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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gluten Free for almost two years...

2:38am.  Tired.  Will soon be rubbing sleep out of eyes.

Spent a nice weekend in NC and didn't even think to blog about any of it until now.  Trips to see the family and friends back in NC are becoming scarcer and more significant.  We managed to coordinate (for the second time in a row) getting everyone out there (I mean all 15 of us, from my parents and siblings to significant others and kids) and despite the cacophony of having that many people in one place, the whole weekend was pretty relaxing.  And I ate.  A lot.  And laughed a lot and played with the kids a lot.  I even had to pack a whole extra bag full of presents and leftover food which prompted me to take a cab ride from the airport…something I rarely do.  But it was much needed what with the weight of everything I was carrying.  Thankfully, I'm at a point where taking a cab in the city is second nature and I know how to avoid getting screwed over.  The cab ride was well worth it, too, because it got me home with time to spare before work.   Yes, straight into overnight after my vacation…that's just how I roll.  

Today (meaning yesterday at the point when this is posting), instead of diving back into work on all the projects I have going on, I sat around the apartment for most of the day getting situated and organizing my thoughts.  Also fixing random things.  The cylinder in the front door lock in my apartment had come loose and I had to take it apart to tighten it up.  Plus a piece of one of my presents (a rather nice mandolin slicer from my brother-in-law Jim) fell off and broke in my bag during the flight so I super-glued that back together as well.   

All in time to make it to another Celiac meetup in the Village.  A maker of gluten free rolls was having a launch party for her new line of bread rolls called Free Bread.  So there was free bread there (plus rolls for purchase).   And they were having buy one get one on all gluten free beer…which was pretty much Redbridge but that was cool.  I brought a friend with who was not Celiac but she didn't mind.  The venue was 116 Macdougal, a cool basement level bar with stone walls and a sense of history about it that I have yet to look into.   There was also a jazz band entertaining us called The Pendulum Swings.  5 horns, bass, drums and keys and one rather eccentric lead singer.    

After the meetup, my friend and I tried to go to Pala Pizza on Allen Street for some more gluten free goodies but found that it was closed this week only for renovations.  So, we hopped a cab over to Risotteria to satiate that gluten free need of mine.  Risotteria is always a winner as far as I'm concerned.  I'm pretty sure tonight was the first time I got to try their pizza, though, as every other time I've gone there I've been compelled to eat the risotto as it's something you can't get anywhere else.  The pizza was damn good though.  Expensive but good.  

It's one of those things though that you just kind of come to expect.  Everything is going to be expensive when it's not in high demand.  All specialty flours and gourmet ingredients.  It costs more to make sure it's gluten free and not cross contaminated.  I'm going on two years since I was diagnosed and despite all this, the expensive food, the difficult social situations and the constant worry that I'm going to end up eating the wrong thing or that I'm unknowingly ingesting something I shouldn't be, I'm feeling pretty confident about it all.   It's not hard to go for days without the worry of getting gluten-ed.  I have my routines, I have my go to foods when I'm in a pinch and I have nothing with me.  And I can handle social situations, especially where drinking is involved, rather easily now.  

The trick to a lot of this is that the information is out there, the advice as well.  It's just a matter of having the right attitude to not despair and say, "I'm going to figure out how to adjust to this."  It took months of not feeling better, going back on gluten and then getting rediagnosed this past March for me to come to that but there it is.   I basically went through all the stages of denial back in 2010 (granted, I did so a little out of order with acceptance coming first with the relief of knowing what was wrong, followed by grief at the loss of all my favorite foods and beverages, but then denial and anger setting in when I started to feel worse and ultimately bargaining starting when I decided that maybe it wouldn't be a big deal if I just ate sprouted grain bread instead of crumbly gluten free bread).  So, this past March when I heard the bad news from my new doctor, I felt bad for half a day but then I talked myself out of the despair.  I thought, "I'm going to approach this totally different this time."  It was my instinct that going through all those stages again was not going to help me at all.  I had a choice of how I was going to look at the diagnosis.  A curse?  Or just my lot.  There are a whole host of other auto immune disorders that are far worse and a dietary change is not the hardest thing in the world to cope with.  I wasn't going to go listing all the things I'd have to go without when I could think of what I can eat and how to be proactive in finding the best ways to acquire those things as inexpensively as possible.  And just get on with living my life.  

And that's that.  Another thing that helps?  Actually going to these Celiac meetups and meeting people who have the same thing I do.  It's about solidarity.   Hopefully, I'll be going to a lot more of them soon.   


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