Day 88 – did you miss me?

Sure you did, all of you out there in ‘actually has a social life land’. You didn’t miss me at all with your fancy parties, and restaurants, and glamorous fast paced lives. I’m sure you were waiting by your ‘pooters for my next thrilling installment ha ha

As I write this Master 4 is sitting next to me crunching on a foul blue lollipop LOUDLY and staring glass eyed at the minions giving a 21 fart gun salute. Cue much hilarity. Did I mention that he is naked from the waist down but does have a whistle around his neck that he blows at random and eye-watering intervals. Everything this kid does is LOUD. And right in my ear.

The reason for the middle of the day nakedness and mindless lolly eating is of course ‘The Great Gladstone Gala’ which we attended this morning. Master 7 has been building up his excitement ever since he came home with the cake boxes for me to fill to Wednesday, along with an instruction to make two batches of Bliss Balls and as many Jolly Jars as I can source jars for. No opt-in for this activity mind you – more like an implied ‘opt out and be ashamed of yourself and your lack of community spirit’. Last year I broke myself getting the cupcakes, bliss balls and Jolly Jars made. I don’t know how the other working parents do it and look so stress free with it. I can do it but it’s a stretch with my job on top.

This year I thought ‘Fuck this shit I don’t have time’ and have suffered racked with guilt ever since. And not – as I clarified to my grrls last night over (their) wine and my soda water – guilt or shame that the other parents at school will think I am useless and not contributing, but more that Master 7 is super proud of my bliss balls and cupcake making ability and really wanted to show it off. I didn’t want to let him down. As it turned out, after I talked to him yesterday morning (with 2 hours left to go before the baking had to be in) he didn’t care at all if I made anything to contribute – he cared more that I had money for him to spend at the Gala. And so, money being tight this week, I didn’t buy ingredients and gave the cash to the lads as spending money. Very happy little Dutchmen.

Ten dollars each can go a long way when you are a kid and will eat anything. Both boys bought candy floss as soon as we arrived. They then spent the next 20 mins getting as sticky as humanly possible and wiping as much of it on me as they could. Once hosed down we went for a wander and I tried to encourage them to spend their remaining dollars on rides or experiences. No – all up they bought shaved ice, cupcakes, Jolly Jars, one turtle, one green sword, one entry to Lego land where Master 4 declared it boring almost immediately, one entry to the boot camp bouncy castle which was over in 3 minutes and Master 4 managed to make $5 back playing money golf (you putt the balls on to the various notes stuck to the ground – his was a rebound and very impressive). Then Master 4 went to the toilet, couldn’t figure out his suspenders (very stylish) and ended up peeing all over himself. ‘It’s even in my shoes mum’. Sad face. So we walked home, he stripped – ‘Not my tee-shirt mum, my willy wasn’t pointing up so it’s dry’ and settled in to eat the entire contents of his Jolly Jar all at once and glaze out in front of the TV.

We have a birthday party to go to this afternoon too – I have totally given up on healthy food for them today and will just have to deal with the come down later…

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Last night I met a woman who told me – or at least the group of women that were there – that having coeliacs didn’t necessarily mean eating gluten-free, for like, forever. That her Mum had coeliacs and she didn’t all the time. That it was a choice and that some people didn’t get a reaction so it was okay. Aside from immediately wanting to punch her in the face and shout ‘YOU ARE AN IDIOT AND WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS DANGEROUS’ she seemed ok. But here’s the thing, she was a Naturopath. And although I know that the grumpy Dutchman thinks that natural medicine is the biggest swindle there is, I do not and think it has its place and usefulness. But for someone who presumably is listened to seriously by people who are very unwell and looking for answers, to have her saying with some authority that ‘a little bit of gluten is ok’ is scary. It was a weird situation anyway because it was a farewell ‘drinks’ for one of my close friends who is heading overseas to ‘Art’ for three months, and we all knew each other really well, except for this stranger. Luckily my friend saw me about to ‘school’ this poor idiot woman and diverted me by mentioning the Bachelor NZ – something guaranteed to get me ranting. (seriously – a whole lot of women lined up for a man to ‘choose’ them like a meal in a fucking food court? get out of here with that misogynist dark ages bullshit. Seriously.)

But it has been happening more and more lately. People saying to me that maybe I should just ‘like, eat normal and just like, be normal, because it’s seems so hard?’. And granted this is usually in response to me having a rough day and drooling at them with their pie/wine/chocolate biscuit but I don’t find it very supportive or helpful. What I said last night to my grrls, who love me and want to support me but also want to fix me so I can be normal with them, is that I have made this choice to feel better. That before I felt like shit every day. And now I sometimes have days where it is shit but there is light at the end of the tunnel. And if I’m honest with myself, the ‘sometimes shit’ days this year come from me breaking my own rules. That I know I will be gluten-free forever, and probably dairy and sugar, but that the rest of the restrictions will ease up and I can gain some normality back. That yes, once again I will be able to enjoy both the smell and taste of my morning coffee, and that in the evenings if I so desire I will again have the joy of a glass of red wine with my dinner. But that for now, I have to be gentle, ease up on the toxins, and try to give my gut a rest.

It’s a choice I have made and so far I have gotten up every day for 88 days and made that choice. I didn’t choose to have coeliacs but I can choose to live a long and healthy life in spite of it. I can choose to not get bowel or stomach cancer by adhering to a strict gluten free diet for the rest of my life. I can choose to be able to absorb all the nutrients and good stuff I need from my food by healing and supporting the villi in my gut and for now that means being very careful with what I eat. And the next person that tells me that I could eat a ‘little bit of gluten no harm’ is gonna hear about it.

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