Bom Dia

My Gluten-Free Life

I had never heard of Celiac Disease in 2000 when my gastro endocrinologist gave me the results of my endoscopy.  She told me celiac disease required removing all gluten from my life.  Forever.  And that would remove the stomach distress that I had been experiencing. This was not good news for this lover of baked goods.

That was a Friday, and I decided that I would stuff myself with gluten over the weekend and then suffer without gluten forever.  As I recall, I consumed two bags of honey-mustard pretzels, as many bagels as I could eat and lots of other forbidden food.

At that time, there weren’t many gluten-free options.  And the “substitute” items were pretty horrible.  Things are better now.  But even from my local gluten-free bakery, the bagels didn’t justify their name.

On my birthday weekend in New York City, I had a bagel (as reported earlier) to die for.  A gluten-free bakery with a line out the door on a Sunday morning must have something going for it.  Big, chewy, smothered in sesame seeds—everything a bagel-deprived person could hope for.

On the train back to Boston, my backpack was stuffed with a computer, three hard cover books, and a dozen sesame bagels.

On Sunday, I heated a frozen sesame bagel.  I spread it with gobs of cream cheese.  I had a fresh pot of coffee and the newspaper.

Sheer joy.


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I love having your posts delivered to my email. They are often the little delights of the day. So glad I found your blog.


Judy, Thank you for your beautiful essay in today's Boston Globe. Your love for and with Paul shined through. Many commentators took the opportunity to enunciate support for their right to die in their own terms. Linda

Linda McMahan

Hi Judy,
Glad you found and enjoyed the bagels at the gluten-free-bakery in NYC! Nowadays, people can ship food from anywhere. Give the gluten-free-bakery in NYC a call, they may be able or find ways to ship the bagels to you overnight!


I’m commenting here on your piece in today’s Globe. My father was a suicide at 83, for the same reason your husband had. He died alone for fear of Florida laws against assisted suicide and that will always haunt me. My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003 and died in 2020. 10 of those years were hell for both of us and our daughter. I pray that Massachusetts will join the other states that allow doctor assisted suicide. Thank you for advocating for it.

Judy Chang

Dear Judy,

I was a student at the Kennedy School in the 90s and I remember you helping me, so when I saw your picture on the Boston Globe today, I looked up your blog!

Your blog and the Globe article are both wonderful!

Toby Decker

Thank you for your post re: needless suffering of your wonderful husband's last days. My college roommate, who controlled his end when pain pills became too much, lived in VT. Apparently, VT has a way that is compassionate, especially for the survivors, his wife, 2 sons and family. Toby Decker


I, too, read your essay and found your blog because of it. I recently read Amy Bloom’s book. Am hoping Massachusetts sees the light and approves assisted suicide.

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