Anyone who's been following this blog knows that one year ago I stopped eating wheat due to an allergic reaction. I whined plenty about it. My mother doesn't eat wheat either, so eventually I accepted it, as one must when something runs in the family.
Later I thought about it a little more. My mom's been on and off wheat throughout her life, depending on how much stress she's been going through. Years have gone by when she's been able to tolerate it without obvious problems. Then something stressful will happen, and she'll be off it again. I wondered if I might be able to tolerate it again at some point.
So I tried. Very carefully. The first thing I did was to gently, fearfully, lick a cracker. Then I broke out in a cold sweat, worried that I might react.
I was fine.
The next step was to eat a crumb. I use the word "crumb" only because it was not possible for me to isolate one single molecule of wheat from a cookie. This crumb was so small that it was almost invisible. Smaller than a grain of sand. I swallowed it with trepidation. And I was fine.
I moved up to a crumb equal in size to a grain of sand. Then a crumb big enough to chew. Then an actual bite. A quarter of a pretzel. A half. A whole. Two. Four. Eight. No problem. I can eat wheat!
I still feel kind of anxious around wheat. I did all this experimenting stretched over the past two months, always timing my doses carefully to make sure I'd be at home, and not alone, if a reaction hit. This weekend was the first time I ate wheat outside of my own house. An eggroll - man it was good! And yesterday I ate chocolate cake for the first time in a whole year. I can't even tell you how fantastic it tasted.
I don't know how long it will last, but I swear I'll never take wheat for granted again.