No, that’s just the paranoid pediatrician in you talking. You’re short. He’s just going to be short too. There’s nothing wrong with that. Besides, he’s so smart. Everything’s fine.
No, something’s wrong.
Those were the two voices whispering inside my head, one the confident doctor that knew the odds were in our favor for everything to be okay, the other the worried mom who watched other children continue to grow as my little boy wore the same shoes he wore last summer. I’m only 5’2″, so maybe my son was simply achieving genetic potential as we pediatricians like to put it. Still, the quiet mom voice nagged me to let someone else decide if my son was okay.
We went to see a friend who is a pediatric endocrinologist. After a terrible blood draw that took two sticks and lots of tears (his and mine), we went home to wait. I reassured my husband that the visit was very routine and boring and that we’d likely be back in the endo’s office in 4 months for a height recheck before anything else happened.
Six days later, I got the call that changed our lives. Our sweet endocrinologist called me personally to let me know his celiac screen came back positive. She graciously offered to set me up with GI at her facility, but I knew I wanted to see the gastroenterologist who had been my very first inpatient attending when I was a scared little intern and then one of my very last attendings when I finished up my peds residency as GI senior. Being the amazing doctor that he is, he heard we were leaving town in 9 days to go to my brother’s wedding, and he set up a clinic visit 2 days later and then arranged for an endoscopy (EGD) 4 days after that to confirm the diagnosis. He spent a long time reviewing celiac disease with our family and discussing the ramifications with us. He even set up a dietary appointment for 8 days from my original call so that we can start to learn what’s safe for our son and what isn’t.
I’m a selfish person. I love carbs. I love cooking for the family and baking treats for friends. My favorite cookie recipe that I know by heart calls for bread flour because of the extra gluten in it! I’d even jokingly stated years ago that I’d rather get cancer than have celiac disease. Now I’m being faced with watching my precious child deal with this. I’m scared of making wrong decisions for his food choices. I’m scared of missing wheat and gluten too much. I’m scared of people thinking I’m doing this just to be trendy. I was scared of being alone until I reached out through Facebook and found so many other families dealing with very similar situations.
While this is not ideal and a choice I would never make on our own, I am starting to realize this isn’t the end. This is the beginning. The beginning of a new gluten free life. The beginning of health and recovery for my son and his damaged gut. The beginning of new adventures in the kitchen! I plan for this blog to serve as a reminder for me later of what did or didn’t work as well as how far we come in our gluten free journey. Many physicians (me included) are woefully uneducated on celiac disease, so I’ll continue to learn as I go.
After all, my love is certainly worth it.