One year ago Peyton started getting sick with what was thought in the beginning to be a stomach bug. It was the start of four plus weeks of sickness, tests, no diagnosis, lots of tears and eventually going gluten free. It seems like just the other day but yet it has been just around a year since we went gluten free. I remember so clearly sitting on the kitchen floor in tears because I could see Peyton just losing weight and not eating and trying to make anything and everything gluten free and her refusing it and wondering if and when my child would ever eat. It was such an overwhelming and scary time. But what a difference a year has made and how thankful I am to be in the place we are a year later.
I am so thankful that everything with Peyton started just before we were heading back to Washington and what a huge blessing it was to be there and able to work with our pediatrician in Bellingham, get connected with Seattle Children's, testing Graham and finding out he was positive for Celiacs, learning about gluten free foods in an environment that has tons of options and helped so much in getting Peyton to eat again and enjoy food and having the encouragement and support of family to help get my kids to try different foods.
When we came back to Saudi we were faced with bringing back supplies and food for the kids and learning the ropes of finding gluten free options here, handling food/snacks and school and birthday parties. Thankfully one year later we no longer feel overwhelmed or that cooking gluten free overwhelms our lives! We make pretty awesome sliced bread, yummy cookies and snacks and can easily substitute/ adjust regular recipes to make it gluten free and have a good system going!
Even more important is that our kids are healthy and thriving! Peyton is at a healthy weight and has so much more energy, a positive attitude and able to do so much more. A year ago (even before she was sick) I would have laughed if someone suggested she should walk around the mall instead of in a stroller or that she would want to do multiple sports at a time. She has so much energy and is such a different kid. I am so thankful that we went through all of this now versus later and that she is able to enjoy being active and a kid. Graham we have noticed subtle changes (mostly digestive) but mostly we are so thankful that he didn't have to go through being sick to find out and that he has handled being gluten free incredibly well for a three year old. They both have. They both are so good about understanding that they can't have things at times, sometimes have to have something different and are good about asking if it is gluten free. They are doing amazing! They have also learned to love meat, veggies and have moved away from the "toddler" diet of nuggets, pasta and pizza. We rarely eat noodles anymore, hardly make them pizza and they often request grilled chicken or steak or fish. They have become more adventurous in their diets and probably healthier.
Many people have asked how we are going to handle baby #3 and her diet and our plan is that she will probably be mostly gluten free but that at the age of two we will make sure she is having a serving of gluten for three months and then have her tested for Celiacs and go from there. But with having two siblings with Celiacs, she will more than likely have a predominately gluten free diet regardless especially when we move back to the States and I don't have to ration my supplies :)
So, one year later and I am just full of thankfulness. So thankful that they are healthy, thriving and doing great and thankful for the many doctors, friends, family and resources that helped us get to this point!