Greetings! I am Kerry, the changingchick… I am lucky enough to have known Jen for almost two years now. We met when I started at my current job at a Chiropractic office. It was friendship at first adjustment! LOL! Since we met, we have developed a friendship like no other I have. We run, hike, walk together. We buy each other produce. We are friends but friends on a path to health! Along this journey is when I discovered something about myself and became the ChangingChick. Here’s how it all started… (picture the dream sequence noise here…)
One day my mom called me at work – which is saved for important issues only. She was actually home for once and had seen Dr. Oz. “Now you know I am not this type of person (she’s not) but I was watching Dr. Oz with Elizabeth Hasselbeck and I now know what’s been wrong with you. When you get a chance, I want you to look up gluten intolerance and celiac disease. They said the symptoms and I said That’s Kerry”! So I did. I looked it up. And I said, “wow, that’s me”. My symptoms were not only rushing to the bathroom between meals, but I think worse than that is the “rash” all over my body. It has pretty much been on my hands my entire life. Sometimes in other places. But it was getting WORSE on my hands and even more random places on my body. My shoulder blade, my armpits, my shins, my calves, my hamstrings… ALL OVER. I go through about a tube a cortizone a week, which is just disgusting. I went to doctor after doctor and was told I had “contact dermatitis” (even though I was resorting to using only baby products on myself). I had MRSA winter of 2010. I almost died. Honestly. Towards the end of my sickness, before my doc said I was completely clean, he tried diagnosing me with fibromayalgia to ease my mind over my stomach pains. I refused to accept it, knowing there was more to it than that. So when my Mom called me I felt hope – for the first time in a long time.
That weekend, I went to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to get gluten free grub. And I cried in the aisles because I was so overwhelmed. I bought a few items I now deem as disgusting. I understood why everyone said gluten free food was wretched. So I ate my food. Every day. For about 2 weeks. And then went to Hooter’s and had wings and beer. I kid you not. I love me some beer and hot wings.
Once again, I was getting sick. My hands were raw and cracked with the “rash”. My eternal sinus problems had returned. So once again, I did my research, made meal plans and went gluten free. In the meantime, I went to an awful GI doctor for blood work and got ZERO answers. Yes, I am self diagnosed. Yes, I see a difference in my health when I eat gluten free.
So now… here’s some of my issues.. I lead a VERY busy life. I eat out often. I do my research on menus, talk to managers, talk to waitstaff and take all the necessary precautions. And still get cross contaminated. I feel like I keep making the same meals over and over. I find all these amazing GF recipes with ingredients I’ve never heard of or are WAY expensive for my budget right now.
2 – Are there any GF conventions in NJ or Philly area where I can network with others in my situation?
3 – Bread – I love Udi’s toasted. Not straight up. So my bread is fine. But hamburger/hot dog rolls are disgusting. I would love a sub roll. I’m from NJ. We love subs. I love Italian subs soaking in red wine vinegar… Any suggestions for a sub roll/substitute?
4 – Am I the only one (other than my big brother who I diagnosed) that gets the rash I now know is called Dermatitis Herpetiformis? It’s worse than the cramping and bodily functions gluten causes. It’s uncomfortable, painful, itchy, just so awful I could cry. Sometimes I just want to crawl out of my skin. I am at my wits end. (In regards to the Dermatitis Herpetiformis, I know it’s not a thyroid issue. I already had that checked.)