Listers: Literary Resource -- Read It and [Don't] Weep

All sorts of resources abound now for Celiac Disease.  But one thing that may have been lacking has been a quality library of literature.  I don't mean merely medical write-ups and what-not. I mean literature: personal stories, wordsmithing explorations of or from those with celiac, or those directly involved in the treatment of it.

Oy, sure, there has been heaps of faster and not-so-fadster fiddlings bouncing round ideas about the gluten-free diet. (For ex.: Wheat Belly.)

But I love to read. It's personal commitment and concrete experience that make a story. And it is stories that form and heal the emotional and interpersonal aspect of a disease such as celiac because it is stories that bypass the nitpick-knowing of the analytical mind, and yet integrate it with the intuitive and emotional.

Anyhow, I have had the privilege of reading two fairly new additions to the bibliosphere, one by my fellow blogger and advocate, Erica Dermer (Celiac and the Beast Blog); and one by the leading medical expert on Celiac, Dr. Alessio Fassano.

It is Monday, however; and thus, a literary-listers day.

Top reads if you're looking for down-to-earth honesty, the nitty-gritty personal story, cutting-edge medical advice, humor, and words-worth-waking-up-for?

Try these.


Gluten Freedom by Dr. Alessio Fassano

From title page to end-notes, Fassano hits it all on Celiac Disease, keeping a conversational tone that never talks down, and yet still manages to include a depth of medical and biological detail. Gluten Freedom is beautifully balanced between the facts and the people. And Fassano's experience treating those with Celiac branches back to nearly to the fabled "banana diet". Less literary, more informational, but full of the concrete experiences, gluten-free living strategies, and necessary community that make a good book and a superb celiac resource.


Celiac and the Beast by Erica Dermer

Straight-talk celiac hit-the-pavement practical --  Erica's honesty is matched by well-organized, exhaustive touch on every possible aspect of the autoimmune disease, from symptoms to diagnosis to living safely and functionally diagnosed. Better yet, she doesn't "talk" or "write" about it: she does life with this disease, and then let's the reader experience it with her. If that's not teaching-by-example, I don't know what is.


No More Cupcakes and Tummy Aches by Jax Peters Lowell

Children's story with heart and literary lilt: A great example of "tumbling free" as opposed to crashing like a rock, and learning the gentle tactics that let us roll gracefully with jolts such as an autoimmune disease. Read it to yourself. Read it to your kids. Read it to your preschoolers. (Oy, I did for my class's story time.)


Gluten Free Girl by Shauna James Ahern

Memoir from some years ago.  I felt a bit overwhelmed by it at times, but then, I read it directly in the aftermath of my own diagnosis, and was trying to download the bloody-whole-world-of-info-on-celiac at the time into my brain so that I would be TOTALLY SAFE and in control.  'Tis a literary blend, and keenly felt exploration of the feelings and emotions that go along with an unplanned revolution in one's eating. 


If you're a bit like me, and get heaps out of good words, good stories, and a muddle of excellent medical and experiential information and strategies in between, try out those tops.  Read 'em and don't weep!  You may not get to a conference or a support group, but learning self-care and self-sufficiency after diagnosis is never something anyone needs to do alone.

Sometimes, a book is enough. Another voice, saying I've been there, and this is how it worked.

TUMBLE REALLY FREE
-- Celiacs CJ and Erica
with the book
And if you need a good laugh, the permission to be bloody top-blown angry, definitely read Celiac and the Beast.   Erica's hits all the notes, high to low, down-to-earth, been-there-done-that-it's-okay. With a sense of humor. Yes. That's bloody not easy!


Note: If you're looking for cooking strategies, not emotional and social support or a narrative read, check out Pam's (Imaceliac.com) Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes and Tiffany (GFMomCertified) Cookbook

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