Although it’s hard to feel happy and thankful when dealing with various health conditions, there are things upon which I can reflect and feel very thankful as a result of these conditions. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for this reflection. The following are things for which I’ve learned to be thankful.

God

Proverbs 16:9 says “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” While I’m not certain this verse can be applied in this way, I feel that the Lord has been taking care of me and directing my steps in my search for answers. I would go online to search for an answer to a specific question, but I would end up coming across results that seem unrelated to my question but were in actuality just what I needed to find. When I was researching sleep issues, mainly to find out if I might be a “short sleeper”, I came across a site that mentioned electronics could affect sleep. When I began making changes in my bedroom to move electronics away from the bed or unplug them at night, I noticed a difference. While I hadn’t quite uncovered other causes of my insomnia, this one had a pretty big impact. When I was researching a possible link between soy and acne, I came across information on gluten causing acne. When I tried cutting gluten to see if it would help, I discovered a more serious problem with gluten (or maybe just wheat). This discovery led me on a path to finding out I actually had a wheat allergy. I may still have celiac disease or a problem with the other gluten grains as well. When I began having problems with iron and decided to try experimenting with another multivitamin, I went to a store to see what they had and left with a bottle of Centrum Adults. While it was not ideal because I was concerned with the low amount of copper, it seemed to be better than others I had checked. Researching the copper led me to discover copper toxicity and that I could very well be suffering from it. Balancing copper and zinc in my diet has had a huge impact on my health. God has taken care of me in many ways and has been there for me, and I believe He has manifested this fact in how He has helped me to find answers to my health problems. He to this point has never let me struggle for very long with not knowing what was causing an issue I was experiencing.

Mom

I’m really grateful to my mother for taking the time to learn how to prepare food that’s safe for me to eat. I know it’s not easy, especially when a person is highly sensitive to small traces. I’m getting to where I’m more and more comfortable eating food my mom has prepared in her kitchen. I feel that she’s really gone above and beyond. I do at times have to explain about why she can or can’t do certain things, but when a person doesn’t have an allergy herself and doesn’t prepare allergy-safe food on a regular basis, she’s not going to think of those things. Of course, I still slip up plenty of times. Mom has bought gluten-free oats, gluten-free flours, and gluten-free mixes in an effort to make treats and other foods that I can eat. Sometimes I still need to fix things for myself or bring something I can eat, but that gives us both a break. I can fix something I know is safe, and she doesn’t have to worry about making sure food is (and stays) safe for me to eat. She and others can eat and handle things freely as they’re used to doing.

Supportive Family and Friends

While it’s hard not having anyone that I know personally who is going through dietary issues similar to mine, I’m appreciative of the family and friends who have tried to be understanding and supportive. Even though they are not going through the same things and may even not understand the things with which I have to deal, they are compassionate enough to listen when I need to talk or vent about something, and they do try their best to understand my dietary issues. Of course, they all have their own issues as well, and we can share our frustrations with our own issues with each other. We all try our best to support each other and pray for each other.

Blogs and Support Groups

It’s very lonely being the only person in my group of friends and family who has a food allergy and unique (at least where my circle is concerned) dietary issues. It’s been very helpful to connect with others in support groups who are experiencing similar issues. We can vent about our issues and also offer help to others. It’s also helpful to find blog posts where the authors share about issues and other problems that are similar to mine. It helps me to feel less lonely. Also, it feels good to know that maybe sharing my experiences through my blog and the support groups may be helpful to someone else.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading this post. I hope you also have plenty of things for which you can be thankful!


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