Category Archives: gluten free

blah…

I found a blog yesterday titled blah, blah, blahg…it made me laugh.

It’s a dreary day outside. The kind where it’s overcast and it wouldn’t be as bad if it would just rain. Sadly there is no rain, just wind. Days like this make me want to curl up in the big chair in my parent’s living room and read a good, long book. Like Twilight. I did want to re-read that again before the movie comes out. I find it rather humorous that mine and Josh’s book collection will contain religion books (his major, my minor), psychology books (my major), and my fantasy/crime drama/mystery fiction.

A while ago I mentioned that I should do a blog listing all the gluten free blogs I read. I read an average of about three posts a day from all these sites combined, and usually at least two of the posts are recipes. The amount of posting isn’t overwhelming, and I’ve favorited enough recipes to publish a book (which I wouldn’t do other than for personal use, as most of the recipes are developed by the bloggers or variations on recipes that are already published). Some of these blogs also cover casein, soy, and egg intolerance as well. At least one is vegetarian, and one or two cover kosher food with special posts about Holiday foods.

Here’s the list of blogs:

I didn’t list the ones that haven’t been updated in months. I have them on my reader so I can easily access all their posts and search for recipes.

I’m feeling more awake now, thanks to my ABBA channel on pandora. Don’t judge me. You can’t help but smile when listening to their songs.

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back to blogging

Well, I made the switch from blogger to wordpress after a long hiatus. Josh has been bugging me to change for a while. I’ve heard that wordpress is much better, but I’ve gotta play around with it more before I put in my two cents.

So what is this blog for? Honestly, there is no telling. Most likely the craziness of wedding planning, newly wed life, and the gluten-free lifestyle. As you can see by my previous posts, I’m sporatic with my posting. No promises that this will be any better.

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3 left!!

Three what you ask? Why, three semesters of college! Heck yes.

On the DH/gluten free front, I’m doing ok. We think. Turns out that DH may not be the problem after all. So now I have to find another dermatologist in the area that insurance covers so I can get a second opinion. Yippee.

Now the real reason for my update:

I am in love with Google Reader. I check it multiple times daily over breaks, and every morning and night while I’m in school. Reader automatically checks my favorite websites for updates, and displays them within the Reader page. (I do realize that this is a crappy explanation. There is a better one on the Reader site.)

Some of my favorites:
The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks
Funny pictures of signs from all over the world with, you guessed it, unnecessary quotation marks.
indexed
I really can’t describe this one. You just have to check it out for yourself. I think I have laughed or “Oh no she didn’t!”-ed at every single post.
Sun and Shield
The blog that puts my blogging skills to shame. Dr. LaBar is an amazing man and writer whose faith I greatly admire.
Weddingbee
I am not engaged…yet. So why have I been reading this blog for over a year? Research. Um…yeah, that’s what it is. Eye candy galore, multiple bloggers, and hilarious xangaTV
Karina’s (gluten free) Kitchen
When I found this blog, I knew that being gluten-free is no biggie. Just thinking about the site makes me drool.

Granted, these are five blogs out of the 19 I read.

Another new love is Foxmarks. From the website: “The Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer automatically synchronizes your bookmarks between two or more computers running Firefox. It also lets you access your bookmarks from any computer anytime via my.foxmarks.com. An easy-to-use wizard guides you through the quick startup process. Then Foxmarks works silently in the background to keep your bookmarks up-to-date on all your computers.” This comes in handy when I’m at school and use my personal computer along with the school computers in the library or classrooms.

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The New Me

Hello world!

I know it’s been ages since I updated the blog, but now I’ve got something to write about.
Ever heard of Dermatitis Herpetiformis? No? Well, me neither. Until yesterday, that is.

Back story:
For the past three years, I’ve been having weird breakouts on my elbows. Some medical professionals told me that it was most likely a skin reaction, and not to worry about it unless it spread. This August I noticed it on my knees as well. This started my doctor chain. I first visited my family doctor, who sent me to an allergist. I went in for a scratch test, but nothing reacted like my breakouts (I did find out that I am mildly allergic to grass and dog dander, but can still have a dog). After another breakout, my allergist sent me to a dermatologist.

At this point, I was just annoyed with everything. My breakouts didn’t itch, and half the time I didn’t even know they were there. I just wanted to find out what was wrong and move on. My first appointment with the dermatologist was on Tuesday of last week. We discussed some possible causes, such as arthritis or an allergy to pain medication. I broke out again on Thursday night, and went back to the dermatologist on Friday. She was able to biopsy my knee and drew blood.

This brings us to yesterday. I am sitting at work study, stuffing envelopes and chatting away (what fun!) when my phone rings. I go out in the hall and am told something along the lines of this:

“Joy, you have Dermatitis Herpetiformis. You need to start taking medication go on a gluten-free diet immediately.”

Um…ok…
I wondered if the women on the phone knew that she had just changed my entire life.

So I had three things to look up.
1) Dermatitis Herpetiformis (click for Wikipedia article)
Basically, in the simplest terms I can think of, I have a gluten build up in my skin. My body doesn’t know what to do with the gluten it can’t break down, so it stores it in my skin. The breakouts are caused by a combination of the gluten, my skin, and iodine. 11.2 people out of 100,000 have this disease.
2) Dapsone (click for Wikipedia article)
This medicine is used for treatment of DH and combined with two other drugs is a treatment for leprosy. Say what? Basically, I am taking this to get rid of the gluten build up in my skin. According to various medical websites, it can take up to two years for the gluten build up to go away. This medication works amazingly, but because of side effects it is recommended that you only stay on it as long as necessary. While on Dapsone, I have to get blood work done once a month to make sure it isn’t messing me up anywhere else.
3)Gluten free diet (click for Wikipedia article)
Unlike Dapsone, this is life-long. To keep my skin from breaking out and to keep from developing Coeliac Disease (along with a long list of other diseases I’m at risk for), it is mandatory. This sound horrible, and it is at first. I adore bread. I love bread. I would marry it if it were only a person. However, I can no longer eat my beloved sourdough or pumpernickel-rye. Thankfully, there are other people at school with this same strict diet. My RA, for one. She has been an amazing help, and I haven’t even known about it for 24 hours yet. I guess the one plus is that I no longer eat Aramark food.

I’m not going to lie, it sucks. I went grocery shopping last night and had to hold back tears the entire time. Cap’n Crunch peanut butter? Gone. Doritos? No more. Pepsi? Not allowed. Zaxby’s? Sorry, no. And the list goes on. And on. And on.

But if I focus on what I can’t have, I’ll just be depressed. I have to focus on what I can have. Like Chinese food, because they use corn flour on their breaded meats. A Taste of Thai brand foods. Rice cakes (yeah, I actually like these). Sprite. Trix (the only cereal that is gluten free). Potatoes. Rice. Plus there are substitution foods. Breads, crackers, cake, brownies, pancakes, etc. all gluten free.

I can’ promise that I will update frequently (just look at my past posts), but I am going to use this blog as a record of my journey. As my dad said, I am Joy who happens to have DH, not a person with DH named Joy. Hopefully this will be helpful to someone one day, just as my RA has helped me. Please pray for me as I adjust to this new lifestyle.

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Filed under dapsone, dermatitis herpetiformis, gluten free, life