As the holiday approaches many Celiacs and gluten free people start to become anxious. Not because they won’t be able to eat the food at most gatherings, but because of the stress other people will put on themselves and the Celiac because we have to bring our own food. Guess what? We’re OK with that!
I reconnected with my Brother this past weekend and he felt so sorry for me about my diet. Let’s take two scenes and and change one part of it and you might see what I mean:
“Ms. Simpson, you have an incurable autoimmune disease called Celiac disease. This is why you have been so sick and declining. The treatment for this disease is not eating anything with gluten in it. It will take some time and education to live this life, but you will recover and be healthy.”
Then you go home and feel sorry for yourself for a short period of time, read tons of books, go to a nutritionist, cook awful things until you learn how to do it right and then…you start to feel good. Then you feel great..Then you just live your life!
“Ms. Simpson, you have an incurable autoimmune disease called (Pick One: Lupus, Crohns Disease, Addison etc.) There are some treatments but you will decline and never totally feel better. You will have to take strong drugs, be hospitalized often and most likely won’t live as long as others.”
Then you go home and I’m not sure what you do. I’ve not been there other than being diabetic and that is diet too. I don’t think I’d want to hear the second scenario. I’m happy with mine! Which one would you want? I’m grateful that Celiac has such an easy treatment. It’s just a different diet.
Some things to thing about this holiday season:
If you want my company at a gathering please still invite me. I really want to spend time with you and don’t mind bringing my own food.
If you come to my house, you won’t notice anything different. Our food is good too, but you’re not getting a good crusty roll.
Don’t make a big deal at the table. Let me make a quick explanation to the guests and let me fit in.
If you want to buy ready made gluten free things, that is nice, but don’t try to make me something gluten free unless you REALLY know how to do it. I don’t want to have to turn down the great cheesecake you made in a pan that gluten has been in. Yes…I am that sensitive.
If you knew me before I changed diets, you now know that I won’t disappear into the bathroom for an hour after dinner.
Be happy for my health. I appreciate your empathy, but sympathy is not necessary.
And no…I can’t just have a “little” gluten. I really can’t.
Overall, we are very happy people because we appreciate how good we feel now.