100% peachy, but then again it is 100% better. I just need to keep learning what I can and cannot eat. As I have learned gluten free baked goods to be a big no no. I have ruled them out for the better part of NEVER EVER AGAIN.
I will tell you one thing, it made my travels in NYC a breeze. Normally when I am holidaying I am constipated to no end and bleeding horribly. Not this time. I was feeling great. Since I have come back I have been a bit unwell with the constipation and bloating, but that is because I am back working corporate and sitting down all day. I find if I am walking around I am okay with no problems, but sitting does not bode well with my tummy. I now use lunch times to trek up and down the city to get my metabolism going.
Dealing with all of these tummy dramas can get me down at the best of times, but I know that tomorrow can only get better. I live hoping that in the future we will have a better understanding or even a cure for Celiac, IBS, Colitis or thyroid conditions. Autoimmune diseases are truly the unknown, but each day we get a little bit closer to the answers. If you suffer from any of the conditions I have spoken about or something else please share your thoughts on how you cope with it. I would love to be able to talk to others who go through the same day to day obstacles. Or if you know someone who suffers from these and have questions please ask.
Later this week I will dive straight into eating in NYC. I will provide reviews on lunch, dinner and snack venues. Oh, and plenty of bar recommendations for cocktails.