Saturday, February 19, 2005

A new wrinkle

A while back, when I was sick, I went to the doctor for a physical that had been already scheduled. Naturally, we spent some time talking about the fact that I'm trying to get pregnant. My doc talked about allergies getting more pronounced in pregnancy, and asked me about the allergy history in my family. My parents both have a number of food allergies, and my mom suspects she has celiac disease, which is not an allergy at all but rather an autoimmune disease in which wheat gluten -- the crucial ingredient in bread, pasta, beer and any number of other essential foods -- does bad, bad things to your intestines. So, my doc said, what the heck, we're drawing blood anyway; why don't we test you for celiac?

I didn't think much of it. Then, at the end of the week, I got a message on my voicemail at work, saying my appointment with the gastroenterologist was all set up. I had no idea what the hell they were talking about; turns out they'd left the message about the test results -- above normal on the celiac antibody -- on my home machine, then called work about the referral. So I freaked out: Can you imagine life without pasta and beer? I can not. I checked out the celiac diet and panicked. Then I decided I'd just have to eat meat, cheese and wine for the rest of my life (though I think cheese is suspect). Then I put it out of my mind for a while.

Yesterday morning I finally went to the gastroenterologist. I have no symptoms -- celiac disease can cause all kinds of miserable GI issues that I will not describe -- but neither do 50% of people who have it. So in order to make a definitive diagnosis, in two weeks they are going to knock me out, shove a probe down my throat and take samples from my large intestine. And, the doc added, it's important to find out the answer, because people with celiac often have trouble conceiving and/or carrying a child.

The reason he even brought this up is that yesterday we thought there was a pretty good chance that I was pregnant. It was too soon to test, but it was looking good according to the temperatures, especially as compared to my typical temp post-ovulation. And we know that this is the first month we've really timed everything right.

Then, this morning, the temperature plummeted.

So you know what I'm thinking, right? Not only do I probably have this stupid disease in which I feel absolutely fine but I'm not allowed to eat pasta, AND it's probably causing me to not get pregnant.

I know this is absurd, since there's no real evidence of anything. But it's hard not to think about. The one bright spot is that we are having a party tonight. I am not supposed to change my diet before the endoscopy, which means I am clear for beer, bread, etc. And since I am most likely not pregnant, I can drink as ridiculously much of it as I like. So there.