MY STORY

In January of 2013 we decided, as a family, to cram our stuff in a storage unit in Colorado and set course to the East Coast to stay with my family until we decided what our next step was. About a week into our stay we noticed a change in our oldest daughter’s mood and behavior. It was a Saturday afternoon when my “Mother” instincts told me that something was not right.  The symptoms she was exhibiting weren’t a normal cold. But my husband and I convinced ourselves it was a bug of some sort and that I would take her to see a doctor first thing Monday morning.   That day changed our lives!  I will never forget picking up our daughter, Elena (then 3 years-old), off the Doctor’s table, limp and dazed, and rushing to the local ER. We admitted her with a glucose level in the mid 600’s! (normal being 80-120)!

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Elena and I goofing off at Jazz Festival (July ’13)

At that point she was in DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) and needed to be admitted to the ICU–worst 24 hours of my life!!  I’ll spare you the details.  When they did get her numbers back to normal they moved us to in-patient care where we stayed for the next four days.  Suffice to say, Elena was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.  What they managed to cram into those following four days was, well…Overwhelmed, check!…Terrified, check!…Anxious, check!…Grief Stricken, check!  Yet, when it came time to cut us loose, they had just one more parting gift for us.  “…Her labs came back positive for the Auto-Immune Disease, Celiac.”  Celi-what!?!   Of course nothing could be confirmed until her Endoscopy surgery three weeks later.  Just as I was barely getting a grip on the “Diabetes” thing, we got hit with the “Celiac” train and it was almost more than I could handle.  To top all things off, my husband had left to start his new job across the country a week before.  My daughters and I were planning on flying out soon after Elena’s surgery.  I think my mind went numb for 24 hours.  I was going through the motions but not really there.  Of course time doesn’t stand still when you have a 3 year-old that is depending on you to take care of her.  I collected myself, thanked God that I still had my little girl and sprung into action…

Our grocery bill ballooned to twice what it was!  I bought any “Gluten-Free” box I could find.  I was LOST!  Her diet just went from cutting out most, if not all sugar, to now cutting out wheat, barley and rye.  Believe me, I had no idea just how many items those ingredients contaminated!  NO pasta, crackers, cereal, bread!!  And what about soups, seasonings, candy, oats, and a plethora more…Me and my frugal-self decided that there had to be a better way!  I started reading, cooking, researching, cooking some more and here we are.  If there is one thing I have always been good at, its finding a bargain!  Our grocery bill is still more than before–but let’s all face a harsh fact–it cost money to eat healthy!  This blog will be a work in progress.  I am forever learning more and practicing different cooking techniques.  All of which I will be sharing on this blog.  In addition to my daughter Elena, I also have a 2 year-old daughter, Joslyn and a full-time job.  That equates to Kid-Friendly and Easy recipes that WILL NOT BREAK THE BUDGET!!  I will share every Money Saving Tip I have learned along with all the phenomenal low sugar (Diabetic), Gluten-Free recipes I have archived.

Elena_GF

After her Endoscopy, we went for our first Gluten-Free shopping trip (March ’13)

All things said, my daughter’s diagnosis has now become a blessing in disguise.  We’ve settled into our new home in South Dakota as a Gluten-Free household and healthier for it.  What once broke me (both literally and figuratively), has now ignited a new passion for cooking that has me in a frenzy!  I hope you will come along with me on this journey…

BREAKING OUT OF THE GLUTEN-FREE BOX(es)!!

XOXO

Jen 

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5 responses to “MY STORY”

  1. Dana @ Celiac Kiddo says :

    I can relate to your story rather closely! Though my daughter doesn’t have diabetes, she was also diagnosed with celiac at age 3. It’s a total game changer for sure! Sadly our grocery bills are still outrageous so hopefully I can glean some wisdom from you 🙂
    -Dana

    • glutenfreebudgetguru says :

      Thanks Dana! I have been diving into your blog and you and your family’s story is beautiful and touching. I will be following 🙂
      I’m hoping that perhaps you can find some helpful budget cutting tips from my blog. One thing to consider, (it took me a few months to put it together), but we used to spend a decent amount of money on spontaneous trips out to eat. Post Celiac, well, that just isn’t our reality anymore. Because I’m cooking so much more it still appears that my grocery bill is higher, but looking at the big picture we ARE saving. Just a thought.
      God Bless
      Jen

  2. thglutenfree says :

    An inspiring story, and thanks for sharing your experiences and tips with the rest of us!

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