Lessons Learned: Celiac Disease Awareness Month

In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month.


It’s been 2.5 months since we received Harper’s diagnosis. WOW! That’s it? It seems like a lifetime ago…

Maybe because we have learned so much since then.

For instance…

Never leave for the grocery store with a low cell-phone battery. And on that note, please stop judging. I’m not Facebooking while shopping! I am using my apps, which are lifesavers, okay, time-savers.

Chipotle is GLUTEN-FREE! All expect for the flour tortillas. And if you tell them your daughter has Celiac Disease, they know exactly what to do. Remove gloves. Wash hands. Re-glove. Walk your order through the line to prevent cross-contamination. Open a new bag of cheese…just for you…just in case.

Bubbles (at least the kind we had) contain gluten and make our girl sick.

There is no such thing as yummy GF tortillas. Taco night has been replaced with Mexican Pizza Night.

Gluten-free is expensive. But worth it!

Harper doesn’t have allergies after-all. There have been no symptoms since our lifestyle change. And it’s springtime. In Texas. Buh-bye Benadryl…and Zyrtec…and Allegra…

Eating out is risky. Dinner at home (in our GF home) is so much less stressful.

You haven’t planned/packed for a weekend (even a night) away until you’ve planned/packed for a weekend away with a kid on a very restrictive diet. There’s the shopping, the coolers, the looks… YES, it’s necessary to bring our own toaster!

Keep your lip gloss out of reach or risk your baby getting very sick. Oh, and remind the school that not just any chapstick will do, or risk your baby getting very sick.

If you are used to buying groceries in an hour, you better dedicate 2.5. With all of the required reading (labels), checking apps, special orders, the occasional meltdowns, and multiple stops…actually make it 3.

Quinoa pasta is better than rice pasta.

Cross-contamination is a real threat. Mommy fail #3057+, giving Harper raw almonds and not realizing they were processed in a plant that also processes wheat. Poor baby!

But most importantly, my girl is STRONG, and RESILIENT, and HEALTHY! At barely four years old, her self-discipline puts the rest of us to shame. Birthday cake? Doesn’t bat an eye. Pizza? “Is that gluten-free pizza Momma?” The same for chips, and apples, and fiddles. Yes, fiddles. Haha! She’s four. She just knows that gluten makes her sick. And she is just as happy with a ladybug sticker when all of her friends are having cookies. I have been selfishly overwhelmed. I have been scared. I have cried. I have been frustrated too many times to count. Not Harper! She smiles, and dances, and sings, and sleeps through the night (because her little body is no longer hurting). Ahhhhhh!

My Hero.


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