Thursday, April 1, 2010

Brittany's Story

When Brittany was 7 years old she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Shortly after this diagnosis, I noticed that she complained of tummy aches all the time. In fact, after she ate a meal she would lay across my lap doubled over in pain. She seemed to spend a fair amount of time in the bathroom as well. So at a checkup with her endo I asked him about this. He simply replied that she might have Celiac Disease.

Mind you, we were all ready overwhelmed with our new world of Diabetes, so I didn't even ask what Celiac was. I was on a need to know basis at that point, so if she didn't have it, I wasn't going to use what was all ready in short supply of my time, energy and worry. They performed a simple blood draw in the office that day and we went home.

Well, a week went by and no phone call back, so I called the doctors office and the nurse informed me that the doctor would call me back. That can't be good news. I remember his candid phone call saying that indeed her TTG levels were high and we should have her stomach biopsied to verify the diagnosis. My world was crumbling even more, but he said to me, "You can handle this." I suppose if we could handle the diabetes, we surely could handle this one too. It wasn't a coincidence that the Doctor's daughter also had Celiac, so he said this on good authority.

It was days before her 8th birthday party and I was debating what we were going to be serving for treats. I called the GI doctor and since the biopsy hadn't come back yet, they said to give the girl cake. It would be her last one. So we enjoyed a yummy butter cream frosted cake for the last time with her. I cry now as I am writing this, because it still upsets me that her world has changed so much.

Of course, the biopsy confirmed the Celiac Disease and we began our gluten-free journey. At first it seemed like EVERYTHING we were used to eating contained gluten. I spent time everyday on the internet searching for gluten free recipes. I spent countless hours on the phone calling food manufacturers to verify that the products were indeed gluten free.

Food became such a big ordeal for Brittany. First of all could she even eat it? Was it Gluten-free? Measuring and carb counting for the diabetes. Giving her an insulin shot and then hoping she would eat it all. There was much trial and error. And crying and frustration.

Three years have gone by and we have learned a lot. We have also eaten a lot. It isn't always fancy, but we do eat some yummy meals at our house. I figure this is the best way to pay forward what we have learned, by blogging some of our favorite and dependable recipes and tips. After all, it was through the blogging world that I found so much information to get us through to this point. And it turns out that we CAN do this!


  1. Jennie you are so awesome to do this! You are going to help out so many people! Brittany is such a brave girl and is lucky to have you as a mom!

  2. Jennie, you are awesome. I hope you know how many people are amazed by what you've done and what you continue to do. Just saying:)

  3. I think this is a great blog. Mostly because I am going to be using it alot. Jeff's was not comfirmed being Celiac, but he still gets so sick when he does eat it. We are cutting it all out for him, just to keep him on the healthy side!! I thinkyou have done amazing handling all of this. I keep telling myself, if Jennie can do, so can I. Thanks for all your help and support so far!

    Brittany, you are on amzing little girl. We love you!