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I’ve been mising in action for a while.  I wasn’t feeling good, with pains in my belly and severe nausea.  I had several tests, and they came back normal.  My Dr. took the attitude that I was a hypochondriac and told me to eat Tums.  When I started losing weight at a pretty fast pace he ordered a CT  scan.  It showed enlarged lymph nodes in my belly.

He said it showed that something was going on…and maybe I should find a GI specialist?  I did.  A slew of blood tests, a stomach emptying study, and then a endoscopy gave us answers.  There was severe damage to my small intestine.  Several samples were taken for biopsy, and a diagnosis of Celiac Sprue was given.

Celiac Sprue is a severe “allergy’ to gluten, which triggers the immune system to attack the intestines.  It eats away the villi that absorb nutrients from the food one eats.  Mine are gone.  As a result I’ve been experiencing side effects of vitamin deficiencies, and malnutrition.  The treatment is to NEVER consume even trace amounts of gluten, which appears in almost all prepackaged foods and fast foods.  It hides in ingredient lists with the alias of modified food starch, dextrose,vegetable gum, stabilizer, emulsifier, flavoring, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, malt, maltidextrose,vegetable protein..and on and on.  I will get an IV treatment that will replenish what my system is lacking.  The villi should regrow, but it will take time.

It’s hard to get a diagnosis of Celiac disease because the symptoms vary from person to person.  Most people go through years of misdiagnosis, and suffer damage as a result.  Left untreated it can lead to intestinal lymphoma.  In my case the specialist thought I might be headed down that road.  She ordered a repeat of the CT scan to see if there was any change.  I’m happy to say I got a call late on Friday telling me my scan looked better! 

My friend Martha, of Q is for Quilter sent me a surprise package to lift my spirits.

blocksfrommartha002-1-8937089The vintage blocks are beautifully hand embroidered and she sent a piece of vintage fabric to use with them.  Such an unexpected, generous gift.  I’m not feeling up to par yet, so it will be a while until I get into working with them, but they’re just beautiful!

frompratima001-1-9295356Pratima from Peeps At The Peepal Tree sent me some beautiful hand printed fabric scraps left over from the quilt she made from them.  She tells a bit about the printing process on her blog.  They’re from Northern India.

She packaged the fabrics in a beautiful handmade drawstring bag with “Banjara work”, which is little mirrors held in place by needlework.  The Banjara tribe is famous for this type of work and it it’s commonly called Banjara.  I have a couple of long, full skirts with this same decoration on them and I love to wear them in the Summer.  I have such a fondness for things that are handmade.  Her generous gift was deeply touching.

She also sent a couple of Sandle Wood sachets in a cute little draw string bag.  These smell just heavenly!

I have a couple of the wood blocks used for fabric printing.  They’re hand carved.  It’s such s treat to have some of the hand printed fabrics! 

frompratima005-1-1062833

I’ve been spending a lot of time online reasearching info for dealing with this new challenge in my life, so haven’t been visiting the blogs I usually do… or  only visit sporadically.  Hopefully, as I start to heal  I’ll be feeling better and have more energy for the things that feed my soul?