I will never forget the day I was sitting at my desk at work, just finishing lunch, and looking down at my bloated mid-section. I felt like there was a tumor the size of a grapefruit lodged in my intestines. I had the thought, "food is killing me." But there was no way the chili cheese burrito I'd just finished eating could possibly be killing me, could it?
Feeling very sleepy and depressed, and afraid that I really did have a tumor, I began searching online for symptoms. I was surprised to easily find them and even more surprised to learn that something called gluten, which was in my beloved burritos, really could be killing me. As I sat there reading, I knew I'd had this problem my whole life.
After learning about gluten, I felt hopeful and I didn't waste any time eliminating it from my diet, especially at first. I desperately wanted to be healthy and for that tumor feeling to go away. Almost immediately my health improved and my mid-section slimmed down. But since then, there have been times when I have fallen off the gluten-free wagon!
Recently, the thought of a burrito began haunting me and the craving set in. I resisted it for several weeks, but when it didn't go away, I began to consider what the consequences of indulging in one might be. I thought to myself that I might experience some bloating and maybe an upset stomach, but I didn't think about the arthritis and joint problems. I told myself that once the food passed through me, I'd be ok and it wouldn't be that bad! I told myself that I might need to trust my body. Maybe there was something in the burrito my body needed since the craving had lasted so long! And soon I was driving through the taco shop.
Imagine how happy I was when, after eating the burrito, my stomach didn't get upset and I didn't notice much bloating. That led to my next brilliant thought, "maybe I'm not allergic anymore!" Since I had recently retired from a high stress job, I imagined and hoped . . . maybe it was the job causing my problems, not gluten after all! So I had another burrito, and then, over the next week, 2 more! And that was finally enough to bring about the symptoms the first few burritos had not. It was with great sadness and resignation that I knew I couldn't have another burrito.
At about that same time, I noticed two places on my hands. One was in the middle of my right palm and the other was on the middle joint of my left index finger. The spots looked like bone spurs, something I'd had to have removed once as a young girl, and they hadn't been there before I'd eaten those burritos. I chastised myself for "forgetting" about the effects of gluten on my auto-immune system when considering the consequences of eating a burrito. Before I stopped eating gluten, I suffered terribly with arthritis. I had sciatic nerve pain and went to a chiropractor regularly. Without gluten, I was much better.
Now that I am back on my diet, I am hopeful that the bones spurs will improve without surgery. If not, I'll have to have them removed. So, how bad could one chili cheese burrito be? Bad enough to possibly force me into having minor surgery... this time!