anna says stuff

A Story of Working and Gluten and Illness and Importance

So, I’ve had a full time job for about 7 weeks now, give a bit. 

A week and a half into training I was supposed to start my period. I didn’t. I thought it was just stress. 
Jump ahead a bit and I have the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. I am exhausted again, all the time, I am constantly feeling on the verge of panic, and I skip another period. (Let’s be clear, I am not sexually active, pregnancy is not a possibility.) 

I’m still thinking I’m just stressed. 

Rewind a little bit. When I started my job I weighed 103 pounds. 
This is really REALLY important information. Backstory: I have been about 98 pounds for the last several years of my life. I’m 5′2″. So 98 pounds is not the worst thing ever, but it’s not ideal. I should be about 105-110. 
I have celiac disease. An autoimmune disease where I can’t have gluten, or anti-bodies are created that damage the villi  in my intestines. Villi are how we absorb nutrition in the intestines. 

Anyway, my getting to 103 pounds was a REALLY BIG DEAL. I was doing SO well. I was feeling better, I had more energy, I was sleeping better, I was feeling. So. Damn. Good. 

Now, just a few weeks later, everything is going downhill.

I finally weighed myself. 
88 pounds. 

I realized it couldn’t just be stress. I had lost 15 pounds in such a short time and I was dizzy, panicked, stressed, weak, my stomach hurt when I ate, my stomach hurt when I didn’t eat. I was nauseous and I could barely get food down without wanting to vomit. 

I had to fight to get some time off to recover. I had to hint at a law suit. I would have pulled out a flat out law suit if my doctors note and the hint hadn’t worked. My company doesn’t take doctors notes. 

I discovered I’d been touching the surfaces in the break room at work, where gluten molecules were, and I was touching my own lunch and eating it. 
Molecules. Microscopic bits of gluten did this to me. 

It’s been 6 days since I went to the doctor. I’ve been living off of ensure and eating when I can. I can eat now without pain which is so good. 
I’ve gained about 3 pounds back. Last time I weighed myself I was 91.8 pounds. 


The reason I tell you all this, is because this is massively important to me. 
Gluten Free diets are seen as a fad and a trend and for some people they are. 
There are several problems with this. 
The lesser is that going gluten free when you don’t need to be gluten free is very bad for you. You can develop an allergy to gluten and gluten free diets won’t help you lose weight. Don’t do it if you don’t need to. 

Second, and more importantly, the view on gluten free diets being a fad is life threatening to people like me. 
Because people don’t take this seriously. If you told someone at a restaurant that you had a peanut allergy you can bet your ass they’d listen and be SO careful because they know peanuts could kill someone. 

But my disease is less visible. I don’t go into anaphylactic shock. I don’t need an EPI pen. Instead I start dying slowly without even realizing it myself. 
I was on the verge of wasting away and trying to tell myself that it was just stress. 

If I had lost 5-10 more pounds I could have ended up in the hospital on a feeding tube. 

And people don’t take me seriously.

I can eat out very few places. I’m going to use Costa Vida as an example here because I eat there more than anywhere else. 

Costa Vida advertises gluten free. Most of their food is gluten free. And for the most part they do a really good job. BUT I STILL HAVE TO WATCH THEM LIKE A HAWK. 
Because if any of my food so much as touches any surface that’s had gluten on it, it will make me sick. 
One of the workers used tongs to get my nachos off the oven and touched my chips with the tongs. I made them start over. 
One of the workers dropped one of my chips onto the tray with the flour tortillas. I made him start over. One of the workers used the spatula that was used for the flour tortilla tacos on my corn tacos. I made them start over. 


And the reaction I get every time is usually irritation. I don’t let this get to me. I make them do it and I tell them what for if I have to. Because I’m not going to let my disease stop me from eating out and enjoying food I love. 

One guy told me I was hard to please when I made him start over. I told him I didn’t want to die. He looked slightly alarmed and said fair enough. But he was still annoyed. 

Point: If you have celiac friends or celiac coworkers or celiac family, listen to them. Help them watch for mistakes when you go out to eat with them. Don’t be annoyed with them when they can’t eat where you want to eat. 
Help them stand up for themselves when the people preparing their food are assholes. 

I got very sick people. I’m very very sick right now. I’m getting better, but I am very very sick. This is so important. Be aware. Stop making fun of gluten free people (unless they’re not celiac or not allergic and they’re doing fad diets. Then please tell them they’re doing themselves a disservice by not eating gluten.) 

I have to go back to work on Saturday. I cannot eat in the break room at work. It’s not safe. Period. I will have to go eat in my car. 
And no one there gives a shit. 

I’m going to look for a different job. I’ve been massively unimpressed by the way I’ve been treated. And I’m not super thrilled about the job or the location anyways. I want to be able to work. I want to be there and do my job. But I also don’t want to be treated like a criminal when I get sick. (Like, seriously. You don’t take doctors notes for emergencies? What is this?) 
This disease is not going to stop me as long as I can eat safely. I am capable of holding a full time job and being at work and doing my work. But I’d like to do that in a place that’s going to help me stay healthy and respect me enough to work with me and not treat me like a lying child. 

So wish me luck! Be kind to your gluten free friends, stick up for them, and send me some good get healthy and find a better job vibes. 



