The Journey to My Celiac Diagnosis

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a great week so far. I got my official biopsy results and diagnosis today, so I figured I would sit down and write a blog post about my journey.

For about 2 years now, I’ve been experiencing a lot of new health problems, from migraines and alternating constipation and diarrhea to even these weird bumps on my upper arms. Now I cannot prove that all of these things were caused by Celiac Disease, but it is definitely possible that they are. I’m really just going to focus on the GI symptoms that I’ve seen over the past few years.

I’ve experienced a lot of bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, gas, and severe abdominal cramps and pains. Along with that, if I had a really fatty meal, my stool would turn a yellowish color. Honestly, I’ve been so busy that I wasn’t concerned with getting it checked out because I self-diagnosed it as alternating IBS. However, it appears that ignoring the problem for 2 years did way more damage than it did good (duh!).

Honestly though, I was never really able to find a trigger food. At least not that I could tell. Part of that is probably because gluten was in almost every meal that I consumed. Finally, I decided that I had enough and decided to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist.

Flash forward to early December, I met virtually with a gastroenterology PA, who recommended that I get a celiac panel and an inflammatory marker panel drawn from my blood and return a stool sample for testing.

The celiac panel (IgA and Tissue Transglutaminase IgA) was positive and so was the inflammatory marker panel (CRP and ESR). That was the first clue that I had something inflammatory going on and that specifically, it had something to do with gluten.

Moving on to my stool sample, they were measuring inflammation in my bowels by looking at the calprotectin level in the stool. This level for me was slightly elevated (upper limit of normal), but not concerning to my provider. Therefore, I likely do not have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We decided to then move forward with an upper endoscopy to confirm suspicions of Celiac Disease.

Prepping for that procedure was pretty painless. Luckily, I was able to get in to have that procedure done about a week after I found out the results of my bloodwork. So on December 17th, I went in to the gastroenterology clinic to have my procedure.

Of course, I had to go in 3 days ahead of time to get a pre-procedure COVID test, which was negative. I was instructed to continue to eat gluten in my diet from the time of positive celiac panel results to the time of the endoscopy. This was to make sure that everything was inflamed and that it was pretty clear whether or not I had Celiac Disease.

I got there an hour before the scheduled surgery time, and I had to go through the pre-operation paperwork and prepare my IV for analgesia drug delivery. The endoscopy was pretty quick and painless. It lasted ~15 minutes and the only pain I really had afterwards was a minor sore throat and bruising at the site of IV insertion. They looked around the first part of my small intestines and took 4-6 samples to biopsy. Anywho, the surgeon told us after the procedure (in the hour of post-surgical waiting) that my small intestines (specifically the duodenum) were very inflamed and had damage consistent with Celiac Disease, but that I would get the biopsy results in 10-14 days to confirm.

The surgeon recommended that I go ahead and start eating Gluten-Free because even if I don’t have Celiac Disease, I have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

Six days after the surgery, I got the results of my biopsies and they confirmed that I do in fact have Celiac Disease and must adhere to a 100% Gluten-Free diet. Luckily, I had already been living the Gluten-Free lifestyle for almost a week at this point.

Now that I’m a diagnosed Celiac, I can start my new journey to becoming healthier and get to feeling better.

I just want to say how thankful I’ve been for all of the support I’ve had in just the past week. I know I’ll continue to receive support, and I’ll be here to help anyone else that is trying to go Gluten-Free.

Even though I would rather not have this diagnosis, I’m planning to use it as a tool to help others who need someone to talk to.

Stay Golden,


To My Love,

Hi, it’s me. The girl who fell madly in love with you. Truth is, we’ve known each other and been best friends for over three years now, so it shouldn’t surprise me how quickly it happened, but it does.

You were truly a blessing in disguise. Three years ago, you helped me to get over my ex, who honestly broke me to the point that I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know if I could ever love or be loved again. And by “help me get over him”, I don’t mean in the way a boyfriend would. I just mean that you were a friend to me when I needed it the most and you showed me just by being you and my friend that there were still good guys in the world. It was so easy for me to fall in love with you. You made it simple.

I’m writing this because I really want you to know how much you mean to me.

You mean the world to me. I hope I never let you forget it. I used to be the kind of girl that got anxious when I didn’t hear from my boyfriend for a while. I used to worry that he was out with another girl because that’s what I was used to. I can honestly say that being with you, I’ve felt more loved and less anxious than I ever have before. I’m able to trust that you aren’t going to do anything to hurt me. It’s an amazing feeling.

