Two weeks ago, I believe I had what I can really described as my first experience getting 'glutened.' For those who are reading this but aren't Celiacs, getting glutened is just an easy way of saying I ingested gluten. Yes, I am a hip part of the Celiac in-crowd, using the lingo and everything. Look at me go. Yee ha.
Before this? There's been the possibility that I accidentally got gluten contamination in tiny amounts, but nothing that stuck out as a definitive 'gluten reaction.' And for the record? It sucks. It sucks long and hard, like a broken, whirring hoover.
I couldn't say for sure that eating gluten is what happened, considering that this reaction hasn't happened before, but...it's the best I can come up with, and it matches the reactions of other celiacs, so I'll assume this is it. Otherwise, it's just another wacked out thing going on with my body, and I'd rather like those to stop some time soon. I'd prefer to assume this is something already known.
And what, you might ask, happened?
I ate some pistachios. Who would think this would be an issue? They were mixed in with newer nuts that I know are gluten free, and I forgot there might be other brands of nuts in our container (processed in a facility that contains wheat, the bastards). My daughter had some, and 15 minutes later her stomach was hurting something fierce. Five minutes after that, I attempted to stand up from the couch bed and had such horrible vertigo that I fell back down onto it. Couldn't get up the next two tries, either. Started having horrible nausea, then vomiting and the shakes and the sweats.
The vertigo wasn't enough to keep me down after that as long as I walked and moved very slowly for the next 4-6 hours. Vomiting died down to mere nausea. And a few days later, the dizziness was finally starting to fade completely away.
I haven't cheated on my gluten part of the diet over the last year. Been really, really good on that front, which I'm a little proud of, actually. I'm as human as the next guy, possibly a bit more lazy than some and clumsier than many, and I tend to obsess and screw up a lot, but at least on that one tiny slice of my life's pie, I did good. I didn't try to cheat and sneak gluten.
However, at this moment, I am amazingly even more motivated to avoid gluten. That reaction was truly nasty and very unexpected. I never HAD reactions to gluten, that I recognized, before all this started. I knew I'd been getting more sensitive to foods as time has gone on, and I have felt very bad eating many foods this last year, but this? Nope, that's new. Guess now I know what most Celiacs mean when they report that they are more sensitive to gluten after they avoid it for a while.
Let me just say, my fellow Celiacs, that I am right there with you in the nauseating trenches, dodging gluten bullets and hoping like hell I don't get hit with one again. Once was quite enough, thank you very much. Too bad gluten isn't looking like it's up for peace talks any time soon so I could stop ducking. I'd be all for that.
So, Gluten Free Tip for the day!
1. Watch out for plain, unflavored nuts. They may look safe, but many of them are processed in facilities with wheat.