The Small Intestine is Faithless

A little while ago I shared with you my first communion experience at the wonderful & welcoming Saint Thomas the Apostle of Hollywood. To summarize this experience, I took Communion without thinking & didn’t become immediately ill.

I continued to take Communion. I never became immediately ill, ever. I felt like I was the embodiment of perfect faith, or perhaps incredibly lucky.

Then my fibromyalgia seemed to be acting up.

I blamed June gloom, which is a phenomenon in Los Angeles whereby every Beach Boys song becomes a flaming harmonized lie. We start the day, even in the valley, with what in the beach towns is typically a “marine layer”. This sounds like dolphin porn but is actually some meteorological thingy you can Google or whatever. Anyhow, it blankets the whole of SoCal except barometric pressure changes come with it, which every fibromyalgic & migraineur has learned to associate with suicidal ideation inducing pain levels. So I figured it was that.

Then the June gloom stopped, but I was getting worse. I cancelled event after event, plan after plan. People I wanted to see & things I really wanted to do pale in comparison to wishing you were dead because you’re 39 & nothing works properly. You’re having painful spasms everywhere. Your brain stops thinking clearly. Your digestion becomes a kaleidoscope of conflicting complications, all of which are potentially embarrassing. I was conserving all my energy for church & Communion.

Well…the wafers are not gluten free.

I have never been glutened & not had the near immediate urge to teleport to the nearest loo. As this was not happening after Communion, I figured I was fine. My faith in Christ was all like “What up, stupid wheat protein? How you like me now?”

My small intestine was all like “Oh hell no, ho, I ain’t playin’.” Because my small intestine is Wayne Brady & it had to smack a ho the only way it knew how–neuromuscular failure.

I had a very nice chat with our rector on Sunday. He seemed alarmed (in that very gentle Welsh way) that I was essentially tormenting myself & instructed me to chat with the folks in the sacristy before mass & gluten free host will be provided me. “You needn’t worry; it’s already consecrated,” he assured me with a hug.


He didn’t judge my faith nor my intestines, who are jerks. He doesn’t judge the faith of others with celiac or an allergy or autism, either, as the gluten free host is all ready to go. He just wants me to be able to enjoy the sacrament & not make my fibro worse & not get cancer & die. That’s pretty Christ-like.

So anyhow have I said enough times already how much I love St Thomas??


13 thoughts on “The Small Intestine is Faithless

  1. gluten free jesus is now the name of my new band

  2. James Gorski says:

    Very nice piece, Princess! The body is an ass we’re forced to saddle up and ride as best we can. Faith is everything else that matters.

  3. bessex says:

    sorry that you feeling sick but glad that people are there at church to help you on your journey to get close to the lord. love you

  4. We have gluten free wafers available in our church too. Our organist avoids both gluten and dairy.

  5. Kevin Cox says:

    Well written, Kelli! You seem to be in a more lighthearted state in this post. I struggle too. In Vegas, barometric changes make me want to run for the nearest storm shelter and do that whole “primal scream” thing! I’m unbearable, especially with those closest to me. I’ll have to look in to the gluten thing for me. Thank you, and keep your head up (as much as that may hurt).

    • kelliejane says:

      Some people w/ fibro are sensitive to gluten even if they don’t have celiac complicating it, so it’s worth a shot. You may want to check out celiac on line, see if you have any symptoms, & have your doctor run the blood test first. If you come up negative you can still do an elimination diet after to see if that helps.

  6. blake says:

    It’s puzzling, though, isn’t it? I thought even slight exposure even just in skin contact laid you up. But this was subtle enough to sneak up on you?

    (Sorta makes me wonder how many people are intolerant and have no idea. I guess that’s the premise of Wheat Belly.)

  7. Frank says:

    Oh wow, what a bummer! I haven’t gone to communion since I was a teenager, but I wouldn’t think about the gluten at all now if I were to go back to church again. Kind of a good reminder that there are foods everywhere we need to watch out for and be more vigilant of. Thanks for the story

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