Sunday, January 3, 2010

Crunchy Cheddar Christ!

My Episcopal parish has very kindly provided gluten-free communion wafers. I'm delighted, though a little leery about their sharing a plate with bread. But I went up to get one tonight, popped it into my mouth, and discovered that it was both very crunchy (unlike the paper-thin communion wafers), and cheddar-flavored! I think I looked decidedly irreverent at the wine station, and on getting back to my seat in the choir, ready to sing the anthem, I turned to my neighbor: "The gluten-free wafers are cheddar-flavored!" And she snorted, silently, in laughter.

I don't mind in the least. On the contrary, I don't think that organized religion finds enough instances for laughter; at least, not enough instances that aren't dependent on making fun of some other community with divergent/opposing beliefs.

In other news, I continue to be amazed, and horrified, at how many "symptoms" of celiac disease are disappearing. The scare quotes are there because I'd assumed that most of these symptoms were just aspects of who I am: someone who suffers from constantly painfully cold hands and joint pain, overactive bladder -- well, most of the symptoms listed on the sidebar here. I put down my mental fogginess to frustration/anxiety with the dissertation -- and it's not as though I had become a complete imbecile. It's just that it had become necessary, most days, to expend all my best energy and mental clarity in the 2-4 hours that I spent dealing with other people, meeting their needs. There were exceptions; days when I had more spoons than others. And days when I had less, too. But I wasn't keeping great track of what was going on, since I wasn't really thinking of myself as ill. It's only in hindsight that it becomes visible -- like today when I looked at my reusable handwarmers, and realized that I hadn't recharged them in a month, or felt it necessary to do so. Or when I steel myself against the urge to frenetically cruise through a bunch of websites that aren't really relevant to what I'm working on -- and then realize that the urge isn't actually there.

It's a little scary, and even writing about it here makes me worry that these, and other symptoms, will return, proving me wrong. But the clarity of my thought feels entirely different -- which is to say, present. I'd put my worries down to the worst case of impostor syndrome of my entire life. Now, it looks as though that may have been incorrect.

But: knock wood, and keep writing. It's too soon to do much more than that.

1 comment:

  1. This is so good to hear. And I am so amused by the notion of cheddar-flavored hosts! (and glad to hear that your parish is so adaptable)

    Politica could tell a similar tale about her lupus flares in the early years--symptoms just creep up and it's hard to see them except in hindsight. But should they return, you'll notice them differently, and react differently.

    Although of course I wish you smooth sailing with your new diet!