Life without gluten is going to be so hard!

Life without gluten is going to be so hard!

Once the diagnosis of celiac came from our doctors, it felt as if everyone needed to tell me how hard life would be without gluten.  I am sure from the outside looking in the transition from wheat bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, etc. to “cardboard food” would be daunting. However, if life without gluten would keep my son from ever feeling like that again, I knew it would be smoother than anyone imagined.  Plus, after being in the hospital and seeing children much more ill than my sweet boy, removing gluten seemed like child’s play compared to serious battles with cancer and lives spent in surgeries.

I immediately decided our family would totally transition to a gluten free lifestyle (at least when I am not near Joe Bologna’s).  I couldn’t imagine 1)having to cook two meals when I can barely get one on the table in a timely manner and 2)being the mom that says “oh sorry Pierce, I can eat this delicious food, but you need to sit over in the corner and gnaw on that brick of rice bread”.

I should mention now that during the two weeks of hospital stays and our transition home, my mother in law and mother were amazing.  Thank the lord for retired teachers!  It didn’t matter the time, the length of stay, the request, or any other requirement….they were there.  I have an IMMENSE amount of mom guilt.  I practically drag it behind me in a suitcase each day to work.  I hate being away every day, but I’d never felt the amount guilt as I did having to go into the office two days when my son was in the hospital.  My mom was right there, driving across Nashville in rush hour traffic to sit with him all day, so that I could be away.  My mother-in-law came and took Pierce to a doctor appointment and lugged him all over Vanderbilt while I was stuck in a photo shoot.  My mom guilt was still there, but their presence allowed me to keep it slightly under wraps.

My mother, fondly known as Dee Dee in our home, also spent time one afternoon buying what I believe is every single gluten-free item she saw.  Not only did she buy out Kroger, but she discovered the slew of Bob’s Red Mill items at Big Lots, so if you are desperately looking for pancake mix and they are all out…check my pantry!  We learned that some things are terrible, like Brown Rice bread.  I think about that and gag.  There must be people that eat it because it is still being stocked at the store.  To those people…I salute you.  Your jaw strength must be second to none.  I couldn’t make it through one bite without struggling to chew through.  We have, however, discovered many other gluten free items that are not so bad…Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix, corn/quinoa pasta, Kinnikinnick white bread, and I had no better news then discovering Peeps were gluten free.  Dee Dee also took note of my complete panic attack about cross contamination and bought a few new skillets and pots….side note, unless the item is porous, you should be fine.  Baking stones and things of that nature are risky, and toasters should definitely be replaced, but you don’t need to scrape and rebuild your kitchen:)  In other words, don’t be crazy like me.

What makes this transition easier is watching the daily improvement in Pierce.  Removing the feeding tube was exciting and watching him start to walk again was even better.  Hearing him laugh, watching him play with his brother, and actually enjoy food again is the icing on our gluten free, white rice flour and xanthan gum cake!

changes in Pierce
The change in Pierce from before hospital and the week we were discharged.






Pierce and chex
Chowing down on some Chex cereal
taking steps again
Building up his strength
without tube
Right after the feeding tube was removed!

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