I've written in journals, on pieces of scratch paper, on torn-out magazine pages while sitting in airports, just about anywhere I can put pen to paper when the moment strikes and inspires me to move the ink across the page...I suppose I have much to say...not that anyone has to listen - writing and expression are like breathing for me - essentials.
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease on April 15, 2000 - the Millennium year proved to be quite significant for my life, minus any YK2 computer crashes. My diagnosis arrived sincerely just in the nick of time, because at the ripe old age of 30 I was on my out of this life, due to almost a decade of severe sickness, complications and misdiagnosis. There are still many a day when a flash of my pre-diagnosis past enters my mind and I remember glimpses of my life during those years of confusion, sickness, despair, and ultimate frustration. I don't recall ever feeling fearful of what was happening to me though, because the funny thing about the human spirit is - we fight to live; it's innate to our souls...and of our being. However, I can honestly say that my parents and brother would not concur with my last sentence because they were laden with the fear and uncertainty of my future more than I - my job was to fight through, research, keep living, keep filling up my soul with whatever joys and enjoyment I could still physically and emotionally take in...and I did just that.
I was a very healthy little girl; active and athletic, loving food of all kinds and full of life. I was a serious equestrian rider and horses were my passion. One of my Basque grandfathers was a true cowboy and taught me the gift of riding at age four and I have four concussions under my belt to prove it…or wait, was it five? It’s hard to remember such things when you’ve hit your head so many times! I have such wonderful memories of riding for hours on end every summer afternoon through the golden hills of northern California. Those days shaped the way I have lived my life as an adult in so many ways and were simply so joyful and rich. It was during those years of riding, in my early teens, when I first began experiencing debilitating migraine headaches - the kind where you loose your vision and your cookies, so to speak. I remember that wearing a riding helmet in the heat was the diagnosis for the headaches that would shut me in my room for an entire day, until my sight returned. It would be 15 years later, after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, that it became apparent the migraines were my first symptoms. Little did I know back then of the journey that ensued, leading me to a gluten free life of abundance.