I have never been one to want to stand out in a crowd, never wanted to be the different one in the group. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, a little over three years ago, that’s exactly how I felt; different, singled out. Many people I knew did not seem to want to understand what was going on with me, what celiac disease is, why I had to change everything about my lifestyle and be so careful with what I ate.
My life changed with the love and support of my best friend Jen. She was ever so curious about the disease that was now a regular part of my life; she was always asking questions, wanting to learn more about it. When we’d go to restaurants we’d look at the regular and gluten-free menu and compare and contrast, while she asked me what made them different. She wants to know everything about it, from different products to what actually happens when someone like me eats gluten.
She has gone as far as to educate others about it, from teaching her boyfriend and mother to look for gluten-free labels, to teaching her 6 year old son that some foods upset my stomach so he always asks me questions before we choose where to go to eat or what to bake.
When events would come along that we were both attending, she’d always make sure there was something I could eat. Gluten-free baking isn’t cheap, but she continuously keeps her pantry stocked with boxes of cookie and cake mixes, just in case. The other day she even said to me “is it weird that I have no non-gluten-free mixes in the cabinet, but two boxes of gluten-free cookie mix?”
Having her in my life has always been a blessing, but it’s times like these,when life throws you a curveball, that you find out who your friends are. My life is more complete with her in it. Her unconditional love, support, and desire to understand has made the transition and acceptance of my new lifestyle easier. I am so grateful to have Jen here on my journey of health and happiness.