I remember how hard it was to have to change all your life just like that. I was 10 when the doctors diagnostic me celiac. The worst period for a child to make such drastic difference to lifestyle and diet.
Actually everything started a little earlier…
Since I was 7, my parents have noticed changes on my skin. They took me to the doctor and she diagnosed me with Dermatitis herpetiformis, or Duhring’s disease. In that time, the doctors in Serbia didn’t know much about the disease. I got treatment with Dapsone medical. They didn’t know that it was connected with celiac disease, and that strict gluten-free diet must also be followed. So, I started using Dapsone and kept eating gluten.
I have a younger sister. She is a celiac since her birth. She was on a gluten free diet from day one, so we were familiar with that kind of diet in the house. But at the time, everybody in my environment knew almost nothing about it. My mom was really trying hard to discover celiac and make my sister’s life easier as much as possible.
Let’s back now to my gluten free story …
Problems have not disappeared, and the blood analysis have drastically deteriorated. I was very weak and the wounds on my skin … they were unbearable! One day, my mother’s friend, dermatologist, saw me on the street, and mom told her that I have Duhring. She knew that my sister has celiac, and first thing she has asked was, am I on a gluten free diet. That was a light at the end of that dark tunnel for my parents. All further analysis and biopsy confirmed that the only cure for my condition is a gluten free diet.
At the time, in my country, that was an horrible condition. We didn’t have the possibility of buying quality flour, not to mention something more, such as biscuits or noodles. As I said, my parents were trying to make it as easy as it was possible. We had all the love and understanding of the world. We were safe in mom’s kitchen, she was trying to replace everything that was forbidden.
The worst period of my gluten free life, was when I reached the puberty. When I started going out with friends, when everybody started buying their snacks in school … In that period of growing up, other kids don’t have feelings for others. You are little, alone and you are ashamed of everything. Pretending that you are not hungry when everybody else is eating, going home earlier than others, because you can’t buy anything to eat.. that was really hard time. I remember crying when I got home, I also remember my mom, how hard it was for her because she was helpless.
Unpleasant period has stopped when I began to study. I have moved to capital of my country, Belgrade. Over night, I grew up. My parents kept supporting me, but at the end of the day, I was alone and I had to get use to it, like everybody else. I met new people, I started to discover new city, witch is much bigger than my hometown and suddenly my number one problem, moved into the background. The diet that I was ashamed of and that was my preoccupation in a bad way, has become my way of life that I began to enjoy and love.
I loved the kitchen since I was a little girl. I have learned so much from my mom, but when you start living alone then you start to get to know what you really want to do and what can fulfill you. I realised that in my case, cooking is activity that makes me happy when I am sad, what I enjoy doing when I am happy, that I love to discover and improve.
I am 27 now, and I still miss some tastes and smells. But now we live in a time where everything is possible. Maybe you are unable to try some ingredients, but there is plenty of other amazing foods that you can. Keep in mind that there is possible ways to make everything in a gluten free form. The same tastes, the same smells, just healthier and made with much love.
Hope that you are going to enjoy my world as I do, and that I will make yours easier and more beloved.