Parents… whose main role is to drive their children crazy! Well mine are about to leave the snowy Ohio lands for a warm southern visit here in Naples. This time they just happen to be bringing some extra baggage with them. As a dietitian in the health arena, I worry just a bit more than the average child about the health status of my parents. This baggage they are bringing along… well let’s see… my mom was just diagnosed with celiac disease and my dad is going to need to take a few notes from Wes to get his cholesterol back in line.
In my mom’s case, if you are going to get diagnosed with a disease in which the only treatment is to eliminate a food group from your diet, you might as well have a dietitian as a daughter… quite a perk :) In my dad’s case, if your blood work is trending in the wrong direction, you may wish you didn’t have such a nagging and knowledgeable daughter on your case!
I remember when I first learned about Celiac disease over 6 years ago, as a camp counselor at the Clara Barton Camp for girls with diabetes. These girls all had type 1 diabetes and therefore a higher prevalence of celiac disease was present among this population. Since then I have learn and read more on the disease and on gluten. It is still mind blowing that celiac disease showed up in my own family, my own mother! Since the confirmation of her diagnosis we have been talking frequently and she has been sending me many picture texts of foods she finds that are gluten free. Thankfully, as her dietitian daughter, I will get some “hands on” time over the next week and she can ask me as many questions as she needs.
Now I have already put my dad through a 3-day dietary recall, and made some tweaks to his normal day. He has also promised to cut out the junk and get his cardio in. From the sound of things he has been putting time in at the Y and following some of my recommendations (what a good father). I also introduced my parents to ground flax seed and they report a stock of veggie steamers in the freezer to complete every meal. We will just have to see how things go on vacation…
So, now all I want for Christmas is a healthy mom and a healthy dad so I don’t have to worry from so far away! Luckily, I will have them under my thumb for the next week and hopefully they will learn a thing or two… and still enjoy their visit!