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Image0181This post is a personal reflection on where I am today.

I’ve had to reintegrate gluten into my diet.  Next week, I will be having a endoscopy and colonoscopy in order to check on my gastrointestinal system.

Since Ash Wednesday, I have gone (pretty much) gluten-free.  I can’t say that I didn’t sneak the occasional bite or two of a cookie, but I didn’t scarf down entire cookies, plates of pasta or cupcakes (unless they were gluten-free, of course).

The requirements for the tests include integrating gluten as part of my diet for two or three weeks.  As a silver lining, I’ve enjoyed some of my pre-Ash Wednesday foods.

The downside has been greater.

My stomach has been enduring more issues.  While it hasn’t been quite as bad as I had anticipated, I still pace my gluten eating to times of the day in which I have no other engagements.

The bigger problem is the pain the gluten has caused my body.  Am I 100% sure that it’s the gluten that has brought about these joints and muscle aches?  No.  But it has gotten much worse since bringing back gluten-filled foods.  My rib joints have ached to the point where I had to go to the emergency room on Friday because of scary chest pains.  Since then, my back pain has been excruciating and my joints and muscles have hurt all over my body.  On Labor Day, I rested on the couch all day because of the pain.

I pray all who are close to me will understand that this is probably triggered by the food I’m eating.  I keep pushing myself to complete the tasks I need to complete, but I come home with so very little energy.  My mind is going through some fog.  My hope is that my body and clarity of mind will return when the gluten is purged from my diet, and I believe it will return once the effects of gluten have left my body.

So here I am, pleading with all that I know for grace and mercy until I am able to return to my regular eating habits.  Then I can return to the friend, family member and pastor that I have been and can be.

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