Print Print

Kurt’s Story

HAPPY TO BE
GLUTEN FREE

Well it all started about 10 years ago when I ate Kentucky fried chicken and a whole bag of red vines — uh oh (I can now look back and see exactly what caused all of my episodes!!). Up all night tossing and turning and throwing up and diarrhea and bloody, yucky stools and just plain felling terrible, so bad I went to the emergency room. In the end “you just have a bad stomach” they said as I threw up red vines all over the emergency room floor as they raised me from the x-ray machine! Days and months passed with aggravating feelings every once in a while and episodes that were similar, but without health insurance I sucked it up and went on. I tried no salsa in my burritos, lighter beer, more cereal for breakfast, soft bread and crackers — all more faults on my diet! I visited the emergency room 5 more times in the last 10 years, numerous visits to Drs Offices, and 2 trips to the Oncologist — all negative for celiac and cancer and gall stones. They said irritable bowel, acid reflux, gall bladder disease, heartburn or take pepcid or the purple pill. Try less coffee, stay away from spicy stuff, and take these when you feel it coming on.

My hands and feet started to dry up and my hands were so bad I couldn’t use soap in the shower and wore gloves to do the dishes. The steroid cream they gave me worked a little but it always came back. One of my molars cracked and a filling fell out. My heartburn was unbearable at times and along with Tums I ate ice all day long to ease the pain!! I tried the purple pill, Tums, pepto bismol, pepcid and numerous other things all of which worked for a bit but in the end the stomach pain and heartburn and diarrhea always came back. Bloody, gross stools, frequent urination, vomiting at least twice a month to get the terrible feeling out.

I finally had a cure — throw it up and take hot and cold showers, fast for a day and hope that it will go away!! That was what I lived with for the last 4 years!!

My diet consisted mainly of cereal or bagel for breakfast, burrito or sandwich for lunch and pasta or pizza or something with bread for dinner. Not to mention beer, crackers, cookies and other snack items. Eventually after 4 or 5 days of this building up I would have an episode not thinking for a second that it was the wheat- nice soft bread, saltines, nilla wafers, wheat thins…how can those be bad?

Then I found friend Alison St. Sure last Christmas eve (Alison’s husband and I are friends) – how are you? How’s everything going ….what’s up with your hands? I told her about my ailments and she directed me straight to her website where I almost cried when I read the symptoms — ice cravings, heartburn, stomach pain so bad it makes you vomit, skin diseases, restless sleep, muscle cramps, etc — the list went on and on and every one of the things I could relate to!

Three days after Christmas 2006 my hands were no longer cut and I felt great eating whatever (gluten free), whenever – I also dropped 20 pounds!!! From an unhealthy 195 to 175 and sticking! 10 lbs of which were from the last episode in Dec 2006 when I didn’t eat for 3 days because I didn’t want to feel so bad again! After a month I had realized this was it, although I knew within a week that this was the best thing I had tried! No more steroid cream and rubber gloves at night, no more stools all day long and no more HEARTBURN!!! I was feeling better too, not just physically but mentally as well.

Months had past and I got a little lazy one night and forgot to ask the host if they marinated the meat– my bad, marinated with Lawry’s taco seasoning — DEATH — I was in the bathroom within an hour and threw it all up. The symptoms were exactly the same — pain below the sternum, nausea, heartburn, vomiting and foul stools!! It only lasted for a few hours and I made it through but I knew that this was for real!!

Thanks to the computer I can instantly run to the back room and check ingredients of anything. My label reading has become a constant at all stores. It takes time but it works. I even dig through the trash after people have made things just to make sure!! Takes more time in the kitchen to cook things but I’ve found that the diet not only cures the pain but it is a healthy diet. I was filling myself with bagels in the morning, sandwiches at lunch, pizza at night and BEER — thick beer! Exactly what I will never do again. I miss bagels and pizza but the happiness from not feeling so bad makes it easy not to have cake and cookies and scones. I don’t even crave them anymore. I’ve found a crustless quiche instead. The feeling was so bad that I don’t even hesitate when someone offers some crackers or cookies or pizza — no thanks, I’ll pass. When you discover that wheat and gluten is what causes the pain the cravings disappear for those foods. Rice noodles are great, lettuce wrapped burgers from In-N-Out, and lots of meat and fish with rubs instead of marinades. I feel great. It’s been 8 months and I haven’t felt better in a long time!
Thanks for saving me!
Kurt

HAPPY TO BE
GLUTEN FREE