Chloe's Story

My youngest daughter Chloe has always been on the smaller side, but she was healthy and growing, and would happily take on her older brother in a wrestling match any day.

In the late fall of 2019, Chloe began to contract one illness after another. It was reminiscent of the preschool days where kids seem to get every virus imaginable. She had an ear infection, viral infections, bronchitis – you name it. She seemed to have not gained any weight in months and her eating was more erratic than ever.

Finally, in March I took her back to the pediatrician and asked for a celiac test. I told him I had celiac and as a child, her symptoms seemed to suggest she did too. He ran a celiac blood test, along with a few other tests and food allergy testing. One week before the world went into Covid quarantine, her results came back positive with a dairy and egg allergy as well. And her weight was well below where it should be.

About 6 weeks later, we had an appointment with the (most amazing) pediatric gastroenterologist, and she said Chloe should continue to eat gluten until her endoscopy. I had very mixed feelings about this. I knew how sick gluten was making her, how could I knowingly give her gluten? The gastro said a cracker a day or even cross contamination was ok. Of course, with everything now on lockdown, we had to wait for the endoscopy. The silver lining was Chloe was at home so we could monitor her food intake and talk a lot about gluten and reading labels. We made a shelf for her in the pantry and bought a new toaster for her gluten free waffles and bread.

Finally, the day came for her scope. Chloe was 9 and so brave. I was allowed to be with her until they wheeled her back, so we spent time taking funny selfies and laughing at the hospital socks that went up to her thighs. The fantastic Gastro doctor saw damage in Chloe’s intestines and knew her biopsy would prove what we already knew. So we started on the celiac diet path with the more immediate goals of healing her villi and gaining weight.

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