It isn't bravery...

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2003
It isn't bravery...
Sun, 03-01-2009 - 7:30pm

Life changes are hard.

Look at the folks who have trouble on a limited-time diet. Think back to what you thought before was "just a small" move, just to another part of town. Or back to when a relatively minor problem like a sprained ankle threw your life into chaos until you were back on your feet (or using your hand again, or whatever)

The move across town meant a new grocery store was closest. Even in the same chain, there are usually different layouts. Maybe going there straight from work was a bit harder and you had to switch the day or time you went, besides the order you got things and the shelf they were on when you found the category you needed!

The limited-time diet, assuming the food wasn't purchased like Jenny Craig or NutriSystem (one of the things we will never be able to do, but then they aren't required to even list the ingredients like grocery store items and so you are more divorced than ever from really knowing what you are eating and being able to cook for yourself later), required you to look into the low-calorie or no-calorie sweeteners, maybe like Aunty finding out which one doesn't throw your digestion into chaos! It's finding new foods, learning new recipes, and you know that you will eat your favorite foods again, though you swear it will be in moderation.

The injury made the whole house and store, and even standing in the kitchen cooking boxed mac & cheese (before you yell about temptation, there are GF ones) a challenge.

I have been told so many times that I am brave and well-adjusted, as the daughter of a woman who hasn't walked in almost 15 years without full physical therapy assistance and the granddaughter of a man who was desperately limited by that condition, Parkinsons, and other issues, who has the same diagnosis and walks with a cane, still 3 years younger than Mom did when she got hers, and I've replaced mine many times. And that's beside the illnesses I have.

It isn't bravery. I have to do what I have to do. I am lucky that I have seen two people do what needed to be done. They didn't have the pain and the autoimmune stuff, and Grandpa fought so hard against the tools that when he gave in improved their lives and the neighbors cheered the ramp instead of the feared "what will people say?" that was the concern for a decade as we feared Grandma would kill both of them getting him out. And Aunty has dealt with her autoimmune disorders head-on. She's the woman with the hat, who wears long sleeves in summer with fingerless gloves outside. For her type of lupus, UV light is dangerous. But she has climbed Mexican pyramids, hiked Alaska, and more. She just dresses as above and wears a ton of sunscreen.

It wasn't bravery that landed me in a fairly well-stocked GF section of the store. The somewhat panicked call to Aunty of the "what do you eat and since I cannot imagine eating meat..." variety proved it.

No, it was that I'd been in so much abdominal pain, was so sick, had no energy... I still have times I can do little, with my laundry list of conditions, but for a year it was to the point where I could attend half my classes- all scheduled for alternating days (either Mon-Wed-Fri or Tue-Thurs depending on the semester and when what I needed was offered) and only in the morning! I could do the least amount of work I could to get by. I'm a good student and learn fast, and the profs were great, but I'm not sure I remember more about China than I knew before the class...

The spectre of other autoimmune problems (especially with Aunty's lupus), cancer, and everything else added to my resolve. Mom, from the non-CD side of the family, would be diagnosed with osteoporosis about the same time, as would Grandma and a lot of her siblings. I'm pale, fine-framed, and have every risk factor listed in the ads except for smoking. And I was a celiac from age 8 or 10 and lactose intolerant for most of my growing years as well.

So desperation drove me to that aisle, with fear close behind.

You can cry over family foods you can't make- yet. Most can be replicated when you get the skills under your belt.

You can look at a box of rice, potato, and soy flour pastas with trepidation. I did. Company can't tell the difference. Even now a new brand purchased for a different shape, or even a new style from an old brand with different ingredients and cooking times, is a leap of faith.

Quinoa took a few years to get on the table. Most of that because Dad doesn't take to new foods easily (though he's gotten better), but the thing seemed exotic. It is good.

GF baking is an adventure. And those do take some deep breaths first, even if you say you're going to try this fun little recipe that doesn't take much time first, that no meal depends on. But after you've done a few of those the adventure does become fun!

This is just what we have to do to be healthy. The benefits are great, and in time the new sections of your old store are as familiar as the old parts and maybe when you go down the regular baking aisle for some flavoring you find that's the place that's foriegn. The diet may be for life, but


co-cl-Celiac Disease