Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Wish I Knew What I Know Now...

When I think back to right before Jack was diagnosed, it's hard for me to look at pictures, like the one below.  We never heard of celiac disease - why would we think gluten was hurting him??  It makes me sad thinking back to that time, because my little guy was sick and I just didn't know it.

Jack's 2nd birthday - hot August day.  The following week, Jack would be tested for celiac disease at his 2 yr. well check visit.  His poor little belly is distended due to inflammation.

But thankfully, Jack was tested for celiac disease right away. Jack had his 2 yr. well check the following week and I mentioned to his pediatrician that something didn't seem right...diarrhea, irritability and lack of energy.  And at the time, a distended belly, but I just thought that was the way his body was made! Jack's pediatrician mentioned doing some blood tests just to make sure everything was okay.  Little did I know, in a week's time I would be told Jack has Celiac Disease and must live a Gluten-Free Lifestyle.  What??  Celiac Disease?? What's that?  My friend had mentioned it to me the day before on the phone and that's the only time I had ever heard of it.

Jack's distended belly and flat buttocks (also know as muscle wasting - where the muscle becomes thinner) are signs of Celiac Disease.

The search began! I was on the Internet researching Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free diet.  For 2 weeks I was overloading myself with information. What's gluten-free? How did he get this? Hereditary? Who carries the genes?  After two weeks, I finally cried.  It was overwhelming!  I was scared, shocked and didn't really know what was next.

BUT, it got better and the best part was seeing Jack improve so quickly!  Within two weeks, Jack gained weight, had solid stools, and started running around like a 2 yr. old.  I was SO happy to see Jack feeling better - it was AMAZING!

This is why raising awareness is so important to me.  If someone had told me about it and I had known about Celiac Disease, maybe I could've have caught Jack's symptoms earlier.  I want others to know about this disease - just be aware of it - know that it's out there and it has many hidden symptoms that are misdiagnosed.  Luckily for Jack, he was diagnosed right away - I'm thankful for that every day.

Please email this post to 1 person.  And help someone start feeling better today.


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