I believe in never giving up…

Abigail - Altoona, Iowa
Entered on January 29, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in never giving up…

I always lived a life with stomach aches and going to the doctor all the time, with the response that I was faking it. Even my mother did not believe that I didn’t feel well. I even started to believe that it was just in my head, but maybe part of me believed that I would someday find what was causing this.

In seventh grade, I started getting a rash on my arms. I went to the doctor, and they were not sure what it was, but they noticed that I had an enlarged thyroid, so they did some blood tests. When the tests came back, it was running too high, so they sent me to an allergist for my rash and to an endocrinologist for my thyroid. When I got tested for thyroid problems, they found out I might have celiac disease. Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. When I got my blood test back for the possibility of celiac disease, it came back positive. To confirm the diagnosis, they took a biopsy of my small intestine. After I had the procedure done, I was hoping I had celiac just because all of my pain would be gone that I had been living my whole life. The downside was having a disease. There is no cure to celiac disease, but it can be managed by not eating gluten.

A few weeks later, I went to my doctor who was in charge of the diagnosis and he told me everything I couldn’t eat. I was shocked how many things that gluten was in. I was to start the diet as soon as I could. The day before I went to the doctor, I had made brownies. Brownies were my favorite food. I thought, “This is it, the last thing I’ll ever eat that contains gluten,” so I enjoyed it.

Through my whole experience I have learned to never give in to what I truly think, and have hope in finding an answer. No one knows me better than myself, because deep down, I knew that something was wrong with me.