I appreciate you. I appreciate everything that you’ve done for me so far. I appreciate you just being here for me. I appreciate you supporting me in everything that I do.

I’m incredibly blessed to have you in my life.

You are so handsome. Every time I look at you, it makes me smile. Heck, you ALWAYS know how to make me smile/laugh even when I’m in a bad mood.

I have a really good feeling about us and the future. Thank you for allowing me to be a big part of your life.

You are so perfect for me… it’s honestly crazy. We complement each other so well. I lack a little in the common sense department and you help me with that. You help me grow as a person, and I think I can say the same thing about my influence on you. I’m so glad I can be myself around you.

I’m so proud of you. You’re an amazing teacher, and I can tell that you love what you do. I know that you are gonna do such great things with your life, and I can’t wait to be with you every step of the way.

Never stop being you.

Stay Golden.



Why Pharmacy?

Everyone thinks that I am crazy because I have wanted to be a pharmacist since I was in the 5th grade, but I have.

Everyone wonders how I came up with that as a career that early in life. How does a 12-year-old want to become a pharmacist? Why would you want to count pills all day? How does that sound appealing?

The truth is, I didn’t make the decision by myself. Honestly, it has always felt like God was leading me in this direction my whole life. All of the pieces of the puzzle have consistently been falling into place.

I have always looked up to my cousin, Laura, who is an amazing pharmacist. Growing up, I saw how much she was able to help her patients. I saw the passion that she had for helping the community, and I wanted that. My dad was always reminding me how much my study habits and personality reminded him of Laura, and that was another reason I felt like I would be perfect for the job.

Some people go through pharmacy school because they know that pharmacists can make a 6-figure salary, but that was never it for me. I am truly passionate about being able to help patients become the healthiest that they can be.

My end goal is to own my own independent pharmacy where I will be able to treat patients how I see fit without the oversight from a corporation. I want to host educational classes for patients and their families to be able to learn about their disease and how to best manage it with lifestyle modifications, not just medication. I want to get patients to their healthiest while making sure they are on the appropriate therapies and they are able to get taken off of therapies that are not working for them or are unnecessary.

I am constantly told that this is a pipe dream and that independent pharmacies are going out of business, but I truly believe that once patients see how I’m willing to treat them, they’ll be excited to start their healthcare journey with me and my team.

I am willing to do whatever it takes to get to this goal because I know that God has called me to this career and to make the community a better place for everyone in it.

No matter how big or small your dream is, it will succeed if it is what you are truly called to do.

Never forget to dream and to shoot for the stars.

Stay Golden,


Is It Worth It?

Bottom line, your peace is too expensive to be bought out by the ways of this world.

Just as a for instance, I recently found myself consumed in social media and all that came with it. How many likes did I get on my post? I followed them but why didn’t they follow me back? Am I weird? Am I annoying? Does no one care about me and what I have to say? They liked what someone else posted, why didn’t they like what I posted? Why would they put that on social media for the whole world to see?

I literally was allowing the voice of the enemy to come through and use social media as a tool against me. Against my happiness, and against my peace.

No, social media isn’t of the Devil, but it is of this world. And if I am allowing it to affect my joy, my peace, and my happiness, then it most certainly is a tool that he has used to try and tear me down. And the enemy is so good at finding tools that we use every single day to tear us down and make us feel worthless.

Wanting to feel accepted by everyone is a heavy burden to carry sometimes.

But it’s when you realize who you are in Christ that changes the game.

I turned up my praise and worship music to drown out the enemy. And after a long day of hearing the enemy’s voice, of allowing him to use multiple tools I had in my every day life, and of feeling beaten down, I allowed the Holy Spirit to enter in to all of those places that I felt weren’t good enough.

If what you are feeling about yourself doesn’t line up with the word of God and who HE says that you are, it is a lie from the enemy. Period. His words do not waver and He will never change His mind.

As daughters of the living God, we are not of this world. Therefore, the ways of this world cannot be used against us. Any weapon formed against us cannot and will not prosper.

If it costs you your peace, if it costs you your happiness, and if it costs you your joy, then it isn’t worth it. Cut it out, throw it away, take a break from it. And allow the voices of the enemy to be drowned out and stomped out by the true, pure, wonderful love of God and the truths and promises and amazing gifts that He has for you. Then, allow His love to transform you.

