Good morning everyone. I wanted to take some time and open up a bit about how I have to fight this disease in my physical reality. We all have different realities to deal with don’t we? Some are strong. Some are weak. Some are healthy. Some are sick. This is how it is here.
The picture above shows the line up of vitamins and supplements that I need to take each day just so I can function physically. I had to start taking them after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease on 1-6-12. I had to integrate them into my diet slowly as I healed and I have been taking all of these for several years now. All of them are organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and whole food based.
From left to right:
Megaflora is my probiotic for a healthy gut.
Glucosamine MSM Complex is for my knees and joints. After the disease, my bones and knees were weakened and my knees burned and ached. After I started taking this, the burning stopped. It helps build cartilage.
Calcium for my bones. My spine burned at the start of the suffering, but the calcium and glucosamine helped with that.
Prostate Strength because I’m 40 and men my age need it.
Men’s One Daily is my multi vitamin.
Glutathione is a celluar antioxidant that helps rebuild my intestinal tissue. Celiac Disease destroyed a lot of the villi in my small intestine. That is why I barely weigh 140 pounds (I weigh 135 today). Once the villi are dead, the doctors say they don’t come back. I have been praying that God would regrow new villi for me.
5-HTP supports serotonin synthesis for healthy brain function.
Theanine is a neurologically active amino acid also for a healthy brain.
Balanced B Complex is a variety of B vitamins, which are responsible for energy production in the body.
CoQ10 is necessary for a healthy heart.
Vitamin B12 is the main B vitamin I am deficient in as a Celiac, so I take extra of that with the B Complex.
I had the symptoms of deathly serious malnutrition, severe weight loss, severe nausea, severe chronic fatigue, acid reflux, bone and joint pain, burning joints and spine, low blood sugar, severe stomach and intestinal pain, brittle nails, dark circles under my eyes, depression, suicidal, mood swings, short temper, irritability, irrational anger, and of course all the fun trips to the bathroom for severe unstoppable diarrhea. Yeah, it is a horrible disease and it can kill people! I suffered those symptoms for years until it almost killed me!
I am thankful that I was finally correctly diagnosed and that God has given me access to all of these vitamins, but I hate taking them and I hate Celiac Disease. I was diagnosed when I was 33 and now I am 40. I have lost a lot of life and time because of this disease. My 20s are long gone, and I spent the majority of my 30s suffering terrible pain and anguish.
I have not gone out to dinner since before I was diagnosed in 2012. I can no longer have ice cream or any dairy. I used to love cheeseburgers and shakes! I can’t have a cheeseburger or pizza. I loved Mexican food too! No more Mexican food with cheese and green chile for me! I can’t even eat at family gatherings or eat my Mother’s cooking! We have to pack our food everywhere we go now. We even packed brown rice noodles and four pounds of frozen bison when we went to San Diego this summer!
Yes, God has given me good food to eat and He takes care of me, but my choices are severely restricted now and I still mourn the loss of the food I grew up with at times. I eat brown rice noodles and black olives every day for lunch and I have for almost 7 years straight. I would love to go through the drive through at Goodtimes and get a burger today! I would love, and I mean absolutely love to have a chocolate shake! I can’t have any of it anymore. I can’t even drink coffee! I can’t have caffeine and the coffee bean oil is way too hard on my gut. I really miss that, especially in the winter!
I can’t drink alcohol either, which is fine, I don’t care, but sometimes a glass of wine was nice with dinner at a nice place. I can’t have any of it. I haven’t gone out to eat in almost 7 years! I can’t even walk in a restaurant and smell the food they are cooking. Everyone uses wheat and dairy and it makes me sick. I can’t have eggs either or soy. I can’t even walk down the bread aisle at the store. Wheat smells sick to me and it makes me nauseous! Oats caused me to go into anaphylactic shock on 4-28-12 and I stopped breathing, so I have to be very careful! No wheat, barley, rye, oats, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, soy, eggs, coconut, iodine, or NSAIDS. I even had to stop eating chocolate too!
