OK, so this is my first post, to an audience of…… probably no-one! But I can’t believe there aren’t other people out there in the world who can’t tolerate grains or pulses. I’m unique, but I’m not UNIQUE. So what do I mean when I say that “I can’t tolerate grains or pulses”?
Firstly, I should say that I do not have coeliac disease. I was tested for it, and when the test came back negative, the doctor washed her hands of me. Not unsympathetically, she informed me that conventional medicine only recognises the “true allergy” of coeliac disease, and if I didn’t have it, they couldn’t help me. I had an equally sympathetic rejection from a consultant rheumatologist, which gives you a hint about the kinds of symptoms I was suffering. They were things like:
- muscle soreness and stiffness
- tender skin
- bloating and unexplained weight loss/gain
- fatigue/lack of energy
- racing heart (over 100 bpm at rest)
- irritability, sadness and other mood swings
Importantly my symptoms were not digestive, and I don’t believe they are related to gluten in particular. But they were bad enough to make me miserable and worried for my health. I was actually upset when I was told that I didn’t have coeliac disease! I so wanted to put a name to what was happening to me, and therefore have a defined treatment path. But instead I had to work things out on my own – and two years later, I’m still going through that process. This blog is part of that: trying to connect with other people who are going through, or have been through, the same experience.
I also want to keep a kind of diary of the challenges I face, talk about the difficulty of living without grains in our society, and share recipes! I love food, but it’s impossible to find any kind of cook-book which is totally grain- and pulse-free (with one magnificent exception being Jane Kennedy’s Fabulous Food Minus the Boombah and its sequel), and I’ve had to invent all kinds of work-arounds, to avoid having to cook two separate meals every evening (my family still eat grains in abundance!). It’s been a two-fold process of coming to an acceptance of the reality of my situation (if I eat this I WILL feel utterly wretched), and trying not to feel like freak. It hasn’t been easy, but I want to use this blog to recognise my progress.
So….. watch this space.