I have written so many blog entries in my head to commemorate this day. Unfortunately none of them made it from my head to paper, so now I’m left to write a new one.
One year ago, I got the call to tell me that his labs were strongly suggestive of celiac. We managed to get his biopsy done six days later (yay for friends who care enough to help you out), and we started our gluten free life that night.
This year has not been easy. I’ve cried. I’ve raged. I’ve questioned God. I’ve hated my genes. I’ve wondered, “Why him?” more times than I can count.
And somewhere along the way, I stopped being angry. I’m past that stage. Do I wish my son didn’t have celiac? Of course. But am I glad we have an answer to why he stopped growing? YES!! Am I glad we have a disease that can be managed with removal of a key ingredient from his diet? YES!! Do I love my son more than words? YES!!
Baking is fun again. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been experimenting with macarons, and I’ve even figured out how to make gluten free chicken fried steak (yes, those are the angels you hear rejoicing with me). Someone at the office brought in a Snickers birthday cake this week, and I truly didn’t even feel a hint of sadness that I couldn’t eat it. I miss chewy baguettes, but he is worth it.
My sweet boy has no idea how much we gave up to keep him safe. My primary goal in relationship to his food is to keep him safe; my secondary goal is to make it taste fantastic. Another goal I have is for him never to feel like a burden to us. He is not a burden. He is a delight. I truly do spend a part of every day blown away that I get to be his mom. He is not a perfect child, but he is mine. I love him. Period.
I’m not back exactly where I want to be, but I feel like I’m getting there. As I’ve said before, God has never moved throughout all of this. Our son’s celiac was not a surprise to Him. In the spirit of being real, I couldn’t really pray for a while after his diagnosis because I was so angry. I’m not angry anymore. Will I ever be the same? Undoubtedly not. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I know I’ve grown as a physician, as a mom, and as a person in the last 12 months. I’ll understand deeper when friends and patients have to deal with food restrictions. I’ll rejoice differently with a friend when they find a new safe food for their child. I’ll cry more happy tears with each pair of clothes he outgrows.
Yes, it’s been a hard year, but it’s been a good year. I can still speak the words of Psalm 34 and actually believe in and mean them.
1I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
We made it a year.
One year down. Hopefully many more to go …
Happy celiac anniversary, my little love.