Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shannon Speaks for The Last Time: Gluten-Free and Beyond

November marks the end of the Gluten Free Health Challenge. Shannon is sharing one final reflection post today, after being a part of the challenge for six months. Please stop and leave a comment for her, or join us in our Gluten Free Facebook Group. -Iris-

With hubby at a football game

Wow, six months sure does fly.  Feels like yesterday we were all signing our forms and starting our first blog entries. Now it's a week and a half until Thanksgiving. Also known as my first gluten-free turkey day. Ugh, the stress. It's making the gray hair more obvious. But, like all things, I will figure it out. The only dilemma is finding a good GF stuffing. I know Rudi's put one out, but it's not being sold anywhere near me. Go figure.

I've been pretty MIA in the month of October. Sadly, nothing was going on, yet everything was going on. To elaborate briefly, I was pulled from my teaching duties and plunked down into another teacher's job until she returned from a medical issue. What we were all hoping would be a few days turned into over five weeks. I was exhausted. I hadn't been the "lead" teacher in a while, and although I was loving it at the beginning, I forgot all the energy that went into it. I just didn't have that kind of energy at that point. Had I known from day one of the year, that would have been one thing. But I had parents of the special ed kids I'm responsible for, e-mailing me questions about class and their child, the case workers at school wanting to know what I was doing for those kids (while I was teaching someone else's class load, prepping and grading and responsible for 75 students), and all of the other stuff that goes along with going from being myself to being someone else.

Now that I'm back to being "me," the one teacher that I teach with is going out on maternity leave this Wednesday. There's still no long-term sub for her, and I'm putting all my wishes out in the universe that I don't find out on Tuesday that I'm taking over her class load until she returns in March. I may be posting in the Facebook Group from the looney bin if that is the case.

So, work is stressful, nothing new there. Hopefully life will be less stressful. Though I can confidently say, being gluten free is not stressful, and for that I'm thankful. Between reading everyone's posts on the blog, threads on FB, and my phone meetings with Georgia, I feel like I've got a solid handle on this thing. When I was diagnosed, I didn't allow myself any time to acclimate to being gluten free. I jumped headfirst into the lifestyle because I was afraid if I allowed myself to gently ease into it, it would be even harder than just going balls to the wall. There was no option to NOT be gluten free. I had too much at stake. I didn't get sick like some people. I didn't break out in hives or visible reactions, and while all of that is serious for the people who have those reactions, I thought to myself, "If that was how my body reacted, I would probably cut down on the gluten but still indulge sometimes." I would have coped with the physical outcomes. Knowing that Celiac Disease had caused me to lose two babies and may somehow have had a connection to my son's birth defect (we'll never know, and I refuse to spend my life dwelling on it because it's not healthy for me), I felt like I had no choice. I was going gluten free for life and there would be no looking back. Hopefully I will have some positive news on that front, and soon. I can say that my body and hormones have regulated themselves, which gives me more hope that I will have good news soon.

My kind of therapy

I have faith in myself and the other wonderful women that have taken part in this challenge that we will all continue our gluten free journeys successfully. We will all experience challenges and roadblocks, but we are all so strong and will continue to grow stronger because of those challenges. I wish you all nothing but the best of luck and a beautiful, gluten free life.

Much love!



Dorothy said...

Dear Shannon, I loved getting to know you through your posts. I can tell you are an awesome teacher. I'm glad we got to share this journey. You made such progress along the way and it was inspiring to read about it. I'm rooting for you all the way, especially with your dearest wish for another baby. Take good care of yourself and we'll keep meeting on the Facebook page. P.S. Love your photos.

Elizabeth A. said...

Shannon, I have loved watching all of you grow on this challenge. I wish you the best in life and success in all of your ventures. Be well.


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