Stay Strong and Stay Golden



When You Think That God is Not Here

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good, Godly people? Have you been wondering where God is when all of the terrible things have been happening in the United States right now and over the past decade… hell… over the whole existence of the US? How could God be present in this country… in some of these people? Why does He make me go through the struggle of finding my soulmate and all the people I’ve had to deal with to get there?

There isn’t one right answer.

Nobody truly knows why bad things happen to good people, but you’ve got to take a faith-based approach to it if you’re wondering why God is not present. The thing is… He is.

Sometimes pain awakens us to God. The painful experiences that we go through can help us become closer to God or to be good people in general. Think of all of the horrible things that have happened in the United States. God has brought good out of the rubble. When hurricanes and tornadoes wipe out entire cities, people from all over get up the courage to go help out. When 9/11 happened, it increased our security and love poured out from all over the country and all over the world.

Evil is a choice. God is all-knowing, but he gives us the power to make our own choices. Some people choose to give into the evil, but to be honest, ALL sin is evil. Even the most righteous of people are subject to evil and sin on a daily basis. You have a choice whether or not to do the right thing and for a lot of us… that is a hard thing to do.

God will not give you more than you can handle. Everything you go through is a challenge from God to make you stronger. Think about it… have you ever been in one of your lowest times and you feel like you’re about to give up and then all of a sudden something happens to make it better? For example (even though it’s a simple one), have you ever just given up on finding a good person to date and then all of the sudden a few days later someone comes into your life that you could see a future with? These things don’t happen by chance.

Now I was saying that God never gives us more than we can handle, but that’s just not true for Satan… for the evil in our lives. Ever wonder why someone attempted suicide? It’s because the evil in this world never stops. Satan never stops trying to undermine God… to make you feel worthless. These beautiful souls are no less people than you and I. I’m so sick of people believing that you are going to Hell if you commit suicide. Depression is NOT a sin. Depression is Satan’s way of getting you to let in all the evil that he sets forth in the world. Like any sin a believer can commit, suicide can be forgiven. I promise you right now that my grandmother did not go to Hell. I know people are going to argue about this, but there is no way that God let that woman or any of these children who just couldn’t take the burden of bullying go to Hell. He is not a cruel God. He is a merciful and loving God.

Enough said.

Stay Golden,



To the Guys Who Think Girls Are Too Complicated

To the guys who think girls are too complicated,

First, I want to start off by saying you are partially right. Girls ARE complicated. I am not here to tell you otherwise. We are complicated because no two girls are exactly the same and not all girls are going to like the same things. But… ALL PEOPLE are this way.

However, there are a few things for certain that I think I can say that will help you on your quest for the right girls.

Starting off, I’ll give you a few common standards among girls that I have talked to

Be honest. Sometimes the truth hurts, but we would much rather you tell us the truth than a lie. Besides… we always seem to find out the truth.

Be respectful. Honestly, with the whole consent thing being an issue right now, I feel like I should make this known. It is attractive when a guy is respectful. Open doors for us…ask us if it’s okay for you to kiss us or do anything else. It will go a long way.

Be kind. There is nothing better than seeing your guy be kind to someone. Help out people when you can… be a good person.

Don’t play games. I don’t care how old you are, games don’t benefit anyone. If you like someone… tell them. If you don’t like someone… tell them. It is that simple.

Next, I’m going to give you some tips on how to deal with it when a girl is so different than you are used to.

Guys, let’s be honest. Getting a gift for a female can be the hardest thing… but it doesn’t have to be. Whenever you are trying to find a gift for a girl in your life, think about all of her favorite things. Give her something unique to her likes and not something generic. For example, I like sunflowers and lilies over roses any day. However, it’s the thought that counts so any time a guy would give me any gift I would love it no matter what.

Another thing is with physical boundaries. Some girls have different physical boundaries than others. For example, some girls don’t like to be hugged or kissed in public. Don’t be afraid to ask. It is much better to ask what she is comfortable with than to just assume.

Basically, what I am trying to tell you is that no, there is not one specific way to every girl’s heart, but it is quite possible to please your lady. Just watch out for the way she responds to things, learn what she is interested in, and be a good person.

It’s not that hard to please us when you try to get to know the woman that you are with.

Good luck and…

Stay Golden,


From the Girl Who Can’t Live Without Her Parents

Honestly, I don’t understand how parents can be so different sometimes. There are parent who don’t care to be involved in their kid’s life, there are parents who won’t back off of their kids, there are parents who can’t spend time with their kids because they work to pay the bills, and there are so many more variations of parents and how they treat their kids.

