We’re coming up on five months since my son was diagnosed as a Celiac. Changes that we have made to our lifestyles are prevalent in our home every day. Right now, I’m listening to the bread machine churn out another loaf of Gluten Free sandwich bread (a wonderful recipe that I will have my wife post soon to my Twitter page). This is on the heels of a mildly-successful attempt at brownies (a little dry but light years beyond the 1st effort). But changes aren’t just designated to only the kitchen and our diets.
We’re a travelling family. We try to make it to the beach every summer (my wife’s happy place) and the kids have been to Disney numerous times (my happy place…side note: so excited that there is going to be a Celiac convention there in November!). We will often take small day trips as well as we are located only a few hours from many major cities and popular tourist attractions. It used to be that we would just be able to hop in the car and go at a moment’s notice. We would usually pack a picnic by throwing sandwiches and chips in the cooler and then stop at a restaurant for our second meal if we weren’t yet at our destination. Now that we need to be Gluten-Free, this doesn’t come as easy as it once did. But, by no means is it impossible.
We view this, as with a lot of things, as another way that Celiac is not going to beat us. We’re not going to let an auto-immune response stop us from being who we want to be. We have always known that pre-planning for trips has resulted in successful adventures but now, it is an essential step. We have rated success in the past based on how much fun we have, was the experience unique and did we make lasting family memories. Now, we add, “did Cam have a reaction” to the list.
The trip this past weekend was wildly successful. Memories were made, fun was had, we were part of something historic and my son had no issues. I credit all of this to my wife’s due diligence in prepping food and bringing along things like individual macaroni cups and “safe” snacks to help with fill the 12-year old’s bottomless pit of a stomach. She also found GF-friendly restaurants in our area that accommodated our needs and lessened our stress of finding someplace where we all could eat. She really is a remarkable person. I credit my daughter, our non-Celiac, for understanding her brother’s needs and not complaining about the extra steps and special considerations that we need to take since his diagnosis. And, as always, I give my son so much credit in doing what he needs to do to get through what life had dealt him. I hope that my great family can act as a model for those who don’t think they can maintain the same lifestyle after their diagnosis. It may take some extra time but the payoff is definitely worth it.