Last night, I lay in my daughter’s bed, holding her as she shuddered in pain against me. She cried, hard, just as she had after I lifted her off the toilet a few moments before. Her eyes were red with crying and the exhaustion. She told me again that her head hurt. Her stomach hurt. Her entire body hurt. “Mama, why do my knees hurt?” I tried to keep calm, talking to her in a quiet voice about what was happening to her body. But my body hurt the same way, in the same places, and my sentences stumbled in the middle, the words coming out jumbled. I know this feeling, the start of three to five days of pretty agonizing pain and exhaustion, emotional volatility and discomfort. But watching her go through it is more difficult than I can say.
“Honey, I just can’t stand gluten,” I told her, holding her hand and stroking her back.
“Me too, Mama. I can’t stand gluten too.”