Hi, hello!! (Ostrich no more)

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I really wasn’t sure what to put as a headline/subject? How do you say hello again to social media, life, your blog after spending months as a recluse?

Let me give you all a little tip (or a few actually).

If you have a hysterectomy, don’t think you can be batman or someone of equal power and strength and move country 4 weeks later. Also, if you’ve been on medication for your mental health for years, don’t quit that medication 7 days before said hysterectomy.

Dont move country, by yourself, with two kids and a dog who you cant even lift because you’ve just had surgery… dont move to a house thats cold and empty and have your furniture on a boat following a month later. Dont throw yourself in to everything without any regard for yourself and your own well being, because chances are you wont do so good…… chances are you will need months to get back on track.

And so, here I am.

I did all of the above, I learnt that I am more fragile then I admitted to myself, I realised that I’m an idiot (!! HAHA) and that just because you always land with your feet down eventually doesn’t mean you should put yourself through hell again to get there. I learnt that there is enough stress and crap in my life without me adding extra, and that there actually is a limit to how much stress somebody can handle…..

So. Thats that ok? Im not there anymore, Im forwards from there. Zebra kid has been sick properly and didn’t go to hospital, it happened and I didn’t have a nervous breakdown so I guess we are good. I realise that what P the counsellor in Poland told me about stressing about the stress that hasn’t even arrived yet is a very real thing for me. I was so scared about how I would feel when she got sick for that first time that it actually consumed me. She got sick. I stressed. We found a dr. We managed….. it was all ok in the end! 

I am happy. I am happy with where I am, the kids are happy, we are settled and life is good. I realise also, that I have a lot of guilt about not enjoying it “as much as I should” and not feeling “grateful enough”. Very real emotions that Im putting on myself, nobody else, just me! I set my own bar so bloody high sometimes, all I really can do is fail.

I am not superwoman, or batman, or supermum or even close. The bar doesn’t have to be set at roast dinner with 3 vegetables for dinner, Ive moved it down to cereal for dinner and finally somehow, Im winning a bit (and we haven’t actually had cereal for dinner even twice!).

Im getting my crap together, maybe more because I lowered the bar than because I am better?

I made myself a to do list on Monday morning to make sure I actually accomplished stuff this week. It had 7 things on it, 2 of those things rather major, the sort of stuff I stress about. Well, its Wednesday and the list is complete. And there was NO need to stress. I actually took one thing off the list, because Im being kind to myself and lowering the bar, another thing sorted itself out, and the other I just got on with and did. And not only that, but we had good healthy dinners every day! See, with a lower bar its so much easier to win.

I will fill you all in on everything else one day, but Im in no rush. These things can take time, and its ok. If I dont look after me, nobody else will get looked after.

 

xx

Ostrich.

My head is stuck firmly in the sand. Deep deep in the sand. Everything is so freaking GREAT and I dont WANT to go to the dr, I dont want to start the next step.

We need a pulmonologist to help guide us to lower the dosage of steroids and check her nitric oxide levels.

We need a gastro to help guide us and investigate why she stopped growing again – is it only due to steroids or does she need extra feeding / growth hormones wtf??!!

We need an allergist because holy shit her allergic reactions are getting worse and shes due new testing.

We need a physio who can work with her on her back and help her build muscle safely.

We need an orthopedic doctor to take a look at her spine to see if she needs braces or if physio is enough.

We need a rheumatologist to check her over as she was due a repeat “look over” a few months back.

I AM FUCKING TIRED AND I CANT THINK ABOUT IT ALL RIGHT NOW!

Everything is so great, so WHY??!!!!!!

Head back in sand. Look at the pretty flowers…..

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Welcome to all the newbies (prologue)

So many new “likees” and hits from all over the world. I realise while looking at my blog its an absolute mess. Its trying to be an informative celiac blog, a place for gluten free recipes, something that spreads celiac awareness, and then *laugh snort* life fecking happened! And this little celiac awareness blog website thing went and got totally and utterly side tracked by a ton of other things thats arent very celiac related at all, so now its much more (a mess basically), and I cant really change it because its our life and this is how it happened (guess you just had to be there to understand lol).

So if you can put up with a bit of a mess there is actually some good celiac info hidden in here, info on lunches and letters for school and basics for your kitchen. If you are lost you can use the search box which is in some corner… somewhere… hehe. There is also plenty of Zebra stuff (Zebras will get this!) and spoonie stuff. Anyway, welcome, and thanks for reading 🙂

Linda

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Ambulance tears

I haven’t written since January! Wow. Things have been crazy to say the least… but before I tell you all about all of those things, I want to tell you all something else.

Being one of those mums…… not easy stuff.