Having the parents that I do, I could never give them up. I mean, I did move away, but I still see them every week. I literally cannot imagine having to live without my parents. Judge me if you want, but I think that my parents are my best friends.

I mean is there a better best friend than a parent who truly cares about you and your wellbeing? I think not. My parents are always going to be by my side and they would never do anything to hurt me. They are always going to be there for me. They are always going to support me. They are always going to LOVE me.

You can sit there and argue that your best friend is always going to be there, but let’s face it… friendships end on whims, they end because of petty fights, and they end because they just weren’t meant to last. Friendships are for years where family is for a lifetime.

I don’t care what anyone has to say about me or the way I live my life. All I know is that I would never give up the time that I get with my family for anything in this world.

I love you Mama and Daddy (and Justin too).

Stay Golden,


Learning How to Budget

Most of my life, I’ve relied on my parents for money, but once I moved out on my own, I was responsible for doing that myself. Now, I’m not saying that they wouldn’t help me if I needed it… of course they would. I’ve just learned to take care of it myself and here’s how.

Wants vs Needs

Going shopping when you’re responsible for budgeting for yourself is hard to get used to. You really have to know what you need and what you just want. An important step in this journey for me was to learn that if it wasn’t necessary, it could wait. If I didn’t have the money to buy it right off the bat and it wasn’t something that I absolutely needed, it could wait. Most of the time, if you wait just a little bit, you forget about it anyways.

Learn to Say No

As with most things, it is important to get into the habit of saying no. Say no to things that you can’t afford to do. You don’t have to go out and spend money to have a good time.

Learn to Host

If you want to have fun with friends, do it on your own terms. Buy cheap wine or cheap beer and have a good time doing whatever you want to do at your own house. It’s way cheaper than going out, and it might even be more fun.

Write it Down

An important thing that has helped me is that I write my budget down on paper and track every cent that I spend.

All in all, focus on what is truly necessary but remember to treat yourself every now and then.

Stay Golden,


You’re Not Alone: Mental Illness in College Students

College is generally thought of as the best years of your life. You get to branch out and do all of the things that you think could interest you. You join club after club, organization after organization, but have you ever thought about how these years of your life cause you mental pain?

Anxiety disorders, being the most prevalent mental health disorders in college students, are on the rise in this population (11.9% of college students have an anxiety disorder).

Depression is also up there at 7-9% of college students.

Around 3.2% of college students show symptoms of Bipolar Disorder.

It is unsurprising, then, that college students take part in dangerous activities to decrease their mental health symptoms. For example, many college students take part in binge drinking or illicit drug use.

If you have recently been diagnosed with a mental health disorder in college, you are not alone. College is the time of many changes. All of these changes can affect you and increase your mental health problems. These things include making your own decisions (especially when you are indecisive), moving away from family, spreading yourself too thin with all of your activities and studies, not allowing yourself adequate relaxation, and not eating healthy and exercising.

College is hard, but it is especially hard when you are suffering from a mental illness. Seek help if you feel that it is too hard. Make sure that you are also making lifestyle adjustments to help with your mental health as well.

All in all, you can most definitely manage it, but it will be a long, hard road.

Stay Golden,





Keeping a Relationship With God in College

I didn’t grow up in a crazy religious family. My family always kept me exposed to God, but we really didn’t go to church. And that’s OK! I do not feel like church is central to having beliefs or to living a Godly life. My parents are some of the most respectful and giving people I know.

When I went off to college, I was really scared, but that didn’t stop me from having a relationship with God. It is completely possible, even with the busy college lifestyle.

First and foremost, I surrounded myself with a faith-bearing community. A lot of my friends are God-fearing, and that made it easy. From a lot of my roommates to a Christian Service Sorority, I found myself surrounded by love and support from Godly women.

Also, I made sure to set aside time to have a devotional daily, or at least weekly. Whether this was by myself or with other people, I made sure to keep this a main part of my life. Now for me, it was unrealistic to expect myself to find time every day, so I made it a point to have a devotional at least weekly. My favorite daily devotionals come from the app: The First Five. It is an amazing app to give you devotionals that you can relate to, and they are easy to understand.

Online Sermons are available when you can’t find a church that is right for you. It is okay to be wary of churches. It is okay to search for the right one, but in the meantime, make sure to keep up with your favorite online sermons.

All in all, it is very important to keep up with your faith no matter what, and it is feasible.

Stay Golden,