“You are where you need to be. Just take a deep breath.”
Okay have you ever had that “AH-HA!” moment? A moment in time where something clicks just right that you could almost hear the angels in Heaven singing “Halleluiah”?
After a very crappy beginning to our Christmas break from school, New Year’s was quickly approaching, and we wanted to get out of the house! The flu kept us trapped inside our 4 walls for 11 days. We needed OUT, badly! So, my sister and brother-in-law graciously hosted us for New Years Eve including a little sleepover, so we didn’t have to drive home after the monumental ball drop as the clock struck January 1st, 2020. My parents came over to join the fun. We had a delicious dinner and enjoyed each other’s company.
With a rare chilly evening for our area, we sat outside enjoying the crisp air. The music was playing, neighbors were shooting off fireworks, the kids fell asleep on the couch and we were all enjoying great conversations. We were all doing a little reminiscing and happen to mention mine and my sister’s grandma (our mom’s mom).
Our grandma was a beautiful woman, sweet, funny, talented, collected oil lamps and was an AMAZING pianist. My fondest memories of her will always be times we would sit on her piano bench with her while she played, and my sister and I would sing along with her. Unfortunately, my memories of her are also filled with not so happy memories including nursing home visits and times she did not recognize us. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in her mid-60’s. A very slow (sometimes fast for others diagnosed but for her it was slow) disease that affects the central nervous system affecting movement and often including tremors. The last 2 months of her life is a story meant for another time. She lived to make it just a few weeks after her 80th birthday. I can only imagine the beautiful songs she is playing on the piano in Heaven. She will always be missed and will always hold a special place in our hearts.
As we were reminiscing about her on New Year’s Eve, my mom mentioned how our grandma also had colitis. My mom remembered grandma would sometimes have difficulty after meals with various symptoms like stomach aches and bloating. As I’m listening to this, I had an epiphany. Back then it was very difficult to diagnosis Celiac. They didn’t really understand the disease so a lot of times patients would go misdiagnosed. I thought to myself, what if her colitis was actually Celiac?! The only person on this planet that I personally know who has Celiac is one of my cousins. Guess which side of my family he is from? He is my Grandma’s nephew (my grandma’s sister’s son).
Okay so this epiphany hit me, I continued to listen to everyone talk in the background as I pick up my phone to ask Google a question I never thought to ask….”is there a link between Parkinson’s Disease and Celiac”
My jaw drops as I read the title of the first article to pop up on my search: “The Potential Connection Between Parkinson’s and Celiac Disease”. I read the first paragraph: “…But what if those symptoms aren’t necessarily indicative of Parkinson’s after all? What if a simple diet change could improve or even eliminate those symptoms?”
I continue to read: “Listen in to understand how gluten can affect the neurological system,…””Why patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s, ALS and MS should get tested for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Every nerve in the body is insulated with Myelin. Myelin is made of fat. Gluten prevents the absorption of fats. Parkinson’s, ALS and MS are all demyelination syndromes.” www.glutenfreern.com
Okay so then I open the second article from my search, and it discusses how some people with Parkinson’s disease believe they might alleviate some of their symptoms by following a gluten free diet. Okay so this article is not necessarily mentioning a connection to Celiac but that following a gluten free diet may help these patients. The article also mentions that despite what you read online about the gluten free diet, unfortunately there is no medical evidence to back the theory that it might help with Parkinson’s disease.
Okay so at this moment, I knew I needed to do more research but I could not believe that there is talk about a possible connection between Parkinson’s and Celiac and talk that even though they have not confirmed a connection, that a gluten free diet may help those with Parkinson’s.
I immediately interrupted everyone talking and read excerpts of what I was reading. My parents and sister’s jaws were dropped. My mom said, “I think I should go get tested for Celiac.” I put my phone down and said with tears pillowing in my eyes, “Guys, this is exactly why I am unbelievably grateful for my diagnosis. I am so grateful that I found my answers; that I have my diagnosis and that I possibly prevented myself from other diseases, worse diseases. And THIS is why I started my blog, in hopes to help others.” And as God as my witness, along with the 4 other people there at that moment, fireworks set off in the sky right above us. We all threw our arms up cheering and clapping. The neighbors that set them off probably thought we were crazy, or maybe they just thought we liked their fireworks haha!
Guys, the goosebumps, the tears; that moment will hold dear to my heart.
I mean again, these are all huge theories and I HAVE to do more research but what if those fireworks at that very moment I read that Celiac could possibly be linked to Parkinson’s disease, could be God talking to us, talking to me? The universe showing me a sign that I am on the right path. And what if not? Maybe it was just one big coincidence. So what! I believe with all my heart that that was a moment in time that I was reminded that I am on the right path. That I am doing what I am meant to do. That I am right where I am meant to be, doing what I’m meant to be doing. We all are right where we’re supposed to be, when we’re supposed to be, doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We just have to embrace it, learn from it, understand it, grow from it and pay attention to it.
So, for me, I will embrace that “sign.” I will continue to bug my mom to get tested. And I will thank God for that sign and continue my research and continue on my health journey and continue on this path that has been set out for me.
Trust those signs. Trust your gut. Ask your doctor questions. Don’t give up. I’m certainly no doctor or therapist but I am always here for anyone who may have autoimmune symptoms they need help navigating.
2020 will be a year filled with more research and answers and I couldn’t be more excited to dive in and see what I find!!
“Never allow anyone to take away your sparkle. Be kind and laugh and love often.”