I sometimes cry when I see an ambulance with the lights on. I wonder who is in it. I wonder if their heart rate is ok. I wonder if their oxygen is ok and if they are conscious. I wonder if maybe they haven’t even been picked up yet and they are still at home, the ambulance caller frantic with worry wondering how much longer. I wonder if someone is holding their hand and telling them it will be ok. I wonder if the mum or dad or spouse had anyone look at them and say “it will be ok, don’t worry”. I wonder if anyone gave the mum a hug? I wonder if she is ok? And then I realise that Im crying, and I realise that that fear that I felt all those times, that fear that sort of feels like an iron claw around your heart… that fear….. it never really goes away again. Its right there, just below the surface and then there you are, crying at a traffic light because you saw an ambulance……

Its ok to be that mum. Its ok. Its also ok to not be superwoman all the time. There are so many campaigns out there highlighting what depression looks like, teaching us how we can support people in their darkest hour etc. Well, being one of those mums….. its not so dissimilar.

Stress, high stress for extended periods wrecks havoc with your body. For me, I gained weight, lost hair, got grey hairs, I pick at my skin, I eat obsessively or don’t eat at all, I stress over small stuff like whether I left the cooker on, to the point where I can hardly breathe and I might cry. I have days where I cant even function. I have so much that needs to be done and I cant get it together, I cant even manage to put a load of laundry on!

Then, when shit hits the fan Im calm. Im cool as a cucumber, getting everything done and organised, taking care of everybody, joking with the Dr’s, comforting, holding…..

…………….but who takes care of me…..? 

Then after, months after, there I am….. at the traffic lights, crying my eyes out at an ambulance!

Being one of those mums. It is not easy. And when you ask me if Im ok? I’ll put my big brave knickers on and smile my biggest smile and say “Im fine, why wouldn’t I be” because thats just all part of the parcel, and if I told you how I really am… some days…. I might just never stop crying.

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Your evil can not touch me, Im choosing to not be hurt.

People can be so insensitive to others and rude cant they? I don’t know how people can be so absolutely void of compassion? I had a run in the other day with a woman in our school, (well actually, I was standing perfectly still minding my own business, she was the one running) she couldn’t understand WHY we have to include people with special dietary needs in school events. She was actually screaming at me, “WHY do we have to do this”, “WHY do we have to provide food for these people”.

These people of course being us. These people being my 2 kids within earshot. These people being a ten your old boy who couldn’t sleep that night because he couldn’t understand why anybody would say something like that. Mummy he said, if we wanted to eat nuts, and G wanted to come, then we just wouldn’t eat nuts because its ok to wait and eat them when she’s not there, her being safe is more important! (heck, we don’t even keep nuts in our home because we have friends who have nut issues)

All I could do was hug him, because how do you explain that some people think they are more important than someone elses well being? How do you explain that even though the hotel thats hosting the event is well aware and capable of providing safe food for all, sometimes the people organising, think its to much hard work to even request it from them…?

At the time of all this shouting, I was just shocked and stunned that somebody would say crap like that to my face, let alone in front of my children (and other peoples children). Now I am hurt and angry. Will I address it? Hell no.

And let me explain why….

There are people who dont understand through just not knowing, who have never had to deal with someone with an allergy or autoimmune disease, there are people who ask questions and try to help, who want to get it right. These people can learn, many want to learn, and most are open to! Others arent interested but do understand that you cant exclude people based on diet (or religion) so they just do what is asked of them. Then there are people like this one. A lost cause for sure. Whatever anger she is directing at me and my children and others like us is obviously not about us, but about her. Whatever hostility she has against us is obviously a hostility – not from fear of the unknown – but deeply rooted from something else. At least I have to believe this, because how the hell can she hate someone just because they cant eat the same food as everybody else?

Its not easy being different and idiots are everywhere, but I had somehow hoped to not have my 7 and 10 year old exposed to people this hostile, so soon (and for sure not in their own school). My son has not mentioned it again now, but I know its on his mind and I know more questions will follow. How hurt must he be on the inside? I don’t even know how – as a parent – I am supposed to fix this. All I can do is love them as much as I can and hope that all that love wins over everything else.

Seems vegetarians and anyone with special dietary request for religious reasons were also in this woman’s firing line. So very UN PC.

Being Un pc is ok. But live and let live and dont come shouting your crappy evil opinions at me in school where kids can hear you! One of those kids a teenager about to be tested for celiac and food allergies. How the hell must this teen now feel?

Life is hard enough without evil people being evil to your face! 

All I can do is try to remain the positive being that I try so very hard to be. Block out negativity and surround myself with light and love.

Will I forgive? No, because she is not worthy of my reaction – at all. So I am going to choose to not be hurt, to not be angry. My life, its too important to have people like her in it. Her hostility, her venom, her toxicity, it will not touch me. Speak to the hand, I will not listen. Your evil can not touch me. And so we move on, and we teach those who want to be taught, and we protect those we can protect and we just do our very best, today and tomorrow and every day.

Moving on……..

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An identity crisis and another….move?!

Oh gosh, I didn’t blog for ages! I think Im having a small identity crisis. While the blog is gluten free, and I want it to be informative and full of recipes for Celiacs etc, I am not feeling very in tune with all that at all at the moment, all I want to write about is zebra stuff and positive things and what we are thinking and doing. And thats not very glutenfreey, so then I don’t write at all. Strange huh? My blog my rules?