Even if one crumb of wheat got into my system, it would be enough to cause an immediate auto immune reaction, which would cause great suffering for me or even anaphylaxis! That is why I can never risk going out to eat and I would never ask for them to accommodate my Celiac because people don’t care and they mock Celiac Disease and they think “gluten free” is a joke. Even a lot of the arrogant doctors think that way and that is why I suffered for 10 years before I was diagnosed due to ignorant doctors who don’t know what Celiac Disease is. I went undiagnosed for 10 years until it almost killed me when I was down to 128 pounds on 1-6-2012! So many doctors are so sinful and arrogant it makes me sick! I forgive them in Jesus’ Name and pray God gives them wisdom and humble hearts to actually help people.
What hurts the most is that I passed this genetic autoimmune disorder on to my kids. Thankfully, we caught it before it damaged their small intestines, but they have to eat gluten free for the rest of their lives. They can still have chocolate, dairy, and eggs, and they can even eat out at certain places, which is great, but I hate that they have this disease. I love scooping my kids ice cream, but I have to wear gloves because if I touch dairy I get welts on my skin.
When I was first diagnosed, I would have dreams about eating the food I couldn’t have anymore. It was psychologically tormenting. It is still hard sometimes. I must admit, I still look over at Goodtimes when I drive by it sometimes. I hope people realize how lucky they are to be able to eat whatever they want. To sink your teeth into your favorite food is a true blessing. To have it taken away really hurts.
It is an awful feeling having your life, strength, youth, and vigor taken from you. One day everything was fine and I was young and strong and newly marred with my whole life in front of me. Next thing I know I was diagnosed with a deadly disease, which is also a lifelong chronic illness, and my whole life was taken from me in a heartbeat!
Yeah, I am back on my feet, but I am still unemployed. I am still suffering and fighting this disease. I am still swallowing 11 different vitamins every day just so I can function like I’m some old man when I’m only 40. I still have blood sugar lows that knock me to my knees at times. I still wake up with blood sugar lows sometimes and those are still rough mornings. I don’t have a lot of energy to pull from standing 6 foot 1 inch tall and barely weighing 135 pounds.
If you can imagine, it is not fun or comfortable to digest food and go to the bathroom through damaged intestines every single day. Do you understand what I’m saying without me being gross? I hate this disease. I want to go home and be with Jesus! I hate this sick body of death and I don’t want to be in it anymore.
I long to be with Christ. I don’t even care if my place is ready or not. I can just stay outside under a tree. He doesn’t need to prepare anything special for me. I will just be glad to be there!
However, there is work to do! I have a wife and kids to love! I have more people to help and more preaching to do! Do you know who else felt like that? The Apostle Paul! He longed to be with the Lord, but he knew he must press on for Jesus!
“..Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”
It is comforting to know that Paul, a great Apostle of God, felt the same way we do! We long for Heaven and we are tired of earth and all of its suffering! However, I pray for courage, so that Jesus will be exalted in my body. That is amazing to me! This sick body of death of mine has no hold over me! I have the Spirit of Jesus Christ inside of me and Jesus can still be exalted in my body no matter how beat up it is!
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…”
Paul doesn’t say, “if it is easy” or “only if you are healthy” conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel. No, he said, “whatever happens.” That is not easy for human beings to do, especially when what happened was devastating to your life. But I press on by the power of the Holy Spirit!
I am so thankful to God for my book and this blog! I pray for strength and I pray that no matter what happens in my life, I will be able to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that He will be pleased with me.
I know God can remove this thorn from me anytime He wants to. I also know that there is a greater purpose for all these years He has been healing me as He guides me through the valley of suffering. Paul had an ailment too. He called it his thorn and he pleaded with God to take it away, but the Lord did not.
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassing great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
We don’t know what Paul’s thorn was and this is the only time he mentions it, but you can tell it bothered him greatly and he wanted it removed. Just like Paul, we must continue to trust God through our suffering. I can testify that His grace is sufficient and His power is inside this weak body of mine! I hope and pray that reading this blog shows you what God can do through somebody who is still hurting and that His power truly is made perfect in weakness!
Grace and peace to you all!