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The Gluten-Free-Free Void

We learned last week that Muffin does not have celiac disease. She has been gluten-free her whole life as a precaution. My brother and I both have celiac disease but neither of us exhibited symptoms and were diagnosed until we were in our twenties. Genetically there was a very good chance the same would be for Muffin. While living in India we could not get Muffin tested accurately; conversations with pediatricians and nutritionists showed that they didn't even know what I was talking about when I said, "gluten free." Once we were back in the United States for good, I made an appointment with her American pediatrician who made arrangements for Muffin's blood screening. She ate gluten for two weeks and never exhibited any symptoms. Three different screenings were performed and not a single antibody was present in any of them, so her pediatrician is confident she doesn't have celiac disease.

I'm relieved that she doesn't have celiac disease. It makes school, parties, and all other times out of the house so much easier. But there's also a void. (I know, another void; see yesterday's post.) I've spent so much time over the last three years worrying about Muffin's diet as well as my own but I hadn't realized it until I suddenly only had to worry about myself again. I've sort of lost my enthusiasm for gluten-free cooking now that I no longer have to nourish a child with it. I don't have to prove that gluten-free alternatives are just as tasty as their glutenous counterparts. She can just eat the gluten foods with Mike now. I feel like I can get by with mediocre food, or just skip most treats altogether, since it's now only me who needs to eat gluten free. I wasn't expecting to feel this way.

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