  • steve rogers:[can't find bucky in a crowd] where the hell is my bucky
  • steve rogers:this calls for desperate measures. *takes deep breath* CAPTAIN AMERICA IS A USELESS WIMP!
  • bucky:whatcha say about *my steve*?!?? [ninja-ing his way through the crowd] COME AND SAY THAT TO MY FACE
  • steve:found hi- wait what

Here it is! I was slow to get it scanned and such. I’ve been preparing for starting a full time job (on Monday! I start on Monday) and as such I’ve had to start revamping my sleep schedule and I’m EXHAUSTED. On top of that I’ve been helping my mom around the house with some things I’ll have less time to do once I start work. 

ANYWAYS! 
Story time. 
Salt Lake City FanX 2016. 

I’m sure you can find panel videos on youtube and such, of Alex and Matt and Sylvester McCoy and also Peter Davison! 
It was so wonderful, seeing all of them. Sylvester is hilarious! Peter is taller than he looks on TV. Oh my gosh it was all so fun. 

Autograph signings had certain times. So  met Alex on Friday and Matt on Saturday. 
We were lucky and got to meet Alex when the line wasn’t terribly long. 
I was dressed as the Eleventh Doctor so when she saw me (and oh my gosh people, she’s so gorgeous in person. You think she’s gorgeous on tv and then you see her in person and she just glows.) Anyway! When she saw me, dressed in my costume, she leaned over her table, huge grin on her face, and said, “Hello husband!” And the she said, “Or should I say, Hello Sweetie!” 
When I slid the drawing to her to sign she asked if I was going to have Matt sign it too and when I said yes she started contemplating it and said, “Oh he’ll sign right here so I’ll do it up here. Sure enough …!
I handed her the print of it I’d made for her and she asked if I’d drawn it and when I said yes she said, “Oh it’s lovely!” She got really excited and showed me another print someone else had given her. (Haha @codenamedoctordamsel )  And then she asked me if I was going to keep drawing and doing art and I said, “Oh yes, it’s my passion.” And she said, “That’s how it should it be.” 
And the whole conversation, short though it was, made me so happy. Alex Kingston said my art was lovely. She was so sincere and so kind and so genuine and it was a really wonderful moment. 

Meeting Matt. 
People. Matt is … so goofy. We had to wait in a line for an hour and a half to meet him. HOWEVER, the line was in a very small space and it snaked so we got to be about 3 feet away from him 3 times while waiting in this line. And watching him talk to people and his mannerisms. He had a huge grin on his face the entire time and he was so happy with his flailing arms and his waving is so funny. 
His smile is so huge. It’s so contagious. 
While my sister and I and my friend were waiting we played go-fish in line. Yes, we played go-fish while standing in line. With Firefly playing cards!
At one point when were were near Matt and playing, I was facing him, and he picked up a bottle of water and took a drink and looked right at me and I totally forgot what was going on. Hahaha! 
I was like, “Um, what? Matt just looked right at me? Who’s turn is it?” 
When I met him he said, “Hello Doctor!” And I said, “Hello!” 
And he decided he was going to sign the drawing in gold as well since that’s what Alex had done. And I handed him the print for him and he said, “Oh you drew it? It’s very good!” With his huge grin and his whole skinny adorableness. 
I thanked him and had to move along. But I waited a bit nearby to wait for my friend and I looked at my drawing and laughed when I realized he’d written “cool drawing.” COOL DRAWING! DRAWINGS ARE COOL! 

The whole experience was FANTASTIC. I’m really glad I did it, and I’m grateful for my mom supporting me and loaning me the money I needed. :) 

After I get paid (omg I have a job!) I’m going to get the drawing custom framed. 

And now I should go eat breakfast! (At 11:11 … haha!) 
<3 you all. 


-Anna

I just always feel so happy when I show someone twenty one pilots and they fall in love with them like I do. Like spreading the word about them is just so beautiful because they mean so much, and have helped me in so many ways. I’m just glad I can show others about them too, and maybe twenty one pilots will help them like they helped me.

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHETHER TO GO SEE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY OR NOT… WELL I AM HERE TO TELL YOU TO FCKING SEE IT  BECAUSE WITHOUT SPOILING ANYTHING IT WAS PURELY AMAZING OK. I LOVED IT. EVERYONE IN THE THEATRE LOVED IT. SOME PEOPLE EVEN CLAPPED AT THE END. IT WAS SO BREATHTAKING AND FUNNY AND FULL OF ACTION AND SMART AND SURPRISING. LIKE VERY SURPRISING IN THE MOST WONDERFUL WAYS THAT I’M STILL RECOVERING FROM THE AWESOMENESS

OKAY SO I MET ALEX KINGSTON TODAY AND SHE SAID MY ART WAS LOVELY AND SHE SAID HELLO SWEETIE TO MY FACE AND SHE IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND ALSO I GOT A CALL BACK FROM YOUNG LIVING FOR A SECOND INTERVIEW AND I SAW MATT SMITH DO THE DRUNK GIRAFFE IN PERSON AND IT’S BEEN A REALLY GOOD DAY. AND TOMORROW I GET TO MEET MATT AND HAVE HIM SIGN THE SAME PIECE ALEX SIGNED AND OMG.