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A Few Words from a Gluten Free Teen

Posted May 07 2009 9:23pm

I have a guest writer this week - the Gluten Free Teen.  Even though I try to make life as"normal" and as happy for her as I can, I know that her diet still bothers her at times.  Like most normal teens she just wants to be like everyone else, so having a special diet is something she'd rather forget about. 

No matter how hard I try to provide her with gluten free options, as she gets older and more independent, there are more and more instances that I just don't know about.  Mom bringing special brownies into class just doesn't work in middle school.   

At the same time, she really does not like to talk about her diet.  So when she offered to write my blog post for this week, I was more than excited to accept her offer.  It gave me a chance to see that things are still tough at times.  It gave me a look into her life.  Maybe one of our kids will read it and find some solace in the connection as well.

Hi this is the gluten free teen or Alex. There are a few things I wanted to tell you about being a gluten free teen.

Sometimes, well actually most of the time, things can be pretty tough food wise. I have encountered many incidents outside of our home, where I was left with no food and feeling left out. But I have also experienced people who have taken the time to make sure that I can participate and have something to eat. I have had heartbreaking experiences, and touching experiences.

One of the many tough times that I have experienced was in math. I know this sounds weird and might not sound like a big deal but it really does hurt. My math teacher’s wife loves trying out new recipes and then giving them to her husband’s students to test. I was taking a math test and he asked the class if anyone was allergic to nuts or chocolate. We all said no. The next thing I saw was a bag of delicious looking cookies being passed out to the whole class. Of course I didn’t eat them. I’m a good girl and don’t want to get sick. So I told him I couldn’t eat them and he didn’t even care. I was fighting back tears and it was really hard but I survived and ate some yummy ice cream when I got home. But still, it hurts.

Another experience that pierced my heart was in sixth grade when everyone had coffee cake. I love cake, and I love coffee, so you can imagine hard it would be to not be able to eat coffee cake. Well it looked delicious and I was incredibly sad because all I had to eat was 2 teeny tiny stale and disgusting, gluten free cookies. While my whole class was pigging out on coffee cake I was eating gross food. It was a small incident but still incredibly painful.

Now that I’ve managed to depress you thoroughly I will talk about some of the touching experiences. At school we read the book Alice in Wonderland. Of course, after reading this we just had to have a Mad Hatter Tea Party. I was deeply bummed because I figured that once again, I would be left out. But surprisingly enough my English Teacher bought me a gluten free chocolate dome and some delicious gluten free cookies. They were amazing and she even had the correct kind of drink for me! I was so touched and greatly thanked her.

My Journalism class had a party once the yearbook was finished. I was going to bring in some popcorn for me to eat, but of course I forgot. I figured that I would have to put on my happy face and act happy while everyone was eating yummy brownies and cookies, but that is the opposite of what happened. Two of my friends brought in chips that they made sure were gluten free for me. I was so grateful and ended up having a genuine smile on my face! It was truly great.

As you can see, being a gluten free teen has some major rough spots. But it can also make you feel incredibly loved and thankful for the people that truly care about you. Even though you might feel very alone and sad about being gluten free, there are good things that come out of it. It might be amazingly hard to think of them (it was for me) but there is a reason for it. People love you and those who truly care about you will show it.

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