Sorry, I'm Not Sorry For My Gluten Allergy

Sorry, I'm Not Sorry For My Gluten Allergy

I did not choose this life, so stop judging me for it.

"Since when haven't you been able to eat gluten?"

The answer to that question is a long story. A story that dives deep into my long medical history and honestly is not that interesting or fun for me to tell. The short story is I spent 20 years being able to eat whatever I wanted until I got really sick. The only thing that helped, after a series of elimination diets, was cutting out gluten completely from my diet.

I'm writing this as I lay sick in bed, regretting the pita chips I ate a week ago not realizing that the first ingredient in them is whole wheat flour. Having a food allergy is inconvenient for myself and the people around me, but I will never feel sorry for it.

All of the inconveniences are nothing compared to the way I feel right now because I accidentally ate gluten.

Sorry, not sorry, but I need accommodations for my allergy when I go out to eat. I can't just never go out! I have to miss out on birthday and graduation dinners because of my allergy? I don't think so.

Sorry, not sorry, but I can't just eat around gluten-containing food. And I really would appreciate if you changed your gloves before you prepare my meal. Don't worry, I'll tip extra for the inconvenience.

Sorry, not sorry, but I'm going to have to read the ingredients first. Gluten is in more than just bread and goes by multiple names. Unless it's certified gluten-free, I'm going to have to do some research.

Sorry, not sorry, but I'm tired of having a salad as the gluten-free option. I don't hate salad, but I really don't want to be eating salad every day. Salads can even be a risk since some dressings actually contain gluten.

Sorry, not sorry, but I'm not doing this for attention. You really think I would give up bread, cookies, donuts and Mike's Hard for attention? You must not know me at all.

Sorry, not sorry, but I'm also not doing this for sympathy. Please do not feel bad for me. Do I miss bread, cookies, donuts and Mike's Hard? You bet I do. But I've learned I actually don't need these things to live a fulfilling life. I would much rather give up these treats for the rest of my life than be sick all the time.

Living life with a food allergy is just my normal life now, and I refuse to feel the need to apologize or feel bad for it. Like anyone else living with an allergy or chronic condition, I will take the necessary precautions to keep myself alive and well, regardless of how "inconvenient" it is.

I just need everyone else to stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.

It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.


Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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