Day 15: What would you say to people newly diagnosed with this illness?
Celiac disease: First off, I’m sorry. Welcome to your new life full of eating food that doesn’t taste as good as food you used to be able to eat. Second, congratulations! Now you’re going to start feeling better! Third, don’t go out to the grocery store and buy everything you can find that has the words “gluten free” on it. There are actually a lot of naturally gluten free foods out there that can make up a lot of your diet. Fourth, the most challenging gluten free foods to find are bread and buns that don’t suck. Fifth, don’t cheat. It’s not worth the risk of long-term effects on your health. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Endometriosis: First off, I’m sorry. You’ve joined an unlucky club of 176 million other women in the world, and a few really unlucky men. Second, congratulations! Since it takes an average of 7-10 years to diagnose endometriosis, I’m assuming you have been suffering for a long time. Now you have some answers, and that’s fantastic! Third, find an endometriosis specialist who performs excision surgery. Excision is the gold standard for treating endometriosis; the methods used by almost all OB/GYNs out there, such as ablation, coagulation, or fulguration, are not effective and will just result in the disease growing back. Fourth, do as much as you can to educate yourself about every aspect of this disease, because misinformation is rampant, even among healthcare professionals. Fifth, you will find that you need to advocate for yourself to get the best care, but please don’t give up. You will likely find as much relief as you can if you find a good excision specialist. Stay strong and know that you are not alone. You are not crazy. You have endometriosis, and that makes you strong. And there are millions of other women out there who will support you!