Seems to me some Celiacs are A OK as soon as they go on that gluten free diet, others struggle and suffer, no matter how well they stick to the diet. I have met hundreds of celiacs by now through my work with Gluten Free UAE, and it seems to be that its not how long you were sick for before diagnosis, but how SICK you got before diagnosis that makes a difference. Those who were very very sick, are often the ones that struggle after (no research on this that I know of, just how I perceive it from the Celiacs I have met). My own little Celiac is one of those that got extremely sick before diagnosis, and she is also one of those who have struggled post diagnosis. Yes, she is better, yes, she is doing great in many ways, but she also gets sick alot, not sure if she gets sick more often then your average 4 year old, but she certainly gets sick ‘properly’. She has had a ton of hospital stays. At the age of 4 she has had so many pneumonias we are starting to lose count and only count the severe ones! Although she is doing great in growing and developing, each pneumonia sets her back, and we cant afford to many set backs, she has to much catching up to do! Her energy levels are often very low, as they would for anyone fighting illness. At times I have to carry her in to school from the car park, as she just doesn’t have the energy to walk. As any other tired 4 year old, the tiredness makes her cranky. She is on preventative steroids and we keep her indoors as much as we can to protect her from the dust. Her oxygen levels are often low and the main reason for repeated hospital stays. Her immune system seems to be working on overdrive and she often has unexplained temperatures, sometimes twice a week!
We left on our Europe trip with extra liquid steroids and antibiotics from the doctor, the oxygen levels were low, but not low enough to be admitted, but I fully expected to have to start her on the antibiotics a couple of days later. BOY was I in for a shock.
First day in Poland we walked to the shop, because in Europe, people walk places! I brought the push chair because of course I didn’t expect her to be able to do the full walk with her wheeze. Well, she walked all the way to the shop… and then she walked all the way back! I lifted her up to give her a hug and listen to her breathing, and there was NO WHEEZE WHATSOEVER!
Our little girl spent the next 1 month and 1 day without a single wheeze, she walked, she ran, she jumped, and not once did I hear the familiar words ‘mummy, Im tired now, I need to rest’. Not once did I have to carry her when her energy simply ran out. She was a different child. Even her gluten reactions were minor, we had a couple of cross contamination incidents and 1 ice cream incident, and she got over them so easily, so much faster then usual, and after the ice cream I fully expected an ear infection or something else to come – thats what usually happens – but no, she was recovered fully in 2 days!
We returned to Dubai, and I was hoping the wheeze would stay away, but the heavy breathing and a slight wheeze was back in 4 days, a couple of days later the first unexplained temperature. Clearly our Celiac does not do well here.
So I guess the title of this post is unfitting, because our decision wasn’t major at all, it was a total no brainer. We are going to go and live in Europe for a bit, hopefully the air quality there will help her, and this girl really needs all the help she can get!
I am gutted. I love Dubai, I have loved it since the first time I set my foot here in January 2006. My children were born here, I have my home, my friends, my heart here. But health has to win. Hopefully in a couple of years things will be different, maybe we will even be able to return. Who knows.
I believe you chose your reactions to everything in life, and I chose not to remain gutted. Instead I am embracing this move fully, I am exited, the kids are exited, a new adventure.
And it sure will make for a pretty interesting blog wont it 😉