For years, I ate like a human being or I tried. Two years ago I got really sick with continuous urinary tract infections and I suddenly could not keep any food inside me. In fact I spent most of my time in the bathroom in a lot of pain after I ate. Being older, I was told things would start happening to me and maybe body parts would start falling off if I did not take care of myself.
After a few weeks, I was losing weight like no tomorrow and beginning to call this the ‘Miracle Diet’. I was getting into pants I had not worn in years and I really liked that, but did not care for the pain. One day, after slipping into another even smaller pant size, I decided enough was enough.
Did I find out I had some e-coli disease or a third world country plague? No, I found out I had celiac disease. Celiac disease is supposedly an inherited disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats. I will put it to you in layman’s terms. No flour, no gluten, no fun!
Living with celiac disease is not easy if you do not read labels carefully. Sometimes I think the grain companies are playing a bad joke on us as more and more people are being diagnosed with it.
So last night I attended an annual Christmas party that I enjoy immensely but eating out is like playing Russian roulette. Sometimes you get out scott free, sometimes you don’t. If it looks delicious, that’s generally a warning sign that you cannot eat it. Slowly choosing a few munchies, I was sure I was going to be fine. But of course the only place left to sit was right beside the table piled high with cupcakes.
I don’t know about you, but cupcakes are my number one food group and if I could, I would live on them for the rest of my life. I try to ignore the cupcakes calling out my name and the smell of chocolate icing and sprinkles. I need to really walk away from this table and be strong. A tiny cute two year old girl approaches me and points to the cupcakes. I watch her eat that cupcake bite by bite and am slowly dying inside as my tongue by this point is frothing at this point like a crack head needing her fix.
I’d like to end it here, but I was about to endure a journey from hell. I started to get a horrible hard pain in my stomach and it went lower and lower until it met its final resting spot. You can feel a celiac incident it coming like freight train cruising down the tracks. Yes, the train was coming full tilt down the old intestinal tract and it was taking no prisoners.
I tried to smile at the lovely Japanese woman who was talking to me about her father. Words like Japanese internment camps and Smithsonian were not keeping up with my eyes that were darting back and forth at the line forming in front of the only bathroom door. The bathroom was so close, but if I get in there and everything lets loose will most of the party move away from this room after the door opens? Is it possible that all their eyes will bear down on me and their fingers point and finally the unruly mob will all yell,
“She did it!”
Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes, and all of a sudden the bathroom door is open and I am free to walk in there and slowly die. I excuse myself, run like the wind, and slam the door shut. In 3 minutes flat my deed is done and I get up with a smile on my face. I flush the toilet and it does not go down all the way; in fact the water is rising. My heart starts beating wildly as I search for a plunger.
There is no plunger anywhere. Who has a bathroom without a plunger? Is it against the environmental laws of a green city not to have plungers anymore? Did I miss some important reading materials about composting? The water starts to go down very slowly. I wait and flush again and then I keep flushing and flushing until the evidence is gone. Well, almost all the evidence; what to do about the air quality?
This is a “green” home and I do not see any aerosols but I do see a vintage perfume display. So I grab one and spray an expired Yardley scent throughout the air. It immediately smells like decayed rotting flowers but it does the trick.
I listen at the door and hear nothing. I open it an inch and see no one. Everyone is outside listening to music in the cold night air. I walk out, mingle with a small crowd and I try to blend in.
I am okay!
I am okay!
The Hostess comes around with a tray of goodies and I smile and say,
“No sorry, I can’t have any thank you; I have celiac disease.”
And in my mind I am really saying,
“I am so sorry about spraying perfume from your vintage perfume display and you really need a plunger in there!”
I smile again and walk away, pain free and think about how convenient and nice a portable pocket size plunger would be for all of us celiacs.
Note to self: Email Amazon about it tomorrow and tell them to get on it!
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News