Biopsy time

I’ve been mulling this post over in my head for weeks. How to approach it. How I feel about it. What words to put to it.

Tomorrow, after a 10 plus year odyssey of gluten free and not, I’m finally having a biopsy done to see whether I have celiac disease.

I finally convinced my primary care physician a few months ago to send me for genetic testing. Why they’d be willing to pay for genetic testing but not a biopsy is beyond me. So off I went. I won’t say that the genetic counselor was incredibly helpful, but I had to get her approval to get tested for the genes associated with celiac.

Lo and behold, I carry the DQ8 gene (though they couldn’t tell me if I had one copy or two). This is the rarer of the two genes associated with celiac disease, but one that is also associated with type I diabetes. Fits into my family tree quite nicely (my dad is a diagnosed celiac and I have a first cousin on his side with type I diabetes).

With that information in hand, I was finally able to get approved for a biopsy. And I can’t tell you that it hasn’t come at a better time. Eating gluten for a year and a half now has been WONDERFUL. It just makes life easier. But symptoms have returned, and they aren’t pleasant. Today I don’t have the wonder of why I feel like I’m being choked from the inside. I know it’s severe acid reflux that medication won’t touch. And while my stomach hasn’t returned to what it used to be over 10 years ago, things are still not normal. And it’s annoying. I don’t want to live my life feeling this way. But I also don’t want to wonder what’s wrong with me.

So tomorrow at 9:40 am, I’ll get general anesthesia for the fifth time in my life. And hopefully soon I’ll know if I really do have celiac disease. What that diagnosis could mean for me is something I’m still thinking about.