It’s been four years today that I walked out of the Woodlands Hospital at Kettering having been told by my consultant that I had Coeliacs Disease. My initial reaction was that of disbelief, followed by confusion and then by dismay as reality set in. The requirement to stick to a gluten-free diet for the rest of my life didn’t really sink in until I spoke to Tina who confirmed what it meant and what food I wouldn’t be able to eat anymore. And of course no more beer!
Four years later and I’m still alive, still overweight and still yearning for gluten-laden food.
But I’ve been really good!
There has, of course, been times where I’ve been a bit lax in ensuring the food I have eaten has been completely GF (eating food that has been cooked with or nearby other food which contains gluten is probably the most difficult thing to adhere to) but I have stuck to the diet rigidly and can count on my hand the number of times I’ve knowingly eaten food with gluten in it.
When I was first diagnosed, it seemed the condition wasn’t particularly well-known, with gluten-free eating more of a celebrity fad diet than a medical affliction. Choice of GF was limited and expensive with only small ranges of food held at the the main supermarkets. But over the years things have improved significantly, to the point where shops like Sainsbury’s now have large sections of gluten-free food, with an ever-increasing level of choice. Whilst the prices are still higher than normal food, at least I can now enjoy a wider range of products of similar texture and quality to gluten-laden food.
A recent article on Coeliacs suggests a cure could be on the way soon, with a tablet that could be taken before eating normal food which would stop the body’s immune system from attacking healthy tissue. A while off yet, at least there is a small glint of hope that one day I will be able to enjoy a slice of crusty bread again!