I can sense a name change coming up…

Things are good, and then they aren’t. Our life is, as always so filled with worry. But also, lets not forget, we are a family trying very hard to be a normal family. We are a normal family. Only, for us, normal takes a bit more work.

Zebra kid finally got sick, first a pukey bug and then less then 2 weeks later the cold came, the cold that I knew would go to her chest, the one that had me running to Dr D telling him to help before she even had the pneumonia. So we did the steroids, strongest dose she’s ever had, day 3 she was better and I thought we were out of the woods, only for day 4 to send us back to Dr D for an ultrasound on her lungs, blood tests at 11pm and our usual crazy crap. Day 5 I packed and by 1pm we were in hospital. I had the most amazing support from our specialists on the phone the whole time, they put us in the immunology ward where we know everybody and we – obviously – got our own room. They all remember the January 2 years ago all to well. All of this, it was ok. It sucked obviously, but Im like this well oiled machine now and we just do it. Zebra girl missed her Christmas concert, which of course means I missed my sons Christmas concert.

Then, then they let us come home. And the Christmas tree that I put up on the day 3 (after it had been lying on the floor for almost a week) was up, and no gifts had been bought and it all sucked so so bad and I just didnt care! I smiled, I laughed, I got on with things without stressing.

I crammed that big 7 year old heffalump zebra of mine in to her pushchair and we went to the mall, people stared and I smiled.

Because you know what, they are judging me, but its ok, I don’t need to care, it doesnt need to hurt me, because I know what they dont, and if they knew too they wouldnt be judging! Them judging me does. not. hurt. me.

I am letting go, of this and other things. And so often its so hard (to let go) and I want to smack them in the head, but it doesn’t matter! I don’t need to be hurt by it, I need to just think in my head how they would react if they knew, because if they did they would smile too, that we are out and we are ok, and we are choosing to live and go shopping!

All this is stuff I realised since my last post.

We sent Zebra kid to school and the deal was – if school doesn’t work we move country. We move to sun and beach and pools and warmth. Because those things make me happy, those things make my kids happy. And with all this negativity crap going on, its hard sometimes to be happy, so we need to surround ourselves with love and light and positivity.

Then. School was ok. School was ok and she was fine….?! And we were like… hang on, hold up, WTF? She’s not going to get sick? Its OCTOBER…… hell, its NOVEMBER, she’s ok? WHAT THE…..????? And then we started looking for a house nearer school and then I realised my entire being doesn’t want to bloody be here. New house or not.

I love our school, our friends, our street, our neighbours. But those things are just a fraction of life here. The dark, the rain, it depresses me. The days we stay home gathering spoons I always end up wondering why exactly we are here. Our life could be better elsewhere. Closer to hubby, closer to the SUN. Closer to happiness?

I asked myself If I was running away. I asked the school counselor if she thought I was. She  said no. That I knew what I was doing and I have good reasons (see, Im sane! HA!). (

Decisions were made. Before Zebras hospital stay. We are going. Life is not about counting down the days and weeks until the next planned hospital stay, and if thats how you have to live then at least I think we deserve some beach and palm trees nearby.

So whatever. No more excuses. We need to live and breathe and enjoy life. We need to walk around the shops and not get angry at judgy people. We need to walk in to shops where you are greeted with a smile. We need to smile at the sun.

All that other stuff, it needs to get in the back seat where it belongs, because the real important stuff is about making this life the best that we can. About being happy. About being a normal family and making it easier for ourselves to be that normal family.

So bring it on 2017. This expat zebra celiac family is on the move again! And I cant wait!

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2 kids go to school

When a little zebra was 3 she started school in Dubai. Since then, I think I can count on my fingers how many weeks she did full weeks of. There was always something. Random fevers. Endless pneumonias (as my facebook “on this day” thing constantly reminds me), ear infections, horrendous fatigue and so on. Almost 2 years ago Dr’s finally put their feet down and my zebra stayed home.

I can not even begin to tell you all how difficult it is to have one child at school and one at home, especially when the one at home has to wear a mask in public and not be exposed to anyone or anything.

The 1st of September my baby girl went back to school!

My baby girl did. not. have. pneumonia. in. September! This has never happened before. My baby girl went back to school and apart from one day last week she has been there every day!!!!

And I became a good person again! I haven’t shouted at my kids once! I have been in the supermarket alone! I have had glorious naps without someone whinging at me for sleeping! I have watched TV, in the middle of the day! I have been alone!!!! I know this is supposed to be about her but oh my gosh it is so much about me too! And its about my awesome son, who has a mum who can be nice again, like every day and not just occasionally.

I didn’t realise the strain Ive been putting myself through until finally I had that first day on my own. Wow.

I get to write a blog post without people screaming and fighting about who should get to go to the bathroom first. I mean, I love my kids, more then anything in the world. But 1 and a half year of never once being alone makes you a bit edgy (read absolutely flippin psychotic).

Now every morning I drop 2 happy kids to school, and a happy mum picks up two happy kids.

These new lung meds….. thank you!

One day at a time, October, be good to us!

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