The Emotional Side of Celiac Disease in Children

The Emotional Side of Celiac Disease in Children

Just about five months ago, McKayla and McKenzie were diagnosed with celiac disease. It was not the news I wanted to hear. As their mom, this diagnosis seems as though it is harder for me than them. (Since, their dad was diagnosed two months earlier they had already learned a lot about celiac disease and were very invested into their daddy’s healthy.)

I worry about how isolating this disease can be, I worry about all the different things in life they are going to miss out on. I worry about their health and safety. I worry that they become exhausted and overwhelmed by keeping up their diets. I can already see how lonely it is and how little people actually understand about the disease. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone and now my littles will have to live with this their entire lives. However, I do thank God that this is all we have going on health wise. I am very aware my girls could have something more serious.

Celiac disease is going to bring on many challenges, such as birthday parties, school treats, school lunches, family gatherings, any gatherings for that matter, you name it and it will change every aspect of their/our lives. I can already see their anxiety escalating over eating, making sure their food is safe for them, it breaks my heart. Honestly, I cry at least once a day, usually more. I cry because I yearn for them to have a worry free childhood, which cannot happen anymore. I cry because I worry about their health and safety. Yet, I am grateful that we are otherwise healthy, we know we are blessed. Especially, with everything we went through during my pregnancy with them.

These past several months have been trying as a mom and wife. Taking care of my hubby and twins is not easy. Every time I am in the kitchen I worry about harming them. Just writing this brings tears to my eyes. My emotions are all over the place. Especially, because I never want to show them my sadness. They need to see my positivity, that everything is going to be okay and it will. It breaks my heart each time they ask if they can have a food they used to love and I have to say “no”, but I always follow it up with “no worries we will make it gluten free” and I sure do try. I am determined to find all the best gluten alternatives and I am on my way. As we navigated through the holidays it sure brought lots of challenges, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

Countless days I just cry because I feel for them. It makes me sad to watch them read labels and worry whether or not a certain food is safe. I can see the change in their faces when unknown food is in front of them, I can see the worry the fear. My poor girls are afraid of food. They are afraid it will make them sick and sometimes it will, their fear of food is validated. Gluten gives them headaches, canker sores, stomachaches, acid reflex, heartburn, makes them irritable, and so much more. These poor girls truly feel awful when they consume gluten. Gluten zaps their energy. Even the tiniest bit will affect their little systems. For about a year before they were diagnosed I thought they had ADHD, but since eliminating gluten that has pretty much subsided completely. Gluten is poison to their little bodies.

This is just another time in our lives where we are beyond thankful they have each other. We thank God everyday that they are in this together. God knew what he was doing when he created two. My sweet babies.

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